In John C. Maxwell’s book “Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrows Success,” he talks about this concept of making sure you’re not feeding your spouse your “leftovers.” The example was simple. Something big would happen and throughout the day, John would share the wonderful news many times over with friends, select family members, and colleagues; then by the time he would arrive home and his wife would inquire about his day, this great news was no longer fresh if even newsworthy at all by that point. What were leftover were stale sound bites of a once wholesome feast of good news.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this concept of leftovers, but not so much in the How to Improve Your Marriage sense (although I can attest sharing the first bite with your better half tastes soooo good); but more so in the sense of if we’re bringing our leftover self in the form of energy to our work.
This is often the struggle of the starving artist, entrepreneur, or even corporate rung climber. We spend so much time working on things that quite frankly must get done and when it’s time to do the work, that epic, life-changing work… we’re often forced to bring our leftover self to the table.
My challenge to myself is simple: either start my day bringing my fresh, nutrient enriched self to my epic work, and if that is not possible…if I have to use my leftover self to continue the great work, then I show up like a piece of my late Grandmother’s homemade apple pie that for some reason always tastes great if not better, as a leftover.
I often wonder how I got to this place. Most would think I am an extrovert; however, as I get older (there I go with that saying again) I’m realizing that I am truly more of an introvert, and have been for quite some time.
A quick study, quite cerebral in nature, but often very selective with whom and how I share myself. This includes my: thoughts, feelings, love, time, attention and the list goes on. I do not think being selective is a bad thing, but as a true connector I often feel conflicted and scared when it’s time to really share. This I think is normal as nobody really wants to be vulnerable; but to me, it seems like this vulnerability is the key to success in our relationships.
People really do want to know who you are at your core. They want to know, because once they’ve stripped you naked this does not give them power over you (that is something you have always had the ability to control), but this gives them and you a true gift. You get the gift of ultimate freedom and authenticity and they get the gift of engaging with a true being. How beautiful. How precious. How amazing that self-preservation keeps us from truly being in so many of our casual and formal relationships.
If I’ve learned anything during my life about energy, power and influence from the true gifts of human beings it is this: it always starts from the heart, out of love, and to say the byproduct of these gifts is generosity, that is quite simply an understatement.
“Today is a piece of the mosaic of your life.” – Jim Rohn
Sometimes a quote simply says it all.
Now…as Dr. Rick would say, “Make Today Count!”
ENJOY the journey today and everyday.
Lately my self-discoveries have not arrived with me saying, “Aha!” excited about finally connecting the dots. These days my self-discoveries have caused me to dramatically drop my head into my hands verbally moaning, “Nooooooooooooo,” when in my mind I’m saying, “Shit.” As I come to each realization (Aha) that I’m the one that’s been getting in my own way of obtaining what I truly want.
Here’s a perfect example. I want a closer relationship with God. I want my husband to read and study with me. Based on our busy schedules, he suggests 4am. One problem…that’s my prime writing time! Why does it have to be at that time, I just got into this groove…why stop a great thing? I immediately suggest 4:30am (which will not work either) but I’m convincing myself in my head we can “get it done.” Short-change the Lord…ummmm not such a good idea. I now realize…this makes no sense at all, and if I want a closer relationship with the Lord then shouldn’t I be putting him first? If I want my family to be grounded in our faith, wouldn’t it make sense for us to start our day mediating on the word and praying over not only over our lives but all of those whom we love, our enemies, and most especially those who need prayer?
This is just one example of how I’ve gotten in my own way of getting what I want. Beggars really can’t be choosers and to ask and not be flexible is just plain immature. Get out of your own way, and I promise…you will accomplish more than you have set out to do.
You should never be your own detour, and if you are; hopefully, someone with more wisdom than you will point out the error of your ways allowing you to course correct.
Get out of your way.
We often hear words like perseverance, determination, and will power, used as attributes of someone who has attained some upper echelon of success. But the truth is, those words are simply the niceties we use from a state of awe after the person accomplished something magnificent. It’s really about the fight.
I have always said, “Anything worth having is worth fighting for.” However, as I get older (Haha still not even 30…not that there’s anything wrong with 30) I’m discovering that there are some very important things worth fighting for and these bouts are nothing like the fights I imagined in my youth. They are worse. They are dark, dangerous, exhausting and while you often have someone in your corner, you realize you’re the one getting up at the crack of dawn and training, perfecting your craft, and tapping gloves in the center of the ring.
The best thing you can do is prepare for your fights, they’re going to happen, the stakes will be high, but realize that once you tap gloves…it on.
I believe it was Aesop who first documented the phrase, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” After delivering my first dynamic presentation on personal branding this past weekend, I discovered that it truly is better to be the sheep (or the wolf). It’s not worth the energy or effort and truly causes more harm than good to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
There’s something special about appearing to be who you truly are. There are many people who wake up every morning and put on their sheep’s costume. It often takes the true sheep a few interactions to sniff out the wolves and trot in the other direction.
There is only one you and no one else can be you, so you might as well try to present your best self to the world every day; and if you’re a wolf, there’s no point in putting on a sheep’s costume because we can still sniff you out.
Decide who you are and either leave your home every day as the wolf or the sheep, but don’t put on a costume.
When we create, we’ve often been trained by formal education or our jobs to use whatever colors we want, but to stay inside the lines. At work it could be that business plan template where you fill in the blanks and use words like “leverage, penetrate, and strategic.” This is all great, but doesn’t work when the fiber of your being wants to color outside the lines or when you want to say what you mean, but like a 7 year old: “my friends matter, and you should really be trying to be friends with them online so when they’re ready to buy something from you, they’ll think you’re cool and they will. Oh yeah and then they’ll tell all of our other friends about you and how you’re awesome. Don’t you want to be awesome?”
It seems like it’s during those times when I color outside of the lines that I have truly been able to connect with my audience; but it’s when I say it like a 7 year old they remember my message forever.
Let me know if you need a crayon.
We often say that we shouldn’t judge others; and we shouldn’t. However, we also should not judge ourselves. Saying you will never do something or you’re not good enough or complaining about how your situation has not changed is energy draining and a waste of time. I hate to tell you this, but while you’re busy judging yourself; you’re the reason why your situation has not changed.
Why? Because you have judged and spoken the finale over your current situation, and I’m afraid it’s not going to change (notice I didn’t say never) unless you do something about it. Take the first step and believe that you can do it. Then see yourself doing it. Then go make it happen. You are such a powerful being.
We often think we’ve been there done that and know (based on our experiences) how something is going to turn out. Is this wisdom or intuition wrong? No. The knowledge from past experience doesn’t make you wrong, but if you have changed, who says the outcome of that situation that looks, feels and smells so similar this time around may end with a different result?
Please stop operating out of a place of fear, limiting yourself and your potential by judging yourself. Start thinking, believing and knowing that you can…then you’ll be firing on all cylinders ready to take on your world.
It’s the house or apartment without the personality of paint. In an office, it’s the missing family photos or the empty credenza. Or it could be the 20-something that read Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non-Conformity,” and decides to sell all of their belongings and book a one-way ticket to the place where they will paint their home or decorate their office.
When we choose to live on the surface, by not investing in making someplace more like home; subconsciously we are telling ourselves that this place is not home. This place is only temporary. Although we may be vested, we’re not invested: and if we’re not invested, in due time we’ll collect those things that have been able to live and breathe on the surface and we will move on.
Living on the surface allows us to be agile; moving with the speed of change in an instant. It’s when we do invest in that can of paint, or make someplace more like home that we’ve allowed ourselves to take root below the surface, planting ourselves to grow abundantly and produce fruit.