Combating Comfort and Challenge


There is a constant battle between pushing for greatness and seeking the comfort of the status quo. As an achiever, you know that the status quo will simply not do but nor will constantly pursuing the challenge. In this episode, I share how both are important and the 2 characteristics that are essential to every achiever by examining the pursuit of the very first achiever.



Hey, guys. Ralph here. Author of the acclaimed book Deepening Growth: Powerful Lessons in Cultivating Your Personal Transformation and founder of the Plaskett Institute where we help passionate coaches, consultants, and educators strengthen their personal and professional mastery so that they can create transformational impacts.


Look, hey, guys, I know it’s been a minute. I had the flu. One thing I would advise not to get if you can avoid it at all costs. And I’ve really been bogged down working on some projects here so that I can deliver more value to you. 


I want to have a conversation about combating comfort and challenge. In comfort and challenge, we have two things contending with us and it’s our mind and our ego.


Our ego wants to pursue. Our ego wants to do things so that it can get accolades. Our mind, on the other hand, wants even keel, status quo comfort, and we have to battle against it. As an achiever, as someone who’s looking to do more than beyond their reach you’re combating the mind’s desire to be at comfort and your ego’s desire to pursue beyond their aims. And this is something that we have to contend with.


So, we’ve had conversations before about the complexity of life, and how we need to learn how to embrace complexity, not shy away from it, right? If we were to shy away from it, as an achiever, we would say we would avoid comfort at all costs and we will continue with the challenge. But that’s not realistic. What we come to learn as we understand what it means to develop into the fullest capacity of ourselves is full rounded concepts of the human condition. Which means rest and reflection is an absolutely essential key. 


This is one of the aspects of How to Win in 2020 that I delivered in a video earlier last month, in January. Rest and reflection is a critical key to our ability to achieve the pursuits, right? If we continue to pursue, pursue, pursue, without the appropriate intervals of rest and reflection – reflection giving us the capability that we need in order to see how we have done and improve what we will do – we will burn out and likely fail at our pursuits.


The Difference between ‘Or Thinking’ and ‘And Thinking’


We can’t have one or the other. This is ‘Or thinking’. ‘Or thinking’ was illustrated in Jim Collins’ work, “Good to Great.” The difference between ‘Or thinking’ and ‘And thinking’: ‘And thinking’ embraces complexity while ‘Or thinking’ seeks simplicity, but it has no basis of reality in the human condition. What can we do here is, as an achiever, as the one seeking to achieve beyond their arm or their aim? As an achiever, what we need to do is … build in periods of rest and reflection as we pursue the challenge that we’re after.


The Concept of the 1st Achiever:

So what does this mean? 


I’ve had this concept that I call the first achiever. You see, in my mind, there was someone, it might have been no one, but there is someone out there that could be considered the very first achiever. An achiever is defined as someone who achieved beyond their societal or environmental conditions to achieve something greater than they or society would’ve thought possible. 


So, in that condition, there was one person who did it and there was no one before them. Now you’ve got to see where I’m coming from with this concept of the first achiever. Today we have the beautiful ability to see the success path of many achievers in every aspect of life. Be it in parenting, be it in business, be it in sports, and any category that you can think of. There has been someone who has paved the way, and most likely multiple people who have paved the way so that we can see what success looks like, and how to go ahead and obtain the success attributes of an achiever in order to follow that pursuit to achieve our personal aims. So we have this ability in today’s society, but the time of the first achiever, they didn’t have that. They had nothing to go back and reflect upon.


Two foundational success attributes:


All they had was two attributes. Just two attributes. Now they could have had significantly other attributes and characteristics – which I’ve identified elsewhere – but at the bare minimum, there are absolutely two things that are needed to pursue our aims. Two things that are equal across the board for every achiever. 


Thing number one is a vision. “Yeah, Ralph, I know a vision. Everybody has to have a vision…”, but think about it. This is the first achiever.


There is no one who has achieved around them and in their environment is a group of people, society, who wants to keep things at the status quo. They want to keep things at the level of comfort. They don’t want to rock the boat, they don’t want to rustle any feathers. They don’t want to have any issues with their neighbors. So you have this environment that is seeking for you not to do anything beyond the status quo. This means you’re not getting support from your family, you’re not getting support from your friends, you’re not getting support from anyone.


That makes it that much more difficult. So, to have a vision on where you want to go is absolutely critical in this environment because you don’t have anything else that’s going to be able to support you. The vision supports you on your pursuit. It’s what gets you up in the morning. The vision is a thing that you need in order to continue the fight. Again, remember the conditions and the environment is not conducive for you to achieve something no one has ever achieved before. So to have a vision is clearly needed in order to know where they are going to go. 


Now hear what I said. Have a vision so that you can pursue.


Clarity may not necessarily be there. And often when you have a vision as grand as this one is in the very first achiever, there is no clarity…you just know, “I got to get to the moon,” as an example. How are you going to get there? I have no idea. Let’s start figuring this thing out, is what the conversation holds. 


Clarity comes through practice and experience and going through the rough patches in order to realize the vision. And as you get a better understanding of what this path looks like, is then you get a better clarity on the pursuit of the vision.


So what else is essential to the very first achiever. Okay? Again, remember the conditions of our environment are not conducive to pursue beyond my aim. So what do I need in order to pursue me on my aim: Perseverance. Perseverance would be the second thing that we need in order to move and accomplish beyond our aim. What does that mean?


It’s going to be rough. It’s going to be rough and rugged as they would say. It is going to be difficult. It’s going to be tedious. You’re going to cry, you’re going to doubt yourself. You’re going to experience emotions that you never thought possible because you are pursuing something that no one else has thought possible and therefore… You have to now build up the perseverance within yourself to continue the pursuit. That’s not an easy task and I’m, by no means looking to dilute it by saying you need to have perseverance… And…you need to have perseverance because it’s not an easy road. 


Do not allow the imagery of success that we see out here on social media to be the thing that you determine your success by. I know certainly for me it has been a thing that I had to continue to remind myself of. 


My pursuit is my pursuit. The way that I am looking to achieve is the way that I am looking to achieve. Yes, there are examples of the thing that I am trying to achieve and I have something to gauge myself towards. And my pursuit is my pursuit alone, and I should not measure myself against the pursuit of others. Again, we don’t know the full story. That’s why we don’t ever want to measure ourselves against others. We’ll measure ourselves against our own walk, our own pursuit. 


So those are the two things. Now, again, there are plenty of other characteristics, but these are the two things that are essential, absolutely critical for the achiever: have a vision, and have perseverance. These are the two things that are absolutely essential.


As we looked and we tried to shape the environment that’s situated for all of this. It is essential for us to understand that we need to be able to continue moving forward, build up the motivation, build up the driving force, build up the consuming desire. Be as the first achiever was, and go ahead and say, “Man, regardless of what my environment has given me, regardless of how my environment is supporting me, I have a vision, and I need to do daily build-up of myself so that I can pursue that vision, with perseverance.”


I’m Ralph Plaskett and I’m so excited to be able to share this information with you. Visit me at that’s Ralph R-A-L-P-H plaskett, for more information just like this, and until next week, enjoy the greatness that is life.

Risk vs Reward


During this time of the year with so many looking to accomplish new things in 2020, we have to assess the risks and rewards for our achievements. Typically, by March timeframe, many people have abandoned their new year resolutions and have gone back to the status quo. 

In this week’s episode, we look at how to assess the risk of NOT accomplishing your goals and how to reap the reward of accomplishing them. 


The achievement of anything crosses the threshold of the unknown, yet in that space of is the opportunity for reward. Push pass uncertainty to achieve!

Imagine that you are in a pitch-black room. There is absolutely no light. There are no windows. It is so dark, you cannot see your hand directly in front of your face. What do you do? How do you react? You have two options: Move around in an effort to find a way out or don’t move in hopes that someone will find you.

Scary thought, isn’t it?


Yet, this is exactly the situation we find ourselves in when we establish our goals. The purpose of the goal is to accomplish something that you have never done before. The goal is the darkroom. The goal is a risk that we are taking.

At first, the risk seems to be overwhelming. So overwhelming that it may not seem worth pursuing. But here is the thing: The achievement of anything crosses the threshold of the unknown, and in that space of the unknown, there is an opportunity for reward. Going back to the darkroom example, the reward is being able to find a way out of that room by risking obstacles that you cannot see.

When you see these words–risk and reward–they do not automatically lend themselves to be thought of as opposing forces. Yet, when you consider their counterbalanced relationship, you will see that one cannot exist without the other. One is the yin and the other the yang.

Often when you take a greater calculated risk, the outcome, if successful, is a greater reward. Likewise, if you take a small risk, the reward is equally as small. The problem that most of us face is that we are excited about the reward but unwilling to take the risks even when we understand the counterbalanced relationship. We are afraid of moving around in the darkroom.
When we aspire to achieve our goals, we are breaking into new and uncharted territory. This uncertainty stops most of us in our tracks if we don’t have the appropriate motivation to achieve our goals.

But how much risk is uncertainty and how much of that uncertainty can be reduced?

Calculating Risks

In everything that we do, there is a risk. Often we don’t think of them because we have become accustomed to evaluating the outcomes of everyday decisions without a second thought.

When we calculate a risk we often do three things:

  1. Assess the risk,
  2. evaluate its worth, and
  3. determine a course of action.

When it comes to the bigger decisions in our lives we focus on the risks first, just like our everyday decisions, but we look at it from a different point-of-view. In our minds, we highlight the negatives to such an extent that the positives–the rewards– are outnumbered. Then, when we begin to calculate risk, we evaluate its worth much lower than if we looked at the risk from an objective standpoint. And of course, most often we determine that the best course of action is to do nothing at all. Thus, our goals never get off the ground.

But what happens if we slow down the risk evaluation process and truly look at the risk of not working toward the achievement of our goals? What would we see?

At the least, we are able to better evaluate the value of taking the risk. Looking through this lens, we can visualize both processes of either taking or not taking the risk. We can see that the accomplishment of our goals have the ability to create a life we desire. We can see a future where we push pass uncertainty in an effort to achieve our goals.

I know of no one who can tell you exactly how the future is going to turn out. Even with all of the wonders of this world, there is no one that can tell you exactly what the future holds because your future is completely determined by you–the decisions you do or do not make. This is as wonderful as it is terrifying.

Without the proper relationship with your environment (remember that your environment is anything that has influence over you–mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) you run the risk of living a life full of potential. Evaluate the risk and reap the rewards that come along with the accomplishment of your goals.

How to Win in 2020

Hey guys! Ralph Plaskett here. Author of the acclaimed book, Deepening Growth: Powerful Lessons in Cultivating Your Personal Transformation and founder of the Plaskett Institute where we help passionate coaches, consultants and educators strengthen their personal and professional mastery so that it can create transformational impact.


The last time we were together, we were having a conversation about planning for 2020 and beyond. We had a really good conversation about how we can look at the way that we plan to have more intention – a completely different landscape of the way that we look at planning altogether. We came up with some really good results in that conversation. If you haven’t seen that conversation yet, go ahead to the previous video.


What I want to have a conversation about today is How to Win in 2020.


We’ve talked about planning for 2020, but how do we win in 2020 with all of those plans that we have in place?


You see, we can’t go into the new year with the same old habits of the old year. We can’t walk into 2020 with the mindset that we had in 2019.


Now we might have had a fantastic 2019. We might have slewed all of the obstacles that were in front of us and we might have won completely. Yet, there’s still an ambition within you to go to that next level. There are thoughts that you have that you want to manifest here in 2020.


Whatever your happenings were in 2019, 2020 is here and we need to be able to prepare for a win in 2020.


I was just talking to my wife the other day about football. See, we are Clemson fans. My wife attended Clemson so we are full Clemson fans and we are having a blast this season.


See you soon LSU.


We were having a conversation that football is such an amazing experience because it is a technical game as much as it is a mental game where we’re looking at how do we win from a mental perspective. Yes, the physical and technical side of the game is absolutely critical but it cripples without the mental fortitude akin of champions. If you don’t have the mindset, you won’t be able to achieve the win.


There are three things I want to be able to talk to you about today on how to achieve the win in 2020.


The first is yes, you’ve guessed it because we’ve talked about it all year round. And I want to be able to end this last video of the year with the very point that I need to make so that we are clear how to win in 2020.


#1: This is setting the intention of your feelings.

We are having all of this conversation about setting goals and even conversation about setting our intentions. But we never talk about our feelings, especially us men. Right?


If I am feeling sad; if I am feeling happy; if I’m feeling joyful; if I’m feeling depressed; if I’m feeling anxiety; All of these are conversations that we don’t have, nor are they conversations that we set the intention for.


When we have a meeting about an opportunity we come up with and think about what we’re going to say in order to have a presentation that is successful. We do all of the technical aspects of achieving this, meaning we set up the presentation, we make sure they have the right colors, we rehearse, but we never have a conversation about the intention of the feelings we want to possess in that meeting.


You see, if we’re going into this meeting with an anxious feeling, we are going to represent anxiety in our presentation. But if we go in there with a joyful, positive, “I got this!” feeling, the presentation will be completely different. This example illustrates the way that setting the intention of our feelings can change the entire atmosphere and completely shift things in your positive direction.


When we shift our intention towards our feelings – how we want to be – then we have the opportunity for an even greater impact.


#2: A clear focus on your impact.

Yes, we have the goals and we have the goal achievement mindset but what is the impact?


What impact are you looking for in these goals?


What impact are you trying to make in yourself and your family and your community?


What’s the impact are you really going for?


We have conversations about the goal. We have conversations about the technical things that we need to do, but we don’t often have conversations about the impact.


To have a clear focus of the impact that we’re trying to make changes the entire game.


I’ll give you an outlandish example. I want to solve world hunger. Now, that is a lofty goal. You can even put some imagination around it on what that really looks like and you could even put a time frame of accomplishing it. You can make it a S.M.A.R.T goal, but it still has no impact.


An impact for that goal would be, “I want to make sure that no child goes to bed hungry.”


Now that gives me the ability to get out of bed in the morning. That gives me the ammunition to say, regardless of the obstacles and the challenges ahead of me, I am going to pursue this impact.


I can see the child going to bed hungry, wishing that they had a snack, wishing that they had a meal, wishing there was something nutritious in their belly. I can’t see that if there’s such a lofty goal of “I want to solve world hunger”.


When we have a clear focus on the impact that we’re trying to make, then we have an ability to move past the obstacles that are sure to come. The impact gives us the ability to have a driving force that allows us to move beyond the obstacles in order to achieve the impact that we are making in our goals.


#3: Pre-build periods of rest and reflection.


We often don’t do this. And this is the sad part because we get to a place of burnout. We get to a place where we’re running and going until we become burnt out. We have physical manifestations of ailments because we are not taking care of ourselves.


The pursuit of achievement isn’t just the pursuit of material possessions, but it is a pursuit of a well balanced, rather, harmonious life. And that includes your health and wellbeing. Not only your physical health and wellbeing, from strength and conditioning to nutrition but also your mental health and wellbeing.


When we look at our schedule for the 12 months of the year, we must build in periods of rest and reflection. It may be a weekend. It might just be a day but we must build in consistent periods of rest and reflection.


The first benefit this gives is obvious. It gives us rest. It gives us the ability to recharge and get back into the game with the same energy and fervency as when we started our goal.


The second thing it does is gives us the dedicated time of reflection that we need. And reflection is a superpower that we have as human beings to be able to look at what was and to see ourselves as how we’ve operated in the past.


The scientific term for this is metacognition. I often say, “what is meta-Ralph doing?” How am I looking at this situation from a metacognition standpoint?


I’ve developed this skill over time, but if we take periods of rest and reflection, we can go back and take time and evaluate, “how did I do this past month? How did I do this past three months? What were the challenges that I faced? How did I handle those challenges?”


Periods of rest and reflection are critically important for your harmonious existence. So if we can build those periods of rest and reflection consistently throughout the year and commit to them – not allowing them to be moved off your schedule but really commit to them – then these periods will give us profound benefits.


This is especially so in the United States where we don’t give much credence to rest and reflection. We feel like we need to go, go, go. Where in other cultures around the world are very cognizant of the power and the benefit that rest can give us.


These are the three things that I wanted to share with you of how to win for 2020.


First, let’s set the intention of our feelings.


Second, let’s get a clear focus of the impact that we’re trying to make.


And third, we need to have prebuilt periods of rest and reflection.


These three things are going to allow us to win for 2020 and beyond.


When we have access to these tools then we have the ability to make child’s play of our goals. We have more fun. We will be more energetic. We have this ability because we have a clear focus on the impact. We know the feeling that we must have as we come into these opportunities that are before us and certainly, we know how we can recharge through rest and reflection.


I implore you to go ahead and utilize these three must-haves for 2020 so that you can have a successful year. I’m so excited for what you’re going to accomplish here in 2020. I’m so excited for the opportunities that are going to be before you.


I’m Ralph Plaskett and until next week, enjoy the greatness that is life.

Planning 2020 and Beyond

We do it every new year. We establish goals, create plans, and develop resolutions. These aims are usually filled with the desires of achieving new status symbols of some sort. But what if we walked into the new year with intentions around the feelings we seek to have? All of our desires for material achievements are often a pursuit of the feelings we yearn for. We seek happiness, security, confidence, etc. 

In this episode, we cover how you can create the best year ever by intentionally generating a positive mental state. 

Find me on social…





Fueling Your Achievement – Motivation


If our goals are cars, then they need fuel to keep them going until they get to the finished line. In this episode, I share 3 driving forces that we have access to in order to realize our goals. 

Transcript / Article:

Do you remember your physics class? 

I know it may be a while for some of you guys. It is certainly is a while for me. But do you remember your physics class? 

It’s the very foundation of physics. It was a saying that was very popular that got everyone to remember the concept of energy. You see, it’s an object in motion will stay in motion unless a force, an opposite force, is placed on that object. An object at rest will stay at rest unless a force, an opposite force, is placed on that object. 

So this is what our conversation is about today – potential energy and kinetic energy. You see, this is the very foundation of physics and it applies to every other aspect of our everyday life. You see, this basic aspect of physics is something that we relate to day in and day out as it relates to our goals – the things that we are pressing forward to be able to accomplish. It relates astronomically well. Did you see what I did there? “Astronomically.” 

When we have potential, our goals are simply that, they are potential. The very definition of a goal is an intent to accomplish something. 

That’s all it is. There’s nothing else to it. 

There is an intent to accomplish something, but once we put it into motion, once we start activating it, once we start to go ahead and do something about it and we walk it out, our goal go from potential energy into kinetic energy. The further we go, the faster we go, the more we exercise our goals, the more kinetic energy that we release. 

So why are we getting all geeky, if you would, in physics and kinetic and potential energy? Well, because I want to talk about the opposing force which is the driving force of your goals. 

Last week we talked about how we utilize the energy around our negative emotions and we learned how to turn them so that we can have positive movement. Meaning that we leverage our negative emotions, leveraging the concept of Aikido to be able to use that negative emotion and move it into a manner that allows us positive forward progression. 

This week, I want to talk further about how we can utilize energy to be able to propel our efforts, our goal achievement further. See, the driving force is a critically important thing that we need to understand. We need to bring it to our conscious awareness. We’re all aware that there are some level of a driving force. We’re all aware that there are things that are going to propel us forward and things that are going to stop us, but we don’t think about how we can leverage those driving forces to be able to move forward for our benefit.


The one thing that I think is really important is to bring this to our awareness so that we have the tools that we can pull out of our toolbox and say, “I’m going to apply this particular tool at this moment because this is what I need in order to move forward.”

We have driving forces that will propel us and we have driving forces that will anchor us down and stop us. The latter will drive us into the ground and keep us planted or the former is going to propel us and move us forward. Motivation and encouragement are one of the support system constructs that I’ve talked about before that will help you, myself included, propel us forward. But then just the opposite is negative emotions. Emotions such as fear: fear of success, fear of failure, fear of the unknown and fear of public speaking for example.

Any level of distinguishing fear can cause us to be planted into our position and never moving forward. But I also want to talk about is the really interesting aspect of the positive driving force. As a reminder, we talked about leveraging our motivation and encouragement to help us move us forward in our support system construct. But what about this other sense of driving forward called a consuming desire? 

I love rags to riches stories. I love these type of stories of success and achievement because it really illustrates what it takes to get to the level of achievement that so many of us look at from the end result. We look at the end result not knowing all of the work that it took to get to that achievement. I love these stories because they illustrate the journey that one had to take in order to get to achieve their aims.

And what I have seen in these stories time and time again are three consuming desires – Three types of positive driving forces, which I’m calling consuming desires, that have the ability for us to move obstacles out of the way by either going over it, under it, or through it. 

The first consuming desire is a promise [of a love one]. Not any old promise will do because in today’s society it just seems like someone’s word is no longer their bond. It used to be that if someone said they were going to do something you knew it was going to be done. There was integrity in what they said. It seems like we’ve gotten away from that a little bit further than I would have preferred; this sense of integrity.

Nevertheless, that’s a completely different video for a completely different conversation. See a promise that moves you to the point where you stop at nothing to achieve because you’ve committed to keeping it. This is a promise of a loved one. 

This is a type of promise that moves you to the point where you are going to stop at nothing to be able to realize this promise. This is a promise that stories are made of. These are what we see at the movies or hear in the news and are astonished by what the person did in order to realize the promise. 

The second consuming desire that I’ve seen constantly in these stories of rags to riches and senses of achievement is the boiling frustration. Yes, the absolutely boiling frustration that you see something and we know that it can be better. But not only that you see it and you know you can make it better but really have that boiling frustration where you see it and you’re like, “I have the answer! And I am deeply moved by causing a betterment in this area.” 

So much of what we see in today’s society is that we let the things that frustrate us go but we are still mad, frustrated, and disappointed. We don’t allow ourselves to get frustrated, get angry, and actually do something about it. You see, there’s a lot of woke people out there, but not enough people who are taking action on their ‘wokeness’.

This is just like potential energy. You are woke, you have an awareness, you might be sharing that awareness on social media, but if you’re not actively engaging to make that thing that you have a boiling frustration about better then you’re no better for it. So when we have a boiling frustration, we need to act on that frustration. If you have an idea, pool people together so that you can realize that benefit of the idea. 

The third consuming desire that I’ve seen in so many of these stories is a goal for the greater good of humanity. These are social causes.

And it doesn’t have to be a social cause like the civil rights movement, which was one of the boiling frustrations that bubbled up into beautiful social cause [ending result]  that made us that much better of a society in America. 

But social causes like health and wellbeing. Psychological wellbeing is one of them. Health as far as physical wellbeing as well. Eating better, the way that we consume our food and knowing what’s in it. Organic versus pesticides [for example]. These are examples of social cause consuming desires where you want to see a [significant] movement from because of the greater benefit to a large portion of the population.

In these three consuming desires, we have the capacity to move beyond our barriers so that we can realize goals that extend beyond ourselves. Yes, the frustration starts [within us]. Yes, the desire starts [within us] but the realization of the goals that we have in these consuming desires or the achievement of these goals is for the betterment of so many more than our four and no more. We have the capacity to benefit a greater society, benefit our community, benefit our county, our state, our world. So not only that we benefit from these changes but our children’s children can as well. We can create the conditions that could result in a better experience in this thing called life. 

I’m Ralph Plaskett and I’m so excited to be able to share this type of information with you. I want to hear your feedback. I really do. So let me know in the comments down below. What really moved you in this video? What did you do differently once you heard this video? I would love to engage with you. 

So until next week,  enjoy the greatness that is life.