Showing posts from October, 2018

Finding Time To Do Things Better

We are busy. Life can get hectic and there always seems to be more to do than there are hours in the day. When you feel like you are overwhelmed and there is nothing that you can do to get out of the hole you are in, know that you have complete control over the situation.

Whenever it feels like we don't have enough time to do something, to do the things we know are necessary to get the job done, we are wrong. There is always more time in the day than we think, we just need to decide what we are spending our time on. Before I had kids I thought I was busy, 15 years and 3 girls later I laugh at my younger self. Kids schedules, running them here and there takes time, yet I still can find time for the things I want to do, just maybe not as often.

Work is no different. There are things that have to be done but if we continue to look at them the same way nothing ever changes. There are a limited number of hours at work to get things done. How much time do you spend talking about things …

What A Successful Day Looks Like

I was recently asked what some recent or great accomplishments are in my career and I had a hard time with it. I think I partly play down any accomplishment as it doesn't really seem that great and I know that there is very little that I accomplish on my own so it is hard to think of it as just my accomplishment. As I reflected on that answer I thought about one of my life mantras of being Better Than Yesterday. I felt like one of my greatest accomplishment at work is in simply showing up every day and wanting to be better than the day before.

There are days where work is hard, as well as days where parenting is hard or life is hard. It can be exhausting as you feel like Sisyphus pushing a rock up hill every day. We want things to get better but we want it to happen fast. We want the big home run win. The revolutionary idea that changes things overnight.

The problem is, almost all overnight successes have years of grinding and dedication leading up to the overnight success. It is in…

Can I Ask You Some Questions About Questions?

Have you ever been frustrated by people asking you questions? When you feel like you've answered that same question a hundred times before?
Have you ever gotten annoyed by your kids asking you the same questions over and over again? It gets to the point you just want to yell, "Because I said so!"
Questions are something that get a bad wrap. We think we aren't supposed to ask a question because we may look foolish. We believe that we shouldn't question authority. We get annoyed by the classmate or co-worker that asks too many questions, trying not to roll our eyes from our unbelief that they still don't get it.
Questions are powerful. If you are looking for answers it starts with the question. If you want a simple answer, ask a simple question. If you want really great answers you have to be able to ask really great questions.
I've been thinking about questions quite a bit lately. Partly because I've been bombarded with different nuggets that have cros…

Accepting And Learning From Our Mistakes

There are many days that I will reflect on and see only the mistakes that I've made or the opportunities I didn't grab hold of. It is that feeling when you look back on a conversation and the perfect words now fill your head, all the words that you didn't say. Some might say that is a negative view point, spending too much time looking at my mistakes and failures. I think about the things that I do well but that is usually easier because it is already a strength or something I have a talent for. There has to be a balance to look out our lives accurately. Know your strengths while not bragging about them. Looking at your weaknesses without dwelling on them.

I believe greatness comes by looking at both our strengths and weaknesses. Often some of our biggest failures are what we learn the most from. You have to be okay with looking at your mistakes, failings and shortcomings because we all have them. It doesn't make you any less special, any less awesome. It just makes yo…

Problem Solving 101

Sometimes problems appear as something that is broken that you need to fix. Other times problems present as needing to learn something new. Or the problem may be an interaction with another person that is challenging. I don't claim to be an expert in solving problems, but I work in IT so I've faced my fair share of problems that need to be solved. When I have a difficult problem I'm faced with I usually run the gambit of emotions most people go through at one point or another: frustration, anger, apathy, sadness, passion, focus and determination. I often have to remind myself that I need to step back, put my emotions aside and put a plan in place to solve the problem. Rarely do problems just go away, (though sometimes they do because God does give us miracles we can't explain) and rarely does someone else just solve my problems for me (though sometimes you have people to help you find a solution). Once I accept I'm stuck with my problems, what do I do next? I was f…

Having Passion And Not Forgetting Why

When you look up the word passion in the dictionary there are a few definitions, but the one I'm thinking about is, "an intense desire or enthusiasm for something." It seems that few people feel passionate about their job or about school if you are a kid. You know these people, the ones that seem to go to work to do as little as possible to get by, to not get fired, to show up to class just enough to pass so they can ultimately graduate and be done. There probably aren't as many of them as you think, the problem is that they are the loudest, the vocal minority. They are passionate about telling others how they have no passion for their job.

One of the things I'm trying to teach my daughters is to find something to do in life that they love and truly understand why they love it. No matter what job or career they choose there will always be difficult people to work with. There will always be those coworkers that have no passion. There will always be challenging day…

Watching Others Fail

Man do we love watching others fail. Usually it isn't a good day for your team to win, you also need the team you don't like to lose. You are happy, excited even, when someone who wasn't nice to you gets what they deserve. We watch hours of videos where people fall down or crash into something.

When we relish in the failures of others all we are doing is trying to feel better about ourselves and the fact we fail too. We seem to think that there is a limited amount of success that is available in the world. Every time someone succeeds we think that lowers the chance of our success.

In reality, success and failure are both something that there is an infinite supply of. We are stronger when we build off of each others success, even the success of people we don't like that much. How we react to someone else's failure tells us far more about our own character than the other person.

Stop Being Afraid Of Your Failures

We hate to fail, don't we? Things go poorly and we beat ourselves up and assume everyone around us is laughing at our stumbles. Failure isn't the problem, the problem is when we assume our setbacks are who we are and we want to give up. We quit.

Here are the facts:

Everyone makes mistakes.We learn more from our failures than from our successes.The judgement you feel for your mistakes is more about you and hardly anything to do with others.Judgment of our failures speaks more about someone's insecurities than it does about our actual failures. When a child is first learning to walk, they fall down more times than the number of steps they take. If they stop trying after the first fall they would never be able to walk or run. Next time you fail, think of it as a learning opportunity that just gets you closer to figuring it out.

Each Win Is A Step

There is a debate that rages, probably inside most companies as they look to move forward in their industry. Balancing the celebration of past successes with the need to focus on preparing to face tomorrow's challenges. It often seems like it is management versus employees. Managers are never satisfied, nothing is ever enough for them. Employees just want to feel appreciated for past efforts and to see the light at the end of the tunnel that some day there will be a reprieve.

The fact is things never slow down. They never get easier. The competition never lets up so neither can you. You need to have a desire and focus on how you get better. If you are an athlete, dancer, artist, employee, teacher, student or coach you have a similar pressure to always be improving. Everyone wants to take a day off now and then, but that is what vacation days and the off season are for. When it is time to work, time to train, time to practice - give it everything you've got. The thing that sepa…