Thursday March 6, 2014 #607
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
~Henry David Thoreau
We all know the “glass half-full” and “glass half-empty” comparison of optimists and pessimists. However, the power of this simple observation should not be underestimated. It goes beyond the desirability of a positive outlook. The very nature of how all aspects of life are perceived is shaped by the lenses we choose to wear. And yes, it is a choice. Wearing the lenses of hopefulness, positivity, gratitude, and potential, everything – people, objects, and the world around us – is imbued with possibility and beauty. The very same things when viewed through the lenses of hopelessness, negativity, and thanklessness show us only impossibility and ugliness. Make the choice today to wear the lenses that allow you to see the beauty in the world and in yourself. It will make all the difference.
Tuesday March 4, 2014 #606
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
In my journey to understand the success factors for a quality life, I have seen one potent combination that more than any other seems to deliver joy, happiness, and ongoing achievement: Commitment to excellence, tied to a clear target. The target or targets for that commitment can be precise, or can evolve, or can change completely. The point is to possess an attitude of excellence for whatever you have chosen for your short, medium and long term goals and aspirations. Therefore, the combination of clarity of purpose and the quest for excellence is powerful indeed. Neither delivers independently. You must have both.
Friday February 28, 2014 #605
“I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
Ah – the challenges of human to human communication! Whether our communication is verbal, or in writing, what we say is rarely fully understood as intended. A colleague recently related the story of giving a carefully scripted presentation to his team. After finishing, he asked each of them what they heard. It took until the 5th or 6th person, for someone to repeat back the salient points of the presentation. Two points here: First, we must realize that despite our best effort, most of what we say is misinterpreted to some degree or even unheard. Second, it is a mark of a strong leader to seek to ensure his message is understood. Only then can we know if and how we must clarify our communication to ensure understanding.
Thursday February 20, 2014 #604
“Leaders see people for who they are becoming, not who they were”
It is said that the first impression is the most important. This is quite true. It is very difficult for our subconscious mind to remove the clarity of our first impressions of a person or situation. However, great leaders do not let this impact their effectiveness. It is critical as leaders to intentionally force ourselves to think more of a person’s potential than of their history. This is how we find the “diamond in the rough”, the person whose potential is as of yet unrealized, but with your guidance can find it. This is true not only for a young person just starting out, but also for the 25 year veteran who may be underutilized and waiting to be “discovered”. Be the leader who sees potential, nurtures it, and brings it to fruition.
Tuesday February 18, 2014 #603
“The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.”
There are tens of thousands of brilliant ideas out there which, if launched, would make huge positive impact on individuals, families, organizations, and communities. And yet only a handful of these will actually be moved forward today. Why? Too many believe that only ‘experts’ or those ‘in power’ have the ability to make a real difference. Don’t believe this!
Right now, you probably have incredible value to add, whether in a small or large way. Don’t worry that you are not an expert, or lack power or other resources. Rely on the power you do possess – the power of your idea, and your ability to drive your idea with persistence. The world needs your ideas. Please help us move forward.
Thursday February 13, 2014 #602
Someone has written, Love is a verb. It requires doing – not just saying and thinking. The test is in what one does, how one acts, for love is conveyed in word and deed.
~David B. Haight
Yes, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. And yes, if you are fortunate to have a partner in your life, you ought to do something to celebrate your gratitude for this special someone. However, I urge you to consider your daily acts and gestures. Why wait for this one day? Or their birthday, or your anniversary? Most people agree that simple expressions of love outside of these holidays carry far greater meaning and will contribute to a healthy, intimate, and long-lasting relationship. Still, he or she will still appreciate a Valentine’s gesture – so don’t forget that too!
Tuesday February 11, 2014 #601
I believe that you tend to create your own blessings. You have to prepare yourself so that when opportunity comes, you’re ready.
“Luck” and “good fortune” are myths. While seemingly lucky things do occur, the vast majority of fortune, success, and victories come to those who relentlessly prepare themselves mentally and physically for eventual opportunities they can then take advantage of. Don’t leave the potential of your life to “luck”. Create your own blessings by your own focus, effort, and persistence.
Thursday February 6, 2014 #600
If you would find happiness and joy, lose your life in some noble cause. A worthy purpose must be at the center of every worthy life.
~Jack H. Goaslind, Jr.
As human beings, we all want to feel that what we are working towards and fighting for is something of meaning. Our hard work, and even achievement, rings hollow when unaccompanied by a meaningful purpose or cause. If you find yourself lacking enthusiasm for your work, or see this in your people, try to redefine your work as being in the service of a real and meaningful purpose. If you can’t, you may need to consider a change. If you can authentically attach a purpose to your work, you will find joy and even happiness in the work to achieve it.
This is JAM #600 – I keep going after 6 years due to my purpose: Helping people find theirs. Thank you for always inspiring me to continue my quest to help individuals, teams and organizations bring their best to what they do every day.
Tuesday February 4, 2014 #599
What we do not see, what most of us never suspect of existing, is the silent but irresistible power which comes to the rescue of those who fight on in the face of discouragement.
~ Napoleon Hill
It is all too common for those with supposedly strong convictions to cave in when confronted with obstacles – human, financial, or otherwise. But often, we see strength and perseverance in the face of these challenges as people fight on and ultimately prevail. What is the difference? Those who push through their fears and challenges utilize an internal, silent, powerful force – courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to push on despite it.
Thursday January 30, 2014 #598
“If things are not going well with you, begin your effort at correcting the situation by carefully examining the service you are rendering, and especially the spirit in which you are rendering it.”
~Roger Ward Babson
Already one month through 2014! How is your year progressing so far in terms of your personal and professional goals and aspirations? Chances are, some area of your life is being neglected, or at least not attended to with the focus you intended. Before you begin thinking about what external forces are conspiring against you, I suggest you begin your reflection by looking at how you are servicing your goals, and whether your spirit is really in it. Don’t give up on what you deemed important on January 1st. Rather, determine if these goals feed your most deeply held beliefs and aspirations. If so, think how you can reenergize yourself and push on. If not, cast aside those goals that do not serve you, and redouble your efforts on those that do. In short, make it happen.
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