Intentions are things you “plan” to do. From time-to-time each of us set intentions to do certain things or to accomplish specific goals. In many cases, your actions, if you take any at all, fall woefully short of your desired outcome.
Just intending on doing something very rarely gets it done. Some get so caught up in the intention that it distorts their reality to the point where they believe that they are taking action. Yet, all they are doing is talking about it and allowing the opportunity to slip away.
We’ve all probably encountered the frustrations related to flight delays and cancellations. I recently experienced the latter while on my way to the 35th Annual J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (commonly referred to as JPM) in San Francisco. Although, one positive did come out of my unplanned delay — it afforded me the opportunity to get through a leadership book I had been meaning to read, Step Up And Play Big by Chris Ruisi.
As I began my review I found myself highlighting concepts in the book, putting stars next to comments I found insightful, as well as bending over page corners I might want to revisit. In his book, Ruisi provides a quick common-sense approach to some best leadership practices. And while I’d encourage you to read the book, I’d like to share a few of his thoughts. Continue reading →
Well, we just completed what I hope was a restful Thanksgiving weekend. I hope that you let the spirit and intent of the holiday guide you in all that you did. If so, great! If not, you don’t have to wait until next year to take the time to reflect on all of the good things and people in your life.
The fact is we only get one life (and I know we are dead for a long time), 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. Look, there is some degree of suffering in each of our lives. Many of us choose – that’s right choose – to suffer longer than we have to or need to. Don’t be a victim of self-induced suffering brought on by all that surrounds us.
If fun doesn’t happen spontaneously, then plan it and make time for it. Just have fun!
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 of us spend far too much time obsessing either over what others have or what is missing in our lives. If you want more, then pursue it. Look in the mirror daily—you are your own solution to the challenges you face every day. Continue reading →
People who choose to be exceptional think differently than people who work at being average or (worse yet) mediocre. They – a person who is exceptional – have this small but convincing voice in their head that tells them, “Yes you can.” They have a courageous spirit that is more than willing to tackle barriers and obstacles to keep them moving forward towards a desired result.
So, make the committed choice to raise your personal success bar to become exceptional. It involves hard work. But it’s not impossible; it’s very doable. I cannot think of a reason why you would limit yourself. Can you?
Let’s take a look at what it means to be exceptional:
Being exceptional means being prepared. You set goals and are focused on achieving them. You always have a Plan B if obstacles are encountered.
Being exceptional means being self-confident. You have faith in your abilities. You never give up or get discouraged if things don’t go as planned. You don’t fear mistakes, you learn from them.
Being exceptional means you have a “vision”. It involves more about how you see yourself today and have clarity about where you want to be tomorrow.
Being exceptional means you are very comfortable making decisions that are both relevant and timely.
Being exceptional means you place a high value on your personal integrity in terms of how you earn it and maintain it.
Being exceptional means you start and end every day with a healthy dose of positive attitude and self-talk.
Being exceptional means you know that you can have more, but also recognize that you must work for it and earn it.
Being exceptional means you invest time and effort looking for ways to enhance your habits, skills and abilities to make yourself just a little better each day.
Being exceptional means you never brag about being exceptional. You consistently demonstrate your full capabilities with “quiet confidence” by your actions – that is, there is no need to talk about what you do or how well you do it; your actions are all that others need to see.
Being exceptional means you know how to confront and evaluate fear and take the right risks to move forward.
Jack Welch the legendary CEO of GE once said, “The world today operates as a meritocracy.” Many find it easy to follow the crowd, seek safety in numbers and then get comfortable in a world of being the “same or average”. However, when they see others outside of the crowd achieving things, they complain about being in the crowd! As Yogi Berra once said, “Don’t always follow the crowd, a lot of people go there and it gets too crowded”.
When one gets comfortable, there can be a lack of courage to break from the crowd and explore what exists beyond the current limits of their capabilities so as to discover what they can really accomplish. My point is that far too many make the voluntary choice to perform below their full capabilities because they think it may be too hard to do otherwise.
None of us really know our limits. I do know for a fact that there are no limits to what you can accomplish so long as you are willing to let go of who you are, to become who you are meant to be. Actually, the only limits are those you set for yourself or accept from others.
Many allow themselves to get trapped in the grasp of past events. Fact: Nothing that took place in the past can be changed. Stop agonizing over mistakes or bad decisions you made. All that does is cause you to beat yourself up and damage your self-confidence and self-esteem. You have to stop living in a world full of should haves, could haves or would haves. All you can – and must – do is learn from the past and use that knowledge to benefit you on a going forward basis.
Avoid at all costs allowing your mind to wander too long in the future. When you do this, you are destined to follow one of two paths. The first path is “worry”—you become obsessed with what could go wrong with any action you might take. This path eventually causes you to overload on fear, which usually results in you doing nothing, which leads to stagnation and eventually failure.
The second future path is “exhilaration” and false optimism over what you will or might do. Again, don’t allow your mind to spend too much time here either. You become obsessed over all of the great things that lie ahead. When this happens, you leave yourself open to missing warnings of an approaching problem or worse. Want an example? Google Leon Lett, former player for the Dallas Cowboys. Leon became so obsessed over “what” was about to happen that he missed the crisis rapidly approaching in the form of Don Bebe of the Buffalo Bills.
So what’s left? The “present” is.
To be productive and effective in your role, you have to focus on “staying in the moment” (the present). Why? Because “in the moment” is the only place where you can act and bring about real and significant results in your life, career or business.
The lesson: Be sure you find and maintain a healthy balance and relationship between your past, future and present. Enough said.
The alternative to making the decision to Step Up and Play Big is best captured in this poem by Pablo Neruda. Neruda was a famous Chilean poet, who, among his many achievements won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1971.
Read it slowly and closely and then decide how you want to live your life. By living it small or by Stepping Up and Playing Big? Continue reading →