Change: How You Respond Can Mean the Difference Between Success & Failure

respond to changeThis morning, my boys and I discovered that how you adapt to change can mean the difference between success and failure in your life and business.

We were enjoying a breakfast at Tim Horton’s during our weekly Man to Man Time (where I mentor them in life skills and entrepreneurship) and each of us were reading a section of the USA Today as we always do, to find a story that we can share with the others, that somehow applies to life skills, success, entrepreneurship, money, or spiritual values.

I got the “Life” (entertainment) section this time, which doesn’t always have a story that applies to what we want to talk about – at least, not always at first glance.

Today’s “Life” section headline was on the movie Gangster Squad which was finally being released after a four-month delay due to the The Dark Knight Rises movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July, which left 12 dead and 57 injured.

Gangster Squad is about mobsters and gangsters from the 1940’s, and one scene portrays a shootout that happened in the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. That shootout scene happened to be featured in the previews for Gangster Squad, which I saw when I took my boys to watch The Dark Knight Rises at midnight on it’s opening day, the same day of the shooting.

At first, I didn’t see any life application in this story, but then it dawned on me that Aurora, Colorado theater shooting dealt the Gangster Squad makers a huge change in circumstances that would doom the movie if the producers had stuck to their original plan of an early September release, and if they kept that theater shootout scene in the film and in the previews. [Read more…]

Do You Have a Vision for Your Future?

what's your vision for your future“If you don’t have a vision for the future, then your future is threatened to be a repeat of the past.”

Those words from A. R. Bernard, an American clergyman, remind us of the importance of dreaming of what our lives could be…of what kind of impact we’d like to have, and what kind of difference we’d like to make.

What’s your vision for your future? What kind of life do you want to have? What kind of difference do you want to make? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?

If you don’t have your life vision written down, take 15 minutes right now to write down five things you’d like to be true in your life in the next five years. [Read more…]

Weighing Financial Risk vs. Security in Making Decisions

Have you ever wanted to do something, but then decided it was too risky?  Like make a big change in an area of your life, or pursue a dream you’ve always had?

From time to time, people will tell me “I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but could never do it now with the economy being so bad,” or “I hate my job and really want to find the work I was meant to do, but can’t do it now with all the lay-offs that are happening.”

It is natural and important for us to consider the potential risk or cost of any decision we make, especially the major ones that impact our income, wouldn’t you agree?

But we need to look at the situation accurately, and have the proper perspective, in order to weigh these decisions correctly. And I’ve found that many times, we do not.

Sometimes, the option that we think is the best may actually be the worst. [Read more…]

Creative Thinking, Problem Solving & Decision Making the Bill Gates Way

Outside of the box thinking

A few years ago, I read a CNN Money/Fortune story on how Bill Gates engaged in creative thinking.  Twice a year, he’d set aside a week to get away to a secluded cabin to do nothing but read and think.  He called it, appropriately, “Think Week.”

He brought food, a few of his favorite snacks and beverages, a notebook, a computer, and little else except for a hundred or more reports from Microsoft employees on new opportunities to explore or big challenges to resolve.

He dedicated himself to take that entire week to read each report and think about each challenge or opportunity that was represented.

Let’s face it, from time to time we need to muster up every bit of creative thinking ability that we can find in order to solve a big problem, explore a new opportunity, or make a tough decision. For some, this process comes easy.  For others, it’s a real chore.

Now, neither you nor I are Bill Gates (unless you’re reading this, Bill) and we may or may not have the luxury of taking a week to get away from it all and do nothing but read and think.  But I think each of us, in our own way, can put this type of “Think Week” thinking into action.

Here are some take-aways for me: [Read more…]

How Much “Stupid Tax” Have You Paid?

Today, April 15, is tax day in the U.S.  It’s the day to pay the piper…er…the federal, state and local governments the taxes that are due.

I don’t want to depress you, any further than you already are, by talking about how much money you’ve paid in taxes to the government.

But I do want to talk about a concept that TV and radio personality Dave Ramsey calls “Stupid Tax.”

Stupid Tax is the money we’ve spent (wasted) on decisions that ended up being financial mistakes or errors in judgment that cost us more than we bargained for.

Have you ever made a rush decision to buy something that seemed like a great deal at the time, but later you regretted? Like… [Read more…]

How to Clarify Your Priorities the “March Madness” Way

Tournament Brackets: Not just for March Madness, but also for your life.

My posts over the last week or so have dealt with how stress and busyness can keep us from living a balanced life and achieving true success in our life and work.

For many, the major cause of stress and busyness is the choices (or lack of choices) that we make.

I’ve observed in my own life that it’s not the choice between a good activity and a bad activity that causes my life to get out of balance.  In fact, those choices are usually quite obvious, and quite simple to make.

Rather, it’s the choice between two seemingly good activities that can lead to stress if I have no basis for making a decision and no plan for prioritizing them.

The recent NCAA March Madness basketball tournament reminded me of an interesting – and fun – technique to help make decisions and clarify priorities between any number of seemingly good or equal choices. [Read more…]