6 Ways to Make a Lasting Dent in Your Personal World

1. Stop Being Reasonable

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Success does not occur naturally. Yes, some form of “natural talent” may exist but talent is just a starting point. DO NOT be deceived by it.

Genius is much less about genetics and much more about mindset. Start believing new things about yourself. Change your perspective on your ability. Make everything a skill instead of a talent.

Lesson: The dedicated unreasonable man achieves the unthinkable.

2. Stop Avoiding your Fears

“What we resist persists. What we look at disappears.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch

When you avoid fear, you maintain and magnify it. Fear isn’t real. Fear isn’t what’s actually happening. It’s just your reaction to it.

Nothing rises indefinitely. Fear, if you face it, will soon begin to subside the more you expose yourself to it.

Lesson: The only way out is through.

3. Stop Pursuing Perfection

Perfection is not the art of getting things right but of procrastination.

The pursuit of perfection is standing between you and your goals. You only know when you do because action always brings clarity.

So don’t just consume knowledge, hoarding it for the perfect moment. Use what you’ve consumed. Create something with your knowledge. Execute. Execute. Execute.

Lesson: Execution trumps knowledge.

4. Stop waiting for Passion to give you Permission to Start

“Passion is not a trait that exists in advance. It comes with mastery and is cultivated over time.” ~ Cal Newport

Waiting for the stars to align and for passion to strike is a sure sign you’re a perfectionist and perfectionists never take action.

Passion green lights nothing and guarantees even less. When you wait for permission, you squander your most precious resource: time.

Lesson: “Don’t wait for passion to lead you somewhere you’re not. Start by bringing passion to the place where you are.” ~ John Ortberg

5. Build Habits not Goals

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Will Durant

Habits are foundational and goals are simply challenging.

Once the challenge is conquered we tend to move on and in short measure, cast any benefits accrued, to the wayside.

Decide what habits will improve the quality of your life and be deliberate, methodical and unreasonable in their pursuit.

Lesson: If you want to change just one day in your life, set a goal. If you want to change your whole life, build a habit.

6. Be Grateful

“The greedy person lives in a perpetual state of inadequacy.” ~ Charlie Ambler

Learn to craft your own definition of success. To actively focus on all the good things that you have in your life and receive with gratitude the high’s and low’s that are part of the human experience.

If for nothing else, but to compensate for the brains’ natural tendency to focus on threats, worries, and the negative aspects of life.

Lesson: Gratitude is essential for contentment.

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12 Instances Where Worrying Should Be The Last Thing On Your Mind

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

1. Do not worry about comparing your thing to their thing. A habit of external comparison is rewarded with envy. Envy will rob you of the creative energy required to make your thing great.

2. Do not worry about whether things will get easier. They don’t. The higher you go and the further you reach you’ll discover that difficulty is built in. However, it is not there to disqualify but to qualify. To help you understand the level of commitment and sacrifice required to get through. Add commitment and sacrifice to intentional practice and you will get stronger and better with each passing day.

3. Do not worry about the past or about the future. Said Roy T. Bennett, “No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future.” Orient yourself to the present. It is the only moment you have. However, it is the only moment you need.

4. Do not worry about being fully ready for the next step. No one ever is. Take the step and jump. Grow wings on the way down. If you get knocked around remember. Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue and the cracks are where the light comes through.

5. Do not worry about the people who choose to leave. People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Reasons change. Seasons change. You change. Appreciate what was and make room for what is to come.

6. Do not worry about getting acknowledgment for your work. Everything you create has its own voice. Focus on value and in time your work will speak for itself and be sort out on its own merit.

7. Don’t worry about what they say when you ask for what you need. People do not come equipped to read the minds of others. Many want to help. They just don’t how. You’re the only one who can tell them. You’re the only one who knows exactly what you need.

8. Don’t worry about rejection. Rejection sucks. However,  rejection is more ‘not yet’ than ‘never’. Don’t let rejection knock you out of the race and be where your story ends.

9. Don’t worry about failure. It’s only permanent if you choose not to get up. Be motivated by the words of Napoleon Hill. “Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.”

10. Do not worry about going after what you want. Nothing comes to us except death. It is the only achievement that is pre-assigned.  Everything else we must go out in search of.

11. Do not worry about saying no to what others want for you and pursuing your own dream. Said Richard Koch, “Most of our failures are in races for which others enter us. Most of our success comes from races we ourselves want to enter.”

12. Do not worry about the goal. Set it and forget it. If the goal was well chosen, the only thing that requires your focus and energy is the process. Build the habits required for the process and the goal will be accomplished.

Worrying is not an action but a reaction. Figure out what it is that you are reacting to and deal with it.

“Remember, the moment you accept total responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you claim the power to change anything in your life.” ~ Hal Elrod.Recognize

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8 Things – The Lessons of October

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” ~ Henry Ford

1 Thing That Will Sell You Out


“The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” ~ Martha Beck

Your character is the sum total of your habits. Daily, repetitious, unconscious habit. You can only pretend for so long before your habits come crashing through and reveal the real you.

2 Things That Will Change your Life


Elon Musk is building rockets today because he read a lot of books about rockets.

“You are what you read. The information that you input into your mind informs your thinking patterns, and it influences your output in the form of the decisions you make, the work you produce, and the interactions you have.” ~ Zat Rana


Repetition is the path to mastery. It is and will always be King.

“Each time you repeat something, you notice something different. Each time you repeat something, there’s some piece — now stored in your long-term memory, instead of being frantically processed by your short-term memory — that just comes easier.” ~ David Kadavy

3 Things You Need to Rethink

Where Confidence Comes From

Old thinking  – Confidence is a product of success.

New thinking – Confidence is, in fact, a product of repetition … but not a product of success — it’s a product of failure. It’s knowing what the fall feels like and being familiar enough with it that you can be comfortable with the risk.” ~John Gorman 

Read more about that here.

Being the Best 

Old thinking – Focus on being the best.

New thinking – Focus on being the best at getting better.

When you focus on being the best and are, you feel happy. If you’re not careful too much of that happy feeling can make you complacent.

On the other hand, if you focus on being better and fail you feel sad. If you’re not careful too much of the sad feeling can make you depressed.

Read more about that here.


Old thinking – Failure is falling down.

New thinking – Failure is staying down.

We don’t fail because we get knocked down but because we stay down. Failure is built into the process. If you’re not failing at something chances are you’re not challenging yourself hard enough.

2 Things You Can Stop Doing Today

Stop Seeking Perfection

The pursuit of perfection always takes and very rarely gives. It steals your joy and makes sure that achievement is always unattainable.

Elizabeth Lombardo in this article offers nine reasons why perfectionism is a bad thing.

… You are never done.

… You are stressed and discontent.

… You don’t take risks.

… Your creativity is suffocated.

… You strive to keep everyone happy.

… You’re highly critical of others.

… You can’t delegate.

… You personalize everything.

… You never rest.

Stop Waiting

Regret is a terrible thing. It crushes you from the inside out. Stop waiting. Act now.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~ Mark Victor Hansen

In the same breath, stop wishing, wanting and hoping. No amount of wishing, hoping or wanting is going to get you what you want. You either make it happen or it never happens.

Matt Cutts found out that 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit.

Today can be your Day One. Today you get a new thirty days to change your life by adding something new that pushes you forward and takes away something old that was holding you back.


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7 Ways You’re Talking Yourself Out of Doing Anything Worthwhile

1. You’re Measuring Your Progress using Your Ego

When you measure your progress using your ego, you’re setting yourself up for failure because you’re going up against a level of quality you’re not capable of producing right out the gate.

Measuring your progress using your ego is essentially measuring yourself against others. You will never be as fast as Usain Bolt. Does this mean you should give up your love of running and abandon your efforts to train as hard as you can?

How to know if your ego is your measuring guide — answer this question. Are you comparing your progress to the equivalent of someone else’s “ESPN Top 10 Plays of the Week” recap?

Behind the scenes of every single successful highlight reel is the blood, sweat and tears equivalent of what it took to create it. Don’t be fooled. Mind your own business and focus on your own efforts.

Measure your progress against your own highlight reel no matter how lackluster it may appear to be.

2. You’re Making ‘No’ Mean More Than it Does

Rejection and physical pain activate the same area of the brain. So not only does rejection suck, it causes us to experience pain. Literally.

That being said, ‘no’ is more a statement of perception than it is a statement of fact. A rejection of an idea, opinion or creation. Rarely a rejection of who you are as an individual. Don’t let it mean more than it does. Don’t let it make you doubt your self-worth.

‘No’ is simply the beginning. A necessary step in the pursuit of your success. To allow a ‘no’ to stop your story means that your story was not worth telling. Your story will always be worth telling. You, however, must have the courage to and the capacity to bear all the rejection coming your way to tell it.

You, however, must have the courage to and the capacity to bear all the rejection coming your way to tell it.

3. You’re only Selling Yourself on The Idea of Success and not on The Work Required to Achieve It

Ayodeji Awosika, author of The Destiny Formula, using writers as an example, says. “There are two different types of people when it comes to writing. People who want to write, and people who like the idea of being a writer.”

Those who like the idea of being a writer have been sold only on the idea and those who want to write have been sold on not only the idea but the work. These two types of people exist in every aspect of your life.

If you don’t sell yourself on the amount and quality of work required to do that worthwhile thing you have your eye on, you will never achieve it. There are no shortcuts to success. It’s best to get a full preview in advance.

4. You’re Depending on Your Feelings to Create Action

Once you’ve sold yourself on the amount and quality of work required to do anything worthwhile, you can’t just leave it up to your feelings to drive the required action.

If you listen to how you feel when it comes to what you want, you will never do anything worthwhile because you’re never going to feel like it.

Michael Phelps, during peak training times, swims a minimum of 80,000 meters a week (approx. 50 miles.) He practices twice a day, sometimes more if he’s training at altitude and trains for around five to six hours a day, six days a week. When it comes to his diet, it has been reported that he eats 12,000 calories a day, around 4,000 calories per meal.

Does Phelps stop to check in with his feelings to see whether they feel like working out or consuming that many calories? I think I can trust you to answer that question for yourselves.

5. You’ve Chosen To Live Behind Enemy Lines

If you’re in your head, creating and recycling negative talk, you’re behind enemy lines. What your brain believes, it will work to reinforce. Reinforced negative and unsubstantiated beliefs coupled with time turn into excuses. Excuses create justifications as to why it is okay to be fine with less.

When has the enemy ever done anything in your favor? They are the enemy for a reason. You’re not fine. Saying you are is talking yourself out of doing anything worthwhile and talking yourself into being satisfied with less.

6. You’re Ignoring the Five-Second Rule

Mel Robbins is a best-selling author and motivational powerhouse. She says that anytime you have an idea that seems like a sure thing, you have five seconds in which to turn it into action. Why? Because your brain’s main job is to avoid trouble and risk. In less than five seconds it will persuade you to abandon your idea regardless of how life-altering it may have been.

We all have ideas that could change our lives but you can’t think your way there. You must act. The Five-Second rule is a crucial trick for outsmarting your brain and creating life-changing action.

7. You’re Refusing to Start Until You have an Original Idea

Without Edvard Munch, Henri Toulouse de Lautrec, Paul Cézanne, Henri Rousseau and Georges Braque, the Picasso you and I know today would have been a very different artist. Maybe even an unknown.

Jean-Luc Godard, a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic is noted as having said, “It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.” Nobody is 100% original unless they have lived their entire lives in a chasm devoid of any and all external influence from the moment they were born. This is clearly not possible. Influencers are all around.

Originality is how YOU uniquely put things together. If you commit to the work and are willing to create, experiment and take risks, in time, you too will get confirmation that you’re on your way. Taking names and kicking ass.


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7 Reminders From Mother Nature About Living A Better Life

“If we are willing to be still and open enough to listen, wilderness itself will teach us.” ~ Steven Harper

Saturday mornings are for power yoga. This past Saturday’s session was held outdoors. It was an unexpected treat. Mother Nature set the backdrop for the best yoga workout to date. I am unsure of how to return to doing yoga indoors after this.

I am tempted to say that Mother Nature was preening like a peacock. Taking our breath away with each pose we struck. I know otherwise. This is her everyday presentation.

All over the world, for the last few months or so, mother nature has reminded us just who is in charge. As vicious as those lessons have been, Mother Nature is one of life’s greatest teachers.

Following are seven reminders I got from Mother Nature about living a better life.

1. Don’t be afraid to mix it up or be different.

“No pleasure endures unseasoned by variety.” ~ Publilius Syrus

At last count, (sometime around 2011), it was concluded that the world is home to 8.7 million species. Nature confirms that it takes all sorts to make this big beautiful world come alive. Variety vitalizes life. It is indeed the spice of life.

Let this remind you not to force yourself to fit into a preset mold of imagery or ideology. Try different things and try and do things differently. Always allow for the opposite of the desired experience. For the negative version of anything teaches you how to appreciate and value its opposite preferred occurrence.

The world needs you in all your varietal splendor. As Jim Rohn said, We need a variety of input and influence and voices. You cannot get all the answers to life and business from one person or from one source.”

2. The start does not indicate the finish.

“Rough or small starts do not disqualify great finishes.”

A mustard seed is usually about 1 to 2 millimeters in diameter. However, it can grow to an average height of between 6 and 20 feet with a 20-foot spread. Under ideal conditions, it can grow to a height of 30 feet tall.

A powerful reminder that how you start does not indicate how and where you will finish. Don’t undervalue your start. Many do not have the courage to even begin. Never compare it to others either.

Start small. Start messy. Start with doubt and start with fear. Start with whatever you have, with whatever you know and wherever you’re at.

Whatever your start may look like, never forget that consistent progressive effort turns amateurs into professionals.

3. Anything worthwhile takes time.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

All the wonderful creations you see in nature share one characteristic. They did not get that way overnight. What takes your breath away as you observe them took time to develop. For success, therefore, patience is par for the course.

Patience is not about waiting but how you wait. Nothing in nature is ever lying continually dormant as it waits to become whatever is next in line. Seen or unseen there are activities going on.

Learn to appreciate the present while allowing the future to unfold. If you are waiting and bitching about why you are waiting, that is not patience.

Work while you wait. Work on yourself and work with others. Work on easy things and challenging things. Work on things that scare you and things that make you laugh. Work until your tired then rest and get back to work. Work and work hard for hard work works.

4. Life is not without warning signs.

“The universe speaks through events, y’all!” ~ Dove Cameron

Nature is full of warning signs of impending danger. Birds stop chirping and lakes become still and their surfaces get as smooth as glass before a storm. Bees disappear before it rains. Ladybugs huddle together before a heat wave and dogs howl and bark uncharacteristically before an earthquake.

The same goes for life. Life does not get better or off the rails without notice. There is always a sign. The higher your level of mindfulness, the greater the chance you will not be caught unaware.

Build mindfulness by staying connected to the present. Not trying to relieve the past or hasten the arrival of the future. Mindfulness alerts you to the moment when disruption is attempting to enter your life.

Forewarned is forearmed.

5. After a storm, life always blooms again

“After the rain there’s a rainbow, after a storm, there’s calm, after the night there’s a morning, and after an ending, there’s a new beginning.” ~ Unknown

After a storm passes, birds resume their chirping. Ripples return to the lake’s surface.  Bees return to pollinating and ladybugs break free from their huddles. Petals and leaves that got blown begin to grow anew.  The storm is but a temporary pause.

This is a reminder that bad moments only last if you hold on to them and refuse to let them pass. This is not the intent of life. Life is in constant motion. Let the good come and go. Let the bad come and go. Learn from each without laying claim to either for you control neither.

6. Better living requires flexibility and adaptability.

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.” ~ Yann Martel

Nature’s flexibility and adaptability are unrivaled. Take the daffodil for instance. Its flowers typically droop to the side. However, in the midst of a strong wind, daffodils twist. They are aware of their fragility so they turn so that the back of their petals face into the wind. Twisting allows them to assume a position of strength.

Flexibility and adaptability are strengths. They allow one to bend as opposed to breaking. With them, you carry less baggage. You move with ease through change and are therefore able to build a life of contentment.

7. Help can come from unlikely places.

“I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life – whoever you are, whatever our differences.”  ~John Denver

Egrets pick harmful insects off the backs of water buffalos, horses, and cows. Since they are more sensitive to predators, hunters or other signs of danger, they also act as a warning signal.

Plover birds are the crocodile’s dentist. Crocodiles fight their natural instincts to bite down and eat them and allow them to pick off food stuck between their teeth. Meat ants protect butterflies from their shared predators. Honeyguide birds show honey badgers where to find honey. The list goes on and on.

The design of life was is not one where the journey is to be undertaken alone. Egrets and water buffalos are nothing alike. Neither are plover birds and crocodiles. Yet, they help each other out.

Expect the unexpected for it too can bring the greatest of gifts.

Make time for Mother Nature for she has much to share. Schedule time to interact with her as much you can. She has the power to heal your mind. To make you stronger from the inside out. There is nothing stronger than a strong mind. With it, you can conquer the whole world.

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26 Lessons to Learn that Your Life Will Thank You For

1. You were created for a purpose Your purpose in life is unique. However, there is a purpose that we all share. That purpose is TRUTH. Act in it. Speak with it. Live in it. Create with it.

2. The best way to discover your purpose is to pay attention. One’s purpose is not created, it’s discovered. The things that move you or capture your attention are not random or accidental. As Rumi said, “Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”

3. Identify a place for everything you own. Every time you take something out and use it, put it back. You’ll lose fewer things and have less to tidy up. Your time is too valuable to spend it searching for lost items or constantly tidying up.

4. If you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or older and you see articles with titles such as “What your 20s or 30s are really for” or anything like it. Read them. If an activity catches your eye, do it. Age is a man-made construct. Never let it define you.

5.  Socrates said, “Contentment is natural wealth.” Contentment has more staying power than happiness. It is also the gift that keeps on giving. Learn how to build it.

6. Perfection is not a sign of success. Success is about finding something to improve on.

7. Your mind is the creator of all things. Good things and not so good things. To change your life you have to change your mind. Train your mind and the rest will follow.

8. When presented with the choice of an easy task or a challenging task, always choose the challenging task. Challenges build strength and character. Strength and character prepare you for life which is undoubtedly simple but definitely not easy.

9. Beware of who you pretend to be. Your character, when you least expect it, will always out you. As Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “No man, for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”

10. Free and On sale should never be how you determine what you need. How an item adds value to your life is a better starting point.

11. Yes, money is important. However, true wealth is a mental construct. If you think you have it, you do. If you don’t think you do, you don’t. So, learn to save it for when you need it but don’t let it compromise you. Your integrity will always be more valuable. Let the Joneses be damned.

12. There is a high probability that your job is not trying to kill you. For “It’s not what a man does during working hours, but after them, that breaks down his health.” ~Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to his Son

13. Your body and your mind will always take wherever you want to go. Learn how to keep both in optimal condition.

14. Talent, eloquence, attractiveness, silver spoons, preferred locations, and all other perceived advantages can all be outworked.

15. The little things you do every day will always trump the big things you do once in a while.

16. Accountability is about honoring your commitments. Never make a commitment you cannot keep. No matter how small. Once you start, you’ll be unable to stop.

17. At birth, you get the gift of life. The gift of living on the other thought is entirely up to you. In the pursuit of living, your biggest enemy will always be your own self-doubt.

18. Each and every one of us has something that excites us. However, endurance is rare. Become that rare individual who knows how to endure.

19. The more you have, the more you have to manage. Eventually, the scale will tip. It will not do so in your favor. If you’re struggling with minimalism or are battling clutter remember. “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” ~ Marie Kondō

20. Always have a hunger for learning. Self-improvement is the only way to guarantee that the future will be better.

21. Accountability improves performance. Always have at least one person in your life whom you respect and who holds you accountable to your goals.

22. Don’t think about your legacy in terms of what your obituary will read. Think about it as the feeling you leave behind every time you walk away from someone.

23. If you want to achieve big goals, build a schedule then work the schedule. Schedules create repetition. Repetition creates habits. Habits accomplish goals.

24. Feelings create emotions. Emotions communicate meaning and intent. However, feelings are not facts. If you are struggling to communicate, it is your feelings and not your emotions that you should seek to understand.

25. Don’t be cheap about the things you use the most. What you use constantly is exposed to greater wear and tear. If you have to keep replacing it then you end up spending more than you would have if you had bought a quality item, to begin with. You will realize in the end, that cheap is expensive.

26. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot be both silent and engaged. There will always come a time when you have to speak up for something or someone you say you believe in.


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Mastering the Art of Recovery

“When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” ~ Miles Davis

At his first acting audition, a 16-year-old kid was told, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something.”

If you were that 16-year old kid, what would you have done?

  • Would you have gone off and become a dishwasher or something or,
  • Would you have rattled off a list of why you were indeed qualified for the role you were auditioning for or,
  • Would you have a one-on-one conversation with your ego and say let’s go to work and get the skills required to do this job right.?

The kid chose the latter. That kid was Sidney Poitier and you know what happened next and continued to keep happening for many years to come.

Many who have experienced both success and failure say that while success is sweet, failure has the best lessons. You will be unable to access those lessons though if failure wipes you out.

If you’re trying. If you’re exerting effort, there’s a very high probability that you’re going to mess up. You’re going to fail. To safeguard against failure knocking you down and keeping you there, you need to master the art of recovery.

The art of recovery involves the following five steps.

1. Acknowledge the Failure

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Failure is not hallowed ground. It bears the footprints of many. Ignoring its occurrence sets you twenty steps back as opposed to just two.

When it comes to power, knowledge continues to hold pace with the best of them. When you attempt to do something and that effort results in failure you are equipped with knowledge that you would otherwise have never had access to. This knowledge can place you at the head of the pack if you learn to use it right.

As you acknowledge the failure, it is equally important to acknowledge your role in its creation. Many of us were taught this lesson a long time ago. He who gets the blame gets the punishment. Lurking in the shadows of failure is fear of blame and also pride.

You know what they say about pride, it comes before a fall. In addition, if pride is standing in between you and acknowledging failure, it means that you’re caring too much about what others think.When it comes to the blame portion, learn to view the

When it comes to the blame portion, learn to view the acknowledgment of your part in a failed event not as a source of punishment but of learning.

When you fail to acknowledge your role in a negative outcome, you reserve yourself a lifetime roundtrip ticket on a plane with only one destination. Failure.

2. Fill in the Gaps

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”  ~Henry Ford

Never allow yourself to go blindly from failure to failure. No matter how inconsequential that failure may seem to be.

Failure has its place but it should never be the plan. The occurrence of it means that there are gaps that need to be filled. Ignoring the gaps leads to canyons down the road that you will struggle needlessly and unsuccessfully to climb out of.

Fill in the gaps. Be completely honest with yourself and discipline yourself to go beyond the obvious. As you analyze why your efforts resulted in failure, beware of your pre-existing beliefs that may steer you towards seeing things as you wish them to be versus as they are.

We always gravitate towards our strengths. To master the art of the recovery” though, you must face your weaknesses. Dissect the failure from all angles and do patch work as dictated by what you find and not what you feel.

If the lens through which you’re reviewing the failure is cloudy, call for reinforcements to help clear the haze.

3. Make a Plan

“Few people have any next, they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who’ve mastered the art of recovery did not do it by chance. They had a plan. Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years. When asked by Tony Robbins how he survived he responded, “I didn’t survive, I prepared.” 

You’re going to need a plan and not just any plan will do. Good plans tell you what to do. Great plans tell you what to do when you start to veer off course or life interrupts. You should know that life is designed to interrupt.

For example, let’s say you decide to hit the gym 5 times a week at 4 pm. On the 5th day, 4 pm finds you unexpectedly nowhere near your gym.

Do you:

  • Shrug it off and say there’s always tomorrow or,
  • Do you start whining to whomever you’re with about what you should be doing at this time or,
  • Do you pick from the list of alternatives that you had pre-planned for moments just like this?

Without a great plan, you’d spend your time berating yourself over the workout you missed, sharing that negativity with those around you and stacking up too many tomorrows. With a great plan, you would have simply picked from the list of alternatives that you had pre-planned for moments just like this.

Something else to keep in mind as you make your plan is that you may come to find that what you are trying to accomplish has been done by somebody else. Somebody who you may even admire. A word of caution in this regard.

Never set out to copy word for word or action for action the plan that your favorite mogul, start-up guru or mentor used to get them where they are.  That plan was not designed for you and is not all-inclusive.This is because they have learned over time that most people don’t want to hear what they really sacrificed and did to get where they are today. They only want to hear what they feel they can also accomplish.

In addition, people who have already succeeded at something know this hard truth. People don’t want to hear what you really sacrificed and did to get where you are today. They only want to hear what they feel they can also accomplish.

Be inspired by the plans of others but always make a plan for who you are at the point where you are at. Your mentor might only be sleeping for four hours because that is what they need. You might need more but your commitment is such that you are able to accomplish the things you set out to achieve but are choosing instead, to get stuck on the fact that you’re sleeping for two hours more than they are.

So make a plan. Make a plan that challenges you and works for you as that’s the only plan you’re going to end up sticking to.

4. Recommit Yourself

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses – only results.” ~ Ken Blanchard

Failure no matter how proudly or nobly faced will leave you with some doubts. It will shake some things loose that will need to be tightened. If you allow it to, it will rob you of the enthusiasm and sense of persistence required to step back onto the field.

So, take some time to recommit to yourself and to your worth that still stands in spite of what you have just experienced. Then, recommit yourself mentally to your goals and to your journey. Step back and look at the big picture and remind yourself why it matters. Why this journey must be seen through to the end.

During this time you might make the discovery that your why is not strong enough to see you through because it was poorly chosen. This represents growth and your honesty should be applauded. Starting for the wrong reasons can be understood. Staying for the wrong reason reflects poor character and a lack of responsibility for ones own life.

So change the why or change the goal. If you change the goal remember, that you may need to go back to the previous step and change the plan to match the new goal.

5. Try Again

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”  ~ Winston Churchill

Everything you have done above has equipped you with various pieces of knowledge. Knowledge is just the start and learning does not happen at the table. What makes knowledge worth all the time and effort you took to collect it is action. Persistent, consistent action.

So try again. Try again before you talk yourself out of trying and get in your own way. Try sooner rather than later before fear increases its footprint in your life and you deem the risk to costly.

As you try again and step back onto the field remember this. Treat the past failure as a single event. This isn’t every other time. This time is now. It only exists in this moment. You’ve never been here before. Don’t weigh this moment down with baggage from past failures. Take a clean shot.


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What Albert Einstein can Teach us About The Power of Imperfect Moments

“A beautiful thing is never perfect.” ~Proverb

Annus mirabilis is a Latin phrase that means wonderful, miraculous or amazing year. Scientists refer to 1905 as Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis. This was the year that Einstein published four scientific papers that would go on to set the stage for modern physics by documenting findings that would greatly influence the understanding of time, space, mass and energy. It also the year that Einstein obtained his doctorate after submitting his thesis.

The default thinking when one hears of such an accomplishment is that the individual found their perfect window of time and opportunity within which to work. In addition, they must have been working in collaboration with like-minded peers. For some, this might be true. For many, it is never the case. For Einstein, it certainly was not.

Einstein always wanted to be a teacher of the sciences. However, as a result of not fitting into the mold of a preferred student, he found himself struggling to find the type of work he wanted after he graduated.

Jeff Bezos said that “Complaining isn’t a strategy. You have to work with the world as you find it, not as you would have it be.” That is exactly what Einstein did. When landing his dream job proved unsuccessful, he worked with what the world was offering.

He allowed for what outwardly appeared to be an imperfect moment. He took a job as a patent examiner. His days were spent reviewing patent applications, executing art searches and advising applicants on whether their inventions would receive a patent. The job called for an eight-hour day and a six-day work week.

His job was unquestionably imperfect when you line it up against a job he would rather be doing – teaching science. However, he did not let that fact deter him. He had identified his purpose and he was determined to stay true to it all while honoring the demands of his current job.

Einstein found his way to academia eventually. When the accolades for his work started pouring in and he was awarded the Nobel prize, it was not for the work he was currently involved in, but for the work he produced in his annus mirabilis.

2 Great Lessons from Einstein’s time as a Patent Examiner

1. If it is important to you, you must find the time to make sure it gets done.

“It’s not about ‘having’ time. It’s about making time. If it matters, you will make time.” ~ Unknown

In a biography written by his son-in-law, Rudolf Kayser, it is said, with regards to Einstein finding the time to work on his thesis and the four papers that,“ he soon discovered that he could find time to devote to his own scientific studies if he did his work in less time.” 

What is your purpose? What do you want to achieve in and with your life? Once you figure what it is, you must go in search of the time to make your purpose come to life. You should never allow waiting to become a habit.

2. Great people always do good work regardless of what the work is.

“The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Even though he aimed to do his work in less time, Einstein did not half-ass it. He applied the same level of commitment and excellence to it as he would have to his scientific pursuits.

As a result, he excelled as a patent officer and not only got promoted but when he submitted his resignation, his boss indicated that his departure was a great loss to the patent office.

The job you hate. The imperfect moment that you find yourself in is teaching you something. The lesson could be as simple as patience or a work ethic or as challenging as time management, resilience or persistence.

Doing poor work is a waste of your time. Not only does poor work consume time in the execution of the tasks that it requires but it also steals creative energies. All work is worth doing well if only to allow for time to do even better work.

That ‘imperfect’ job you currently have is allowing you to take care of what would undoubtedly cause you stress. Things like paying your electricity and water bills. Feeding you and your family if you have one. Paying for lessons to gain skills that would make you better at what you ultimately want to do.

You may argue that Einstein was lucky but what is luck? Is it not simply an engineered construct of preparation meeting opportunity?

Are you waiting for the perfect moment? The perfect job to produce your best work? You have only one life. Life doesn’t wait and perfection always comes at a cost. Are you sure you can afford it?

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5 Key Life Lessons from a 106-year-old Culinary Genius & YouTube Sensation

At 106 years of fine life, Mastanamma is definitely overqualified when it comes to the topic of life lessons. Her story is now being retold far and wide but just in case you don’t know who she is let me tell you a little bit about her.

Mastanammaa is a grandmother from India. The fact that she is 106 years old is great but what makes her story even greater in this social media driven age, is that she is on YouTube. Even greater still, she’s totally crushing it!

She joined (okay actually her great grandson and a friend got her on) YouTube in August 2016 and to date, her channel has over 340,000 subscribers.

Mastanamma’s is a bonafide culinary genius whose creations include egg omelets in cucumber and chicken in watermelon. Not flavored by cucumber or watermelon, but actually cooked in a cucumber and in a watermelon. Foodies around the world are no doubt all raising their hands in salute and wondering whether there’s room at the table for one more.

Here are five key life lessons that I’ve taken from her inspiring story.

Lesson #1 — Simplicity always Reigns Supreme

Mastanamma is the epitome of simplicity. She uses only the most basic of tools. Cooks over an open flame while sitting in a field. Peels vegetables with her fingernails and slices food with a ‘Bonti’, a traditional Indian knife. She forbids the use of cutlery and this makes perfect delicious sense for food eaten by hand often tends to be the very best kind.

Lesson #2 — Aging Should Never Signify the End

Betty Friedan said, “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

You may slow down, but aging does not mean you now simply have a life and should stop living a life. You’re only done when you’re dead.

Lesson#3 — Aging is an Attitude

You can’t stop the hands of time but you don’t have to get old. Mastanamma is proof positive that aging is nothing but a reflection of time on the body and that aging gracefully has more to do with attitude than it has to do with having access to a factory-made beauty product.

Lesson #4 — Always Stay True to You

Mastanamma’s grandson could have insisted that grandma moves to a modern kitchen and takes advantage of the latest technology. She said no and he listened. She stayed true to herself and this is why 340,000+ subscribers have tuned in. They’ve tuned in to watch her story that just happens to be told through food.

Lesson #5 — Food will Forever be a huge part of Your Story

When asked to give advice to her subscribers, Mastanamma said we should “cook a lot of curries and eat well.” You might not agree with the curry bit but we should all be nodding our heads in the affirmative about eating well. Well not in quantity but in quality.

The food you consume either builds you up or breaks you down. There is no in between. You are powered from the inside out. You are not a trash can. The sooner you can master this, the sooner you can start to flourish.

They are yet to crack the code of eternal youth on the physical but in the mind, eternal youth is thriving. We are just temporarily blinded to it.

We as members of the society we live in have turned the view of aging from one of wisdom and experience to something that should be feared and found a cure for. We have the power to change that.

So until the sands of time run out, may you remember that Mastanamma lives in all of us. Stay curious. Stay hungry. Stay learning and maybe plan a trip to see a 106-year-old culinary genius while you’re at it.

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Happiness is not Hidden from You. You are Hidden from It

Many, many years ago in North Africa there lived a chief. He was very rich and had many wives and children. But he was not happy. He thought, “I have everything. But that does not make me happy. What must I do to be happy? I don’t know.”

Once he shouted angrily to his servants, “Why can’t I be happy? What must I do to be happy?”

One of his servants said, “Oh, my Chief! Look at the sky! How beautiful the moon and the stars are! Look at them and you will see how good life is. That will make you happier.”

“Oh, no, no, no!” the chief answered angrily. “When I look at the moon and the stars I become angry. Because I know I cannot get them.”

Then another servant said, “Oh, my Chief! What about music?

Music makes a man happy. We shall play to you from morning till night and music will make you happy. ”

The chief’s face became red with anger. “Oh, no, no, no, no!” he cried. “What a silly idea. Music is fine. But to listen to music from morning till night, day after day? Never! No. Never!”

So the servants went away. And the chief sat angrily in his rich room. Then one of the servants came back into the room and made a bow, “Oh, my Chief,” he said, “but I think I can tell you something that will make you very happy.”

“What is it?” asked the chief.

“It is very easy to do,” said ‘the servant. “You must find a happy man, take off his shirt and put it on. Then his happiness will go into your body and you will be as happy as he!”

“I like your idea,” said the chief. He sent his soldiers all over the country to look for a happy man. They went on and on. But it was not easy to find a happy man in the chief’s country. But one day the soldiers found a man in a small village who said, “I am the happiest man in the world.”

He was poor. But he always smiled and sang. The soldiers brought him to the chief. “At last I shall be a happy man!” said the chief and took off his shirt at once. “Bring the man in!” The door of the chief’s room opened. A small, dark man with a happy smile walked in.

“Come here, my friend!” said the chief. “Please take off your shirt!” The happy man with a little smile came up to the chief.

The chief looked at him and saw what did he see?

The happy man, the happiest man in the world, had no shirt!

 If you rely on unreliable objects – people, possessions, money, status- for your happiness, happiness will forever elude you. None of these can offer you a guarantee of happiness because they are outside your control.

“Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are it solely relies on what you think.” Happiness is not hidden from you. You are hidden from it. Reveal yourself to it by appreciating what you have at this moment.

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