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Weekly Insights and Inspiration for Flying Higher in Endeavors that Make a Difference

The Fine Art of Blundering - Stumbling Toward Excellence

Want to develop your potential? Awaken the giant within? Achieve excellence in an endeavor worthy of your time and talents?

Some say it takes guts, grit, and grind. Others say it requires planning, purpose, and perseverance. Perhaps it's merely up to fate, faith, and fortune.

Regardless of how you realize your promise, there's one strategy that can really help you get out of your head and out of your own way. Stop taking yourself so damn seriously!

Sure, dream big, go large, and fly high; but remember that things rarely turn out just the way you think they will or should. Embrace the fact that you, and everyone else, are stumbling their way toward excellence. Adopt a posture of blundering.

Here are just a few of the benefits of the fine art of blundering:

  • Helps you acknowledge ignorance. Opens the door for listening and learning.
  • Encourages embracing the process and non-attachment to results beyond your control.
  • Cultivates presence. You can only influence what happens next in...
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An End to Suffering

personal development Mar 18, 2019

For some, merely seeing the word "suffer" triggers memories and feelings of pain, injury, or loss. Why is that? Where does suffering even come from?

Ancient wisdom tells us that it's our proclivity for attachment.

“Attachment is the root of suffering.” - The Buddha

Why human beings are attached to ideas and impressions about themselves, others and their situation that causes suffering are less important than recognizing that these attachments are choices. You don't have to cling to beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that are not serving you.

But how can you make "better" choices? Choices that, instead of feeding your suffering, cultivate a sense of thriving, even as you struggle? Here are five additional "A's" to help you free yourself from the self-imposed suffering of attachment.

Acknowledgment - Struggle and stress are natural. Without them, you couldn't define, let alone experience, peace, and prosperity. Don't avoid challenge or misfortune, embrace them....

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But Will Your Endeavor Take Off?

 

Ultimately, it is impossible to know if an endeavor will succeed. What does “success” even look like? Too often success is confused with popularity and profits.

What if you measured success by the well-being it generates for yourself and others? What if success is doing well enough today so that you can get up and do it again tomorrow?

Take care of the important things, like maintaining your integrity and stepping forward with intention. The less important things, like how much recognition and reward you receive, will take care of themselves.

One thing is assured. If you never start your endeavor, you’ll never know if it has legs. Traction requires movement. If you don’t build it, they certainly won’t come.

And what if your endeavor fails? Everything you do rubs up against the possibility that it might not work. It’s very likely that your effort won’t unfold as planned. But that’s precisely how integrity and intention are tested and...

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Find Your Rhythm

personal development Mar 11, 2019

What defines some sound as "music?" It's organization and intent. Music is sound meant to communicate and connect and rhythm is the organizing element of that sound. Music is done out loud, with and for others, and it has a beat.

With music, as it is in any meaningful endeavor, timing really is everything!

Rhythm comes from the ancient Greek word ῥυθμός, rhythmos, and defined as "regular recurring motion, symmetry." Repetition and balance help your endeavor, musical or otherwise, establish patterns worth recognizing and remembering. Rhythm also encourages movement, forward motion, and a sense of progression.

It's also important to establish frequency (how often), and period (how long). Frequency and period determine if what you're sharing is a riff, a movement, or a complete symphony.

Intentionally establishing a steady beat (the "pulse" your audience taps their foot to), and the tempo (the pace or speed of that movement), is essential. It can...

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Why Testify?

personal development Feb 25, 2019

The significance of what it means to testify goes beyond the context in which the term is often heard today. There's more power in the act of testifying than what it means in the legal or even religious sense.

The root of "testify" means "witness." Bearing witness in a legal or religious context is important, but on a deeper level, a human level, testifying is truly profound.  Standing up to be seen and speaking up to be heard is a courageous act. 

To testify is also the generous act of sharing your truth. You assert based on your personal experience and observation. But it speaks to a universal concern or endeavor. Most important, to testify is to commit to action based on your belief.

"This is what I see. This is what I think. This is what I'm doing."

Bearing witness creates tension. Those beholding your testimony must decide what they do next. Testimony invites collaboration and the opportunity to build trust and forward motion. It also invites...

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The Power of Affiliation

personal development Feb 18, 2019

Affiliation strikes fear into the hearts of those invested in the status quo.

The status quo favors the exclusive club at the top. They stay there through control and domination. For those winning the status quo game, confidence, certainty, and even arrogance and sociopathy are rewarded. Curiosity, courage, and creativity are discouraged. Those that don't take a hint are punished. The status quo amplifies our differences and fears to keep us humble, hiding, and alone.

How do those that recognize the selfishness and self-indulgence of the status quo make things better? How do we break the status quo and build something better? Something that cultivates compassion shares the abundance available?

Affiliation.

When the humanitarian, generous, and active gather, the door to possibility is cracked open. When the affiliated leverage the very impulses the status quo fears, curiosity, courage, and creativity, there's an opportunity to break the status quo and build something better....

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"The Hard Part" - Getting Beyond Unhealthy and Unhelpful Beliefs

personal development Feb 18, 2019

Why do we cling to beliefs that hurt our sense of wellbeing and impede our happiness? Why do we believe in things that don't stand up to scrutiny or science? Why is the change we know is good for us so hard to make?

We're born with the capacity for reason, why do we use that power to rationalize beliefs that cause us harm? Why can't we think things through and "see the light?"

The fact is, you can't think your way out of unhealthy or unhelpful beliefs because those beliefs don't "live" in your thinking brain. They reside in the darker regions of your reptile brain. That brain is only programmed for fight or flight and procreation.

"The hard part" about changing pernicious and persistent delusions is that you can't think them through, because the place where those beliefs live only reacts. Like our beliefs, most of our behavior is driven by the unconscious.

Here's what we know, behavior informs and inspires beliefs, not the other way around. Before you change your...

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stoicism Is Stupid - The Case for Being a Stoic Creative

 

Yes, you read that title correctly. I assert that "stoicism is stupid."

To be clear, what I mean is, common English usage, lower case "s" stoicism is a pretty poor strategy for cultivating happiness while building a life worth living.

Meaningful living and work, without question, involves challenges, misfortunes, and invitations for shame and suffering. And "keeping a stiff upper lip" and grimly enduring such hardships will bring no feelings of peace, prosperity, or wellbeing.

On the other hand, capital "S" Stoicism, the ancient philosophy of life, has much wisdom and value to impart to those who strive to endeavor better. First and foremost, Stoicism asserts that excellence of character is all that is required to "live the good life."

Although virtue is sufficient, Stoicism also encourages us to strive to make both the world and ourselves "better" and also provides principles and practices for doing just that.

The video above is from a Facebook Live broadcast from the...

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Teach to Learn

personal development Feb 11, 2019

Teaching is what I was born for. Some of my earliest childhood memories are about sharing what I just learned with others.

What I've learned is that teaching serves the teacher as much as the student. It reveals what you truly understand and what you don't. This allows you to leverage your strengths while you develop your weaknesses.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to become a better teacher, and therefore, a better learner.

  • What have I learned or discovered?
  • Will it serve others as well?
  • How can I frame what I learned so others can learn it more easily than I did?
  • How can I share that frame in a way that encourages others to share it as well?

Teaching creates tension and leverages status. Good teachers do so ethically and with empathy. You simultaneously reveal incompetence while holding out the promise of competence in an endeavor that matters. Good teachers beget good teachers. They elevate and enhance the community.

Teachers make a difference. They...

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"The Process" - How to Get Work Worth Doing Done

personal development Feb 04, 2019

What is productivity, really?

It’s not just “getting things done.” Everyone gets all sorts of things done daily. After a day of doing things, most are exhausted, But some get remarkable work done every day and appear energized by the effort. Wouldn’t you like to be one of those people? I decided that I did.

Since graduating from Seth Godin’s altMBA program two years ago, I built a brand, Creative On Purpose, and developed a successful and self-sustaining coaching program, membership site, speaking and workshop career, released two best-selling books on Amazon, and published over 100 blog posts and broadcasts.

And I’m just getting started.

My family, friends, fans, and followers frequently refer to me as “a shipping machine” and ask, “How do you do it?”

I developes something I call “The Process.” It involves these five steps: Vision, Mission, Goal, Strategy, and Tactics.

These are terms you might use all the...

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