The Joy and Great Value of Seeing Things Differently

Everyone has a beautiful uniqueness in their gifts and view of life. We are all wonderfully different in our own individuality, in how we see the world, understand ideas, perceive realities and relate to people. There is richness and abundance beyond belief in our unique gift to the world. It is often said  of Steve Jobs that he “imagined the unimaginable”. It was not unimaginable to Steve Jobs; it was who he was. He was simply different. So it is with each of us in our own world view. How each of us sees and responds to the world could possibly change the world… because we see it differently, not right or wrong, simply differently.

Great leaders understand and embrace the richness and diversity of these differences. For in their abundance and breadth there are undreamed of possibilities for growth and change both in people and the world around us. May we recognize and embrace these differences and remember always the wise counsel of Wayne Dyer: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Aldous Huxley reminds us: “There are things known and there are things unknown and, in between, are the doors of perception.” Let us open ourselves to all the richness of life and the wonders of those whom we serve as we stand in the shoes of others and see the world through their eyes

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Great Results Don’t Mean You Are the Best – The Value of the “Soft Stuff”

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 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 the quantitative  deliverable. 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!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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On the Value and Joy of Challenge

Mark Twain tells great leaders: “The ability to find solutions to life’s challenges is what makes us grow as a person.” Leaders emerge from and grow from challenges. Greater strength and determination are the natural outcomes of these challenges/trials. Challenges are the great leaders’ proving grounds for moving from who they are to who they want to be, from the ‘as is’ to ‘what can be.’

Challenges are sought after or thrust upon great leaders. A successful response to them is the great leader’s sense of risk-taking, courage to undertake them, a resilience to change, a never give-up, positive attitude. Jerry Buccino beautifully captures this mindset saying: “Leaders open doors when others see brick walls. There is a door in every brick wall. It is only the most determined who will find the door.

May you remember always, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Abraham Lincoln said: “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Dare to dream. Take the challenge; find that door. Be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more. Life is so very good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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You Are Capable of More Than You Think

Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you can imagine,” writes Roy Bennett. It is the power and joy of self-belief that empowers and frees great leaders to discover and live the great gifts that are within them. It is this belief and empowerment that they give to others in selfless servant leadership which enables those whom they serve to achieve their greatest potential. It is the stuff of realizing their greatest dreams.

We are capable of so  much more than we believe. Our reality is one of limitless power and possibilities. We are all so beautifully different, the beautiful one-of-a-kind in this infinite universe, in how we see the world. It is in this magnificent difference that is found the unique value we bring to everything and everyone whom we touch and serve.  It is our choice to break out of the box of our limited vision of our self, life and its infinite possibilities.  It is our choice to believe, to give up who we are, to be what we can be.

Nelson Mandela wrote: “Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate…. You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” May you always hear in your heart and soul the words from the song, Believe, from the movie, Polar Express: “You have everything you need, if your just believe.” And when you do, you will live the words of John Wooden as you “make each day your masterpiece.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Make It One Heck of a Summer

With the beginning of summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere, Philip Humbert’s article, “Make It One Heck of a Summer,” and its message of “carpe diem” again comes to mind.  I share this at the beginning of each summer as it continues to serve us well as a moment of reflection of the great possibilities and joys of the coming summer.  In his article, he talks about how he and his wife seemed to always have the same conversation about summer in October:  “Oh, no!  Where did the summer go?”  Moments later the house was filled with whining and moaning, a few complaints and exclamations that, “I can’t believe we let it get away again!”  I believe his experience is similar to most of ours, and that, come October, we may look back with similar regrets… if we don’t purposefully choose a summer filled with fun, relaxation and infinite possibilities for joy and happiness.

Humbert reminds us that we are in control.  Our summer and how we will spend it is in our hands. It is about goal setting – a plan, getting things on our calendar and locking-in on them.  Human beings by nature, he says, are “goal-setting and goal-achieving creatures.”  We set goals everyday – from the planning of our daily schedule to planning what we will eat during the week.  So, if we are to have the greatest summer yet of our lives, we need to plan to make it the greatest.  Start today.  Circle dates on the calendar and mark them with things you want and love to do.  Fill it up and let it overflow the brim. Live this summer as the greatest you have ever had!

It is your beautiful and special life to live to its fullest.  Stretch yourself to do new things and discover new possibilities and happiness – for you, your family and those around you. Set goals and make a checklist of all those things you want to do, and do them.  And in October, look back proudly with joy, happiness and extraordinary satisfaction at what you have achieved, learned and experienced.  Happiness and success are in your choosing and doing.  Choose wisely; choose well! Life is so very beautiful and good.  Make yours one heck of a summer, my very dear friends! Make it one heck of a summer.

Have a beautiful day, a fantastic week and a joyous, magnificent one heck of a summer!!!

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On an Abundance Mindset

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.

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.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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Curiosity Finds Dreams – The Rapture of Curiosity

Curiosity is the kindling fire of the ceaseless pursuit of dreams. Albert Einstein wrote: ”The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.

Einstein’s words beautifully capture curiosity’s awesome richness: “contemplating the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.” It is the continual stretching of our mind and heart out of the narrow borders of our own world view and comfort zone. It is a valued and precious gift that allows us to see the world through different eyes… to open them to undreamed of beauty and magnificence that will change our life forever.

May you live with a childish wonder of life, people and all that the world holds. May you hold closely the words of an unknown author: “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” Every morning, may you open your eyes to your own beautiful wonders, and search to discover even more. May you see what others have not seen, think what others have not thought and dream what others have not dreamed. These are the gifts you have within you. Never stop questioning. There is always something more.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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What You Think Is Who You Are

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, an 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.

Have a beautiful day, a Happy Memorial Day and a magnificent week!!!

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The Magic of Belief

The life of Thomas Alva Edison has many great learnings for great leaders. There is a little known story, however, of the impact that his Mother had on his life and the great lesson it holds for great leaders.

One day, as a small child, Thomas Edison came home from school and gave a paper to his mother. He said to her, “Mom, my teacher gave this paper to me and told me only you are to read it. What does it say?”

Her eyes welled with tears as she read the letter out loud to her child. “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have good enough teachers to train him. Please teach him yourself”

His mother did just that, until she fell ill and passed away. Many years after Edison’s mother died, he became one of the greatest inventors of the century.

One day he was going through some of her things and found the letter that his old teacher wrote his Mom that day. The message written on the letter was “Your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled.”

Edison became emotional reading it and then wrote in his diary: “Thomas A. Edison was a mentally deficient child whose mother turned him into the genius of the Century.”

Stephen Covey beautifully defines leadership as: “Communicating to people their worth and value so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” It is in this act of leadership that great leaders selflessly serve others to realize the greatest potential and possibilities their life can give to the world and those whom they touch. Your belief in someone, your one word of encouragement and deep caring may be that one, beautiful spark that will bring out another “genius of the Century.”

 Have a beautiful day and a magnificent and wondrous week!!!

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On the Joy of Living Your Potential

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” His words speak to the power of one’s potential which awaits release in the moment of our decision. Our potential is not something of our past, but a gift awaiting realization at every moment of life. It is that magical instant when great leaders choose to maximize their human potential by escaping the fears and limitations of others and stretching beyond their own believed limits into a new becoming. Zig Ziglar beautifully captures this moment writing: “When you catch a glimpse of your potential, that’s when passion is born.”

May we remember always the wise counsel of Confucius: “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Will, desire, urge – the fires to be stoked with passion and purpose. It is our choice. May we choose to not let our dreams just be dreams. Rather, may we rally to Hal Elrod’s call: “Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.” Become the person you decide to be! The best is yet to come. Let’s enjoy the journey to its fullest. Life is so very beautiful and good.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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