Well, 50 is in the books and a new year for me is now a reality.
I love having my birthday on New Year’s Eve. There’s something very cool about assessing the past and present with your personal and professional desires on the same day you turn another page on a year. It’s also fun that everyone around the world is partying on my special day. Heck, someone is having a fiesta somewhere in the world right now!
I’m a writer, so I like to write. It helps me to think, to marvel, and to be in the moment. That’s why I write now and share with you…
50 was a tremendous year. My memorable moments include:
- One week after my 50th birthday bash with family and friends, Mom passed away. The loss, though not unexpected, was hard. My last parent; the person that I had known the longest; the person that outside of my wife and my children I’d spent the most time with; and the person that always believed in me “just because…” As hard as the “I regret to inform you” call in the middle of the night is, she was ready and is at peace.
- I got to take my own daughters to the Washington Athletic Club Father-Daughter Banquet in February. I’d gone twice before with Rotary exchange students (with my daughters’ blessing), but this one was with my girls.
- I traveled domestically to Billings, MT, Sioux Falls, SD, Washington DC, and Palm Springs. DC was great as I got to see old high school pals that I hadn’t seen in decades. Palm Springs was the 20th anniversary of my Jumanji group – a bunch of high school buddies getting together annually to play golf. 20 years…hard to imagine.
- I traveled twice to Colombia. The first visit was to Bogotá where I got to show off my beautiful wife for the first time to my family. It was a remarkable 2 weeks for Barb and me. The second trip was to Cartagena to speak at a conference. It may be my new favorite city. I purchased my first Cuban cigars there and have saved one of them for this afternoon!
- I have 2 crazy dogs that entertain, annoy, and bring balance to my life. There’s something very special about living with dogs that somehow or other makes me better. This year, I think they were at their nuttiest and finest all at the same time.
- I published my 3rd book, Unleashed Leadership. It’s always rewarding to accomplish producing a book, however I recently was blown away by a conversation with a business owner that had a copy of it. We were discussing his thoughts on it, when he opened the book revealing dozens of pink highlighted sections. He started reading to me what I wrote! To write a book is one thing; to impact and help others is another. That is just one interaction of several I’ve had since writing it. For that gift, I am also grateful.
- My daughter Kelli took me to the Seahawks-Steelers game. While this isn’t earth-shattering or unique, we had a great time together drinking hot chocolate and Bailey’s, climbing to near the top of the stadium and cheering our lungs off in one of the most entertaining games I’ve been to.
- My daughter Mindy got engaged to a really great guy. If you have a daughter, especially if you’re the dad, you pray from Day 1 that your little girl finds someone that will be good to her. My prayers were answered. 2016 is already full of excitement as we plan for the wedding.
- Finally, I was blessed to spend another 365 days with mi amor. my best friend…Barb. Next year will mark 30 years of marriage and each year gets that much better. She’s the best present I get every year.
To all of you that read my work, thank you. You’re also a gift for me. I appreciate your interest and support.
2016 is upon us and it’s an open gate for you. Captain Jack and I write often about the concept of dashing through that open gate with vim, vigor, and vitality. The last day of the year should be a celebration for you. It is for me in more than just my birthday. It’s a brand new opportunity to experience life and all that it entails – the good and the hard. For me, I’m already convinced that 51 is going to be off the hook.
I encourage all of you to bound into this new year full of passion for your life. Make new friends, try new things, accomplish more than you imagined. Here’s to hoping you slide in ahead of the tag in 2016!
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
- Attitudes for Success
- Goal and Intention Setting
- Dealing with Fear and your Internal Doubter
- Creating your Irresistible Brand Promise
- Developing a Powerful Web Presence
- Leveraging Content Marketing to Draw in Leads and Establish Credibility
- Engaging potential leads at networking events
- Meeting with buyers
- Winning business and client confidence
- Maximize Your Time (and Impact)
- Creating Your Track Record & Leveraging Referrals
- Overcoming Plateaus
Weedin Unleashed has been a weekly live event through a Google Hangouts platform that I’ve run for over a year now. I’ve appreciated the support and attendance of many of you. After 62 live events, I’ve decided to make a slight change to the format.
As much as I enjoyed the “live” aspect of it, committing to a weekly day and time became a bit of a challenge. One of my 2016 strategic initiatives is to be more efficient in delivering my work both in writing and video. To that end, Weedin Unleashed will have a new look.
Starting in January, I will be recording videos with the same title that will be more pithy (about 2 minutes), more focused, and as accessible as before. My topics will be the same…concepts, strategies and best practices to help you improve professional performance and thrive personally. I am always seeking new ideas from you, so please continue to send your suggestions for topics.
I haven’t set a start date yet. That is one of my tasks to complete this week! You can expect to hear back from me on this very soon.
Haven’t purchase Unleashed Leadership yet? What are you waiting for? Get your copy today! LINK
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
For this last Extra Points of 2015, I’d like to take this moment to thank you for your continued readership and support of my work. I’m always happy to hear each week from many of you commenting and hope you’ll continue to do so.
Final thought as we head down the stretch for the year…
This is a great time to pause for rest and reflection; to rejuvenate and recharge; and then to respond in 2016. Rest is often overlooked and is needed to keep your mind sharp. Rejuvenation is critical for personal and professional growth. Responding involves commitment, prioritization, and discipline. To that end, passion for your work is required. Always keep in mind the value of time and the value of your talent. By putting a priority on those two factors, you’ll be guaranteed to slide in ahead of the tag in 2016!
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
~ Arthur Ashe
At Mass this weekend, our pastor Father David reprised his now annual “Magic Eyes” homily. His point is simple. Each year, we should be taking the time to look at life with a new, fresh perspective. He uses the concept of new lenses that allow us to view the world through a more magical viewpoint. It’s a fun exercise that accomplishes its goal.
It made me think about a much larger application. What are we doing to take this concept into our lives – both professional and personal. Is it time to look at our lives with new and improved “Magic Eyes?” It’s easy to be cynical. There are plenty of examples of violence, suffering, politics, and just bad luck to go around and make it difficult to stay focused on the good. That’s why it’s time for you to put on your own “Magic Eyes.”
This week, create a vision of your past, present, and future. How do you improve the condition of others; where do your talents and strengths lay; what kind of lifestyle do you want to lead; where do you want to travel; what kind of relationships do you want to have; and what can you do daily to work towards those objectives? If you answer these questions with just “regular eyes” clouded by doubt, fear, and anxiety, then your results will be mediocre at best. However, if you attach those special “Magic Eyes” and use the power of positive thinking, you’re more likely to be in a better place in your life one year from today.
“Judge a man for his questions, not his answers.”
When was the last time you scared yourself? I mean really and purposefully scared yourself?
We’d better first define “scared” if you’re going to be able to answer this question. My definition for the purposes of this missive is intentionally taking a risk that has as one of its options failure that could risk your future stability, risk what people think of your perspicacity, or risk your own feelings of self-worth.
My colleague Betsy Jordyn and I just completed a teleconference for aspiring consultants. One of the themes was around the concept of risk taking. I used the example of when I started my own consulting practice 10 years ago. It was a big risk to leave a good job with benefits and security of a comfortable lifestyle for the uncertainty of a career with zero clients and only hope. I committed to the mindset that Hernán Cortéz reputedly held when the explorer landed in the new world. Legend says that he burned the boats so the thought of returning home would never enter the minds of his crew. I was burning the boat of ever being employed by someone else again.
I am not suggesting that you quit your job or be reckless with your financial security. What I am saying is that many people I meet choose to be “safe” rather than take the risk of looking “foolish,” or losing security. Money can always be made. What can’t be replaced is the time and experiences. I believe it’s riskier to waste your time than waste your money. Be bold; take risks; go places; seek what makes you passionate; and once in a while burn some boats.
“A ship on harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
~ John A. Shedd
This is my monthly column for the Kitsap Sun…
“Do or do not, there is no try.”
By now you’re all familiar with the wisdom of that great Jedi Master, Yoda. With the new Star Wars movie out this month, I thought there might be no better way to begin my column than with his out-of-this-galaxy insight, which coincidentally is completely correct.
Here’s the problem. Too many people believe that “doing” is trying harder. You might hear an employee (or your child) exclaim, “I’m trying,” only to be met with your rejoinder to “try harder,” as if that was the magic elixir to actually doing. It’s not; it’s just a great way to find failure faster.
“Trying harder” is perilous to success. The reason is threefold:
1. Trying harder is accompanied often by desperation. The consequences of not succeeding will be met with some calamity – usually internally created by the person trying harder. Desperation leads to “pressing.” If you’ve ever played sports, you know that “pressing” rarely leads to success because the pressure is too great.
2. Trying harder leads to taking imprudent chances. Taking risks and being bold is fine. Reaching too far by throwing the proverbial Hail Mary into the end zone regularly fails. Unlike football games, the repercussions of these attempts can have long lasting effects on confidence and performance.
3. Trying harder leads to bad habits. Instead of focusing on what does lead to “doing,” the focus is on overcoming and surviving the constant pressure. This leads to burnout, apathy and disillusionment.
So how do we get to more consistent doing? I’m glad you asked! Here is my simple Unleashed 7-Step process to help you and your employees (and even children) eliminate “trying hard,” and get more done:
1. Relax. Really. I’ve worked with many clients that put an inordinate amount of pressure on themselves. The reality is that for the vast majority of us, we aren’t dealing with life and death. Having a healthy perspective on your business, your career and your life is critical to relaxing and not taking yourself or your situation too seriously.
2. Focus on activities and behaviors. Lack of discipline, not lack of talent, is the main adversary to getting things done. Too many times, we focus on the end results rather than the small but necessary activities and behaviors required to reach those objectives. Focus on daily improvement and you’ll eventually surpass your original goal.
3. Change your self-talk. We are often guilty of being our worst critics. You would never accept negative and destructive language from someone else, but each of us has freely heaped it on ourselves. Influence begins from within. Have the discipline to self-control to talk to yourself with motivation rather than malice.
4. Reward yourself for small achievements. In order to “do” big things, you will have needed to accomplish many little things along the way. Invest time in rewarding yourself. It can be small, but make it meaningful. This builds confidence, promotes positive self-talk, and drives momentum.
5. Invest in yourself – Get help. I’ve known many a “do-it-yourselfer” who wants to eschew help from anyone. These people try hard, and when things don’t work try even harder. The problem is they are trying harder doing the wrong things. The smartest people I’ve known have invested in themselves through coaching, mentoring and mastermind groups. You can’t be brilliant by yourself.
6. Be resilient in setbacks. Almost nothing gets done without a few hurdles. Projects, goals and objectives will all face some crisis, setback or calamity. Simply being able to persevere in these challenges is “doing.” You need to have the mindset to plan failures and defeats into your process, so that when they do occur, you won’t succumb. Those that are “doers” are the ones that know how to react and respond to crisis and learn from failures because they’ve planned for it.
7. Have fun. Life is too short to be burdened by anxiety and stress. I know, that’s easier said than done, right? The reality is that many people simply are trying hard because they want a better life, a better lifestyle or a better situation. This isn’t the right mindset. Instead, people need to concentrate on what they are passionate about; what brings enjoyment to their lives. Are you having fun? If not, then it’s really easy to say you’re trying hard. It’s amazing what happens and what gets done when you’re having fun!
Here’s the deal: Trying hard has nothing to do with work ethic. It has nothing to do with “buckling down” or pressing your “nose to the grindstone.” It’s really just an excuse for not accomplishing your goals. “Doing” is done when one focuses attention like a laser on those things that they really strive to attain, have a purpose, develop a plan, and decide that they will accomplish regardless of what stands in their way. Those that are “doers” have common denominators like boldness, confidence and perspective. They also tend not to be perfectionists. Instead they understand their skills and talents, do the best they can every day, accept that failure is part of the process, and strive to be just a little bit better every day doing what they love.
If you do all of that, you’ll stop trying hard and have time to enjoy the fruits of your doing.
© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved