What a great phrase that was for Nike to capture, “Just do it!” I am sure that it is now one of the most well known catchphrases associated with a brand in history. It is almost impossible for me to say the words without the Nike logo coming to mind. Anyway, the other visual anchors that the phrase conjures up for me is of someone getting up off their chair and really being motivated to take action. That is a powerful vision, a powerful motivator for me.
In terms of creating success, just doing it is certainly important, however successful people have other ingredients to their recipe as well and these have been captured by what is called the Principles of Success in NLP.
Great sportspeople, Nike sponsored sportspeople included, all create their success in similar ways, using similar ingredients, and all added to the mixture in a similar order or sequence.
There are at least two things that happen before any of them “Just do it!” and the first one is that they set objectives or goals for themselves. In NLP we like to call this ingredient Outcomes, since thinking of an outcome leads the mind to figure out how exactly it is going to accomplish the result. The word outcome demands that the mind presuppose that the objective has been achieved and therefore breaks any unconscious resistance that we might have to success.
So, a sportsperson decides exactly what outcome that they want to achieve. A footballer may visualise seeing their foot hitting the ball and the ball responding in a certain way and ending up in the back of the net. An athlete may envisage hearing the b of the “bang” of the gun and then see him or herself respond with their body in perfect motion so that they are first off the blocks. Either way there is an instruction to the subconscious mind to behave in a certain way, to produce a certain action and it starts with a visualisation.
Think of a goal that you have in your life, whether it is to be a certain weight, to earn a certain amount of money. Visualise how you would look, how you would feel, what you would be hearing when you have achieved your goal. Did you do it? If you did then you just made it possible.
The second thing that they do before taking action is to get themselves in tip top condition both physically and mentally. This is called developing a Physiology and Psychology of Excellence in NLP terms. You certainly would have imagined that an athlete would need to be in top condition physically to achieve his goals, but all top athletes these days are equally as diligent in making sure that their mental condition is right and that they are thinking positively. This is an ingredient that many of us leave out when approaching our own objectives and goals. If you are not in the right frame of mind, then the results from your actions will not be as good as they can be.
We have set our outcome and visualised our success, we are in great shape mentally to approach our task, so then we just do it! We take action. There is nothing more certain in life than the fact that if you have a dream and you never take any action in order to realise that dream, then it will never happen.
And so is that it? Well not quite. There are a further two ingredients to success that follow taking action. Imagine an athlete, say a triple-jumper in competition. She visualises how she wants to jump, what actions she is going to take, she prepares herself mentally for the jump and repeats the rehearsal of a successful jump in her mind. She then takes action by setting off down the runway…and then the first part of the jump goes wrong, she notices that she is going to land short of where she envisaged. What does she do? That’s right she makes some readjustments.
The forth stage to the recipe for success is to notice what is working and what is not, in NLP this is called Acuity. This is becoming acutely aware of yourself, your environment and people around you so that you can judge whether or not you are on track to achieve your outcome.
The fifth and final ingredient is to have flexibility, to recognise when something is not working and to readjust your path, your actions in order to put you back on course to achieve your outcome. Have as much flexibility as is required to get where you want to go, keep changing path until you you find that path that is going to take you to your destination.
So what are you putting off? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to quit smoking, do you want to double your income, do you want to build your own house? Whatever it is get out there and just do it!