Showing posts from April, 2019

Be An Original In A World Of Imitations

Latest read I have finished is Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant. Some of my favorite books are those that have a deep research foundation and excellent stories that back up the research and make it come alive. This book is very much in that vein. What was most intriguing though is how it showed different ideas than you are used to. Things that you think are the best qualities to have and showing you how they can sometimes have the opposite effect you are going for.

As an example, when we are in a situation that makes us scared or nervous (giving a speech or going on a job interview) the common advice is to find ways to calm yourself down. The problem is that calm is an opposite emotion of fear, it is like slamming on the breaks going 80mph. Tell yourself to get excited about it, how great you are going to feel after you go through with it. Excitement is an easier conversion from fear because it has similar emotions to fear.

One of my favorite concepts that I…

It Doesn't Matter What Everyone Else Believes

A lot has been written about Tiger Woods recently and his latest major win at the Masters. It had been over a decade since his last major victory. With all of his health issues and surgeries most people thought he was done, that his career was basically over. But at the age of 43 he did what so many thought couldn't happen. There were some people that believed in him, but the vast majority didn't.

There are a lot of things some people think you can't do. However, what others think doesn't matter. What matters is if you believe that you can.Don't let what others believe about you become what you believe about yourself.

Finding Your True Inner Voice

A couple of years ago I wrote about the idea about talking to yourself rather than listening to yourself from The Carpenter by Jon Gordon (post). This idea of your inner voice, how we speak to ourselves is so vital to the level of joy in our life. No matter what is going on around us in our lives, how we are able to cope in the situations life throws at us is predicated on what our inner dialog is telling us. These excerpts say it better than I ever could.

From The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday: "Someone can't frustrate you, work can't overwhelm you - these are external objects, and they have no access to your mind. Those emotions you feel, as real as they are, come from the inside, not the outside."

From Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris: "The power broker in your life is the voice that no one ever hears. How well you revisit the tone and content of your private voice is what determines the quality of your life. It is the master storyteller, and the stories we tell …

Ideas, Insights, And Inspiration From Unlikely Places

I recently read a tweet (source) about how Kobe Bryant changed his fade away jump shot after watching a Discovery Channel show about how cheetah's hunt. It called out how interdisciplinary learning can be one of the greatest advantages in life. If Kobe Bryant had only spent his time learning about other great shooters in basketball and studied video of their shots, he might not have come up with what he did. Looking outside what most people consider normal you can find all kind of new ideas.

I have found in my life that I discover a lot of ideas from unlikely places. I've learned ideas to apply to software development from reading about manufacturing processes. I have tried things as a parent that I learned from management books. I have learned how to be a better leader from reading theology books. The answers we need are not always in the most likely places we will look.

Ironically some of the greatest discoveries in history were found by accident. Look up the histories of pe…

What Should I Do With My Life?

As we are getting closer to graduation season and my daughters are coming to the end of another dance season it is impossible to ignore the fact that there are some of these girls that we've known for a decade or more are moving on to college and the next chapter in their lives. I just finished reading Tribe Of Mentorsby Tim Ferris and couldn't help but reflect on this transition as I read through the closing statements which talked about how the big questions we ask ourselves in our lives are probably not the right questions we should be asking. We shouldn't ignore planning but asking ourselves, "What should I do with my life?" is a bad practice. How many people know what their plan is getting out of high school and it actually taking that path? How many people in their lives use
the degree they went to college for? I am but I didn't decide on my major until my junior year in college, even then my career has taken a few turns along the way I certainly didn&…

Don't Be Afraid To Work Yourself Out Of Your Job

One of my key philosophies in my career has always been to look at working myself out of my job. This quote though takes that idea to a whole new level:
I'm going on the road and I'm trying to replace you. Your job is to teach the new guys how to take your job and know they can't do it." - Erik Chinander I know that sports is different than a typical workplace but I love this. If you are operating out of a scared mindset that you need to protect your job, and keep everyone below you, what often happens is you end up making yourself look weaker and you certainly make your team weaker.

If you want a winning team, help make sure everyone is working to be better than you and that you are working to be better than everyone else. I have always looked at it myself that there is enough change new opportunities are going to come up, new challenges will arise that I might be interested in. If I'm so buried trying to hold onto what I have it will be harder to let go of it wh…

Things Aren't Going As You Planned - Now What?

No matter how much you think you have a plan and a schedule in your life, things will come up that will take you off track. You have a plan for the day or the week and you get sick so you can't do any of the things that you were planning on. Problems come up that you have to deal with but they take away from the work that was on your schedule that day.

You can complain about your problems, or you can figure out how to adapt. I get that things aren't going as you planned, but this is reality now. The next steps are up to you. Your attitude is up to you. It might feel like you don't have control over anything, but you have more control than you think. It is just one more problem for you to solve.

Don't Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

I've heard this saying a number of times recently, in a variety of formats. I like the version that is attributed to Voltaire mostly because I like pretending to be smart by quoting Voltaire.

There are too many times we don't like to move forward because we don't have all of the information, haven't covered all of the scenarios, or feel like we don't have all of the experience we need. We don't apply for our dream job because we feel like we don't have the experience needed or are simply afraid of being told we aren't right for the position. We don't want to start writing because we feel like there are lots of other writers that are much better than us. The part we never see is the countless hours of practice and bad writing that happened to become better, to be the writer we see today.

Everyone starts out as a novice, a beginner. You can still make music even if you aren't Mozart. You can still write even if you aren't Shakespeare. You can…

Nobody Gets Through Life Without Any Scars

I had to take my 12 year old daughter for one of her two annual checkups for her heart recently. Two days later I see this tweet from @montaguemaura:
Don’t hide your scars. They are evidence that you are fighting. You have to be in the battle to win it.You can’t get through this life without a few battle scars. Nothing to be ashamed of. God has Grace for that. My daughter has been through a number of battles, that has left her with some scars. We all have scars though, some you just can't easily see.

Our life is not defined by what does or doesn't happen to us. We aren't defined by our scars, we are defined by how we react. We all have struggles that we go through. We have challenges, mistakes and regrets. We follow a path we think is right, only to realize we made the wrong choice. We say things we shouldn't have and don't speak up when we should. We are even the cause of some scars in others.

The terrible times and bad mistakes are not the last door to ever be op…