Sunday, September 30, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-30-12

"Problems are just exaggerated situations,
most of which do not yet exist."

-- Albert K Strong  

Life has a way of giving you what you need, not necessarily what you want, or at least it may appear that way. Sometimes these needed things come in the form of lessons, enlightenment, maybe even pushing me off the edge into some sort of decision and action.

Ever have enough to fit in a 9"x12" envelope, but all you have to put it in is a number 10 envelope? Or, as it is often said, you have 20 lbs of stuff and only a 5 lb bag. Well, you get the idea. What is the most common response or reaction to this situation? It's called being overwhelmed. It's more than you can deal with even though God said (or at least someone said that about God) He wouldn't give you more than you can handle.

Well, I was thinking about that today. I certainly have enough for a 9"x12" envelope and I can so relate to the number 10 part not being enough, yet what can one do with that situation? Being overwhelmed is the same as being paralyzed, so that won't work. Thinking happy thoughts doesn't seem to do it either.

Then I thought that it is just the way I am viewing it that causes that whole problem scenario to develop. If I view these issues as problems, I am creating a scenario, or a short mental movie of the possible ramifications, which in this movie are assured to be unpleasant.  

This led me to consider why these things are problems to begin with. They are just things, or situations, or circumstances. If I wasn't attached to them emotionally, they wouldn't have any power. It would just be what is, even as obvious as that seems. Sort of like the air is and the ground is and they clouds are and the wind blows and such. It is only the energy I assign to it that causes what is to be a problem. And, it is only my calculating how many problems I don't have immediate solutions for that creates that thing called being overwhelmed.   
Problem Solved. There Isn't A Problem. 
Spread Some Joy Today--Never say, 'how are you?' again. Try, 'are you rocking your world today?' Way better!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-29-12

"You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
in any direction you choose.
You're on your own,

and you know what you know.
And you are the guy
who'll decide where to go."

-- Dr Seuss  

I have often found myself wanting to help; to help someone else from a place that doesn't appear to me in their best interests. I've often wanted to help so much that it affected me negatively. Some people call that caring, and I call it manipulation.

What I have found mainly through the hard knocks of many trials at being a helper is that I need to be a lover instead. But, not the kind of lover that is often tied to this arrangement. I have never heard or read any one say it better than Dr Wayne Dyer. He said that "love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care about to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you." Jesus said it so much shorter and beautifully as well when He said to "love your enemies."

In all the years of trying to help others more than they wanted to help themselves, I've learned to do that just for a very little while, then let them, or rather, allow them to do as they choose for themselves and not to insist or expect that they do anything that would satisfy me, or that I expect. Just love them where they are and what they've chosen, even when they claim to not have chosen the circumstances they are in, or if they blame external parties for their situation. It's interesting that when I stand back and really watch, it is absolutely obvious that it is a personal choice for them.

I have a big heart and want to help but it isn't very effective at achieving that objective--or at least, the way that I would want to see it be effective. I've tried that in business as well, and the best thing that I can do is just to love them where they are and not do anything more than that (after my initial heartfelt efforts, of course).

I don't see it as resignation, or abandonment, or not being compassionate. Instead, I see it as healthy for both of us. If I were to remain disappointed in their choices, it wouldn't really be love. Unconditional love seems hard at first, but once I truly understood the concept of it and was willing to stand on that and be good with it, all that changed. . . for the better.  

I Would Love To Have The Same Love In Return For My Own Choices. . . And Consequences. 
Spread Some Joy Today--Now it makes more sense to love yourself FIRST.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-28-12

"Resumes are ridiculous."

-- Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
from the book REWORK

When I first turned the page and read this heading on page 210 of REWORK, I screamed to myself, 'YES!' Having been in a position to interview and hire a lot of people over a lot of years, I hated resumes and gave them almost no notice. I always thought they were a joke. Like people actually do all that stuff they put in there and do it in that manner? Right. And, oh by the way. . . they're looking for work!

Jason and David go on after the heading to say, "We all know resumes are a joke. They're exaggerations. They're filled with "action verbs" that don't mean anything. They list job titles and responsibilities that are vaguely accurate at best. And there's no way to verify most of what's on there. The whole thing is a farce." That is said so well and I am in total agreement.
I remember people telling me that I had to have a resume and I think I made one once, but no one paid attention to it either. There is a whole industry built around writing resumes, choosing the right paper, fonts and layout. Heck, in the movie Legally Blond, Reese Witherspoon had the perfect, scented resume. . . and pink if I remember correctly.
What's worse than a resume to me is employers who seek them, want to see them, or heaven forbid, make decisions based on them. Just talk to them. It's pretty simple stuff. At least you might be able to pick out the BS from the facts a little bit because it's pretty certain it's almost all BS on the resume.
Not only have I never hired anyone from a resume, I've had a few positions in my time and not once was I hired from a resume, nor even an application. What a concept.

Nothing Beats Talking Face To Face.

Spread Some Joy Today--Send out a Thank You card to someone you're in appreciation of. What a treat it is to get one. Make sure it's in your own writing.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-27-12

"Effective leadership is not about
making speeches or being liked;
leadership is defined by results not attributes."

-- Peter F Drucker

This quote is funny when I read it among a hundred quotes about leadership from a variety of authors. It's funny because it jumps out at me and demands my attention.
There are so many quotes on leadership and the vast majority of them are focused on the attributes, whereas, Mr Drucker says it the way it really is: there has to be measurable performance.
As a sales manager for so long, I've hired a lot of salespeople who were really nice. They could strike up a conversation and keep the prospects interest and they would get along like the best of friends, but there was one problem that was too hard to ignore. It was that they could seem to learn how to close the sale. They would talk up a storm, but the prospect would run out of time and be on their way without the product or service.
Managers can be that way too. I've seen managers in my travels who just can't seem to get the job done. They might be able to perform on their own, but management is all about getting things done through others. I am always mindful to remind myself of that basic fact so that I don't forget what the real job is.
Leadership can be a complicated affair, but I agree that effective leadership is getting results.

Ready, Aim, Lead!

Spread Some Joy Today--Enjoy the weather today--regardless of what it is. Really enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-26-2

"No man will make a great leader
who wants to do it all himself,
or to get all the credit for doing it."

-- Andrew Carnegie

When I'm around other managers high ranking and lower ranking, I pay attention as much as I can in how they handle affairs--particularly, small affairs. It is fascinating to me, and quite illuminating.
By small affairs I mean whether they take your call or not, how they schedule their time, whether they are approachable or not, how calm or impatient they are, whether their focus is on you while you are in front of them or whether they are elsewhere mentally, if they take calls while you are there, whether they allow interruptions during a meeting, and so on.
Having been in management since 1975, I am fully aware of how much there is to do and how busy one can get, but it is the ones that are so busy they haven't time for the truly important things that miss the target as far as I'm concerned. I mean those who have no time to discuss an idea, a potential benefit, considering it instead an interruption to the massive list of tasks, meetings, messages and so on.
I've met many managers who won't go to lunch because they are so damn important and need to be near the center of things. Yet, lunch is one of the best places to make deals, learn new ideas, develop relationships, exchange important information and so much more. In fact, I think taking someone to lunch is one of the most important things to do as a manager. There is nothing like sharing food with someone away from the telephones and paging systems and other interruptions to get seriously important things done.
Andrew Carnegie said it another way that is a little more clear: "The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it." That comes down to the most dreaded of tasks for most managers: delegation and potential loss of authority. Yet, it is the thing that moves the needle, for it will never move very far by the manager doing all his own work. I know. I've tried. And, I still find myself struggle some with delegation even when I know it is the best scenario. The reasons for holding on I would suggest are quite meaningless, really. The true task of a good manager is a constant learning and the active practicing of letting go.
In letting go, expansion is possible and likely. By holding on, we become the manager that all those who work for dread: the controller. I don't care how good a manager you are, you cannot possibly control enough to expand to your potential by operating in that manner. It will only be through finding the right people and empowering them that expansion is possible, and in so doing one will find a far more rewarding management career. And, it is only through delegation that you will have the time and patience to get out of the office and get the really important things done.
Take Someone To Lunch. Or Breakfast. Or Dinner. Get Out Of The Office. Go Make A Deal. Hear A New Idea. Enjoy!
Spread Some Joy Today--Let go of your need to be important.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-25-12

"Admiration, praise, and appreciation of another
must not be at the expense of ourselves."

-- Albert K Strong

When we can celebrate people and their accomplishments without putting them on a pedestal, or ourselves in a pit, what a beautiful, empowered, and joyful place this is.
It's always been easy to see famous people, or people with a certain authority, title, or position as greater than myself. Things might go through my mind such as, 'they can do that because they are great, and I will never be able to do that,' or, 'they were in the right place at the right time,' or, 'they got all the breaks and went to Harvard, and I didn't have any such luck,' and so on. It's easy to put people on a pedestal and it is also easy and somewhat typical for us to see ourselves as so much less than that, thereby putting ourselves so far below in a pit.
We're happy to praise them, lift them up, but when it is at the expense of our own self-worth or worthiness, it is damaging to both parties because we are not giving them the true joy we feel, but some odd sort of worship, and we are feeling less than them, or lacking at the same time. Yet, that is often how I felt about all those many people who were cooler, more popular, seemed to succeed without trying, and more. Fortunately, I've learned how to let most all that go and am feeling so much more alive as a result.
Now when I see someone doing so well, I am in awe of their skill and ability without taking anything from myself in the process. Because of that, I find that my joy for them is far exceeding what it ever was in the past. At the same time, I am uplifted in myself because deep down, we are all connected and I've come to realize that I am actually part of the whole instead of being outside looking in.
In this, I have risen above my ego so to speak. Another way to say it is that I follow my bliss. It seems to me I've heard that somewhere. . . and it is so applicable (thanks Joseph Campbell). As I focus on that, I find more and more bliss. Whereas in the past I thought there was a limited storehouse, I have now found a truly unlimited supply.
Bon Appetit.
Spread Some Joy Today--Relax, you're soaking in it. . .

Monday, September 24, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-24-12

"People think they're going to start out
in an industry, work for a little while,
and find instant success.
They want the fire,
but they don't want to go out and chop the wood."

-- Brandon Steiner

I just started another book I just heard about, ordered and received by Brandon Steiner called, You Gotta Have Balls - How a Kid from Brooklyn Started from Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire. I haven't even gotten very far into the book and it is loaded with gems like the quote above. This quote came about as a result of remembering a woman that came up to talk to him after he spoke at an event. She shared her story of how she and another started a business and had a lot of great ideas, but she didn't understand why their ideas weren't working. They expected results so much faster and it was frustrating for her. He said that he sees the same kind of thing all the time--they want the fire, but don't want to go out and get the wood.
He goes on to say, "no matter what business you're in, it takes many years to establish a business, build a reputation for yourself, and achieve success." Then, he makes it more plain: "If you think you can enter and succeed in a new industry in only a year or two--you gotta wise up. Because it's just not going to happen."
Regarding making it in today's world market he says, "while I don't think it's more difficult to "make it" today than it was 25 years ago, I do think it's more confusing. We read about young tycoons at start-ups like Zappos and LinkedIn, and we get lost in euphoria when we learn how their companies were instantly valued in the billions, after being around for only a couple of years. We're so starstruck that we fail to consider all the work leading up to those instants."
Finally, in the Introduction, he says, "throughout this book, I discuss various habits and traits necessary to be successful. But I can tell you right now that the number one requirement, by far, is commitment.
Well, that might be depressing or encrouaging depending on where your head is at, but I'm sure there are plenty more uncut diamonds of wisdom in this wonderfully written book. Check it out if you've a mind to.

"You Have To Wake Up Every Morning And Look In The Mirror And See Someone Who's Committed To Whatever Your Trade Is. You Have To Find Leadership In Yourself." -- Brandon Steiner

Spread Some Joy Today--Check your excuses at the door. This is a no-excuses zone.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-23-12

"Don't regret where you've been
if you like where you are."

-- Brandon Steiner

As soon as I saw this quote, I loved it instantly. It is sage advice. If we like where we are, there's no point in criticizing anything that went before because it all added up layer up layer to what is now here. Even if there was pain before, it was all for the accumulation of the current now. If that is a good place then everything that went before is what got us here.
Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You.
Spread Some Joy Today--Focus on the positive aspects in your life today.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-22-12

"Human beings have the remarkable
ability to turn nothing into something.
They can turn weeds into gardens
and pennies into fortunes."

-- Jim Rohn

If you haven't had the chance, I highly recommend studying Jim Rohn. He was a master in philosophy and a master of language. Master is too tough a word I think. He was an artist in philosophy and language. He had a unique style and measured delivery and all with his trademark humor.
I began studying Jim after I first heard him speak on a cassette tape someone gave me in 1980. I think I've read all his books and listened to most of his audio programs. I used to have several, but I loaned them to people and now I have none, but I do have some of his books on my shelf. Yet, I think I could recite much of his stuff from memory. I used to listen to them over and over again years back, and they are with me today as much as ever.
So, if you haven't had the chance, I highly recommend getting his audio, The Challenge To Succeed, and reading his book, The Seasons of Life which is very short, or The Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle which is also short. If you have time and energy left, get his book, Leading an Inspired Life. I predict you will be blessed by them. There are so many famous and not so famous people who grew up studying Jim Rohn. You can see all of his products at
In the quote above, this is an example of the artistry of language I mentioned. It is all about another great word, enterprise. He speaks of enterprise in such a beautiful and inspiring way in this quote. It is also accurate.
"Enterprise Is The Hope Of Our Future." - Jim Rohn
Spread Some Joy Today--Begin to remember your remarkable ability. . . blow the dust off and remember. . .

Friday, September 21, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-21-12

"As I grow older,
I pay less attention to what men say.
I just watch what they do."

-- Andrew Carnegie

Of all of the leaders in business I've studied or read, Andrew Carnegie tops the list. There are numerous reasons I feel that way, and the above quote is one of them. I've used this quote several times. It is a favorite of mine. It is a favorite for two reasons: One, I have learned to do the same thing with others, and two, it inspires me to be a person who does instead of just talking about what I'm going to do or what I have already done.
Another reason he inspires me is that he was relatively poor, came to the United States as a boy and did so well for himself that he was one of the richest men in the world, then took that wealth in the latter part of his life and gave most of it away to great causes.
Another reason is that he is the person who inspired and encouraged Napoleon Hill to study success and to write about it in what became one of the most published books on the planet still today, Think and Grow Rich.
He was a doer and a leader of men and industry.
His inspiration is a reminder for me to shut up and get on with it. You know the drill. . . I'm going to write a book someday, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that, Wouldn't it be great if I. . . and so on. I can just picture Andy sitting in his chair with his cigar watching and smiling to see what I'm going to actually begin doing and then follow through and complete. His statement is a powerful reminder to me.
I also hear many others saying what they are going to do and I say, 'wonderful!' or some other encouragement, then I wait and see what happens.
If All The Things That Were Going To Be Done Actually Got Done, The World Would Be A Very Different Place.
Spread Some Joy Today--do something!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-20-12

"Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy.
You might know how to read,
but more importantly, what's your plan to read?

-- Jim Rohn  


Both skills and strategy are things that can be improved on a regular basis, but it generally doesn't take so much skill if there is a great strategy. If there's a bad strategy, I don't think skill can overcome it. So, I agree with Jim that the strategy is the more important of the two and the thing to spend more time and energy on.

Consider how this has played a role in what you do, and how this role may change over time. I think the strategy is still going to be the leader. . .  

More Strategy, Please. . .
Spread Some Joy Today--When was the last time you skipped down the sidewalk, down the hall, or across the room?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-19-12

"No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a
bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire
a fig, I answer you that there must be time.
Let if first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen."

-- Epictetus

You know we live in an impatient world--well, certainly in America. We are so used to going to the grocery store and buying oranges any time, along with tens of thousands of items right at our fingertips ready to drop into the cart. When the season for oranges is done here, it is a new season in another part of the world and we ship back and forth keeping the stocks filled as much as is possible.
When we are creating something anew, this learned impatience is a roadblock sometimes.
If we wanted to grow our own oranges, we would need seed, or a partially grown tree, planted and cared for, often for much time before the fruit is even available, let alone developed and ready to pick. In the early stages this may take more than a season and in many cases several seasons. There must be a commitment to the task and a belief in its successful fruition, and a steadfast patience while caring for the project. In addition to that, there is the weather to contend with, which changes fortunes in the agricultural industry on a fairly regular basis.
This is true with oranges, nuts, sheep, cows, or fill in the blank. It is also true with many projects that we might take on in our business life or our personal lives.
Take for example, starting a business. It doesn't just materialize out of thin air, but requires thought, action, more thought, more action, change, and more change, and hopefully if it is well cared for and the belief is strong, it may come to thrive. Even then, according to statistics, only a small percentage of new businesses even make it five years. There may be a certain weather pattern there too.
There is more to it than meets the eye. It is less the idea that is the value, and more the persistence and commitment. Even a grand idea must have those two qualities in order to succeed at being grand.
Whatever we decide to do, and we know that decisions are so important, we need to commit to its success if we believe in it. This may require spanning a drought here and there, and keeping our eyes fixed on the goal. We may experience storms, but know that they are the calluses that help us get the work done. But, mostly, and more than we might think, we need to believe in the project continuously, believe in our own ability, and we need patience to allow the process to come to completion.
All Good Things Take Time, Belief And Patience.
Spread Some Joy Today--Pretend like you're having the time of your life today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-18-12

"Movivation: the impetus to achieve more.
Inspiration: the knowledge that you are more."

-- Alan Cohen

Isn't this quote beautifully written, and it makes that difference so clear. It's an inspiration in its own right.
Motivation, whether self-inflicted or accepted from another is typically short-lived. I was taught as a young sales manager to motivate my team, and I also learned at a young age that I don't have so much control over that, and even if I did, I'm not sure of the outcome.
Then, there are different kinds of motivation. One is "the carrot." I think it would be better as a piece of chocolate than a carrot, but that's how I learned it. Hang something that someone wants out in front of them and encourage them to go for it. It is much like the rabbit in a greyhound race. They might even catch it, and then we need a new carrot.
Of course, there is "the stick." The actual stick is only used in hidden places, but the stick just means coercion. Make them do it or else. What a strategy. Talk about short term. . . Who knows how long they even stay around?
This all comes down to the "something to gain, or something to lose" mentality, or often expressed as the pleasure or pain motivation. Which works better? It depends.
But the best is inspiration. It is also the least available to manipulate. It isn't something we can give out, but only create the opportunity for perhaps. Inspiration is from within and I love how Alan states how it is "the knowledge that you are more."
It is beyond motivation, which is external, and means to be imbued with the spirit to do something. It is the spirit that makes all the difference. That is also sustainable. It is how art is created and songs are written, businesses are built and entrepreneurs excited. It is the stuff of achievement, but even more than this, it is the stuff of life.
Motivation Is Trying To Force Something. Inspiration Is Allowing The Energy To Flow Through From Within.
Spread Some Joy Today--Get excited about your ability to do. What is up to you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Daily Inspiration 9-17-12

"The best way to destroy an enemy
is to make him a friend."

-- Abraham Lincoln

Wouldn't you love to have a friend around with the wisdom and common sense of Abraham Lincoln? I think it would be so interesting hearing his famous quips in real life.
I am grateful for them now because most that I read are so timeless. Wisdom has a way of being that way.
This quote above is one of my personal favorites, and I've taken it to heart in my life more and more as I've grown. I don't see any sense whatsoever in having enemies of any kind. Struggle and fighting do not achieve long term objectives. The best use of our skills would be to turn the tables on a potential enemy and make them a friend. What a difference that makes for all concerned.
There Is No Need For Enemies. One Enemy Is Too Many, And You Can Never Have Too Many Friends.
Spread Some Joy Today--If you have any so-called enemies, today is the best day to change them to friends. Start now.