Living Within Your Limits

There are a couple areas where I have taken flak related to my book Release. Sometimes it has happened after a talk and sometimes I get an email about it.

Both areas are in the segment I refer to as Harnessing Your History.

The first area has to do with dealing with pain from the past rather than ignoring it or suppressing it. People have challenged me that this is a “negative” approach and we just need to forget about it and move on. But the fact is, pain that we don’t deal with begins to affect us deeply and might pop out when we don’t want it too!

The other area where I take some heat is when I point out to people that they cannot be and do anything they want, despite all of the voices saying otherwise in pop culture, esp via the self help movement. Some have fired back at me and said that it is wrong to suggest we have limits.

So it was refreshing today to get an email from someone who subscribes to my Release email series, thanking me for pointing out this issue of limitations:

Thank you for this email. It’s refreshing to see a more realistic view of our abilities.  It’s been a while since I read or heard something like that.  I think it was years ago something I heard or read from Zig Ziglar.  I do think there are many areas where we don’t have the talent or interest to excel at that. I personally need to focus on areas that I have the talent and/or the interest in it.

Exactly! Recognizing our limits allows us to focus on the things for which we are truly gifted and can excel.

I have posted the email that elicited this response below. If you are not currently on my Release email list you can access it here: Sign Up for Release Emails

You even get a free pdf version of the book out of the deal!

Here’s the email:

Read moreLiving Within Your Limits

When Mediocrity Becomes Excellence

I found myself reacting rather strongly to a Huffington Post article about voter turnout in the recent Canadian federal election.

huffWhat made me recoil was the little infographic on FB that linked to the article calling our 68.3% voter turnout “amazing”.

Now, I know that giving a voter turnout a letter grade (in this case a C) may not be the best way of evaluating its level of excellence or not. But when barely 2/3 of the possible voters bothered to get out and add their voice to the national direction, I can’t see it being considered a B, much less an A.

Even the Huff Post article points out, in another graphic, that prior to the 1993 election when voter turnout dipped below 70% and has since remained there, you have to go back to 1953 to find the previous sub 70% turnout, and to 1926 for the one before that.

I don’t really care what voter turnout is in other countries and how we compare. Forget the curve. Most of the millions who didn’t vote were fully capable of voting. But they didn’t.

So, let’s quit pretending we are in a no-fail school where teachers are prohibited from giving goose eggs even to students who do nothing. We are a country. Our voting age is 18. When more than 3 out of 10 choose not to exercise this great freedom and privilege, it is indeed amazing, but not in a positive sense. It is at best mediocre. Perhaps even pathetic.

Come on Canada, we can do better.

Goal Setting Worksheet

There is a lot of theory and a lot of chatter online and offline about goal-setting:

  • “Are your goals SMART?”
  • “Should you focus on problem solving instead of goal-setting?”
  • “Is goal-setting simply wishful thinking?”
  • “Do people obsess about setting goals as a way to avoid taking action?”
goal setting worksheet
Click to Get Your Copy Now!

While I recognize that some people may have a bias toward goal-setting, and others towards problem solving, I still see a problem solving orientation as a form of goal-setting. Classic goal-setting which focuses on where I want to go and what do I want to achieve seems to appeal to those with and offensive mindset whereas problem solving seems to click for those with a defensive mindset. However, if you are a problem solver, you are in a sense focusing on the goal of solving that problem; ultimately you are focused, which is the start of any successful outcome.

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How to Have a Productive Afternoon

I’m aproductivity_cmp morning person. I get 50-100% more done in a morning hour than in an afternoon hour. My thinking is clearer and I am more creative. My second best chunk of time is often from 6-9 pm in the evening. But afternoons can be a challenge, and from what I have seen this is true for many people.

One year ago, that would have been true for me. I have since narrowed the gap dramatically, to the point where my afternoons, while still not as productive as my mornings, are now better than that evening slot. And some days, the morning and the afternoon seem pretty close.

Here’s what’s changed:

Read moreHow to Have a Productive Afternoon

If You Weren’t Afraid…

It’s one of the most irritating personal development questions I have ever encountered. Yet it is also one of the most immediately actionable.

“What would yAnxietyou do if you weren’t afraid?”

What irritates me about this question is the assumption that there is fear in my life and that fear is holding me back from taking action in some way. What irritates me even more is that any time I have been honest about the question, I have been able to uncover a fear that is restraining me in some way.

It’s usually not a major fear like fear of death or crashing in a plane, but it is significant enough that it is keeping me from doing something I ought to do. Right now, as I do a quick scan over my life I see the following:

Read moreIf You Weren’t Afraid…