Every month I get in front of you to share my message. No matter what the circumstances, I am always the way I’m being with you right now. I’m unconditionally enthusiastic. Whatever else is going on my life, I’m committed to being the kind of person who excites you into powerful action.
Of course, it’s easier to be unconditionally enthusiastic when things are going well. It’s much harder to be unconditionally enthusiastic when conditions turn against us. But that’s exactly when we need to be unconditionally enthusiastic. When the decks are stacked against us, we need to double down on our commitment to being the best version of ourselves.
In other words, I’m more committed to being a certain kind of person than I am to achieving a certain kind of outcome. I’m more focused on my behavior than I am on my results. Don’t get me wrong – I want to win. I want to win so bad it hurts so good. But I know that who I’m being today will determine the results I achieve tomorrow. If I focus on what I need to do right, right now, the scoreboard will take care of itself. So right now, the only thing that is important to me is this video. If you like it enough, you’ll help me monetize it.
Remember the sandcastles you built as a child? Remember the sandcastles your child built? How long did they last? Did you even care when they collapsed or were washed away? It didn’t matter. What mattered was building them knowing that they would be swept away almost immediately. You didn’t care about their longevity. You loved creating them. When they crumbled, you simply built another one. You were happy just being there.
I am in the business of building sandcastles. I deliver keynote speeches for a living. I get up in front of people around the world and talk for 60 to 90 minutes. Then it’s done. No matter how amazing my talk was, when it’s over, it’s over. The next speaker steps up or the audience breaks for lunch, coffee or dinner. I build my sandcastle in the air and then it’s swept away. But the memories, the insights, and the inspiration can last forever.
I am who I am because of the people who built sandcastles in my mind. They made an impact on me that became part of me. Their examples enabled me to excel. It wasn’t the results that they were committed to achieving that impacted me, it was how they acted in the moment of contact with me. I remember their passion, their kindness, their wisdom and their generosity.
Most unforgettable moments happen inside a crisis. That’s when our lives are disrupted. That’s when we have to reinvent ourselves. That’s when we need to evolve to the next level. That’s also when we experience the most pain. We lose things. We lose people. We even lose ourselves. Our success is directly proportionate the pain we can bear. Happiness is the result of enduring misery, bewilderment, disappointment, or bereavement. And yet, that’s when we have to be unconditionally enthusiastic about our lives.
Disruption is how our lives are rerouted in a new direction. It may occur to us as a disaster or a catastrophe at the time. It may seem unfair or even cruel. But if we become cynical or pessimistic in those moments, we give up the ability to turn them around. We also suck others down the rabbit hole with us.
Disruption is an invitation to be the person you are most proud of. The time to move forward is when things are going backward. The most important time to play like a winner is when you’re losing or even when the game is lost. As Nelson Mandela said, “do not judge me by my successes. Judge me by how many times I got knocked down and got back up again”. Or as Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.
The worst question you can ask yourself in times of crisis and disruption is, “What’s the point?” if you want to lead, it’s up to you to put the point into pointless. When you are committed to being the best version of yourself, you make the point. You define your circumstances, not the other way around. If you’re watching this, you are not content just to go with the flow. You’re not content to do nothing when you could do something. You’re up to something big, right? You want to be known as someone who can be counted on to make things better, especially when they seem to be getting worse.
We’re only as good as the people that we attract to us. Great people are attracted to great people. They vote with their legs – either they walk towards us or they walk away from us. No-one walks towards people who disappear in the dark. Light and fire are integral parts of our job description if we want to change the game. We need to burn bright but we can never burn out.
So, here’s Lipkin’s code for unconditional enthusiasm. It has been formulated through my research with the Environics Research Group and my personal conversations with thousands of champions around the world:
- Connect with your passion. Remember what thrills you. Remind yourself of what you want to be when you grow up – no matter how old you are. I love to see people being amazed by their breakthroughs. That’s what thrills me. What is it for you? No matter what you do, do it like someone who is passionate about what they’re doing.
- Declare your public persona: who do you want people to think you are? What do you want to stand for? What do you want people to count on you for? So, I’m the Championator. I’m committed to helping people play at their best so they become the best. I excite people into action. No matter what my circumstances, that’s how I’m going to show up every time. What do you want people to believe about you? Tell them, then hold yourself to that standard.
- Develop your discernment. Discernment is defined as the ability to detect things that are not readily obvious. Go deep. Go far. Go wide. Look for things that other people don’t see. Ask questions that other people don’t ask. Don’t settle for first impressions. Do the work that needs to be done. Be fascinated by what you find. Be curious to find out even more. Hold onto your gratitude for being to play the game.
- See through the fog. No matter how great you are, you are going to crash. You’re going to stumble, fumble and fall. No-one bats a thousand and no champ ever goes undefeated. This too shall pass. The more intense the storm, the shorter it is. You’ve come through times as tough as anyone that you’re going through right now. The fog always lifts. Visualize your desired outcome. Share your vision so you uplift others. Adapt as you go. Keep the faith. Stay the course.
- Be workable. Make it easy to be with you. Look for ways to make other people happy when they’re struggling with their reality. Earn their followership through your contribution to their success. If you say you’ll do it, then do it. Become their go-to person when the going gets tough. Celebrate your peers. The more value you add, the more valuable you become.
- Widen your social circle. Enhance your awareness by talking to people you’ve never spoken to before. I’m talking about real live conversations, not digital fakes. Get F2F – face to face. Look into other peoples’ eyes. Listen to their points of view. Visit their worlds. Get out of your familiarity zone. All the cheese is located where you’ve never been before. Become a traveler, both literally and figuratively. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, let your love of people sweep you along.
- Walk tall. Unconditional enthusiasm is physical. It is erect, poised, confident, smiling, fresh, keen, vigorous, robust, vital and vibrant. Sometimes, you need to act unconditionally enthusiastic in order to feel and think that way. Try it now: stand proud. Throw your shoulders back. Smile. Look at me eye to eye. Show me how fascinated you are with my message. Demonstrate your relish and enjoyment of my message. That’s it exactly.
- Talk the talk. Unconditional enthusiasm is expressed through your language. It never complains. It never blames. It never makes anyone feel wrong. It’s always caused in the matter. It’s ambitious, audacious, courageous, and generous. It sounds like a dream that other people want to help make real. It doesn’t just describe situations, it defines them. So, go on a high impact mental diet. Evaluate your words on their ability to mobilize others to your cause.
- Train like an athlete. Unconditional enthusiasm takes Olympian stamina. As Vince Lombardi says, fatigue makes cowards of us all. We need to be fit to lead and inspire others. Health and wellbeing are variables we can control. 80% of longevity is lifestyle, not genes. Make it work for you. Shed anything that is dragging you down or holding you back. Put the right fuel inside your body, then drive towards the chequered flag.
- Expect miracles. If you’ve taken the first nine steps, you can take this ultimate step. It’s the most powerful one of all, but only if you’ve done all the other heavy lifting. The most you can do is the most you can do. Then you need to expect with total conviction that the best possible outcome will occur. I expect to help thousands of people become unconditionally enthusiastic with this message. I expect to help hundreds of companies inspire their teams. I expect to generate tens of talks. I expect to build my brand as the championator. They are definitely going to happen. But if they don’t, I will get over them and start again. And again.
That’s all folks. I loved creating this message for you. I would love to get your feedback. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @mikelipkin. Until the next time, remember: in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles that will create kind of reality you want and deserve.