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Are You Practicing Your Basics? (Part 2) - 3.0

Sep 25, 2023

“Master the basics.  Then practice them everyday without fail.  Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”

                                                                                                         - John C. Maxwell


Last week I shared the concept of how in martial arts, a Black Belt is nothing more than a “Master of the Basics”. 


When we bring the principle of “practicing the basics” into our everyday lives, we can find that it serves us greatly in creating mastery and success in everything we do.


I discussed in detail how the practice of my first three of six basic life-leadership skills can lead not to only a positive impact on our lives, but also on the lives of those we serve and lead. 


Specifically, these skills are……………


  • Giving our bodies adequate rest
  • Eating foods of high nutritional value
  • Physically moving or bodies each day


You can read that blog by clicking here: Are You Practicing Your Basics? (Part 1)


In this installment, I will share my next three basic practices to leading a masterful life.




  • Mental Growth and Expansion – It is often said, “leaders are readers”. This is because impactful leaders are consistently stretching themselves to grow, expand and learn new things so they can most effectively lead themselves, and as a result, be a positive example for those they are honored to serve through their leadership. 


It has been my experience that we happiest (even when obstacles occur) when we are in a state of learning and growth. 


With that being said, what basic practices do you currently have in place to grow and expand on a daily basis?  What books are you reading?  What podcasts are you listening to?  What programs are you currently taking to expand your professional and personal growth? 


Any muscle, when we stop exercising it, it begins to atrophy from lack of use.  Our brains are no different.  What practice can you begin today to ensure the growth and expansion of our most prized asset as human beings, our intellect, focus and mental acuity?


  • Gratitude  What we focus on expands. When we focus on what we are grateful for, we begin to see more and more examples of what we can be grateful for and, as a result, seemingly begin to attract more and more of these things into our lives. 


Studies have shown that journaling about at least 5 things we are grateful for each day not only improves our perspectives, but has also been found to improve our health, relationships, and sleep. 


Being grateful for what is, is really the first step in transformation, as it changes our perspective and opens our hearts and minds up to what is possible because we are grateful for what we already have. 


The practice of gratitude is simple, although it may not be easy, particularly when we find ourselves in challenging times.  However, a daily practice of being thankful for what we have creates a foundation for us living our best lives.  Recall what Meister Eckhart said about the practice of gratitude,


“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”


  • Spiritual Connection – While the previously mentioned basic practices are all vitally important, it is my belief that we cannot truly experience their benefits if we have not established our own personal practice of spiritual connection.


This is done as a means to not only connect with ourselves but, most importantly, something bigger than us. Whether you call it God, Spirit, the Universe, Nature, this is a time to reconnect to the Source within. 


For me, this means doing a daily practice of prayer and meditation.  For someone else, it may be a quiet walk in nature, reading and reflecting upon spiritual text or even doing the dishes (doing something with complete intention and focused attention is really meditation). 


Whatever that is for you, take the time to honor it and practice it.  Schedule it in your daily calendar so it is an activity that you are not inclined to miss (I schedule my quiet time first thing in the morning to insure just this). 


It is from this place of spiritual connection and anchoring that we can then move into our day to best connect with others, making this a definitive practice in maintaining and nurturing our most important relationships. 


So, what practice is it is for you?  I encourage you to identity it right now and schedule it as a daily practice.  I promise, despite how busy you believe you are; you will be very happy you did.


So, there you have it, my friends.  These are my six basic practices for a full and vital life. 


What practice or practices are you committed to integrating into your life?


If you are already incorporating these practices, keep up the good work.  If you are looking to integrate one or more of these basic habits, I suggest you add one new practice each week until you have completed including the full amount of them you are committed to practicing on a regular basis.


Who knows what may happen in your life when you become a “Master of the Basics”?


Chris Natzke

Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching

PS:  If you are looking to create and follow a basic process that will lead to a breakthrough in your life, check out my Breaking Through Online Program .


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