There is a tale out there of a young and inexperienced seeker of knowledge who one day climbed to the top of the mountain to question and learn from the wisest and most revered man in the village.
The young man asked – “Where does wisdom come from?” The old man replied – “Good judgement” Then he asked – “Where does good judgement come from?” The old man stared intently at him and said – “Experience” Not satisfied, the young man asked – “Where does experience come from?” With a smile on his face the old man responded – “Bad judgement”
I’m sure that many of you have heard this story or one very similar to it. But what can we take from it? If it is wisdom and the best experience you seek, try starting with these 5 points:
You can’t always be right; accept it, but learn to keep your mind open to the possibilities that are out there.
9999% of the mistakes you make won’t kill you or anyone else. Never fear making a mistake because they offer excellent learning opportunities. What you learn from them will enhance your life. When you make a mistake, make a glorious recovery. And, try not to make the same mistake twice.
Learn to take smart risks – the road to success has “risk stops” along the way. Evaluate them and decide the right action. Don’t let the fear of risks derail you. As the story goes, the only way a turtle can move forward is to stick his neck out – be the turtle when appropriate.
Stop focusing on the tasks; don’t let a sheet on a yellow pad with lines drawn through “make work” tasks define you. Focus on the right ones and look to create value, not activity.
Trying to be perfect is not only impossible but boring and a waste of valuable time and energy. Strive to give 100% of your best effort 100% of the time.
Many of you go through life constantly worrying or obsessing over what others might think about you. You go out of your way to be liked; so much so you even compromise on your own values. You try way too hard to be part of who you perceive to be the “in” crowd. Most of these “crowds” really don’t care about you, so you end up being “alone” in a group. Why not be your own “in” crowd and attract the right people to be with? Stop looking for permission to act even though no one’s permission is needed. You are driven to want to be liked versus being respected. Stop sacrificing your own self-esteem and self-worth for others. Be the person who you respect first—the rest becomes easy after that.
Successfully running any type of business – whether small, medium or big – is hard work and requires the leader to possess a great deal of consistent clarity, focus, self-discipline, perseverance and resilience. These are some of the key skills needed for what I refer to as “Driving Business Growth.”
While the work associated with “Driving Business Growth” is hard, it is very doable. One of the keys to success is to break down the components of success into smaller and more concise – easily understood – elements to make them easier to act upon. To stress their importance, I refer to them as “Laws” in today’s Wake Up Call. The four laws shown here provide you the opportunity to build the footing and foundation for your success journey. Continue reading →
It’s been said that a day without learning is a day without living. When you stop learning or close your mind to learning, you become stagnant and you die – first intellectually, then emotionally and then…well, you know. As Stephen Covey wrote in his “7 Habits…” piece – always sharpen the saw. Coach Wooden once said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.” Always ask yourself, “What can I do to improve?”
Once you have learned something, practice it until you are good at it. Real success comes from those who practice; in life, there is no room for “winging it”. Coach Lou Carnesca of St. John’s University said it best, “Nothing takes place on the court that doesn’t first take place in practice.”
We cannot control many of the outside forces or events that bombard us every day. Focus on what you can control.
Get moving. Don’t stand there and think; get clear on your desired outcome and take the first step, then another. Consistent and focused action gets results; you stall…you lose.
The one thing that we have absolute, complete and total control over is our mind and the thoughts we harbor in it. Stop focusing on just the negatives.
It’s time to start focusing on possibilities, rather than on limits and obstacles. You need to set yourself free. This means you must give yourself permission to dream and to take risks.
Real limits will not box you in because you can always find a way to deal with them. It is the false ones you are carrying around in your mind that become the self-imposed prison of your dreams and goals.
Self-doubt is what does the most damage. Don’t give it any mental space.
The best way to not give doubt any mental space is to fill your mind with dreams, goals and a vision, and act like success is your only option.
I read once that if you give the world the best you have, the best will come back to you. John Wooden the legendary basketball coach at UCLA once said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Now, I know we are dead for a long time; the fact is you only get one life, so why not get the most out of it? Make it a point to have fun. Taking life too seriously will kill you. You work hard so there should be no guilt associated with the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of your life.
Make time every day to be grateful for all that you have; maybe the first thing in the morning or the last thing every evening. Many spend far too much time obsessing either over what others have or what is missing in their own life. If you want more, then pursue it.
None of us can maintain a high level of unchecked activity every minute of every working day. Often, this type of “work as fast as you can” approach leads to mental and emotional exhaustion which invariably leads to anxiety and causes overwhelm. And, that brings on the frustration at the end of this downward spiral. Productivity is lost, service goes down the drain and it basically turns into a lousy day.
Most of the time when we are stalled and frustrated, we get easily side-tracked and distracted, then get caught up in “busy work” which usually has no value.
It’s “that time of year” when many still feel all charged up and are committing to do what needs to be done to be better. Yet, a fair number of those commitments and promises will fall by the wayside creating another average year.
So, let me make it simple for you to understand that it doesn’t require a lot of extra effort to “Step Up and Play Big.” But, it does require that you make a choice to do so and then commit yourself to do the work that follows.
There is no better time than the present to reset your personal and business GPS. Here are 10 simple – and I mean simple – suggestions to guide you in your “adjustment.”
What was the best thing that happened to you or your business in 2017? Why? Figure out a way to do it again in 2018.
What were your activities on the best days you had in 2017? Do it again in 2018.
What were the skills you used on some of your most productive days in 2017? Find ways to use those skills again in 2018.
What were the moments with your family and friends in 2017 that gave you the most pleasure, satisfaction and happiness? Do it again in 2018.
What were the things that you were most grateful for in 2017? Don’t lose sight of them in 2018.
How many times in 2017 did you miss an opportunity to help someone or make someone feel good about themselves? Don’t miss those opportunities in 2018.
How many times did you sell yourself short in 2017 and play it too safe? Start looking for ways to build your self-confidence in 2018.
How many times in 2017 did you put your business or career ahead of your family? Stop abusing the real gifts and wealth in your life in 2018.
How many times did you laugh at yourself in 2017? Find more reasons to laugh at yourself and have fun at your own expense in 2018.
How many times in 2017 did you miss or put off an opportunity to invest in yourself and learn something that would make you better? Set a goal in 2018 to invest in yourself. When you get better, everything and everyone around you gets better as well.
Often driven individuals like to “go it alone.” They see this as their defining characteristic. They brag about it and heap upon themselves unlimited amounts of self-praise. They boast how they don’t need help. While a healthy dose of self-esteem and self-confidence is needed to achieve success, these individuals are over-dosing on it.
These “driven ones” get so caught up in their “go it alone” mentality that they eventually lose sight of reality. Their obsession to go it alone becomes madness. When this happens, they become consumed by their reality until anxiety and overwhelm overcome them, and that usually ends up with a self-created crisis.
Rather than going deeper into their foxhole, alone, they need to stick their head up just enough to assess their new or changing reality and quickly determine what help they need to keep moving forward.
Here’s a fact: The business climate today is more complex than it was 5 years ago. Things like evolving technology, growing customers’ demands, increasing government regulations, availability of skilled and engaged employees are all having significant impact on all businesses and their leaders.
The leaders of today will only become the leaders of tomorrow when they abandon their “go it alone” mentality and surround themselves with the right advisors who share their vision of success. To do otherwise, given the challenges we all face, would be foolhardy.