Monday, September 15, 2014

On Silencing Dissent

The people who are most loyal to you -- who will show up even when there's nothing in it for them, who are interested in your success and not just what you can do for them -- will be the ones who will be candid with you and tell you what you don't necessarily want to hear.

Don't write off or punish the people who have your best interest in mind simply because dissent hurts your ego. Bitterness on your part is a debilitating choice and hinders your growth.

Friday, September 5, 2014

But I Was Here First

The best entrepreneurs have the humility to recognize that they could one day be surpassed in terms of talent, knowledge, performance and quality of service or product.

The best entrepreneurs have the humility to be lifelong learners. They recognize that everyone knows something they don't.

The best entrepreneurs have the humility to admit that the "good old days" were filled with issues of their own and that change doesn't have to be a bad thing.

If you were here first, have the humility to use that fact to your advantage. Don't allow it to become a crutch.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On the Pursuit of Goals

In order to accomplish our goals and dreams, we have to sometimes say no to good but not great things so that there are resources and margin to say yes to the right opportunities. This often means saying no to people who request our resources or time. This usually isn't easy, but it is necessary.

The flip side of this is that we have to allow others to say no to us as well. Too often, when an expectation goes unmet or we receive an answer that we don't want to hear, we read into things and assume ill intent on the part of others where none actually exists.

If you want to support other people in the pursuit of their own goals and dreams, give them room to say no to you without taking it personally.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

On Showing Up and Being Seen

If you are going to show up and be seen . . . especially if you've committed to creating, you're going to get your ass kicked. If courage is a value you hold, this is a consequence. You can't avoid it . . . .

I used to think that the best way to put your work out into the world was to make sure your critics aren't in the arena, but you have no control over the arena . . . The three seats that will always be taken when you walk into the arena, when you share your work with someone, are shame, scarcity and comparison. The fourth I'll leave up to you. -- BrenĂ© Brown

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

40 Lessons Learned

I originally wrote this list in 2009 of twenty lessons learned over the years. I've now added twenty more, some learned while growing up and reinforced in the last five years, and some new. In no particular order:

1. God doesn't need a consultant.

2. Never doubt your ability to justify.

3. It's okay to question everything: your faith, your career path, your political views, your choice of friends. In fact, it's dangerous if you don't.

4. Erase the phrase "oh, they would never do that" from your vocabulary. People will surprise you, for better and for worse.

5. Bad things happen to good people. It's not always because of some moral failing or attracting it into your life because of emitting negative energy into the universe. Believing that you can control everything that happens to you is a philosophy of bondage, not freedom.  

6. If people are really concerned about you, they will pick up the phone to call. The ones who don't call aren't really concerned. 

7. Your mental health is important. We all have issues; some that we don't even know exist. See a counselor if necessary.

8. Life is not so much about being fearless, it's about moving forward despite our fears.

9. Good shoes make a huge difference and the money spent on quality is an investment, not a splurge.

10. You can't be responsible for other people's demons. 

11. There's always a deeper story. Ask better questions.

12. Asking, "why me?" is the same as asking, "why not someone else?"

13. Rocking the boat is not the same as throwing someone under the bus.

14. Jaded is not a healthy lifestyle.

15. Learning how to take a compliment and accept forgiveness are just as important as giving both generously.

16. Comparing everything in your life to your "glory days" or a previous season will get you nowhere.

17. If you've "arrived," you've settled.  There's always more to learn, more to explore.

18. Being "too busy" is a myth. We make time for the people and things that are important to us.

19. Trials make you bitter or better. How you respond is up to you.

20. Being authentic doesn't mean laying all your cards face up on the table.

21. The healthiest people have more boundaries, not less.

22. True humility doesn't hide its gifts.

23. Choose the option with the story.

24. Your children and grandchildren will care more about your jewelry than you do. Buy less, choose well.

25. If you can't give up something for 30 days, you're addicted.

26. The right words at the wrong time are the wrong words.

27. The books you read as a child can spark lifelong passions. Encourage the children in your life to read.

28. People have a right to live fully not just merely.

29. Don't expect people to fight fair. More importantly, don't allow that to make you cynical.

30. The quickest way to turn a good habit into legalism is to insist that everyone else do it as well.

31. Consistent acts of kindness trump random acts of kindness.

32. "Buy all this stuff to simplify your life!" is the new face of materialism.

33. Being a critical thinker and having a critical spirit are two different things. The first requires an open mind, the second refuses one.

34. Your values aren't really your values until they impact your wallet.

35. When in doubt, give people the opportunity to save face. When not in doubt, give people the opportunity to save face. Dignity transforms.

36. Expecting people to be perfect is an exhausting way to live. The people you love and respect will disappoint you. Love them anyway.

37. Blind spots are called that for a reason: YOU can't see them.

38. Social media doesn't make a person better or worse, it amplifies who they already are.

39. If design didn't matter in the grand scheme of things, snowflakes would be ugly.

40. Fresh flowers bring a room to life and are worth including in your weekly budget.