The only two ways we actually SEE change!

Have you ever been driving down the highway or a road that you travel pretty frequently, and one day you say to yourself, something looks different about this particular building, something is missing here, this part of the road looks more open, etc.?

After further review, it comes to you that a building was torn down.  A set of trees were cut down, a building was being built and now has a noticeable feature to it.  Or, it could have been a new coat of paint on a building or something of that nature.

It could be any number of things and although some kind of work had been going on for a period of time, you didn’t really notice it until something significant had changed and it caught your attention.

This is how almost everything works doesn’t it.

Lets go back.  What if you knew that a building was being built in a certain area you drive by everyday.  Or, what if you knew they were doing some clearing of some overgrown and even dangerous large trees in a certain area.  We all have known about a certain restaurant coming to our part of town and we know where it will be located. So we drive by it to watch its progress.  My guess is we all have been in these scenarios as well.

In each case, for us to notice, what had to happen?  In the first scenario something significantly different, or a major change had to occur for us to notice something was different.  A building be torn down.  A piece of road that was now cleared.

In the second scenario, we were aware of some change or something different happening.  So we looked for it.

For us to notice change one of two things has to happen.  We either have to be aware that the change is going to happen.  Or the change is so significant or so severe it grabs our attention.   And these two scenarios are no different in our everyday regular life driving down the highway, as well as our regular everyday life in business.

In my business, I coach executives, leaders, directors, managers, etc., on ways they can improve their leadership style to create a more engaged workforce. We all know that the number one reason employees leave a company is determined by the relationship with their immediate manager (Dale Carnegie and Associates, Employee Engagement study; 2012).

So lets look at this for a moment.  If I am an employee and my manager is not a great leader and I am thinking about leaving the company. However, my manager is either directed or decides to make some changes in their leadership style.  As the employee, for me to notice that they have changed. They either must be really different in how they are leading me.  Or, I must be aware that they are looking to change.

Yes.  This is what I am saying here.  This is the only way anybody can notice a change has occurred.

Think about it for a minute.  Have you ever known anyone who decided to lose some weight?  Yes.  We all have.  How do we notice that they decided to lose weight?  What has to happen for us to notice?

Well, just like in the examples above. One of two things has to happen.  They either had to tell us that they were looking to lose weight and we start noticing a change rather quickly.  Depending on how committed they are and what daily habits we notice that they have changed.

Or, after a period of time we can tell just by looking at them, that they look different.  We can see that they have lost weight.  Again, one or the other has to happen. They either let us know that they are on a diet or they lose a lot of weight and we notice it.

Think about people who you might not see everyday.  Lets say you have a friend who decides to go on a diet and they don’t tell you.  Three months go by and you see this friend.  They have been diligently dieting and exercising and they have lost a lot of weight. When you see them after the three months, the change will be pretty extreme and you will notice it. This has most likely happened to all of us at one time or another.

Back to the manager example. What are the chances the manager is going to significantly change?  At least, noticeable change that gets the employee to think that they have turned over a new leaf? Probably pretty slim.  So the only other option is for the manager to let the employee(s) know that they are going to be changing.  Then, to take it a step further and ask the employee(s) on recommendations on what they could change.

Now does this ever really happen in the real world?  Managers asking employees what they need to change?  Well, I have been in lots of organizations and coached lots of people, and I can answer this question with a resounding, No.  Most leaders would never be willing to put themselves out there and ask for help or let people know that they are looking to change.

What is the alternative?  The leader has to hope that they change so significantly that everyone notices it.  Which rarely happens.

What can you do to change this? First, managers must realize that they need to make a change.  This can be done by them. (Rare) Or by the next level of leadership above them.  By realizing a change must happen.  They can then start to set the stage for what has to happen next.

Next thing, get the training that is necessary to be a more effective leader in todays workforce.  You can consult with someone like me to provide a solution that makes sense for your organization and the culture you’re looking to develop.  Once the training is decided on, you have to let everyone in the organization know what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Again, a professional like myself can communicate on how this is done.

Once the training takes place and has been implemented.  The real work begins. Which is the follow-up with the managers and the employees on how it is working.  Getting feedback from the employees as well as following up with the managers who went through the training is critical.  As we stated earlier, everyone will notice the changes, because everyone is aware.  No matter how subtle the changes are, there are still changes happening, and people will notice because they are aware of the changes.

Remember typically the only way we can see change, is when we are aware that change is coming.  Like the restaurant being built or knowing what construction is going to take place.  The only other way is when the change is so extreme or significant that we have no choice to see it.

Let me ask you, does your organization need to see some change?  Do you have managers or leaders that aren’t aware of the changes they need to make, which is resulting in unnecessary turnover or other issues?  If so, reach out to me at brian.willett@dalecarnegie.com and lets see if we have a solution for you.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

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My “Never Quit” list and why I created it

Let me start by prefacing this blog with I don’t believe you should keep doing something that isn’t important.  You have to decide what is important and never quit on those things. In my world I have a few of those “Never Quit” items that I outlined in my self-published book titled 7 Ways to More.

This book turned in to a manifesto for me. Manifesto definition: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.  It was important for me to do this at the time that I did it, because I was having success and I wanted to document the reasons for that success.   So when things got tough, I could be reminded of what I used to do, and do a gut check and see if I was still doing those things.  It also became a declaration for myself that said these things are the most important things in my life, and I am publicly committing to them forever.

So here are a few of those never quit things:

  • Never quit on your health and fitness
  • Never quit on your personal development and self-education
  • Never quit on the pursuit of fame and fortune, mainly the fortune.
  • Never quit on your friends for life.
  • Never quit on your marriage
  • Never quit on setting and accomplishing goals.
  • Never quit on your family.

This is my never quit list.  If you don’t have a list of never quit items. I would encourage you to create one.  If you don’t draw the line in the sand today, the chances are you will cross that imaginary line tomorrow.  You will do something you don’t want to do, or you will stop doing something that you should do or that is important for you to do.

I was recently scrolling through my news feed on Facebook.  I can’t count how many times I read where someone was re-committing themselves to their health and fitness. They had taken time off from it for whatever reason and was now getting back to it.

Let me first say I have done this before.  Yes.  Way before I ever wrote my book or my list of never quits.  Hence the reason for the writing of the list.

When you quit something you are saying that this is no longer important to me.  You are saying that there are more important things in my life than this (whatever this is) right now. You are also setting yourself up for a very difficult time when you decide to go back to whatever it is as well.  When you quit something for a while it is a hard road back.  One that is full of pain and discipline and regret.  Regret, that you allowed yourself to venture off as far as you did.

I can remember when I slacked for a season or two on health and fitness and then I got back in to it.  I said “never again”.  I will get back in shape again once, and will stay there forever.

After graduating from college with my bachelors of science, I took some time off from my learning.  During that period of time not much happened for me either.  Until, I made the decision to make regular and frequent deposits in my self-education and personal development, I did not grow.

Growth comes from putting ideas in.  For you to have ideas coming out, you must have ideas going in.  I made the decision that I would never ever quit learning again.  And I am not talking about the learning you get on the job.  Most people think that is development.  It can be.  However, development and growth only comes from an intentional movement on your part to grow.

To grow you have to devote time, resources, and be willing to get feedback on your growth.  Most people do none of the three.  They instead think that just because they have been in leadership, sales, or whatever role it is they are in.  And they have successfully lead people who get paid to follow them, they are growing somehow.  You have to make time, spend the money, and get the gift of feedback on how you are doing to actually grow.

To ensure I never quit on the above to aforementioned areas on my never quit list.  I must always be creating, setting and managing my goals.  A goal properly set is half-way accomplished.  Why don’t people accomplish goals?  Because they never set them.  In my health and fitness and my personal development I continue to set goals on a daily and yearly basis.  This one exercise in goal setting is responsible for much of my success I have had up until this point and I know it will be responsible for the success I have in the future.

If you have quit setting goals.  Now is the time to get back to it.  If you do nothing I have suggested in this blog, do this one thing of setting goals in your personal and business life. Things will only get better for you.

Create your “Never Quit” list today.  I don’t know what it is for you, but you must do it today.  You never want to find yourself in a situation where you have to make a decision to not do something that you should be doing, make the decision today and manage it forever.

To your success and your future.

 

 

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The truth about change and how you can learn to love it

If you ask anybody if they like change in their life, the chances are they will respond with a resounding Yes.  Most people say that they are very open to change.  They will even go as far as telling you that they live for it, they look for it, and when it happens, they embrace it.

All of us have been around people all of our lives. (duh) And although people may say they are open to change. What they say and what they do, are polar opposites.

Most people don’t look for change.  Most people don’t live for change.  And when change happens, they typically don’t embrace it, at least not initially.

Why don’t we though?  Lets be honest about it here.  Change is hard.  Change requires effort.  Change requires us to get out of what we are comfortable in doing.

As a trainer for many years.  I have watched countless people attend my courses.  The courses I teach are usually eight to twelve weeks in length.  Or they could be over two or three consecutive days.  No matter the format of the courses, three day or twelve week, 95% of the participants will always come in to the session/course and sit in the same seats, week after week or day after day. Now as a trainer I know this, and I mix it up a lot.  However, if I let the participants decide they would come in and take the same seat week after week.  Wherever they started the first day, they will be sitting there (if allowed) the last day.

Now is there any harm in sitting in the same seat?  No.  However, it points out the bigger issue. Which is we all tend to do whatever we are comfortable with or what we get used to.  So if something becomes comfortable and we get used to it.  It is much easier to keep doing that instead of changing it.

Even, when I mix up the seats, the participants will gradually make their way back to their original seat when allowed.

Again, there is no harm in sitting in the same seat, but as I said earlier, it is a symptom of something bigger.  It is hard for us to change and unless we are forced to change, we will continue to do the same things over and over.

I recently had a participant in one of my courses tell me about their daily routine.  This person oversees a large team. Under his leadership he has a few other leaders.  In his daily routine he would always walk through a certain area in his workspace.  He did this everyday.  After I had challenged him in one of the sessions to do things differently, he made a choice to take a different route in his daily walk, where he now interacted with some people that he would not normally interact with.

By following a different path he was forced to interact with a person with whom he didnt have much of a relationship with. He made the decision to engage with this person.  Which led to a deep conversation about this individual. He tells me that he learned so much about this person that it will help him lead them better and he was already seeing positive results from this individual since this interaction.

All of this happened, because of a little effort to make a simple change.

Here are three things you can do today to learn to embrace and love change.

  1.  Change the small things: Several years ago, I decided to make a small change in my life.  I was like most people and waited as long as I could before I would get up in the morning before I had to go to work.  I had to be at work at 8:00 am, so I would get up at 6:30, or sometimes push it until 6:45-7 if I thought I could.I made the decision to start getting up at 5:00 am instead.  Some of you might be saying, that is not a small change. But in the grand scheme of things it really is. This little decision I made to get up a little earlier changed my entire life. I’ll just say it like this.  Benjamin Franklin; one of the nations founding fathers said it this way:  “Early to bed, Early to Rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  And I became more of all three because of this change.
  2. If everyone agrees, the chances are its not that great: Lets be honest here.  Most people don’t create and live the life they want.  They settle for the life they earn.  And I do mean earn.  They live the life that they can afford based on their income. Many of their decisions come from how much does it cost me a month.We have all heard that we should go to college and take on debt, no matter the amount of debt either, to get a college education.  Also, most people believe that owning a home is the American Dream and is the best investment you can make. The same people that believe both of these things, are probably the same ones that are paying on both of these things as well.

    I was sold both of these same things.  I have done them both.  However, I made the decision to stop listening to everyone that was saying the same things and believed the same things.  I instead started learning and developing my own philosophy that was different than what everyone else was saying.  And guess what, I got better, I changed my life, and they all are still doing the same thing in a lot of cases.

  3. Regular and frequent deposits in to my own self-education: I have an associates degree in electronic engineering technology.  I think it cost me about thirty thousand dollars. I also have a bachelors degree in business and a MBA (Masters Degree in Business Administration).  I think when you add all of that up, it might have cost me sixty to seventy thousand dollars.  All of this formal education that I had allowed me to get a job.  However, once I got on the job, I didn’t have any skills. I had some with my associates degree, so there was some value in it.  But the rest of my education didn’t prepare me for what many of the jobs I wanted actually needed me to do.After all of this formal education, I made the conscious decision to start investing in sales training programs, Leadership training programs, seminars, webinars, books, lots and lots of books.  I started making, and still do, frequent and regular deposits in to education that can help me be better in everything that I do. This one little change, changed everything for me.  It not only helped me develop new skills that I can monetize in the marketplace, but it also got my mind in a place that allowed me to move everything in my life forward.

So let me ask you.  Are you ready to make changes in your life for the better?  Are you really open to change?  If so, I would encourage you to just look at the simple everyday things in your life that you are doing right now, that you could change.  Maybe it is your daily routine.  Maybe it is who you are listening to.  And lastly, the biggest change you have to make is…And this is a must regardless of what you decide to do or not do.  Start making frequent and regular deposits in to your own self-development and self-education.

To your success and your future.

 

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Quit blaming “It”

There are a lot of worse things in life, but something that ranks pretty high to me, has to be “Car Problems”.   Come on, I have had them and you have had them.  And they usually come at the worst times.  Like when you really need to get somewhere quickly your car decides to stop working.

I had many times where my car wouldn’t work in my earlier life.  It could have been a dead battery, an alternator, or any number of things.  And I would blame “it” instead of blaming myself for having the problem in the first place.  The problems usually would come from neglecting to do what I needed to do to maintain the car.  All cars require a certain level of maintenance to ensure things stay in good working condition.  If I would have had my car serviced more frequently, it could have prevented me from a potential problem as well. However at that time in my life, I blamed “it” instead of blaming myself.

And don’t we all know people who do the same things in their life on a daily basis now? They blame the situation, they blame other people, and they blame whatever else they can find to blame, instead of taking ownership themselves.

We all know that a child doesn’t have the maturity level to take ownership of a problem that they may have caused.  We don’t expect them to.  But how long do we allow them to use this as an excuse?  Not very long most likely.  The biggest sign of maturity is when a person can take control of their own circumstances and life, good or bad, and say it is my fault or my problem and own it.  We tend to respect people who can do this don’t we?

Here is a quick list of “it’s” that people blame:

  • It doesn’t pay enough
  • It costs too much
  • It is not what I expected
  • The system (it) is rigged

Have you ever found yourself saying any of the above sentences?  I know I have.  It took a mentor of mine to come in to my life and set me straight on what I should be saying instead.

When I said “It doesn’t pay enough”, he asked me “Are there other people in my company that were getting paid more?  I said, yes, I am sure there are.  So he said it is not (the company) that doesn’t pay enough.  You just aren’t valuable enough to the company to get paid more.

When I said things “Cost too much.”  He said “They don’t cost too much, you just can’t afford them.”  Which means you don’t make enough. He said don’t blame it.

When I said. This is not what I expected. He said “What did you expect?” I responded with “I am not sure.”  He said “Whose fault is that?”

I said the system is rigged?  He said “Is it rigged for everyone?”  “Does everyone have the same challenges as you are having?”

In each of the areas above my mentor gave me a different perspective to look at them with.  Instead of allowing me to blame “it” he challenged me to think about who was to really blame.  Which was myself.  Because in each of the above questions, I was trying to take the blame approach instead of taking ownership.  He taught me what maturity was.

So let me ask you.  Have you made any of the above blame statements before? The chances are you have?  I would challenge you to look at the opposite side of the blame, and ask what can “You” do to change the situation.

Once I learned to stop blaming “it” and start asking myself what I can do to control “it”, everything in my life changed.  Everything in your life can change too.

To your success and your future.

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3 Ways to Really Create a Habit or Discipline in your life

I have had many people tell me that I am one of the most disciplined people that they know.  I am even asked from time to time, by the ones who really care to do the same for themselves, how I actually do it.  How do I maintain discipline in certain areas of my life?   Here is my simple answer that I have learned over the years.

I have studied discipline, habits, willpower, determination, perseverance, etc. at length.  Through all of my studies of success and discipline, here is what I have found to be the most beneficial to creating and sustaining discipline and habits (good ones), in my life.

  1.  You must commit first.  Seems rather simple doesn’t it.  It really is, but it is so hard to do.  Most people never fully commit.  They kind of commit.  When you commit to something you go all in.  Everything you do is directed towards whatever it is you want to accomplish.  It could be finding a new career, it could be losing weight, saving money, quitting smoking, eating healthier, etc.  You name it.  Until you fully commit, you will never be as successful as you can be in whatever it is.
  2. Have the right people around you.  This morning I was reminded of how important this is.  We all know this is important, however, we all need reminders at times on how important this really is. I have had an ongoing commitment issue with a certain discipline that is important to me. I don’t need to share this with you.  You can fill in the gaps.  This morning once again I was going to not follow through on this discipline and see this commitment through.  I just didn’t want to.  I was looking for reasons not to, versus reasons to do.  You know what that looks like, because you have been there before.  So my wife, put a little pressure on me and reminded me of that commitment.  She pushed me to see it through. She broke my procrastination.  Without her, if I was alone, I would not have done what I needed to do.  I wouldn’t die if I didn’t, but what I was attempting not to do is so good for me that I wouldn’t have benefitted from the discipline.
  3. 21 Days to form a habit is bullshit: There are lots of programs out there touting that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  I love what these programs are all about.  All of them have the right intent in mind.  If you eat healthy for 21 days, you might love the benefits from it so much that you will continue on after the 21 days are over.  If you do some activity for 21 days in a row, you may get so many results from it, that you will keep doing it after the 21 days are over.  Like I said, they all have the right intent in mind.The only issue I have, is that 21 days could or could not be all you need to develop a habit or a discipline.  Disciplines are hard.  Habits are hard to create and extremely hard to break.  I have found that 21 days doesn’t really do much for me.  For example, I have been working out and exercising for twenty years.  I would say I was committed to it and disciplined in it for about the first 10 years. Then I slacked off for about three of the next, and then I have been fully committed again for the last seven years or so. The only difference in all of those years was my commitment level and the people I was and am around that helped me and continue to help me stay committed.

    All of this to say.  I hope you can create a habit within 21 days.  However the chances are it will take much longer than that. I have even heard 66 days before. Again, maybe that works as well.

    Here is what I do know.  I have exercised and worked out for twenty years now. I would say that the last five or maybe even the last three years, it has finally become an activity that without a doubt I must do every single day.  It is so ingrained in me that if I don’t do it, I will not feel the same.  It truly is a habit and discipline now.

So which of the above do you need to do to create some habits and disciplines in your life? Have you fully committed to this discipline?  Have you surrounded yourself with the right people and are you in the right environment?  And lastly, don’t expect it to happen overnight.  It is going to take whatever amount of time it is going to take until you just perform the discipline or habit and you don’t even have to think about it.

To your success and your future.

 

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How to achieve sustained change in anything

I recently finished a book (for the second time) titled “Change or Die”, subtitle: Could you change when change matters most?.  The book is well researched and the data the author includes is compelling and fascinating.

One of the major studies of the book looks at people who have had coronary-artery bypass grafting.  Coronary-Artery bypass grafting is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use CABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease.  The research shows that two years post surgery that over 90% of patients have not changed their lifestyle.  They are eating and living the same way they always have.

The research also looked at a large manufacturing facility of autoworkers.  The facility was on the brink of shutting down. Which would have resulted in everyone losing their jobs.  As we all know our prisons are more full than ever before.  And in 2002 the Justice Department was issuing longer sentences and more arrests, but the re-arrest rate of people who had been previously incarcerated went up from 62.5 percent to 67.5 percent.

All of these studies have one thing in common. The people involved in each of the studies needed to make changes or they would ultimately die, lose their livelihood, or might as well be dead.

Many of us are pretty logical thinkers for the most part aren’t we? At least we think we are.

However, as rational as we think we are, the three things that you would think would motivate us to change rarely does. In the book the author calls them the three F’s.  Facts, Fear, and Force.

I am sure you don’t need to read the book to have seen first hand that the three F’s don’t always work to motivate someone to change.  My guess is you, or someone you know, has used one of the three to persuade someone else to change.  And the chances are they, or you didn’t get the change you were looking for.

So what is it that creates sustained change, and how can we implement it.

The book uses the three examples I mentioned above and shows how applying processes allowed the groups of people facing crisis make the necessary changes and sustain it.

The three ways to create sustained change are:

New Hope: In many cases, people have lost hope or desire in whatever it is they are dealing with. Whether it is an illness, a potential loss of a job, or a life of crime. In each of these scenarios what is required is for someone to sit down with the individual and show them a new beginning, a new way to a different outcome, a possible solution.

New Skills: After a person has been able to see a new vision of their future. They have been inspired by the hope of a new outcome. They must get some new skills. This is critical for change.  You can’t get somewhere you have never been without learning something new. So training and follow-up is required.

New Thinking: New thinking has a lot of parts to it.  It requires a person to have a new environment in which they operate.  They must be around people who help them succeed and hold them accountable to this new life they are wanting.

New Hope, New Skills, and New Thinking are not easy and have many facets to them each.  However, if your desire is to make sustained change you can start by developing hope, getting some training and follow-up, and then surrounding yourself with the right people in the right environment.

As a corporate trainer, it is my job to work with companies and individuals to create sustained change.  Many times someone in the organization realizes that something must change.  Where I help the organization the most, is to show the people within the organization that they are capable of making the changes and then create the kind of training and FOLLOW UP ( I capitalize this to show its importance) to make sure it happens.  It is impossible to change anything without the right kind of follow-up.

One of my favorite quotes in the book is “People don’t resist change, they resist being changed”.  You have to help people change themselves.

Is there an area in your life where you need to make a change?  Are you willing to get the necessary resources to help you make the change?

Contact me if I can help.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

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How to make yourself more valuable

When value exceeds price, at least in the buyer’s mind.  A person will usually be compelled to purchase.  If all things being in line as well.

So the question is this.  What determines value? How do you determine value? What does value mean to you?

Seth Godin who is an author and speaker, addressed value in his book titled Linchpin, subtitle: Are you indispensable?

He addresses the definition of value head on and states that the market determines value this way.

He said that value is like a stair case.  The least valuable at the bottom and the most valuable at the top obviously.

At the bottom and working your way up you begin with:

People who can lift. Simple enough, people who can pick things up.

People who can hunt. These people know the target and go find it.

People who can grow. Take something that already exists and help grow it.

People who can produce something. These people can get you results in something or get others to produce.

People who can sell. These people can influence others to make a purchase.  As I always say, successfully persuade someone to separate with their money to solve a problem they might have.

People who can connect. These people are so influential that they can connect the right people with other people.  They connect the right companies with other companies.

People who can invent/create. Lastly, the most valuable on the hierarchy are the people who can create or invent something. They create something that didn’t exist before that can enhance your life or solve a problem.

If you want to become more valuable to yourself and to your company.  You must figure out a way to bring more value to your company.  All of the categories on the list are needed, but like everything in life and in business, some things are just more valuable.

Valuable usually means there is less of it, or fewer people who can do it.

As you look at the list, the last three fall in to the latter category. Fewer people can or are willing to do it.  Which is why it is so valuable.  Very few people want or can sell.  If you can’t sell, you aren’t going to be very good at connecting people or businesses, because you aren’t very good at selling.  And then lastly, if you create or invent something, you must be able to sell someone on why they should use it.

Do you want to become more valuable to your company?  One of the best ways to do this, is become more responsible and connected to the revenue of the company. You can do this by being in sales (you already are and you just don’t know it), or you can become better at selling. Or you can become a connector or an inventor as well.  You can do this where you are or you can become more valuable to the market by doing these things for yourself and the market.

To your success and your future.

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The one question that changed my life

When is the last time you bet on yourself?  I mean really bet on yourself.  Did something outside the norm.  Required you to do something that had a level of uncertainty. Did something that you weren’t too sure how it was going to actually turn out.

If you are like most people, the chances are you haven’t done this in a very long time.  Maybe the last time you did it was when you took your current job.  Or when you went on that date with that guy or girl.  Or attended the meeting that you weren’t too sure about.

Whatever it was, and whenever it was, the chances are it has been a very long time. So the question I have for you, is the exact same question I asked myself years ago.

Why not me?  Yep.  That is the simple question that changed my life forever. Why not me?

Let me give you some context around it.

Why not me?  To run this company.
Why not me?  To get a Masters degree.
Why not me? To quit this safe and secure job, and actually do better somewhere else.
Why not me?  Find someone who loves me for me and I want to marry.
Why not me?  To own as many houses as I want to own.
Why not me?  To run an 8 min. mile.
Why not me?  To have homes located in several parts of the country.
Why not me?  To make a millions dollars a year.
Why not me?  To run this department or division.
Why not me? To read over 35o books over a period of time.
Why not me?  To get paid for something I love to do.
Why not me? To own my own businesses.
Why not me? To save enough money to buy several houses.
Why not me? To leave a profession and go to another profession.
Why not me? To cash bigger checks.
Why not me? To make more in one day than I do the entire year.
Why not me? To get all of my debt paid off.
Why not me? To achieve all I have ever wanted.

My life changed forever, when I started asking myself this simple question.  It changed my thinking from.  “Its not for me”, to “Why not me?”  I changed that statement into a question.  That one question expanded my thinking to think 100 times bigger than I had ever thought before.  I have accomplished some of the things in that list and some of them I am still pursuing. And as I look back on the last ten years when I started asking myself that question, it is very simple on what I must do going forward.

And that is to keep thinking bigger, dreaming bigger, pursuing my current dreams and the ones that I would never even think about dreaming of.  If you aren’t embarrassed to tell others your goals and your dreams, the chances are they are not big enough.  Go big!

So the question I have for you is this “Why not you?”

To your success and your future.

 

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Why I can’t quit, a glimpse in to how I stay motivated.

I’m not sure if this is you or not. But I know for me, it is a constant day-to-day struggle.  I believe it is the human condition.  I don’t think I am wired any differently than anyone else.  I think we are all similar more than we are unlike.

When faced with difficulties, challenges, pushback, obstacles, and any other words you want to include in this collection of words that prevent you from your desired result. I believe we all have to ask ourselves one question.  Why I can’t quit.

I don’t know if this is actually a question, even though it seems more like a statement to me now than ever before. I guess because I have stated it to myself over and over and over again.

When I have made the thirtieth phone call of the day.  I make this statement. When I want to slow down after running two miles of a six-mile run attempt. When I say lets shut it down now, you have been working for twelve hours. When I want to cut my workout short. When I want to take it easy.

The statement or question, (Why I can’t quit) however you want to look at it.  Has become a phrase that I tell myself over and over.  Here are my answers to this question.

Why I can’t quit:  Because if I do I will not achieve my potential.
Why I can’t quit:  My wife needs me.
Why I can’t quit: It is way too important.
Why I can’t quit:  I have two brothers, one didn’t get to live the life I have the opportunity to live.
Why I can’t quit: Because I am here now, and why not do everything I can do to have the best time while I am here.
Why I can’t quit: My health is too important.
Why I can’t quit: My dad worked for forty-five years waiting to retire.  And he didn’t get that chance. I refuse to do the same.
Why I can’t quit:  I don’t ever want to have a gut or love handles.
Why I can’t quit: I like to eat nice foods with my wife and drink wine.
Why I can’t quit: Because someone needs to hear what I have to say.
Why I can’t quit: Quitters don’t get paid.
Why I can’t quit: This is easy, someone else has it a lot harder.
Why I can’t quit: Because I just started.
Why I can’t quit:
I know I am faster. 
Why I can’t quit: I know I can do it. 
Why I can’t quit:
I hate the feeling I have when I know I could have done better.
Why I can’t quit: 
Because you told me I couldn’t
Why I can’t quit: 
Because this little problem is nothing compared to what others are going through.
Why I can’t quit: Maybe this will work
Why I can’t quit:  
Because I need it.
Why I can’t quit: 
Because I want it.
Why I can’t quit: There is something bigger I am destined to do and this is the path.
Why I can’t quit: Because most people do, or already have.

Bobby Jones the great golfer said this about golf. “Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course — the distance between your ears.”

What he was saying is that golf is a head game.  The person who has the ability to think through things, keep their emotions in check, focus on what is important in the moment, keep the bigger goal in mind, and then lastly execute the game plan, are the people who can achieve success on the golf course. The technical skills necessary to play golf are important, but they don’t mean anything if your head is not where it needs to be. While on the golf course there will be challenges, obstacles, and barriers, but you must keep your head in the game and execute.

I believe the golf course is no different from life.  I don’t golf that frequently, however, I get up every single day and play the game of life.  And so do you.  We are blessed to have this opportunity.  Just like Bobby Jones said about golf, I believe the same is true for life.  The game of life is played on a five-inch course as well, the distance between your ears.  Which is your head.  And I think we all have to do things to keep our head in the game.

Remembering why I am doing something keeps me focused on why I must persevere. Why I must not stop and why I have to keep pushing through any obstacle that comes my way.  Remembering why also keeps me motivated to do the things I may not want to do or even hate to do.

The why, is what will keep you motivated long after you have lost the desire to do whatever it was you were going to do, or needed to do.

I shared with you a little tactic I use.  What do you do?

To your success and your future.

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3 Reasons you missed the opportunity that knocked on your door.

I am sure we have all heard the old saying when “Opportunity knocks you have to answer the door.”  A little old school saying.  It is so old school that the chances are, you don’t even hear the message that lies within this little saying.

I know a lot of people who are walking around saying that their card has never been punched, or their numbers haven’t been picked, or opportunity has never showed up and knocked on their door.  And the problem with all of these statements is they are false. You have had many chances. Opportunity has presented itself several times. Your number would have been picked if only…., etc.

No matter who you are, opportunity has knocked and you just didn’t answer the door. You were too damn busy playing on your smart phone to answer the door.  Or you had your damn ear buds in and didn’t hear it. I am joking.  Kind of.

#1:  You were too busy to see hear it or see it:  I told you I was kind of kidding.  The reality is that you were probably too busy to see it or hear it when it knocked.  I don’t know what you were doing at the time.  However, my guess is you were doing life.   You know.  Working, taking care of kids, making sales, dealing with problems, and just doing what we all do.  So yes, you were just too busy to get the door.

So what do we do.  Well, life isn’t getting any less busy is it?  Nope. We have to constantly make sure we are aware of what is going on around us.  We have to take the time.  Yes. Take the time, and make the time. To become aware of what is going on around us.  There are clues all around us.  We just have to be aware of them.  We have to be more intentional about what is around us at all times.

#2: You weren’t ready: I can remember when I bought my first car.  It was a 1984 Ford Tempo.  It cost me $400.  Within three weeks I was without a car again. The motor blew up or locked up.  All I had saved was the $400 dollars and that is all I could afford. About three weeks later a better car popped up and it was $1200, and I didn’t have the money.  So I couldn’t buy the car.

The point of the story is that when the opportunity to buy another car popped up, I wasn’t prepared,  because I didn’t have the money.  I wasn’t equipped with what I needed, money.  To buy the car I wanted.

Another situation where I learned a lesson from a leader I had many years ago was along the same lines as this. I had just finished my bachelors degree and I was thinking about getting a Master’s degree.  I went to my Senior Leader at the organization I was with and asked him if he thought I should pursue the Master’s degree.  His answer was simple: “It is nice to have when you need it.”  Meaning, when an opportunity presents itself and you need a Master’s degree, it will be nice to have it.  What he said was when you need it, you want to make sure you have it.  All you can do is prepare yourself now so when the opportunity presents itself you are ready.

#3: You weren’t ready to hear it:  The other day I was listening to one my favorite radio sports guy.  His name is Colin Cowherd.  He is an intelligent host. He is smart business guy, and a smart guy in general. He not only talks sports, but he gives a lot of advice that can provide you success in your life. I digress.

He had Jay Cutler on the show.  Colin was actually out that day so there was a fill-in host that asked the question. If you are a NFL football fan, you know that Jay Cutler just recently retired to become a commentator.  He was a starting quarterback for more than ten years in the NFL.  The host asked Jay this question.  Keep in mind.  Jay had a reputation for being a highly emotional guy, that wasn’t a very good teammate or leader at times.

The host asked him, “If you could go back to the rookie (first year in the NFL) Jay and give him any advice on how to be successful in the NFL, what would you tell him?”

Jay answered the question very quickly with this answer.  He said “I couldn’t give that guy any advice, because he wouldn’t have listened to me.”  Meaning at his younger age.  I think 22-24, he thought he knew it all and wouldn’t listen to any advice anyone would give to him.  He had to figure it out on his own.  He wasn’t coachable and wouldn’t listen to the people who have already been there before and learned the hard lessons.

Ask yourself.  Has opportunity knocked for you and you were in one of the above three places at that time?  The chances are you were.

So what can you do about it. Very simply is this.

You have to make the time to become aware of what is going on around you.  It could be in your organization, your team, your business, your industry, the world, etc.  As I said before there are clues all around us that things are going to change.  We just have to be aware of them.

Secondly, you have to prepare.  Prepare today, so you will be ready tomorrow.  That is the only way you can stay ahead of it, and be ready to take action when an opportunity presented itself.

And lastly, be open to feedback and coaching.  There aren’t any new situations that someone out there hasn’t already been through.  We just have to be open to hearing it from them.

To your success and future.

 

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