Laugh, I Dare You!

I wrote a blog a while back about dreaming like a kid. Kids dream without limitation, because unlike adults, they haven’t been completely conditioned to think otherwise. It doesn’t stop there, though. 

If you think about it…children, by nature, are just happier than adults. Sure, you can say they don’t have the stresses of work and all the responsibilities, but I think it’s actually much more simple than that. Here’s an interesting fact: 

On average, children laugh 400x a day. The average adult? Only 12.

Think about that for second. When was the last time you were angry but laughed until your sides hurt? I can tell you…never! It’s impossible! You can’t be furious and truly laughing at the same time. It’s also impossible for you to think one way and act another. You can’t think positivity and exert negativity. You can’t think nice things about someone and be angry at them at the same time. 

Oh, and here’s something just as an added incentive – laughing 15 minutes per day sheds 4 pounds per year!

In the world of “on demand” and high speed internet, fast food, and everything readily available at our fingertips – we’re always looking for ways to improve our daily lives instantly. We want quick fixes, fast results, and don’t really want to work for it. Well, friends, here it is. 

Laugh. Laugh every day. At least 15 minutes per day. You’ll feel better. You’ll be happier. Oh, and like I mentioned, you’ll lose weight! :) 

And if you’re feeling REALLY adventurous…share a laugh with someone else! Do this, even if it’s just once, to see if I’m right. If it doesn’t really have a dramatic impact on your day – I’ll reimburse every penny you paid for my advice. In fact, I’ll double it. 

Here’s something to get you started:

http://youtu.be/Q9T8i4FkNVo

Be blessed! 

 

Just Do Something

I just saw a quote from one of my favorite people and I had to share it with you.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, until you learn to do it well.” ~Zig Ziglar

How often do we not do something because we’re not confident that we’ll be able to do it well? This is a huge hurdle for me, because I always hold myself to such a high standard, that I almost always expect perfection out of myself.Often to the point that I never end up doing whatever it is, for that reason. 

Zig is speaking to that perfectionist in all of us. We should never let our lack of self confidence and/or the fear of not being able to do something perfectly keep us from doing anything. I’m reminded of a young aspiring singer that took the stage in front of the one of the most brutal audiences in the country – “Showtime at The Apollo”. Not only was he NOT met with enthusiasm or a warm welcome – he was booed off the stage…more than once. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I’d never show my face in the music business again after that. That young man…was Luther Vandross. 

He wasn’t concerned about performing perfectly, he just wanted to perform. Of course he WANTED to do well, but he didn’t let the fear of not stand in his way. In his case, the rest, as they say, is history. 

There are countless stories like his. It’s important to note that most people don’t quit right after they start, but rather when they’re closer to their goal than they realize. 

I often go back to Nike’s slogan – “Just Do It” – just do SOMETHING. How many times, as a kid, did your parents tell you “try it, you might like it” (in my case it was typically centered around me trying a new vegetable for the first time)? 

To quote Les Brown, one of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting: 

“Jump and grow your wings on the way down!”

Nobody said it would be easy

So many people wish life was easier, with less challenges and obstacles but without challenges, life becomes stagnant and we stop growing.  Challenges help us uncover who we are and it allows us to become better people. 

Let’s examine a very simple 4-step method to overcoming challenges.

First, state the problem clearly.  When we are faced with challenges, we tend to avoid the issue and run the other way burying our heads in the sand hoping it goes away.  Or we may say – ok, there is an obstacle, instead of heading right to it and plowing through, I am going to look for another path and even though that is not the way I want to go – it looks easier… less headache… but rarely does that work out.  When we avoid or go out of our way, we cause more headache in the end.  It takes more of our time, it takes more of our energy and we don’t get the end result we are looking for.  So take this time to understand what the challenge is.  Ask yourself what is the question, what is asked of me, what is the main goal? Write this down on paper.

Second, identify what you have at your disposal – what resources are available to you to work through this challenge? List all of these resources out.  These should include things such as tangible assets – money, computer, books, etc.  And then what skills you have, what are your strengths to work through this?  Don’t forget others – what access do you have to others that can help?

Third, design the strategy to overcome this challenge.  Utilize all your assets to create a plan of action.  You may find this plan will need to be tweaked as you execute and that is ok.  Keep at it.

Lastly, execute the strategy with effort and determination.  Do your very best with all you have to overcome your challenge.

If you find that you still cannot overcome a challenge, then re-evaluate.  If your strategy just won’t work because it isn’t viable or effective then change it. If your strategy doesn’t work because you didn’t execute it well enough, be persistent and tweak your efforts, giving it more. 

Practice this method on small challenges and see how easy it is to overcome.  Then try it on the big rocks! 

Dream Big and Win! 

(from Empowerment Mentoring)

What’s it going to take?

What does it take to win? This is probably one of the most talked about questions in the arena of business development/personal growth/etc. 

Here’s my take. I don’t claim this to be scientific, but it’s worked for me and I feel like it’ll work for you as well. 

Winning. Success. Whatever you want to call it, for me, follows the following equation: 

Talent + Hard Work + Focus + Persistence + Determination + Belief in yourself = Success 

Let me break that down for you…because I realize that seems like a lot. However, it really does require all of those and here’s why. 

You have to have talent to be able to accomplish your dreams and goals in whatever it is you’re trying to do. Notice I didn’t say “natural talent” because I believe talent is a skill and can be learned. Steve Martin is a very talented banjo player, but didn’t pick up the banjo until he was 30 years old. He developed the talent…and now has Grammy Awards. 

It takes hard work. Period. If you want to achieve the level of success of other successful people…be prepared to work harder than they did. To get things you’ve never had…you must be prepared to do things you’ve never done.

Focus is crucial. If you’re working hard, but not focused on what you need to be…you’ll not get where you want to be. Focus allows you to transition, as the old cliche says, to working smarter.

Without persistence, you’ll quit before you really even get started. Persistence is what will allow you to take the pain of defeat and turn that into motivation for success. 

Determination defines your destination. Determination is what will keep you going when people around tell you to stop, or tell you that you’re an idiot for even thinking you could have done it in the first place. 

And finally, how you feel about yourself. Dr. Maxwell Maltz said it best, “it’s absolutely impossible for anyone to outperform their own self image.” You will never be able to do any better than you believe you’re capable of doing. To quote Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” 

Take ALL of those…put them together…and I assure you…you’ll win. You can’t help it. It may not happen overnight…but it WILL happen.

 

Goals

This is one of those topics that I could write about all day every day.  Goal setting, goal achieving, goals goals goals!

We all have goals.  Each and every one of us. Some of us think we gave up a long time ago and don’t have any but we do.  Every day we wake up with the goal to live another day.  Ok, maybe that is a stretch but don’t we all have goals to some extent?  And why is it so important to have goals? 

The most successful people on this planet didn’t wake up one day with an idea and a few minutes later after they got dressed became successful… No way.  They had an idea and they developed a plan.  Within that plan there were goals – some big, some little – some attainable, some way out there. 

And each day, they worked at it – chipping away, having triumphs and failures along the way but tweaking and re-evaluating and working toward goals. Goals!

We have had goals from the day we were born.  Sit up. Crawl. Walk. Talk. Feed ourselves. Dress ourselves. Express ourselves. Make friends. Learn. Communicate. Develop relationships. Learn a skill.  Get a job. Get married.  Have a family. Buy a car. Buy a house. Take a vacation…. Many of these things are milestones that we can only achieve with a plan of action and goal setting. 

Goals are objectives that you intend to achieve.  Going through life without goals is like getting in your car and driving aimlessly expecting to arrive at your destination without a clue how to get there.  If you had a roadmap or a GPS, you could have gotten there in a reasonable amount of time but because you just drove and drove – maybe you will eventually get there but at what cost?  How much time and energy did you waste because you didn’t take a couple minutes to punch in the destination in your GPS? 

Moving through life without a roadmap and expecting to reach certain milestones haphazardly is certainly one way to go but if you want to get somewhere quickly and with less energy and time, then set goals, work towards them and you will find yourself exactly where you wanted to be.

(from Empowerment Mentoring)

Get Your Inspiration Back

Where does your inspiration come from? Does it come from your family? Is it passed down generation to generation?  Is it your grade school teacher? Your big sister?  Your relationship with your creator? Where do you get your inspiration and how do you channel it?

We all hit a block at some point in life – sometimes more than we care to talk about and we need a little inspiration to relight our fire and let our creativity flow freely again.

This morning, do you remember waking up and what you did for that first hour?  Can you recount all the motions you went through?  If not, then you need some inspiration.  You need to mix up your routine and throw some spontaneity into your life.  Stop and smell the roses. 

The older we get, the busier our lives become and we take for granted all those little things that we were in such awe of as a child.  It’s time for a life reboot – to untether ourselves from our everyday doldrums and take a moment or two to see what we have been missing for a long time now.  It is time to get inspired!

Have a plan – not a detailed plan – but something that you would like to stop and do for a moment that you have either wanted to do for a long time and couldn’t find the time or something that you used to do that you miss very much.  But not too planned – in the event while executing your plan you find yourself wanting to do something else, be flexible and go with the flow.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings.  Smell the flowers, notice the older couple holding hands, see the children running through the park, smile at the dog with the pink studded collar… don’t follow the tour guide at the museum – be your own tour guide and spend longer at an exhibit really taking in the intricacies of the piece.
  2. Document your experience.  Bring your camera and whatever else you need to capture these moments.
  3. Bring a friend.  Take the time to explore somewhere with someone you care about and share this experience.  Create memories.
  4. Stay away from subways.  Sounds odd but if you are travelling underground how do you get to enjoy what is happening?  Walk if you can and then when you need to rest – find a place to sit and people watch.  Recharge your internal batteries and then go again.

Don’t look for inspiration.  That sounds funny but this is an exercise in creating inspiration through your environment and not by creating false inspiration through planned events.  Be free and enjoy what is already around you!

 

(from Empowerment Mentoring)

Be Important

Our most basic human need is to feel validated. Plain and simple, we want to feel important. We want to know that someone cares about us, values us, and believes we matter. 

An easy way to see this returned to you is to be that for someone else. The next time someone is talking to you – listen. Be engaged. Ask follow up questions. The easiest way to be interesting to people, is to first be interested in people. 

Let them know you care and what they’re saying is important to you. Do this and several things will happen immediately: 

1. You’ll have their trust. 

2. You’ll feel better about yourself because you’ve made someone else feel better about themselves. 

3. You’ll learn something. I guarantee it. Every single time. 

Zig Ziglar said it best: 

“You can have anything you want in life – if you help other people get what they want.”

This is especially true when applied to our most basic need. It’s impossible to think one way and act another. If you want to feel love…show love. If you want to feel important…make someone else feel important. 

Life is like an elevator – you’re either moving up or moving down, and whichever way you’re going you take everyone else with you.

The most valuable gift you can ever give someone is the gift of your time. It’s also the gift that means the most, because it shows that you truly care.