Posts

Showing posts from May, 2019

Learning From Mistakes - Regardless Of Who Make Them

Image
When we make a mistake we think we need to hide it or come up with an excuse as to why it happened. Society makes it seem like you can't let on that you don't know something, or that you have a weakness. When we have scars we try to cover them. The fact is we are all fallible human beings, we all make mistakes, so why do we try so hard to hide them?

Some of the best life lessons have come from learning from my mistakes. The second best lessons come from learning from others mistakes. That is how society and innovation continue to progress forward, we build on what was learned in the previous generation. Everyone doesn't need to start out in life inventing the wheel and discovering fire. When you allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share your mistakes there is someone in your life that will benefit in learning about it. Unfortunately there are still plenty of people who will exploit your weaknesses and mistakes, so you have to be careful on who you share it with. The benef…

Your Ego And Agenda Or The Culture?

Image
You've probably heard the saying about culture beating strategy every time. But what does a strong culture look like in practice? We know what good strategy looks like - good products that are advertised, delivered, priced and supported well. We also know what a good culture and a bad culture looks like. Everyone can tell you if the company they work for has a good culture or one that could be improved. But usually people struggle in figuring out how to improve the culture.

To improve your culture you have to get past the biggest obstacle, the fact that you are dealing with people. The issue is that a company is made up of human beings. Humans have tendencies to have to protect themselves. Humans also have elements like emotions, ego and agendas. When individuals can't put their own personal ego and agenda aside the culture suffers. Trust isn't there. Open conversations don't happen because people are worried about protecting themselves. Or those that do open up find t…

The Refining Fire Of Life's Challenges

Image
There will be setbacks in life. Things will happen to you that aren't fun, things you wouldn't wish on anyone. People deal with many challenges, sometimes more than one. Death, sickness, job loss, financial struggles, accidents, and things we probably can't even imagine.

There is a dichotomy in life of being prepared without being paranoid of all that can go wrong. I could get in a car accident tomorrow, and while I don't need to hide in my house and never drive anywhere, I do need to do everything in my power to stay alert and avoid an accident. You buy insurance, create a savings account with 3 months minimum of your income, build a network for your career. But don't stop living life and being who you are. While not everyone appreciates or even likes you, that doesn't mean nobody likes you. You have gifts, knowledge and talents that are the perfect fit, sometimes it is just about finding the right fit. God has a plan for each of us, sometimes it isn't imm…

What Life Is All About - Lessons Learned From Reading The Alchemist

Image
I just finished The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is a book that comes up in a lot of people's recommendations. I hadn't read a lot about it, just knew that people I admired and trusted highly recommended it. I have to admit that it wasn't what I was expecting. It was a story that presented some deep philosophical ideals that really make you think and reflect on things within your work, family and overall life. To give you a sample, here are some of my favorite concepts that come from some of the best quotes:

"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting." - Everyone needs to have a dream. Without a dream we just mindlessly go through life day-by-day. If it is the dream of writing a book, starting a business, traveling the world, or starting a family, hold onto that dream and go after it."And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." - If you are true to the passions in your li…

Failure Is Not The End - It Is Just Another Step

Image
Many of you have probably seen this video that is making the rounds on the Internet. A little boy trying to break a board, fails, repeatedly, then succeeds. Watch it because it is worth a minute of your time.

Failure + Perseverance = Success pic.twitter.com/Nv7Lr2ifzR — Michael Loftman (@michael_loftman) May 13, 2019

There are so many lessons here:

Sometimes things are hard - don't quit because you will miss out on the joy once you actually accomplish your goal.You are going to want to quit - You will get sad, mad, angry and frustrated. Those feelings are real, persist in spite of them.When you see a friend/teammate/co-worker struggling with something, cheer them on, encourage them, they need your support. I love the one boy in front at the beginning, when he falls down he grabs him and pulls him back up.When someone succeeds, cheer for them. Loudly. Like you want to be cheered for when you accomplish a goal.Notice how there aren't any parents that step in and say they need to…

Another Dance Season - Another Reflection On What It Teaches Me

Image
Another dance season has passed us by as we wrapped up the end of the year recitals this past weekend. It is always a mixed emotions time for me as the exhaustion from a long weekend makes you happy that it is over but then I realize we are another year closer to it being done. Watching my daughters dance has been a major part of my life for the past 12 years, and when I think about how fast that time has gone the fact that I only have 3 years left to watch my oldest leaves me searching for a way to slow time down.

I only have one more father daughter dance left with her too. She might tell you that she is excited that there is only one more chance for me to embarrass her though. I hope that she, and my other daughters always knows how much I love being on stage with them. Any chance to have a little fun and spend time with my girls is worth it.

I've been asked before if I wished that any of my girls played sports or did something other than dance. I've never minded that they …

Learning To Teach - Appropriate For Teacher Appreciation Week

Image
My daughter is 15 and we are going through that right of passage in learning to drive a car. It has been a challenging learning experience, a few rough spots but I think I'm getting better at it, because I'm starting to learn more about her along the way. You see the biggest challenge hasn't been in teaching her to drive, the biggest challenge has been figuring out how to be a better teacher for her.

My only experience as a driving instructor is my own driving experience. It is so much different than hers. I grew up on a farm driving lawn mowers, tractors and even my dad's truck from when I was probably 10 or 11 years old. When I was old enough to drive a car on the road it was a formality. Contrast that with her experience of a go cart track a couple times in her life. When I navigate roads I know names, numbers, north, south, east and west. When I tell her that Madison runs parallel and south of 14, I am pretty sure I sound like Charlie Brown's teacher.

We all ha…

So You Don't Know How - Sounds Like The Best Time To Learn

Image
That new thing that you need to do, it is complex and unknown to you, I get it. Learning new things can be challenging. Figuring out something you've never done before is intimidating. Yet I know that you are fully capable of figuring it out. Usually the difference between learning something new and not figuring it out is our attitude when it comes to learning.

People that go on about how they have no idea how to do something yet put zero effort into actually trying to learn might be my greatest annoyance in life. I've built things for my house that I've never built before. I've learned about technology, processes and equipment that I've never used before. When I had some soreness in my wrist I learned how to use a mouse left handed so I can switch back and forth. Every time I could have easily given up, said I don't know how and made someone else do it for me. Instead I made a choice to learn something I wasn't familiar with. It took some effort on my part…

Dream Big Little One

Image
When we were little we dreamed about what our life would be like. Seemingly audacious goals of being a baseball player, an astronaut, a ninja, a cowboy, or a movie star. We grow up and we still have dreams, we just are afraid to follow them. The dreams may change, but there are still dreams there. There are big dreams. Too often we are afraid to go after them. Not real fear, just the things we tell ourselves that make us afraid.

Today our dreams might be to write a book, start a company, travel to Europe, or pursue your ideal job. Your dreams are attainable, they might not be easy, and they might not be quick. But you can have your dreams, don't let anyone tell you that you can't. What is the one thing you need to do today to start pursuing your dream?