Monday, October 31, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-31-11

"It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped."

-- Tony Robbins

"The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow.
Sow an act, and your reap a habit.
Sow a habit and your reap a character.
Sow a character and you reap a destiny."

-- James Allen

I was reading something today and it caused me to think about destiny and how that has always bothered me. It reminds me of the phrase, meant to be, and the word, should, as if there is something that we were meant to be or do or become, and that is something that we should do or become because, of course, (you saw it coming, right?) it was our destiny.

Then, I was very involved in church for a lot of years and people were always talking about God's will and finding God's will for them, and following God's will and on and on they would go about seeking God's will, etc. I always thought that made us more like puppets than anything, or that when we didn't do the thing we should, the consequences were upon us.

Then, there's the parents, and the favorite word of my parents was should. Don't do as I do, but do as I say. You should do this and that.

Teachers too, then employers as we became job seekers. I cannot leave out the governments, local, state and federal, you know. There's plenty of shoulding there too.

Truth is--at least as I've found having been down all these other paths--that as I look back, I can see so clearly how I have shaped my own destiny and that no one, not anyone has shaped it for me. There were co-creators in the process, but I was always in control because I was always in control of my thinking and always 100% in control of my own decision making.

Every decision created a result and in the process of my life in looking back, I see some real doozies. Although, I had lots of excuses and explanations for all of them that absolved me of any real responsibility. Heck, I practiced that most of my life. Now, that in very recent years since I have accepted full and complete responsibility for my thinking and decisions and results, it is actually empowering to look back and realize that it was all my own doing all along. Yes, I made a lot of money and spent more than I earned. Yes, I quit when I could have continued. Yes, I reacted most of the time rather than responding. Sometimes I didn't know any better, but not very dang often. Most of the time, I made conscious decisions.

The other thing that is important now for me is that I no longer look back in any regret, whereas I used to look back that way a lot. It's all good. It's okay. They were just decisions and results. It happens to everyone all the time. And now that I know fully what I am doing, these decisions all bring me joy. I find that fascinating!

My Destiny Is In My Mind.

Spread Some Joy Today--by getting excited about other people's little successes. Be an encourager and joy will follow you everywhere.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-30-11

"When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting,
I go ahead on it and make trial after trial until it comes."

-- Thomas A Edison

As I was driving today, a very confident thought about persistence came through me. It was the realization that there is only one thing standing between us and success and that is ourselves. The only way you can truly fail is to quit.

Some think, 'I will try this and see how it works out,' as if working out was really in question or as if working out was a destiny thing or if the success gods are happy that day. The other thing about that is the word try. It is so weak. It indicates the possibility of failure in the word itself. It might succeed. . . then again, it might not. The if, come, maybe idea of it is funny.

As I thought about it, I felt so confident in the ability to succeed by strictly having the desire strong enough and the unwillingness to fail or quit.

I love how Thomas Edison says, 'When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting. . .' He doesn't determine his success later through trial and error, he determines it up front by deciding it is worth it, that it is important and that he is committed to it. Then, and only then he says, 'I go ahead on it. . . until it comes."

Jim Rohn says it this way, 'How long should you try? Until . . . '

So, I'm absolutely confident in the fact that the only thing stopping us from doing a thing is ourselves. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes on persistence:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." -- Calvin Coolidge

"Never, Never, Never, Never Give Up!"
--Winston Churchill

Spread Some Joy Today--Think of some kind words of encouragement to say to someone you know. Now say them.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-29-11

"Success is the sum of detail."

-- Harvey S Firestone

One foot in front of my other and I move forward. One action laced to another is progress.

One thing that I have learned to love about my life is in the act of the accumulation of it, and how layer upon layer adds what sometimes seems like nothing much at all, then I look again and see more than I was aware of. Then as I look back I see this long trail or layers--so many even, that I cannot even fully see them as individual layers, but more like clumps or groups of layers.

I've gotten to the point that I am excited about the smallest of layers knowing that as one is added to another, there is not only more, but a synergy of more in time. If I decide to do something, I know I can achieve a certain level by just moving and adding layers, and that whatever my speed, which is totally my choosing, the layers will still accumulate in that time.

In that I can do anything I want to do that I will focus on and grow in the experience of. Anything.

Decide. Start Moving. Experience. Grow.

Spread Some Joy Today--Is there something you've always wanted to learn or do? The key is deciding, then doing something toward it. The rest will come.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-28-11

"I have a resistance to change in things
that I feel comfortable with and that I'm used to."

-- Dennis Quaid

"Men become accustomed to poison by degrees."

-- Victor Hugo

Maybe you can relate to this. . .

My computer was six or so years old and I use it almost every day--especially in the last few years running an Internet business--it gets a lot of use. My flat screen monitor was giving me fits and starts and I would turn it on just right and it would work great. Then it got slower and slower and finally it didn't come on any more. Monitors are so cheap now, what was I waiting for? Sure, we're a small business and we watch our expenses, but hanging on to stuff that isn't working doesn't make any good sense, right? I mean, most people would get that, I'm sure, but I was holding on. . .

I finally went out of dire necessity and bought a monitor. Just the basic one, of course.

Back to my computer. This thing is slow and getting slower. I don't play games or any of that, but I'm opening programs and uploading photos, video and all sorts of things we need in our business and it's going slower all the time. I sort of get used to it, know what I mean? So finally, it's lethargic, so I take it to the computer shop and they de-virus it and clean out my registries and all that geek stuff. It's better, but very slow.

So, I talk to Comcast. They convince me of the virtue of Business Class and I go for it. They finally come and set it up, its still so slow. Call the computer guy. There's a bus problem. (Truly I think it should go under the bus. . .). It gets last rights. I go buy a new computer, bigger, faster, better. It's hooked up and it is greased lightning! So fast I don't know how to act. It's awesome.

I could go on. . . Well, one more. . .

I have this chair I sit in. Nice chair, but easily 8 years old and not what it used to be. My partner prods me to buy a new one. He finds a deal and we buy it. I love it. What a difference! Who knew?

It seems that this happens a lot to me. I get used to poor performance. I get used to the keys sticking on certain letters so I learn to hit that letter harder. Little by little I get used to inferior products, worn out products, bad service, poor communication skills, being put on hold, people not calling you back, and the list could go on. I don't focus here, but it's here and I learn to accept and endure.

But I don't have to. . .

Those investments in the computer, monitor, keyboard, chair, new book, audio program, whatever, are investments in my growth, my better productivity, my sanity, my peace and my joy.

Oh, How Easily We Can Become Dull Blades When The Sharpener Is So Near. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Just go get that thing or things that is going to put the fast back in speed. You'll notice the difference immediately and wonder what took you so long. . . or is that just me?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-27-11

"How do you deserve a fortune?
Render fortunes of service."

-- Jim Rohn

Zig Ziglar said this memorable quote: "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want."

Steve Jobs just passed and his biography by Walter Isaacson was just released a few days ago and I'm sure it is selling like crazy. I just downloaded it to my Kindle so I can read this massive work. As I was thinking about Steve, his legacy and how he has influenced almost an entire planet, I thought about Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn because they taught me a long time ago that it was all about service and the more people you can be of service to, the greater the reward can be. Steve Jobs was in the extreme column when it comes to being of service to many.

It's also interesting for me to think about the past 50 years and the technological progress that has been made. It is astounding.

My first personal computer was an Apple II+ with 64k of memory. We didn't even know what a megabyte was. It had one 5.5" floppy disk drive, and I added a second drive so I didn't have to keep switching disks to save my work. It cost $2,500. I bought it from my boss who won it in a contest but didn't want it for $1,700. Those numbers are ridiculous today, aren't they?

One of my salesmen got one of the first Macintosh computers, and I saw the first full page screen monitor made by Apple at a friends office who did ad layouts and graphics.

My partner just bought the latest and greatest Apple 4 phone, leaving his Apple's 2 and 3 behind. Another partner used his iPad.

When you think of all the products that have come from Apple alone it is massive enough, but what I like to think about is how those products and those ideas have been of service to humanity. Just think of how far and widespread Apple's devices and technology has served and is serving and will be serving.

What is much more interesting to me is going back to the seed of the idea, getting together with Steve Wazniak, discussing ideas and possibilities, then in a garage tinkling and creating a first prototype product. Stop there. Now picture today juxtaposed to that shot. It makes the word incredible seem so shallow and weak.

So, now think about how each of us are of service to many or not so many. I work with a lot of businesses and see how they are of service to many and the more they can be of service to, especially lasting service, the more successful they are.

What it all comes down to is serving, doesn't it? The rewards are different depending on how we serve, but it is all about the quality and the quantity of our service to each other.

To Serve Or Not To Serve, That Is The Question. . .

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about your personal service at work, at home, to yourself. Yes, don't forget about yourself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-26-11

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential
to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.
It overcomes almost everything, even nature."

-- John D Rockefeller

I was thinking about desire tonight and watched an older movie called Billy Elliot. It is a wonderful movie about a young man who eventually becomes a famous ballet dancer. He was drawn to it as a boy and he had to work very hard at doing the actual dancing, but the desire was strong in him to keep trying. Finally he got good enough to apply at the Royal Academy of Ballet, and this question was asked, and his answer was quite telling about his perseverance:

"Tutor 1: What does it feel like when you're dancing?

Billy: Don't know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going...then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity."

The bold italic text is mine to have that part of his answer stand out.

Many times we think persistence is all about effort--nose to the grindstone, and all that. That can work, I'm sure, but my experience with perseverance and getting through is more about desire and how that desire plays in your emotions and your thinking. In this, it has nothing at all to do with effort.

Effort is a natural result of desire because part of human nature is to move; to do; to experience participation physically, but it is not something that is required in the normal sense that we might think about effort, labor, sweat, and that four letter word, work.

What drove Billy was how it made him feel. It was desire. He wanted to do it. He was not even sure why until that question was asked, but it made him feel good to do it and he enjoyed himself so much that he got lost in it.

This kind of motivation will keep us going far longer and much more joyously than working at it ever could. So desire and the feeling about it is critical to its success.

And, it's not about the goal or the trip toward it. Sometimes people say it is the journey, not the destination. In other words to focus on the journey and not the destination. But if you think about the Billy Elliot scenario, it isn't about the destination or the journey, it is about the desire and the feeling. I've heard Esther Hicks say that it has nothing to do with effort, and now I think I understand that. So glad I watched that tonight.

If It Feels Good, Do It--And Pay Attention To That.

Spread Some Joy Today--Send someone an inspiring note today. Just for the joy of it, just in case you needed a good reason.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-25-11

"My own dreams fortunately came true in this great state.
I became Mr Universe; I became a successful businessman.
And even though some people say I still speak with a slight
accent, I have reached the top of the acting profession."

-- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Not to mention, two-term Governor of the State of California. . . or is that govenator? Ah. . . but he's fallen from grace, hasn't he? Along with Clinton, Ashton, Tiger and oh so many more. Then there's more drama with the never ending Brad & Angelina & Jen triangle, the latest Demi and Ashton heartaches. Is it true what they're saying about. . .?

It's almost impossible to miss the headlines at the check out counter, on thousands of Internet sites and more. It's the latest what's wrong? Why is it wrong? Who did the wrong? Who else thinks it's wrong? The outrage and disappointment.

I remember realizing many years ago that whenever a manager leaves an employer, they can never do right again. It just seems like human nature to feed on the dead and wounded. Or is that vultures that do that? I can't remember. Hell, they could have been superstars, but once they leave, they're losers.

There's two ways to have the tallest building and not very many people seem interested in construction when you see the headlines, hear the squawking and gossip, feel the hot emotion.

Or, at least that's what it seems like. . .

Truth is, there are plenty more folks than we might think who are very much interested in construction rather than destruction, what's right instead of what's wrong, excited and enthusiastic about the future instead of disappointed and dismayed and holding on to the past.

It all comes down to that word that began in the Garden of Eden: judgement. Or was it Judgement? In either case, it is something that we all have the power to use and we all have the option to use it in any way that we choose.

That other thing I learned in that book woke me up to the reality that the log in my own eye was larger than the specs I would see in others. Yet I grew up with that judgemental influence all around me and it is still with me in others today, so I could go back and join the crowd, or. . . I can practice looking in the mirror.

I Choose Practice!

Spread Some Joy Today--Today is what's right day. Anything and everything you look at today, or experience, ask what's right about this? It'll change your life!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-24-11

"The real measure of your wealth is how much
you'd be worth if you lost all your money."

-- Unknown (The scribe was on vacation)

As you consider this phrase, you might think, 'I'm not wealthy, so this doesn't apply.' I beg to differ, as I think we are all wealthy and some of us just haven't discovered our own wealth. To some it might be money, to others something else.

Regarding money, I love how Jim Rohn puts wealth into perspective: "After you become a millionaire, you can give all of your money away because what's important is not the million dollars; what's important is the person you have become in the process of becoming a millionaire." Coco Chanel says it her own way: "There are people who have money and people who are rich."

If you really think about it, the only thing money can buy that is really important is physical comfort. It cannot buy happiness, peace of mind or any of the other gems of life because those are attitudes that can be adopted by the poorest of the poor should they desire to do so. These are states of the mind. And, so is health, and so is wealth.

In my experience, what so many people live with for far too long, including their entire lives sometimes, is their perceived lack of wealth. As we focus on the lack of anything, we create a deeper and wider chasm of lack and our view across the chasm to prosperity is blocked by our discontent.

One of the best ways to let this all go is to realize that we are all wealthy and to recognize our wealth. In this way we can become more generous, comfortable within ourselves, experience more joy.

Yesterday, I briefly talked about some writers like John Grisham. Think of the wealth that he has brought to us with his work; his passion; his joy. I've been thinking and appreciating Jack London lately as well. What magnificent wealth he left behind as if it is a superfund foundation for the betterment of humanity.

Maybe we don't all reach this far. No matter. We all have sufficient wealth and it is the discovering, reinvesting and distribution of that wealth that is our greatest joy.

Here is a much simpler lasting legacy that continues to provide joy:

Open Your Vault Of Wealth. There Is Plenty To Share. It Will Buy Things Money Cannot Buy.

Spread Some Joy Today--Joy is contagious, and it is such an easy thing to have. To have it, decide to be joyous. It is really that simple.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-23-11

"Discipline is the bridge between
goals and accomplishment."

"We could all use a little coaching.
When you're playing the game,
it's hard to think of everything."

-- Jim Rohn

Three on our team went to a author/writing seminar put on by two people, A J Greer, an author, and the other author which is also a client of ours, Wendy VanHatten of VanHatten Writing Services. This was part two of a two part class and I've learned much from it, as has others on our team.

One thing that came up today gave me the inspiration for today's daily inspiration, and that was finding time to write. We are all so busy with our lives and since we aren't full time, highly paid writers, we need to fit writing that book, novel or whatever into that busy life somewhere.

Just over a year ago, I made a decision to finally actually write this book called Commercial Truck Success that I've been wanting to write for several years. To help me along, I hired Wendy to help me get that job done. We got going pretty good for several weeks and then I began getting busier and prioritizing in such a way that the book didn't make the cut.

In the last 60 days or so, we have made so much progress to the point that the book is almost done. We are just doing the final editing and rewrites with a goal of that process being done by the end of the month. I feel very good about the product and expect to have it published next month.

Here are some things that I've learned from this project:

• My first book was written in 1990 and I did it all myself and would never do it that way again. It is so great to have an editor and people to help remind me to stay on track, help me to be better and so on. We all could use a little coaching. I like having a team. Yes, it costs money, but it is so worth it--every penny.

• Allow time for mistakes. I had this idea of talking the book and having Wendy write it. It wasn't being lazy, but somehow I thought that would be more conversational or more interesting. We found out that it was a tough project that way, and I found out that I talk so differently than I write, liking the writing better.

• Set a deadline. I never had a deadline until about 30 days ago or so. I should have remembered C Northcote Parkinson's famous quote: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

• It gets better and better by rereading and rewriting. Allow time for that process between you and the editor.

• Don't share it with others until it is in the final edit arena. I sent out some copies for feedback a little prematurely in that since they were sent, I have rewritten at least half of the book.

• Practice is a key ingredient in becoming a better writer. I've wanted to be a writer since I was a teenager; however, I never spend much time practicing toward that end, and especially not with any kind of consistency. It wasn't until I read about some famous authors and how much writing they did every day that I got a better perspective. It's easy to think that it comes without much effort, but it is generally a fallacy.

• Write a lot. One of my personal motivations to writing this Daily Inspirations is to practice writing and thinking. It's easier to get better with practice.

• Pay the money, get the help. It is so worth it that it is silly looking back thinking about the expense. It's not an expense, it is an investment in yourself.

• Share what you know. One of the things that came up in class today was making money by selling your book or writing. That's cool, but what I think is far more important is the sharing of your expertise, knowledge, perspective, and experiences. We all have something to share with one another and since I am an avid reader, I so love that those people took the time and energy to put themselves out there for me to enjoy and learn from. I hope they got rich in the process, for I know that I did.

So, if you're thinking of doing a book, hire Wendy or someone like her. Put your team together. You can be sure that John Grisham has a team, and James Patterson has a team, and Jim Rohn had a team. And, though they had a good team, it was their willingness and desire to put themselves into writing that makes it all worthwhile.

If A Tree Falls In The Forest And No One Is Around, Does It Make A Sound?

Spread Some Joy Today--Share your talents with others for the joy in it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-22-11

"Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned
his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and
devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the
essence of life, contemplation, meditation. . . tooting, howling,
screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling
bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void
spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation."

-- Jean Arp

Well, I don't know for sure, but maybe Jean Arp is going a bit far. But today, it sort of felt that way.

Had a meeting that we recorded at Starbucks this morning. It is noisy inside virtually every Starbucks I've ever been in. It's either the machines to make drinks, grind coffee, people talking or the music playing. So we tried sitting outside thinking it was a little quieter. And it was for about two minutes, then a Harley drove up to the stoplight, a bus turned the corner belching out noise, the tuned exhaust of the pickup, the boom, boom of the subwoofers. It was deafening or so it seemed. We went back inside and dealt with that noise.

I've heard all of these noises many, times--almost every day, but today it was like all these things were in slow motion; like they were all coming to me. I longed for silence.

There was a time when I couldn't go to sleep without music, listened to music in the car all the time, listened to it at home. It seemed like I had to fill that empty space with something and music was the preferred thing.

In recent years as I have gotten older, I've discovered a relative quiet in comparison. I work at my computer with no added noise other than the keyboard. I can hear the birds outside with the door open. Cars go by once in a while, but it is fairly quiet.

I think I used to be afraid of silence. That sounds strange to even write, but I think it was true. I had to fill that silent space with some kind of out front or background noise. Now, I delight in the lack of it, love nature sounds, and the peace of hearing myself think.

Where Is That Cone Of Silence When I Need It?

Spread Some Joy Today--Find something to compliment people on around you and express it to several. It need not be elaborate, just sincere. It can be as simple as, 'I like your hair.' You'll leave a trail of joy behind you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-21-11

"You can start right where you stand and apply
the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more
service and better service than you are now being paid for."

-- Napoleon Hill

In my early 20's as I began my career, I had the distinct privilege to study some of the greatest words written for business and success. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling by Frank Bettger, The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz, The Magic of Believing by Claude M Bristol and many more.

All of these and others were about being of service, doing more than you get paid to do, looking out for the best interests of the customer, believing in yourself. As I eagerly embraced these concepts, the reality of the places that I worked made what I learned ideals though they were never meant to be such. They were all giving practical advise learned from personal and tried experience and experimentation.

As I tried to live my life according to many of these things, there were so many distractions that I began to lose sight of what I believed to be true and these ideals became harder to reconcile.

Not one company that I worked for adopted these basic truths about going the extra mile and giving more than paid for and so on. Oh, there were bits here and there, but the philosophy was changing with the wind so much of the time.

All of this is an advantage to me now in business for myself. I now get to see if I can live my now business life as I wanted to in my 20's. It's been almost four years now and I feel like I would have to say that, yes, we are living it. Does that mean we don't make mistakes? Absolutely not. But, I don't look at them as mistakes, but an opportunity to learn, grow and improve.

I gave up on trying to change all those companies I worked for and let them that are still in business do as they may, and I am very pleased that I've taken the challenge to fulfill these so called ideals as a leader in my business.

I love all of my clients, even those that have been challenging. They cause us to rise above and expand and develop and become more, and to provide even better service or communication. We try very hard to develop great relationships with all of our clients, including those that have left us for one reason or another. That's the way love is, and love is very much a part of what we do.

To be able to do these things makes me feel wonderful.

Pause On Your Ideals If You Must, But Don't Give Up.

Spread Some Joy Today--Fundamentals don't change. Take joy in that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-20-11

"You need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy.
You should be thinking about how to make your project
grow and succeed, not how you're going to jump ship.
If your whole strategy is based on leaving,
chances are you won't get far in the first place."

-- Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, from ReWork

I've known some people that focus on the exit strategy more than the success strategy. One of those people was me.

As a sales manager in an auto dealership hiring and training sales people, I found a number of people who had more exit strategy than success strategy. Many were waiting for a better opportunity, much like James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff, where he is always saying that he's just on his way to Australia. Just passing through.

Sometimes we might think, what will I do if it doesn't work, the we begin making a list, when completely ignoring the what if and focusing on the success would change the whole attitude and likely the aptitude as well. Some say, 'well, you have to weigh the pros and cons, you know.' No. . . .you don't. That isn't a requirement at all, and it can even be counterproductive.

What is required to succeed is a focus on success, not an avoidance of failure! What is required for health is a focus on health, not avoidance of disease! What is required for happiness is a focus on being happy, not an absence of challenge.

I can now clearly see that any 'failed' achievement in my past was not focusing on the successful outcome, which eventually became lack of commitment, then seeking a viable exit strategy. There's too many things to worry about once we go down that worry road, so there isn't any point in doing that. It doesn't matter. What does matter is our commitment strategy.

It's Time To Make It Work. Period.

Spread Some Joy Today--It's sort of funny, but when failure is not an option, success is a given. Hasn't it always worked out that way with that kind of commitment?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-19-11

"I know there is strength in the differences between us.
I know there is comfort where we overlap."

-- Ani DiFranco

I had an interesting conversation with a new friend this morning and an interesting insight at the same time. It was powerful for me because it was something rare in my experience. That rareness was a simple and relatively short sharing of similar philosophy of life, though it wasn't the similarity that was what made it special.

My experience is that most conversations, even with long-time friends is about trivia. Whether it is positive or negatively oriented is good to be aware of, but it is generally shallow and superficial. There might be a statement here and there that might be lightly debated about an issue, but generally not much more. It is more about opinions and events.

About 20' feet away was a group of men assembled as a chat group I'm assuming. Some friends who get together and chat about stuff. I overheard much because of the volume and it was all trivia.

I think that many times we are afraid to open up, to discuss a subject that is deep within us, to allow a significant sharing to occur. Perhaps it is that we think that the other person thinks so differently. I love this quote by Swami Vivekananda on that subject: "All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret to everything."

So, it is really special when we allow ourselves the vulnerability to express our inner beliefs. In this realm, it is more about feeling.

Generally, I walk the middle road. I sway to and fro just enough to be thoughtful, and to encourage allowing of alternative thoughts. I am appealing to a wide audience is a good way to look at it. Yet, I have specific beliefs that I have formed that may not be so main stream, or might even be controversial to many. It's not that I mind a bit of debate, but I don't want to cause any one else stress I guess. So, I don't share them, or I only discuss them within the inner realm of me, myself and God. Or, if I do share, it is just a bit, without depth. Based on what I've seen in others over the years, this is probably fairly common.

The insight re-realized today is that we need to find one or a few key people to discuss deeper things with. The value of that is clarification, expansion, and greater understanding that only comes from their listening and feedback. As I talk to myself, my feedback is so predictable, but as a friend listens and responds, growth is evident, even in agreement.

Soulmate Is Another Way To Say That.

Spread Some Joy Today--Be open to new encounters. You never know what new benefit will come from it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-18-11

"Some people see thing that are and ask, Why?
Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?
Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that."

-- George Carlin

Otters holding hands

Today, I was out for a walk and noticed something as I looked down over a bridge in a residential area. I've looked over this bridge many times and have seen nothing other than a bit of water, but this time I saw what appeared to be an otter. Then I saw another, and another, and four in all. The last time I saw an otter was in Monterey Bay many years ago, and here right in Fairfield, in a creek, there were four otters.

I was mesmerized watching them diving and watching me and playing around. They are such effortless swimmers and hardly even move the top of the water with their silky smooth movements.

As I'm looking over the bridge for probably 15 or 20 minutes, many cars went by and along comes another walker, an older guy (had to do it). So, I said, 'Hey, there are four otters down here!' and he didn't even glance over, but instead had this means-nothing-to-me look. I thought, wow! Here are four otters, such a rare sighting and he isn't the least bit interested.

A few minutes later, this guy comes up in a motorized wheel chair. He seemed taken by them and was even talkative a minute or two. Finally, I needed to move along and I left with one of the otters trying to eat a fish that was almost as long as his or her body. It was a very interesting walk with a very interesting encounter. I'll have to go visit them tomorrow if they are still around.

So, the thought struck me as I continued, some people are not impressed with otters. Isn't that just the way life is. Some people are just not interested, no matter how special it is. They got their own thing going on.

And, as it is also in life sometimes, I was.

Some People Just Are Not Impressed, Or Interested.

Spread Some Joy Today--by not allowing what others think bother you--even when they don't like otters. Go with love. You can't go wrong ever with love.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-17-11

"Good or bad, everything we do
is our best choice at that moment."

-- William Glasser

I love this quote because I think it is a great way to look at our own choice, and decisions.

Often in the past, and even for short bursts occasionally today, I would lament my choices because it appeared that this choice was a poor choice and that created more debris to deal with. Often I would try to analyze and try harder and so on.

But the Glasser quote above speaks well of avoiding lamenting the past, accept that we did the best with what we had to deal with at the time, that a decision was made, and there is always a result. If the result isn't what I want, the thing to do is start from here and move on, and not go backward for any reason since I cannot change the past no matter how much it is analyzed or thought of.

To start where I am and move forward from here makes perfect sense to me.

It's All Good. Let's Move On.

Spread Some Joy Today--Do some little nice thing for someone today. Just for the heck of it. . . and the practice.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-16-11

"Anyone can negatively criticize. It is the
cheapest of all comment because it requires
not a modicum of the effort that suggestion requires."

-- Chuck Jones

I was looking through some books for something and sat down for a few minutes with Anthony Robbins' great book, Awaken the Giant Within. As I perused it once again briefly, I saw again the volume and depth of content in this book. It also reminded me about some of the people I have known over the years who knew that I read these psychology, self-help, motivational books, who would say some critical thing that only demonstrated that they hadn't a clue, such as, 'those guys are just out to make a bunch of money and rip people off.'

My first question is always the same: Have you read Awaken the Giant Within? or whatever book or author they might be speaking about. The answer is always the same: 'No, that's just a bunch of _____ (fill in the blank).

It is so incredibly easy to criticize anyone or anything from the comfort of our armchair, and fact has nothing to do with it.

Of course, if there was a legitimate argument about what was actually inside the book, then we could have a lively debate!

I saw a comment about an ex-politician the other day who used to get criticized and laughed at on a regular basis years ago, and then it all came back to me how I've participated in much of it over time, more so when I was younger, which, if you know what I mean, was just a few years ago. . .

Then tonight I realized what is missing. What is missing is appreciation. It may be missing in our own life, and it is certainly missing from the people and things that we may criticize.

As I sat there for a few and began appreciating the time and effort it must have taken to do the project of that book, to do those seminars year in and year out and all of the foundational things that brought Anthony Robbins to where he is today, it was a staggering amount of appreciation. In addition, having been to a weekend seminar of his and been with him live for many, many hours, along with all the other books and tapes I've been through of his, that appreciation is even more personal and full.

This is as it is with anyone or anything we criticize. There is so much more to them that we see; so much more depth and accumulation than is visible, whether it is a President of the United States or the school janitor. And, if we only take a different tack and begin to find something to appreciate in them or it, that will then attract more to be appreciative of and pretty soon we may even be loving them instead of putting them down as if they were somehow beneath us.

What a difference this one change will make in the person being criticized, along with an equal or even greater benefit to the critic.

Cheap Shots Always Are.

Spread Some Joy Today--Find ways to appreciate people today--even your own critics. You could even be their secret admirer!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-15-11

"One of the things I learned the hard way
was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged.
Keeping busy and making optimism a way
of life can restore your faith in yourself."

-- Lucille Ball

Discouragement, and being discouraged is a very common thing that I'm sure we have all experienced. Merriam-Webster defines being discouraged as "to deprive of courage or confidence." The opposite of this would then be to have courage and that is defined as, "[having the] mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty."

So, I was thinking about this thing called being discouraged or without courage. I read a number of quotes about keeping your nose to the grindstone, not allowing yourself to get discouraged, focusing and such, all of which are difficult because they require so much effort mentally to pull yourself out of a place. Only the heroes do that. The rest of us are on our own to find a way out.

So, in all my study of life, I've only found one thing that works every time to get back on to a more positive stance, and I learned it from Jerry and Ester Hicks. It is called "Moving up the emotional guidance scale process." Here's the scale from 1 to 22 on human emotions:

4.Positive Expectation/Belief

Now, believe me, this is the easy way requiring so little effort, but just requiring an awareness of where you are on the scale and the willingness to move to the next level up little by little. No magic. No tricks. No courage needed. Just awareness and some small degree of willingness. After all, it is a requirement that you want to feel better, right?

Here's another key. It is hard to move too many rungs up at a time, so have a bit of patience and mosey your way to feeling better.

If at the level of discouragement, moving up to blaming someone or something for this problem is actually a positive move--a move in the right direction (up the scale). You don't need to spend any more time than necessary at any level you are on. Move as fast and slow as you like, just make sure you are going in a better direction. Once you get to the level of Hopefulness, you are in the positive realm and everything above this is where we probably want to be.

As you use this scale (feel free to print it out so you can visually see it too), over time, you will find that your emotions don't swing as far from positive to negative as they used to. You might even get to the place where your "down" emotion level is, say, contentment or boredom and your high is joy.

One other thing. It seems as if there are more negative emotions than positive, but there are many, many levels of joy--perhaps even unlimited levels of joy--and that is exciting to me.

So, anytime I begin to become aware that I'm feeling worry or blame or discouragement, I immediately know what to do to move away from those emotions. I just move up the scale until I am back where I want to be. The more I do this the faster that turn is.

One last secret is that for me, the freeway speed way to move from a negative emotion is to begin appreciating things, even very small, seemingly insignificant things, and try to just make mental or even vocal lists of things I can appreciate that very minute. It only takes a couple of minutes of that and I am appreciating much larger things, and even the negative emotions I was just feeling because now I know what to do that is easy and fast to change my feelings and attitude for the better.

What A Powerful Tool. Thank You Jerry & Esther!

Spread Some Joy Today--Share this email with some friends. What a joy to help someone else have a way to immediately change for the better.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-14-11

"Every situation, properly perceived,
becomes an opportunity. . ."

-- Helen Schucman and
William Thetford

Lately I've heard a number of situations where something has changed that seems to have been beyond the control of the person affected. This caused me to think about change, circumstances, and our responses to these changes.

It's easy to be frustrated (wanting something to be something it isn't), but what I have been finding is that the more excited I get about the changes even when I haven't got a clue what is coming next, the better everything goes. Now, I have to practice on purpose, because I wasn't taught this growing up. In fact, I was taught to respond poorly to change and that change always works against us and that there is good luck and bad luck and so on.

Often it is someone else creating a problem for you, such as, someone on your team is out ill for an extended period. This kind of situation can cause even more frustration because it isn't happening directly to you, and then it is at the same time.

Jack Canfield in, The Success Principles, talks about that in Principle 31: Embrace Change. He has a formula that he teaches to people going through unexpected changes. The formula is E + R = O. As in the case of someone on your team missing in action, E is the inevitable aspect that the change exists. R is your response to the situation, and O is the outcome. So it is Event + Response = Outcome.

The obvious key to the formula is our response or reaction and it is what creates our outcome, not the event. The event is sort of benign at this point, but the reaction or response can be healthy or toxic.

As I have realized over many years that most of the things I worry about don't come true, and that things generally work out well regardless of how they seemed at the beginning, then I can begin to practice more often in purposely responding more positively to a change--even though I have no information yet to base that on. It is sort of like taking it on faith. Now, I am slowly practicing getting excited about a change--even losing a client or some such event--because that event could easily turn into a very positive change by allowing more time to spend on a better client, or other scenario.

In fact, there has been significant support that getting excited instead of a negative reaction is the perfect thing to do, and I've seen many of the changes turn out to be the best thing that could have happened.

"Change Brings Opportunity" -- Nido Qubein

Spread Some Joy Today--Allow yourself to get excited about changes. You can start with the easy ones. Find some joy in it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-13-11

"Nothing is more powerful for your future
than being a gatherer of good ideas and information.
That's called doing your homework."

-- Jim Rohn

What I love about always seeking a new book is the ones that light a fire in me and inspire me and enlighten me and educate me. Since my twenties, I've done a pretty good job of continually moving through books and I've gathered such a wealth of ideas and information and help to change my life, make it better, more interesting and more effective and loving as well.

Now, every book doesn't achieve these objectives, although I do seem to get some benefit out of each. Yet some just take me off guard right away and pull me in. One I just started today did this and all I've had the time to read is the Introduction. Matter of fact, if all I or you read was the Introduction, I think there would be plenty of value in it. Though I want to read the rest, I thought I'd share a bit about the book, along with a quote that stood out.

The book title is, The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson and it is published by Hay House. Here's the quote: "If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won't like you. It may not be easy, but it's essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs."

Cheryl realized that she was always helping others and pretty much forsaking herself. This was pointed out to her by a personal coach she hired to give her some ideas, and she was a personal coach as well.

Recently, in the last six months, I've been touching on this myself and becoming willing to and even actively practicing allowing others to be disappointed or upset because I've chosen something for myself or that I have chosen not to do something with them. It's an interesting experience when you're generally used to saying yes all the time to avoid hurt feelings, all the time not enjoying it as it could be, because basically, I don't want to do this thing or go to that place.

So, essentially, I am practicing saying no. Jack Canfield, a favorite author says it this way in The Success Principles, "to be successful in achieving your goals and creating your desired lifestyle, you will have to get good at saying no to all of the people and distractions that would otherwise devour you. Successful people know how to say no without feeling guilty." He also recommended two books on that subject. One is, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, by Manuel J Smith, and How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty, by Patti Breitman and Connie Hatch.

Give yourself permission and buy the book by Cheryl Richardson. Carve some space for yourself. You deserve it. Besides, a better, healthier, happier you will be more beneficial to others, right?

It IS YOUR LIFE! Make It Worthwhile To You.

Spread Some Joy Today--Take some selfish pleasure and enjoy it with relish! How about a massage for lunch! Let everyone at work wonder about that joyous smile when you come back from that long lunch. It's good for them and better for you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-12-11

"I have brought myself, by long meditation,
to the conviction that a human being with
a settled purpose must accomplish it,
and that nothing can resist a will which
will stake even existence upon its fulfillment."

-- Benjamin Disraeli

Becoming an entrepreneur is apparently one of the most dangerous of attempts. According to a report found on the Internet, the failure rate of new businesses within the first five years is up to 80%. The statistics vary a bit. What stood out in this report was that "according to Dun & Bradstreet reports, 'Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37% chance of surviving four years (of business) and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years.' . . . Of these failed businesses, only 10% of them close involuntarily due to bankruptcy and the remaining 90% close because the business was not successful, did not provide the level of income desired or was too much work for their efforts."

I can relate to these statistics and I can see it being fulfilled through others. The good news is that I'm within two months of passing the threshold of four years and all looks well, but according to the statistic, the next six years are harder than I've seen in the first four--from a 37% survival rate down to only 9%. Wow. That's a lot of failure.

But, notice the other part of the statistic: only 10% of them close involuntarily. . . and the remaining 90% quit for various reasons.

What that tells me is desire is the foundation, and there is as wide a variety of desire as there are people.

Benjamin Disraeli's quote is at the guaranteed success end of desire, where other people may say, "let's try it and see what happens. . ." Having had the experience of closing a one and a half year old business when I was 31, I know how easy it is, and yet traumatic it is to quit what could have been a growing enterprise. It's easy to get caught up into something that distracts you from your original goal. It's like going down the road and taking many side roads just to see what is there, when staying on the main road would almost surely get you to the goal.

What changed in me is the level of desire. I won't quit, and there have been many, many opportunities. I'm also committed to the main highway until the goal is in sight, then I'll consider some side trips.

There Is Always A Way If You Want It Enough.

Spread Some Joy Today--Want to change lives for the better today? Smile.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-11-11

"The poor don't know that their function
in life is to exercise our generosity."

-- Jean-Paul Sartre

"One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want."

-- Proverbs 11:24

Today I had an opportunity to think about being generous again. I think that I am a generous person in many ways, including with money, but sometimes, I am not nearly as generous as I could be, if you know what I mean.

Many years ago, my wife was a waitress for a living, and I got to see how generous people generally are or not on the receiving end. Then, somewhere in my travels, and I think it came from Jim Rohn, I heard that when you're thinking of how much to tip, we many times will have different numbers in our head. He said to always, without exception, choose the higher amount. I pretty much have done that with few exceptions of the people who provide a service for me, but when it comes to street people, beggars, super market front door organizations and such, I don't so much follow that rule, and I often choose the lesser amount.

Let's say that I have a $20, a $10, a $5 and some $1 bills in my pocket, I will often choose the bill I want to give (probably a couple of $1 bills) and put it aside in a different pocket and give it. Not generous at all in the normal sense except that I gave when I could have walked right by.

Then there are the driveway sign beggars, purported to be homeless people, and such. Recently, within the last year, I've chosen to be more generous from time to time. Not every time, partly because they are in so many driveways, but many times. Today was another opportunity and I chose the highest bill in my pocket. You would have thought I gave him a thousand dollars. He had about 4 teeth in his mouth and was a relatively young man, and it brought me to tears thinking about the life he is living and how rich I am in comparison financially regardless of where I rank next to someone well off. Everything is relative, isn't it?

Anyway, I've done this several times now and it's kind of funny that I don't even miss the money in the slightest. In fact, I may even feel more free and light as a result, whereas, when I gave the smaller bill, I didn't feel that way. Maybe it is true that they're reason for being is to exercise my generosity. . .

So, now I'm going with the original strategy, but across the board. Always giving the higher amount is a good plan, and it probably means more to me than it does to them. Maybe not. They probably like to see a more generous person from time to time, as I used to a long time ago counting my wife's tips with her.

Choose To Be Ready To Spontaneously Give.

Spread Some Joy Today--Choose the higher amount.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-10-11

"Struggle is a clever device through which Nature
compels humanity to develop, expand and progress.
It is either an ordeal or a magnificient experience,
depending on one's attitude toward it.
Success is impossible--unthinkable even--without it."

-- Napoleon Hill

Struggle is just part of what goes on throughout our lives, and though the word struggle seems to generally have a negative connotation, it is only that in the minds of the people who view it that way. It is far better and more productive to view it as a benefit, or a positive than something to avoid.

I know some people that don't go for their own dreams because they don't want to go through the struggle, the challenges, the negatives. They must be seeing it as some kind of mine field where they could get their leg blown off at the slightest mis-move. Yet I have found this to be just a mirage. The reality is that the struggle isn't painful, but joyous and absolutely necessary to move further toward your goals.

Think of it as in baseball. If I am willing to stand at the plate and eye the ball and take a swing at it, I can play the game. As I swing, I see certain results and as I see those results, I make adjustments. In the meantime, I'm having fun and learning at the same time. Sometimes I hit one and I see those results and make adjustments to hit it more effectively. Finally, I hit a home run and I see the results and I make adjustments to hit more of them. Even when I strike out, I did so with enthusiasm and the joy of the game. As I see that result, I make adjustments.

Some of the best players in the game in history strike out 3 out of 4 times at bat on average. They see the result and continue making adjustments throughout their careers. Yet, they have a love of the game--a joy in doing it, learning from it and experiencing it.

Some see everything except the home run as struggle. I see it as part of the game and all beneficial and also joyous because I love the game.

Batter Up!

Spread Some Joy Today--Change your view of common frustrations, and struggles. It is the way you look at these events that determines your outcome. Try a more enlightened view just for a while. Instead of complaining, start praising! It's amazing what a difference a praise makes.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-9-11

Leadership Week

"Lead the way by personal example
and by personal philosophy."

-- Jim Rohn

"Leadership is much more an art, a belief,
a condition of the heart,
than a set of things to do."

-- Max DePree

I was at a small conference tonight of a Christian religious organization and the keynote speaker was a female Chaplain for several police agencies and has been doing this for many years. I loved her talk because she spoke my language. Where many Christians talk about going out and saving souls, leading people to Christ and such, she said that couldn't work in her profession. She said that she deals with people from all walks of life and usually they are in pain, confusion or despair, and that she has to be all religions and yet none. She said that she maintains her beliefs because they are important to her, and yet she must allow that to be set aside at least temporarily in order to be a servant to those souls that are in need in front of her. She does this with love, respect, encouragement, and a servants heart, and she knows that God is with her. And, based on my reading of the Bible, that is exactly what Jesus did.

Max DePree's quote above says something so similar, along with Jim Rohn, both of whom are in my much respected category. I would rate Max DePree's book, The Art of Leadership as the most important book on leadership I've ever read. I've read it many times and bought and gave away at least a hundred copies. You can read it in one sitting and for the rest of your life as well. And Jim Rohn is all about leadership in one way or another.

As they indicate, I also think that you lead by your personal example, your personal philosophy (your beliefs), and your heart, as a servant to those you lead. Some of the tools that come in that bag of assets are enthusiasm, inspiration, conviction, and interestingly enough, flexibility. I inspire (lead) others with my personal example, my philosophy, my conviction, my enthusiasm, and my attitude, or heart. I also think that it is something that we all do in varying degrees. We can do more of it with a willingness to step out and risk a little of ourselves, and then practice the art of leadership often--even when no one is following.

We Are More Than We Generally Allow Ourselves To Be, So Relax, Let Go, Be More Of You. That's Leadership As Well.

Spread Some Joy Today--Feel yourself becoming more of a leader when you encourage others. If that feels good, do more of it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-8-11

Leadership Week

"Interdependence is a higher value than independence."

-- Stephen R Covey

This quote was taken from the first line in the acknowledgements of Stephen R Covey's landmark work, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This is a book I studied at great length just after it was published in 1989, and of course, it is still as much valued today as then when it was a fresh idea.

With this Leadership Week, I've tried to talk about different things than might be typically presented because Leadership is such a wide and deep subject that it takes thousands of books to treat it and it is still being treated anew.

I do love history, particularly certain portions of it, and as I just finished watching the almost 4 hour PBS presentation of Benjamin Franklin, (which if you haven't seen it, is a 10 on my scale of 1 to 10), I was amazed all over again of the depth and width of the man and all that he accomplished, much of which we have long forgotten. To say he was a leader is insufficient. He was a masterful leader and if we were to analyze his genius and his negotiation skills and scientific skills, we could very easily focus in on him as a singular super star.

Yet, as I watched, still appreciating as fully as I could his genius, I see that he is not independent, nor dependent, but interdependent.

The latest news of the passing of a world icon such as Steve Jobs is so similar. Everywhere I see him as the singled out leader in creating the personal computer and leading us into the information age and on and on. Of course, he was a masterful asset in this process, and he is a brilliant genius, yet he knew just how interdependent he was to the creation of any of the assets for which he is remembered.

To me, in all my study of leaders throughout history, the strongest and most successful were aware of their need to depend on others and so always focused on surrounding themselves with talent whenever that opportunity existed. Some one person can always be the visible leader, the icon even, but it is always the interdependence and synergistic alliances with others that creates the success.

Leaders who don't understand this are obvious sooner or later and their legacy is very different. Truth is, we need each other. We need each others market. We need each others skills, and we need each other's ideas. No one succeeds alone. No one.

This Is Not An Excuse To Avoid Leadership, But To Be A Strong, Yet More Appreciative Leader.

Spread Some Joy Today--Think about all that goes on around you that serve you that you don't even know how it is done, or who does it. We are helped in so many unseen ways to have a better life. Isn't that marvelous? Get excited about that!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-7-11

Leadership Week

"The way you would encourage a one-year old
to walk is the same way you need to encourage
your people to succeed, to achieve, and to win."

-- Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer is one of my favorite business book authors because he is so down to earth, and even sometime in your face making common sense rule in sales, management and leadership. This quote is from his latest book, The Little Book of Leadership, which I gave out to my team and highly recommend, along with all of his other books.

This quote comes from Chapter 12, titled, Next Step Leadership, and right after this quote in the book, he states, "Got a mission? Or just a mission statement?" What follows I've talked about many times, and find full agreement with. He says, "Is your mission statement really a mission? Or is it a bunch of marketing, mumbo-jumbo BS about how you're gonna dominate the world, exceed expectations, and build shareholder value? Pardon me while I vomit." My sentiments exactly.

I've been involved in three companies creating and producing a company mission statement and I refuse to go through that crazy process again. It's a joke. Not one of these companies has lived up to their mission statement, nor do they even remember it probably. It was something that was initially all the rage, and is not worth the ink and paper it was written on. At the first company, I was so excited and idealistically enthused about this venture, and at the third, so tired of the BS.

I love how Jeffrey, said, "Got a mission?" That's the ticket right there. Develop a mission and get your team involved, and forget about the committee-molded written statements. Act immediately and with conviction! Follow through! Adjust course and resume! Keep on keeping on! Where a mission statement is just that--a statement, the mission is an activity, a striving toward, a growing model, and can be an encouraging spirit.

I find the best way to lead is to impart the vision as effectively as I can and then encourage, encourage, encourage. This is probably because that is how I best respond to leadership.

It's Not Important What We Are Going To Do, It Is All Important What We Actually Do.

Spread Some Joy Today--Be willing to share yourself and your thoughts with others and let go of the fear of being rejected. It is in the risk that the reward is available.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-6-11

Leadership Week

"Good people are found, not changed.

Recently, I read a headline that said,
"We don't teach our people to be nice.
We simply hire nice people."
Wow! What a clever short cut."

-- Jim Rohn

In my leadership career, this quote stood out for me, and what stood out is the first line and that is why I put space between it and the rest of the quote. It says, "good people are found, not changed." Well, that is a mighty powerful and true enough statement. I surely tried to change a good number of people, and guess what, I don't know that I changed any of them.

Well, aren't leaders supposed to change people? Seems like that's the general idea; however, in my long experience I have found something else powerful about this: only people can change themselves. I cannot change them. It is not up to me. My best hope is that I can appeal to their senses, their interest in having more or being more, and that they might then make a personal decision to go there.

As hard a lesson as this was to learn through many years of trial and consistent error, I finally learned it, and began a constant never-ending process of always having my eyes and ears open for interested talent where ever I might stumble across them. If I found someone that I felt strongly about, I did whatever I could in my power and reason to get them. Many slipped away, yet I retained a sufficient number to prosper anyway.

So, as a leader, here's my recommendations about this. Number one, realize that people can only change if they want to and they can only change themselves. Two, always do the best I can with what I have to work with and to do so with enthusiasm and spirit. And, three, be always on the hunt for people who are ready for an opportunity, and when I find them, do my best to close the deal.

"Sometimes Those Who Need It The Most Are Inclined The Least." -- Jim Rohn

Spread Some Joy Today--When was the last time you skipped? Or, when was the last time you rode the shopping cart a ways in the parking lot? These are childish naturals that adults have disallowed. Go on. Try it. Who cares? It's just a bit of joy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Daily Inspiration 10-5-11

Leadership Week

"Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts.
It is about one life influencing another."

-- John C Maxwell

I've never really cared about titles much. I've heard it said that the title and fifty cents will buy you a cup of coffee. That advice is dated, isn't it? Who has fifty cent coffee?

Anyway, it's really nice to have authority, support and all the resources one needs to be a leader, but that and a buck and a half will buy you a cup of coffee.

When I was a young manager at 25, I thought having the authority would make it easy for me to manage, but it wasn't and isn't and doesn't--and hasn't. I've found that it certainly doesn't help me be a leader. What makes me a leader comes from within not without. It doesn't require authority other than my own and it doesn't require support, it requires vision, and it doesn't require the resources necessary, it requires heart and creativity. And, I've found that it requires more than this--it requires a willingness to allow others to come up on their own; to expand on their own; to grow into things. In a word that would be patience.

It's easy to get impatient with people. The leader cannot afford to take the easy way, and must be much more caring and supportive than this. Often, in my own subordinate experience, here is what separated the leaders from the managers. Leaders bring you up because they see something in you and they want you to succeed. Managers are constantly weighing the pros and cons, mistakes and goals and performance.

Tom Peters said something along this line nicely. He said, "leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders."

"A Leader Is A Dealer In Hope." -- Napoleon

Spread Some Joy Today--Today is buy yourself a Kindle day and get some great new reads. There's nothing quite like a fresh new book to sparkle your enthusiasm.