Oct 212014
 

“I’m not waiting for the right moment,” I said, rubbing my eyes.

I do not know who I was talking to. I don’t remember the conversation. I just woke up with those words on my lips, defending myself to an empty room.

Whatever the dream was about, the lesson is clear: don’t wait for the right moment. Past moments are gone. I can not change them. Future moments are uncertain. I might have a brain aneurysm and die before I finish this sentence. (Looks like I didn’t; got lucky, I guess…)

Given that the last moment is gone and the next one is uncertain, this means¬†now¬†is the right moment. So, if you were waiting for the right moment to do something… here it is.

 

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Oct 202014
 

 

The room was cold, and I could feel the goose bumps prickling up my arms. It was not unbearable but I knew I was going to be stuck there for at least a few more hours and I hate feeling cold.

As the weather turns toward winter in Michigan, I find myself needing long-sleeved undershirts again, but there is a few weeks between fall and winter where it is too warm for an undershirt and a sweater but too cold for a sweater alone.

I usually opt for the sweater alone. I actually prefer to be too warm rather than too cold but I try to seize small opportunities to embrace being uncomfortable.

Like most people, I avoid and sometimes even fear change. Still, I seize opportunities to be outside of my comfort zone–not too far, but just a little more each day. Being chilly for a few hours is low-hanging fruit (it is definitely not as challenging as, say, giving a speech in front of a hundred people) but the point is not about the extremes. It is simply to try being okay with being uncomfortable for a while.

For some people, that might be as easy as wearing your socks with the heel cup on top of your foot for a few hours. Or it can be as challenging as saying hello to a stranger while standing in line at the grocery store, or having dinner at a restaurant by yourself, or dancing in public. For some of us, all of those things are on the low-end of feeling uncomfortable. For some people, those things are more challenging than jumping out of a plane or scaling a mountain.

What can you do now to increase your ability to embrace change and be more comfortable with being uncomfortable?

 

 


Oct 192014
 

Why should I contribute to the success of others if they end up getting ahead of me?

 

Many people share this mentality and hoard information or resources that can help move their friends, peers, or organization forward. They feel over-protective of their success and actively defend it by keeping their best ideas and practices to themselves.

I think a better way to live is to share your best work, ideas, and resources without worrying about what is in it for you. The funny thing is, there is still a lot in it for you. Consider:

 

  • Not being afraid of someone else taking your work or insight and having success allows your ideas to grow and flourish without you having to be the driving force behind them all the time. The time you have in a day, and in life, is limited. Sharing your ideas multiplies your effectiveness without robbing you of your time.
  • Sharing your best ideas frees you up to create more. Once your ideas are out of your head and in the world, you can let others move forward with them while you work on newer, bigger things.
  • People will use your ideas in ways you did not imagine. They might edit something or add their own ideas to create something surprising and even better than what you originally came up with.
  • Someone else might profit from your ideas or mentoring. They may earn a raise or promotion ahead of you or might execute some of your ideas better or faster than you were able to. That can be frustrating if your only goal is to make money or achieve political gain. The game for me, though, is to build influence and help as many other people move forward as possible.

 

I think we simply do not have enough of the right kinds of leaders in the world, so I want my message and lessons to spread as far and wide as they can, as peacefully and quickly as possible. That is why I do not charge for any content on my blog (maybe that will change one day but there are no current plans to start) and it is not invitation-only.

Anyone can share my work with anyone else in pretty much any format chosen (but I do appreciate being given credit for my work). That is also why I help my peers (and sometimes my competition) apply my best practices and ideas and take what they have learned from me to their friends and peers. I do not win by making more money or becoming famous. I win by starting change in the world.

The lesson today is simple: don’t hoard your best ideas. Share them and see how many lives you can improve. Besides, what else are you going to do while you are here?