Archive for May, 2007

You have to expect more to obtain more

As I meet new people and get a better understanding for what makes them tick and for what they dream it continues to amaze me how little some people expect out of life. Some will say, “I would really like to get my degree and establish my own company but no one from my family has ever went to college. I could never do that.” Someone else said, “Since I was born in rural Alabama God must have meant for me to be a line worker like my dad. But if I had a choice I would go to school and become a doctor.”

These are just a few examples of how placing invisible barriers between you and your expectations can keep you from obtaining your dreams. The government, their family, friends or education is keeping them from expecting and obtaining their dreams in life. The only barrier keeping them from obtaining their dreams is self.

There are very few circumstances beyond our control that keep us from expecting and obtaining more from life. When we fail to expect and obtain more out of life it’s more often than not because we placed invisible barriers between ourselves and our expectations. Be the first person in your family to obtain a degree and own a business. Be the doctor you dream to be and use those teachings from rural Alabama to better care for your patients.

Remove those barriers that keep you from expecting and getting the best out of life. Look at obstacles as opportunities; use that wall as a stepping stone. When you expect the best and you don’t obtain it’s still good. But when you expect the best and receive the best, it’s great.

Making a deposit into another’s account

I’ve blogged about this in the past and I think it’s a topic that needs to be revisited from time to time, and that’s the topic of making a deposit in the life of another.

I’ve read several articles recently discussing this topic and am amazed at the wide ranging opinions of leadership and management experts. Some say that the simple task of asking someone about their day is making a deposit into their life. Another group of experts say sending an encouraging e-mail is making a deposit.

These actions are certainly positive and well meaning however it’s my belief that they fall short of making a deposit into the life of another. To deposit something you must first sacrifice something. When you deposit a check, you have sacrificed it to the bank for later use. When you deposit those overdue DVD’s in the drop-off bin, you’ve sacrificed your viewing of that movie.
When I sit out on the daily mission of making a deposit into the life another a few important factors come to mind.

1. What am I sacrificing on their behalf? Is it time, money or self-satisfaction? If I’m not sacrificing something then is it truly a deposit?
2. Will the person who receives the deposit be able to make a withdrawal in the future? What good would a deposit in the life of another be without continual compounding interest?

When you ask someone how their day is going are you truly sacrificing and more importantly, can they continue to withdraw from this type of deposit? When you send an encouraging e-mail is the sacrifice of bandwidth and e-mail storage a true sacrifice?

Attend your own funeral

Ok, some of you are probably sitting at your desk saying, “Wow, the rumors are true Jim did lose his marbles. He’s telling us to go to our own funeral. Duh?” Please read on…

I was asked recently to assist a friend in developing a personal mission statement that would be included in his portfolio for grad school. Of course I was honored and eager to help so we began with some tough questions. After all, what are answers without questions?

It was during this question and answer period with my friend that I was reminded of the chapter in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that encouraged the reader to visualize their own funeral. Visualize how each friend and family member would view your death, visualize what your friends and family would say at the funeral services.

After reading Covey’s book a couple of years ago I went through this funeral visualization process and have never been the same. It was through this that I developed my own personal mission statement and answered the question, “What would I want my family and friends to say at my funeral?” When you answer this simple yet penetrating question you will quickly find what matters most to you. You may even be like me and realize you need some fine tuning to align the core of your focus with the mission of your life.

If you haven’t already, I want to encourage you to develop a personal mission statement by answering the simple question,

“What would I want my friends and family to say at my funeral?”

Once you’ve got that answered living your mission becomes much easier.

I’m back and better than ever!

The past few months have been hectic for my family and me which is the very reason my blog hasn’t been updated since March. I was humbled to receive the kind e-mails encouraging me to continue blogging my thoughts on leadership and even more humbled that so many of you said you would return to the blog once I reconvened updates. Because of your enthusiasm I’ve instituted a couple of backup plans that should assist me in continually updating the blog.
Once again, thanks for the encouragement and being a living example of impact in the life of another. – Jim