The times I have made the biggest strides in my life and work have always come when I put an intense focus on my personal growth and development.
I am always reading and studying something - most of the time because I enjoy it and it keeps me learning new things, but there is a difference between passively learning something and being intently focused with a goal.
I have found that when I set a goal to learn a subject to use the information to generate true results in an area of my life; I learn it better, I use it better, and I retain it better.
And the periods I have been able to do this best are when I have slower times or downtime in my life. Times when I don't have as many distractions and obligations taking my time and I can focus better. For example, when I am working on a product launch over a 6-8 week period and am reiterating with my teams and working late hours seemingly up to the last second to get it right; it is not a great time to set a focused personal growth goal.
But, when the launch is over and we've celebrated our success and things calm down - I find it a great time to immerse myself into learning a new skill or subject.
One thing that the Coronavirus has done for most people, is slow things down. It has given many people a great opportunity to focus on personal growth in their lives. In fact, now is one of the best opportunities in years to focus on learning new skills and subjects, not just because we have, but also because there are so many great resources available to us.
If what I just shared makes sense to you and you want to make a commitment to your personal growth, here is my advice to you.
Now is the THE time to grow in your life. Don't waste it!
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Ocean's 11 is where Rusty (played by Brad Pitt), explains the "art of conversation" to Linus (played by Matt Damon). It is a short scene, but it offers some great business lessons.
The biggest one I take from it, is that less is more. When selling, don't say more than you have to close a deal. When leading people, don't push people past their breaking point when inspiring them. When setting targets, keep them simple, short, measurable, and easy for everyone to understand. When reaching for new levels in your success, don't take on more than you can handle.
Less is more. Simple is simple. And simplicity, executed well, leads to great results.
Watch the clip below and see what lessons you takeaway from the "art of conversation."
I was recently reminded of a very important lesson in life. My daughter put herself in danger of drowning because she pushed herself and her limits too far.
First off, my daughter is an incredibly strong swimmer for an almost 8 year old. One of the best I've ever seen. She's going to be amazing on a swim team some day. Over the 4th of July holiday, we were in the pool with some family visiting and she was showing off her ability to swim underwater and hold her breath. She can swim all the way down and back in the pool without needing a breath! After a few times, she didn't take much rest and went to do it again and this time, got about halfway back when she passed out underwater.
Thankfully, my wife and I were right there to scoop her out of the water and administer care. I know it seems like I am casually writing this story, but I cannot explain the terror that went through me as I pulled what seemed like her lifeless body from the water. I immediately noticed she had a pulse and was moving a little, but I got her down and started a couple breaths into CPR and she came to. She did not spit up any water or show signs of water in her lungs and after about 10 mins was completely awake and back to normal. We then took her to the ER and stayed for several hours while they monitored her and then discharged her with a clean bill of health.
There are so many lessons I can speak to from this experience and probably will in a future Lessons for Hannah episode, but a very important one that everyone can learn from is to understand your limits. After she was back to normal, I asked her what she remembered right before things happened. She told me she remembered her lungs hurting, but she thought she could make it - and then everything went black.
She passed out because she did not heed the warning signs of her lungs' limits. When they started hurting her, she should have immediately come up for air, but she decided to push things without understanding the limits she had. Of course, this is after repeated conversations with mom and dad over time about how to be safe in the pool, etc.
And that is the hardest part, sometimes we don't know our limits until we reach them or try to blindly push through them. This can and does get us into trouble, or can end in tragedy. Thankfully to God and quick action by my wife and then me and our whole family, we didn't have a tragedy - but my daughter learned about her limits the hard way and it could have cost her, her life. I don't think my adrenaline came down until after 2am in the morning that night - as a father, this is the hardest thing I've ever experienced.
But, the lesson you can take is to know and understand your limits and be careful when you push them.
I am all for pushing your limits and reaching new heights, but doing so in a calculated and planned way.
You must learn to know when you are going too far and back off.
We are very lucky and we have a lasting lesson to share with others. I hope you take this to heart and don't learn about your limits the hard way!
This won't be a long post, but it is an important one.
At this point, we are over 4 months into the Wuhan Coronavirus being unleashed on the world. Every aspect of life has been impacted and in many cases turned upside down. A lot of people when this first began, thought that it would come and go rather quickly and things would go back to normal.
I hoped for that, but at the same time I sat back and mentally prepared. I asked myself, what I would do if this went on for 6 months, a year, 2 years, etc? What if things never got back to being the same and in the midst of it all, the world changed, the way business is done changed - basically, what if everything got turned upside down? Would I be able to handle it? Would I be able to adapt? What would I need to do and prepare myself and my businesses to do?
You may have asked some of the same questions. And as we get into the 5th month of lockdowns, business shutdowns, riots, and general unease throughout the world, it is most important to remember one thing.
I see a lot of people beginning to crack or even break under the pressure, fear, uncertainty, and changes to their lives and businesses. As entrepreneurs, we must lead the way. Change and dealing with problems and and challenges are our every day lives. And yes, now we are throwing in the virus and all this other stuff - but we must remain and stand strong. We must prepare for things to go longer and be worse than we ever thought and at the same time, power through it.
Entrepreneurs were made for these times and we are the ones who will help pull the world out of it. We will do it with our will, our faith, our spirit, and never give up attitude. I just wanted to remind you of this. Stay strong, endure, and keep pushing. These times will eventually fade to different and better ones - just be prepared to keep going until those times come.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded of reality and the facts of life. No matter how much we keep them at bay or seek to change them, there are certain truths that will win out over time. And there are certain truths that when we live by them have proven to make us more successful, happier, and free'er in our lives.
I was thinking about this the order day in the midst of much of the chaos around the world and started making this list. While it's not complete and something I will probably noodle on for a while, I wanted to share it with you. I hope it will spur you to think critically and differently and question what is being hailed as "normal" in our lives.
Sometimes, we just need a little inspiration and a good video with a uplifting message is one of the best ways to get it. Below are 3 of my favorite inspiration videos I want to share with you. Enjoy!
Les Brown - You Gotta Be Hungy
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