Perseverance: Sometimes “Winning” is just “Not Quitting”

Sometimes it is just facing the direction you need to go and taking one more step.

Sometimes it is just standing back up…again.

Sometimes it is just knowing you will stand up again;. or knowing you will attempt to.

When you face a tough season it is easy to think “When I get through this things will be better.” How you react when one serious blow is replaced by another and then another and then another is the key.

Hoping, Praying for relief, rescue and resolution can be destructive when relief, rescue or redemption don’t show up in a form you recognize.

Studies of Prisoners of War seem to show that those who pinned their hope on intervention or external events to end their suffering through peace talks, rescue missions or escape attempts suffered the most psychologically when events eventually “didn’t pan out” the way they hoped.

Prisoners who were determined to “survive, no matter what” weathered the storm better. While they worked for better outcomes and situations, maintained a positive outlook and strove to improve or maintain their condition; they did not rely on external forces to determine their fate. They “Embraced the suck”. they did not like it, but realized they did not need to. They took on the attitude that “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.

It is not enough to tell yourself (or your team) that “things will get better”. Focusing on surviving the moment and preparing for the next storm seems to enable survival better than hoping for relief. This is especially true when you find yourself in an environment when challenges roll in one after another and sometimes pile on top of each other.

Like it often does in life.

This is another reason it is more important to know how far you have come than to focus on how far you have to go.

See you on the mat.

Goals and Resolutions: Plugged in and charging

Green Charging symbolAre you charging or “plugged in”? It’s about imagination, enthusiasm and consistency.

The other day somebody asked me if their laptop was charging and I told them it wasn’t. They unplugged the cord, the icon changed that’s when I realized that I had been looking for the wrong icon. I wanted the drama of the lightning bolt telling me that the laptop was “CHARGING!” the two prong plug symbol just let me know we were “merely” plugged in. After a while, I came to realize that not only do we need both, but being “plugged in” to our dreams and goals is a powerful motivator. Nothing “merely” about it. And just like a laptop or cellphone, your dreams and goals need to be fully charged to get the most out of them.

CHARGINGcharged up

As we take any journey towards a goal, we need to have a power source. That source, for most great deeds and accomplishments is “the dream”. Building your dream can be thought of as “charging”. It needs to be big! It needs to be “Larger than life” (as you know it at this point). It needs to be deeply satisfying to you! You need to enjoy the very idea of it to the point that the thought of fulfilling your dream will carry you through the tough times. You need to exercise your imagination, experience it so you know what it looks like, feels like and smells like when you close your eyes.

That being said, you need to know what you’re up against. What will you need to do better? What will you need to change in your life? Who has already done something like you want to do? What obstacles did they encounter? How would they overcome those obstacles if they knew then what they know now?

PLUGGED IN

3d image, conceptual people energized
3d image, conceptual people energized

Being “plugged in” is what happens if your dreams are big and real enough to you. You will build enthusiasm; fueling your actions, inspiring you to overcome obstacles, knowing you will treasure the accomplishment as you take strides towards your goal. Like the laptop plugged into the outlet. Your efforts towards your goals will be powered by the strong emotions you built in the charging process.

CONSISTENCY

The final Piece of this puzzle is consistency. Do something every day towards the accomplishment of your goals. If it helps you take a step towards the next milestone, it counts! Some days will be better than others. There will be big steps and little steps. There will be days when there can only be one step. But there will be periods of walks, jogs and marathon efforts. The consistency comes into play by doing something every day, and not obsessing on one section of your journey, neglecting other parts of your life that you need.

What fuels your dreams? How do you build or charge your dreams? Please leave a comment below!

Resolutions and Integrity. Goals and Whys

resolution excitement
resolution excitement

Why are resolutions broken? Is it because we didn’t do what we said we were going to do? Are we that weak and non-focused that we can’t hold our resolve for a short period of time?

I think it’s about goals and whys. You have to use your imagination actively to set goals that stick. Top performing executives and sales professionals borrow from top performing athletes the ability to “Pump themselves up” to achieve greatness.

We usually don’t think about how that plugs into their goal, their resolution, their dream of what success looks and feels like to them.

They have a dream of what success looks and feels and smells like. They have accepted here there signhow crashing through obstacles (this play, this series, this game, this season) with all the preparation and pain involved gets them one step closer to achieving that dream and what makes it worth it. When you see a professional athlete or a top performer in business do or buy something extravagant, pause to think what it represents. Many people look at them as “status symbols”. Try thinking of them as mile markers along a very long and difficult road. Try imagining what that mile marker represents to them.

Do your mile markers need to look like theirs? Of course not! But they need to be things or experiences that you treasure. You need to be able to look with satisfaction at the mile markers you have built behind you to remember what you had to do to get past that point. OLD-OAK-TREE-SOUTHWEST-2014You must also have a clear vision of where you want to end up and what it will take to get there. You also have to plan your next mile post and how you will build it.

Integrity is recognizing the right path and taking it…no matter what. There are lots of paths to get where you want to go. How will you experience your journey? Are your resolutions Goals or Milestones? How will it feel to build the milestones you can use to complete that particular journey?

We will talk more about that in the next post.

What milestones are you building? How do you choose them? Please feel free to share with a comment!

Integrity: Taking the Right Path

“Wisdom is knowing the right path. Integrity is taking it.” M.H. McKee
“Wisdom is knowing the right path.
Integrity is taking it.”
M.H. McKee

 

 

Many times people think integrity is doing what they said they were going to do no matter what.

A lot of times what it boils down to is doing the right thing even if admitting you were wrong before might be the right thing to do.

“Back in the day”, people used to think about what they were going to say before they actually said it. That was one of the things that characterized Shakespearean speeches. Flowery language was actually used and it was a creative process to speak to someone. Letter writing and book writing was a manual process. There were no quick deletes or spell checks. Making an error meant starting a new page.
Many times today we speak or text or email automatically without considering the impact of what we’re saying. Texting and emails and phone calls have the same problems. It’s very quick and easy to send or delete or change the communication with someone between phone calls and emails and texts. We need to take a moment to think things through before we commit to something. But more importantly, if we realize that what we have committed to is the wrong thing to do, or is based on inaccurate information, we need to talk to the people we committed to so we can get everybody on board to do the right thing.

When people are depending on us we need to go ahead and do what we are supposed to do and that, sometimes, is inconvenient. That’s one of the main points of integrity: Doing the right thing even when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient or maybe even a little embarrassing.

A motto we always used when we were learning to scuba dive was stop, think, act. IBM was world-famous for its single word motto that appeared in all of its offices and that word was THINK.
Today we need to pause, to think, to take a breath before doing something, doing anything, before we do everything. But when you know it’s the right thing, do it.

Who wants Pie?

During the holidays, I start to remember how much I used to like pie. Don’t get me wrong, Pie is tasty and scrumptious, but I just don’t eat it very often anymore.

This past Thanksgiving I started to realize how much “truth” is like Pie. Most people have a favorite flavor, and really enjoy a slice. They want to share theirs with the ones they love. When they have too much to keep to themselves, they start trying to give it away to complete strangers too.

If they still have a lot to give away, they start to get jealous of others who are trying to do the same thing with other flavors. Oddly enough, most to the attention at that point is given to the bad stuff in the opposition’s servings. The fact of the matter is that there is usually a mix of wholesome and “other stuff” in any flavor you choose.

The crazy thing is the fact that the particular flavor it takes its name from usually isn’t the main ingredient in the packaged product. Sometimes the wholesome stuff is in the crust, and sometimes in the filling. Sometimes the tastiest stuff isn’t the wholesome stuff either. (and we all know if we take too much of it in, bad things start to happen.)

To be honest, we’d probably all be better off if we just stuck to consuming the main ingredient and leaving out the other elements but it probably wouldn’t be as popular.

And don’t even get me started on Cake! Angel’s food, Devil’s food, Red Velvet…C’mon None of that stuff’s really in there!

What are you in the mood for?

I saw a great article on getting beyond your mood to attain your goals by Jennifer Louden.

Click here for the article.

As a martial arts instructor and business owner, I see this on a daily basis. Not just in my students, suppliers and co-workers, but I have come to recognize it in myself as well.

Boredom is an emotion, lack of motivation is an emotion, being annoyed at such traits is an emotion; the list goes on and on.

The lesson here is that we need to recognize and go beyond the feelings and into what we want to do. The emotions and our attachment to them are what hold us back.

Learning to “release” our thoughts takes practice. I feel we naturally cherish our own thoughts and feelings. (I have good friend who likes to say “I have the best ideas in the world because they are mine”)

Try observing your thoughts as you work on your most important thing to do today. If they move you towards something on your to do list, make a note of it (literally) and return to the task at hand. BUT…if it is a reaction to anything else (fire alarms and the like excluded) other thoughts or memories that are reactions to reactions, recognize it as distracting and dismiss it; returning again to your task at hand.

Now get back to work 🙂

From the mouths of bab..chil…young adults

Saw this earlier and as a father of two beautiful daughters, it hit me right in the chest.

from Tanveer Naseer’s post: An Inspiring Example Of The Power Of Our Words

Don’t Change by Alya Naseer

Who told you?

Who told you that you have to call me mother or mom

And not mommy like you used to when you were little?

Who told you you weren’t perfect just the way you are?

Who told you that you weren’t skinny enough?

Who told you that you weren’t pretty and that you should use beauty products?

Who told you those things?!

Who told you to get rid of your favourite stuffed animals?

Who told you the music you were listening to was lame?

Who told you the clothes you were wearing weren’t cool?

Who told you that you have to act a certain way?

Who told you that you were a nothing?!

Who told you nobody loved you?!!!

Who told you to be someone who you are not?!

My sunshine, tell me

Please tell me who told you those nasty things

For I will take their heart and crumple it, beat it, crush it, throw it, step on it

Since that is what they did to your precious little heart

You are perfect the way you are my darling!

Don’t change!

You are my sun that gives me warmth through out the day

You are my angel for you bring kindness to this world

You are my heart for you are the one that keeps it beating

You are my kitten for you are adorable, cute and pretty, the perfect combination

You are my sugar pie for everyone loves sugar and everybody loves you

You are my bumblebee for they bring sweet honey and you are just that sweet

You are my gem, my diamond for you are precious and no one wants to lose you

You are the beautiful, green trees for you change the world

You are the air that keeps everyone alive

You are my breath for I would die without you

You are my soul for without you . . . I am nothing

You are as peaceful as a still pond in the middle of the path

You are as pretty as a rainbow in a bright blue sky

You are as delicate as a drop of water held by a single rose petal

You are as beautiful as the rays of sunlight

Passing through the holes between the leaves of a magnificent tree

You are as sweet as delicious candy you get from a candy store

You are everything a person loves

You see,

You are not what these people say!

You don’t need to listen to these horrible people!

Everyone loves it when you call me Mommy, and so do I

You are perfect just the way you are my sweet pea

You don’t have to be skinny for people to love you

You will always be pretty no matter what people say

For you are pretty on the inside and that is what counts the most

Keep those stuffed animals you love for that is who you are and people should accept that

Don’t let the other mean people around you change who you are!

Wear the clothes you want!

Listen to the music you want!

You are NOT a nothing!

Don’t believe what those cruel people say about you

For they said no one loves you yet that’s not true . . .

So if that’s not true, everything else is just to make you feel

Angry

Sad

But in reality

They are the ones who call their mothers mommy

And they are the ones who think they are not perfect

And they are also the ones who are jealous of your beauty

They keep all their stuffed animals

They are the ones who think they listen to lame music

And they think you wear the cool clothes

They think they are nothings

And they think nobody cares about them or loves them

Don’t you see now?

You are the one everybody loves

So don’t change

Not

one

bit.

What goes Down, Must Come up (sometimes)

Recently, in a great post on the Leadership Freak Blog ,Dan Rockwell shared: Leadership’s Most Neglected Virtue

As a Martial Arts instructor, Loyalty is a subtext that revolves frequently around Students and Instructors (especially as they advance). As a business owner, I see it time and again revolving through business relationships (especially as they “become comfortable”)

Loyalty, Like Respect is earned from receptive individuals and (when present) can flow, like Water from leaders to those receptive folks. And, Like Water, can build a reservoir which, when subjected to pressure (challenging circumstances or abundant supply), can, like an Artesian Well, spring forth; sharing it with others, nourishing the entire organization.

Like Respect and Love, Loyalty is earned by investments in the relationship…by the leader (who is that again?).

So…How does one do this? Like a handful of seeds, one cannot usually determine a viable seed (receptive individual) from from a non-viable one. Therefore, as a matter of habit, one invests in team members.

Unfortunately, like the Biblical “Parable of the Sower”, Seeds land in different places (individuals are products of their upbringing) developing differently before one has the opportunity to work together. One may also neglect “the field”, depriving it of nourishment leaving the organization to suffer; withering as a crop deprived of water.

Fortunately, unlike the aforementioned parable (after all, it’s not “the parable of the transplanter”), one gets to place these sprouts in a prepared field (organizational culture) where those individuals with an adequate “root structure” can thrive and grow.

Properly (and persistently) tended, loyalty shown “in the field” can be returned by the internally planted leaders, instilling the cultural element of Loyalty to the entire organization.