As a leader, you undoubtedly analyze (and even over-analyze) why you and your team haven’t produced the results you are committed to producing, and as you’re surrounded by spreadsheets, charts, and other tools, you might even find yourself thinking it best to just wait out whatever is in your way.

But, guess what? You have no time to wait. This is not a dress rehearsal. If you want something, now is the time to go for it. Get into action and get into action now. You can spend your time looking for the answer to the question, “Why?” and certainly there are things we can learn from this analysis.

Wallowing in "Why?" won’t change anything about the present, and won’t create anything for the future.

Be in action instead! Stop letting your fear of the unknown or failure stop you from taking action. When did “playing safe” become your life commitment? If a lack of a valuable commitment that lights you up is at the root of your stagnation, change your commitments. Get really, really committed to what you really, really want… not what you think you are supposed to want for you, your team, and your business — but what you really want.

You can talk all day, have meetings, create written reports, make lists out of your lists and review them until the cows come home, but leaders who accomplish great things TAKE ACTION!

Don’t just sit there… do something, sell something, create something, change something, volunteer for something! Do something bold!

Procrastination has been defined as “the deliberate act of excessive postponing.” Notice that word… deliberate. That means it’s a choice! Don’t fall into the trap of believing all of the excuses/reasons for not reaching the goals you and your team committed to.  The truth is in your actions. You always have the power to choose your actions, no matter the circumstances. Choose to get unstuck!

Yoda had it right… “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.”

Think about it — what would the world look like if we all made the choice to be great with people all the time, instead of being angry, vengeful, right, resentful, or just plain unkind?

What would it be like to not resent the plumber who came to your house to fix a small leak and managed to flood your entire kitchen and den?

What would it be like to forgive the senior driver who inadvertently merges your car right off the road and up against the highway barrier?

What would it be like to give up anger and have a calm discussion with your child about the importance of integrity and being their word after they’ve been caught in a lie?

What would it be like to stop harboring negative feelings for a neighbor whose political leanings differ from yours?

The Paradoxical Commandments

Engraved on the wall of the children’s home founded by Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India, are The Paradoxical Commandments. These verses were written by Dr. Kent M. Keith when he was just 19 years old, and they offer us guidance on how to be great with people, even when the people we are with aren’t being great themselves:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
(http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com)

If ever our world needed to take these words to heart, it is now!

Being great with people is about being bigger than your complaints.

It’s about having a commitment that is greater than you and your corner of the world.

It’s about being committed to the good of humanity—everywhere, always—and creating peace in every interaction in your life.

It’s about being committed to a better world, which starts with you.

Imagine the results if every single person on this planet was great with every other person. Jails would close, armies would disband, and families, communities, and countries would flourish!

Do you have the courage to take it on? Of course you do!

Now choose!

 

We all know people who appear to have it all. The people who have a smile on their face and an upbeat attitude no matter what is going on in the world around them. They love what they do, they have a great family, life is good, and they always have a kind word to say. But, how do they do it?

They are unstoppable!

  • They know what they want, and they are 100% committed to getting it.
  • They know that there is more power in a hug than a fist.
  • They love life.
  • They refuse to be stopped by any circumstance.
  • They know the value of asking for help.
  • They have teams that support them everywhere.
  • They are clear about what is most important to them.

Being unstoppable, refusing to be stuck in the muck-and-mire of life, is like playing a mental game of chess. We are either in the game, recognizing when we aren’t and are willing to do something about it, or we’re not! And, if “not” is where you find yourself, okay, but I ask you to reconsider.

You see, life is all about having fun, stepping out, being visible, and playing full out no matter what the world has to say about it! So, give it a chance… I dare you!

Remember: You are the only person who has a say in how your life turns out!

What do you say?

Most of us have a jar that accumulates our monetary change over time. We do this because change is a pain! It's heavy and rattles around in our pockets or purses when we try to carry it around. It's uncomfortable and difficult to manage. Yet, change is unavoidable, and the way we manage monetary change in our lives is the same way many people deal with change in general.

Our bodies change in even the smallest of ways each and every second as we age. The seasons change. Our children grow and learn (changing as they go). The world changes; admittedly not always for the good, but it is change nonetheless. So, with all of this change around us, you’d think we would be used to change by now. You would think that we had figured out how to manage it and stopped fearing the change in our lives. Yet, we still fear change… run from it… attempt to compartmentalize it in an effort to keep it at bay! For all of the effort, we get a giant lump of change (stored in a "jar") that we never utilize to our fullest advantage. We know it's there. We count it, track it, and yet, we push it aside to the point that it weighs us down.

Why does change frighten us?

Change in and around us requires us to change with it, when we'd much rather stay comfortable, feet firmly planted, in what we know. Being with the unknown—doing things that are new and even slightly out of our comfort zones—is difficult for most people, but to manage change successfully you have to learn and grow with it. You do that by embracing the change that comes your way. Leave your FEAR (not change) in the jar!

If you attempt to control, compartmentalize, bury, or even accumulate change, you risk completely missing out on the opportunity that change brings you. Does that mean change is always easy? Of course not! Change is weighty, but it is also valuable. It has worth and when you use change as a means to learn and grow, you open up a whole new world of possibility.

As W.E.B. DuBois said, "The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become."

"A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope of the world."
—Anonymous

At the start of 2020, did you make a list of goals for the year? Even if you aren't in the habit of writing resolutions, you probably had some hopes and plans in mind. At that point, few could have imagined the challenges we would face. Now, in September, I would bet that few of our original goals for 2020 have been realized — though we can also view this as an opportunity to shift our mindset, reset priorities, and sharpen our vision for the future.

Most of us live our day-to-day lives on automatic without giving much thought to a larger purpose or meaning for who we are or what we do. Even leaders with the greatest of intentions can fall into this trap. So, what’s the problem?

Leadership that lacks forward thinking can quickly lead to discouragement and financial failure. Therefore, leadership without vision is actually dangerous! Think about it this way:

Imagine you are traveling in a car with your team, and each of you have your heads buried in your GPS devices. No one, not even YOU, the driver, is looking  at the road! In this scenario, it is difficult to see how you could possibly avoid an accident, right? However, when you pay attention, ignore the distractions, take in the scenery, and are present to where you are going, you will have a successful trip! It's the same with being a visionary leader.

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