The Process LLC © 2019

My friend Mark’s book and one other thing…

Today’s blog is short and sweet…I wanted to direct your attention toward a physician and athlete you may have never heard of. His name is Dr. Mark Cucuzzella. After years of thinking about it, he put together a book about running, and even if you are not a runner the title of his book alone can get us started on a critical conversation.

That conversation entails having a renewed sense of perspective and seeking a life of joy.

The second half of the title is enough for me. It is something that I think about daily, and fail to achieve time and time again. But even when I get down on myself, my situation, and my failures (and yes, I seem to fail quite often if not at least once per day) I try to keep perspective by simply telling myself that tomorrow will be another opportunity to start over. It is not easy to go to sleep at night when things are ruminating in our minds. And it is quite challenging to turn those thoughts off. Time and time again I find myself unable to just relax because of something that happened a few hours earlier, or the idea that something might not go right the next day. Turning off this noise is quite challenging and I admire those who can do with consistency and without losing much sleep.

Today, I simply ask you to think about all the noise that is keeping you from achieving a sense of well-being and joy. Put that noise in perspective. Do your best to decrease the chatter and try to make the sounds you are hearing something beautiful, powerful and refreshing. If you can do that, then tomorrow will surely be full of new opportunities for growth!

 

Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy lives to stop by today to read the blog. If you have not signed up to follow my blog, please do so on the HOMEPAGE. You will be entered to win one of several free copies of my upcoming book:

Exceptional Every Day:

An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform your Life

A letter to my child

Today I wanted to share a letter that I wrote to my eldest daughter yesterday (and don’t worry, the younger one received one as well). Today she starts 3rd grade at a brand new place, and she knows no one. This may be an all too familiar moment in many of your lives. Perhaps my words to her will inspire you to reach out to someone who might benefit from a little encouragement from you…you never know unless you try.

Elle's letter

Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy lives to stop by today to read the blog. If you have not signed up to follow my blog, please do so on the HOMEPAGE. You will be entered to win one of several free copies of my upcoming book:

Exceptional Every Day:

An Empowering Process to Unlock Your Why and Transform your Life

 

To change your life, you need to change your priorities…

I am guessing you have heard of the Pareto Principle, but if you have not, here is one of the available definitions from the internet thanks to Wikipedia:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted the 80/20 connection while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, as published in his first work, Cours d’économie politique. Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

Vilfredo Pareto

 

With that being said, I want you to consider this principle in your own life. My upcoming book provides one view on how to look at and manage, change, and edit the priorities that mean the most to you in your life. I will provide you with a new perspective on how to get the most bang for your buck every single day.

But today, I just want to give you a chance to think about how you currently budget your time, energy and money. I want you to consider what you are doing to both benefit yourself and those around you, and more than anything I want you to be able to see how the Pareto Principle can make or break your progress in reaching the goals that you set for yourself.

Some food for thought…

20 percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production.

You spend your time, energy, and money on the top 20 percent of your priorities. And sometimes you don’t even realize what that really means.

If you are looking to make some adjustments to your priorities…make it simple. Start with just a top 5 list of the most IMPORTANT and most URGENT things you need to do over the next week. Then make a list of 5 IMPORTANT, but not so URGENT things that you need to do. And then (yes, a third time), make a list of things with LOW importance, but HIGH urgency.

Essentially you are making three lists:

  1. Things to do NOW
  2. Things to DO
  3. Things to DELEGATE

It may take a little time to figure this out, and that is okay. The goal is that you make progress and that you open up more time for yourself to do the things that MATTER to you most; those things that you REALLY CARE about. If you are doing that, then odds are you are serving out your purpose or at least getting one step closer.

Thanks for joining me today!

Some thoughts from Seth

Today I am sharing this blog post from my friend Seth Godin…if you don’t know who he is, you really do need to look him up and see the work that he is doing around the world. He has written some amazing books and continues to inspire me. He causes us to think a little deeper about the work that we are doing. Enjoy…

Learning from the factory/dealer divide

Car factories are a bit of a miracle. They make a complex, expensive device, and they do it close to perfectly. People love their cars, and regularly buy new ones long before they need to. It’s a largely solved engineering problem.

On the other hand, car dealerships are a disaster. No one likes them. They’re scammy, stressful and unpredictable.

The difference comes down to management vs. leadership.

Car factories are measured and managed. For a hundred years, stopwatches and spreadsheets have turned the process of making a car into a predictable, improvable system. Management is an act of authority and compliance, and in the controlled setting of a factory, it works.

Car dealers might try to measure the easy metrics of output (how many sold) but they’ve consistently failed at managing the improvised human interactions that car salespeople engage in. It turns out that the few great car dealers are great because of leadership, not management. Leadership is engaged with voluntarily, an enrolled engagement around meaning and manners, not process and motion.

Most of don’t work in a factory. Most of us aren’t trying to solve an engineering problem. On our best days, we are leaders, or we are led by humans worthy of our best selves.

Leadership is difficult work, as far from a solvable engineering problem as we’ll encounter. It’s easier, though, if we realize that that’s what we’re doing.

When you run your dealership like a factory, you’re not going to succeed, nor are you going to please your staff. This is what creates senseless and humanity-starved bureaucracies.

The alternative:

Hire the right people, walk away from those that aren’t on the journey.

Gain enrollment.

Model behaviors.

Celebrate the right contributions.

Develop a culture, a language, a way of being on the path.

Commit to the journey.

People like us do things like this.

Raise the standards, repeat the process.

Walk around your house naked!

I can sense a few eyes rolling…heads spinning…smirks…etc.

At least my title did not use an profanity, but these days profanity is unfortunately selling books. Mark Manson wrote a New York Times bestseller titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a **** (I will let you replace the asterisk). And Sarah Knight has written a book with a similar title. It is wild. So perhaps my title for this blog post is not so bad. I think it offers some good food for thought.

I came up with it as I considered how to really get people to CHANGE.

To CHANGE, you need raw data. You need to be able to look at yourself from different angles, with a different emphasis, inside and out. You need a new perspective. You need to see yourself NAKED.

The truth is, I hate looking at myself. Ask my wife, and she will tell you that I frustrate her continually by never turning the lights on when standing in front of the sink and mirror in the bathroom. Natural light is enough for me. I had horrific acne for years, I have a big nose, etc…for me it has been troubling (hard to believe I am willing to share it with all of you). It is even worse for me at hotels where there is hardly any natural light that reaches the bathroom. It is something I need to change. I get it.

My perspective is skewed. There, I told you about one of my struggles. How about you?

What if you walked around your home naked? What if you doubled the bet and put mirrors up everywhere? What would you see? Would you be compelled to make some changes?

I discussed this with some of my patients who are looking to shed a few pounds. It really gets them thinking. The naked test does in fact work. But you cannot do it for just one day. It must be a continual process. Day after day. At least 7-days, 14 is better, 30 will give you even greater results. Try it and you will be impressed by what will happen. If you have any self-worth you will make changes. You will be compelled. The naked test will challenge you and it will remove the doubts that have been holding you back. The naked test has NOTHING to do with your actual BODY, unless that is where you want your emphasis to be. It can pertain to what is inside your mind (your thoughts and feelings). It may have something to do with who you choose to spend your time with. It might have something to do with how much of a drinker or smoker you are. It all depends on who you are.

Don’t you think you should get started? Your LIFE cannot wait any longer. And what better day to start…it’s the first of the month.

Do you love what you do?…

…Would you do it for free?

What a great question — or two!

To do something “for free” you should really love it. When you lend a hand to someone, make a monetary donation, etc., your heart is compelled to give your love away. Sometimes you do this without even thinking about it, without batting an eye. Other times you sit and wonder — and that is okay too. The key is that you do something that brings out the best in you. You are responsible. When you love what you do, it is so much easier to do all of the other stuff that you have to do.

Things fall into place — it happens on purpose — because it is what you desire. Many closed-minded and short-sighted folks cannot conceive doing their work for free. It is “below” them. But this is such a sad way to live. One of the most selfish ways to live.

So think about those two questions today. Reflect on what you are willing to do and at what price. We must get paid so that we can subsist, but somethings can and should be done for free.

 

Suffering in a nutshell

Romans 5:4: Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope.

Suffering is indeed a gift. We should welcome it each and every day. There is no reason to run or hide. Being grateful should be the first thing that comes to mind when suffering is present. But then comes perseverance and you can get through anything. You can keep going even when things get extremely difficult. And that keep going attitude is what builds one’s character. Eventually it is your character that breeds hope. All of this is what makes our LIFE. Again, our lives are determined by our suffering. Adversity builds us, even though most people think that it tears us down. We must push forward and be welcoming of such an opportunity.

Exhaustion Teaches

Have you ever stopped to think about what you can learn from periods of exhaustion? Well, it is hard to think while tired. Your “alertness” goes down, you are more prone to eating poorly, you tend to have greater shifts in your mood, and thus you don’t have much energy remaining that can allow you to reflect and grow. The key learning point from exhaustion is perseverance.

And if you understand anything about perseverance it simply means to “keep going.”

Obstacles, like taxes and death, are things that we cannot eradicate. So instead of dropping our heads and shoulders when an obstacle comes our way, we should welcome them with our heads held high and our shoulder picked up and pulled back.

Learn with each moment. You can take something from each experience. Most people run away from the possibility of experiencing exhaustion, but I beg you to embrace it. Imagine becoming somebody who can withstand exhaustion. Imagine how much more LIFE that power will allow you to extract.

You can achieve amazing things when you overcome the exhaustive state.

Something different

Today I wanted to try something different, but I find myself stuck. I am trying to find some secret to share with all of you that can perhaps make you a little happier. A secret that can lead to at least a smidgen more of success for you. Something that will allow you to sleep more soundly. Something that will allow you to feel stronger and more energized. But there is a problem, and it is a major one…

I don’t have the secret that YOU need. No one except for you has it.

I have “tools” like the ones I have written about in my book (we are getting closer to publishing…kind of…it is a very long process…the title was decided upon this week), but I cannot promise how they will end up working for each one of you. I would like to offer that I will “under promise and over deliver” once the book arrives in your hands (either in paper form or electronically)…I am not pressuring you to get it, but I know you will not regret it if you do. I am hoping you will because I know that it will change lives. And maybe you don’t need it, but I am sure someone you know would benefit. Maybe your sister, your friend from work, that troubled teenager that lives next door. But again, there is no secret.

Everything you need is within you. You often just need something like a book, a story, a conversation or a little recognition to unlock that treasure chest. What you need was learned and developed along the way. Along your journey you gathered information and you stored it away to be used at a later time. Perhaps now is the time to expose it.

Start by believing in yourself. Look within yourself. Decide who you want to be. Be happy no matter what your circumstance. You have the opportunity to make that choice. The alternative is never worth it.

Blessings to you on your journey!

My past will not…

…dictate my future.

I have come to believe and appreciate the idea that most of us either allow our past to dictate our future or we don’t. Just like flipping a 2-sided coin, you have two defined options. Not three or one, but two. But you get to DECIDE, and you often have more than one or two options to choose from. You don’t have to settle. No matter what happened in your past, you decide how you will be today. You decide if your future will be filled with growth and responsibility, or if you will continue to base your decisions on what others want for you (not always bad).

Get past your “past.” Thrive off of the good things that led you to where you are today. Accept the obstacles and moments of adversity that tore you down at one time or another, and that ultimately built you in to something even better than you were before. The past is gone. The clock has kept ticking. All you can truly control is what you are doing right now.

Your car breaks down. Your child breaks a glass. Your friend decides to “de-friend” you on Facebook. You fail an exam. It all doesn’t matter. All of those things are now in the past. Now is your chance to dictate your future.

What will you do to get just a few small “wins” today?

Leading up

Today’s post is very short…I gathered the following list from Michael Useem’s book Leading up: How to lead your boss so you both win.

Seven habits:

  1. Develop emotional intelligence
  2. Use power and politics for good
  3. Choose being effective over being right
  4. Be intentional and prepared
  5. Help your supervisor
  6. Disagree without being disagreeable
  7. Don’t expect credit

These habits are not generally intuitive. The first one is quite tough and some people really don’t know where to start. And if you can truly take habit seven to heart, you will surely do well. All of these habits make sense. And if I can offer any advice on how best to tackle this list…leave your ego at the door and welcome the relationship with your supervisor.

Best wishes!

Who is Anne Frank?

I have no idea if you know who Anne Frank is, or if you read her esteemed diary in high school like did. That was over 20-years ago for me, and what I realize now is that I was able to “hear” her story, but I don’t believe I was mature enough at the time to truly be “listening.”

Anne and her family were in hiding during the second world war. They were Jewish and they literally had nowhere to turn. Anne was around the age of 12 when she faced such adversity. At one point she went more than an entire year without ever going outside. Essentially imprisoned in a warehouse, she would climb to the attic to take a peek at the city and its people that were just outside the window. There was no internet. No cellular phones. None of that. But there was HOPE, even if it was small.

UPF-031218-AnneFrank-1-hero

You see, while Anne was not afforded the freedoms that many of us have today, she often used one of them much better than many of us ever do. Can you guess what that is? I thought about making you do some homework, and waiting to see the answer with my next blog post, but I surmised that most of you would decide to not come back. And I like having you here, so I won’t make you wait.

Anne made the CONSCIOUS decision to be HAPPY.

She did not pity her situation. She chose her attitude. I hear a lot of grumblings as I walk down the halls where I work. Grumblings about how bad one’s job is or how we pay too much in taxes. Some of these grumblings are my very own. If we can learn from Anne we have the opportunity to feel so much better about our circumstances.

Eventually we will all realize that HAPPINESS is a choice we ourselves get to make, not one determined by what we own, do, or what others tell us.

Here is to your own pursuit of that 9-letter word that for so many of us often feels unattainable.

The journey begins

April 2019

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