Purpose

Purpose in life helps to bring value and meaning to all that we do.  It is the compass that determines our heading in rough or troubled times.  When it hits the fan we can look to our Purpose to help guide our responses…And it will hit the fan!  Here is a strategy to help determine your Purpose:

 

Step 1: Forgive Yourself – Too often in life we carry our burdens with us from one stage to the next.  We allow them to accumulate as though these burdens are a badge of honor or battle scars that we must display.  This is selfish and irresponsible.  It prevents us from experiencing joy and happiness.  Starting today – forgive yourself for your past mistakes and forgive others that have not been genuine in their dealings with you. Carrying around that burden wastes your energy and holds you back...let it go!

 

Step 2:  Give Thanks  - As citizens of this great Nation, we have so much to be thankful for.  One key...

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4 Rules of Life

There seem to be four rules of life that are immutable and here they are:

Rule #1 – Responsibility is on us. Too often our society looks to blame others for its plight. It is this person’s fault or that organizations fault. When it comes to our lives, after a certain age it is up to us. It is up to us to develop the skills and master the disciplines necessary to achieve our goals and aspirations. If you aren’t where you want to be in life, don’t blame anyone or anything other than yourself. Accepting responsibility is the first step to progress toward your goals if you have not made reasonable progress to date. Our lives are our responsibility.

Rule #2 – We won’t get out of this life alive. The clock begins to tick for us the day we were conceived and our expiration is inevitable. Too often we live as though we will live forever and put off pursuit of something meaningful to us. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. said, “Many people die with their...

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The Backpack

I messed up. When I was a junior in high school, I crashed my mom’s car. The worst part was that I lied about the cause. My excuse was that I was reaching into the back seat to grab a brush. This was the ‘80’s, so I had to tame the mullet! The truth was that I was attempting to get a cigarette out of the pack and lit. this is not a story my 16-year-old self wanted to tell my parents, so I lied. That same year, my parents went away on a trip over a weekend, so I had a party. We had a keg of beer and lots of people. The screen door was broken, my shower wall was kicked in (don’t ask), and the cover on my stepfather’s cherished red Trans Am was ripped. You guessed it, I had great stories for each incident. What about that time a friend was attempting to cook lamb, but it was taking forever, so I left. That relationship was never the same. There was another time when the twins were little that I got so angry I took their toy golf club and broke it over my...

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The Question

Humans are judgement machines. We can’t help it. Since the beginning of time, we have had to judge everything. In the beginning, this was a survival mechanism. “Is this going to eat me?” “Should I stay or should I go?” Back then, it was only about survival.

 

We humans are still asking ourselves questions on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the questions we are asking tend to cost us joy instead of saving our lives. The sad part is that we don’t even realize we are doing it. Our consumer-based society has been programmed through the years of advertising that this is how we should look at everything. The most insidious of all questions and the one that has caged our society is “Do I like it?”. We ask this question about everything.

-Do I like the new person I just met?

-Do I like this new church I just visited?

-Do I like this meal?

-Do I like my spouse?

-Do I like my car?

-Do I like my neighbor?

-Do I like my job? My in-laws? This...

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The Talk - Part 3

Financial Intelligence – There is no secret to becoming wealthy and there is no magic to it either. However, there is a trillion-dollar industry focused on convincing us otherwise.  The financial industry wants your money to invest so that they can charge fees for below average results.  Below describes the impact of fees on a simple investment:

Imagine that you are 21 years old and decide to begin investing for your future (Congratulations!).  You invest $10,000.  Your friend makes the same decision and invests $10,000.  You and your friend enjoy a 6% return on this $10K investment for the next 25 years (all or any dividends reinvested).  Your friend ends up with $16,000 but you end up with $33,000.  What is the difference?  The difference is that your friend paid 2% in fees each year and you paid no fees.  Investing with just a 2% yearly fee wipes out 40% of your investment value over 25 years.  I had no idea about fees when...

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The Talk - Part 2

Healthy Choices -  You won't do well if you don't feel well.  Our youth is a veil masking the long-term consequences of poor choices.  Jim Rohn always said, “Everything affects everything else and not to think so is naive.” This is especially true when it comes to our health.  There are three pillars to health:  physical, mental, and nutritional.

Physical exercise done properly will lead to endurance and stamina.  Endurance and stamina help us to stay strong when the going gets tough and the desire to quit is nearly overwhelming.  The great news is that it doesn't require hours in the gym to increase your physical resilience.  It only requires 30 to 45 minutes of your time three or four days per week.  Surely you can spare 2 hours per week to increase your overall satisfaction with life.  Science has proven that exercise improves our brain function, increasing our cognitive skills and enhances memory.  For many...

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The Talk - Part 1

This talk will be a little different than the talk about the birds and the bees. This talk is for young adults entering the world on their own. It might also be a good reset for adults struggling to find their place in the world. I have often reflected on my life in an effort to better understand how I arrived at my current station.   Reflection is a powerful exercise for a better future because when we understand what got us here, we will know what might get us there. Wherever “there” is for you. As for my story after college, I was a bit train wreck. After four years at Purdue University, I moved back to my hometown of North Vernon, Indiana. My first job was my dream job because I was working at Cummins Engine Company. As a kid growing up in Southern Indiana, we didn't have much money, but I realized that the kids that had money also had parents working at Cummins. That became my goal!   Fresh out of college I was ready to change the world and my...

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You’re Crazy (Stop Playing It Safe!)

Have you ever had anyone tell you you’re crazy?  If so, congratulations!  If not, why not?  When my friends tell me I am crazy, I know I am pushing beyond the standard norm.  I know that my dream is big and makes them uncomfortable.  Living boldly is not conforming.  Living boldly often results in folks telling you that you are crazy.

We begin life with zero constraints on our potential.  In time, we conform.  Our parents tell us something that sticks with us for the rest of our lives.  This is how the box we keep ourselves in begins to form.  Society tells us that everyone in our race is a certain way, so almost unconsciously, we begin to conform.  We grow up in a certain region that has a particular stigma, so we adopt it unknowingly.  The box continues to shrink in on us and further defines our behavior.  Someone told you that you were lazy once, so you became lazy.  Someone tells you that you will never...

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The Happy Ending

Maya Angelou said “I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It occurred to me that this statement applies to more than just conversations or interactions with others. It can be applied to nearly all aspects of life and work. If you want to leave the person you are interacting with feeling good about themselves, or a customer feeling good about your company, just focus on a happy ending.

 

First let's go over the fundamentals of attentively interacting with another person or company:

 

  1. Be present when they are present. What comes to mind when a person you are talking to looks at their phone or watch?  They aren't paying attention, or maybe there is something more important for them to tend to. Wherever you are, being there is fundamental to building meaningful relationships and maintaining sanity in this ultra-connected world. Think of your attention as...
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Doomed: The Long-Term Impact of Mental Laziness

Our society’s lust for comfort and entertainment is insidiously reducing its ability to observe reality.  The further society moves away from observing reality, the faster it will collapse.  History has demonstrated that societies rise and fall as do businesses.  The battleground in a democratic society supported by capitalism appears to be between government and business.  What are they battling for is the question?  Our attention is the answer!  They apply different strategies for capturing our attention.  For example, the media (media is a business posing as a third-party informant) knows that negativity and sensationalism appeal to our primal nature.  Humans are hard-wired for fight or flight at every turn.  The media (and politicians) exploit this natural tendency at every turn.  Businesses exploit this tendency by limiting quantities through supply management.  Nothing sells better than scarcity.

 

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