Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
I was sharing this with a friend recently.
From one of my favorite author/mentors for the past 25 years:
Obey the 24-hour rule
By Harvey Mackay
Don Shula is a legend -- an incredibly successful professional football coach. Some years ago I negotiated a contract for a first-round National Football League draft choice with Shula, and I've been closely following his career since.
He holds the NFL record for most career wins, 347 over 32 seasons. He led the Miami Dolphins to two Super Bowl victories, including the one that capped the only perfect season in NFL history.
How did he do it? By not dwelling on the past. Shula had a "24-hour rule," a policy of looking forward to the next challenge instead of dwelling on the previous victory or failure. The coach allowed himself, his coaching staff and his players a maximum of 24 hours to celebrate a victory or brood over a defeat. During those 24 hours, Shula encouraged them to feel their emotions of success or failure as deeply as they could.
But the next day, it was time to put it all behind them and start concentrating their energy on preparing for their next game. His philosophy was that if you keep your failures and victories in perspective, you'll do better in the long run.
What a difference a day makes! I absolutely agree with Shula's philosophy. Let me explain why.
Let's start with a colossal failure. How often have you been tempted to throw in the towel after losing a big sale or watching a million-dollar deal fall through, only to have your luck turn a day or two later?
Every morning brings new potential, but if you dwell on the misfortunes of the day before, you tend to overlook tremendous opportunities. Instead of seeing the possibilities for success, you hesitate, concentrating on the dark clouds rather than the silver lining.
Next step in the downer process is the vibes you send out to your customers. Your usual enthusiasm is seriously compromised because you are waiting for rejection. And that's exactly what you'll deserve.
Snap out of it! You've had plenty of success before. This episode was just a bump in the road. Don't turn it into a detour.
Buck Rogers, former vice president of marketing at IBM and author of Getting the Best Out of Yourself and Others, has this advice to stay motivated: "To be successful, you have to believe you can change the conditions in your life. You have to get out of the back seat of someone else's car and get behind your own steering wheel. You can't wish away the things in your life that make you unhappy and you can't daydream your hopes into reality . . . Make things happen."
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the spectacular victory -- the referral that turned into your biggest account, the employee of the month award, the amazing idea that turned your company around. Do you think now is a good time to coast or to rest on your laurels?
Absolutely not! Celebrate with your co-workers, go home and take the night off, and then come back to work in the morning ready to do an even better job the next day. You are on a roll. Don't waste the momentum.
Your bragging rights expire after 24 hours. It's fine if others want to congratulate you. Be gracious, thank them and get back to work. A great accomplishment shouldn't be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next grand destination. Success breeds success.
My friend Zig Ziglar says he is often challenged by people who want to know what motivation is. He relates a great example: "There are those who say that when someone goes to a motivational session they get all charged up, but a week later they're back where they were before they attended the session. In short, motivation isn't permanent, right?"
"Of course motivation isn't permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis."
Make that "regular basis" every 24 hours. The 24-hour rule allows you to look at each new day as a blank slate. Take along lessons from the past. You can learn as much -- or more -- from failure as from success. But don't live in the past. Build on what you know so that you don't repeat mistakes. Resolve to learn something new every day. Because every 24 hours, you have the opportunity to have the best day of your life.
Mackay's Moral: If you live in the past, you won't have much of a future.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
First off, a thanks to all that have been wishing Kathy & I a happy anniversary this year. It started Saturday on Facebook & Twitter since we actually had a small gathering at our home with family & friends.
But today is the real day, back in 2001, before the world changed with 9/11/01, my world changed on 3/17/01 as I married my Irish Lass, Kathleen.
Why St. Pat's Day?
As I mentioned my wife is of Irish heritage. She wanted a happy memory on St. Pat's day for when her Mom was no longer alive, to balance her grief.
Since 3/17/01 was a Saturday it worked out perfectly. Her Mom and brothers and sisters, all of our kids (5 of them), and a few friends gathered in a church that afternoon as we exchanged vows and also traded wedding rings.
These rings I had imported from Ireland. They are Irish Claddaghs and feature an emerald in the center of the heart.
Each year we would take a little vacation, often to Indianapolis, last year to Michigan to celebrate Kathy's Birthday on the 13th and our wedding on the 17th.
This year due to work schedules and upcoming weddings, showers, and graduations, we stayed in town.
And this morning I found this video which is perfect for today:
Picture from CladdaughRing.com
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
For every "reason" for failure, there is someone who had the same "reason" to succeed.
Copyblogger.com calls these "reasons" what they really are:
There are endless reasons and ways.
You’ve got three kids. You’ve got three teeth. The rent is four months past due.
You’re a big hit at the office. She left last week. The engine won’t turn over. You just aren’t feeling it.
The wine went bad. Success arrived too fast. Success never arrived. You’ll lose their respect. You’re in the cancer game now.
That bus turned left, one block north.
You’ll do it tomorrow. The doubt, just behind your left ear. Thirty-three parking tickets.
Out of milk. The electric bill. What would Mommy and Daddy say?
Never went to college. Went to too much college.
The step onto a rotting board. Oversexed. Undersexed.
Everything will conspire to stop you. There are endless reasons and ways.
They are all common to everyone.
In the end you’ve got to pick up the pen and do the thing. And then you’ve got to do it again.
No matter the payoff. No matter the beating.
You are no different, better or worse, than any before you.
Their ink and blood ran in the gutter.
So will yours, if you want to finish this race.
About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s resident raconteur and copywriter.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Update your stuff.
Your computer is a combination of stuff.
To keep it simply, I'll call it hardware and software.
Hardware is the physical stuff that you can touch, like the keyboard, mouse and also the stuff you are likely going to touch inside the computer like the hard drive, and all that electronic stuff.
Software is the programs that you use. They need regular updates.
Today, I have links to the very basics of using the internet, Browsers.
If you use Internet Explorer, you should be using version 8 or 9. Stop using version 6, version 7 is still okay, but you might as well have the latest and greatest since it is free. Click here.
Now if you really want the latest and greatest, you might want to do what I did a few years ago and stop using Internet Explorer and use a different browser.
Firefox is upgrading to version 4. They have what they call a release candidate version that you can try. It is also free. Click here.
A 3rd, free option is Google Chrome. Click here.
My default browser is Firefox. I sometimes use Chrome and only occasionally use Internet Explorer. If you are maintaining a website, check the compatability in all the popular browsers, to make sure your site loads correctly.
A couple of other free options include:
Apple Safari, click here.
and Opera, click here.
Which is your favorite?
Monday, March 14, 2011
If you've ever been in a leadership position, you may feel a bit uncomfortable answering these questions.
And guess what, nearly every one of us have been in a leadership position.
Think of the roles you play in life, as a parent, marriage partner, volunteer, not just your work title.
Here's the questions from Seth Godin:
Do you let the facts get in the way of a good story?
What do you do with people who disagree with you... do you call them names in order to shut them down?
Are you open to multiple points of view or you demand compliance and uniformity? [Bonus: Are you willing to walk away from a project or customer or employee who has values that don't match yours?]
Is it okay if someone else gets the credit?
How often are you able to change your position?
Do you have a goal that can be reached in multiple ways?
If someone else can get us there faster, are you willing to let them?
No textbook answers... It's easy to get tripped up by these. In fact, most leaders I know do.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
As a Dad, Step-Dad, Husband, and who knows what else, I've come to realize a few things the last few years.
About what's really important and what's not.
I've learned that sometimes the most valuable thing you can do is listen and be empathic. This means to say something like, "I see that would be upsetting", or whatever is most appropriate at the time.
I've learned that as a guy, doing that is not natural. My mind goes into Fix The Problem mode. This is not what my wife needs at the moment. First, she needs a good ear.
I've learned not to hold my kids accountable for their hostile attitudes that they had towards their parents when they were teens. Eventually, they will probably have a reversal of attitudes as they mature and become adults facing the issues of new families, young kids, etc in their own lives. I am often amazed at this, but then I think about the relationship I had with my own parents and how it evolved over the years.
I've learned to cherish moments but not furniture, houses, cars or nearly anything else even if there is sentimental value to those possessions. The only thing that really matters is the relationships.
And one final thought for today, is to be adaptable. The past several years my wife and I are usually on a vacation getaway right now. Her birthday is today March 13th and our wedding day is March 17th.
She works every Sunday and so we will have a small birthday dinner this evening, but even our plans for that changed. I was going to prepare steaks and a delicious dinner but instead we will have leftovers and birthday cake.
These leftovers will be pretty tasty.
Last night we had friends and family over as we celebrated 10 years of marriage (5 days early due to work schedules), and we have some fantastic goodies in our frig that we will enjoy.
Thanks to all the friends and family for the well wishes and continuing friendships.
(By the way, for some silly reason, 2011 seems to be the year we forget to take pictures! So the photo above is from 10 years ago when we were honeymooning in Chicago.)