Yes or No

Opportunities and activities abound.  Everyone is ready to occupy our time with this or that.  In my studies of success and high performers, a common thread has emerged.  Learning to say “no” is a significant contribution to their long-term success.  Saying no is difficult.  We naturally desire to please others or take advantage of what appears to be an amazing opportunity that could further our career or grow our business.  Opportunities come at us left and right, so how do we choose?  Why should we say “yes” to this opportunity, and “no” to that activity?  Is there a strategy that can help us say no with confidence that we are making the right decision?  I have developed a strategy that has become helpful to me and I hope it is helpful to you.

 

Step #1 –

Have a list of goals and priorities accompanied with a list of non-negotiable core values.  When we have a clear vision of...

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Everything is Temporary, Except...

Have you ever been sick and wanted nothing more than to feel like you did before you were sick? Have you lost someone close to you and in the midst of grieving, felt sorrow so deeply you wondered if you would ever feel normal again? What about the time you failed so miserably you swore you would never try again?

 

Life lived is like a roller coaster. We go up and we go down but that is the thrill of the ride. The majority of pain is temporary, but our fear of pain is permanent. Our fear of pain traps us on the hamster wheel of life. We don’t take the opportunity to get on the roller coaster because the easy path is the hamster wheel.

 

All things are temporary. Your current situation will change, but you must act to accelerate the change. You must act in your own self-interest to avoid being trapped in a life you didn’t design. I am not suggesting you disregard others in your action but acting in your own self-interest is making a plan and taking action. Here...

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Serve

My father battled depression for many years.  This drug, that drug, this therapy, and that therapy.  He struggled as his enthusiasm toward life became non-existent.  He was excited about nothing.  The medication seemed to flat line his emotions.  We would be planning a fishing trip and he would be apathetic.  Fishing is a for him, but not while medicated.  Eventually, he was off the meds but still having ups and downs.  Then something remarkable happened.  His hobby of making pen holders out of mesquite wood blossomed into a service.  He began to give pen holders that he had made to service men and women.  First, it was one here and one there.  Over time, it has grown to hundreds each month.  He goes to the VA each week to express his gratitude to our veterans and present them with a pen holder.  He began to serve others.  His transition from depression to gratitude has resulted in relief from the depression...

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The Gut

Uncategorized Sep 19, 2018

Do you ever get that feeling about an opportunity or a situation and it just doesn’t feel right, but you do it anyway?  Then you get into it and realize you've made a mistake.  “Trust your gut” is a saying I have heard a hundred times.  It sounds so trite and irresponsible.  The gut isn’t data, nor is it facts.  It is that underlying uneasiness that has you unsettled about a situation.

 

I recently had to unwind a business relationship that cost me big time.  I had to talk myself into it and so did the other guy.  Our guts were telling us it didn’t make sense, but we wanted it to work out.  We had been working with each other for years and on paper it looked okay.  That should have been our first piece of evidence – “okay” in a business relationship isn’t good enough.  The long-term vision was solid and that was the basis for justifying the partnership.  So, the numbers...

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12 Keys to Cultivating Meaningful Friendships

Humans are social creatures.  We crave companionship and belonging.  Friendship is part of the human experience and can be one of the most rewarding aspects of life.  Have you ever thought about the best strategy for cultivating meaningful friendships?  I have spent the majority of my career learning about people.  This study has primarily focused on understanding what motivates people and how we most effectively connect.  It occurred to me that there should be a set of guidelines for establishing and maintaining meaningful friendships.  My hope is that this list helps you build deeper and more meaningful friendships or at least inspires you to ponder what is important for you.

 

  1. Be a good listener. The most interesting people we meet are often those that ask questions and listen.  They encourage others to speak, and then they listen.  Most of us wait to respond without actually listening to the other person.  Listening is a...
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Excellence Defined Your Way

Do you want to be excellent?  Do you choose to be average?  The difference between excellence and average is surprisingly small. You can close the gap by being more intentional in just a couple of areas in your life.  The first area is mindset.  We choose average because it is the path of least resistance and largely what has been demonstrated by the major influencers in our life.  To be excellent, you will need to realize it is a choice and not an accident.  A person does not wake up excellent.  Instead, they make a choice to be excellent and act accordingly.  After you have chosen excellence, it is important to define excellence.  Ask yourself, “What is excellence?” and write down the answer.  This definition is going to be a point of reference for you in your pursuit of excellence.  It has to be your definition.  To recap – we made up our own mind to be excellent and defined what excellence is...

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Think

What do you think about?  Do you think negatively or positively?  Most people never think.  Do you know why?  Thinking is the most difficult activity one can undertake.  If you don’t believe me, try it.  Just sit for 30 minutes and think about your life.  It is likely that within just a few minutes of thinking, you will be reaching for your phone or turning on the TV or finding something that can distract you.  There are very few people in the world today that actually think.  It is an intentional act that requires significant discipline.  If you can master it, your life will never be the same.  The level of satisfaction with your life will go through the roof.  Nothing can have a more profound impact in your life than thinking.  This is not a new discovery.  Jesus Christ introduced us to intentional mental retreats and the Buddha taught us meditation.  These men understood the power and benefits of...

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Optimism vs. Pessimism

There are only two types of people in this world.  The first type of people believes in a better future, positive outcome, the potential, finding a way, and hope.  The second type of people are full of doubt, negativity, frustration, blame, anger, and general gloom.  That is it, two types.  Which are you?  In my experience, most pessimists are absolutely clueless about their gloomy outlook.  They fancy themselves as realists.  After all, you can’t just go around fooling yourself into thinking everything is sunshine and rainbows.  These are the folks that make a snarky comment about everything and justify it as just joking when challenged, or maybe they say “Hey, keeping it real.”  They look at the beautiful sunset but can only see the power lines partially obstructing the view.  They can’t help themselves.  If there is an opportunity to cut someone or a situation down, they go for it.  They use their...

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Pleasure vs. Joy

joy personal development Aug 15, 2018

Is enjoying a good meal a moment of pleasure or a joyful experience? My belief is that it can be either or, depending on the mindset of the person having the meal. If it is an experience of pleasure, there is no lasting satisfaction. Pleasure is an external stimulus that is not infinitely sustainable because overstimulation leads to death.  Drugs are an example of an unsustainable external stimulus. The addict experienced pleasure and wanted more. They begin to seek only pleasure at the expense of all else in their life. This is how many of us live our lives - seeking external stimuli for pleasure. That new house, new car, new job, more money, etc.  We distract ourselves with entertainment like Netflix or shopping on Amazon. Too often we use pleasure to distract from real and sustainable joy in life. Pleasure triggers the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by the brain when we experience pleasure. It is a motivation for us to do more of whatever...

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Philosophically Speaking

What is my philosophy?  Have you ever asked yourself this question?  If you are like most us, it is likely that you have not.  Yet we all have an underlying philosophy.  This philosophy is present in every decision we make and action we take but the overwhelming majority of us have not taken the time to consider ours.  That is changing today.  We are going to work through an exercise that will help us better understand our underlying philosophy and begin to adjust it if we deem it incongruent with how we want to show up in the world.

 

If we have not taken the time to consider and develop our philosophy, it means that we have accepted and adopted the philosophy of others.  To me, this is a very scary realization.  If the general platform on which all my decisions are made has not been intentionally built, this means that I have adopted the philosophy of my parents, friends, community, alma mater, the media, and others as my...

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