7 Keys to a Life of Success

As we near the closing of the year, my hope is that you are gearing up for your most successful year in 2019!  Success in life is no accident, it is a choice.  My definition of success will vary from your definition of success - the key here is to have a definition!  These 7 fundamentals can be expanded many times over but my intent is to keep it simple.

 

Emotional Intelligence - This term essentially defines our ability to put ourselves in the other person's shoes.  We can better demonstrate empathy when we see from the perspective of the people we interact with everyday.  I believe this to be the one of the most important qualities we can develop.  Daniel Goleman coined the phrase and his books offer critical insight to developing this characteristic of successful people.  Every day we interact with people - being able to connect with those people emotionally will help you lead a more satisfying life and you will have more...

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Commitment

Have you ever failed?  I sure have.  For years, I dipped tobacco.  I started when I was in 8th grade because it was the “cool” thing to do.  I attempted to stop dipping at least 20 times over the years until I was able to finally kick the habit.  In pondering why I had failed so many times, it occurred to me that the reason was mostly due to my lack of commitment to the process of quitting.  To be certain, I had all of the usual excuses – stress, timing, peer pressure, etc.  At some level, I saw myself as a dipper.  Now it is clear that my lack of commitment & limited field of view were my downfall.  Stress is an excuse that we all love to latch onto.  From my own experience kicking the tobacco habit, I quit the day I left Michigan to move down to South Carolina with my wife to start a business.  It was incredibly stressful but I was committed to changing my life and that made all the difference.

 

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You Can’t Hack Your Way to Success

Hacking is all the rage.  We are obsessed with shortcuts in our country and culture.  Take this pill for this, do this 30-day program for that.  The goal with hacking should be to increase our effectiveness and well-being.  Instead, we use it to receive more leisure.  More leisure in a culture that already averages over 5 hours per day watching TV and 2 hours watching the social media feed, is that really what is needed?  When considering the implementation of a new hack, check to see if it will increase or improve any of these conditions in your life:

 

Freedom – Will this hack increase my personal freedom?  The most commonly considered freedom is the freedom of time.  The greater the freedom to use your time, the more likely it is you will be satisfied with your life.  Time freedom is also work freedom.  Work freedom means you are able to spend your time doing what you do best and where you bring the most value to the...

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The Problem Addiction

Are you addicted to problems?  Seriously, are you addicted to problems?  I ask twice because it is important to actually consider the question.  The majority of people are not honest with themselves regarding questions that are inconsistent with how they desire to perceive themselves.  I've said it often, but it is most important to be honest with oneself.  You might ask “How will I know if I am addicted to problems?”  The first clue is that your life is full of them and if the quantity of problems begins to dip, you manifest more of them.  “How do I manifest problems and why would I?”  The house needs cleaning, laundry is piling up, yard needs mowing, late for work, kids are sick, garage needs cleaning, someone cut you off, spilled coffee on your new suit, dog threw up everywhere, low on groceries, PTA is tonight, coffee maker is broken, kid needs braces, kid needs glasses, kid needs to be two places at once, need a...

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Gratitude

To live with gratitude is to be humble.  To me, it is also to be in awe and wonder.  Humble because of a deep appreciation for life.  Especially life in the U.S. where everything we desire is at our fingertips.  This gratitude is an appreciation for the number of souls that are a part of every luxury we are able to experience.  Water is a luxury.  We turn on a faucet and safe, drinkable water flows.  It is crystal clear and free from disease.  The number of people that are or have been involved in making that crystal clear, disease-free glass of water is humbling.  The designer of the filtration and purification system that takes the water from non-drinkable to drinkable.  The hundreds of people that built the equipment.  The construction workers that built the facility.  The power that allows it to function is generated at a power plant.  The power plant is a massive undertaking with thousands of contributors.  I...

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Who Are You?

Are you who you think you are?  On the surface, the answer seems obvious.  If you have not taken the time to contemplate the answer to this question with a pen and paper, there is potential that you are living someone else’s life.  The majority of people see themselves through the eyes of others.  The image we have of ourselves is that of our spouse, friends, parents, and coworkers.  We are always projecting an image to the world in an effort to get the world to see us in a certain way.  This creates conflict and stress that too often goes unnoticed and manifests itself in the form of mental illness and disease, or just unhappiness.  Our image to the world has been a creation of our ego.  The ego is vulnerable and childish.  It always seeks its way and gets angry when anything externally contradicts or conflicts with its image.  Tiger Woods is an example of someone projecting an image that was in conflict with their...

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Success Leaves Clues

What is success?  Is it an amount of money?  Is it a title?  “What is success” is not a new question.  Intuitively, we know that success is an individual pursuit.  Unfortunately, too often we contemplate our success through the eyes of others.  We pursue a vision that we don’t own.  If we realize the vision, the feelings we anticipated upon arrival are shallow and short-lived.  Now what?

 

I recently broke out my journal and asked the question, what is the most common train or characteristic of some of the most admired “successful people”?  Think Warren Buffet, Mother Teresa, Michael Phelps, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson.  All of these admired success stories had different starts.  Their success came in different ways.

 

My thought then transitioned to the people I most admired in my own life.  The not-so-famous success stories that command the same level of respect...

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On The Go

As I sit in a bustling Starbucks at 42nd and 9th in NYC, I consider a world on the go.  The strive to survive is observed daily on the streets here.  NYC is a city on the go.  Are you on the go?  From this event to that event until collapse just to do it all over again the next day?  Survival requires us to be on the go.  On the go is life, it is progress and pursuit, it is exhilarating and draining, it is inspiring and depressing, it is heaven and hell, it might be you and it is definitely me.

 

On the go can be intentional or random.  The choice lies within each of us in our pursuit of more.  It is almost always more…right?  More money, more power, more love, more friends, more houses, more cars, more rest, more exercise, more food, more hope, more control, more of what others have that we don’t currently possess.  This is to be human.  More of something keeps us on the go.

 

On the go is the way it is...

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How to Build or Restore Confidence in You!

Sandy was a mess.  She was struggling at work and in the relationships that mattered most in her life.  It felt as though her world was unraveling right before her eyes.  Several months earlier, her husband announced he was leaving her after 15 years of marriage and two children.  This event alone shook her confidence.  Then, her company downsized her position without notice.  Thankfully, the three months of severance helped offset expenses but the three months had come and gone with Sandy still out of work.  She was scared, angry, and hurt.  Her confidence in herself was wrecked.  Each morning, she would drag herself out of bed to help her kids prep for school and then stare at the walls wondering what the hell she was going to do.

 

If Sandy was your friend, what would you recommend she do to get her mojo back?  Would you say “Sandy, stop feeling sorry for yourself and moping around all day”?  Would you...

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Judgement

How was your meal?  Well, it was a bit salty and lacked this or that.  Did you see what she was wearing?  What are they thinking in buying that house?  I could continue these statements for the next six pages.  You know why?  Because I am a judgement machine and I would venture to say so are you!  The majority of our thoughts go something like this: “Do I like it, or don’t I like it?”  You are doing it right now as you read this article.  “Should I keep reading or should I move on?”

 

What should we judge and what should we avoid judging?  This article contains some guidelines for ensuring that we are not judging for the sake of choice.  There are two types of judging, so let’s break them down.

 

Critical judgement is about making ourselves feel better.  It is snarky and arrogant but mainly used as a defense mechanism to support our EGO.  We might also call this social...

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