Friday, December 20, 2019

This Week's Quote and Commentary

True success is a journey.

And all great journeys require continual effort.

You cannot achieve success in any of the five elements (Head, Heart, Health, Wealth, or World) by just focusing on them once in a while. Success just doesn’t work that way.

It takes focused, sustained and consistent effort to achieve true success. You need to develop daily self-improvement activities.

What are you doing on an everyday basis to improve your knowledge?

What are you doing on an everyday basis to improve your health?

I know it sounds like a broken record but until you make a commitment and an action plan that you can stick with, the success you desire will remain out of reach.

Small steps, taken on a daily basis, over time will move you miles ahead from where you are now.

Success is not a competition with anyone else. It’s only a competition with yourself to be a little better each day than you were the day before.  

It’s the everyday activities that will change you and move you closer to your vision.

Life unfolds one day at a time, but have a plan of action for what you are doing to grow yourself each day.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Are you investing in yourself?

I believe everyone is familiar with the concept of compound interest. Money left to compound at a low interest rate can yield a fortune over time; very small changes every day over time results in substantial growth.

This same concept holds true for you as well. Daily efforts toward self- development can, over time, dramatically change the direction of your life and the amount of true success you can achieve.

You cannot make a deposit at the local brain bank and return many years later to find yourself smarter and more skilled. It’s just not that simple (and I really can’t part with a section of my brain). What you can do however is to make a daily investment in self-development. But are you willing to make that daily 

Life is always about choices and trade-offs. We each get 24 hours in a day, no more and no less. How you utilize that time is up to you. Do you squander precious minutes and hours on social media, playing video games or in front of the television? Have you ever even tracked just how much time these activities are eating up on a weekly basis? You will likely be shocked at the amount.

I am not suggesting you give up your smartphone, your tablet, your gaming system or your TV. What I am suggesting is that you give some thought to carving out some time each day for self-development. It has been said that how far you go on the job depends upon what you do off the job. I believe that the level of TRUE SUCCESS that you achieve in the world depends almost entirely on the efforts you put into developing your most precious resource – YOU.

Are you spending any time each and every day working on your development?

Notice I said “each and every day”. That’s the real key. You need to work on self-development every single day. Monday through Sunday – no exceptions. The main goal here is actually to develop a learning habit. You have to commit to doing it every single day. At first this might be quite a challenge for you (aren’t weekends just for kicking back and relaxing?) but it is the repetition that builds habits, and habits either help us (learning or exercising for example) or hurt us (smoking or poor diet for example).

You may be saying “I can’t possibly find time every day for self-development”. But my dear reader – YOU CAN. You just need to start thinking small. Very small. What is the minimal amount you can commit to? I say everyone can find 
10 minutes a day to read, to listen to a podcast or to watch an instructional video.

10 minutes. Can you honestly tell me that your schedule is so jam packed full of absolutely necessary tasks that you cannot free up 10 whole minutes? Give me a break and stop the silliness. You can find the minutes, even if it means getting up 10 minutes earlier each day (and it doesn’t).

10 minutes a day. That’s all I am asking you to commit to.

You see, I know that a daily commitment, a daily routine, will turn into a habit. A positive habit. And over time you will start to see how that time investment into yourself is paying off. You will have more ideas and information to offer at work and at home. Your professional life and personal life will improve. All five areas of true success (Head, Heart, Health, Wealth, and World) will become better. So much so that you will expand from 10 minutes to 15, to 20, to 30 and it will keep growing.

But it all starts with a simple 10.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

This Week's Quote and Commentary

Happiness does not come from what you have but from what you are.
This quote reminds me of another well-known old saying: Money can’t buy happiness.

So very true.

Happiness is not the result of what you own or have to show off to the world. It’s not the material possessions in your life that will bring you sustained happiness.  

Sure, a new house, a fancy new car or some other new trinket makes you feel good for the moment but long-term they all become just another “thing” in your life.

What really brings long-term sustainable happiness are the relationships in your life and what you are doing to help others.

There is a reason why wealth is the fourth area of True Success. I list it after Head, Heart, and Health on purpose.

Head has to do with developing yourself; your self-awareness, knowledge and skills. You need to learn more in order to be able to do more. And it is in the doing more, impacting the people and the world around you in positive ways that true happiness is found.

Heart is the second area for True Success. Relationships. Love and lasting friendships bring happiness into our lives. Can it get messy at times? Sure. But in the long-run, time spent developing deep relationships brings stability, warmth and satisfaction into our lives.

Health is the third area. You have to take care of yourself so you have the stamina for life and so you will remain on this planet able to enjoy your loved ones and continue to make positive changes in your area of the world. It is hard to be happy if you are sickly and battling chronic health issues.

If you focus on these first three areas you will find a natural spring of happiness flowing from within you.  And that internal spring never runs dry. It is renewed over and over again because you spend your time developing yourself, taking care of the relationships in your life and taking care of your health.

Work on developing and strengthening the first three areas of True Success and you will have more happiness than you ever imagined. The bonus is that people will be naturally drawn towards the energy and glow of your happiness. You will become an ever stronger magnet of positivity.

And that my friend is a goal worth chasing. Happiness is the by-product. True and lasting happiness comes from who and what you are on the inside.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Are you living an authentic life?

Are you being truthful to yourself and those around you about what you value and what is truly important in your life?

Do you know what you truly value?

Do you really?

I would ask you to spend some time thinking about your values.

Make a list of as many values as you can think of that are important to you.  Some examples would be: family, security, faith, friendships, tolerance, optimism, respect, intelligence, health, openness, love, compassion, etc., etc. Try to come up with at least 25 values and write them out on a sheet of paper.

When you are done look carefully at that list and circle YOUR top 5. There is no right or wrong answer. What are the 5 MOST IMPORTANT values to you?

Now, write the five down on a file card or fresh sheet of paper.

Now, here is the tough part. Consider each value one at a time and think of a couple concrete examples of how you bring that value to life. How are you living that value?

Next, ask your spouse, another family member, a close friend, or even a colleague to look at the list and ask them if they agree. Do they see you living these values?

If you cannot come up with multiple concrete examples of you living a value, 
and/or if the person reviewing your list doesn’t see you living a value, chances are you have a value on the list that is more of a wish than a real value.

The what and how that you live every day really does tell you which values are truly important to you on the inside. Again, there is no right or wrong; no good or bad.

Now I am not saying that you cannot have values you aspire to. And yes, you can change your behavior to incorporate other values. But how you act today results partly from what you actually value; the real list and not a wish list.

Knowing what you truly value (what you actually live) will help you on your success journey. Truly successful people are authentic. They know who they are; they know what they value; and they align their actions accordingly.

They have taken the time to learn who they are and they have organized their lives and behaviors around the values that are truly important to them. They naturally bring energy and passion to everything they do because they are living an honest life with themselves.

True success requires you to live in harmony with yourself. Everyone has different top 5 values, and everyone lives those values in different ways. But if you truly live your values, you will more easily find the success in all areas of your life you desire.

You will exude a natural confidence and authenticity that others will pick up on. You will become someone people want to be involved with. Someone people will want to work with and help. Someone people will respect, admire and maybe even emulate.

It all starts with authenticity. And authenticity starts with knowing what you value and bringing those values to life and light each and every day.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

This week's Quote and Commentary

It is our thoughts that drive both our decisions and our actions. Where you find yourself today is the result of the actions you have taken in your life to this point. It is not a result of the events that happened to you, but rather your response to each and every event.

Each reaction you have had, decision you have made, each action you have taken has led you to where you are today.

YOU are in charge of your life and where you find yourself today.
And that means that you can change the direction of your life at any time.

YOU have the power.

Change your thoughts, change your decisions and change your actions and you can shift your life in whatever direction you desire.

Will this happen overnight?

Of course not.

You did not arrive where you are in life today based solely upon yesterday’s thoughts. Where you are now is the result of your thoughts over your life.

It takes time to course correct.

Awareness of your thoughts is the first step to getting where you want to go. Be vigilant about the silent conversations you are having in your head. Don’t let your thoughts get away from you. Change the narrative to a positive one.

No longer accept thinking “I can’t”. Change it to “Why can’t I” or “Who can stop me”.

The more ownership and control you take of your thoughts, the better the chances of arriving at the destination you want 5, 10 or 20 years down the road.

Your tomorrows can be what you want them to be, but the thoughts you are having today and every day make the difference in your destination.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Do you have a knowledge plan?

Let’s talk a minute about your plans for increasing your knowledge and skills.

Do you really need a plan? YOU BET

Let’s first discuss the concept of the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”. This concept was created by Buckminster Fuller in 1982. By 1900 human knowledge doubled every hundred years. By the end of 1945 the rate had sped up to every 25 years. In 2013 the rate was considered to be 13 months. And soon the knowledge doubling rate will be a mere 12 hours.

12 hours.

How long ago did you graduate high school or college? Do you really think that what you were taught then is enough in today’s world?

Unless you graduated 12 hours ago the answer is no. And even if you did, you will already be a little behind tomorrow.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But it is true.

And although there is no way for any one person to fully keep up with the pace, each and every one of us needs a plan to grow our knowledge and skill set.

Your plan does not need to be complex or overwhelming, but it does need to be something you can follow on a consistent basis.

Here are a few quick suggestions to start:

1.      Read 1 book a month and take at least one class or attend a seminar at least once a year.

2.       Viewing one TED talk a week or even daily. They are under 20 minutes in length. I like them because they are short and introduce me to either a new idea or a fresh perspective I had not previously considered.

3.       Find a mentor to help challenge you to develop skills.

Any plan is better than no plan. I saw this quote earlier today: “No one plans to be fat, lazy, stupid or broke. It’s the people without a plan that end up this way”. A little harsh maybe but I hope you get the point. Without a plan you may easily end up somewhere that you do not want to be.

I challenge you to sit down at some point today or this evening and really think about a plan for improving your knowledge. What are you willing to commit to? What are you willing to give up? (More reading, less TV for example).

As I have noted in previous blog entries, we all have 24 hours in our days. No more and no less. Truly successful people use those 24 hours to their advantage. Unsuccessful people do not. Unsuccessful people let the day control them, instead of taking control of their day.

You were born with the ability to learn and develop. It’s up to you to devise a plan to use that ability to the fullest. Make it part of your plan to spend at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour) each and every day feeding thoughts, ideas, concepts, knowledge into your mind. Consistency is the name of the game. The more consistent and disciplined you are, the more you benefit and the faster you move towards becoming truly successful.

Make a plan. Make it happen.