Posts by Thomas Leu

Tom Leu, MS/CPC is an Author, Professional Speaker, Published Photographer, Actor, Radio & TV Host.

Fantasy Football

nfl-com-fantasy-footballBy now, everyone knows that Fantasy Football (hell, Fantasy everything) is an extremely popular recreational activity for footbal buffs and sports junkies everywhere. The rules are simple: You draft and assemble a “make believe” NFL team consisting of real players from across the league whose performance on your fantasy team is based upon their real-life football statistics week-to-week. The better your team’s players perform during their actual NFL games, the better your collective fantasy team does. Very cool; very fun… Part reality; part fantasy.

Sort of like real-life isn’t it?

Don’t we take real people and their real actions and behaviors, and then assemble them into our own new reality? We pick and choose (“draft”) who we want on our “team,” and then base the success of our team on our people’s performance (their actions and behaviors). If they do well (in our opinion, and from our observations), we are happy. If their performance is not up to our standards, or does not meet our expectations, we get upset. The irony of all this is that we have absolutely no control of the outcome though we try very hard to control our success by playing the odds based on other people’s past performances.

Of course yesterday does not always equal tomorrow, but history can and should be a consideration of future performance. The quality and content of our lives is certainly more important than football games, but living in reality rather than in fantasy can be far more challenging at times than we care to admit. If you consistently find yourself making excuses while pursuing “escape mode” with any number of vices, devices and distractions, it may be time to have a heart-to-heart with your “head” coach.

Game on.

Stay tuned-in…

The “Common Sense” Defense

Sooooo often… sooooo unbelievably often… I hear some variation of the following statement while out training, teaching, or speaking:

“I already ‘know’ all of this stuff; it’s all just ‘common sense‘…”

Really? Give me a break… It’s a BIG, ballsy statement if you really think about it.

Someone is basically saying: “There’s nothing you have to offer here that I’ve not already learned, been exposed to, or already mastered. Your entire life, life experiences, and acquired education can offer me nothing new and useful to apply to my life because I ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING.”

Wow! Read it again and SAY it out loud this time; hear just how ridiculous this claim actually is…

CSD

By even making this assertion, you’re demonstrating the exact opposite of what you’re claiming. <Strike 1>. This supposed knowing indirectly asserts that the information is somehow less valuable because it’s “common” and therefore a commodity.

The BIG question you should be asking yourself: “Is this knowledge I claim to have evident in my actions?” If the answer is ‘No’ it doesn’t matter how much you ‘Know.’ It quickly becomes knowledge that is worth… less. Not worthless, just less valuable. <Strike 2>.

Knowledge is good. Acquire all you can. Learn, and then learn some more. Read and research ’til your heart’s content. But KNOW this: Knowing and doing are completely different. We all “know” lots of things. It doesn’t mean we consistently apply what we know. It’s not enough to know about something or to simply talk about something. We have to DO something and make things happen for the common to become uncommon. Recognizing this distinction and putting good knowledge into action to produce real, tangible results is rare.

Uncommon success in any area of life requires taking common sense on the road so-to-speak.

Those who are unable to bridge this knowledge-to-action gap (either because of oblivion or obstinance), are likely suffering from what I call the “Common Sense” Defense. This is a conscious and/or subconscious defense mechanism people use to manage their disappointment around their lack of progress or production in certain areas. This technique shields a person from the discomfort associated with facing themselves up-close-and-personal. This is so uncomfortable for many, that any method to avoid it will be employed. The most common tactic is to claim “common sense.”

“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.” ~ Albert Einstein

Smoking is an obvious, yet powerful example. No one will argue that smoking is hazardous for the health of the human body. People die from it every day. We can call this common sense because everybody knows it. Yet millions still smoke despite this common knowledge. History proves that the most profound wisdom and universal truths are simple to understand, yet often difficult to implement.

If your supposed knowledge is not evident in your actions; if I cannot “see” it demonstrated in your behavior, then this “knowledge” you claim is compromised, therefore inconsequential.

the shiFt:

Instead of proclaiming what you supposedly “know,” start demonstrating it in what you DO, everyday, in every way. Of course what some call common sense, others call crazy. It becomes a matter of perspective based on one’s social, cultural and educational background.

Soooo, to all of the “know-it-alls” out there, keep reading, listening, and watching here, there, and everywhere because YOU are the ones who likely Need It Most… If not, <Strike 3>…

Stay tuned-in…


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Mirror

mirror2

Sure you look into it, but are you truly “seeing” what’s there? Some are subconsciously afraid of the mirror. Not for what they see, but for what they don’t want to see. It’s precisely this kind of pride-leveling that’s necessary for growth.

Sometimes it’s necessary to make changes to things that may have long been apart of who you’ve been and who you are, but are now holding you back.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Most skip right over this truth. No one wants to change themselves; but most of us need to. Big difference. Truly look at yourself inside out. Pay attention to what hasn’t been working in life up to this point. Then decide if you really want to make some changes. If your motivation for change is more about wanting to rather than needing to, your results will be greater.

If you’re honestly in the right place, doing the right things, with and for the right people, then commit to doing everything you can not to screw it up. Look in the mirror, make the tough decisions, and continue making the necessary changes as needed.

Your perceived reality depends on it.

For more >> www.RecoveryCollective.net

Stay tuned-in…


 

Reality is Perception

Many years ago, one of my mentors used to tell me that “the world is as you are, not as it is…” It’s an interesting observation that has stuck with me ever since.

Things aren’t always what they seem to be; but they are what they seem to be to me, and to you. We make our world so small sometimes. Limited by the confines of our immediate surroundings, we mistakenly believe that what we see is all there is.

It isn’t.

How we “see things” influences how we “feel” about those things, which influences how we “act” upon those feelings.

How you think = How you are.

So… since our perception is our reality, doesn’t it make sense to change our perception when our reality is in need of change?

the shiFt:

Easier said than done, but no less possible. But how? How do we go about changing our perceptions?

Two ways:

1) Get honest about any long-held perceptions that may not serve you anymore. Fall out of love with the notion that your way of seeing things is the only “right” way. It rarely is. If you don’t have the objectivity to do this yourself, ask someone else who really knows you to help. >> Yes, it’s OK to ask for help. Asking for help = Strength)<<

2) Become willing to consider another perspective. Being willing doesn’t mean blindly agreeing. Do some homework and investigate other viewpoints for yourself. Sometimes the very act of trying to objectively challenge or support another perspective exposes new information that was unseen and/or unknown before.

Few like to change. Change is often scary and makes people defensive and resistant. Change is hard. But change is also necessary for progress and growth.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

Think back one, five, even ten or more years ago… how much have you changed? Is “as you are” today driving you in the direction you want to be tomorrow? If not, then keep what’s working, and get rid of the rest. Your “world” depends on it. Pay attention to your perception.

For more >> www.RecoveryCollective.net

Stay tuned-in…


 

Dream-Stealers

dream-stealers

“We are all either building our own dreams or building somebody else’s.” ~ Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

Distance yourself from dream-stealers… you know who they are. Those people who take energy and inspiration from you rather than give it to you. You don’t have to go far to find them. They may be family, friends, colleagues, or simple acquaintances.

It’s tricky because dream-stealing often comes disguised as good advice; you know the… ” for your own good” bullshit speeches.

There are two types of dream-stealers…

Those who view you as:

  1. a Nut – These people truly feel that your endeavors, undertakings, plans, and goals may be unrealistic or are unattainable. They think you’re crazy for attempting to attain your type of goals. In an effort to be protective, they try to kill your enthusiasm in the name of helping you avoid future disappointments. Though their intentions may be good, the poisonous message they’re sending is that you aren’t good enough. Only you can decide that.
  2. a Threat – These people cannot, or will not support you completely because you and your ambitions make them feel bad about themselves. You are a mirror to their own perceived inadequacies, lack of action, or accomplishments. There are strong elements of competition, jealousy, and envy present. They often react uninterested and/or apathetic to your efforts because you are inadvertently calling theirs (or the lack thereof) into question. These are the worst kind of dream-stealers (and often the most prevalent), who need to be avoided at all costs.

**Remember, these two types describe how dream-stealers view YOU. This is just a symptom of their problem. The real problem, and their source of discontent is primarily about THEM, not you. Take some comfort and be confident in that knowledge.

If you can’t turn them off, at least try to turn them down. Where and when feasible, put some space between you and go your own way. Or to put it another way:

“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the f*ck you were gonna do anyway.” ~ Robert Downey Jr.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Good Isn’t Good Enough

If you are willing to satisfy people with good enough, you can make just about everybody happy. If you delight people and create change that lasts, you’re going to offend those that hate change in all its forms. Your choice.” Seth Godin

I’m choosing the latter. Change in any form is never easy, but required to be achieve greatness in any capacity.

mediocrity

So, what’s it gonna take…?

What’s it really gonna take to get to the next level personally and/or professionally?

The first answer is knowing how to effectively communicate with people in all areas of your life while knowing how to SELL YOURSELF.

World-class is the phrase that comes to mind.  Depending on your specific aspirations and goals, your business and your marketing have to be world-class.  Sounds big and intimidating doesn’t it?  It should.  Because to really have a legitimate shot at “making it” or becoming “successful” in whatever you do, your total package better be world-class. Your equation better be complete. Otherwise, unfortunately, you’re fooling yourself and potentially wasting a lot of time.

You see, being good isn’t good enough. You’ve got to be GREAT. You must have both talent and tenacity.

You’ve got to be a PRO:

Professional – Have compelling and fascinating presentations of your product or services that separate you, and make you stand out from your competition.

Responsible – Consistently do what you say you will do. Follow through, over-deliver, and be accountable for your actions no matter what.

Organized – Know where you’re going and be committed to figuring out how you’re going to get there. And then take the necessary steps to advance from there.

Always look to spend your time engaged in “high-payoff” activities; those efforts that will produce the biggest return on your investment.

Surround yourself with, and spend time with movers & shakers in your world.

Put down any vices, devices, or distractions that hold you back. Think world-class, become a PROfessional, and stop trying to please everyone. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Become great at what YOU do.

Great sells itself. Always has, always will. It’s your choice.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Nobody from Nowhere?

The internet (and now, social media) is the great equalizer especially if you are a “nobody from nowhere” – someone without a famous pedigree, a fat wallet, or exceptional circumstances.

Nothing has leveled the playing field giving us all access to the world market quite like the internet has. But to make a name for yourself in any endeavor, you must create a product, service, or brand that is visible and viable for it to be perceived as valuable.

Visible – First, people have to know about you and/or your product, and where to get you and/or your product.

Viable – Second, you and/or your product must be capable of solving problems quickly and easily.

Visible + Viable = VALUABLE

Visibility without viability, or viability without visibility equals little/no perceived value. This is a big problem.

Your stuff must attract both lovers & haters to really make an impact.

How you and your stuff is communicated affects the psychology of the consumers. And this communicational approach should be tailored to the psychology of your target market. Translation: Give people what they want, the way they want it.

The best product doesn’t necessarily win. The product that’s perceived as the best wins…

If what you do is perceived (notice I said perceived; it may or may not be in actuality) to be a commodity, then you have a steeper hill to climb. If something is a commodity, and everybody has it or can get it easily, its value goes way down.

It’s called branding, but it sounds easier than it often is.

The challenge is to make what you do appear unique, therefore in low supply, therefore very valuable. Put a different spin on the tried-and-true. Intend to break the mold. Create something that would get your attention. If your product isn’t necessarily unique, the way you deliver it must be. Capitalize on what makes you, YOU!

Unsigned bands, fitness products, and motivational resources for example, are all definitely commodities. Content-creators are vying for attention from content-consumers. But it’s more crowded and competitive today than ever before due to the internet. You’ve got to stand out and be set apart.

“Success is mostly just about getting heard. Success is feeling validated.” ~ Michael Laskow

So with whatever you do, sometimes just having people pay attention is compensation enough and a good start. The internet and social media can create opportunities, but you must deliver the goods once you’ve got a foot in the door. To truly transcend being a nobody from nowhere… become visible, viable, and ultimately valuable.

If you wanna get heard, then you must separate yourself from the herd.

Stay tuned-in…