Saturday, September 6, 2014

Don't go it alone......

We all want to succeed but if you are like me you may feel a lot of times like I am shooting myself in the foot when trying to accomplish my goals.  

Along this line of thinking, I recently read a great article by Bernard Marr a best selling author and performance coach.  The article focused on mistakes successful people DON'T make.

Here were a few listed:

1. Successful people don’t Avoid Responsibility
  “The price of greatness is responsibility.” –Winston Churchill

2. Successful people don’t Procrastinate "Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday." ~Napoleon Hill

3. Successful people don’t Follow Trends      “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion”. –Jack Kerouac

But #4 was the one that caught my eye because it is such a trap for all of us and I have seen so many people fall and fail because they did not recognize it.

4.  Successful people don’t try to go it alone.

One of the most vital things successful people do is to surround themselves with other successful people. No man is an island, and having a network, a mastermind group, and surrounding oneself with experienced, educated, clever people can make all the difference between success and failure.

“Life is not a solo act. It's a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us.” –Tim Gunn

When Phil Jackson one of the most famous NBA players and Coaches of all time took over as head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1989, he inherited a struggling team with one of the best players in the world—Michael Jordan. Still, he knew he had to nurture the rest of the team instead of focusing solely on its star. Phil had his players repeat this statement at every practice: 

"No man is an island. No man goes his way alone. What I put into the lives of others will come back unto its own.”

Proverbs 11:25 (The Message) says it this way:

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.

Good news; you and I don’t have to go it alone and the proven success and failures of people before us means we also don’t have to learn everything in the “School of Hard Knocks"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


If you Google “Top Things to Worry About”  200 million results appear in .39 seconds to populate your web browser. 

I don’t know about you but I already felt like there were a million things to worry about so I don’t want to know about the other 199 million!

The first page of the search is a combination of a list of things to worry about “The 20 things we worry about the most” or “The 150 things the World’s smartest people are afraid of…” so there seems to be no end of things we can find to worry about.

Probably though you don’t need a list or a Google search, you like me probably already have some thoughts about this and your question is:

“When should I start worrying about this situation?"

Of course, the answer is, we should never start worrying.

I think we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking it's useful or unavoidable, but it's not.

Here is the truth about worrying:

- Worrying is not a useful use of your time.

- Worrying doesn't change outcomes.

- Worrying ruins your day.

- Worrying just distracts you from the work at hand    and from finding solutions to your challenges.

So what is the solution to worrying?

Here is some direction from 

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I like it….hope you do too!

Monday, June 30, 2014

In over your head?

I recently read an inspiring article from Kelly Belmonte author of the book "Three Ways of Searching" that spurred on the thoughts of how we look at risk and experience.

Maybe using a water reference you have had this said to you before: You better be careful. You don’t want to get in over your head.”


Do these people understand how water works? 

Here’s the thing about water, how it functions with humans or other living things moving around in it: Swimming works better when there’s more water than there is swimmer. Ever try swimming in the shallow end, where the water is not over your head? Very difficult. At best, clumsy. Worse, you could be at risk of hitting your head on the bottom of the pool.

Sticking close to the shoreline makes for fun wading, but ugly swimming. You have to get out past the waves so you can bob around a bit.

Of course, all of this assumes the ability to swim, float, and tread water. Basic skills are necessary. But, simply put (and without metaphor), in the real world, when you want to grow in a particular area, you have to try stuff that feels risky, that pushes you past your place of comfort. Experience has to begin somewhere. Every expert at one time was a newbie, at one time took that first floppy fish dive out into deeper waters.

The secret about those voices urging you to keep in the shallows – including the one in your own head – is that they are simply speaking into their own fear to go out any further. But contrary to such fear-based advice, it can be riskier to try and look like you’re swimming with the big fish when you’re only flopping around at the shoreline with the minnows.

After all, once the water is deep enough that you must swim to stay afloat, does it really matter how deep the water is? 

DIVE IN! The water is fine :-)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sorry, I am very busy.

“As competition intensifies, the need for creative thinking increases. It is no longer enough to do the same thing better . . . no longer enough to be efficient and solve problems” — Edward de Bono

One of the most important decisions you and I will make today is the balance of how much time and effort should be spent on inbound issues and information and how much time and effort should be invested in output and creating something new.

If you are like me it is easy to say “I am busy….The output has to wait, I have emails, phone calls, and meetings I have to do!"

Yep, I get it.... we are all busy. 

But here is the real question; did we do anything important today?

Here is the reality….Busy does not equal important and measured doesn't equal mattered.

When the resistance pushes us to do the quick reaction, the instant message, check twitter, or Facebook ... perhaps it pays to push back.

Perhaps it's time for the blank sheet of paper, stop the things that aren’t working, dream a bit, and push for the creative breakthrough...

Or I guess we could just check Facebook and Twitter…..again.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Well worth the effort.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
- Thomas Edison

Our great-grandfathers knew what it meant to work hard. They hauled hay all day long, making sure that the cows got fed.  The meaning of hard work in a manual economy is clear. Without the leverage of machines and organizations, working hard meant producing more. Producing more, of course, was the best way to feed your family.

Today for a lot of the "technologically advanced world" the word “work” has come to mean something to be avoided and granted it is measured differently because most of us don't have to get up every morning and work in the way previous generations have done.  But there’s value in work and work matters. Not just for the money you can earn, but from the people we get to become through it. Hard work draws out talents and increases capacities and helps us discover who we are.

“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”- Calvin Coolidge

I don’t know what challenges you face right now. But I will bet that in order to meet them successfully it will require you to do some hard work.  Work of course is not always fun and it can be a grind but that does not diminish its intrinsic value nor should it deter us from having dreams, visions, and goals.

So let's examine our motivation:  In what areas of our life are we being called to work harder at work worth doing?

Whether it’s the inner work of transforming the way we live our life becoming more of who God wants us to be, or the outer “roll up our sleeves and setting our alarm early” work it will be well worth it to put in the has been proven by many before us.

Remember, you are needed. There is important work to be done that will not be done unless you do it. Catherine Pulsifer