Leaders vs Followers




Followers accept
Leaders question

Followers get along with everyone
Leaders challenge everyone

Followers give you respect
Leaders make you earn their respect

Followers take the main road
Leaders take the road less traveled

Followers are content
Leaders stay hungry

Followers are afraid to fail
Leaders know they will fail before they succeed

Followers are afraid of change
Leaders welcome change

Followers think
Leaders do

Followers make others follow
Leaders inspire other leaders

Followers follow
Leaders lead


5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Finish What You Started

I found this really helpful post called 5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Finish What You Started by Hani Al-Qasem that gives you tips on how to stay motivated to finish what you started. Hope you find it as helpful as I did.

There must be a reason why many people quite often start projects or tasks, big or small, and at some point while working on the tasks they feel overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed, so much so that in the end they quit or feel like quitting.

When they are in a state of overwhelm or frustration their motivation to keep working is hindered. Their enthusiasm to finish off what they had started is greatly reduced and may lead to stop working on the project altogether.

So what do most of them do?

They mosey on to the coffee machine grunting under their breath, and once there they find someone to vent on. They spend a few minutes in idle one way chatter, complaining about the project or task that they have to do.

And as soon as the complaining session is over they reluctantly go back to their desk and stare at the project with great distaste wondering how they are going to get it done.

Rather than you falling into the same predicament of overwhelm and frustration, there are 5 ways I found that can really keep you productive and motivated to finish off what you started, where you can get things done from beginning to end, and feel great while doing so.

Here are the 5 ways that you can use today to easily finish off anything that you started, and to do so with great enthusiasm and motivation:

1. Break down the project into smaller pieces. The size and type of the project is irrelevant. To be more productive and remain motivated to finish off the project, you simply have to break it down into smaller, more manageable portions.

By breaking the project into smaller pieces, it will not seem so daunting. And what’s more, as you complete one step and before going to the next, you will have a sense of satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, which feels wonderful, psychologically.

This alone will motivate you to move onto to the next chunk or piece. But, before you move on to the next piece, be nice and give yourself a reward.

Go to the coffee machine and pour yourself a well-deserved cup and celebrate that achievement.

Once the celebration is over, go back and finish off another chunk. Notice the difference in your mood. You will be more productive than before and you will also feel more motivated to work, looking forward to receiving another reward.

2. Utilize the snowball effect to your advantage. What has the snowball effect got to do with motivation? In one word, momentum. Find the easiest and most enjoyable part of the project and start there.

This way you will finish off that portion of the task quickly and easily. It will give you the added buzz of accomplishment, and it will also increase the level of your self confidence and motivation.

What a huge sense of achievement. Even if that chunk was small or petty, the motivating sense of accomplishment is still there. It is to be recognised and, better yet, rewarded.

3. Avoid multitasking as best as you can. Perhaps you cannot avoid distractions, but at least make an effort to stay clear of multitasking.

Focus on what is at hand as best as you can.

The main benefit from this is that when you focus on the project that you are working on, not will you only be more productive, your motivation level will also increase as you will more than likely finish off the project sooner.

4. Take breaks. If at any point as you are working on a project you feel your motivation is slipping, perhaps because you still have a long way to go, or the remaining work is harder and more time-consuming, I suggest you finish off the chunk that you are working on and walk away from the task.

Get up and go for a chat, have lunch, call someone.

The objective here is to take your attention away from the project. This will ease away the frustration or annoyance that you may be feeling. And when you get back to the task, you will feel more relaxed, refreshed and motivated to continue.

5. No, seriously… take breaks. Yes, take another break. Where possible, figure a way for you to take a 3 – 5 minute break after every 40 – 45 minutes of continued work. Preferably get away from your desk or your work area.

Use your imagination here!

Research says that after 40 – 45 minutes of continuous work the brain tends to get tired or slow down. Perhaps that delay is not that noticeable, but it is there. In time, it will be obvious when you feel tired or drained, or you cannot focus as well.

Go for a stretch, a drink of water, a stroll.

Whatever way you can come up with to take a break will be highly beneficial. I am only talking about a short 3 – 5 minute break.

And, again, once you go back to the task, your brain will have had a rejuvenating break. You will feel well rested, refreshed and more motivated to continue.

Make these 5 ways an integral part of your life, where you will have the satisfaction of doing more and in less time, and you will do so in a more enthusiastic and motivated way.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones (Think Different campaign)

This is one of my favorite commercials of all time. It’s very inspiring and always moves me, no matter how many times I see it. I thought of it since i just talked about challenging the norms in my recent post “The Rebel Within“.

Here’s to the crazy ones.

The misfits.

The rebels.

The troublemakers.

The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.

They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

And while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world…

Are the ones who do.

Getting Started

“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.” - Ben Stein

It’s a lot easier said than done, but figuring out what path you want to head down is a crucial first step to reaching your final destination.

Planning and figuring out what to do with the rest of your life might seem too monumental of a task, but the trick is to do it one step at a time, one day at a time.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” - Sun Tsu

You need to realize that you are not signing a lifetime contract with anyone by simply choosing a specific goal for yourself. Worst case scenario is that you realize your current path is no longer in tact with your original plans and you’d have to change it. We’ve all taken detours before, and it shouldn’t be hard to get yourself back on a positive path. Pretty much, you just need to alleviate any unnecessary strain you imply onto yourself.

“Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.” - Mary Schmich

Take a nice deep breath and think about what you love doing. Close your eyes and reminisce about your childhood and all the dreams you had in front of you. What were some of those dreams?

Also, think about things you love to do. What do you love to do so much, that you’d do it for free? Maybe you’re already doing something everyday but never realized its potential for becoming a career. Now the trick is to find a way to get paid for what you love to do.

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -St. Francis of Assisi

I know what you’re thinking… and yes, there is a high demand in the prostitution field, and yes, the pay is really good. But trust me, I tried it before and it was a tough gig… the hours were late, no healthcare, no dental, rude customers, weird customers and of course, not a good retirement package…. (just kidding)

Still having problems figuring out what’s for you? Try talking with family and friends. Maybe they can see the greatness and potential in you that you can’t see yourself.

Pick up the book called “Grindhopping” by Laura Vanderkam http://www.grindhopping.com. It talks about finding your own passions in life and turning it into an entrepreneurial venture. The term Grindhopping comes from the mundane lifestyles that most adults fall into, where we go to college, show up, become an average student and then eventually go out into the world as a corporate slave in the corporate grind. So Grindhopping is thus, finding your own path and becoming your own boss, hence skipping, or hopping, the daily corporate grind that drives so many of us into becoming mediocre working adults.

Grindhopping (verb) – Achieving accelerated career success, without paying your dues.

“Grindhoppers who hit the jackpot from the start have not just talent, but affection for their work. They do not believe that they should be anything but blissfully happy with their jobs.” - Lauren Vanderkam

Excepts from the book:

Guideline #1: Always Be Your Own Boss

No compromises, no excuses

Guideline #2: Know Where You’re Going

It’s the only way to drive on unmarked roads

Guideline #3: Recalculate Risk

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Guideline #4: Think Projects, Not Jobs

Welcome to the Craig’s List Economy

Guideline #5: Seek to Be Judged on Results (and Deliver Them)

Be better, and you’ve got it made

Guideline #6: Everything is Negotiable

From money to work-life balance, don’t believe “that’s just the way it is”

Guideline #7: Cultivate a Network and a Nimble Mind

Learn how to learn on the job

I asked Lauren, “What is one thing all the Grindhoppers you met have in common?”

Her response was that all of them had a strong sense of self-discipline. After all, these people aren’t working for anyone else other than themselves. So it’s their own internal fire and personal drive that will allow them to succeed or fail.

So now the question is, do you have that same motivation within you?

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” - Walt Disney

The Rebel Within


Often times, we are asked to conform, to fit in, to adjust ourselves, or to just go with the flow. For most of us, this would be a good idea. In fact, it would be the ideal situation that our parents had envisioned for us – to blend in. These parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or mentors raise each of us to follow orders, do as we’re told, respect elders and simply diminish our own inhibitions as not to make a scene. Little do these “grown-ups” know that they are actually asking us to give up so much more.

Our internal understanding of the world is slowly being shaped to simply do the accepted thing. Questioning the norm is found to be outlandish, crazy or even disrespectful.

The generation and culture I grew up in respected unity. They held highly the collective tranquility within the community. Don’t get me wrong, this structure is needed in many places for it to function. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this; unless of course, you’re a rebel like me.

Being a rebel has many derogatory connotations that come along with it. It suggests tattoos, piercings, weird hair cuts with even weirder colors,  a strong disregard for authority and of course, horrible fashion (yes, I had fallen victim to each of the mentioned “phases,” as my parents called it). On the other hand, I’m now telling you that we all need to listen to that rebel within us, if only for a moment!

You need to listen to your inner rebel because it’s that inner voice within us that will question the very existence of life. It’s that unbiased, unscrutinized, uninfected inner monologue that tells us all what is right and what is wrong. It’s what will make us stand up for what we believe in and turn us into a wolf amongst the sheep.

“Well behaved women rarely make history” ~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

We each lose our ability to think, to dream and to live our own lives the second we stop listening to our inner rebel. When we just follow the same unremarkable routines of those who have gone before us, we lose our power, our strength, our very selves.

Don’t get me wrong, we should still respect our elders, we should still listen to advice and we still need to have limitations to what we rebel againts. All I’m saying is that we each need to question everything that is thrown at us then formulate our own conclusions.

So dear moms and dads out there, when you tell your kids to blend in and to do as they’re told – please know that you’re asking them to give up on themselves.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson.


10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader

This is an old post that my good friend Josh Green shared with me some time ago. I find myself always looking back on this list to see what qualities I can improve on for myself or the people around me.

Tony Morgan from www.TonyMorganLive.com gives us 10 simple clues not on spotting good leaders, but spotting bad leaders.

Is there anything else you think we could add to this list?

10 Easy Ways to Know You’re Not a Leader

  1. You’re waiting on a bigger staff and more money to accomplish your vision.
  2. You think you need to be in charge to have influence.
  3. You’re content.
  4. You tend to foster division instead of generating a helpful dialogue.
  5. You think you need to say something to be heard.
  6. You find it easier to blame others for your circumstances than to take responsibility for solutions.
  7. It’s been some time since you said, “I messed up.”
  8. You’re driven by the task instead of the relationships and the vision.
  9. Your dreams are so small, people think they can be achieved.
  10. No one is following you.

Sunday Bloody Book Review 1 – “WHY MEN DON’T LISTEN & WOMEN CAN’T READ MAPS” by Allan & Barbara Peas

Sunday Bloody Book Review 1 -

“WHY MEN DON’T LISTEN & WOMEN CAN’T READ MAPS” by Allan & Barbara Peas

A must read for any male or female struggling to understand the opposite way of thinking!

For couples who just started dating to those who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. This book sheds light to the little misunderstanding that often lead to big fights. 

It’s a very scientific and humorous approach to the genetic differences between men and women. Millions of years of evolution has imprinted concrete modes of thought for each gender. Though society and upbringing plays a small roll in shaping us into who we are, this book clearly shows that countless years of evolution is hard to ignore. 

“Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps” is an international bestseller that reveals many of the universe’s questions such as:

  • Why men really can’t do more than one thing at a time
  • Why women make such a mess of parallel parking
  • Why men should never lie to women
  • Why women talk so much and men so little
  • Why men love erotic images and women aren’t impressed
  • Why women prefer simply to talk it through
  • Why men offer solutions but hate advice
  • Why women despair about men’s silences

I have to admit, I’ve had my share of thinking that Men are from Mars and Women are the Spawn of Satan. Thanks to this book, I’m more likely to think that we’re all just misunderstood. (Though some women are just plain crazy still… =P )

I only have three rating scales -

  1. Must read
  2. OK read but you’ll live without it
  3. Don’t bother

This book is a MUST READ! It gives you knowledge that will change the way you deal with the opposite gender. It is very well written, with concrete facts and witty commentaries.

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The Businessman and the Fisherman

One of my favorite stories of all time….

The Businessman and the Fisherman

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked and inside the boat were several large Yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican of the quality of his fish.

“How long it took you to catch them?” The American asked.

“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs and give a few to my friends,.” The Mexican said.

“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

The Story of The Businessman and the Fisherman

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Serial Relocation Syndrome

grass

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.” ~James Openheim

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It might just look that way, especially to the untrained eye. One often forgets to appreciate the greenness of the grass he’s already on.

I’ve come to the conclusion that life is as great and as bountiful as you choose for it to be. I’ve come to this conclusion to help me stick to specific place and give it all I’ve got. See I seem to be suffering from “Serial Relocation Syndrome.”

You may be suffering from this same bug if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Inability to decide what you want to do or where you want to be
  • Inadequate feelings, including yearning, searching, seeking and scrambling for an intangible, unspecified goal
  • Constant but irregular relocation to different towns, cities, states or for extreme cases, different countries and continents
  • Uncontrollable swearing and abrupt, aggressive bowel movements (rare cases)

If you suffer from one or more of the above ailments then you too may have the “Serial Relocation Syndrome.”

Continue reading

Parable of The Man Going Somewhere

The Person Going Somewhere ran into The Man Right Here,
One lived in a place called “Not Yet There” while the other in a town real near.
Day after day, treating life like a race,
The Person Going Somewhere would be at a strenuous pace.
Off he rushed to his next meeting,
Not even time, to taste what he’s eating.
Finally one day, in the subway both men stay,
The Person Going Somewhere was in great dismay.
He whimpered, “ I’m always too busy,
And some call me crazy.
But see I’m trying to get somewhere,
So stop and rest, I do not dare. ”
The Man Right Here smiled because he knew,
What The Person Going Somewhere was feeling, for he’d been there too.
He said, “ My friend where are you going, do you even remember?
Or are you just used to running, from January to December?
Slow down a bit and look all around you,
So much beauty and splendor, you just rush past through.
Make time for what’s really important: family, friends and your wife Claire
Or one day you’ll finally reach where you’re going, and find there’s no one else there… ”

copyright Vince Golangco

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Why am I GREAT?

Greatness is not an opinion, it’s not a criticism, nor is it title. It simply is a frame of mind.

I am great today because I tell myself I am.

I was great yesterday because I planted seeds that will one day reap bountiful harvests.

I will be even greater tomorrow because I believe in myself!

I will achieve even more greatness because I tell myself I can.

Starting with the right attitude to direct me forward, coupled with hard work and topped off with sheer determination, I can do anything!

I am great because I will do whatever it takes to succeed. I will use my actions, my words, my thoughts and my emotions.

What will determine my greatness is not you, nor I.

Greatness is simply a frame of mind.

I am GREAT because I will never, ever stop being GREAT!

A Wish for Leaders

A Wish for Leaders…

I sincerely wish you will have the experience of thinking up a new idea, planning it, organizing it, and following it to completion, and then have it magnificently successful. I also hope you’ll go through the same process and have something “bomb out.”

I wish you could know how it feels “to run” with all your heart and lose… horribly. I wish that you could achieve some great good for mankind, but have nobody know about it except you.

I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worthy of investing your life within it.

I hope you become so frustrated and challenged enough to begin to push back the very barriers of your own personal limitations.

I hope you make a stupid mistake and get caught red handed and are big enough to say those magic words: “I was wrong.”

I hope you give so much of yourself that some days you wonder if its worth the effort.

I wish for you a magnificent obsession that will give you reason for living and purpose and direction and life.

I wish for you the worst kind of criticism for everything you do, because that makes you fight to achieve beyond what you normally would.

I wish for you the experience of leadership.

-Earl Reum

Wits of Wisdom

Just some of my favorite words of wisdom from everyone….

“Women will never be as successful as men because they have no wives to advise them.” ~Dick Van Dyke.

“If you don’t like your job, you don’t strike! You just go in every day, and do it really half assed. That’s the American way.” ~Homer

“The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away.”  ~Tom Waits

“There are 3 kinds of people in this world… those that can count…. and those that can’t.”

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. “

“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh – at yourself.”

“You have a right to your opinions. I just don’t want to hear them.”

“You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today and we don’t know where the hell she is.” ~Ellen Degeneres

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” ~Robin Williams

“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ~Thomas Edison.

“A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just have one thing to say to the authors of that study: Duh.” ~Conan O’Brien

“The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.”

“Never play leap-frog with a unicorn” …. ouch!!!!

“Have no fear of perfection–you’ll never reach it.” ~Salvador Dali

“When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun.’”

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”  ~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

“You can’t have everything… where would you put it?”  ~Steven Wright

“Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.” ~Homer Simpson

“Plastic surgeons are always making mountains out of molehills.” ~Dolly Parton

“Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.”

“A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.”

“I plan on living forever.  So far, so good.”

“There are two different kinds of people in this world: those who finish what they start, and”


IF~

If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

If you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. … If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?

If you want to succeed sooner, double your failure rate.

If you can dish it, make sure you can take it.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ’til it is.

If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

If in doubt, throw it out (my nutritionist’s rule for food).

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you fall seven times, get up eight.

If anything can go wrong, it probably will (Murphy’s Law), have a backup plan ready.

If they can do it, so can you! The only difference is your desire and drive to do so.

If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you….?

If you don’t know – ASK. Now you know.

If you can’t beat ‘em, don’t stop trying ’til you do.

If it rains, it pours, but don’t forget about the rainbow soon after.

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.

If something’s beyond your control, why worry about it?

If you want to look young and thin, hang around old fat people.

If someone else messed up, pretend you didn’t notice.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

If you wish to make a man your enemy, tell him simply, “You are wrong.” This method works every time.

If you can do something today, do it today!

If you fear dying, then you’re already dead.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh Bear

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Slow Dance

I always go by my everyday tasks in a rush. I’m always eager to do the next mundane chore on my never-ending list. I kept rushing through life, and now I’m realizing that I’ve missed out on so many things.

I used to hate being caught in traffic; I needed to get somewhere and I needed to get there quick! But now, I enjoy the moment. I sit back and reflect on my day, I listen to an audio book, or I get to know the people I am in the car with. I’m learning to dance slow…. I’m learning to live!


Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids
on a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain
slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Do you run through each day on the fly
When you ask “How are you?”
do you hear the reply?

When the day is done,
do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores
running through your head?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
‘Cause you never had time
to call and say “Hi”?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift….
Thrown away…

Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

- David L. Weatherford

The Cookie Thief

A woman was waiting at an airport one night
With several long hours before her flight
She hunted for a book in the airport shop
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see
That the man beside her as bold as could be
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She munched cookies and watched the clock
As this gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by
Thinking “If I wasn’t so nice I’d blacken his eye”
With each cookie she took he took one too
And when only one was left she wondered what he’d do
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh
He took the last cookie and broke it in half
He offered her half as he ate the other
She snatched it from him and thought “Oh brother
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude”
She had never known when she had been so galled
And sighed with relief when her flight was called
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat
Then sought her book which was almost complete
As she reached in her baggage she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes
“If mine are here” she moaned with despair
“Then the others were his and he tried to share”
“Too late to apologize she realized with grief”
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief

By: Valerie Cox

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Cocky Sonofa…

Overconfidence?

Is there such a thing? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds”
– Albert Einstein.

This quote has played a very big role in my own self esteem and can really be very positive, while being very egotistical and counter-productive at the same time.

I often reflect back to Bill Gates when he decided to drop out of Harvard in order to pursue his dreams. Imagine what his guidance councilor’s reaction to this was? I have so many different scenarios playing in my head, most of which involves the councilor calling Bill F-ing crazy, insane and absolutely idiotic, not necessarily in that order. Bill Gates, and anyone who walks the halls of Harvard, is pretty much guaranteed a six figure income right off the bat. Yet, Bill decided to take the chance, follow his own heart and do his own thing. Today, he is the most financially secure person in the world, to say the least.

But of course, we have to be realistic. We always hear about the amazing success stories but there are probably 10 (or more) failures for every victory. So how can one balance out between having our heads in the clouds but our feet on the ground?

Personally, I’ve always leaned toward taking the chance. Every mistake you make is one that you will learn from. Every mistake you make is one less mistake you will repeat.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”
–Elbert Hubbard.

Yes this may sound too aggressive and outlandish, and yes it is so much easier said than done, especially when you consider having to invest your life savings into your new widget. But I’m not talking about gambling when the odds are stacked in the favor of the casino, no, not gambling, but taking calculated risks in life. There are ways to plan things out, to stack the odds in your favor.

The best way to point yourself in the right direction is to do EVERYTHING you can to ensure success. There are so many other factors that are out of your hands, and those are meant to be left alone. However, aspects that you can control should be researched, planned, understood, structured, studied, debated, marinated, contemplated, practiced, innovated, re-contemplated and any other buzzword you could think of! Oh, and do come up with a plans A, B, C and D.

So far, you need to have confidence and believe in yourself then do everything you can to head towards the right direction. What’s next? *Now what?* (*refer back to previous blog post.)

“Now”, you have to listen.

Listening is a virtue. It’s so easily said, so frequently misused and too often forgotten.

Overconfidence only happens, when one forgets to listen. When one tunes out everyone else and only hears what you want to hear. You don’t have to agree or disagree with anyone, but you have to listen.

How do you listen? Well you need to be patient with the people who give you advice, but be careful whose advice you take.

There’s one more really, really important thing I need to tell you, which would pretty much make everything I said make so much more sense… it is the key to balancing your confidence….. it is something that one of my greatest mentors had taught me…. Umm it goes something like….. ummmm….. I can’t really remember it….. ahhhhh I wasn’t really listening….

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“Now” What?

“NOW,” that’s what you have, that’s what you should focus on and that’s what you should cherish. When push comes to shove, all you have is “now,” and that’s all that really matters…. which is why you really need to be aware of your surroundings and more importantly, yourself.

There is no start, there is no finish, just “now.” just you and your thoughts. So what can you and I do with “now?”

One of the first steps towards achieving success is thinking like you cannot fail, thinking that you already are successful. But I’m not just talking about an estranged fantasy. I’m talking about truly believing in yourself. You have to be able to see the greatness in yourself that no one else can see. So “now” the question is, how do you find this self esteem and how to you make good use of it?

Well first of all, you have to realize that success is just another word that can be very different from person to person. What one finds to be successful, may be a complete and utter failure for another. That’s when you need to realize that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You need to take out the trash, the trash inside your head that worries too much about everyone else. The trash that makes you forget that the only thing that matters is “now,” and right “now” you are thinking way too much about what everyone else thinks.

“When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success.” -Orison Swett Marden

So go ahead, clear your mind, close your eyes and continue reading…. no wait… close your eyes after you read…

“Now,” define success for yourself. Is it a big house with that infinity pool? Or perhaps that Bugatti that drives 253 mph? Or is is having quality friends and a tight knit family? Whatever it is, act like you can achieve it! Better yet, act like you already achieved it.

Try this, go to a bar or a club and start celebrating with your friend/s. Sit by the bar and just celebrate. When someone asks you why you are celebrating, tell them you just made your first million (or whatever your dream is). They will definitely ask you why and how. Tell them vaguely that you did it “one step at a time.” Or you can tell them exactly what steps you took to make your first million. After they try to get you to buy them a drink and the crowd diminishes, you’ll realize that what you just said, isn’t really that far fetched. You’ll realize that you only talked about the positive things, about how you made, or will make, your first million. There will be no barriers, no glass ceilings, no obstacles. Just you, here and “now” with your thoughts and dreams.

“Vision without Action is a day dream. Action without Vision is a nightmare.”

After envisioning your dreams, “now” you have to take action. There is no starting or stopping, only doing. So go out there and do something!

Where are you?
Here.
What time is it?
Now.
What are you?
This moment.

From the movie “Peaceful Warrior“:

Philosophy of Life

A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. This time the students were sure and they responded with a unanimous “YES!”

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children. Things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.

The sand is everything else. The small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

“Take care of the rocks first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”


Sharks!

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” -Spencer Johnson

If there was no fear in you, what would you do? Would you skydive? Would you go bungee jumping? Would you invest into the stock market? Would you gamble? Would you try to rekindle a lost friendship? Would you tell her what you’ve always wanted to tell her?

So why don’t you?

Fear is not necessarily a bad thing. It keeps us from doing stupid things like juggling hot coals (though that does sound fun). Many times it is simply a manifestation of our self-preservation instinct. If properly contained, fear is helpful in that regard. It’s irrational fears one should be afraid of, and that’s usually what gets to us.

“Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared.” - Eddie Richenbacher

Surfing is one of the most relaxing and fun hobbies that I have come to love. I enjoy it so much, that I bought extra boards to lend my friends who have never tried it before. I got extra boards so that I could share the joy of surfing with people I care about.

The funny thing is that for many people who have never tried the sport, the first thing they think of is not how exciting and cool surfing is, they don’t think about how relaxing it is to sit on your board and just stare at the sunset, nor the feeling of nirvana you attain when you catch a wave, the tranquility you sense in your feet as you ride a wave in and just look at the coast, but instead, the first thing they think of is sharks!

This is an example of an irrational fear.

According to the International Shark Attack Files (yes it’s a real thing), the odds of you being attacked by a shark are one in 11.5 million. Being killed by a shark? Zero in 264.1 million!

In fact, the six most feared but least likely causes of death are all events that have been hyped up by the media. Other than the media being a greedy money-hungry heartless whores of a bitch that tries to exploit stories and over exaggerate the facts to spin events to their own benefit (sorry, don’t like them much, different story); the other reason these stories get so much attention is because they are so rare.

Car crashes on the other hand, are very common. It’s so frequent that the media only tells us about it when it sounds cool and involves explosions and many Hollywood type injuries. In fact, you are waaaaaaayyy more likely to get into a car accident than get attacked by a shark.

Odds of YOU getting into a car accident – 1 to 6,500

Odds of YOU getting attacked by a shark – 1 to 11,500,000

Has that stopped you from driving your car? Then why is irrational fear stopping you from trying something fun and new?

“Do one thing everyday that scares you” - Eleanor Roosevelt

Tastes like chicken on a biscuit

Shark Snack

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365 Days of Motivation

Daily Dose of Motivation

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar

It’s often very difficult to stay motivated day in and day out, but the problem is that if you want to stay ahead of the pack; you’re going to have to put in more sweat, blood and tears than everyone else. This is exactly why, according to the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (these people have not learned how to abbreviate!), 2% of adults in the world own more than half the world’s wealth!

Now what is wealth? Chris Rock clearly states the difference between being rich and being wealthy: “Shaq is rich; the white man who signs his checks is wealthy”.

Yes, I know that a many members of that 2% club probably did something illegal, or political (meaning they did something illegal but made it look legal, like invading other countries and stealing their oil – but that’s a whole different story), but that should not hinder us from finding the right path destined for each of us to succeed. Legal or not, this statistic shows that only 2% of the world has found the path towards the uppermost echelon (with concerns to monetary wealth).

The secret may be as simple as HARD WORK!

“The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight;
But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

One of my favorite college professors, Prof. Kevin Cox, once told me that there will always be two ways to accomplish something – the hard way and the easy way. “Always pick the hard way!” he said.

Everyone else is taking the easy path. You really want to stand out from that crowded line and instead, take the road less traveled. It may seem tough and strenuous now, but when you look back, you’ll realize that that challenge probably helped you grow much more than you would, had you taken the easier route.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

- Robert Frost

For this thought, I like using the analogy of taking a stroll in the park as compared to climbing a mountain. You don’t get to grow or change much when you take a nice quiet walk in the park. Sure, it’s convenient, nice and relaxing, but there isn’t much room for growth in this. Now climbing a mountain is the total opposite. You have to test every single muscle in your body, not to mention you’d have to prepare yourself mentally to withstand the many obstacles that will hinder your path to the top. Even when doing each of the two tasks with someone else; you’ll learn a lot more about your partner and grow with them if you two climbed the mountain together. You’d have to trust them with your life and ensure that they can trust you with theirs when climbing. As compared to walking in the park where you may learn a thing or two about them, but again, not much room for growth.

So here I am, ready to take on the mountain.

I will be posting motivational thoughts everyday before I begin my daily routines. Hopefully, my efforts to motivate myself will in-turn, help motivate others as well.

“You don’t find yourself;
you MAKE yourself!”


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