5 Men Who Changed My Life This Year

Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”  For the past year, I took that advice to heart.  I made it a point to take every opportunity to be around people who challenged me to be better.  They all live generous, successful, well-balanced lives of integrity.  When I couldn’t physically be around these people; I read their books, listened to their podcasts and attended their conferences.  Each of the following men have had a tremendous impact on my thinking and have inspired me to pursue a life of passion and meaning.

1. Dan Miller – NY Times Best Selling Author, Speaker and Coach (more about Dan Here)

I first heard of Dan Miller when a friend introduced me to his podcast (Listen). I was immediately inspired by his perspective on, as he puts it, “finding work that is meaningful, purposeful and profitable.”  Gone are the days when you slug it out  in a job you hate for 30 years and retire to a beach in Florida until you wither away and die.  In his book 48 Days to the Work You Love, he lays out a proven plan to find the career that you were made for.

Dan is also a highly sought after career coach.  People pay him big money for access to his wisdom and experience.  Dan share’s his knowledge about coaching through a live event called Coaching With Excellence.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about helping people reach their potential.  When I found out it was possible to make a career out of it as a coach, I was all in.  The event was incredible.  I immediately signed up for Dan’s Coaching Mastery Program to become a certified coach.  It’s the career I’ve always wanted and Dan helped me get started.  Dan is one of the most generous and inspiring men I have ever met.  He has changed the trajectory of my life forever.  Thank you Dan!

2. Bob Goff – Consul for Uganda, Creator of Restore International, Speaker and NY Times Best-Selling Author (more about Bob Here)

I want to be like Bob.  When my current wife Lydia and I were dating, she gave me Bob’s book, Love Does.  It changed my life.  He inspired me to say yes to adventure.  Ready fire aim!  I was in hot pursuit of my wife at the time so I called Bob up and asked him to be a part of my engagement plan.

Read the whole story here. It’s a good one.

Bob is the real deal.  He lives love by doing things, not talking about them.  He reminds us that you don’t have to have everything figured out to start, you just need to take a step forward. Why hesitate?  For my last birthday, my wife took me to see Bob.  We had the privilege of hearing him speak and talking with him afterward. He remembered us from our engagement adventure a year earlier.  Thank you Bob for showing me how to live love and not just talk about it.

3. Andy Andrews – NY Times Best-Selling Author and Storyteller

photo 4Andy sounds like a hillbilly when he talks.  He isn’t particularly polished or well spoken and there isn’t anything outwardly impressive about him.  He is an incredible speaker and story teller and has the ability to extract valuable wisdom from everyday experiences.  Andy is hired by large corporations, college and professional sports teams and multimillionaires to guide and direct them to higher levels of performance.  Andy helps me focus on what’s important.

For more about Andy (http://www.andyandrews.com/)

When he was 19, he lost both of his parents within a few months.  After his parents death, Andy became homeless and lived under a pier in Alabama for over a year.  I met Andy at a Conference in Dallas this year.  His books and his podcasts have dramatically influenced the way I think.  He’s taught me how to be grateful for what I have and how to control my thinking.  Thank you Andy!

4. Michael Hyatt – NY Times Best-Selling Author and Speaker

photo 2Michael is an expert on Leadership, Blogging and Platform Building.  He consistently shares valuable content on his blog at  http://michaelhyatt.com/

He’s a giver.  When he figures something out, he share’s it with his audience. The very blog you are reading was created using a template designed by his team.

Michael shares everything from technical knowledge to interpersonal relationship advice.  When I run out of ideas for building my platform, I run to Michael’s blog for answers.

Thank you for serving your audience well!

 

5. Dr. Kevin Leman – NY Times Best-Selling Author and Psychologist

IMG_1642Kevin Leman is hilarious!  If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, go for it!  He is an expert in marriage, family, sex and raising kids.  He has published over 40 books.

For more on Dr. Leman: http://www.birthorderguy.com/

An organization I am a part of had the opportunity to host an event where Dr. Leman was our featured speaker.  The crowd was in the constant state of wild laughter as he made light of the challenging subjects of sex and marriage.

My wife and I read his book Sheet Music together and it has significantly impacted our marriage in positive way.

Thank you Dr. Leman!

 

Who has impacted your life in the past year?  Who have you learned from?  Who has inspired you?  If you can’t think of anyone, it might be time to seek them out.  For better or for worse, “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

 

*None of the links provided in this blog post are affiliate links.

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Just Another Day? 5 Ways to Break the Monotony

eagleWe’ve all been there.  It’s Monday morning, anxious thoughts begin to flood your mind.  I don’t want to go to work.  Piles of endless paperwork, meaningless small talk with co-workers, pressure to perform from your boss and no end in sight.  Same $%#! different day. It all seems so meaningless.  Is this what my life has amounted to? Spending 8-10 hours  a day working to accomplish something that I don’t even care about?  Something inside you says, “that’s why it’s called work.”  You do what you have to do to pay the bills right?

It very well may be time for you to pursue another career.  It might be that moment when you start creating the life you’ve always wanted.  What if that’s impossible right now, what do you do?  Here are a few ideas.

1. Be Silent

 When is the last time you just sat there in silence?  It’s easy to hop out of bed, turn on the news, make coffee, check Facebook, check your email, run through your to-do list for the day, jump in the shower and run to your car with an english muffin hanging out of your mouth spilling coffee while you fight to make it to work on time.  Sound familiar?  Starting your day in a frantic rush can stress you out before you even get to work.

Try this: Get up 15 minutes earlier.  Don’t look at your phone, open your computer or turn on the news.  Grab your coffee, find a quiet place to sit and just think.  Reflect on how far you’ve come, think about all the things you are thankful for and think about the people you love and appreciate.  Breath deeply and slowly.  Let your body relax.  Listen to the sounds of the birds.    I like to take this time to pray.  For you it may be meditation or just simply silence.  If you don’t want to sit, you can do this same thing while walking or running.  I’ve found that my perspective on the day completely changes.  I’m happier, more productive and more myself.

2. Quit Something

I know, it’s not the advice your grandma gave you.  Quitters never win right?  Wrong.  Quitting something can open up space in your life for another thing that could make your life dramatically better.  What is it in your life that you are doing only because that’s what you’ve always done?  What can you get rid of?  Is it a destructive relationship? Smoking or drinking?  A club that takes up all your time but has little value?  A TV show that you’re addicted to?  Life is too short to hold on to time wasting activities that don’t improve your life or the lives of others.  Give it up, go ahead, I give you permission.  If that thing you want to quit is your job, make sure you have something to go to.  Here is a great resource on how to quit your job and move toward something you love.

Quitter

3. Go Outside

Instead of the daily post work routine of flopping down on the couch, having a snack and turning on the TV; grab a friend and go on a hike.  There is something healing and invigorating about being outside in nature.  Find a trail in the woods, a path by a lake or a wide open field.  Take in the sounds and smells of the great outdoors.  Skip rocks on a pond, catch a frog, pick some wild flowers or make a walking stick out of a tree branch.  Watch the sun go down.  Don’t make the excuse that the weather isn’t nice.  They make clothes for every occasion. Have you ever walked down a city street during a torrential downpour or made snow angels in the middle of a park under the night sky?  Be a kid, play outside.

4. Pick One Thing

What do you want to get better at?  What do you want to change?  If you’re like me, your list is long.  Don’t overwhelm yourself.  When I think of all the things I want to change about myself, I get stressed out, I lose focus and I end up making little or no progress.  So just pick one.  For 30 days, do one thing every day that contributes to that goal.  It doesn’t have to be major.  Just pick one thing a day and keep it manageable.

Example: If you want to improve your relationship with a friend or loved one you could; tell them how much you appreciate them one day, send them a card on another day, take them out for lunch another day, invite them on a hike? You get the idea.

Example: You want to be healthier?  Day 1: take a walk.  Day 2:  eat a salad. Day 3: don’t go for seconds Day 4: bike to work.  Day 5: have one beer instead of two. Day 6: one sugar in your coffee instead of two…  and so on.  You will get in the habit of making decisions that contribute to your health rather than what you want in the moment.

5. Say Yes to Something

You know those moments in life when you say in your head, ” I should …”  Usually it’s a crazy idea that may not work or could potentially lead to an awkward moment or several awkward moments.  What if you said yes to that voice in your head instead of no.  I had that happen to me Saturday.  Every Saturday in the city I live in, we have a farmer’s market that is packed with local people shopping, enjoying coffee and conversation and enjoying the freedom of the weekend.   In my head a voice said, “I should tape a sign to my chest that says [free encouragement] and walk down to the market.”  I decided to say yes.  Much to my wife’s embarrassment, I made the sign and off we went.  Most people who saw the sign either laughed or awkwardly looked away.  A few folks stopped me and took me up on my offer.  We had a blast!  Finally, one gentleman stopped me and informed me that encouragement was spelled wrong.  Ha ha!  I was going around offering free encourement.  Not even close!  Apparently, I wasn’t quite awake when I made the sign. He told me that I should fix the sign and keep on going.  “We need more people like you,” he said.  The conversations I had we’re priceless.  Some meaningful and some trite but the experience was great.

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What good things are the voices in your head telling you to do that you are resisting?  You don’t have to have it all figured out, you just have to start.  Bob Goff  has been a huge inspiration to me.  He wrote a book about the crazy and fulfilling adventures that  he’s experienced in life because he said yes to them.  It’s one of my all-time favorites.  Learn more his movement here: Love Does

What are some ideas that you have about breaking the monotony?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.  Have a great day!

Good Morning! What Would Make Today Great?

IMG_2077It’s Friday morning.  The majority of employed Americans are thinking about how great it will be when the day is over and the weekend begins.  What if today, something was different?  What would you need to do to make today great?  We miss so many opportunities to enjoy the present moment.  How about doing something different today?

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Play a prank on a co-worker: 

There’s nothing like a good laugh on a Friday to make the day memorable.  Here are a few ideas to get your creativity rolling.

Ideas from Mashable

2. Offer to Buy Someone Lunch

Is there someone at work that is quiet and always eats lunch alone?  You might be surprised at who this person is when you sit across from them one on one.  It may make their day and it may even make yours.  Give it a shot.  You can always have lunch with the same people you always do and talk about the same things when Monday roles around.  Go for it!

3. Compliment a Co-worker

This one is pretty simple but can go a long way.  Tell the receptionist that you like her hair today, you just make his day.  If you are the receptionist, ask a caller how their day is going.  Ask the girl in accounting what her favorite thing about summer is.  Strike up a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to.  You might find yourself smiling.

4. Set an Aggressive Goal for the Day

It’s Friday, might as well go out with a bang.  Finishing strong can make your weekend so much more enjoyable.  Knowing that you laid it all on the line and did your best gives you a license to relax and enjoy the peace of the weekend.  If you’re in sales and you usually make 10 calls.  What the heck, why not try 50?  If you usually write 10 pages, why not shoot for 20?  You get the idea.  Finish strong and you will walk away from work with a sense of accomplishment.  It’s a feeling money can’t buy and ironically it usually leads to more income.

5. Do Something Scary

In that big meeting every Friday that you never speak up in, say something this time!  That huge company that you never call on because they are too intimidating, call them up!  That new idea you wanted to share with your boss that you think can better serve your customers, set the meeting.  That tough conversation you need to have with a co-worker that you’ve been putting off, do it with an open mind and a non-judgmental heart.  Doing something scary can help you grow as a person.  You know what that thing is for you, go for it!

Make the most of every opportunity today.  I want to hear from you.  Leave your answers in the comments below. What did you do today that made it great?  What did you want to do but didn’t go through with?

Can a Beat Down Save Your Life?

Cliff is a retired teacher in his 70′s.  He loves spending time with his 3 year old grandson. He often watches him while his mother works.  One day, while they were playing together, Cliff passed out.  He laid on the floor unconscious on his back.  His grandson, who thought he was pretending, picked up his toy bat and began beating him on the chest to wake him up.  Cliff didn’t budge.  He swung harder and harder.  Finally, Cliff woke up!  Realizing something was wrong, he immediately called an ambulance and was rushed to the hospital.

After seeing a doctor, Cliff found out that he had a blockage in his heart and would need a pacemaker.   If it weren’t for his grandson’s repeated blows to the chest, Cliff would have never woken up.  Cliff is at home today recovering. He sees everyday as another gift and strives to make the most of it.

What seems like a beat down or failure, could be the key to you becoming fully alive.  What have you been through?  What struggles have you faced?  What have you learned that could help someone through a similar struggle?  Your deepest failure, pain or fear could be the key to you discovering what you were made to bring to the world.  Embrace life’s greatest beating with an eagerness to learn and you just might find your calling.

How To Enjoy Your Job Even If It Sucks

PictureHave you ever felt that your job is of little significance? Do you often dread going to work?

Those feelings may be legitimate but let me challenge you with an experience I had while flying. While on a Delta flight from Dallas to Buffalo I encountered an extraordinary person in a very ordinary job. Most of us don’t consider serving soft drinks on a plane to be a our dream job but our flight attendant worked as if it were his. He performed his traditional duties with excellence. His service was genuine and he acted as if he enjoyed pleasing his passengers. He didn’t stop there.

He made it a point to connect with his passengers. He carried life-like hand puppets to entertain children. He performed card tricks to put tense passengers at ease. He made his way through a very large plane making sure everyone had the chance to experience at least one mini magic show. This guy was about much more than diet coke and exit rows, he transformed an everyday flight into a memorable experience and it was apparent that he was having a blast doing it.

So what about you? Does your job appear meaningless and mundane? It may be time for a new job but are you being excellent where you are right now? Are you offering something unique to the people you serve? What else can you do to be remarkable? Satisfaction will come when you seek to serve others using your unique talents and passions. You can start now.