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Timeline photos 11/05/2017

A different way to look at life....


A very powerful and inspirational video from Stephen Covey.

Always put the more important things ahead of the things that get in the way.

The John Maxwell Company 05/02/2015

Why you should do more than expected
By John C. Maxwell.
February 4, 2015

Have you ever seen the “You had one job!” joke? It’s usually a picture like the one of the sign above, with a crazy error like “Please slow drively.” Or like spelling “STOP” S-O-T-P, or hanging a stair railing upside-down. Google it and you’ll see thousands of examples, because apparently there are a lot of people who can’t seem to do the one thing asked of them.
And that’s the first thing I’d encourage you to do if you want to to be successful in your career. Do what’s asked of you. Meet expectations. Hit the target. That alone will make you stand out.
But I believe there’s a higher goal than just doing your “one job.” Instead of just meeting expectations, you can make it your goal to exceed them. That’s where the joy is. And it’s where lasting impact can be found.
I’ve spent the past 40+ years trying to exceed expectations. My model for it was my dad. He has gifts, but he’s not an overly gifted person. But for my whole life, I’ve watched him go above and beyond what others expect of him, or what they even think is possible. He’s received recognition for his hard work and consistency, sure. But more importantly, he’s received fulfillment and joy because of his efforts. I decided a long time ago that I wanted that, too. So I work hard to be an “and then some” person.
I never really go into a project thinking about how I can meet people’s expectations. I always ask, “How can I meet their expectations and surprise them in a positive way?” Where's the surprise when I speak to a group? Where’s the surprise when I meet with a young leader? Where's the surprise in a book that I write?
Why do I do this? Because I love it! I get great delight from positively surprising people. Plus, they’re much more likely to invite me back to speak, or to read my next book.
Here are three “don’ts” and one “do” if you want to consistently exceed expectations:
I think that when we’re successful, our greatest temptation is to enjoy living on the past. We’ve gained a reputation for doing great things, and it’s really easy to “rest on our laurels,” so to speak. We forget how we got our reputation and start putting our energy into guarding it, instead of growing it anew. But we got our reputation by producing, and that’s how we need to build on it. Don’t just protect your reputation for good work. Do better work.
Don't rely on your relationships.
I’ve noticed that this is a real problem for a lot of people. For whatever reason, when they don’t meet or exceed expectations, their response is to play the “relationship card.” They say, “I know I didn’t do what I needed to do, but after all, we’re friends.”
Relationships are definitely important in life and can carry us through a lot of hard times. But this kind of thing is an abuse of a relationship, and it will suffer as a result. When you rely on a relationship instead of your efforts, you not only don’t exceed expectations, you don’t meet them either.
Don’t expect unearned respect.
We should never try to demand respect. I believe that respect must be earned daily. And the only way to do that is to continually produce and do more than is expected. I believe that once we understand that respect is not a given, we work harder and start each day with a clean slate. We don’t get to demand respect today because of what we achieved yesterday. Every day needs a fresh commitment to exceeding expectations.
Do ask questions, give your best, and ask questions again.
When I have a speaking engagement coming up, I ask a number of important questions. I want to know who will be there. What does the leader want his or her people to get out of it? How is morale? The answers to these questions help me to tailor my message so that it has the highest impact. It helps me discover what the expectations are, so I know how high to aim to exceed them.
When you receive an assignment, first make sure you understand what all the expectations are. You do this by asking questions on the front end until you know your goals. Then give your best, aiming higher than expected, and creating a positive surprise.
Finally, after the assignment is completed, ask how you did. I do that with my speaking. I ask the person who brought me in to speak whether my talk was what they desired. And of course, I’m hoping they say that it was more than expected.
By asking after the task is done, you’ll get good feedback and discover whether you succeeded in exceeding expectations. This helps you grow and learn how to better serve the leader in the future.
Anyone can exceed expectations once in awhile. The trick is to do it consistently. When you avoid relying on reputation, relationships, or respect, and instead ask the right questions, you can establish the habit of exceeding expectations. This will provide joy and fulfillment. Plus, it will probably give you recognition, which only opens the door to more opportunities to impact your world.

The John Maxwell Company Have you ever seen the “You had one job!” joke? It’s usually a picture like the one of the sign above, with a crazy error like “Please slow drively.” Or like spelling “STOP” S-O-T-P, or hanging a stair railing upside-down. Google it and you’ll see thousands of examples, because apparently there are…

Timeline photos 22/01/2015
John C. Maxwell: It Only Takes 6 Steps to Change Your Life 20/01/2015

John C. Maxwell: It Only Takes 6 Steps to Change Your Life

Don’t get stuck in the same old average routine. Here’s how to start the domino effect of change.

Hope is the foundational principle for all change. People change because they have hope, and if people do not have hope, they will not change. You are responsible for the changes that you make in your life.
The good news? You can change your life if you really want to. You can improve it, make it better. And it all starts with changing the way you think. So are you ready? I am going to walk you through a six-step plan for achieving positive change.

Here’s how you give yourself a little hope:

Step 1: When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs.
Change begins with the mind. Beliefs are nothing more than a byproduct of what you have thought about long enough, something that you have bought into—always remember that. What you believe, what you think, is just a collection of continual thoughts that have formed themselves into a conviction. When you break down the process of thinking into a manageable number of steps, you reduce the perceived risk associated with change.

Step 2: When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations.
Belief is the knowledge that we can do something. It is the inner feeling that what we undertake, we can accomplish. For the most part, all of us have the ability to look at something and know whether we can do it. So in belief there is power… our eyes are opened, our opportunities become plain, our visions become realities. Our beliefs control everything we do. If we believe we can or we believe we cannot, we are correct.

Step 3: When you change your expectations, you change your attitude.
Your expectations are going to determine your attitude. Most people get used to average; they get used to second best. Nelson Boswell said, “The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we can succeed.”

Step 4: When you change your attitude, you change your behavior.
When our attitude begins to change, when we become involved with something, our behavior begins to change. The reason that we have to make personal changes is that we cannot take our people on a trip that we have not made.

Step 5: When you change your behavior, you change your performance.
Most people would rather live with old problems than new solutions. We would rather be comfortable than correct; we would rather stay in a routine than make changes. Even when we know that the changes are going to be better for us, we often don’t make them because we feel uncomfortable or awkward about making that kind of a change. Until we get courage and get used to living with something that is not comfortable, we cannot get any better.

Step 6: When you change your performance, you change your life.
It is easier to turn failure into success than an excuse into a possibility. A person can fail, turn around and understand their failure to make it a success. But I want to tell you, a person who makes excuses for everything will never truly succeed. Don’t you know some people who just have an excuse for everything? Why they could not, should not, did not, would not, have not, will not. I promise you, when you excuse what you are doing and excuse where you are, and you allow the exceptions, you fail to reach your potential. It is impossible to turn excuses into possibilities.

John C. Maxwell: It Only Takes 6 Steps to Change Your Life Hope is the foundational principle for all change. People change because they have hope, and if people do not have hope, they will not change. You are responsible for the changes that you make in your life. The good news? You can change your life if you really want to. You can improve it, make it be…

9 Signs You’re Letting Your Ego Run Your Life 14/01/2015

Sigmund Freud, considered to be the father of psychoanalysis, studied a very complex set of theories which consists of the following basic precepts:

– Psychological problems are rooted in the unconscious mind.

– Psychological symptoms are the result of hidden (unconscious) thoughts.

– Most cases of psychological problems are directly attributable to issues during development (childhood) or repressed trauma.

– Treatment focuses on bringing the unresolved, subconscious conflict into consciousness; allowing the patient to deal with the problem.

In layman’s terms, the ego is responsible for mediating impulses and desires with responsible, socially-acceptable actions. But those with excessive egos do not adequately balance their desires with action; instead, they act on what is most self-serving, instantaneous, and beneficial – otherwise known as immediate gratification.

Here are 9 signs your ego is in control of your life:

1. Too much is never enough

Greed can bring down an individual, a family… even a society. It’s normal to want to achieve success, possess nice things and have some security. It isn’t normal to have an insatiable desire to attain the most of something– money, cars, homes, power, etc. In fact, such behavior is included in the textbook definition of narcissism.

If you want to see what greed can do to an individual, type ‘Bernie Madoff’ or ‘Charles Ponzi’ into a Google search. To see what insatiable greed can do to a society, type in ‘Great Depression’ or ‘2008 financial crises’. While these may be considered extreme examples by some, such events began with the gluttonous thoughts and actions of one person.

Takeaway: Attempt to rein in your impulses to always acquire a more, while showing gratitude about what you already have.

2. Disliking when people succeed

Can you remember when someone was promoted at work? What was your reaction? Were you happy for the person or envious of what they’ve attained?

People with large egos don’t appreciate when someone achieves success; especially success that they feel was rightfully theirs. This is seen quite often in the workplace where two co-workers vie for a coveted promotion, only to have the envious one feeling that they were wronged.

Takeaway: Even if you don’t want to congratulate someone, do it anyways. You’ll feel better and likely find that more doors open up for you.

3. Redirecting the attention back to you

Here’s something interesting: attention seekers are likely to have inflated egos. Actually, that’s really not all that interesting. It actually makes perfect sense because everything is about them!

The need to always be the center of attention no matter what – in meetings, at parties, during conversations, etc. – is a telltale sign that the ego has become a little too big. Everyone should have the chance to be seen and heard.

Takeaway: Understand that attention-seeking behavior is counter-productive; it’s also obnoxious, rude, and annoying. Even when you may not necessarily feel like it, give others the chance to be seen and heard.

4. Constantly comparing yourself

Here’s the thing: no matter what you do; the skills you have; the talent you’re born with; the look that you’ve got; the intelligence that you possess – you’ll find someone, somewhere that is “more” talented, attractive, smarter, and successful.

Comparing yourself only succeeds at one thing – making you upset and potentially undermining any progress that you’ve achieved in the process. It’s an absolute waste of time and energy. Being the best possible at what you’re attempting to achieve is all that you should need.

Takeaway: Instead of likening yourself with others, focus on what you can control – your effort, progress and persistence. You’re a special, unique person, and you shouldn’t require validation by comparing yourself with others.

5. Craving respect and recognition

The need to feel appreciated is normal and healthy. We all want to feel that our contributions are recognized and valued. Egotists take this need to another level by always needing to feel validated through excessive acts of respect and recognition.

You’ve likely seen this in the workplace at one time or another; maybe a co-worker or boss who incessantly sought recognition for virtually everything that they achieved from the time that they clocked in.

Takeaway: The only respect that you should require is self-respect. The fact that you’ve done a good job and gave your best effort is enough. People will recognize your efforts and contributions, while in turn giving you the respect and recognition that is due.

6. Always being defensive

The ego is something that will protect and defend itself from unpleasant feelings. For those with an excessive ego, they will take any subtle disagreement and turn it into an argument. They perceive any resistance to their thoughts and actions as “attacks”.

Being defensive on a continuous basis can damage relationships, career and personal growth, and make them more critical – of themselves and others. It’s simply a bad personality trait to have.

Takeaway: Make the attempt to actively listen while accepting resistance and constructive criticism. People who resist a thought or idea are often not doing so out of contempt, so don’t take it personally.

7. Rarely (if ever) helping others

Our culture, at least in America, is very individualistic and self-serving. Unless we make a conscious decision to disregard this influence, it is very easy to think and act this way by default.

People who have ego problems are very individualistic; if a situation or circumstance does not pertain to them than it’s not worth their time or effort. We see this often in societies defined by class and status. The result has been the degradation of the social contract, the indifference to suffering, and the increased emphasis on materialism.

Takeaway: Do something positive for those that are less fortunate by donating or volunteering. Don’t buy into the notion that the accumulation of wealth and possessions will place you into another “class”.

8. Setting unattainable goals

Setting goals is a powerful, productive action that empowers us to strive for excellence. It is human nature to desire accomplishment and the rewards that come with achieving a goal.

However, setting unrealistic goals is counterproductive; often done out of pride or ego. No matter how unachievable or unrealistic, egotists set these goals to internally demonstrate their superiority.

Takeaway: Goals are great, but be realistic when constructing them. Further, set mini-goals that will provide immediate, actionable things that you can do to achieve the desired outcome.

9. Manipulating others

Egotists not only have high expectations for themselves; they have high expectations of everyone else. They believe they’re more intelligent than everyone else, so it should be easy to control them.

When it comes to manipulation and control, egotists are not afraid to throw a compliment or two someone’s way to get what they want. They think of it like throwing a bone or an eager dog; the person on the receiving end should be extremely grateful. Mind you, this is all in their head.

Takeaway: Regardless of the situation, don’t use manipulation as a way to get what you want. Not only will you likely be unsuccessful, but people will quickly lose trust and respect for you.

9 Signs You’re Letting Your Ego Run Your Life We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul. - Deepak Chopra

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A very powerful and inspirational video from Stephen Covey. Always put the more important things ahead of the things tha...