Changing Goals

Does changing goals make you feel like you’ve failed? It shouldn’t. There are times when you must change your goals to realize the life that you’ve always wanted. And on the flip side, there are times you shouldn’t change your goals. The best way to figure out whether you should keep your goals or ditch them is to ask yourself these two simple questions, “Is this really important to me?” If you answered in the affirmative, now ask, “Why?”. If you answered in the negative, ask, “Why not?” When you ask yourself these questions, be honest. Don’t let circumstances or fear lower what you believe you’re capable of achieving.

There are three reasons why you should change your goals.

First, the goals you set for yourself aren’t yours. Someone gave you the goals, or you picked goals you thought you should. Getting clear on what’s important to you and where you want to go takes the time to develop. This clarity is defining what success means to you. When you don’t do this, you end up adopting someone else’s definition of success. This mistake is where the disconnect begins. What you say is important doesn’t resonate with you internally. It’s imperative that you take the time to discover what success means to you. Then build a life around that.

Second, the goals you set for yourself are no longer relevant. Your values, beliefs, and priorities can change as you mature making the goals you’ve clung to irrelevant without you realizing it. Don’t get stuck in something that was a goal but isn’t anymore. Change your goal if it doesn’t line up with your life. Take the time to sit down and consciously set a new destination and then create goals that will help you reach it.

Third, you’ve achieved it. Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Now get back to work. Just because you’ve realized the goals you’ve set for yourself doesn’t mean you’re done. It means that it’s time to sit down, determine a new destination, and set some new, bigger goals!

What if your goals are still important to you?

Keep pushing! NEVER resort to changing goals because it’s hard. Well set goals are going to stretch you and push you to become more. Embrace the challenge and grow! With the abundance of resources and knowledge in the world today, you can do it! Don’t change your goals if you’re bored. Daily tasks, over time, can become monotonous. Remember WHY you’re going for the goal and do the tasks anyway! Even if you think the goal is easy to achieve, do it and then create bigger goals to go after.

In life, changing goals can and should happen. Realizing there’s a difference between shifting course and giving up is key to showing the world just how AMAZING you are!

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Why Are Bronze Medal Winners Happier?

With the upcoming Summer Olympics right around the corner, I was doing some reading on the games and came across a study that surprised me. Psychologists determined by observing numerous contests found that the levels of happiness didn’t match the medal. Of course, the gold medal winner was overjoyed with their hard work resulting in their win. These psychologists found that the bronze medal winner was happier than the silver medalist. That’s right, the person placing third was happier than the person placing second!

How is that possible? After any significant event, you experience what’s called counterfactual thinking. You do this to make sense of the results you achieved as it relates to the world around you. Simply put, you run different “what if” scenarios in your mind that help you imagine how things could have ended differently.

For the gold medal winner, the only what if he can see is not getting the gold, and that’s why he’s happy. For the bronze medal winner, the major what if he can imagine is not getting on the podium, and that’s why he’s so grateful and happy. It’s different for the silver medal winner, though; his major what if is what kept him from gold and that’s why he’s not as happy as the other two.

There are two reasons I bring this up. The first reason is that a lot of the negativity, bitterness, and defeat you feel in business is due to this counterfactual thinking. You end up with results that fall short of what you wanted, and then you sit and stew over all the what if’s you can think of that may have impacted your success. Counterfactual thinking can be a useful tool to help grow your business IF you use it the right way. Most don’t because most use this thinking to blame circumstances for their shortcoming. Instead, you want to use this tool to determine how you could’ve done a better job.

The second reason is that counterfactual thinking starts with you thinking you’ve lost something. A negative place that makes blaming others or circumstance easy. Do this and nothing improves. I’m going to suggest that even if it’s something you didn’t achieve, take the time to see the positive, something to be grateful for first. Once you do this, you’ll be able to see more objectively what actions you can take to improve in the future that will give you the result you desire.

When you can stay grateful and hungry at the same time, you’ll show the world just how AMAZING you are, and the gold will be yours!

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The Definition of Success

When you think of the word success, do images of fast cars, big houses, and financial freedom come to mind? These pictures of success are hammered into your brain every day. If that’s the case then, why haven’t you achieved success? It’s not due to a lack of availability of resources and education. There’s never been a time in the history of man where the raw materials and knowledge you need have been so accessible. I believe the problem is the definition of success. The question that needs to be answered is what the definition of success is?

If the definition of success is the fancy automobiles, mansions, and bank accounts, why do you feel like you’re floundering and lost? It’s because you’ve let others determine what the definition of success means to you; thinking the word success can only mean one thing. You feel frustrated, beat down, and lost when it comes to achieving success is because you haven’t defined it. That’s right; success means something different to everyone. Seeing success in this light doesn’t make you weird; it makes you unique. It helps you identify why God put you on this earth. What makes you feel fulfilled will fill a void in the fabric of life and make the world a better place.

The very best definition of success I’ve ever heard was in Earl Nightingale’s 1953 recording The Strangest Secret, where he states, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” Helping to fund a ministry is a worthy ideal. Being a stay at home mom is a worthy ideal. Being the best parent or grandparent you can be is a worthy ideal. So now you’re thinking, “Ok Rick, I see what you mean but how do I figure out what my worthy ideal is?” You determine what your worthy ideal is in four steps.

  1. Identify. You live your life based on a set of values you’ve accumulated over time based on your education, morals, parenting, religion, etc. If you’re like most, though, you don’t consciously know what these values are. Don’t let the word values scare you; they’re just the rules you live your life by. It’s time to identify what your rules are because if your definition of success goes against your rules, you’ll never achieve the level of success you think you want.
  2. Confront. Your life is also governed by a series of beliefs that you’ve accumulated over time that you hold to be truths. The problem with these “truths” is they’re nothing more than the perspective of your experiences or the opinions of others. Many times your beliefs are what are holding you back. If your definition of success doesn’t align with what you believe is possible, you’ll never see success. Confronting your beliefs gives you the opportunity to replace them with ones that will better serve you.
  3. Know. You live life flitting from one issue to the other and before you know it, ten years has passed. To move towards your worthy goal, you need to take the time to know what’s important to you. You need to know the outcomes you want to achieve in your life to feel fulfilled. Think of the different areas of your life like family, community, work, spiritual, play, etc. and decide how you want to be remembered some day in each of those areas. You begin with the end in mind and then work backward to come up with a plan for your life.
  4. Act. As in anything else, you need to take action. Not grand gestures but consistent actions you do daily that move you towards your desired outcomes. This is when your sense of satisfaction and fulfillment kick in. This is where you love life and your energy and enthusiasm radiate from you. This is where you make a difference.
In conclusion, success isn’t about the definition of the word; it’s about your definition of the word. As you go through life, clear on where you want to go and loving what you do, you’ll show the world just how AMAZING life can be!
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Mind Over Matter

I believe in the concept of mind over matter. I’m not talking about telekinesis or ESP; I’ll leave those topics to those more qualified than I to discuss. What I am talking about is what you believe in your mind, you create in your life. Before you label me a nut job and move on, please read on and see if you agree with me by the end of this post.

Why is it there can be two hotels in the same market where one is thriving and the other is struggling? Why is it there’s one automotive repair shop that says they can’t charge for diagnosing vehicles while another shop down the street that has customers regularly authorizing the shop up to three hundred dollars? Why is it a seventy four year old woman can’t swim but her kids can?

All of these scenarios can be traced to what the person believes. 

I was watching Hotel Impossible with my wife Brenda. Hotel Impossible is a show where the host, Anthony Melchiorri, goes and rescues failing hotels around the country. He does this by identifying their key issues and helping them overcome them. (Side note: shows like Hotel Impossible, Restaurant Impossible, Bar Rescue, and Kitchen Nightmares are great shows to watch because your business is in the hospitality industry too. You can learn a lot of lessons from these shows that you can apply to your business.) On this particular show, he was rescuing a hotel in California owned by an elderly woman that ran the hotel by herself. The place was falling apart and her reason for her minimalistic approach was that the economy was down in the area. Anthony goes on to show her that the last couple of years have been the best years in the hotel business ever.

I’m working with two automotive repair shops in the same market where one doesn’t charge for diagnostics while the other has customers authorize them for up to three hundred dollars in diagnostics all day long. The first owner doesn’t believe his customers will pay for diagnostics while the second shop sees the value that their expertise, experience, tooling, and other benefits the shop provides to their customer and confidently charges for diagnosis.

My Mom can’t swim. In seventy four years, she won’t go into water that’s any deeper than her waist. Yet she made sure that each of her six kids learned how to swim. The reason my mother can’t swim is because she tells herself she can’t and she believes it.

In each of these cases I’ve presented, there are two opposing views that are very real. Why? Because each person believes them to be first and then by the actions they take based on their beliefs makes it so in the real world. It isn’t their markets or their customers; it’s their beliefs that are driving their reality. It’s mind over matter. This is why it is SO important to be aware of what you’re saying to yourself. To fix your limiting beliefs, you only need to do three things:

  1. Identify. Any time you hear yourself thinking or saying can’t, never, or won’t, stop right there and ask yourself why you’re saying that. Your goal is to identify the limiting belief that you have. Maybe you’re saying it because you’ve tried in the past a couple of times and you couldn’t do it. Maybe someone you looked up to told you that you couldn’t do it. Whatever the case, determine the underlying belief making you feel this way.
  2. Model. Now look around and see if anyone else has ever done what you want to do. If there is, then you can too! If there hasn’t, why can’t you be the first? Sure you couldn’t do it before. All that means is you need additional resources or education so that you can. At one time people believed man couldn’t fly. Along come the Wright brothers and the rest is history. Your goal in this step is to push back on your belief. You do this because it’s human nature to accept your beliefs as truths when in fact they’re only perspectives or opinions.
  3. Act. The last thing to do is to take action. There’s never been a sporting event that’s been won from the stands. If you want to win, you have to be on the field and moving. Not just moving though because it’s easy to mistake motion for movement. When you’re watching a team on the field, every movement has a purpose that moves them closer to achieving their goal. Be the same way.
Apply this mind over matter concept in your life and you’ll show the world just how AMAZING you are!
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Encouragement

Anyone that reads this blog knows I love quotes. They’re incredible lessons wrapped up in little nuggets. I came across one yesterday that really got me thinking and piecing things together. The quote is “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after a success.” – Unknown. Think about those words for a moment. Let them mull in your brain. When an employee fails, is giving encouragement your go to response? If you’re like most, I’m willing to bet No.

Think about it though, it really makes sense. Sure your employees want to be recognized for doing things right, we all do. But how much more important is it to let them know that you believe in them and care about them when they fail? Instead of letting them feel bad because they failed and actually adding to it by getting upset and making them feel worse, you build them up and reinforce the fact that they’re a good person.

The best way to deal with the failure is for you first to see this as an opportunity to build up your employee with encouraging words and then reframe the failure as a lesson in your employee’s mind. You can do this by asking three simple questions.

  1. What part did you play in this? When you allow blame, excuses, and denial in your business, you and your employee can’t get better. Nothing ever gets better if your employee doesn’t accept responsibility for their part (and you too as a matter of fact). Once you’ve created a culture of accountability, commitment, and responsibility, everyone will know that owning the failure isn’t about placing blame. It’s about claiming the power to make things better.
  2. What did you learn? Look for the lesson buried within the failure. Identify what was done correctly and what could have done better or differently. This question is key because if it isn’t asked and answered honestly, you and your staff are doomed to repeat the failure.
  3. What are you going to do the next time differently? This question creates a plan that will result in a better outcome. It may not be a perfect plan, but you can tweak it as you go. It takes what you learned and applies it to actions while the event is still fresh in everyone’s mind. If you stop at what you learned, there’s a good chance that you’re not going to remember what to do the next time.
To be clear, this thought process won’t work on the employee that keeps making the same mistake over and over again. Instead, it’s for the great employee you have that in some way dropped the ball. When you can encourage your employee when they mistake, you’re going to show them how AMAZING they are!
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Ambition

It’s funny how I hear business owners and parents wishing their employees and/or children had more ambition. It’s a different story when I ask these same people that are complaining what their ambition is. They want more drive from others but are missing it in their own lives as well. Ambition is a wonderful word and an amazing attribute to have.

First, let’s get clear on what ambition means. According to dictionary.com, ambition means to seek after earnestly; aspire to. In other words, ambition is the focused act of achieving something of importance. Ambition can’t stand on its own though because it’s made up of three elements.

  • Destination. Before you can achieve anything, you’ve got to know what you want to achieve. Without a destination, you’ll find yourself drifting through life on the current of circumstance. It’s like being on a ship without a rudder; you’ll go through some bad and some good, ending up somewhere you wish you hadn’t. Don’t make this a complicated project. Pick one area of your life and decide where you want to be. When you’re deciding on your destination, don’t let current circumstances or fear dictate how far you can go. It’s a given that you’re going to need new skills and education to get there because if what you’re doing now was going to get you there, it already would have. What am I saying? THINK BIG! It really is that easy.
  • Motivation. Motivation is simply the reason why you want to reach the destination you’ve picked. Your why is going to fuel your journey through the obstacles, challenges, and monotony you’re going to encounter that are there to test just how badly you want something. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Simply put, motivation is determination.
  • Action. Once you understand where you’re going and why you’re going there, you need to take action. Not just any action but planned, focused, intense action. Of the three elements, this is the one that trips most up. You figure out the previous steps but then wait to take action until everything is just right. Here’s a secret: nothing is ever going to be just right! DO IT ANYWAY!  Perfectionism is nothing more than procrastination in a pretty black dress. Bottom line is you’re allowing fear and doubt to hold you back from achieving what you truly want in this area of your life. Don’t let that happen. Every day you’re going to experience resistance in many different forms meant to hold you back. Don’t wait until it’s gone; push through it because everything you want is on the other side of it. The feeling you’ll when you push through the resistance is incredible.
When you find yourself drifting, it’s because you’ve lost focus on where you’re going and why. Over time, it’s easy for life’s trials and tribulations to take your focus off of what you want and onto what you’re dealing with right now. If you find yourself in this place, don’t get upset or feel like a failure, just stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Remember your where, your why, your plan, and then take action right then. There’s nothing in the world like a determined mind focused on becoming a better version of itself in some area of life and this is how you’ll show the world just how AMAZING you are!
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Engagement Isn’t Just for Weddings

When you get this blog post this morning, I hope you’re taking a break from a busy day at work to read it. When I say the word work, what does that mean to you? I’ve found that the satisfaction you experience from what you do is determined by your level of engagement. There are three levels of engagement. How engaged are you in what you do?

Level 1. You have a job. This is the lowest level of engagement where you’re trading time for money. You show up on time and you leave on time. You do only what you have to in order to keep your job in between. Even though you’re they’re physically, mentally and emotionally, you’re a million miles away. You don’t like what you do but don’t feel like you can change because this is what you’re used to.

Level 2. You have a career. This is the middle level of engagement where you’ve committed to becoming the best at what you do. You read, watch, and listen to anything that helps you get better at what you do. You show up early to get a jump on the day and you’ll stay late if you need to in order to hit the targets you’ve set that confirm you’re the best. You’re completely engaged physically and mentally with what you do. Just like Level 1 however, Level 2 is focused on you. You crave the success and spoils that being the best will bring.

Level 3. You have a calling. This is the highest level of engagement where you realize the difference you can make in the lives of others. Coworkers and customers alike benefit from you being around. You still hunger to be the best but now it’s so you can help and serve others. You’re fully engaged physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your focus is no longer on what you can get as it was in Level 1 and Level 2; now all you want to do is help others. The funny thing is when you decide to operate at this level, you’ll see more success as a byproduct of what you do here than you ever could chasing success at the other two levels.

What you do every day and how you do it is a choice. Decide today to make what you do your calling and show the world just how AMAZING you are!

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Embrace the Suck and Keep Moving

There are going to be times in your life when things suck. They can suck for different reasons, but know that they will suck. It’s what you do when things suck that determine how far you get in life. The secret is to embrace the suck and keep moving.

Let’s talk about the two areas where the suck comes from. The first area is circumstances and other people. You lose a customer. Your spouse leaves you. Your child gets sick. You lose a parent. Each of these things suck, and you have a choice to either sit there and stare at the suck, or you keep moving. If you lose a customer or your spouse leaves you, the first thing to do is not blame the circumstance. Instead, take the time to see what you could have done to prevent the occurrence from happening and fix it. Customers and spouses don’t just decide to leave one day. There’s been a number of disappointments that culminated in them leaving. If you learn the lessons buried within the suck, you’ll be a better person on the other side.

If you lose a customer or your spouse leaves you, the first thing to do is not blame the circumstance. Instead, take the time to see what you could have done to prevent the occurrence from happening and fix it. Customers and spouses don’t just decide to leave one day. There’s been a number of disappointments that culminated in them leaving. If you learn the lessons buried within the suck, you’ll be a better person on the other side.

If you lose a loved one, take the time to grieve because it’s normal. Then decide to focus on the good they brought into your life instead of the loss you’re suffering now. Look for the bright side of things. It’ll take some work, but I promise you’ll find something to be grateful for every time.

The second time you deal with suck is when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and do something new. You’ll never be perfect the first time you do something. I know you know that on some level, but still, you expect perfection. The truth is you’re going to suck at it when you start. Embrace it and keep moving; you’ll get better with repetition. This doesn’t mean it’s okay to blow off practicing and honing your craft; it means you need to give yourself a pass and realize that every great person that you can think of was a rookie at some point.

The secret to showing the world how AMAZING you are is to embrace the suck, learn the lesson, and keep moving!

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Feelings

Feelings are amazing things; the high of love, the wonder of awe, and even the devastation of loss. What you feel is what makes you who you are and how you see the world around you. Your feelings are also the number one killer of your dreams, success, and fortune.

Instead of your feelings being one of many inputs you use to interpret the world around you so that you can properly respond to your environment, you’ve made them master of your life. Your feelings are your master because they determine how you react to the current situation and the actions that you take. An example of this is putting some action that you need to take off because you don’t feel like it. The bottom line is if you allow how you feel to run your life, you’ll never have the life you truly want from a relationship perspective, a significance perspective, or a success perspective.

If you want more from your life, then you need to put your feelings in their place. They’re a tool to be used to help you analyze your situation, nothing more. By stepping back and interpreting your situation through all your faculties, you’ll be able to respond to it better than just using your feelings.

If you want major success in your life, setting goals is a must. And sure, setting big goals for yourself is exciting; for about five seconds. Then the doubt and fear kick in and will stop you in your tracks if you let them. Then when you push through the doubt and fear, you’re going to run into annoying and monotonous. Which again will derail you if your actions are driven by how you feel. Instead of letting your feelings use you, start using them to your advantage. Focus on what you want, why you want it, and how you’ll feel when you achieve it. Now you’re cooking with gas!

Take control of your life by taking your feelings out of the driver’s seat and putting them where they belong, in your toolbox. When you do this, you’ll show the world just how AMAZING you are!

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Time

The most valuable thing you have isn’t your money, your house, your car, or any other possession you own; it’s time. You can make more money, you can buy another house, and you can replace your car. But you can’t buy or replace time. It is the great equalizer. Someone else may have a bigger house, a nicer car, or a larger bank account but they have the same amount of time as you do each and every day.

The differentiator between the successful and significant few compared to the masses is what they do with their time. Like them, you have a choice every moment of the day to either invest your time or to spend your time. The difference is simple. When you invest time, you get a return on that time. When you spend time, it’s gone forever.

How do you invest your time? When you use your time to pursue a goal, improve yourself and your abilities, or help another, you’re investing your time. You’re sowing seeds that will reap a harvest of success and significance. How do you spend your time? When you use your time to selfish ends, negative thinking, scheming against others, coasting, giving up, and just getting by, you’re spending or squandering your time. Now don’t get me wrong, you need time to rest and recharge. Stephen Covey called this act Sharpening the Saw, and it is a valuable and necessary use of your time if you hope to become all you’re capable of becoming. How can you get better at investing your time?

  • Know your destination. Being clear on your goals and why you want to achieve them is the first step in being wise with your time. So many people just get up every day and react to what happens to them instead of creating a day that moves them closer to where they want to be.
  • Have a plan. Once you know where you’re going, you need to know how you’re going to get there understanding that your plan may change many times as you encounter obstacles and challenges along the way. These aren’t meant to stop you but to help you grow and become more.
  • Take action. Now you need to work your plan every day without fail. While it may be tough in the beginning to get going, it’ll feel so good knowing you’re actively moving towards what you want daily.
  • Be patient. Achieving anything of significance takes time. It doesn’t happen in a day; it happens day by day. Don’t focus so much on the destination that you get frustrated and give up. Enjoy the journey and work your plan. Before you know it, you’ll be repeating the process to achieve even more.
  • See and help others. It is so rare for someone actually to ask for help. They put on a happy face and try to convince themselves and the world that they’re just fine. If you’re observant, though, you’ll see opportunities where you can reach out and make this journey called life just a little bit easier for someone that’s having a tough time. It might just be a smile or a kind word. It might be rolling up your sleeve and jumping in. It might mean getting your wallet out. There’s an awesome Chinese saying that will put the cherry on top of this point that goes, “If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a month – get married. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help others.” Nuff said.
  • Work on your relationships. Don’t just cruise through the different relationships you have. Get involved and be an active participant. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this relationship better?” Whatever the answer, do it! Great relationships take work from both sides. Don’t wait for them to make the first move; you make it. Take 100% responsibility for the success of the relationship and you’ll be amazed at how quickly things improve. Remember, these are the people that are going to remember you and how you impacted their lives long after you’re gone.
Any great person that you can think of past or present had or has the same time each day that you do. They were just more careful about how they used their time. Being intentional with your time, you too can be one of these great people that the world can look at and see just how AMAZING you are!
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