Friday, February 17, 2017

Three Good Things

Three Good Things

I am just coming back from class and I had one of my students say the coolest thing. She was reading a book and it suggested that we always end our days in the same way. Take a pen and write down three good things that happened during the day.

As soon as she said that, I knew I was going to give it a try. Starting tonight, I am going to end every day the same. I am going to make sure I get me some sort of diary type book and a pen. I am going to keep it near my bed.

Then I will be ready. The last thing I am going to do every night before I lay down is that I am going to reflect on the day and write down three good things that happened. I am not necessarily going to expand on them. Just jot them down. I want to start doing that every night.


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Friday, February 3, 2017

Don’t Let the Dreamer Die with the Dream

Dreamer

Barry Manilow wrote some amazing songs. One of his best was about love but for me it is about life. The song, I’m Ready to Take a Chance Again, talks about someone who lost a love. For a long time, that person walked around in a fog. Finally, he decided to take a chance again.

Two Ways Dreams Die

To me, that song is such an amazing picture of what life is like without a dream. We have all had dreams die. Sometimes it is because things didn’t work out. We wanted something. We gave it our all but things just didn’t turn out as we hoped they would. The dream died and we are left with disappointment.


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Friday, January 27, 2017

Be Careful with “The Facts”

Library

Facts are never wrong. However, they are always incomplete. Without context, facts mean nothing. For that reason, we must be careful when we are a consumer of facts.

If you have ever seen a debate on television or the internet, you quickly realize that both sides are usually “informed.” They always have their own set of lock-down irrefutable facts that support what they are saying. Yet when the facts start flying, they generate a lot of heat and very little light.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

There’s Nothing Obscene About Being Obscenely Wealthy

Mansion

On Monday, the New York Times ran an AP article titled Stark Inequality. This article made the following statement, “It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few… Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.”

I have news for the New Your Times. Rich people don’t “hold” their money. They don’t spend much of it. They invest it. Here is why that is important to all of us. The very life-blood of any economy is the money invested into it.


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Very First Thing Great Leaders Do

leader

Let’s say you are the coach. You’ve just selected a potential superstar with the first pick of the draft. He could become the greatest power forward of all time in the NBA. What do you do now? That was the situation Gregg Popovich found himself in back in the summer of 1997.

The Spurs had just selected Tim Duncan with the first overall pick in the 1997 draft. Everyone knew Duncan would go first. Nobody else in the draft compared to him. He was a coach’s dream. But now that Coach Pop had him, what should he do? He did exactly what any great leader would have done.


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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year’s Reflections

reflecting-on-2017_1

It is time to start off another year. That means a few things are definitely predictable. People will stay up too late on New Year’s Eve. People will watch a bunch of football. It will be really cold in some parts of the country.

There is one thing that is more predictable than any of these. Here is what we know we will see. We will see a lot of people make New Year’s resolutions. We will see most of them break those resolutions. For this reason, we will see a bunch of people say that New Year’s resolutions are bunk.

I seriously doubt if I can write a blog post that will settle the matter of New Year’s resolutions. However, as somebody who has spent his life in the serious and systematic study of success, I think I can provide a useful perspective. Before you make a resolution, break a resolution, or resolve to never resolve, consider this. New Year’s resolutions are good. New year’s reflections are even better.


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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

To Be Terrific, Get Specific

target

One of Zig Ziglar’s signature lines was this. “Most people are wandering generalities rather than meaningful specifics.” What he meant is that most people don’t have a clear vision of what they want to be or do with their lives.

To illustrate this, Ziglar spoke of Howard Hill, possibly the greatest archer of all time. Hill won 196 straight archery tournaments. His trick shots were unsurpassed by anyone. He was the archery king of the silver screen. But Ziglar explains that, in ten minutes, you could learn to shoot a bow and arrow more accurately that Howard Hill. All you would need to do is learn a little basic technique and put a blindfold on Hill.


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Friday, November 18, 2016

Marketable Skills Part 8: Settling Into a Career

waste-treatment-plant

In her book Grit, Angela Duckworth tells of her father’s career strategy. He didn’t get an education in what interested him. He got his education in chemistry because it would lead to a good job. He got the good job as a chemist for DuPont and worked there his whole live. By the time he retired, he was the top research chemist in his field at DuPont.

Her father was the antithesis of the advice to “find a job you love.” In fact, many people might deride him for settling for a job simply to make money. Yet here is what Duckworth observed. Her father enjoyed his career.

It wasn’t the chemistry he enjoyed. He enjoyed providing for his family. He enjoyed being valued at work. He enjoyed knowing that he was being paid for what others valued. He enjoyed being admired for how well he did his job. Basically, he got his satisfaction not from the job but from a job well done.


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