There is so much going on around us – so much noise – that we tend to hear everything, but what are we actually listening to? Our worlds are filled with a constant barrage of input, but what are we learning from it? If we are constantly talking… if we constantly tune people out… if we merely hear things in the background without really listening to what is being communicated to us, chances are that we aren’t learning anything! Rarely do any of us really listen 100% of the time. But what if we did?

As you consider what you want to accomplish in the last quarter of this year, I’d like you to think about the Olympic athletes that are now competing with other athletes from all over the globe. What an amazing thing they do! They train their bodies AND their minds so that they can create phenomenal results. Do all of them bring home Olympic gold (or even silver or bronze)? No, but do they deliver their personal best? Yes!! Guess what, they have the same distractions that you do -- and yet they have pushed, planned, gotten coaching, and trained in order to accomplish what it is they say they want. I believe that we can learn a lot from these amazing athletes about what it takes to succeed in whatever our goals are!

The stark realization that the lazy days of summer are coming to an abrupt end can be downright disappointing. But the summer isn’t over yet, so I have to ask: Have you done what you really set out to do this summer? Have you taken the time for you that you deserve? And if not, it isn’t too late, but it is time to get going!! The “best of intentions” aren’t nearly enough to take us from wanting to take care of ourselves to actually doing it, we have to put a few tools in place that help us take care of us!

It occurred to me that we talk a lot about focusing on the positive and having a smile on our faces. However, how do we be positive when work is stressing us out…bills are stressing us out…gas prices are stressing us out…or we’re torn between wanting to spend more time with our families and the need to bring in more money to meet the family’s needs? Let’s face it. We have a lot to be stressed about! So, if our default way of going through our day is to focus on the negatives, grumble and be down on life, how do we change our default way of being from negative to positive?

As a business coach, I talk with business owners from around the country each day. I am privy to all of their ups and downs, and I have to tell you, I’m hearing a lot of downs right now. And the truth is that I’m frustrated, because no matter what the economy is doing, no matter what circumstances are going on around us: LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HARD… WE DON’T HAVE TO SETTLE… WE CAN HAVE THE LIFE AND BUSINESSES WE WANT! Now, I am not trivializing the problems many Americans are now facing. I simply want to wake all of us up to the power we have to turn our mediocre, complacent, life-is-hard attitudes around.

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