Archive for June, 2007

Giving Your Very Best

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

We live in a world in which giving an average performance has become the norm. Most employees work just enough to keep from being fired and they are paid just enough to keep from quitting. Service in many industries is at best average. Very few companies and organizations stand out as excellent service providers. If we are going to attain our full potential, we must commit to being excellent at everything we do. Many times we talk a better game than we can play. We make big commitments to give our best but when the rubber meets the road, we come short and fail to provide what we had said we would.

Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken said, ” I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours nor amount of labor nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me”. A good study of his life will show us that the road to success is paved with a commitment to giving your very best on a daily basis. Now, the road to mediocrity is littered with sub-standard service and average performances. We need to break out of that cycle of average and truly give our best in everything we do. That is the key to truly maximizing our lives.

Developing a Mature Impulse Control Center

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Life offers many situations in which we are drawn to let our impulses run wild. The other day I was seated on my front porch reading one of my personal growth books on a nice beautiful saturday afternoon. As I chomped away at the life-changing material in this book, an ice-cream truck drove down my street and a sudden urge for ice-cream erupted within me. It took lots of courage for me to resist getting up and buying some ice-cream for myself.  

While this may be a very simple example of the power of our urges, it brings to the fore the idea that our impulses can either make or break us. Success in life demands a mature and well developed ICC – Impulse Control Center. Your ICC is the key to your actions. Your actions determine your habits. Your habits shape your behavior. Your behavior determines your destiny. In order to realize your full potential, you must cultivate a well-developed impulse control center.

This goes back to the idea of choices (Reread my post on The Process of Shaping of Your Life). Your choices govern your impulse control center. Good choices enable you to develop the muscles that will strengthen your impulse control center. Every situation and circumstance has an ideal choice. By consistently making good choices, we develop the ability to have a stronger, well developed impulse control center.

Quantity and Quality of Attention

Friday, June 8th, 2007

One of the most beautiful tools that we can use to change our lives is the idea that whatever we focus and dwell upon expands. Our attention, therefore, is very important. What we pay attention to becomes a dominant factor or force in our lives. There are two aspects to this:

a). Quality of Attention – There are varying degrees of attention. Our highest degree of attention should be given to things, people and activities that multiply value in our lives. What good will it profit us to pay attention to worthless things and rob the more important things in our lives of the time they deserve?

b). Quantity of Attention – How much attention we give the things, people and activities in our lives also matters. We want to live a well-balanced, all-round lifestyle. The key to this is to prioritize all these areas of our lives and allot time to them. As we do this, we also find that certain activities pair well with others and can be combined. This enables us to save on precious time.

Action Steps: Look at critical areas of your life. Are you paying adequate attention to all of this? Learn how to give good quality and quantity of time to things that matter and you will realize a lot more in life. 

The Process of Shaping Your Life

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

Every day provides lots of opportunities for us to shape our lives. Many times we fail to maximize on these opportunities because we have a short-term perspective on our lives. When we approach our lives with a more long-term perspective, we begin to see that our daily events are forming the permanent ‘us’. Someone once said that ‘what you do daily determines who you become permanently’.

We shape our lives daily by the choices and decisions we make. Each choice we make is either a step up or down in the formation of our ultimate character. Show me a person’s choices and I will tell you the character of person that he or she is. Quality choices enable us to develop a solid character. Poor choices ruin our character. The process of shaping your life therefore begins with the character choices you make.

Stay Open to New Ideas

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

One of the things that puzzles me is why we sometimes close our minds to the entry of new ideas. If we are to grow we need to continually stay open to the entry of new ideas and information. New ideas and information allows us to grow and break out of our comfort zones. Man’s mind, one’s tretched by new ideas and information, never goes back to it’s original dimensions. One of the assumptions we sometimes live by is that we have no time to learn new ideas and gain new information. Sometimes we tend to think that we have mastered it all and need no new information. The truth is that it is what we learn after we have known it all that counts. So, stay open to new ideas.

Blame hinders ability to find solutions

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

When things go wrong, our first temptation is usually to find someone whom we can assign the blame for the problem. This tendency works against us in the long-run because we are focusing on the problem instead of the solution. Our main objective should be to fix the problem. We fix problems by being solution-centered.

When things go wrong, do not jump at the temptation to assign blame. Focus on finding solutions. Assigning blame is the lowest level of engagement in the process of problem solving. Rise above the norm. Be solution-centered! 

Learning from Adversity

Monday, June 4th, 2007

I came across a quote today that’s worth sharing. It’s from Aristophanes, a Greek writer. He said, “A man may learn wisdom even from a foe”. This got me thinking about all the adversity I’ve had in my life over the past couple of years. What we sometimes think to be adversity may be a blessing in the long-run. What really determines whether we succeed or not is how we respond to adversity. Adversity, therefore, may be a friend. Adversity helps us to grow and develop better skills. Adversity sharpens our focus and enables us to thrive. Embrace adversity today.

The workings of a Living Magnet

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

I learnt the workings of magnets in primary school but never gave it much thought since my thinking at that time was that science was basically a pain I had to go through in order to pass my exams. Well, as I’ve grown older (and hopefully, wiser) I’ve come to see that a lot in life revolves around the principles of the working of a magnet. A magnet is simply a device that produces an axial vector field that traces out solenoidal lines of force in and around closed electric circuits and bar magnets. (Ok. I just lost half of my readers there. You now understand why I had such an attitude about science as I grew up).

Simply put, we are living magnets. Our thoughts create force fields of energy that radiate out from us and attract back into our lives the people and circumstances in harmony with those thoughts (Better, huh?). Any thought you have, combined with an emotion, positive or negative, radiates out from you and attracts back into your life the people, circumstances, ideas and opportunities consistent with it. You are a living magnet!

The key then to success is to develop an idea of your dream, goal or vision and then hold onto it on a continuing basis. By harnessing that mental image of your desire and making it a dominant part of your thoughts, you set in motion an unseen force that attracts the resources that will bring you your desires. Pretty simple, huh. How do we apply this, then? It starts with guarding our thoughts than planting those good, goal oriented thoughts in our brain. By feeding our brain with solid thoughts of who and what we want to become, it forms an attitude fo mind that is unshakeable and that begins to attract those things to us.


Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Over the past couple of years, the idea of carving out a “niche” for oneself has become very popular. When you look at one-man brands like Rachel Ray, Seth Godin, John Maxwell, Tiger Woods, James Dyson, Dwayne Wade, Amanda Congdon and Isaac Mizrahi, what sets them apart is the fact that they carefully select what’s right for them. If something does not feel right, they will walk away from it.

Our success in life pretty much depoends on finding what’s right for us. By finding the right work, the right associates, the right employer, the right business and the right activities to engage in, we create a niche for ourselves. By asking the question of whether something is right or not, you are able to decide what is the most critical engagement for you. Let us allow the power of right to guide us towards high achievement in life.    

Strengths versus Weakness

Friday, June 1st, 2007

Many times we tend to focus so much on our weaknesses. I see this in my own life but also in other people’s lives. In relationships, we tend to call out the other person’s weaknesses easily and fail to recognize their strengths. When companies make mistakes, we point them out faster than we can point out their strengths. It seems to me that it takes a lot of single-mindedness to choose to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses.

In order for us to excel at the things we do, we must choose to focus on strengths. It might be hard at first but the more this habit is practiced, the more it becomes a part of our nature. True lasting reward comes when we focus on strengthening our strengths rather than improving our weaknesses. What you focus on expands. If you focus on your weaknesses, they will expand. If you focus on your strengths, they will expand. We need to practice and consistently seek to focus on people’s and organization’s strengths. That is the key to lasting satisfaction in life.