Posts Tagged ‘Passion’

It’s funny how things pop up, isn’t it? Some people call it coincidence, but I’m not one of them. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe all things happen for a reason, whether we are privileged to peer behind the curtain and discover the reason or not, and a lot of energy is involved.

So, as I’m thinking about this a great deal lately, you might imagine the smile on my face when one of my mentors, Chet Scott’s latest blog post popped into my inbox. Here’s the link. 

I must be channeling Chet. To say that he’s often in my thoughts is an understatement. Chet has what I refer to as “clear vision.” He’s one of those people truly gifted at stepping outside what’s going on and cutting thru all the crap (Chet would simply say “shit”) to what’s really happening. I appreciate that about him, as well as in others when I see it demonstrated. Perhaps because I do it, as well (based on feedback from numerous sources over the years, not my own wishful thinking).

Everything in the universe is made of energy which continuously moves into and out of form; it cannot be created or destroyed…really, simply channeled. It flows between objects and people and between people and people.

So, other people’s energy affects how you navigate in the world. It truly does matter with whom you spend your time. This is why it’s so critical, especially when you are trying to effect change in your life, that you surround yourself with a like-minded community. Seth Godin would call it a tribe…those people who share your values, are on a similar path, passionate about some common idea or thing, and who lift you up, encourage, and support you, who complement you where you are weak.

Take inventory of those around you today. Determine if some of the people in your life have passed their “use by” date, and make the necessary changes you need to make in whom you surround yourself with. Your very future depends on it.

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As part of the growth plan I am working my way through, I have recently spent some time reflecting on my association with the John Maxwell Team and the value it’s brought to my life.
Several people have told me they wished they could do some of what I’m doing and asked me about my experience with the John Maxwell Team. After returning from Guatemala my (already great) opinion about the JMT is at a new level. What we took part of in Guatemala was “Historic.” John’s Influence and his team at Equip ( his other company) along with two other organizations ( LaRed and Guatemala Prospera) are the reason this amazing Transformation has begun in Guatemala.
Think about this: Three people trained 150 of us coaches over two-and-a-half days. We were then deployed, along with a translator, to go out and teach four-hour work shops sitting in small circles with military, city and country government officials, faculties of schools, clergy, hospital administrators, doctors and nurses, business men and women, and community leaders; we taught them how to facilitate interactive roundtable discussions on the the topics of Laws of Growth and Values, like forgiveness, listening skills, and others.
Gua Natl Civil Police June13 sm  (Me with the National Civil Police, Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 2013, at the end of our session)
In three days we reached ~19,000 people and left them trained and equipped to facilitate a 30-week follow-up using this same process in their areas of influence and with their families.
It was an amazing, life-changing experience! I don’t know if you can imagine but each one of the participants (captains & generals of armies in uniform, city mayors, doctors, clergy, etc) had to get “real” and be “transparent” rating themselves from 1-10 on how they were at, for instance, “listening” or “forgiving others. ” Then they had to say aloud what specific action steps they were going to take in the coming week to improve their performance in that area.
I’ve never seen such transparency. The stories of what happened were crazy-awesome! When people get real and want to grow, TRANSFORMATION begins.
As of mid-August, 45,000 (yes, 45,000!) others were going through this transformation process in small groups led by the people we taught in June.
I’m still on ‘cloud nine’ about the whole thing. Our own country could so benefit from this process. Third world countries don’t have the distractions we have and they want help to bring hope to their future generations. From the president down to the young people, the whole country is in pursuit of hope. Although this was not a faith-based effort per se, all the principles, laws, and values we taught come directly from the wisdom found in the pages of the Bible.
If you are looking for a personal leadership growth track (speaking, coaching, teaching, etc…), want to move toward growing a business, or be a part of a transformational, powerful organization, you can make that a reality for yourself by joining the John Maxwell Team. Give me a call. I can walk you through the process for enrolling, the investment, and the amazing benefits of joining this team.
It truly is the best thing I’ve done for myself in at least 10 years!
I look forward to hearing from you.

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So, here we are, at Friday, again, and what an amazing week! Got a lot of things done; isn’t that often the case when we are pressed for time and have a lot to do? I don’t know about you, but if I have only one thing to do in a day, it takes me all day to do it; however, if I have 20 things to do in a day, you can count on me to complete most of them, or at least get them moving in the right direction if it’s not possible to complete them in a day.

But I digress, already! Today, I am in Orlando, Florida, with the John Maxwell Team for a week of training. Not just training, but reconnecting with folks I know, connecting with new members of the team (there are ~2,800 of us, and counting, from 90 countries around the globe!), refreshing some skills, learning from the Masters in the areas of coaching, speaking, leadership, communication philosophy, and Masterminding…exchanging ideas, swapping stories, getting re-energized. It will be another life-changing experience with this amazing group of people. At the end of it, I will be emotionally and spiritually recharged and excited about the future, and most likely, physically exhausted – but in a good way!

So, my weekend is full of connecting, communicating, learning, and putting the principles into practice. I will stay connected with family via email, phone, and text. I will sleep less than normal, but am committed to continuing my yoga practice.

The good news for me, in prepping for next week, is that my agenda has been defined, in many ways, by the JMT with the schedule for our learning while here in Orlando. I will, however, still lead my Empowerment Mentoring class next Tuesday, on Authentic Journaling. I can’t believe we’ve gone through the first 12 weeks of this program already (well, actually 13, as we skipped a week while I was in Guatemala). I will also meet with others engaged in Empowerment Mentoring, and with The Deeper Path Team.

I will spend time with John Maxwell, the Mentors (Paul Martinelli, Scott Fay, Roddy Galbraith, Ed DeCosta, Christian Simpson, and Melissa West), and will meet Nick Vujicic (motivational speaker and author of Life Without Limits), and reconnect with the fabulous Les Brown. What a week!

What are you up to this weekend? What have you planned that will allow you to rest, get required stuff done, nurture relationships, have fun, and set yourself up for success on Monday and in the coming weeks?

As we are focused on Change this month, what changes might you need to make in how you approach and move through your weekends that will better position you to attain what you want in your life?

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I don’t mean to start this week off on a depressing note, rather, more so to wake you up. Each of us has a limited time on this planet; while we don’t know exactly what it will be, each of us has a definite “end date.” I assume, because you’re reading my blog, you have some interest in growth, leadership, and discovering your purpose in life. Well, as we talk more and more about legacy this month, I would suggest that part of your purpose — part of each person’s purpose — is to give back.

To share one’s talents, one’s wealth, one’s experience, one’s wisdom…After all, you can’t take it with you when you go, so why not make the most of it while you are here? Perhaps you might consider what it means to be a river rather than a reservoir.

If you need some examples, they are more than abundant, but here are a few you can look into:

Paul Newman and the Newman’s Own brand of dressings and salsas. While the business was started as sort of a joke between Paul and a friend, it turned out to be quite successful and a boon to a number of selected charities. Clearly, Newman didn’t need the income and there were (still are) plenty in need of what he had to offer. 100 percent of the proceeds from the Newman’s Own brand goes to a list of charitable organizations, and as of 2011, the brand had donated more than $250 million. Nor did he give just money; for years, Newman spent his summers with terminally ill children at his Hole in the Wall Gang Camps.

Bill and Melinda Gates are well known for many things, not the least of which is The Giving Pledge — an effort to enlist the wealthiest to pledge to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. The list of people who have made the pledge certainly reads like a “Who’s Who…” of the world’s rich and successful people: Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, George Lucas, Barron Hilton, and the list goes on and on and on…

This is not to suggest each of these people are perfect or performing on a higher plane. I share these thoughts only to get you thinking about legacy; clearly each of them (and numerous others not mentioned) has given it serious thought and they’ve taken action to ensure they leave a lasting legacy in some way that speaks of their passion and commitment, and desire to make a difference for someone, in some place, at some time.

My question to you today is this: How are you giving back to society?

If you aren’t already, are you thinking about it and considering a plan?

What causes speak to you?

What methods and models of giving are a good fit for you?

I discovered “anonymous acts of kindness” a few years ago, and take many opportunities to provide gifts and kindnesses to others. My recent trip to Guatemala was, in essence, a mission trip…fueled by my passion to teach leadership principles to those who yearn for change and growth. We make a number of charitable contributions throughout the year. I’d have to say, in my experience so far, that giving money is the easiest (unless you don’t have any!) but I find sharing my talents, knowledge, and experience with others far more rewarding…

I encourage you to find a need that pulls at your very soul, and find a way to feed it.

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Do you remember the days before photocopiers were everywhere? I do…I remember in Junior High School, being a teacher’s aid for the elementary school across the street. The teacher asked me to make copies of something she was planning to share with her students. I had to use what was called the “mimeo” machine (short for mimeograph, if I recall correctly). The original was a carbon copy with tracing-paper thin pages, and there had to be fluid in the machine, and you had to line the page up straight and catch the top in this “gripper” thing…ooof! It was a difficult and annoying exercise, to say the least!

Well, others had just as difficult a time, if not more so, duplicating documents. Chester Carlson worked in a patent office as a young man. He routinely experienced the costly and time-consuming process of obtaining copies. Motivated by his frustrations, he set out to discover an alternate way to make copies.

Through intense research and experimentation, he patented an inventive way to make copies. His patent was ingenious, but marketing it proved to be quite difficult. After all, he was a newlywed, earning a modest salary, studying law, and living with his in-laws (just a few challenges and constraints, wouldn’t you say?!).

While he could see the commercial applications for his invention, he had trouble selling the merits. IBM, RCA, and Kodak all turned him down. Even fellow scientists at the National Inventors Council dismissed his ideas as impractical. As anyone would have been, he grew more and more discouraged and nearly gave up on his interest in photocopying several times, but just couldn’t quite get it out of his system.

Eventually, Carlson had an experience similar to that of Theodor Geisel in trying to get his first children’s book published; Carlson was rejected by about twenty organizations before he happened upon Haloid, a tiny company in Rochester, New York. Haloid invested research funding to develop Carlson’s patent and over time created the first copying machines. Haloid would turn the business world upside down with the new machines, essentially vindicating Carlson, making him a multi-millionaire 21 years after he secured his patent. You may not recognize the name Haloid, but surely you are familiar with Chester Carlson’s company, Xerox!

When leading, others may not initially see your vision as clearly as you, and some never will. Like Chester Carlson, and millions of others before and after him, you may spin your wheels for some time…weeks, months, even years, before your vision gains traction. To find success, you must find and display a bulldog-like tenacity to stick with what you believe in.

Today, journal about someone who has inspired you to persevere through unfavorable conditions. What have you learned from this person?

How can you use those lessons to help you persevere?

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We have come to the end of week two…Friday’s sure do seem to come quicker these days, especially when one is really busy.

I’ve been in Guatemala City all week, working with John Maxwell, EQUIP, and my fellow John Maxwell Team-mates preparing for and teaching Transformational Leadership to groups of leaders from the seven streams of influence: Government, education, business, media, arts & entertainment, the faith community, and family. We have been teaching the principles shared in John’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth (this is really powerful material; if you are at all inclined toward growing yourself, and you haven’t read this, I highly recommend it. In fact, I take that one step further and recommend you join a Mastermind Group on this topic and work through the book with a small group of other growth-oriented individuals so you can learn together and from each other), as well as 15 values inherent in transformational leaders.

It’s been an amazing, invigorating, exciting, educational, and fun week. I’ve stretched and grown. I’ve helped others stretch and grow. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone in many ways. I’ve met some amazing new people. I’ve gotten to know so many of my JMT Team-mates so much better. I’ve discovered new opportunities I hadn’t even imagined. We donated a variety of materials and supplies to some orphanages; I brought art and school supplies, primarily.

Tomorrow, we will have our last teaching sessions, and after lunch we will be the guests at a huge party celebrating our investment in this effort of transforming the culture of Guatemala. What an amazing opportunity this has been!

So, you can see, my weekend will not be a typical time of rest and restoration! Saturday will be quite full and I will be traveling on Sunday.

What will you do with your weekend?

What relationships do you need to build, nurture, grow…repair?

What activities would you like to spend time and energy doing?

What do you need to do to be prepared for the start of a new week on Monday?

What do you need to be thinking about and planning for, for the next few weeks?

Have an intentional, enjoyable weekend!

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As we begin this Friday, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. I leave for Guatemala on Sunday, and will be there for a full week. The John Maxwell Team will spend about 1-1/2 days in training, learning the new Transformational Leadership material from John, and then we will each train small groups (about 40 people per training, for several hours each day) over the course of the next three days. We will be teaching business leaders, government leaders, teachers, law enforcement officers, and members of the clergy. It’s going to be a phenomenal week and I am so looking forward to this opportunity.

I still have a few things to do to prepare…like pack! And, I’m looking ahead to the weeks that follow, as I have a lot going on.

This month’s topic is very relevant for me, as I build my business, perseverance is critical. Each and every day, I am planting the seeds that will allow my business to grow; I must be patient while the seeds germinate and eventually sprout and thrive. As you can imagine, a lot of things happen that could be quite discouraging, but I must not lose faith. I am beyond 100% confident I have found my calling, and I will allow nothing to deter me from making this work.

What about you…what are you passionate about that you are driving toward? What first steps can you take this weekend, that will allow you to persevere on your journey?

What else needs your time and attention?

What relationships do you need to nurture? Build? Repair?

What do you need to do for you?

What can you do over the weekend to set yourself up for success in the coming weeks?

Have an intentional weekend, and I’ll “see” you Monday!

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Are you familiar with the story of Theodor Geisel? He was a writer and illustrator. Many years ago, having written and illustrated what he thought was a very clever children’s book, he set off to find a publisher. Filled with enthusiasm, he went to the publishing houses to share his work, confident one of them would love it as much as he did and agree to publish it. One-by-one he went; and one-by-one, 27 publishing houses rejected the book — 27 rejections!

Feeling quite dejected, and understandably so, following his last publishing house rejection, Geisel bumped into a friend who happened to work for Vanguard Press. He explained to his friend what had happened. He even threatened to go home and burn the manuscript! We have no way of knowing what motivated his friend — pity or true support of Geisel’s work — to take up the cause of getting the book published, but he did get the book to press. Soon after, Geisel’s first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, was published under the author’s pen name: Dr. Seuss!

By the time he passed in 1991, Geisel had written more than 60 books as Dr. Seuss; selling more than half a billion copies around the globe, his stories changed the way we thought about and measured children’s stories. Imagine what we would have missed, had Geisel not bumped into his friend that day…if he had gone home and burned the manuscript. What if he had given up after the first, tenth, or even 20th rejection?

His story is just one great example of perseverance and the rewards we may reap if we persist. As a leader, you will encounter multiple (and sometimes inexplicable!) sources of resistance to your initiatives and ideas. You will experience times when you doubt your abilities. You will be tempted to quit. But know this: If you press on and pick yourself up after you stumble and continue to press forward, your influence may extend farther than you ever dreamed.

For today, ask yourself this: What motivates me to keep going when I encounter obstacles?

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These past four weeks, we’ve focused on passion. We’ve gained a clearer understanding of what passion is, what our passions are, and how it rallies around purpose and supplies leaders with energy.

At the end of the day, our appetites matter just as much — if not more than — our aptitudes! What we are passionate about, fired up about, driven by, is much more important than what our skills are…because passion will drive us to move forward with a force beyond our wildest imagination, if we allow it to!

Before you can lead with confidence and force, you must first understand where you want to go, and why. What consumes your thoughts? What grabs your attention, tugs at your heart, and won’t let go?

Once you discover your passion, nurture it. Life will assault your passions, disappointment will assault your passions, and responsibilities — and, yes, self-limiting beliefs and self-imposed constraints — will try to crowd it out and keep you from pursuing your passion. I encourage you to be strong; refuse to bury your passion under life’s many challenges. Passion is the key to finding fulfillment in life.

Consider what Henry David Thoreau said:

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

I encourage you to not let this be an apt description of you. Take the time to discover your passion. Then nurture it, feed it, allow it the time and space to grow. Harness it to your leadership and the song you sing will outlive you.

Having only recently (within the last few years) allowed my passion to be fully acknowledged and developing my dream and plan to move forward into my potential and my vision, I can say from experience, it’s an amazing, exciting, energizing, reinvigorating, fun adventure. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

So, what are you passionate about? And what are you doing about it?

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It’s Friday, already! Guess it’s not surprising, having had Monday off for Memorial Day (at least in the States…).

It was a busy week and went quickly for me. I find that happens when I am totally engrossed in what I’m doing. Had the honor and privilege to be involved in a unique event this week; not necessarily related to my passion, but I could see the passion in the others involved…and it was fun. Have to say I so enjoy watching others when they are living out their passion. And, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly an F-35 Lightning II Strike Fighter Jet simulator…it was fun. I kept the world safe from some bad guys, did my victory rolls, and landed my jet safely back at Nellis Air Force Base (bit of a rush, I must admit! Oddly similar to the experience of driving an ambulance with red lights and sirens, flying past all the other traffic — including a police car…but that was a long time ago, in another life!).

Needless to say, it was a full week, and I am so looking forward to this weekend. I have some “me” time planned Saturday afternoon. Will spend time with my family, do some writing, and work on content for the next lesson in my Empowerment Mentoring program: “You are Perfect.” This is powerful content and I’m having fun with it. And, with my trip to Guatemala just 10 days away, I have a lot of work to do in preparation for that.

What about you…what are you up to this weekend and in the weeks ahead?

As you know, I encourage those I work with to be intentional — thoughtful about how they spend their time and energy. I hope you are taking this to heart; it makes a tremendous difference in what you are able to accomplish and how you feel about yourself in the process.

I look forward to hearing the stories of what you are up to!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll “see” you Monday!

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