- Mary Kay Ash
What will they say at your memorial? What would you want them to say?
THAT will be your legacy and it will be too late to start working on your life of significance at your memorial. You can begin TODAY to work toward a “Business and life legacy” and really make a positive difference!
How do you leave a legacy of positive business leadership? Who doesn’t want to leave a positive legacy? Leadership and legacy means being PROACTIVE…Take the lead and be the instigator!
Think about your personal leadership… See life as a chance to identify your purpose, position, passion, and posture and then begin to live as though your life makes a real difference—because it does! Living a life aware of leaving a business legacy can help you be more intentional and show your quality.
I worked for Ron Pileggi for 20 years at the local Tri City Weekly and he exemplified a business leader who left an awesome business and life legacy. Ron always made life about RELATIONSHIPS. He modeled how to really care about and serve others with his staff, customers, community and in his industry.
Staff- Ron modeled “servant-leadership” in that he really helped his staff wherever possible. He showed a boss who was involved on a personal level and really loved his staff by showing it in his actions.
Customers—Ron went the extra mile to really serve and meet needs of his customers. He even would give it away if it meant helping a fellow businessperson get back on their marketing feet.
Community-Ron was an example of a guy trying to make a positive difference in our community. Whether it was serving in Rotary, helping various non-profits, or just showing up at events, Ron was present and a servant of all.
Industry—As an industry pioneer and leader, Ron shared expertise in the Free Paper Industry of America freely. Not only was his publication multiple award winning over years, he gladly shared his trade success secrets with fellow entrepreneurs.
Ron left an amazing legacy across the board—Staff, Customers, Community and Industry. He intentionally modeled ‘servant-leadership” in the roles he served.
Here are 5 Easy “Knows” to a Great Life and Business Legacy:
1. Know Legacy–Understand and Know what a Legacy is–Begin to study what a legacy is and how we are all leaving behind something” in our lives we will be remembered for. Study the lives of those who you know have made a positive difference in their world.
2. Know Thyself–Begin to look at your life and what you are leaving behind and what you are now known for. What is it that people remember about you and your life? Be honest! Ask safe people who will give it to you straight and without apology. It is about what others know about you vs. how you perceive yourself. You may be really surprised …
3. Know Thy Legacy–Pick and focus on one aspect of your life that yields positive results and influences others in a significant way–Find your message, media, and platform and go to work leaving behind something meaningful to others. Live your life of significance with intention.
4. Know Thy Audience–Who listens when you talk? Who picks up when you “throw down”? Who are your peeps and those who love you? These are the ones ripe for receiving your legacy message.
5. Know Thy Media–Begin to find and understand your most comfortable platform and medium for delivering your legacy message. This can be written, spoken, crafted, or lived out loud in some way. Most folks begin with some writing or speaking—the written and spoken word has tons of possibility when leaving your life of significance. Blogging, public speaking, or writing your book all have potential for great legacy tools. All legacy begins with being a good communicator—be one!
It is time for us to get busy and become more intentional about leaving behind a life of business legacy and living with and on purpose. Each of us has a limited number of days on Earth (Grandpa Tom says, “No one gets out of here alive!”) and we need to be purposeful in how we live. Know legacy, yourself, your own legacy, your platform and your audience and you will begin to make a positive difference and leave an awesome legacy!
Life and business will have more meaning and so will you! Start living your legacy today—we’ll be glad you did.
What kind of life do I have when the highlight of my week is a date with my wife at Costco?
With 9 kids, you can imagine it’s difficult to have any quality time to talk, reflect, communicate, or simply get on the same page with your spouse. My premise here is to show just how spending time together, no matter where it is, is the key to a great marriage.
I’ll tell you about the story of our Costco date, the benefits of our time away, and the satisfaction it brings me to be with my wife.
We start with a list. We must do an inventory of what we need to buy at Costco—paper products, cereal, refried beans, milk, eggs, frozen items, etc. etc..
Then comes the drive, where we catch up with on the week’s activities and just generally talk about life.
Here is where we set the stage for some time of good communication and quality time together.
Going into Costco is always fun, as there are several regulars who are colorful, wonderful, and friendly.
I do have to pull myself away from the high-definition televisions that my wife will not let me own.
We inevitably see other couples on their Costco date as well.
One of the highlights is the tasty samples, and of course looking for the great deal.
I just found some really cool Docker sweats for only nine dollars!
We grab our food at the food court, where Judy always asks about our kids and if indeed we’re on another date. We say yes, of course, and exchange pleasantries.
Now comes the time to carefully load up our catch and drive to the selected spot of the day to enjoy our quiet dinner-a sumptuous repast par excellent!
Here’s where we talk about the deeper things; kids, goals, schedules, God, the upcoming week, and life in general.
Time for the drive home. Sometimes we stop at Starbucks, which always is a great way to end a Costco run. We get home now, and the kids unload the Costco booty and are delighted to see stuff that they wanted. And we needed.
I discover that I do have a life when the highlight of my week is a Costco run/date with my wife.
Life is good. When I have time away with my best friend to shop, have dinner, go to Starbucks, and just have fun.
What am I lacking at this time?
I love many things about you…
Your hanging out with me during your time of growing up .
Your sense of humor.
Your spending time with me, doing chores, projects, and jobs around the house/property.
Your selfless generosity to your family and friends.
Your fierce friendship when sticking up for others.
Giving rides, money, pizza, and ice cream to those to whom it meant much.
Your kindness to strangers,business clients, and customers.
Your diligence at work, school, and home
Your brotherly nature and love for your family.
Your telling me about your day.
Your servant’s heart.
This was written a few years ago and applies even more today.
You are a God Guy who loves freely and we are infinitely proud and glad to have you as our son.
Happy 26th Birthday son!
We all possess valuable resources, but none is trickier or more valuable than time. Managing your time is THE key skill set in managing your life. Show me what you do with your time and I’ll show you what your value system is all about. When leveraging time you will utilize and expand on your core strength. If you can manage your time well you can accomplish almost anything. Using time incrementally, methodically, and strategically will help you stay on track and achieve your life priorities.
Personal productivity is only as limited as your proper use of time. Wise use of time maximizes and leverages all resources and helps you achieve your goals, objectives, and priorities. Good time management allows you to plan ahead and to use your purpose and passion with laser focus—nothing becomes impossible. Your productivity, as you leverage your passion through good time management, increases exponentially resulting in compelling accomplishment.
“Plan your work, then work your plan” is a great axiom. The “work your plan” part has to do with time management. Planning is great, but is useless without execution. Time management is all about the execution of your plans, goals, passions, and objectives.
The 80-20 rule is evidence of this…. The Peitro Principle states this: You accomplish about 80% of your results from 20% of your work. 20% of any group or team usually contributes to 80% of the work; this 80/20 notion is a fixed law in business, church, family or any part of life.
The 80/20 principle as applied to your workday is to find your personal “prime time” then leverage that time in the most productive way possible. 96 minutes is 20% of an 8 hour day. To schedule around your 20% “prime time”, where you are most productive and efficient. This is the key to leveraging time, productivity, and accomplishment. For most people their prime time is in the morning. This is the time to get all of your core work accomplished. This key time is to be secured and set aside as the valuable commodity it truly is. Prime work time should be scheduled on a daily basis and should have compelling content at its core. Planning, goal setting, reviewing, communicating, executing initiatives, key meetings, key document creation, and much more are all the key elements of utilizing your prime time window.
In our daily Prime time we should focus on activities that—
- Contribute to our customer, family, stakeholders success and satisfaction
- Booster personal productivity and performance
- Support your family or organization’s strategic vision and goals
Time management tips—
- Know and use your calendar or Daytimer
- Prioritize demands on your time
- Keep your priority list in front of you
- Keep checking your progress with time management.
- Stockpile work or questions, and to schedule says its time work on them. Only work on things in your scheduled to do so.
- Seek support when you need it— delegate
- Develop techniques that help you when in a unique situation
- Pick a morning or an evening to work when no one is around and get organized. Order creates less stress and helps focus
- Spend a few minutes at the end of the day putting everything in its home base and getting ready for the next day. Remember… trash it, act on it, refer it, or file it away.
10. Keep yourself motivated.
The idea here is to have a balanced life. This begins with healthy relationships and healthy personal spirit. Living your life in balance and alignment starts with living your priorities. The peace and congruity that results is compelling. A life lived well by living your priorities and being able to have fun energizes you and gives a deep sense of satisfaction.
You know you’re on the right track when—
- Your customers, boss, family and peers praise your accomplishments.
- You meet your sales, personal, or family goals and have a positive performance
- You are often considered for additional responsibility and special projects.
- You feel good about your work and family and are energized by them.
The Covey idea of sharpening your saw and resting so you can work more efficiently is the key. A life lived in balance with family, work, community, friendships, and personal fulfillment is truly a productive life.
It all starts at time management, personal discipline, and self-control. Just do it.
Time management is—
The definition of Time management is a set of skills, tools, and systems that work together to help you get more value out of your time and leverage it to accomplish what you want.
SCOTT HAMMOND .
To my friend and brother Bob Hammond:
Proudly I call you my brother—-the lives we lived although different, were mirrored in so many ways that are paths were entwined forever…
Born of humble circumstance in Iowa, raised by saintly mother, forged by the Depression, in which doing without was commonplace, you were a gifted athlete, literally fighting for an education, knowledge, and some wisdom.
Through the great conflict (World War II), where the wild blue yonder,, became close up deadly and dirty. You and I lived, suffered losses, made mistakes, played thousands of card games, played hundreds of rounds of golf, fought, drink to excess, and selfishly survived…
Well, it was about time. When we made the long-awaited changes… and with those changes came sobriety, self-respect and most importantly love of family, those of goodwill, coupled with a great love for Christ.
He takes you into his arms. Go lovingly, Compadre. So long I will miss you: keep the light on for me…
Vision and Mission
Start with the big picture—put first things first.
Experts in the fields of psychology and personal effectiveness now recognize it if you feel upset or an uneasy about your lack of personal time, it’s not because you have too much to do. It’s because you not satisfied with most of what you do. Determine what’s most important in your life.
- Ask such questions as what’s most important?
- What gives your life meaning?
- What do you want to be and to do with your life?
Clarity on these issues is critical because the answers to these questions affect everything else in your life—your goals, the decisions you make in the way you spend your time, and so much more.
The need for a balanced life—
If you don’t think balance in your life is vitally important to your happiness, success and health. Consider this: there is considerable evidence showing that mishandled stress at home interferes with work performance, and mishandled job pressure creates and magnifies problems at home. Research shows that the quality of your personal relationships strongly influences job productivity, disease resistance and longevity. Conversely, people who have value power over family and friendships appear to have a harder time fighting off disease and sickness.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can success in one area of life compensate for failure in another?
- Can success in your profession compensate for a broken marriage or ruined health?
- Can success in the community justify failure as a parent?
Important: success or failure in any role you have contributes to the quality of every other role, and your life as a whole. Keep balance in your life. Identify your various roles and keep them right in front of you so that you don’t neglect important areas such as your health, your family, your community involvement, or personal development. Evaluating your various roles and attaching a new level of priority in each is another important step in becoming balanced and aligned and a whole person.
You are the architect of your future—
You are the builder, the engineer, and the architect of your future. You have the ability to define your future if you so choose and if you’re willing to be systematic, incremental, and methodical. You can plan your life resources and apply them conscientiously toward an imagined end.
This future based vision of what will be at what can be will require focus, imagination, planning, and most of all, time. It takes time to determine who you want to be when you grow up. It takes time and intentionality and seeking to really determine what it is you’re trying to accomplish how to go about it.
This future based visualization requires the ability to innovate and be imaginative. One needs to be a lifelong learner and open to the Art of Possibility. New ideas and new information and innovating become the currency in this new economy. The ability to synchronize and systemize new thought and ideas into old paradigms becomes a very valuable skill. Orchestration of resources, information, new thought, ideas, and new concepts into old skill sets is truly an art to be mastered.
It all starts with having a written plan and putting your dreams on paper. The idea of being incremental and doing a little bit each day is key to this integration. In some sort of a personal systematization becomes an incredibly efficient way to learn and grow. It allows for consistency and fresh energy every day. Calendars, schedules, and time management become key to the discipline of being systematic and methodical in achievement of our Life Plan and goals.
Accountability becomes a great help when one has partners and coaches and friends to hold one accountable to one’s own dreams. Having coaches and mentors really allows for extra contribution and value added content and experience to your Life Plan. Reminders, post it notes, another visual posts will serve to make your plans memorable and more top of mind. Use your reticular activator to look for and be reminded of your life’s plan and written guidelines.
The ability to stay flexible and dynamic and changeable is a key factor in developing a Life Plan and vision. New information is always presenting itself. One needs to have flexibility is a key skill set. Remaining changeable and flexible and malleable in being the architect of your future is key.
The steps are as follows—
- Know when and how to find your dream and vision
- Articulate it on paper and verbally
- Bring using the resources of time, information, skill sets, and determination
- Refine and articulate your Life Plan
- Resource your Life Plans through time management, calendarization, resourcing, energy, and life units.
- Just do it…
- Evaluate on an ongoing basis and rethinking and rewriting as needed.
Boring ideas lose.
Boring people fade.
Boring organizations fizzle.
LESSON LEARNED: There is inverse relationship between how successful you are and how boring you are.
Seth Godin talked about this at length in a recent podcast with Ductape John:
“If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, there’s a reason,” Seth says. “If people aren’t discussing your products, your services, your cause, your movement or your career, there’s a reason. The reason is that you’re boring.”
This reminds me of the movie American Beauty. Towards the end, Ricky (the outcast) finally shoots down Angela (the popular girl) by evoking her deepest fear: That she’s normal.
“You’re boring. And you’re totally ordinary. And you know it,” Ricky says.
Devastated, Angela storms out of the room.
What about you?
Are YOU normal? Do your customers perceive you as normal?
Hope not. Your business depends on it.
Today we’re going to explore a list of thirty ways to become the most interesting person you know. As someone who makes a living writing books about “not BEING normal,” (as well as being pretty abnormal himself!) each of these practices comes from my direct experience, observation, research and reflection.
1. Avoid the Always/Notice the Never. Find out what people who do what you do ALWAYS do, then do the opposite. Similarly, find out what people who do what you do NEVER do, then do the opposite. Here’s a helpful video module with an exercise you can implement to make this practice happen. What are you currently doing that’s unpredictable?
2. Make the mundane memorable. What do your voicemail, email signature, business card, website and blog have in common? ANSWER: They’re all boring. Keep in mind: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average. So, the secret is to create a seamless predictability among all marketing touchpoints. All of these are underused branding hotspots (and more!) require a unique touch. How many customers is being boring costing you?
3. Don’t be one-dimensional. I once had a boss whose sole interest, purpose and passion in life was sports. That’s it. The guy couldn’t carry conversation like a normal person unless the topic related to sports. Or, if the conversation was not about sports, he’d go out of his way to make sure it slowly became that way.
THEE most uninteresting, one-dimensional guy I ever worked with.
Now, I’m not against having a passion for sports. I love sports. (Go Cardinals!) What IS as a problem, however, is when you maintain such a limited worldview and openness for activities and experiences outside of your scope of interest, that is mars your ability to relate to others in a healthy way. Bor-ring. How many dimensions do YOU have?
4. Learn the principles of amazing storytelling. Stories are powerful. Stories are better than statistics or quotes. Stories are what customers; readers and audiences remember and connect with most. Ultimately, stories are the best way to communicate a message. So, if you want to become a master storyteller, my suggestions are: (1) Listen to Garrison Kiellor, (2) Read Made to Stick and (3) Attend Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater program. How many people are repeating YOUR story?
5. Be a story distiller. BUT, you can’t just tell the story. Because that’s not enough. So, when your story is over, don’t just move on to the next story. First, figure out the lesson(s), universal human experience/emotion, practical take home value and Call to Action. Here’s a helpful article on how to extract take-home value. Why are you telling this story?
6. Be a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brain Candy. One of Edward DeBono’s most underrated books is called How to Have a Beautiful Mind. In the opening he states: “As you get older, physical beauty tends to fade. But beauty of the mind is independent of age and can actually increase with wisdom and experience.”
In short: Be Brain Candy.
This idiom of psychological attractiveness means “someone with high mental appeal AND significant substance.” It’s more enduring, attractive, marketable, approachable, memorable and, of course, more INTERESTING. Check out my Top Twenty List of Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy. Are you eye candy or brain candy?
7. Be childlike, but not childish. One person’s playful spirit brings out the same in another. So, by acting childlike, you subconsciously give other people PERMISSION to the same. It’s contagious. It’s approachable. It’s memorable. And everyone can relate to it. How are you giving people permission to be playful around you?
8. Be more challenging. Ask questions like: Is that always the case? So what? What stops you? What would happen if you didn’t? What’s your proof? Break people’s patterns. Make them stop, think and say, “Wow…” It works. How challenging are you?
9. Be radically honest. It’s unexpected and unforgettable. Read this life-changing book and, if you practice what Brad practices, I guarantee you’ll become twice as interesting of person by the time you’re done. How are you branding your honesty?
10. Become a Question Master. It’s not just about asking a bunch of questions; it’s about valuing a questioning attitude. So, every time you hear or read a question that makes you react in ANY way, write it down. Add it to your running list of questions. Categorize them. Sort them alphabetically to make it easier on your eyes. My list has 6000. How many questions do you have on your list?
11. Books. Speaking of books, I suggest you make a list called, “Top Ten Most Interesting Books I’ve Read.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those books so interesting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice that in your own life. What did you read today?
12. Consciously choose how you experience the world. In his mind-blowing book, Playful Perception, Herbert Leff suggests, “Expand your repertoire of useful awareness plans and you will improve the flavor and value of your inner experiences. Increase the choice about the quality of your experience.” Check out this awesome list of 43 awareness plans to make your daily life more interesting. Are you making mindful choices for experiencing the world?
13. Create Points of Dissonance. Vagueness stimulates curiosity. And curiosity is a natural motivator of human engagement. So, there’s a certain dissonance when people observe an unexpected or unexplained behavior. Especially when it’s inconsistent with their environment. (Like seeing some guy wearing a nametag at the gym, for example.)
The challenge is to craft an idea, a message, or a look that when people are first exposed to it, they can’t help but respond with, “Huh?” or “Ok, so, I just HAVE to ask…” Those words are money in the bank. Remember: The most effective way to attract people’s attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns. Copyblogger has a killer post about being interesting as it relates to this topic. What patterns are YOU breaking?
14. Establish your voice. If you want make your thinking, writing and speaking more unique, relevant, persuasive, memorable, appealing and more creative, you need to pull material FROM, and cite examples USING multiple, eclectic and personal sources.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “If you want to be a great writer, be a great date for your reader.” Here’s a meaty, practical guide on how to do this. WARNING: If you’re an Oprah fan, you may not want to read it. Is your writing innovative or imitative?
15. Expand your references. In the book Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins said, “Limited references create a limited life. If you want to expand your life, you must expand your references by pursuing ideas and experiences that wouldn’t be a part of your life if you didn’t consciously seek them out.”
Remember: The more interesting experiences you have, the more interesting people you meet, the more interesting things you see, watch, hear, read, taste, the more interesting places you go, the more interesting you will become. Everything is a plus. How have you stepped out of your comfort zone this week?
16. Explore the word “interesting.” It literally means: Engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity. Arousing a feeling of interest. A state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something. Involvement with or participation in something. An excess or bonus beyond what is expected or due. Something, such as a quality, subject, or activity that evokes this mental state.
OK, so, now that you know that, go do that. Go BE that. On a scale from 1-10, how interesting would you say you are? How interesting would your top 20 customers say you are?
17. Extract the positive characteristics. Make a list called, “Top Ten Most Interesting People I Know.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those people so interesting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice that in your own life. This exercise is how I began writing this very module on being interesting. It works and it’s fun. What would an interesting person do in this situation?
18. Extract the negative characteristics. Next, make a list called, “Top Ten Least Interesting People I Know.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those people so uninteresting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice the opposite of in your own life. What would an uninteresting person do in this situation?
19. Fascinate yourself with the ordinary. “Evaluate critically every novelty you encounter,” Mihály Csíkszentmihályi wrote in his amazing book Creativity. “One of the surest ways to enrich life is to make experiences less fleeting.” If you do this, you WILL boost your creativity. You will flood your mind with new ideas. You will build a solid foundation of curiosity. And the combination of those three results will mold your melon into an attractive, valuable commodity that your clients will want to have access to.
Remember: Clients don’t want to hire consultants or marketers or coaches – they want to hire cool, smart people who happen to do those things. What ordinary stuff fascinates you?
20. Find interesting in almost anything. Similarly, Edward DeBono encourages people to embrace curiosity by constantly saying, “Now that’s interesting…”“Be able to find interest in almost anything,” DeBono says in the aforementioned How to Have a Beautiful Mind. “Be curious. Explore things. Bring up a discussion. Get people’s opinions, ideas and values. Explore, elaborate and make connections.” Are you practicing that enough?
21. Gain an eclectic education. In his book, The Invaluable Leader, my friend Dale Furtwengler suggests, “Gain an eclectic education. Expose your mind to things outside your normal areas of interest or discipline. The more quickly you can connect with your listeners, the more effectively you can communicate in their language, the more insights you can port from other disciplines, the more valuable you become.”
Your challenge is to infuse your writing, ideas and conversations with the cool, interesting things you’ve learned through your eclectic education. People will become interested. What weird books have you read recently?
22. Hang with interesting people. Listen. Watch. Soak it in. Ask yourself what it is about this person that makes them so interesting. Then DO that. Then BE that. How many of your friends are boring?
23. Have a killer vocabulary. That doesn’t mean use fancy words that showcase your brilliance. Just strong words. Powerful words. Well-timed words. Unexpected words. Perfect words. And of course, killer questions that nobody else is asking. Does your language challenge people?
24. How to Answer a Question. Answering questions creatively, counterintuitively an unexpectedly leads to a higher level of thinking. Which elevates the conversation to a new level. Which enables both parties to discover their individual truths. Which yields more compelling results than if you would have offered a simple yes or no.
This, of course, is very interesting. (You may enjoy this handy guide on how to answer questions in more interesting, cool ways, too.)
So, think about the last time someone answered a question in that way. Weren’t you instantly drawn into that person’s radius? Weren’t you curious and intrigued about what they were going to say next? How often people respond that way to YOUR answers?
25. Identify and amplify your Personal Philosophy. Simply ask yourself the following question, “If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?”
The answer(s) to this question will become a blueprint of your personal philosophy. Your unique, interesting approach to business, life and people. And if you were smart, you would print these bullet points on a Philosophy Card. Very interesting, indeed. Do you have a business card or a philosophy card?
26. Insert your passion into everything. Embed your passion into the pavement of your daily encounters. You will engage, excite and inspire people because that’s what passion DOES. Embed your passion into the pavement that leads the way.
For example, let’s say your passion is guitars. Cool. The next step is to begin inserting that passion into every possible Passion Point. Your metaphors. Your pictures. Your gifts to customers. Your ezines. Your tweets. Your office. Your voicemail. Check out my homeboy Mark Williams, The Rockin’ Realtor. Pretty interesting dude. What’s your passion? How many of your customers know what it is?
27. Keep an Interesting Log. Any time someone (yourself included) says, “Wow, that’s SO interesting…” make a note. Write down what was interesting about the topic, thing or idea at hand. Look for trends and patterns. Extract the key ideas and then apply them to your business and life. What three interesting things did you notice yesterday? How many of them did you write down?
28. Pioneer in obscure areas. Believe it or not, I’ve been internationally recognized as “The World’s Foremost Expert on Nametags.” Folks, that’s absolutely insane. I still can’t believe that’s what people call me. However, ever since The Washington Post gave me that title in 2003, it’s stuck. (No pun intended.) So I just went with it. And over time, it’s served me, my business and my wallet well. What specialized knowledge have you developed?
29. Predictable Unpredictability. In Edward DeBono’s book, I Am Right You Are Wrong, he answers the question about what makes something (or someone) interesting:
“There is always interest in a pattern-rich repertoire. If around any subject there is a rich networking of patterns, that subject becomes interesting.”
Your challenge is to build up a critical mass of interest by being what I call Predictably Unpredictable. You do this by positioning yourself in a way where people want to know what’s going to happen next, i.e., “I wonder what nametag related adventure he’s going to have today!” I call it The Caveman Principle™. How unpredictable are you?
30. Transform ideas into questions. I call this creative process “Catapulting.” It’s something I’ve been doing every single day for years. Here are two examples of how it works.
*If someone casually mentions, “I can’t believe I just stumbled upon this for the first time!” then you would write down on your question list, “What have you recently stumbled upon for the first time?”
*If you read the passage, “This behavior will make it hard for people to take you seriously,” you would jot down, “What is affecting your ability to be taken seriously?”
See how that works? Pretty cool. Pretty darn interesting, too. That’s how I’ve collected over 6000 questions. How are you turning ideas into questions and questions into catapults?
REMEMBER: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average.
On the other hand:
Those who are interesting get noticed.
Those who get noticed get remembered.
And those who get remembered GET business.
How successful you become is a function of how interesting you are.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How much money is being boring costing you?
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Remember, there are many things in life that are far more important than the size of your investment portfolio or the size of your latest paycheck.
Too often in our capitalistic society, we place too much emphasis on financial achievement and too little on the importance of living a purpose driven life.
- Family… your spouse, your parents, and her kids should come first. Just simply providing for them does not make your family, your number one priority. There is far more you can do for them with quality and quantity time. Love is spelled…. TIME.
- Friends… the older some of us get, the less time we have for our friends. Some people get too busy climbing the success ladder and may not even make time for friends. Big mistake. So many things in our society are disposable, and sadly, friends too often fall into that category. Take time to invest in your friendships, both old and new. How hard is it to schedule a Starbucks coffee, pick up the phone, or write an e-mail?
- Your health… stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor relationships with you and your family… all of these can adversely affect your health. Getting caught up in your career and working endless hours can also lead to neglect of one’s health. Workaholism can be deadly. The lack of discipline in making exercise, sleep, a good diet, and a healthy lifestyle can be dangerous if not deadly as well. You get one body, take care of it and treat it with the respect it deserves.
- Kids… investing in your kids is absolutely one of the best investments you can make. Understanding how to relate to, love, care for, and communicate with your kids is vital to becoming a more fulfilled and complete person. Our future is our children. What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? Relationships that are fully orbed or just a fat portfolio?
- Education… being a lifelong learner is a lifelong process. It’s not about being enrolled in the school or a fancy college or receiving a piece of paper. It is, however, about being someone who is hungry to learn, willing to change, and ready to embrace new ways of looking at life and the universe. As long as you have your mental capacities, you can keep learning and building on what you already know. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste.
- Having fun… people get so caught up in society’s money game that wealth becomes an addiction, an obsession, and the purpose for their existence. How many wealthy people aren’t healthy people who spend far too much time and energy chasing promotions, money, and possessions. We can end up with lots of toys and turn out to be pretty unhappy people… big mistake.
- Solving social problems… how can you be a voice in society for those who do not have the ability to speak for themselves? Whether it’s poverty, divorce, suicide, teenage pregnancy, name your issue… you can have a voice and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Your community is full of opportunities for you to volunteer, donate time or money, and get involved.
- Your neighbors… give the neighbors a chance. Don’t write them off because they aren’t the same age, race, or occupation as you. What’s the sense of neglecting neighbors, since they can be sources of friendship, if given a chance? Part of our connection to the greater society is defined by our neighborhoods, which are full of neighbors— who could be friends we haven’t met yet.
- Appreciating/valuing what you have… right now make a list of 10 things that you really appreciate. What is on your list? Despite our overall affluence, we still lament material things we lack rather than appreciating and valuing the material and nonmaterial things we do have. Don’t forget relationships.
- Your reputation… a good name is to be had above riches. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but only moments to lose it. We chase after many things in life, and we often de-value and under-invest in relationships which should have our focus and priority. How many men have thrown it all away in a quick but twisted attempt at some forbidden fruit?
The last installment of our Informal Survey…
1. Stop saying, “No” immediately unless it’s a life threatening situation. Rather, come to their eye level or lower and explain to them why what they’re doing or thinking about doing might be a really bad idea, complete with realistic consequences of their actions.
2. Be more aware of the family history on mental health. Turns out depression runs in my family. Had no idea until 2 years after I figured it out. It really does take a toll on the family, especially the kids.
3. Take all that energy from yelling (see 2 above) and whisper. It’s amazing how quickly people shut down at loud noises, but perk up at really, really soft ones.
Not had child number 1
Not had child number 2
Not had child number 3
Bad parenting day today…..ask me tomorrow and the answer will be different. Now if you will excuse me I have to go find out why…
Child number 1 thought it was okay to go to the bathroom at school and send a questionable song to all of his 5th grade friends on the emergency cell phone that he wasn’t supposed to have brought to school.
Child number 2 thought it was funny to tell a Chuck Norris and Virgin Mary joke to his friends during study hall that was definitely not appropriate for 8th grade students.
Child number 3 thought it would be okay if mom came home and found her and her boyfriend making out on the couch with his hands down her pants – she is 16.
Do you think it is too late to get a refund on them?
I would have protected my children LESS from the cause and effect of thier own behavior.
I would have been more strict about responsibility.
I would have been less accepting of negative behavior.
I just joked today that I wish I had time to write the book “The Parent REDO”! How ironic…
As the mother of 2 ( 11 and 13), high maintenance pre teens, I do not think this space will have room for all of the “do overs” I could give you. You asked for three so here goes.
I would have kept “consistent” with rules…
I would have kept “consistent” with a routine/expected schedule…
I would have kept “consistent” with our overall expectations…
“Children will follow where we lead them..if we do not lead them, they will not follow.”
Permission granted to use quote from a guilty parent of great kids that have been lead by consistent love but not by consistent leadership. I will be the 1st to buy your book as the do overs are still possible…I hope!
Results from our Informal Survey…
A lot of Doug’s advice struck a chord for me- the 3 things I took from his memorial service were:
1.) LIVE FOR TODAY. Do not dwell on the past, learn from your mistakes, but do not let them haunt you. Do not get caught up in the future. LIVE for the PRESENT! If you make today a success the success will continue into the future.
2.) COACH/MENTOR- take an active role in your children’s interests. Doug coached his last lacrosse game for his younger son’s team just a few weeks before he past away. His boys did not win that day, but they still felt like winners. Doug taught them that what was important was that they played their best, had fun, and had love & respect for their teammates and their competitors. Doug was in the habit of asking his team- “What is my job?” They would respond- “to love us.” “What is your job?” “to love each other.” I am not sure where Doug got these mottos but the point was- teaching & mentoring kids is great for the kids- but was also incredibly rewarding for Doug.
3.) LET GO OF REGRET’S! As tragic of a loss as it was to lose Doug at such a young age- he did get an incredible gift- his diagnosis forced him to let go of regrets. Every man has things he wishes he did differently but we are forgiven for our mistakes- and we should not dwell on them.
Anyhow- sorry for the long response- but these are some of the things I learned from my buddy Doug. And even though he was a “Man’s man” he was never embarrassed to say- “I love you Man!’ and neither am I.
Being a grandparent of two provides remarkable insight into my parenting background. Between my wife and I, we have grown daughters and all that comes with it.
1. I would be more relaxed about encouraging my offspring to explore and think for themselves.
2. I would instill less fear of uncertainty
3. That’s it because, while parenting was a “surprise” for me in my mid-thirties, I can’t imagine life without having at least one child.
Nothing! That doesn’t mean that I was a perfect parent. I simply would go through that season with the faith that carried me through it the first time. I believe that each child has his/her own spirit, soul, mind, emotion and will. I’d to my best, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to guide that child in the direction of their bent. I have noticed little consistency between what we may consider “great” parenting and how kids turn out. Raising a child is such an act of “trusting God” and a daily dose of humility as those little innocent creations remind us that we are not God and that we need to depend on Him all the more. What a terrifying responsibility…to bring a child into the world via birth or to parent via the blessing of adoption. Yet, having said all of that…I’d do it again in a heartbeat.