Posts Tagged ‘success’

A New Year’s ReVolution

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I’ve never been too keen on the idea of making a New Year’s Resolution.  More than likely because I always equated the word resolution with that dreaded word “discipline.”

And when it comes to discipline?

Well, let’s just say, the day they were handing it out, I happened to be at the back of a very long line and didn’t have enough discipline to wait for it.

So discipline and I have never been friends. A fact all too often brought to my attention by one or another of the well-intentioned, ruler wielding, knuckling slapping nuns who terrorized my young life in order to knock it into me.

Actually, the sum total of all that knuckle slapping did amount to something: my earlier belief that if only I were more disciplined my life would not only be easier but a whole lot less painful too. After all, you need discipline to get things done, right?


Here’s the reason why. Discipline isn’t the Holy Grail that leads to the Kingdom of All Promises Made and Kept that you’ve been led to believe. There’s an equally potent – far easier – way to keeping the promises you’ve made to yourself to change aspects of your life.

It’s really quite simple.

Use your passion, enthusiasm and desire more effectively.  Here’s how.

Do you have a promise you’d like to keep this year?

Imagine having already kept it.  Picture it in vivid detail by asking yourself a few questions:

“How has this changed my life and/or the lives of those around me?”
“What would I have missed out on if I hadn’t made this change? “
“What is now possible that only once seemed impossible?”
“What’s now present that was missing before I made this change?”

Now, notice the feeling of success and accomplishment. Ask yourself:

“How do I feel about myself now that I’ve accomplished this?”

Finally ask yourself:

“Do I want to feel this way?”
“Do I want this?”

I’m guessing the answer is ‘yes.’

And if this is the case, how much discipline does it take for you to do something you really, really want to do? That’s right. None – all you need to have is passion, enthusiasm and desire.

So when it comes to something that we really want, what looks like discipline from the outside becomes effortless efforting on the inside.   And if ever you feel yourself drifting away from your promise(s), simply reconnect to your passion, enthusiasm and desire.

So if you’re worried that you won’t have enough discipline to achieve your New Years Resolution, why not join me in making a New Year’s ReVolution instead?   So what’s yours going to be?


Your Life’s Purpose: The Right Thing, Right Now

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

With all the talk of finding your life’s purpose these days, it seems heretical to propose that perhaps it would be better to  simply let our purpose find us.

But I’m holding this out to you,  because all the while we’re waiting to discover what we are meant to do, life isn’t waiting for us to discover it.

In fact, life’s moving along rather nicely without any help from us, thank you very much.

Perhaps, we should just move along too.

Instead of waiting for the perfect clarity to know where we are going, it might be a better idea to do the right thing, right now.

Sometimes when the path isn’t clear, perhaps we need to trust and move forward anyway.

It’s been over twenty years ago that I first discovered my true passion and calling. I’d like to say it was driven by an inspiration.

Truth is, it was more like a desperation.  Because in the beginning, I honestly had no idea where I was going. I just knew that I didn’t want to stay where I was.

So rather than following any plan,  I simply started to take a series of steps based on doing what seemed to be “the right thing, right now.”

It wasn’t long after that, that my path found me.  In simply moving forward doing the right thing, right now I somehow – somewhat miraculously – had created a path behind me.  For where I’d been and the choices I’d made along the way suddenly looked like the “Plan” I had been waiting to discover.

It had been nipping at my heels my entire lifetime, I just hadn’t noticed it before.








Why Losing Makes for Winners

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Okay, I’ll admit it.  When I was younger, I wouldn’t have believed it either.

After all, most of us grow up with the idea that winning is everything and losing is for . . . well . . .  Losers.

Is it any wonder then why we balk at the thought of accepting rejection as an integral part of our lives?

That sooner or later into every life a little rejection is bound to fall?

In fact, one could go so far as to say we downright reject rejection.  It certainly shouldn’t happen to us – but to the ‘other guy.’

And when it does?

It’s often met with a mixture of despair and fault finding.

This fault finding falls into two general equally crippling categories: it’s not my fault  – or – it’s all my fault, I shoulda, coulda.

The Deck Is Stacked Against Me  or How I Pulled the Unfair Card

An ego is a fragile thing and we (and the people who love us) are prone to defending it at all costs.  There’s a particular brand of fault finding we use to make failure and rejection less odious: the unfair card.

How many times, in the face of failure,  have you consoled yourself (or a friend) with the soothing balm of  “unfair and unjust” rewards.

As in: the reason they or you lost out was because someone else simply wasn’t smart enough to see your brilliance.  You are being treated unjustly, punitively or unfairly.   A/K/A: “I am an American Idol and someday you jealous so-and-sos are going to be sorry you didn’t give me a chance.”

Or as in, the odds were completely stacked against me and the game was rigged.  A/K/A: “It was political or nepotism or they wanted someone younger/older/taller/or with a different degree – and just what the heck could I have done about that?”

Then again it could be a series of  life circumstances that unfairly brought you down.  A/K/A: I was sick the day before, I didn’t have enough time, and  the planets weren’t aligned correctly.

I Shoulda, Coulda

But perhaps worst of all is when fault finding comes home to roost.  We believe failure and rejection have occurred because of our own inadequacies.

We have a chronic case of the “if-onlys.” A/K/A: “I shoulda, coulda . . . taken better care of my self, started my degree earlier, or consulted an astrologer.

We lament to ourselves and anyone willing to listen, :”if only, I had or if only I hadn’t” proclamations of guilt and remorse.  Which is generally met with the aforementioned balm of “unfair and unjust” rewards.

Not Unless I Know I Can Win

Is it any wonder then that we sometimes refuse to play if we might not win?

Or why when we do and don’t emerge a winner, we tell ourselves that we just weren’t good enough?

Irrefutable Proof

The good news for us?  All of  this flies in the face of what is statistically rational and irrefutable proof to the contrary.

This past April, Harvard – one of the most prestigious institutes of higher learning – held an open panel discussion entitled, “Reflections on Rejections: An Exploration of Resilience in the Face of Failure.’’ Intended to highlight the importance of mistakes, failures and rejection: the esteemed panel recounted their own and others setbacks in relation to the importance of their own personal and professional growth.

A humorous highlight of the conference was Professor of Statistics Xiao-Li Meng’s  intriguing 2 page Theorem entitled A (Hopefully) Well Accepted Statistical Theory of Rejection.

His Grand Theorem of Rejection?  “Statistically, you are rejected, and probabilistically, it is fair.”

In a nutshell, rejecting rejection might just make you the bigger loser than accepting the fact that in order to win you’re necessarily going to have to lose at something on your way to success.

You can download a PDF of Meng’s Theorem in it’s entirety here.