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.
At any point in time, we find ourselves having to deal with a variety of problems. Some are big; others are small. Some we create and others land in our lap, as a result, someone else’s actions (or lack of actions). Some are valid, while others are just unnecessary distractions. Regardless of how it is described, they are problems and we are paid to solve them.
To effectively solve a problem, you have to have a clear understanding of its cause and impact. However, many of you spend way too much time and energy focusing just on the problem – its cause and its impact – and not enough time and focus on taking action to get to the solution. In essence, many find themselves “obsessing” about the problem, leading to detrimental results for the individual and their organization. It’s almost like digging a hole and pulling the dirt back in on top of you. Your frustration, stress and negative emotions grow unchecked. As this occurs, you basically eliminate any chance you might have to get past the emotional “clutter” (yours and others) to find a way forward to a solution.
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.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed By their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness. It does, however, make it very clear that it is our responsibility to pursue our own happiness. Only we can see our dreams and only we can live them. And if we can’t make ourselves happy, or be happy with ourselves, it’s a good bet that we will not be able to help anyone else.
Making yourself happy can be difficult today with all of the business challenges that surround us. We are being bombarded every day to the point that we sometimes find it hard to fight off negative distractions and stay focused. When this happens we allow ourselves to be the victim of ours, or others, circumstances as opposed to being the master of them. We rapidly approach overload and get consumed with minutia, worrying about what will happen next! We start to lose sight of our ability to achieve our goals. When this happens, our first priority is to gain back control, get back on track, and take charge of our destiny. Continue reading →
Over the course of a typical day, week or month, we always have things to get done along with things that can best be described as distractions. You know: The stuff that gets in the way and pulls us away from the right tasks.
Unfortunately more times than not, we get pulled into solving others’ problems or we get seduced by what I call the “shiny object syndrome” or “SOS.” A shiny object always looks great, but when you get closer, you realize that it isn’t as good as you first thought.
There will always be distractions and shiny objects. Our challenge is to fight them off and condition ourselves not to be tempted by them in the future.
There is never enough time in a day to do everything you want to do. More days than not, many of you leave work frustrated over your lack of progress. You end the day wondering, “Where did all the time go?” Unfortunately, to make matters worse, many of you take that frustrated burden home with you. Continue reading →
Distractions: We all experience them and we all have to deal with them. But did you realize that you are the cause of most – if not all – of them? For example:
You’re busy, but not productive – If you don’t have clear and specific goals for your day, week, month or year, distractions will pull you in different directions and waste your time, and in the end you will have nothing to show for your effort.
You’re an expert at “fire-fighting” – It’s nothing to be proud of. You may actually be the cause of the flare-ups. A big distraction is solving everyone else’s problems. Make sure everyone on your team knows what they must do, why they do it and how to do it.
Nothing gets done, unless you do it – Are you properly training your team to do their jobs as intended? Have you set clear and achievable expectations, and does your team understand them?
There is never enough time for you to have time for you – Do you schedule a 1-hour appointment each week with yourself? Put it on your calendar. You need the time to re-group and re-focus on the right things.
Your open door is a revolving door of constant visitors who all ask, “Hey do you have a minute?” – If you do, say “No!” Saying “no” when you have to is critical for your sanity and ability to properly lead. Fight for and guard your time. Stop giving it away.
There are always more things that you can possibly do. The biggest challenge we all have is that there’s never enough time to get done everything that we want to do. Staying focused on our priorities, which allows you to get things done, is one of the toughest challenges we all have.
Many mistakenly believe that they can “multi-task” their way through anything. I often describe multi-tasking as multi dumb! Some think it’s a highly developed skill that all should possess The fact is, it stifles any chance of staying focused, and only adds to your stress and lack of meaningful productivity.
Many also think that making a list of “to do’s” (the longer the better) makes them effective planners. They proudly display their filled yellow pad like a shield that they think will protect them. Again, another fallacy because they don’t question whether some of the things on their list should be there at all! To me, the most important thing about planning and making a list is to decide what not to do.
Stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus on those things that have the highest reward/payoff. Continue reading →