Tuesday January 5, 2016 #785
“If you’re inspired on a Friday, swear off the weekend and dive into the project. When you’re high on inspiration, you can get two weeks of work done in twenty-four hours. Inspiration is a time machine in that way.”
You’re a couple of days into the first work week of 2016. Those “resolutions” you made last week are likely looking a little blurry as you get your mind in gear. It is time to remind yourself of the powerful vision you had for your year personally and professionally. The key to achievement is to not wait, to not allow procrastination or real/imagined obstacles to get in the way of taking action. Just reading this message may be all you need to be inspired anew. Or maybe you will need to give yourself a bit of a kick to jumpstart your enthusiasm. However you get to an inspired state, once you are there, act! Whenever that inspiration hits, move! Even if it is in the evening or on a Friday, when you feel it you’ve got to use that energy and take action. Now move it!
Thursday December 31, 2015 #784
“The key to change is to let go of fear.”
This is it. The last day of 2015. You’ve hopefully been reflecting on the highs and lows of the year (and emphasizing the positives!!), and thinking about how to create an even more fulfilling 2016. If you are feeling that you are not quite where you’d like to be on the personal or professional front it is so exciting to realize that not just January 1st, but every day is the opportunity to take action to move forward. More than likely this will require small or even major changes in your habits or activities. No one likes change, but change we must. Usually fear stands in our way so realize that you must let go of fear to make the changes you must make to be where you need to be, to do what you must do, to be the person you are capable of being. The best way to release fear is not to deny it, but to take action anyway.
Enjoy the time today and this evening with your family and friends. Toast to 2015 whatever it brought you and to 2016 for what it will bring – both joy and prosperity, and the challenges as well. All the best to you and yours in the New Year and let go of fear!
Thursday December 24, 2015 #783
“Set the tone for your day by treating people better than you expect to be treated by them. Be the first to smile. Express your appreciation for them. Expect the best out of them. If you act first, you will set yourself up for success.”
~John C. Maxwell
Christmas Eve… your family and/or friends gather in celebration. It is a great time to remember to be intentional on treating people well. Especially those closest to you, who are often the ones we take for granted. Make today, and the rest of the holiday season, your launching point for more intentional gratitude and praise. Act in this way and you will not only feel more positive, the reaction will astound you as the people around you return your graciousness. Lead with your smile, and follow with appreciative words and kindnesses. May the spirit of the season shine for you and those you care for.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!
Tuesday December 22, 2015 #782
“We must embrace struggle. Every living thing conforms to it. Everything in nature grows and struggles in its own way, establishing its own identity, insisting on it at all cost, against all resistance.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
The end of the year brings us the chance to reflect on both our triumphs and struggles (small and large). Of course we’ve had many of both throughout the year if we are making an effort at all. No matter what the pain involved, most if not all of our triumphs have been the result of focused effort to overcome challenges and obstacles in pursuit of worthy goals. So try not to be concerned or angered by the struggles you have inevitably faced and will face in the future. Realize that challenges are natural and right and stay focused on your worthy goals to have the courage and perseverance to push on through any setback. The victories will be all the more sweet for the effort to achieve them.
Thursday December 17, 2015 #781
“Changing the world is good for those who want their names in books. But being happy, that is for those who write their names in the lives of others, and hold the hearts of others as the treasure most dear.”
~Orson Scott Card
If you have the talent and the drive to do things, even small things, that change the world for the better for individuals or larger groups, you have an obligation to bring your talent to work on these things. Those that do this are to be celebrated, and often the only reason some people do good things is for this acclimation. That’s OK – as long as the result is people being helped. However if that is the only reason someone makes that kind of effort, it is unlikely that they find joy and happiness. However, those who do find that joy seem to be those who do good selflessly, without care for notice or fame. So please, whether for the fame or just for the joy of doing good, act to use your talents to help our world be a bit better because you are in it.
Tuesday December 15, 2015 #780
“I know that the whole point—the only point—is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.”
We are halfway through the last month of 2015 and will be soon turning the page into a new year. Traditionally, this is a time to pause and reflect on our lives, determine our satisfaction with our progress, and plan on how to create more positive impact in the New Year. I sincerely hope you are going through this annual process and it will be even more effective if you do so more regularly.
As you reflect, it is likely that one or more areas of your life are not going the way you intended or desire. The culprit may be that these areas are not truly important to you – and I mean truly important. They may seem important but perhaps they are others’ priorities vs. your own. Unless what you are aiming for is what really matters to you, it is unlikely that you will sustain the kind of energy and perseverance necessary to achieve success. Think this through fully and ensure as you reset for the New Year that your actions are directed to people, experiences and things that matter, truly matter to you.
Thursday December 10, 2015 #779
“Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”
On some sort of regular basis, it is an important part of sustained life satisfaction to pause and reflect on your state of being. Is your journey bringing you happiness and joy? Think about your work and social activities, your personal and family interactions, and your personal growth – spiritually and/or intellectually. Then answer Mrs. Roosevelt’s questions relating to your personal honesty, your level of effort, and how you demonstrate love. I suspect you will find, as I do, that in this moment of reflection you will find opportunities to strengthen your honesty, effort, and love. Do this regularly and take action on your findings, and you will likely improve upon your level of happiness.
Tuesday December 8, 2015 #778
“Go all the way with it. Do not back off. For once, go all the goddamn way with what matters.”
Whether completing an important project, strengthening a relationship, or achieving a personal goal, our success depends on commitment, courage and perseverance. Mediocrity abounds and exists due to otherwise talented people approaching projects, relationships, and goals with less than their full ability and effort. Things “get done”, but not in an optimum way. Too much competes for our attention, and we are too easily distracted from what matters. Take some time to reflect on what is really important to you and those you care about. Are you giving your best effort? What would it take for you to remove yourself from the distractions and focus, really focus on going all the way, with everything you have to create the best projects, build and nurture the most amazing relationships, and achieve your personal goals with excellence?
Thursday December 3, 2015 #777
“When you have much success, two things happen. The first is that we begin to take success for granted. The second is that we forget how we got here – namely, by exceptionally hard work and in spite of intense competition.”
~Jack Mack Carter
History is replete with examples of “successful” people or enterprises who failed to see the changing world around them, refused to alter their approach, and ultimately became unsuccessful. It also shows up in failed relationships that began as “the perfect match”. There is nothing like success to create complacency which leads to failure. The key is to know this and keep it top of mind. Never stop working at seducing your partner. Never stop challenging to improve your company’s practices. Never stop taking risks and innovating. When we think we are successful is the moment we begin to fail. Do celebrate wins and successful achievements – often! Just don’t ever assume that tomorrow the same effort or activity will produce the same results.
Tuesday December 1, 2015 #776
“Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body and soul.”
~Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
While it is important to know what capabilities are needed for a particular pursuit, and to match your talents appropriately, talent alone never wins the day. And if you are a leader and responsible for placing talent where it is required, again talent alone will not produce excellence. The key ingredient to ensure success is zeal or grit. These are far more difficult to see and can usually be found only through observation and experience. We must try to understand what creates gritty behavior and zeal for a project or outcome. It is only when we find this in ourselves and the people we lead that we will achieve sustained success. What is grit?
As stated by Angela Lee Duckworth on a recent TED Talk, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Find your grit, your zeal – and look for it in others. It is the “secret sauce” to success.
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