The Choices You Make, Make You

As my teacher, Michael M Reuter teaches: “Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” wrote Albert Einstein. Great leaders know that their life is the reflection and consequence of the choices they make each day on their magnificent journey. John Wooden poetically captures this reality: “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that, in the end, the choice you make makes you.”

Each choice adds a touch of paint to the exquisite mosaic of who they are and what their living represents. Many are their choices: personal priorities, health, financial situation, learning, friends, character, career and service and the myriad of choices in their business and professional life requiring attention and focus. Each choice is a moment of preparation, a stepping stone… forward, backward or sideways… defining who they are and the direction of their life ahead.

Robert Louis Stevenson tells great leaders: “There will come a time when we will sit down to the banquet of our consequences.” May your banquet be extraordinary in the depth and breadth of its rich contributions, in the lives you have changed in your caring and servant leadership, in the joy, beauty and value of the legacy of your life’s purpose and meaning. May you remember that each word, action, behavior, look, attitude is a choice that will have its consequences. Choose wisely, and choose well, realizing always that “the choice you make, makes you.”

The value of experience in decision-making.

In his blog post, The Trap of Insightful Selection, Seth Godin reminds great leaders of the value of experience in decision-making.

“Which one do you want?” There were 100 quarts of strawberries at the farmer’s market yesterday. In answer to the farmer’s question, the person ahead of me in line spent a full minute looking them all over before picking one. The thing is: 90% of the strawberries in a quart are hidden from view. They’re beneath the top layer. There’s no strategy to tell which quart is better than the other.

If all you’re seeing is the top layer, you’ve learned nothing. Maybe less than nothing. Con men are particularly good at seeming trustworthy, and the outfit worn to a job interview tells you nothing about someone’s dedication, work ethic or honesty. The real information comes from experience. If the farmer is the sort of person who won’t put the clinkers on the bottom, she’s earned our trust.

Our decisions require a moment of pause to inquire beyond what is seen, heard or presented. Experience or exposure adds another dimension and qualifier that brings value to a decision. Knowing is expanded by reality, and even one step beyond… feelings. May your eyes, heart and experience help you better know the 90% of those hidden strawberries of life and people.

Your Real Job

From my teacher:

In his recent blog post, But Are You Doing Your Work? Seth Godin reminds great leaders that their work is more than simply achieving a goal. He writes: “A doctor might think her job is to cure diseases. But, in fact, that’s not what gets and keeps patients. The cure is a goal, and it’s important, but it’s not sufficient.” There is much more to the work than simply accomplishing the cure. That is their job. The caring and personal attention to their patients, the development and growth of their staff, and involvement in the community are all part of a bigger picture of their “work.” From a performance evaluation metaphor, doing the job and simply meeting its specific, minimal deliverables can be equated to just “meeting objectives.” Doing their “work” is, in reality, to exceed objectives. It is that magical elixir of going above-and-beyond, incorporating all that “soft stuff”, in which the total work package is delivered, sustained and grown.

It is much more than focusing only on quantitative deliverables. Godin tells great leaders: “Doing your job is not always the same as doing the work. The “soft stuff” might matter more than you think. Doing the work is the ticket you buy for the privilege of doing the other part.” It is this mindfulness, this mindset, that differentiates the good from the great leader.

Ernest Hemingway captures the essence of Godin’s message in his words: “It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” Great leaders know that many people can achieve great results, but the truly great ones differentiate themselves with the magic and caring of their “soft stuff.” May your “soft stuff” be your winning ticket. Its payout is inestimable!

To: The Great Leadership Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning.

From my teacher Michael M. Reuter

Joe Vitale reminds great leaders of the unending giving of an abundance mindset: “Your perception creates your reality. You can look at life and see scarcity or abundance. It depends on your mindset.” An abundance mindset finds its roots in self-belief, confidence, gratefulness, a positivity of attitude and exuberance for life. Scarcity, on the other hand, is fed by fear, disbelief in self, greed and pessimism. Michael Hyatt provides the following insights into the contrasting mindsets.

Scarcity vs. Abundance

Scarcity Abundance

There is never enough. There is always more where that came from.
Stingy with knowledge, contacts and Happy to share knowledge, contacts and compassion. compassion.

Default to suspicion; hard to build Default to rapport and build trust easily.
rapport.

Resents competition. Makes the pie Welcome competitors. Makes the pie larger, them stronger.
small, them weaker
.
Ask self: How can I get by with less than Ask self: How can I give more than expected?
is expected?

Pessimistic about the future; tough times Optimistic about the future; the best is yet to come.is yet to
are ahead. come.

They think small avoiding risk. They think big embracing risk.

They are entitled and fearful. They are thankful and confident.

Marianne Williamson tells great leaders: “The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” May you live a life of abundance in all that you are and do. Be abundance! Be unlimited! Remember the wise counsel of Lao Tzu: “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Life is so very good.

Create your own Reality?

To: The Great Leadership Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning.

From my teacher Michael M. Reuter

Joe Vitale reminds great leaders of the unending giving of an abundance mindset: “Your perception creates your reality. You can look at life and see scarcity or abundance. It depends on your mindset.” An abundance mindset finds its roots in self-belief, confidence, gratefulness, a positivity of attitude and exuberance for life. Scarcity, on the other hand, is fed by fear, disbelief in self, greed and pessimism. Michael Hyatt provides the following insights into the contrasting mindsets.

Scarcity vs. Abundance

Scarcity Abundance

There is never enough. There is always more where that came from.
Stingy with knowledge, contacts and Happy to share knowledge, contacts and compassion. compassion.

Default to suspicion; hard to build Default to rapport and build trust easily.
rapport.

Resents competition. Makes the pie Welcome competitors. Makes the pie larger, them stronger.
small, them weaker
.
Ask self: How can I get by with less than Ask self: How can I give more than expected?
is expected?

Pessimistic about the future; tough times Optimistic about the future; the best is yet to come.is yet to
are ahead. come.

They think small avoiding risk. They think big embracing risk.

They are entitled and fearful. They are thankful and confident.

Marianne Williamson tells great leaders: “The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.” May you live a life of abundance in all that you are and do. Be abundance! Be unlimited! Remember the wise counsel of Lao Tzu: “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Life is so very good.

Everything begins with a Thouight

John Maxwell, in his book, No Limits, writes about “Thinking Capacity – Your Ability to Think Effectively.” He tells the story of his father, who in his early life during the Depression, worked for three wealthy people in their town. During this time, his father learned that they think differently from others, but thought alike. Maxwell writes that his father came to the conclusion: “Successful people think differently than unsuccessful people.” He states that good thinking is a key to success and shares these thoughts from his book on thinking, Thinking for Change.

1. Everything begins with a thought.
“Life consists of what a man is thinking about all day.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. What we think determines who we are. Who we are determines what we do.
“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of the thoughts.” – John Locke

3. Our thoughts determine our destiny.
“You are today where your thoughts brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” – James Allen

4. People who go to the top think differently than others.
“Nothing limits achievement like small thinking’. Nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.” – William Arthur Ward

5. We can change the way we think.
“Whatever things are true… noble… just… pure… lovely… are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; think on these things.” – Paul the Apostle

Henry Ford wrote: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” We are what we think. It is our choice to choose what we think. May we choose a strong belief in ourselves and our value, unshakable confidence to achieve, a joyous optimism in all that we are and do, a belief that everything is possible because I’m possible. May we remember the words of Marcus Aurelius as inspiration for our journey: “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” Great thoughts will make an even greater you.

The Source of Greatness

From my teacher Michael Reuter, I pass this on.

In his book, Holy Sweat, Tim Hansel speaks of a common thread that runs through the lives of great leaders.

“In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 famous and exceptionally gifted people. The study was called Cradles of Eminence. These two researchers spent years trying to understand the source of these peoples’ greatness, the common thread which ran through all of these outstanding peoples’ lives. The most outstanding fact was that almost all of them, 392, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were. Their problems became opportunities instead of obstacles.”

It is this magnificent gift that differentiates great leaders – a mindset focused on problem-solving and goal accomplishment. One which sees doors where others see walls. One that sees learning where others see trials. One that embraces the excitement of the challenge and the growth that it brings. Obstacles are the building blocks of the great leaders’ emotional, spiritual and intellectual strength. Remember always the wise counsel of Mahatma Gandhi: “ Strength does not come from winnings. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” Never, ever surrender. May you always see opportunities and not obstacles and change the world.

100 Years ago

I forward the New Year thoughts of futurist and teacher Peter Diamandes

We forget how fast the world is changing today.

As we ring in the New Year, let’s take a brief look back 100 years ago to 1919, as a means to truly appreciate the extraordinary world we live in today.

First, the bad news:

World War I ended in 1919 with a total casualty count of 37 million.
The Spanish Flu finally ended as well, with a sum total of 500 million people infected (33% of Earth’s population!) and 50 million estimated deaths.
Proportional to the Earth’s population today, this would be the equivalent of a death-toll ranging between 200 – 350 million people. Absolutely devastating, and a reminder of how lucky we truly are today in the twenty-first century.

On the positive side, while progress was glacial in speed, here’s everything I could find that would count as “Innovation in 1919”:

Women’s rights! The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment.
The first passenger air service was offered between Paris and London.
UPS was founded as a company.
The U.S. Army completed its “first transcontinental motor Convoy expedition driving across the United States.” It took them 60 days!
The NC-4 Aircraft completed the 1st multi-stop flight across the Atlantic (19 days).
Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
What were the major technological inventions of 1919? There were two of them…

Silica Gel was invented to keep humidity out of our packages; and,
The Toaster (yup, that’s all I found on meaningful inventions).
In comparison (at least technologically) we have more achievements per hour today, than 1919 had in the entire year. We are truly living during the most extraordinary time ever.

So, how much difference can 100 years of progress make? A LOT.

AND, as we march toward the Singularity, it’s important to realize that the speed of change is accelerating… and every aspect of how we live our lives will change in the next decade.

In the next 10 years, those surfing on the tsunami of change (rather than getting crushed by it) will create more wealth than was created in the past century.

Every industry will be transformed… and how we raise our kids, run our companies and lead our nations will change as well.

You can be fearful of change, or you can realize it is happening and harness it.

For those prepared, exponential change will help us digitize, dematerialize, demonetize and democratize access to energy, transportation, education, health, knowledge and communications.

Technology will turn that which was once scare into abundance, over and over again.

So, as you charge into 2019, remember that “the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”

Warmest wishes and Happy New Year,

Peter

Peter H. Diamandis

Look to the Big Picture

Michel de Montaigne wrote: “The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use, we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.” Great leaders live every moment of their life. They push the boundaries around themselves and live a life of rich and vivid wholeness. John Maxwell writes in his book, How Successful People Think, it is the great leaders who develop a ‘big picture’ mindset which opens their eyes, mind, and heart to new people, ideas, and possibilities.

“People who see the big picture expand their experience because they expand their world. As a result, they accomplish more than the narrow-minded people. And they experience fewer unwanted surprises, too, because they are more likely to see the many components involved in any given situation: issues, people, relationships, timing and values. They are also, therefore, more tolerant of other people and their thinking.”

What exciting richness we add to our life when we look at it in all it majestic and almost endless beauty. May we choose always to think big. May we be daring and bold to look beyond ourselves and our own world. May we see with new eyes. May we see through the eyes of others. And on that journey, may we remember the wise counsel of Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist: “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”

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The Power of Attitude

“People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed,” writes Tony Robbins. It is built over time with a ceaseless drive and passion, a self-motivation repeated endlessly as it becomes part of the great leader’s life.

In his book, Winning Every Day, Lou Holtz provides great leaders his own definition of momentum with an interesting, thought-provoking insight.

“Momentum is nothing more than a state of mind. Again, an attitude. For example, you are winning a football game 14-0. Your opponent scores just before the half to make it 14-7. Up in the broadcast booth, the announcers proclaim that momentum has just swung in favor of the other team, even though you’re still ahead 14-7. Now let’s look at another game. This time your team is tied at 7-7. You score a touchdown and make the extra point just before the half to go ahead 14-7. As you enter the locker room, everyone now claims the momentum is with you. Ridiculous. The score is 14-7 in both instances. In other words, momentum is whatever your attitude determines it to be.”

Be it a force that great leaders build through repetition over time, or a continuing motivating attitude that finds its sustainability in the strength of attitude, momentum is sustaining power. May we magnify that power as we remember the words of Michael Korda: “One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.” And as Tony Robbins counsels us: “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Life is so very good.

Thanks my friend Michael M Reuter SHU