Are you willing to be wrong?

“Always be willing to look at both sides of the argument. Understanding the other side is the best way to strengthen your own.”

Jim Rohn

Are you willing to be wrong? Maybe a better question to ask is “do you have to be right?” As a leader how do you make it safe for others to be wrong?

Following the wisdom outlined in the quote above is a great way to gain perspective and show your team and those around you that you don’t have all the answers. It demonstrates a willingness to be wrong, a capacity to be vulnerable. Understanding the other side of the argument might reinforce your own beliefs but it just might give you perspective that you didn’t have before you sought the additional information.

And just what if along the way to seeking understanding and perspective you learned something that changed your mind? What if the other side of the argument provided the answer you didn’t have before? What if you were wrong? In order to truly learn, you have to be willing to be wrong…

Casual is causal…

“Don’t take the casual approach to life. Casualness leads to casualties.”

Jim Rohn

Being casual is easy. It doesn’t take a lot of effort or energy. You just show up and life happens. But what happens when you simply change the placement of one letter in the word? If you take “cas’U‘al” and change it to “ca’U“sal” you can see the impact of “YOU.” Yes, that is cheesy and cliche but “U” have a choice and your choices have impact. Make them wisely and choose what you want the outcome to be.

Commit to caring…

“Show your contempt for the problem and your concern for the person.”

Jim Rohn

It’s so easy to get this backwards isn’t it? When something goes wrong or when there is a problem people can focus their efforts on the person and not on the problem itself. Statements like “it’s their fault,” or “they need to do it differently” are pervasive and occupy all the bandwidth. It seems like it is far easier to offer criticism and blame than it is to wrestle with the problem that is actually at hand.

Perhaps this happens because when you address the problem you are making the commitment to become part of the solution and when you are focused on the person you are removing yourself from the solution equation. So if you show that you care, you commit yourself to serving and helping another person. There is no room in life for blaming, condemning or criticizing others with no energy expended towards solving the problem.

Watch your thoughts today and see what your natural response is. If you don’t like it, change it…

Attention stealers…

 “One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”

Jim Rohn

I fully admit that I love technology, gadgets and gizmos. I always have, I am a bit of a geek in this way. iPhone = Check – iWatch = check – iPad = check

In today’s world our technology can really be a distraction when trying to have a conversation with someone. The constant buzzes, beeps, dings and notifications serve to pull your attention away from whomever it is that you are talking with at any given time. It is hard to be fully focused and present when your attention is constantly being pulled in another direction.

Recently I started turning off all notifications on my watch and phone when sitting down with anyone because I realized the message I was unintentionally sending them was that I was too busy or interested in other things when I would get an alert and look at my phone or watch. It’s hard to do at first but then it becomes very liberating. It is still a work in progress for me, but something I am committed to improving each and every day.

What is getting in the way of your giving your full attention to someone? How do you take steps to change it so that when you are present you are fully present and engaged?

Giving more is an investment…

 “My father taught me to always do more than you get paid for as an investment in your future.”

Jim Rohn

My Dad had a very similar life lesson that he preached to my brother and myself. His lesson was “do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter what, and then do a little more.” That has been a principle I have followed my entire life. No matter what it takes, get the job done, and do a little bit more.

I really like how this quote frames out very specifically that you should always do more than you are paid, because you are making an investment. Investments have returns and if you keep making them those returns will continue to grow. It isn’t just a money thing either, this wisdom could apply to life and how you treat others, how you serve others and how you spend your time. Always give more than expected…

Change starts small…

“Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Jim Rohn

Where does your life need to change? Are you willing to simply wait and be “lucky” in order for change to happen? To be sure we are all lucky in some form or another. But leaving life up to the vagaries of chance just isn’t an acceptable plan. To accomplish anything worth doing you have to embrace change and lean forward into change with all the gusto you have in your being.

I have found that some of the most important changes in life aren’t the biggest ones that I have embraced, but have instead been the small ones, done well and executed relentlessly, those changes have made the biggest difference.

Why is this? For me, I have found that the small changes and the willingness to embrace them, to get outside of my comfort zone, have been the catalyst for larger change. They have prepared me mentally and physically to let go of the old and embrace the new.

If you want to change something big, start with something small. Do it today…

Discipline fuels success…

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

Jim Rohn

Knowing what you want and knowing how to get it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do the work. That is what discipline means to me. Doing the work. No. Matter. What. No complaints. No griping. Just get it done.

People will ask me, “why do you get up so early in the morning?” It is a very simple answer. Because that is what it takes to get the things done that I want to do. Do I enjoy my alarm going off at 3:50 AM? Nope. Are there days I want to sleep in? Yep. But if I do, I am making a choice not to do something that I want to do and that just isn’t acceptable to me.

To be completely honest I still don’t accomplish all the things that I want to do. I would love to get more done. I feel like I need to improve my personal discipline and focus each and every day to become the person God created me to be.

How do you demonstrate personal accountability and discipline in your life? How does extreme discipline help you achieve your goals?

Failure preventative…

“Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.”

Jim Rohn

I really like how Jim frames failure as a “error in judgement, repeated every day.” When you think of failure through that filter what does it look like for you? What are the daily “errors in judgement” that are repeated? Is it not tackling the tough conversation and letting something fester? Does it revolve around allowing negative conversations to persist even when you know that you should address them? Is it a case of doing the urgent but not important things that need to be done? There are so many possible ways this can manifest.

Think about failure through the lens of the daily opportunities you have to perform at a higher level. Does settling for “good enough” today become an “error in judgement” in hindsight when something critical fails?

No excuses…

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
 
Jim Rohn

 

What is your standard excuse?  Too busy?  Not enough time?  “So and so wouldn’t let me?”  For some folks the search for the excuse doesn’t take very long.  They have an entire quiver full of “excuse arrows” ready to go whenever things don’t go there way.  

This is one quiver that should be empty.  All the arrows burned and broken.  There are no excuses.  There are reasons and choices.  Period.  Throw away any excuses and see how much more you get accomplished.  

 

 

Tackle the tough stuff first…

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
 
Jim Rohn
I have a long list of things I want to do better.  Things that I need to be better at in order to continue to grow and improve.  Wishing won’t make them happen.  I have to pick the two or three that are most important, or perhaps just the one thing, and then create a plan to make it better.  Then it is all about execution of that plan.  
The watch out is to ensure that I pick the right thing(s) to work on.  Picking the simple one because it is easy or fun, versus the one I really need is where the hard work comes in.  You have to tackle the stuff you might not want too…  But that is how you grow.  It’s the only way to grow.

But not you…

“Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.”

Jim Rohn

How often do we ask ourselves these types of questions? Why do we dream small?  Live small?  Settle for less than we are capable of becoming? Why do we let others define us? Why do we focus on “can’t” instead of “I can” or “I will?” 

“But not you…”

It can be easy to fall into the trap of self-pity and excuses and become one of the “others” mentioned in the quote.  Easy, and incredibly dangerous because once you start down this path it is hard to climb back out.  It reminds me of one of my favorite, and incredibly funny, sayings.  “Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, lick it once and you will suck forever.”  Crass, yes, but oh so true.  

“But not you…”

The only way not to be small is to focus on your God given gifts and refuse to settle for being less than the person that God designed you to be.  If you haven’t figured that out yet, that is OKAY!  We are all learning and growing.  The key is is to understand that this isn’t supposed to be easy.  You can’t grow without going through the crucible and learning from the challenges.  

How do you choose to live a life that exemplifies these words?

“But not you…”  

 

Discipline = “No!”

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” 

Jim Rohn

In today’s world everything is beeping and dinging and chirping to get your attention.  Their is a constant barrage of information coming at you to try and take part of your precious time and energy.  In this world of continuous distraction how can you focus, where do you start?  

It starts with writing down the goals.  I’ve found that anything short of a written goal is simply a wish or an aspiration.  Writing the goal down, meditating over it, thinking through the necessary steps to make it a reality.  That’s where it starts.  But that isn’t enough.  Actually taking action and putting those steps in place on a daily and ongoing basis requires the discipline to say no to the things that going to get in the way of making that goal a reality.  

I think that is the key.  Discipline isn’t some great “yes” to suddenly doing the right things.  Discipline requires a strong “no” to the things that are going to get in the way of your goal.  Knowing what needs to be done, and then having the conviction to do them, is critical.  

It reminds me of the great quote by Muhammad Ali, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” 

To enhance your ability to make your goals a reality what do you need to have the discipline to say “no” to?

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