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18″ – The Difference Between Success and Failure

18″ – The Difference Between Success
and Failure

By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

I heard a quote a few weeks ago from a pastor friend and client of mine, Gino Mingo. We were doing a Bible study with our NFL Combine guys when he said, “The difference between heaven and hell is 18 inches. That’s the distance between your head and your heart.” Deep stuff. Great stuff.

I spoke with Gino afterwards and said it’s no different than success or failure in life. 18 inches.  The distance between getting “your mind right” and getting your heart right.  Whether it’s business, sports, family, relationships, career, or just life, you have to have your heart and your head in the right place. And you must be deeply committed to both. And that’s not always easy.

What about you? Are you all- in?  Are you fully committed?

There are lots of times when you struggle to get your mind right. When you just can’t get your HEAD around what you’re doing. Fear. Self-doubt. Procrastination. Bad environment. Something’s holding you back.

Or have there been times when your HEART has just not been fully committed? No passion. No energy. No love. No spirit. No nothing.

Each one of us knows deep inside that great things don’t happen at half-throttle. Life is way too short to not have your mind and your heart fully committed. It’s time to live life to the fullest, and if something has to change, TODAY is the day.

Check out some of the BEST ways to “Get your MIND right”:

  • Avoid negative self-talk. Wear a rubber band or “IMPACT” bracelet around your wrist and flick it when a negative thought comes to mind (Thank you Dr. Jack Singer). Banish negativity!!!
  • Drive a positive attitude. Be proactive with positive energy. Seek it out with regular course corrections… take the “flick on the wrist” a step further and replace the negative thought with something positive. Remind yourself: You are 1% better everyday!!!
  • Conquer FEAR. Fear is “false expectations appearing real.” Fear is poison. Say “YES” more often to things that once scared you (And those that still do!). Take ACTION on the things that scare you the most. Face your fears. Conquer them. Remove them from your life.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. The most successful people have an inner circle that empowers them, inspires them, supports their character, encourages them through the wins and the losses, and reminds them who they really are! Choose your friends and acquaintances carefully.
  • Eliminate garbage. Garbage in—garbage out. Everyday we have a million media choices available to us. Be careful what you take in… it might be polluting your mind.
  • Write. In my book, I shared a “decree statement” exercise in which you write about your life purpose. The only difference is that you write as if it’s 5 years from now and you have succeeded. Try this yourself. Writing is powerful and one of the greatest tools to help you get and keep your mind right.

… And your HEART:

  • Commit. What do you love to do? When you can’t truly commit in your work life, it might be because you aren’t in the right place doing the right thing. So, if you don’t love what you are doing, move on. Passion breeds passion. No doubt, personal relationships are more complicated. Nothing in life deserves more attention, more patience, more forgiveness, and more HEART than your relationships because you get what you give. Before you can commit, you gotta show up.
  • Write in a gratitude journal. Yes, more writing. Gratitude fills the heart and makes it stronger. It allows you to live with more compassion and to be truly thankful for all that you DO have. Write down 10 things you are thankful for every night and watch how this simple task improves your sleep and your attitude.
  • Quiet time and prayer. Nothing replaces the power of prayer. Take 10 minutes a day (minimum) to pray, to have quiet time, or to meditate. I love to do this early in the morning. But the bottom line is: DO IT and put your inner life in balance. Try it for 10 days and see the difference. Try it for 30 days and you’ll be a new person.
  • Music. Music moves the soul. Create an inspirational play list of your top tunes and listen early in the morning, during a workout, or when you need a shot of inspiration.

So, what’s holding you back? What needs to change? What’s the one thing you can start doing today that will get you kicked into gear with the full-throttle power you need to succeed?

Remember, it’s only 18 inches, but it’s the difference between success and failure. Heaven and hell. Because if you really want something, you’ve got to go all in. Head and heart. It’s all or nothing at all.

Peace and love,


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