Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Take the Next Step

When you are beginning a new project, you need to learn a  lot.  There is likely new terminology, procedures, new relationships, and more.  You will also need to plan.  What are the next steps?  What might they look like?  How many steps will there be?  Are there books I should read or videos I should watch?  It can be overwhelming.

The problem with many projects in life is they get "stuck" in the learning phase.  We don't know what we don't know.  And as we learn more about the project we can become paralyzed with the fear that we don't know enough.

At some point you need to take action.

In my experience, most endeavors don't fail because the participants don't know enough.  They fail because those involved don't take enough action.  Most of your goals will take more activity than you anticipate...so the sooner you start the better.  The fact is, if you take the wrong action, you will learn quickly.  Then, with that new knowledge, you can take new action to move the project in the right direction.

That's right.  You will actually learn more (in many cases) by taking action.

So if you are stuck on a new project because you feel you are not ready, get over yourself.

Take the next right step.  Then navigate the next step from there.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Let It Go

Tell me if this has ever happened to you.  You are on social media (pick your favorite channel) scrolling through your feed and you see "something."  That something might be a direct dig or it might be a perceived insult.  It's that negative comment that sticks with you.

You want to retort.  You want to respond.  You want to lash out and "give them a piece of your mind."  I get it. 

But here is my short and sweet advice.

Let it go.

No one has ever changed their mind based on an argument had on Facebook.  You will feel better for a moment, until they respond again.  This time, of course, it will be worse.  It will escalate.  It will get meaner and more awful.

So take the high road.  Turn the other cheek.  Walk away.

Let it go.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Smile. Breathe Deeply. Repeat.

It was exciting in the beginning!  It was an opportunity of a lifetime.  You were asked to speak at a company event in front of your team.  Or you were selected as a panelist.  You were asked to sing the national anthem.  Or you were selected to the homecoming court.  It is an honor!  It's awesome. 

But now...

No you are overwhelmed with nervousness.  It's the day of the event and you are not sure how it will go.  You might even start thinking of how it will go wrong. 

Stop it.

In these moments, do these simple things...


Breath Deeply.


And really take it in.  Enjoy it as best you can.

There are not THAT many of these moments in life.  Do your best.  Forget the rest.


Breath Deeply.


Do your best to have fun with it.  This moment WILL go fast like a roller coaster.  Whether you enjoy the actual moment or not...you want to remember it well.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Point Out The Positive

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed recently and I came across something curious.  A mother had taken her child to a local hospital...and had something positive to say!  She pointed out that though she hears negative comments and complaints all the time, she had a positive experience.  She complimented the staff for their professionalism and attentiveness.

Her experience was refreshing.  But so was her attitude.

As Zig Ziglar once said, "Some people find fault like there is a reward for it!"  We all know that those are the people that seem most excited to go to social media.  They want to complain.  I get it.  We all want to be heard sometimes. 

But for this day (and this week, and this month) make it a point to point out the positive.  Acknowledge and be grateful when things go really well.  Thank people when the service is good.

This will not eliminate bad experiences (of course).  But in my experience, by simply looking for the positive things in your life, you will find more of it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Learn a New Language

On a recent trip to Mexico, my family and I took a snorkeling trip off the resort where we were staying.  It was a great time and we needed to get back.  Since the regular transportation was not available, we decided to get a local cab to take us back to the resort.

We loaded all of our gear into the trunk of the small vehicle and got in.  I told the gentleman where we were going and he looked at me with no understanding in his eyes.  I told him again, louder, in English.  He spoke back to me...in Spanish.  The trip went like this through wrong turns and adventure until we, finally, got back on the right road and made it back.

It's funny to look back on now.  At the time, not so much.

At that point I made a deal with myself that I would work to become more competent in Spanish.  I love to travel there but I have never made it a point to work on learning that language.  Shame on me.

Learning a new language is a great way to build bridges.  It will be scary and you will fail a LOT.  But most often, native speakers are more than happy to help you learn through your stumbles.  In addition, it is an amazing way to activate your brain in new ways.  Oh, and it doesn't matter what language.  If you want to learn German, Chinese, or Coding, the learning benefits are the same.

It's a process.  But I am confident that on my next trip to Mexico I will be able to say:

"Me gustarĂ­a ir a mi hotel."

 I am working on it.