Leadership Thought #270 – Belief In Something Bigger

I don’t often write about spiritual or faith issues in my blog because for the most part I believe these are personal decisions. There are also many other people more capable and better equipped than me to address the issue. I’m comfortable in my own beliefs and hope you are in your own as well. However, I do feel strongly that there is a direct correlation between an individual’s belief structure and their level of happiness and capacity for resilience. Life is much more meaningful if you believe you are part of something bigger than yourself and there is a reason for being here beyond survival and personal comfort.

Leadership Thought #260 – Happiness IS Right Around The Corner

I’ve always believed that life rewards focus and persistence. If you keep working at something you will eventually make progress. What you have to be careful about is managing your expectations. You also need to take responsibility for the outcome(s) you want and not expect someone else to create the reality you want. Happiness is no exception. Happy people work at being happy and start with themselves first. They have to deal with unhappy moments like everyone else, but have trained themselves to practice acceptance rather than resistance and have fine tuned their own capacity to muddle through and make positive changes.

Leadership Thought #257 – Not Everything Is Meant To Be Easy

I often think many of us are under the misconception that life is supposed to be easier than it is. The “grass is greener” syndrome abounds and we believe that things should always be better than they are rather than counting our blessing and accepting what we have. It’s almost as if we strive to live in aHollywood movie where we are always the protagonist of the story, everything has a happy ending, all of our material needs are easily met, all major conflicts are quickly resolved and the perfect relationship is just around the corner. Well, this is fantasyland not reality.

Leadership Thought #249 – Isolate Yourself At Your Own Risk

While personal independence and self-reliance is a good thing, we live in a society that requires interdependency and cooperation. Children and the elderly are dependent based on the very nature of their situation. Physical and emotional vulnerability is a reality that confronts us all at the beginning and end of our lives. In addition, many close adult and professional relationships are co-dependent because we need other people to both experience life fully and get things done. You can’t just flip a switch and expect it to be there.

Leadership Thought #248 – Don’t Talk Yourself Out of Success

More often than not, the biggest barrier to our success is ourself. I’ve noticed that people can talk themselves out of just about anything. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is not. When it comes to limiting your perspective on what’s possible for you in terms of your work life I find this to usually be a bad thing. Happiness and self-fulfillment in your career shouldn’t be viewed as optional. The history of the business landscape is full of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things.

Leadership Thought #243 – Every Strength Has A Shadow, Every Weakness Has A Shield

Bottom line is that we all have assets and liabilities as individuals. There is a school of thought that given this we should focus just on what we are good at (leveraging the assets) and minimize everything else. I believe this mindset has the danger of being short-sighted and self-limiting. Too much of anything is never a good thing. The only way we evolve is through learning and experience. Personal growth happens with time as we stretch our perspectives and challenge individual conceits and preconceptions. If we narrowly focus our growth opportunities, we aren’t fully living. Weaknesses also exist and must be dealt with, not just circumvented or fortified with self protective behaviors. Adversity and challenge are a regular part of life and require some level of personal vulnerability if they are to be successfully navigated

Leadership Thought #233 – Life Does Require Perspective

I come across a lot of books, magazines, TV shows these days that are selling simplicity and the quick fix to life. The main contention is that all of our lives are too busy and complicated and if we would just scale back and reprioritize what’s most important to us then everything would be better. The focus is squarely on the individual and what he /she feels they want or need. All we have to do put ourselves first and everything will go our way. Moreover, we shouldn’t settle for anything less than regular happiness and self-fulfillment which in my opinion is an unrealistic and often damaging perspective.

Leadership Thought #230 – Aspire To Reach Higher

It’s sad and frustrating how many people talk themselves out of success. I see it all the time. If comparable energy was given to figuring out how to overcome obstacles as is given to identifying them, many more people would live happier lives. It’s important to always remember that what we focus on expands and what we ignore contracts. You should only listen to that little voice in your head when the self-talk is positive and constructive not negative.

Leadership Thought #224 – Anything Is Possible

Anything is possible but not everything is probable. We all just need to figure out how much risk we are willing to take and how hard we are willing to work at something. You can choose to live an easy low stress existence or you can push yourself to the limits – it’s up to you. Most of us live somewhere in between these two polar opposites and usually end up with the outcomes we deserve.

Leadership Thought #220 – Timing IS Everything

I’ve always believed that life rewards those who are prepared when an opportunity presents itself. To do this, you need to honestly know what a great opportunity would mean for you and why. You need to have an underlying sense of your personal values and priorities. You need to be actively searching for success and happiness and be on the lookout for positive signs. You need to know what you would be willing to give up or sacrifice to make something work. You need to be flexible but not jump at every opportunity that presents itself. You need to have a sense of context and perspective. You need to learn from your mistakes. You need to be brave enough to answer the door when opportunity knocks and be willing to risk short term comfort for long term gain. You need to be intellectually, physically and mentally prepared for the ensuing challenge. You should also be wary of burdening yourself with a lifestyle that affords minimal flexibility and boxes you into a financial corner.

Leadership Thought #218 – The Struggle Is Part Of The Journey

Believe it or not I often feel sorry for people who achieve success too easily. If you don’t have to work for something, you tend not to appreciate it as fully as someone else who has struggled to get where they are. It’s a fact of life that we often take those things for granted that come with minimal effort. Luck may have a place in life but it shouldn’t be a personal or professional strategy. Individual character is usually best forged in the fires of adversity and defined by a person’s ability to navigate whatever obstacles are strewn in their path of achieving those things that are meaningful to them.

Leadership Thought #216 – 12 Keys To A Successful Life

Very few of us ever attain, what would be termed, sustained and lasting success. Instead, we bounce up and down (sometimes sideways) in search of the seemingly elusive goals of career success and personal happiness. In my experience, these two objectives are not mutually exclusive, but intertwined and critical to an individual’s sense of self worth and meaningfulness.

Leadership Thought #213 – Tap Into Your Moments of Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. Sometimes it’s triggered by small seemingly innocuous events other times it is the result of something significant happening. It’s not something you can program or create as needed. In its best form it usually happens organically and unexpectedly. Sadly, most people allow these moments to pass them by and they evaporate almost as quickly as they came.

Leadership Thought #210 – What Are Your Outlets in Life?

In the hustle and bustle of everyday living it’s important to have things you do just for yourself. We all need outlets for our mental, physical and emotional stress and catalysts for our personal well-being. We also need to remember not to wander too far away from our true self. It’s easy to lose your individuality and identity as you age and take on additional responsibilities in life. There are many times where there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day. We spend so much time doing what we have to do or think we should be doing that there is very little time to decompress and just be ourselves. Then one day we wake up and wonder what happened.

Leadership Thought #206 – Be A Non-Conformist When It Comes To Leading A Meaningful Life

When it comes to your life I highly encourage you to be a non-conformist. Carve out your own path. Worry less about what other people think and more about living a meaningful life – whatever that means to you. Too many people simply plug into a system. They do what they think they are supposed to do without regard for how it makes them feel. They are also constantly bombarded with messages praising consumerism and the belief that acquisition of material goods will be their just reward and make them happier. Unfortunately, life doesn’t really work out this way.

Leadership Thought #203 – The Grass Isn’t Always Greener…

Is the current situation salvageable and if so what would it take? How much would you grow and learn personally and how much stronger would your bonds be in life if you were able to persevere and work it out? There are few worse emotions in life than remorse and regret. Chasing rainbows is a fool’s errand, but successfully navigating the emotional roller coaster of life is a real and self affirming activity.

Leadership Thought #196 – Courage Always Beats The Alternative

There will be instances in any person’s life where they will run smack into their fears. It could be in either significant or insignificant matters, but in all cases the fear will be real to the person experiencing it. Overcoming fear takes courage and being courageous always build character.

Daily Leadership Thought #192 – You Should Enjoy Your Work

Far too many people don’t like their work. I’ve heard estimates as high as 90%. Anecdotally, I’ve certainly had more conversations over the years that are negative rather than positive about what my friends, colleagues and acquaintances do for a living. I always find this sad. We spend so much time at work and how we feel about it can make a big difference on how we view ourselves and life in general.

Daily Leadership Thought #188 – Count Your Blessings

Some people seem to handle just about anything life throws at them while others get beaten down by the smallest challenge. Why is this? Each and every day we get to make a choice. We get to decide what we focus on and our attitude about it. You can choose to focus on what is right with your life and use this as a launching pad to handle any ensuing difficulty OR you can obsess over what is not working and see a struggle around every corner.

Daily Leadership Thought #185 – Have Faith In Yourself

You have to believe in yourself if you want to accomplish anything of significance in life. Self doubt is like a cancer that slowly spreads and eventually incapacitates your ability to act. This doesn’t mean you become foolhardy or act with too much hubris but it does mean you have to trust in your own abilities and forge ahead. Many obstacles will be strewn in your path including the words and actions of people close to you. However, don’t get distracted or sidetracked by others who consciously or subconsciously want to hold you back and/or define you in ways you don’t want to be defined.