Seventy-Nine (79)

Quality of life… that elusive little slice of heaven we’re all pining for.

I’ve heard it said that taking the easy road gets progressively harder, while taking the hard road gets progressively easier.

I’ve been finding this to be true in my own life.

Enduring the varying quality of life levels during these journeys is the hardest part of all however. The perpetual ups and downs… Perseverance can be a real prick, you know? Things will always ebb, and things will always flow. But, if your quality of life is currently compromised through choices you’ve made, you only have yourself to blame.

Your getting there (in most cases), and staying there, are definitely choices. Letting others convince you otherwise is only choking your chances at real, lasting change. Choose something else; make a shiFt; go down a different road. No amount of money, prestige, power, pill, or any other temporary pleasure is worth a chronic lack of life quality.

Tick Tock.

Stay tuned-in…

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Seventy-Six (76)

Leave while you’re on top; quit while you’re ahead…? It can be sage advice, depending

You see and hear about this often from entertainers, actors, musicians, sports stars, and other high-profile types. But what about the average Joe’s? Does this apply to us?

Is it ever a good idea to quit? Are we ever really justified to walk away? To get out? To leave on a high note? I say this IS justified, but it really depends on your personal circumstances and the situation.

If you’re quitting because it’s hard, that’s not a good enough reason. If you’re quitting because you’ve accomplished what you set out to, and you’re onto new challenges, then that’s quite different. Or if you’re quitting because you’ve realized you are on the wrong path… this is also quite different. These are big distinctions.

The pertinent questions are: what are your motives for staying? What are your motives for leaving? It’s the motives for any decision that make a decision “right or wrong,” “good or bad” (not for me or anyone else), but for YOU. Good motives = right decision. Bad motives = wrong decision. It’s subjective, and it’s your call of course. The math isn’t complex, but the deep consideration of these concepts often is…

Stay tuned-in…

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Stop Complaining, Get Pissed, & Grow a Pair

If this title offends you (*self-assured chuckle*) then you probably won’t find anything of value here.

This piece is for those (of us) who benefit from getting the cage rattled a little bit sometimes. If you can’t handle that, then you should consider clicking off… no harm, no foul. But, if you think you might be in the 5% I target, then please read on…

I can’t stand perpetual whiners. I have a very low tolerance for those who bitch and moan constantly about the status quo; those who are solution-averse, problem-dwellers.

Boo, fucking hoo…

Your plans didn’t pan out? Your goals got side-lined? Your expectations weren’t met? Your ego got bruised?

What are you gonna do now? What do you do with those inevitable moments of discouragement, doubt, disillusionment, and despair?

Kick and scream? Pout? Blame others? Give up? These are all (self-sabotaging) options for you if you choose them.

However, I suggest you start stopping your self-sabotage NOW!

How?

STOP

…wasting your precious time; it’s NOT unlimited; time is ticking.

…complaining about everyone and everything.

…whining about all the reasons why your life has not turned out the way you wanted it to.

…blaming others for why you don’t have what you want.

…beating yourself up for having dreams that are challenging and hard to achieve.

…turning to diversions (attractive distractions) that get you off track.

…using money as an excuse for why you can’t do something (point: we all “find” the money we need for the things that we really want).

…hearing only what you want to hear and believing your own bullshit.

…second guessing your real passions (point: if they recur, they’re likely real).

…envying those who (appear to) have what you want (most don’t).

…trying to be all things to all people (point: diplomacy has its place, but so does drawing a line in the sand, taking a position and putting people in their place when necessary).

…ignoring the signs that confirm you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Instead…

START

…listening to others you trust.

…believing in your real abilities and strengths.

…taking tangible action toward your goals.

…accepting that you’re going to get down occasionally, and that’s OK.

…embracing that not everyone is going to dig you and what you do.

…committing to sharpening your skills, learning new things, and growing as a human being.

Stop complaining – and only identifying and rehashing the problems, without a solution.

Get pissed – reach your threshold, the point of no return, a moment of truth that moves you act.

Grow a pair – realize your solutions, make decisions, undertake massive and consistent action of high-pay off activities to change your circumstances.

To accomplish all of the above, keep these 3 initiatives on your radar at all times:

  • FOCUS – continually be creating, evolving, and executing your plan.
  • INSULATE – avoid the many dream stealers attempting to suck the fucking life out of you; embrace primarily those who keep you inspired, yet accountable.
  • PERSPECTIVE – recalibrate, recharge, recommit, re-examine, and re-focus your actions daily along the way.

Stop simply drowning in the “dreaming”… start really doing.

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Stay tuned-in…


 

The Hard Way

the-hard-way-vertical

  • Pointing fingers and shirking responsibility.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Denial.
  • Avoidance.
  • Resisting change.
  • Being self-centered vs. selfless.
  • Taking vs. giving.
  • Telling vs. listening.
  • Condescension.
  • Intolerance.
  • Arrogance.
  • Insensitivity.

These are the paths of least resistance. The easier things to do. The most predictable ways to behave. The ways most choose to take. These are the easy ways…

Why? You already know. Because it’s less painful. It’s less work. It requires less effort. But the easy way only works for the short-term. And the long-term consequences are much more painful.

So common is the choice to avoid the hard way.

The hard way is the road less travelled. Those who have the courage to choose this way, lead the way and end up way ahead.

It’s a small population that most think they’re included in, but few actually are in reality. It’s a group that only those committed and capable of beating down their own self-deception and biases can truly be a part of. All are invited and welcome, but only a few elect to do the work necessary for inclusion.

It’s one of the most slippery slopes there is. Ask most about the “hard way” and you’ll usually get proud and puffed-up replies that strongly confirm that of course they’re part of this rare group. In many cases, the mere questioning of this will often be met with the aforementioned defensiveness and condescension which is evidence of the opposite.

Recently I sat across the table from a trusted female colleague who was telling me in her words “what was what” about me and some recent personal issues I chose to share with her. The leveling of my pride, and willingness to endure (yes, at times it required great endurance), the litany of hard truths she was sharing with me was anything but easy.

The difficulty wasn’t that I disagreed with what she was saying; the difficulty was my acceptance that she was right.

Much of what she was objectively sharing with me was spot-on. It was the truth, and at times, very hard to hear. But I chose to listen, and to truly consider her perspective and point-of-view. Since then, I’ve thought a lot about what she said, and this experience continues to contribute positively to my life as I work at initiating changes in my behavior that influence better outcomes for me, and anyone I interact with in my life personally and professionally.

This is an example of the hard way. It was hard to sit there and listen to someone point out where you’re fucked up. It was hard to not get defensive or even offended at times. It was hard not to deflect responsibility. It was hard to entertain my blind spots (we all have them). It was hard not to deny, rationalize, and justify some of my behavior in an attempt to assuage the pain and make myself feel better. It was all hard… very hard.

The shiFt:

It’s this type of willingness to be challenged and to learn that’s vital to producing individual growth. Real growth often comes with pain and a price. It’s about seeking differences instead of only similarities. It’s got to be more than just lip-service, and sound bytes. As I’ve always told my son: “saying and doing are two completely different things.” A lot of well-intentioned people are quick to say the right things, and give good speeches, but quit when it comes to actually doing what they say.

Evidence is in one’s behavior, not their banter.

Stay tuned-in…


 

Go Your Own Way

This short video is of Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Outliers) discussing the band Fleetwood Mac’s story as an illustration of the – often – very long time it takes to truly become great at something. The comment below it prompted my reponse that follows:

“I don’t doubt he is correct about the time it takes to achieve greatness. To me this isn’t a big breakthrough. The hard part for most people is finding that special thing to put their energy into. Why aren’t more authors and thinkers pointing out this aspect of success?, identifying one’s callingbecause it’s only natural to devote energy to something when you believe it is really worthwhile. This is what I believe separates the top 5% from the rest (finding their niche) which isn’t easy!”  – coreydmont, YouTube comment

As a writer, observer and participant, here is my take:

Finding your niche… discovering your destiny… uncovering your calling… this is the hardest part of being “successful.”

Knowing the what you should be pursuing has to precede the how you’re going to get there. Many people get this backwards.

A lot of well-intentioned and ambitious people exert tremendous amounts of time and effort pursuing undertakings that are wrong for them. They get so wrapped up in the doing that they don’t stop to consider if what they’re doing is what they should be doing.

The what you should be doing is that which exists at the intersection of your passion AND your talent. A calling must marry one’s interest as well as their skills. It’s that thing you do that few others can do as well or as uniquely as you do.

It’s not enough to just enjoy something; it’s not enough to be good at something… one’s true calling or destiny or life’s work HAS to contain both elements. A passion for – and a knack for – must co-exist. Passion PLUS talent produces the necessary perseverance required to turn your calling into a career.

Next, this calling has to be specific and focused. No one can be good at everything… nor should you try. One must specialize and then organize. Countless hours, days, months, and even years can be saved if you really stop and consider the “what” before the “how.”

Once you know that… then do that… for as long as it takes. Maybe even for 10,000 hours over the next ten years

Real “success” is enjoying the journey doing what you’re supposed to be doing… to “Go Your Own Way” – regardless of the outcome.

Stay tuned-in…


 

The Pretender

Jackson Browne

We’ve all got just two choices:

  1. Get in the game and play… (OR)
  2. Give into the game and pretend

It’s really that black and white…

The “game” = your one and only life that includes your endeavors, your careers, your pursuits, your passions.

Playing the game requires pushing through the inevitable fear and uncertainty that comes with taking roads less-traveled. It comes with a high price tag and can often seem unrewarding and futile.

Pretending is about going through the motions for short-term comfort at the expense of long-term accomplishment. The irony is that pretending appears rewarding at first glance, but is far more costly for most in the long run.

Few folks endure in the face of ongoing opposition, extreme competition, and criticism. Most people eventually give up and give-in when sh*t gets too hard.

Jackson Browne: “…’the Pretender’ is anybody that’s sort of lost sight of some of their dreams… and is going through the emotions of trying to make a stab at a certain way of life that he or she sees other people succeeding at…”

Comparing one’s “success” to someone else’s may just be the most crippling act of all. Unhealthy comparison often turns players into pretenders. Avoid this black hole by taking even more action toward your goals.

“Say a prayer for the Pretender | Who started out so young and strong | Only to surrender” ~ Jackson Browne

To keep anything up ongoing requires a strong enough “why” to get you through the down times. Your reasons for doing anything must be your own and must be owned ongoing or it’s all going nowhere.

Real-world “rock stars” know WHY they’re doing what they’re doing, and have committed to a WAY of life that supports accomplishing their pursuits.

Players don’t pretend; they intend, act, and then ascend.

Stay tuned-in…

Please share and click HERE for info on my Communichology course.

Get my articles and exclusive content with science-based insights to shiFt your communication from adequate to ass-kicking!