Matt McCall, a successful Venture Capitalist suggests an interesting success formula. Here it is:
80 = 80%
80 x 80 = 64%
80 x 80 x 80 = 50+%
- If you’re going after one thing, you have, roughly an 80% chance of success.
- Try to do two things and you have an 80% x 80% likelihood of success. A 64% chance of success
- Add a THIRD thing to the mix and your success math is 80% x 80% x 80%. Just over 50%.
Gary Keller, in his book, The ONE Thing: The Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, says the same thing slightly different. He states that, “Going small is ignoring all of the things that you could do and doing what you should do. It is recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter the most. It is a tighter way of connecting what you do with what you want. It is recognizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.” In other words the way to get the most out of your work and life is to go as small as possible.
Most people think the opposite, believing that bigger is better. In Indiana the mantra is “Go Big or Go Home!” Perhaps Hoosiers need to step back and re-learn some life lessons. In thinking that bigger is better we end up with crowded To-DO-LISTS, quickly becoming over-worked and over-loaded. We remain clueless that big success actually means going smaller. Over time expectations are lowered and we aim for less which in turn increases the probability of abandoning our dream all together.
If you desire that your achievements should add up, then you must start subtracting things out of your life! When you go as small as possible, you will be starting at one thing – that is the point! Here are some questions that demand answers:
How do I want to spend my days?
What should my One Thing be?
Why do I want my One Thing?
How will I achieve my One Thing?
Do I possess the will to win?
Do I give up to soon?
Can I adapt and shift in today’s time?
Can I change bad habits?
1. What are your five most important values in life?
2. What are your three most important goals in life, right now?
3. What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you learned that today you had only six months to live?
4. What would you do if you became a millionnaire tomorrow?
5. What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?
6. What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you your greatest feeling of self-esteem and personal satisfaction?
7. What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?
We are approaching another year filled with maximum potential. How would you answer these questions and what difference would they make on your behavior in 2018?
Success as a leader is built on the foundation of character
Have you ever heard the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy!” May I suggest that when it comes to faith-based leadership that HONESTY is the only policy! When you take the adage at face value, what are the alternatives to honesty? Are there alternatives worthy of consideration? I suppose the answer to this question depends upon what you are attempting to build and whom you want to invite.
Let’s be clear, dishonesty destroys the trust your followers will give you. Even if you tell the truth and yet you have lied to others, people will not trust and they will not follow. Here is an axiom that trumps all others; “If you do not trust the leader you will not listen to the message!”
A quick cursory review of the “Benefits of Dishonesty” shows an article from the NY Times, 9/29/15 that says dishonesty gives short-term benefits. In a Forbes article, 10/24/05, discusses how lying is good for you. I could keep sighting such articles. I’ve never understood what people hope to accomplish by being dishonest. Eventually people come to know that you’re not honest in your dealings, and that is what you become known for. Your reputation is what your leadership is based on, though. When we’re honest and live transparently before our followers, they’re able to see us for who we are and make solid decisions to follow.
For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV.
Significance Begins HERE
Depending on when you were born, technology could be your friend, your enemy or just an acquaintance. Years ago, when computer screens were the size of the average smartphone and one had to have an advanced degree to figure out how to turn 0s and 1s into actual functions, most of us would have left technology to the experts. But now, we have incredible access to enormous amounts of information and we have powerful machines that sit in the palm of our hands ready to do very complex tasks.
Technology is a part of our lives – it is in our cars, it is at our doctors’ offices, it is in our schools, it is in our televisions, our phones, our credit cards, and on and on.
So how do those of us who are inept and still have VHS VCRs blinking under our tubed TVS to embrace that which scares us, frustrates us, and forces us to ask our five year old neighbor how to make a phone call?
Easy! Take a deep breath. Put down the hammer that you were about to use to smash the remote and realize that it is time to let go of 1955 and embrace the information era. The Internet has every answer that ever was and ever will be at the touch of a few keystrokes. Gone are the days of non-intuitive websites and browsers. Welcome the age of being able to browse the world’s best libraries and view long lost footage of your favorite documentaries!
Technology doesn’t mean you have to buy the latest gadget or take a masters level course on programming your microwave. Just like riding a bike, we all had to start with one foot on the pedal and one foot on the ground with the trust that we will overcome our fear of falling and will perfect balancing on two wheels. Practice in the privacy of your own home – surf the net and see what the latest craze is on You Tube and Google a saying to see who really said it…
Mental strength means many things to many people. It could be staying calm with the kids for a mother and pushing to the finish line for a runner.
Strength is the state of being strong, having mental power, force. Having strength is empowering and exhibiting self-control. Without resistance there is no need for strength so when we are using our mental strength then we are up against some resistance or obstacle. Most people avoid resistance and obstacles and therefore give up their power and control.
Being mentally tough is not the same as strength. Toughness is a burden to perform or accomplish something difficult. Think of when you have a callous on your hand. At first it is rough and toughens up. It eventually thickens and then you lose all feeling in the callous. Then the callous becomes painful. When you toughen up with people, you exercise a roughness that leads to insensitivity and then pain.
It is common to confuse toughness with strength. Sometimes these terms are even intermingled and misused but keep in mind that when toughness is exercised, pain follows and when strength is exercised, power follows. Mental strength is the ability to overcome mental resistance and consciously cause goals to be achieved
Significance Begins HERE
Why am I here? What is my purpose? What am I supposed to be doing?
These are ageless questions. Some people don’t believe there is a purpose and that doesn’t mean they won’t find their purpose, it only means it will take a little longer for them.
To learn what your purpose is, you must first remove all the chatter from your mind. Most of us were taught false purposes or worse yet that we have no purpose. Having an open mind will allow this process to work more quickly. It is as simple a process as you make it to be. The more resistant you are the longer it will take to unearth your purpose.
To find your purpose:
- Gather a blank piece of paper and a pen (or use a computer)
- Write at the top of the paper – My true purpose
- Write the first answer that enters your mind. It doesn’t matter what that answer is and it doesn’t matter if it is a complete thought – just start to write.
- Repeat this process with every answer that enters your mind until you reach that one answer that moves you to tears. That will be your true purpose.
This process is simple. And the more open minded you are the faster you will uncover your true purpose. For some it will be quick – for others it may take hours or days. For most, the first 20 minutes will simply be your mind clearing of clutter, then the magic begins. Your answer will be coming from the source. This source will be beyond you. It will be what moves you to clarity.
There may be times during this exercise that you want to quit. You may have written 100 different answers and think you will never get to the true purpose but trust that you will. Stay at it. If some answers conjure emotion – highlight them but keep moving forward. Don’t stop until you come to that one true purpose and you will know it when you write it.
You will find that uncovering your purpose will be the easiest part. Living it is what will define you. This is a very powerful exercise that has the ability to change your life.
Significance Begins HERE
Perfection is defined as a state of completeness and flawlessness. Have you ever experienced perfection? Does it exist? Is it egotistical to think that we can achieve perfection? Is perfection a perceived concept and does it mean something different to others? Most importantly, does it matter? In the grand scheme of life, does it matter if you achieve perfection and does it matter if you perceive something as having achieved perfection while someone else may disagree?
I ate a chocolate chip cookie the other day. In my opinion, the baker achieved perfection. There was nothing wrong in my mind with that cookie. It brought my taste buds to nirvana. It was delicious and it made me so happy to eat it. What a cookie! Have you ever experienced that before? That total feeling of perfection?
What keeps us from thinking or feeling that when we create something ourselves? Most of us create something and then begin to tear it down mentally – which in turn tears down our confidence. Is this innate in humans or just those of us lucky enough to think we aren’t good enough to ever achieve perfection.
This in itself is flawed thinking. Our minds are perfect. How we perceive things is what becomes fuzzy. We have experiences that cloud what is really there and what we perceive to be there. Know that our minds are miracles and are perfect. Know that we are capable of incredible things. Urban legend says we only use 10% of our brain. Although physically we use all of our brain what we really are using is a small portion of our potential. This keeps us from accepting and achieving perfection because we hold back a lot of our potential out of fear.
Perfection is not something that many people can accept – but is so worth the effort of exploring and understanding because it helps raise your awareness of what you truly are capable of and how you alone hold yourself back from reaching that level.
Significance Begins HERE
In our current times, we are surrounded by lightening fast technology, decision making, expectations, life… Practicing patience in an era where it seems no one has any patience may feel counter-intuitive but patience allows us to slow down, calm our minds, show compassion, love and be loved.
Being able to tolerate delays without feeling angry or frustrated is a necessary quality for our greater good. Easing our minds mentally also allows our bodies to physically function in a stress-reduced state, lowering our blood pressure, staving off illnesses and not compromising our immune systems.
So how does one practice patience when all things point in a different direction?
- Persistence – the ability to keep moving forward even if you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Having faith that you are moving in the right direction without distraction brings a sense of inner peace.
- Acceptance – believe that everything happens for a reason and even if the reason is illogical, it will be revealed at a later time when and if it is necessary. Whatever is happening now is the way it is.
- Peace – having a sense of serenity and knowing that whatever distraction is happening, it will pass, as the now is what is meant to be.
Practicing patience alleviates the need for anger. When we are impatient, we go through a gamut of emotions from irritation to impatience to anger and then rage. Not only does patience help us achieve that which we desire, it helps us keep our anger in check.
The easiest way to practice patience is to count to 10 or take 10 deep breaths. This creates space between an impulse reaction and an actual action step. Practicing patience with others allows us to slow down and enjoy life with a new viewpoint.
Significance Begins HERE
What does your closet look like? Is it all tidy and color coordinated and arranged by season?
If so, move on… And for the rest of us who have closets full of clothes from ten years ago that we will fit into one of these days – or that style will surely come back – or this is a classic – it will go with everything… You know who you are… or maybe you can’t even close your closet because the shoes are spilling out onto the floor…
Life is like a closet. We hold onto past thoughts and emotions and we think if we hold on to it long enough and tight enough something will change – it will fit now – it will be all right – or we hold on because we can’t let go of the pain. As one of my mentors says – let the dead bury the dead.
It is time to clean the closet and let go of all that dead weight. It is time to organize and compartmentalize all those things in that closet – put the shoes here, the belts there, the ties or purses in their spot and let’s now get rid of our high school prom dress. It is time to make room for all the new things that we will acquire. Make room…
When you organize anything, a closet, a drawer, a thought, a process, you suddenly find you have room. Room for something new. If you hold onto all that old stuff, there is no room for anything new. No new relationships or job opportunities, or whatever it is you desire because you don’t have room. You don’t have the bandwidth to take on anymore until you clear out all the old.
We can’t change the past so why hold onto it? Get out the duster and boxes and let’s release all that which we no longer need or want and let’s make room for all that which we desire.
Organize your life as you would a closet. Remove the old and make room for the new.
Significance Begins Here
Have you ever wondered why you hold onto emotional and physical pain longer than needed? There is a belief that we create and maintain problems to give us a sense of identity – to define who we are – to give us purpose.
Do you know of anyone who creates problems and then swoops in to save the day? Or someone who creates problems to then play the role of victim for sympathy and attention?
These behaviors, whether in ourselves or around us are due to the need to replay our past mistakes like a broken record in our minds which in turn builds feelings of shame and regret. Carrying these burdens dictates the actions we take in the now. In addition, we hold onto worry and frustration about the future creating unnecessary stress. Stress has been linked to numerous health issues and the majority of us live with this fabricated stress every day treating is as our normal state.
We all know that if we put a little energy to something we get a little out… the same holds true for letting go. By letting go just a little of your past and future regrets, you obtain a little peace in your life but if you let go of a lot, then you will bring in a lot of peace. More peace equals less stress! Isn’t that the formula we all desire?
Here is a sampling of actions you can take today to begin to let go of the pain and allow peace into your mind and body:
- Physical Activity
- Learn a new skill
- List out your accomplishments and continue to add to the list daily
- Focus your energy on that which you CAN control and not that which you CAN’T control
- Engage in a creative project (painting, crafts, gardening, book club)
- Write a letter to whomever you hold your anger for, then burn the letter
- Take responsibility for you could have done better
- Wear a rubber band on your wrist and pull it every time you begin to obsess on the angry thoughts
- Have gratitude for the positive memories and know that life is a learning experience
- Visualize how you were before the event and know that you now can be that again
- Take deep breaths and focus on your breath when you feel angry
And lastly, fill a backpack with rocks representing your past hurts and take a hike. When you are ready, remove one rock at a time, naming the rock with a specific memory or person or event that has brought you pain and release it. You may find that you have packed more rocks than actual pains!
Letting go allows you to make space in your life for new and exciting adventures, experiences, loves, memories. Letting go brings you inner peace and reduces stress. Letting go allows you to view the world with new eyes ready to create, build and live that life you have always dreamt about.