So You Had A Bad Day - Now What?

A recent tweet by @JonAcuff (a very entertaining follow) talked about the most dangerous day for any goal is "The Day After Perfect." It was referring to the times we break an accomplishment streak and we just let the slide take over. How true it is that we let one off day define us. One bad day break us down that we figure since we already missed yesterday what is the point of hitting today.

We all have bad days, when things don't go as we want. Don't let the bad day keep you down. Your bad day is in the past, today is the day you can define who you want to be.

A New Appreciation Of The Power In Words

Words are a funny thing. A word can have multiple meanings, like mine (it's mine vs. dig coal in a mine), organ (instrument or body part) or date (fruit, calendar day or person you are going out with). Words can change meaning over time like how tweet used to just be the sound a bird made. Words can even mean different things to different groups of people, if I say something is lit it will mean something very different to my daughter than it would to my mother.

Definitions of words can be a funny thing too. People don't often look up the words they use and yet often we have definitions in our heads that don't match what is in the dictionary. This happened to me recently in a conversation where we were talking about humility. When you look up the word humility in the dictionary it is, "a modest or low view of one's own importance." That is very different then what I always thought of embodied in C.S. Lewis' quote, "A truly humble man will not be think…

You Are The Piece That Completes The Puzzle

I hate to break it to you, but not everyone likes you, and that is okay. That doesn't mean you are broken or worthless. It just means that you are unique. Just like a puzzle where each unique piece has its spot that completes the picture, you are the unique piece that fits into God's creation to make His picture beautiful. Every piece matter though and don't let anyone tell you differently, especially yourself.

Should we try to get along with the people we work with, live next to, go to school with, cross paths with in the store and every area of life? Certainly, be a good human, but not everyone will want to be best friends.

Continue to try to be the best person you can be, but accept that you will never be perfect.

Once we realize that about ourselves, we also need to realize it about everyone we cross paths with. They also aren't perfect so we shouldn't expect them to be.

People Are Not Issues

When we make mistakes it is easy to see ourselves as the issue. When people point out our mistakes it is easy to get defensive or beat ourselves up. It is easy to see issues as the people themselves and that is what our society likes to do today, but it isn't about the people, it is about the issue.

My kids make mistakes, and when they do sometimes I get mad or disappointed. Often they feel hurt and will tell me that it feels like I don't like them. I tell them that I love them and that what I don't like is the choice they made. I'm not mad at them, I'm mad about their decisions

I think most parents think and feel the same way, yet when it comes to the people that we work with or go to school with, we think of them as the issue, when it really shouldn't be any different.

We need to start recognizing that people are people and issues are issues and treat each appropriately.

Beware Of Shortcuts - They Usually Give The Wrong Impression

We all have those moments when it feels like we have more to do than there is any feasible way of getting it all done. It is easy in those moments to look for shortcuts. To try and find the quickest way of getting done just enough that you can cross it off your list.

That is the easy way, but it doesn't get you very far.

The other way to look at it - how can you deliver your best work given the obstacles in front of you? Can you spare 10 minutes to make it just a little bit better then the minimum? How much time will it take to deliver something you can be proud of?

A key to being successful is finding the right mix of getting it done and getting it done well. Proofreading your report one time, yes, please take the time to do it at least once. But you probably don't need to proof it 20 times, somewhere along the way your time proofreading becomes wasted.

Finding ways to be more efficient and effective with our time is a good thing. Finding shortcuts usually just shows people y…

Is Hard Work Enough?

In a recent conversation we were discussing things our group could do to get better. A comment was made about how mistakes were made yes, but they were working hard on the problem. It got me thinking about how often we are working hard, but yet aren't being effective. The analogy that popped into my head as I reflected on this concept was as follows.

Imagine if you have to put a post in your yard, you know you have to dig a hole. You dig that hole and you work hard at it. When you are done you have a hole and worked up quite a sweat doing it. You are probably sore and maybe even have a few blisters. Nobody would deny that you didn't work hard. But if the hole is in the wrong spot in your yard that hard work really meant nothing. Worse, if you started digging and didn't call the utility companies you could have dug a hole and cut a wire causing a very expensive and perhaps even deadly problem.

Working hard is important, but make sure we are working hard at the right things.

Maybe We Need To Start Doing Things More Radically

I've been working my way through Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Tim Ferris. It is a nice book to read daily, reading one section at a time. If you like inspirational quotes, ideas, book recommendations it is a great resource (you can buy it here).

One of the quotes I read that really struck a chord with me was by Ray Dalio, "Think for yourself while being radically open-minded."

I love this idea. We tell people to think for themselves, come up with your own ideas, don't wait for someone to tell you what to do. But we all know those people that go too far with this concept, they think their idea is great and they argue against everyone.

Being open-minded means that you are open to input and suggestions. You welcome feedback and listen to it even if it isn't what you want to hear. When you add the word radically in front you take this concept to a whole new level. The definitions of radically is "in a thorough or fundamental w…