Start, Stop, Focus?
Success in my life comes from simplicity, not complexity. In every area, when I let things become complex (yes, complexity happens all by itself), I get bogged down and paralyzed with fear. When I keep things simple, I execute.
Ready to make a change?
1. Start doing more of the things that bring you the greatest rewards.
2. Stop doing the things that prevent you from achieving your results.
3. Focus your energy on doing and learning, in that order.
START, STOP, FOCUS! Sound easy? Does it sound too easy?
Keep it simple, execute it well.
What are you going to start, stop?
Never Going Back to Okay
“How’s it going?”
For those of you who know me, my life is never really just okay. It’s usually on a high, a low, inside, outside, or upside down. If it were just okay, I’d probably be bored and then we’re back to the high or the lows.
The problem I see isn’t in the question. It’s in the answer I usually give. “Fine.” “Okay.” “Good.” Perhaps the truthful answer is, “I really don’t have time to talk right now” or “you don’t have time to listen, so I’m doing…. <insert default answer here>.”
Here’s the deal. I usually know the answer to that question. Maybe it’s time to start answering the question… really.
Look What I Found
I’ve worked with those who micromanage. In some instances, I hate to admit, I have tried my hand at it also. Rarely does it work for me. On both sides, squeezing the humanity out of the process and reducing a task to something a monkey could do just doesn’t create the environment I want to be in. More importantly, it doesn’t pave the way to successful business or personal relationships. Try it with your spouse or best friend, you’ll see what I mean.
Instead, I have found that uncovering the purpose and meaning in what I’m doing is key to my team’s success. Sometimes that means I have to dig it up all by myself and hope others will do the same. Other times it means that I have to take the time to explain the shovel and how it works and hope others will join in with me.
My hope is that you are one that digs by yourself or at least one that draws a crowd. If you are by chance you are one of the 5% who are suspicious of people like me. Good news, I’ve discovered how to focus on the 95% who aren’t like you.
Consuming vs Creating
A few weekends ago I invited a friend over and we went to buy paints, brushes, and all the other supplies one would need to paint. This time, however, the paint was not being applied to some wall in my house, but to a canvas (which has been the limit to my painting ability until now).
It was completely horrible. (the art, not the experience). I set out to duplicate something I had seen online (first time painters anxiety I guess). I failed miserably at copying.
Yet it was completely freeing. I was in control of the paints, the mixes, the colors, the lighting, and even the speed at which I painted. My ”original interpretation” was a huge success (I don’t actually care what anyone else thinks :-) ).
The whole experience made me realize something about myself. I am wired to create, but I have learned to consume.
Consuming diminishes my desire to create. Perhaps the marketing and advertisers are wrong: motivation and passion grow out of creation, not consumption.
I’m always mesmerized watching PASSIONATE people do what they love best, than by SKILLFUL people giving half-hearted performances.
I am 119 pounds lighter then I was on May 18, 2009. But that’s not the biggest change in my life.
I have been on an incredible journey the past 9 months. Not a single path, but an entire mountain of trails (literally at times—see Anchorage pic’s on facebook). Some of them were paved and easy to climb, others were off road and required me getting dirty. All of them were worth the time.
For the past 9 months, I have altered everything. Food is now fuel, not relief. Exercise is now a daily part of life. Television is second to books, which is second to friends, which is second to taking care of myself, which is second to my faith in Jesus. Time is key!
I no longer “go to” church, I “am” the Church. Travel has become a sign of new experiences and enjoying the people and places God has created. I’m passionate about work and not because of the tasks I have to do, but because of the people I get to influence.
I am learning to fly a plane. I’m all about talking to strangers in normal places at strange times. I hired a personal trainer to push me further physically then I have ever been. I have new friends from all walks of life.
For the past 9 months, I broke the speed limits I put on my own life and have been living on God’s open highway.
What limits have you set that need to be broke? Who helps you push through those limits?
As Paul said in the bible, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Finding my Tribe
I didn’t fall asleep until 3:30am this morning. This time it wasn’t due to anything except my own excitement. Almost like the morning before a trip somewhere, the excitement of discovering a true passion of mine kept me pacing, reading, and talking to anyone that was up.
Here’s what I’ve discovered: I love changing lives. Creating meaning and purpose with people is a bigger motivator to me than anything else I can think of. The drivers I have in life aren’t money or success of fame. They are seeing people move in a direction that is best for them and their families.
Today I begin to ship that passion. I’m inviting anyone I know to come and talk with me about how I can fine tune this not into a profession, but a way of life. For some of my friends, they already know this. For some of my strangers… Ready. Set. Engage!