Week 5 – Beginner’s Mind

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“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”  – Shunryu Suzuki

The human mind is amazing. It is set up for speed and efficiency. This is so we can recognize and respond to danger quickly. However, one of the problems with our biological derivative for fast processing, is that in efforts to create speed, our mind will often seek out patterns and create generalizations. In the process of doing this, the mind often leaps to conclusions about the nature of something. Now, this has many advantages. It makes it much easier and faster to process the 2 million bits of information per second that our five senses  receive. However, it causes an equally large challenge. Once the mind has locked into a pattern, (for example: it swims, it has feathers, it quacks, it lays eggs, therefore it must be a duck), the mind “dismisses” the pattern as known. At that point, we actually stop looking, exploring, and seeking understanding.  Once we “KNOW” something, once the dismissal happens, there is little room for learning. (for example: It might be a goose, swan, or even a heron). Read the rest of this entry

Week 4 – What’s Your BIG Rock?

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Action expresses priorities.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi

The Parable of the Professor and the Rocks.  – Author Unknown

The professor was standing behind his desk in the lecture hall as I came in. That was odd because he usually dashed in just as class was supposed to start.

He didn’t say anything as he looked out at us—also odd—and everyone took a seat quickly. He reached under the desk and took out a clear glass jar, the gigantic kind that cafeterias get mayonnaise or pickles in. He set the jar on the desk and then reached under again and took out a box. Read the rest of this entry

Week 3 – Let’s Get Closer

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Let’s face it, the world is shiny and interesting! There are thousands (well, millions, actually) of interesting things that can catch our attention, distract us, and pull us off course. It is easy spend time doing things that are fun and interesting, but have nothing to add to our goal or dream. While some pure leisure and fun are needed in every life, successful people have an incredible ability to focus on the tasks that will bring them closest to their dreams. Successful people don’t waste time on anything that will take them away from their dreams. That’s why they accomplish so many of them.

Many years ago, while reading a wonderful motivational book (I can no longer remember which one) the author shared a trick he used. On his wall, or somewhere where he could see it several times a day, he had a picture of his dream or goal. While that is not unusual, what he wrote on it was. With a large black marker, he wrote on the picture, “Does it get me closer to THIS?”  Every time he had a negative thought, started a new activity, or was thinking of saying yes to a request, he would look at this picture and ask himself, “Does it get me closer to this?” If whatever he was doing, thinking, or considering would NOT take him closer to his dream, he would decline the request, or change his thoughts and actions. Read the rest of this entry

Week 2 – The Indispensable Power of Learning

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“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”   -John F. Kennedy

One of the traits of successful people is that they are constantly learning. In fact, a great deal of their Success Contemplation time (see the About Tab) is spent integrating and applying what they have learned.

Living organisms are either growing or dying. Cells are either regenerating themselves and multiplying, or they are decreasing in number.  A decrease in the number of cells is called atrophy. Atrophy is a form of dying.  It’s similar to what happens to sharks. Read the rest of this entry

Week 1: What Isaac Newton Understood About Success!

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“A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”  – Confucius

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1747) was a mathematician and physicist. He was so notable in his discoveries that many of the laws of physics we follow today were his. (Yes, most of our understanding of the world is based on ideas by a guy who has been dead for 300 years). That being said, much of Newton’s work is still very valid.

What does physics have to do with success? Newton’s first law of motion states that “An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” Basically, objects tend to “keep on doing what they’re doing” unless something happens to make them change. Read the rest of this entry

Yearly Success Tip: Set Priorities, NOT Resolutions

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For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”  ― T.S. Eliot

OK, I know it’s not Monday. But being January 1st AND the launch of the new blog, I thought it was fitting to share an annual process that I have done for the past 10 years. (Yes, really! I have done this process every year on January 1st for the past 10 years.) This is NOT a goal setting process or resolution setting. But it is a Success process, so it seemed fitting to share.

The full process is actually longer than I can share in detail in a blog post. It is based on the book, Your Best Year Yet, by Ginny Ditzler. A co-worker told me about this book 10 years ago. At the time, she had used been using the book every year for the previous 5 years. My co-worker said, “Since I started using this process, every year really has been better than the year before.”  I can honestly say the same is true for me. I am honoured to share this gift with you. Read the rest of this entry