Archive for the ‘Perseverance’ Category

Sharing or Despairing

December 1, 2011

I’ve made a hobby of collecting inspiring stories.  When I interview amazing people on my show, I’ve noticed that every single story without exception has a hard part in the middle.  These hard parts of life create a choice.  The choice is between sharing and despairing.  When you focus on your problem as if it is all about you, get ready for some serious despair.  When you realize that your problem has something to do with assisting others who have similar problems, and you get busy sharing what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown, life takes on new meaning and purpose.  I am so grateful for good people who are willing to share – it helps me feel less crazy and more hopeful in my own challenges.  Sharing or despairing – it’s your choice!
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Recognize that each of us has the power to change the way react to the situations we face in life.
Marc Muchnick


Nobody Gets Out of This Alive

October 1, 2011

My friend Shawn Warenski is a funeral director.  Since I met Shawn as a guest on my show a few years ago, we have so far had two mutual clients.  I think Shawn may be the only guy in town who has a more stable job than me.  People really like and appreciate what I do for them, but they are dying to go see Shawn.  Few things are more certain than death.  You have probably heard the expression, nothing in life is certain except death and taxes – well I know people who avoid taxes. 

 In high school, my son was an avid runner.  I noticed when I attended his track and field events that different runners had very different approaches to their races.  The short distance guys would crouch down in the blocks and explode into a full sprint for the entire race.  The distance runners would stand in a group at the start and pace themselves through most of the race, sprinting only when they were approaching the finish.  Life has a finish line.  We usually don’t know how far off it is, we just know that it is there.  As we come to terms with our own mortality, we gain perspective on how to live our life.  Live well!

Death is more universal than life.  Everyone dies, but not everyone lives.

A. Sachs

Chewable Chunks

July 20, 2011

When you take on life’s challenges it can seem overwhelming at times to even begin.  Looking at the entire project can be so daunting that you shrink from the task altogether.  Vicki and I just started cleaning out the “junk room” in the basement.  We were feeling a little this way, but realized that if we just start and take on small bits at a time, it becomes very do-able.  Take a look at that daunting task that you have been avoiding.  What little piece can you take on now?  Don’t worry about doing everything, just do something!

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.
John Wooden

Whatever Doesn’t Look Like That

April 19, 2011

Soap Circle

I was just looking at this chain that I whittled out of a family sized bar of Ivory soap.  The most common question I get about this after people marvel that I would have that much extra time on my hands is, “How did you do that?”  The answer is simple, I just cut off everything that doesn’t look like that.  Our lives tend to accumulate a lot of extra baggage from time to time.  Get a clear picture of what you want your life to look like, and start cutting off whatever doesn’t look like that!


Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
Lou Holtz 
Dr. Paul

What DO You Have?

January 6, 2011
I was reminded recently of a story from the rich Christian tradition of the New Testament wherein Jesus was teaching a large group of people and they became hungry.  He told his disciples that he wanted to feed them, and the immediate response of the disciples was one of scarcity, almost as if they were saying, “Look at all of this food that we DON’T have.”  They were focused on their lack of resources.  Well, that wasn’t very useful to Jesus who redirected them by asking, “What DO you have?”  That’s when they came up with the inventory of a few loaves and fishes, leading to the miracle of abundance.  Focusing on what you DON’T have will do nothing more than leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged.  What DO you have?  Now that is a useful question.  Bring what you have and start with that to create abundance.

Vision is what gives us the power to initiate movement.

Brett Harward

Mind The Gap

November 5, 2010

When you compare how you are doing with the ideal, how do you feel? Common words my clients share with me are “frustrated”, “inadequate”, “depressed”, or “discouraged”. Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach teaches that this is because of “The Gap”. The gap is defined as the permanent distance between your reality and the ideal. On the other hand, when you compare how you are doing to how you have done in the past, how do you feel? Common words to describe this scenario are, “encouraged”, “accomplished”, “satisfied”, or “pleased.” You get to choose the standard by which you measure your progress – Mind the Gap!

Swing hard, in case they throw the ball where you’re swinging.
– Duke Snider

Failing Forward

September 16, 2010

I’m enjoying reading John C. Maxwell’s book Failing Forward.  Failure is an almost universal fear.  I say “almost” because the truly successful people in life have a very different view of failure.  Maxwell points out that one of the greatest problems people have with failure is that they are too quick to judge isolated situations in their lives and label them as failures.  Instead, they need to keep the bigger picture in mind.  Whether you call what is happening in your life or what has happened in your life as a failure is up to you and you alone.  You have the power to label your experience as failure or as a powerful learning experience – choose!

The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake.

– Nelson Boswell

Camels and Change

September 2, 2010

Several years ago, Vicki and I visited the Canary Islands in connection with an evaluation I was doing in a child custody matter.  While we were there, we rode a camel.  I learned that camels have the interesting tendency to grumble and complain with every command that the wrangler issued.  He would command them to kneel so the rider could mount up – and the camel would grumble and complain.  He then commanded them to stand, and again grumbling and complaining.  Basically anything that represented a change brought on the attitude.  How are you handling the changes in your life?  Remember, better is always different.  Look at the changes in your life as amazing opportunities to experience something better, rather than just grumbling and complaining about having to move.

Accountability Questions

June 18, 2010

On the victim pendulum, one extreme is blaming someone or something else for everything that happens to you.  “I’ts not my fault!” is the victim’s creed, as they look to favorite targets to blame for their misery – whether that be the economy, their ex-spouse, the government, their parents, or whatever.  The other extreme of the victim pendulum is not as commonly discussed, but far too commonly experienced.  At the other end of the pendulum swing is blaming self.  This is where you have created all of the misery in your own life and in the lives of those around you through your foolish choices.  You become a victim of yourself as you beat yourself up for being the cause of your misery.  Consider these four questions as you get back to accountability, and avoid the extreme swings of the victim pendulum.

  1. How is this about me?  Remember everything has a personal and an impersonal component and some part of this is yours.
  2. How did I create this?  Similar to the first question, there are some things that you control and some things that you don’t.  Be very clear about what choices and actions of your own contributed to where you are.
  3. What can I learn from this?  An acknowledgement that all of life’s experiences carry value if you will learn the lessons that they provide.
  4. What is my commitment to myself and others moving forward?

The troops aren’t coming… WE are the troops!

Mary Louise Zeller

Hard Things First

April 20, 2010

Your life is made up of a variety of activities, some of which you really enjoy and look forward to, and some of which you may dread.  The hard stuff seems to always be there waiting for you.  Today there is likely to be at least one challenging task that you just don’t want to do.  Move that one to the top of your list and do it first.  Imagine how you will feel when that one thing is behind you rather than in front of you.  Do the hard things first and watch your energy multiply!

I often hear people say that I’m lucky to have a job I love.  Personally I don’t see how it is luck, when I chose this job.

Nikki Stone – Olympic Gold Medalist