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Intuition

Following up on Seth’s short post from yesterday, you can begin using your sophisticated pattern matching as early as this morning. I love that intuition isn’t taking a wild stab in the dark but rather based on best data and past experience it rises naturally to help form a decision.

I consider myself a pretty intuitive guy and make lots of choices and adapt processes without crafting a decision tree or logic model (at least formally).

Saturday is a great day to test out your intuitive skills. As your day begins, commit to listening to the voice you may not understand initially. Practice hearing and acting on the information for the next 24 hours. It may help if you record your practice and observations so that on Sunday you get to reflect for 20 minutes on how well you listened.

Take Today and Make it Remarkable,

B

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Persistence

We don’t live a solely self determined life. If we live, work and [lay with others, they impact us positively and negatively. With the exception of a despot we can’t make people bend to our will and we can’t be bent. We can become persistent in our approach to the blessing of each day we are given. This isn’t the strong headed stubbornness of childhood but rather a daily reminder and commitment to our values and our goals.

When I hold the value that all people are capable I need to act that out each day even when it would be easier to find someone else or do it myself. If I believe that remarkable people are remarkable because they use their strengths to strengthen others then I need to find ways to lift people up but not carry them on my back. I am committed to being healthier so I need to be more food aware and vigilant that my french fry addiction doesn’t take over. I also need to exercise every day because when I ‘take a day off’ it has a history of turning into two..

I am successful when I do the things I do because of the things I believe. Values and action when married create a perfect persistence.

What are three values that you hold today and how are you acting to keep them at the forefront of this week?

persistence

 

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Where Will You Be?

In 8760 hours, where will you be? Will you still be striving to be more than the day before or mired in status quo ? Will you be fitter or fatter? Will you be living in the same place or somewhere new? Will you be getting up with purpose or dragging your butt out of bed? Will you be in a relationship or solo? Will you have learned a new language, to play the guitar or would you have found excuses not to?

In the first hours of the new year we can create a direction to head and a strategic position we want to occupy in 365 days. Inertia begins with doing nothing, just for today and ends with having done nothing. If you are completely happy with all aspects of your life (rare) you can survive and maybe thrive doing nothing. But, if you have grave or even niggling concerns the muck and mire of sameness and stuckness will be over your knees if you do nothing.

Write yourself a note today, dated January 1, 2017.

Dear Me, Today I am in a continually evolving and loving relationship. I am fitter at 62 than you were at 45. My health is excellent because I choose to be aware of my nutrition, my ailments and my tendencies and I make better choices. I am nearly fluent in French. I am excited by the value I get to bring to each day through my vocation and avocation. I live in a world that is safer, cleaner and more caring because I am contributing and I have surrounded myself with people who have the same goals.

What your note includes and how you understand it  is your business. Share it with someone if you want or not but recognize that if you desire a preferred future, it is up to you. Don’t wait for or blame anyone else.

May 2016 be your best year yet,

B

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Hacking Learning

My ‘lifelong learning experience’ likely speaks to my world view and tendencies but reflecting on yours inside the same may be of benefit to you.

Action

Timing – I am so definitely a morning person. I think better in the morning. I read faster and with greater comprehension in the morning. My ears are tuned to podcasts, books on tape and audio apps at at higher level first thing in the morning. I am awake just before 5am and start my day almost immediately.

Kickstart – Regardless of your prime time you may find jumping right into the learning helpful. I schedule news updates and blog posts for before I awake so they are there beckoning when I open my email.

Preparation – My brain wakes me up but I need to help it and the rest of my body with the right nourishment. Two glasses of water before I get rolling to far into the day rehydrates my brain and kicks off my filtration system. I am better when I am regular and water helps. If I am constipated then my brain seems plugged up too.

Commitment – For regular readers you will know where this is going. I think I have used this Goethe quote in posts 5 times in 2015.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Just Do It – Get started tomorrow (this afternoon if that is your timing tendency). Learn something new, discover something you ‘will never need’, challenge your opinions and biases.

Tomorrow, 6 specific sources of learning and why you should use them.

 

B

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Leadership Hacks

Leaders are born, not as leaders but as wee babies just like the rest of us. Leaders are nurtured by caring and significant adults; parents, caregivers, teachers. Leaders are challenged by the same significant adults – at a very young age the bubble wrap is removed and the budding leaders are allowed to fall and fail. Leaders can arise in any circumstance with the right inspiration.

Carey Nieuwhof has 5 Ultra Simple Leadership Hacks  fo us.

1. Make someone else the hero. While I think we should all put on our invisible cape and hero’s hat every morning, I also believe that we need to be lifting up and celebrating all those around us. Acknowledge your team, give credit where due, encourage and delegate.

2. Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Integrity is the most important hallmark of a leader. In those rare occasions when it becomes impossible to ‘do what you said’ then honestly explain and apologize if necessary.

3. Focus on outcomes. Autonomy, mastery and purpose are the three Pinkian motivators to success. Seed purpose, cultivate mastery and allow your team to handle the how.

4. Look people in the eye. I know so many great leaders who are completely present with you in the moment. They give the person they are with all their attention. (This is an area that I need to work on)

5. Smile. Apparently, not smiling is never interpreted as neutral. We are drawn to smiles and confused by the dissonance of happiness and joy without the outward display. Show your glee today.

Make Today Remarkable, by being a leader,

B

 

 

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Hacking Happiness

Monday morning; what better time to explode happiness in your life! If Mondays drag you down, drain your reserves or rub your nerves there are easy ways to hack happiness this morning.

smiles

Start the today with three easy goals.

  1. Make 3 people smile before 10:15am
  2. Find 3 things that make you laugh out loud before 9:15am
  3. Write 3 simple things that you want more of before 8:15am

Now set out to add more of what you want, laugh and encourage a smile.

Happiness will begin to infect you before mid morning.

Your noon hour challenge is to intentionally lose an argument/debate. Losing might not be pleasant but learning that you shouldn’t win every argument or you aren’t learning is an important lesson.

Finally, your 1:15pm assignment is Don’t waste time on gossip. 2:15pm Avoid negative people. And 3:15pm drink plenty of water and look forward to reading a good book this evening.

Rinse and repeat as much as possible tomorrow.

 

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Hack to Read Faster

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I am a voracious reader; a gleaner really. I have developed practices that allow me to read and comprehend nearly 100 books this year and remember the remarkable and useful in equal measure. I didn’t know I was following a process until I read this article, with 7 tricks, by Karol Krol. I don’t use all the suggested techniques but use 4,5,6, and 7 regularly and the last 3 almost all the time.

As a destination person, #5 makes complete sense – “not reading every word separately” was reflex. Pulling back to 500 feet and observing the page as a map is something I have  done for as long as I can remember. I zoom in and out on the page gathering information still in a mostly left to right, top to bottom direction. With the advent of camera phones I think we are all better at reading snapshots. Take a mental picture of this Dr Seuss  quote and then notice which words you drill down upon.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Practice scanning and noticing – this passage makes  me smile so it is a good one for me to experiment with. Use Seuss or find something that puts a smirk on your face and give it a couple of tries a day for the next week.

My impatient imperfectionism makes #7 ” start too fast” an easy assignment. This might be my epilogue ” He Started Too Fast but He Did Get to the End” (I don’t think I have ever experienced negative splits).

I love Krol’s analogy “if you’re doing 90 and slow down to 70 it feels slow, but if you’re doing 50 and speed up to 70 it feels fast”. This isn’t just a pacing technique it is  a repacing practice.  By jumping off the start line and racing down the track you give your eyes and brain a break when you slow to 500 to 600 words, it feels like a walk in the park.

Try this free speed reading test and use it as your measure of improvement. What Speed do you Read?

Most importantly, read from a book every day – make it a daily habit.

Check out your local library this afternoon,

B

 

 

 

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Are You Ready for 2016?

2016 is the Year of the Monkey which in Chinese astrology signifies flux, upheaval and change. I see hope in change. I see hope raising up and capturing our attention through the next 400 days. Are you seeking hope and responding to her urging?

What 3 goals have you set for the first quarter? Do you need some urging and encouragement to set a mind, body and soul goal? Would weekly encouragement and accountability help?

snookie's cookies

 

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What is Normal?

There are people that I have met whose life choices I don’t understand. Their normal is so outside my frame of reference as to appear insane. I can’t imagine the journey that lead them to the worldview they espouse and demonstrate.

The normal might include a parent who deprives herself of basic necessities and enjoyment so she can ensure that her adult children will receive a generous inheritance. Our kids have been told that “if there is anything left when we die, it was a mistake.”

The normal might be a man in his early 60’s (I call him Vince) who gets out of bed at 5:30 and despite his physical and mental illness gets on a bus to downtown , regardless of weather, to stand on the same corner with his hat extended and a smile on his face. After the morning rush, he gets on the bus and heads home from his job only to return for a second shift later in the afternoon.

The normal might be an executive who hasn’t really seen nor talked to his children in months because he is working 10,11,12 hours every day to ‘make ends meet’.

The normal might be a single mom struggling to keep her three kids clothed and schooled who accesses a school lunch program and shops where she gets the best bang for her bucks.

It might be a couple in their later years who supplement their retirement with risky (some would say) behaviour. Or the young man who bets it all on the spin of a wheel. Or the young woman who bets it all on the spin of an idea.

Is normal just perspective? Is it  just adaptation in the face of circumstances? Is it just a defensive reaction to stressors?

I recognize that I am not normal but I am ok with that and likely foster abnormal quirks from my perspective and in order to adapt.

Make Today Normal, whatever that means for you,

B

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What to Do in your 40’s

If I knew then what I know now (or think I know) I would have done some things differently (maybe). This isn’t regrets (I have a few, but then again too few to mention). This is about offering encouragement to readers in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to take action to change your world earlier than I undertook. If you have personal goals for a distant future, don’t put off starting until a later date (usually when I have more time, have more money, have more energy, experience..) Excuses are poor reasons to not begin.

I am healthier today than 10 years ago, I am smarter today than 10 years ago and 10 minutes ago I have stronger relationships than yesterday and last century. I wasn’t intentional about these changes until the last 6 years. Every day my intentions rule my actions and inactions. Every day I have the choice to do things or not do things that make my life, my family, my world better. I am better intentionally recognizing the choices and imagining the impact.

If I knew then … I would have set significant long term goals and then putting in place 10 day landmarks, 100 day navigation points and 1000 day destinations for as many longer term aspirations as possible. The higher level discipline of intention and accountability towards something important (to you) will reap remarkable benefits when you are a decade older and another decade older …

Make Today Intentionally Remarkable,

B