Do this and you can fail your way to success

Be aware that not fitting nicely into school and societal molds may brand you as a “failure.”  You may have been the “C” student or maybe you lost 4 jobs in a row.  However, it’s interesting that often those labeled as such go on to accomplish unusual success.  It seems that frequently if a person does not have the normal opportunities available, they end up finding creative methods for extraordinary success. Look at these “failures:” — Albert Einstein was four years old before he could speak. — Issac Newton did poorly in grade school. — Beethoven’s music teacher once said … Read More

Tabula Rasa

This is actually a Latin term meaning “clean slate.”  People who end up successful usually view change differently than the average person. It was a cold December night in West Orange, New Jersey. Thomas Edison’s factory was humming with activity. Work was proceeding on a variety of fronts as the great inventor was trying to turn more of his dreams into practical realities.  Edison’s plant, made of concrete and steel, was deemed “fireproof”. As you may have already guessed, it wasn’t! On that frigid night in 1914, the sky was lit up by a sensational blaze that had burst through … Read More

Desirable Difficulties

Does this seem like an impossible combination to you?  Is it an oxymoron – words that combine contradictory terms?  We recognize oxymorons in terms like: living dead, organized mess, alone in a crowd, jumbo shrimp, hot ice, cruel kindness, plastic glasses, pretty ugly, just war, or a real phony.  You get the idea. But what about Desirable Difficulties? This week in my podcast I had multiple questions about unexpected challenges:  a dad who has a child with signs of autism, a mom who wants to start her own business but now finds herself living in Thailand because of her husband’s … Read More

Do the brave thing – imagine you could have a different life

In the Escaping Shawshank experience we all went into prison cells – to think about what is holding us back.  Many of us tapped into memories of “failing” at something and how we are allowing the feelings associated with that to hold us back from attempting anything new. It reminded me of the old 1998 movie,You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  In the movie Joe (Tom) opens one of his big bookstores right across the street from Kathleen’s (Meg) quaint little The Shop Around the Corner.  When it became clear Kathleen’s little bookstore could not survive the competition she decided … Read More

Hey I got on the wrong boat!

The phrases people use to describe where they are in life never cease to amaze and amuse me.  In the new 10th Anniversary Edition of 48 Days to the Work You Love I share just a few of the revealing statements about where people see themselves: 51-year-old businessman — “I feel like I’ve lived my whole life by accident.” Wife of professor — “I feel like we have been free-falling for the last 13 years.” Salesman — “I feel like I’m a ball in a pinball machine.” 56-year-old (PhD. in Theology currently driving a bus) — “I feel like I’ve … Read More

Fail big and still win

Are you hitting your goals for this year?  Here we are in the second quarter of 2015 already.  I just did a review of my goals and am reminded how far behind I am in some areas I thought were important.  I wanted to have the new workbook to accompany the 10th Anniversary Edition of 48 Days to the Work You Love ready by January 1st – and I’m just now finalizing it.  I wanted to have dropped 15 lbs but I’ve bounced up and down with cruises and lots of airline travel.  Just excuses, I know. But here’s the … Read More

Is it better to try and fail or not try at all?

Recently I watched the 2007 movie Lions for Lambs.  In this movie a brilliant but apathetic student asks his professor (Robert Redford), “Is there any difference in trying but failing, and simply failing to try – if you end up in the same place anyway?”  He was attempting to justify taking the safe route; never really taking a stand or trying anything big.What do you think?  Do you cringe at trying something big because of the possibility of failure?  What if you tried for the promotion but failed to get it, started a business but lost your investment, or tried a MLM … Read More

Was it a failure or a step toward your success?

The unexpected changes happening today are causing a lot of people to think they have “failed.”  But have they really, or is that occurrence a necessary step toward success?  Is it possible to be extraordinarily great in any area of our lives without going through those inevitable “failures?”  Can a world-class golfer get to greatness without hitting a lot of balls in the lake?  Can faith be mature and strong without going through doubt and radical uncertainty?  Does a person ever find that perfect job without going through several disappointments or even firings first?  I think we need to change … Read More

Tabula Rasa – the power of a clean slate

Tabula Rasa — This is actually a Latin term meaning “clean slate.”  People who end up being successful usually view change differently than the average person.  And here at the beginning of 2015 we have an opportunity to begin with a clear slate. It was a cold December night in West Orange, New Jersey. Thomas Edison’s factory was humming with activity. Work was proceeding on a variety of fronts as the great inventor was trying to turn more of his dreams into practical realities.  Edison’s plant, made of concrete and steel, was deemed “fireproof”. As you may have already guessed, … Read More

Make no small plans – they have no magic

Joanne and I just returned from several days in Chicago – our annual pre-Christmas jaunt to relax, enjoy the lights, and celebrate Joanne’s birthday.  We ate at our favorite restaurants, strolled through the decorated stores, browsed in art galleries, enjoyed a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan, were guests at a wonderful storytelling event, and talked with friendly people everywhere.  Having done this for many years now, we are quite familiar with the Magnificent Mile, the Water Tower and other notable landmarks. We’ve always been impressed with the parks, walkways, and beautiful architecture along the waterfront in Chicago.  The primary designer behind the layout that preserved … Read More