Simplify and Streamline

LET GO OF THE DEAD WEIGHT

I really thought I was living up to my motto, “In with the new, out with the old.” Meaning, when I bought something new, I get rid of something old. However, I recently took a good look around my home and found all kinds of things I no longer needed, wanted, or used–and I sold them all.

It felt good to free up space and get a little cash for things that no longer served my life. I know letting go is hard for some people, but when I looked at old CDs and DVDs for example, the decision was easy. Plus, I feel better, lighter, and smarter for freeing up the space and moving on . . . with cash in hand.

ACTION: The secret was an app called OfferUp. It makes selling unwanted items easier and better than garage sales, Craigslist, or eBay.

Simplify and Streamline

Don’t Hold Out

LET GO OF HOLDING ON, HOLDING OUT

I recently came across a checklist (unrelated to what I was searching for) and it was an eye opener. It turns out that unsuccessful people do the following things. (Check the traits that apply to you.) They . . .

__ Think they know it all.
__ Horde information and data.
__ Hold a grudge.
__ Take all the credit for victories.
__ Blame others for their failures.
__ Fear change and hang on too long.
__ Secretly hope others fail.
__ Are quick to criticize.

YOUR SCORE ____

Successful people, on the other hand, do things differently. (Check the traits that apply to you.) They . . .

__ Continuously learn.
__ Share information and data.
__ Forgive others.
__ Share the credit.
__ Accept responsibility for their failures.
__ Drive and embrace change.
__ Want others to succeed.
__ Are quick to compliment others.

YOUR SCORE ____

ACTION: Like most people I have a couple of traits on each list. The key is to get rid of as many of the things we do from the unsuccessful list.

Don’t Hold Out

Lighten Up

LET GO OF FEAR AND FRUSTRATION

Looking back at last year made me realize three things.

1. Creating a speech based on, “The Power of Now” was one of the best things I did. Jim Rohn said, “Teach what you need to learn.” I quickly realized I needed to let go of the past (learn from it, then let it go), and stop worrying about he future (which I can’t control anyway). I gave the speech in June, and the second half of the year was much better than the first by only focusing on what I was doing in the moment.

2. The saying, “If it is to be, it’s up to me” was my motto. I learned to love marketing and promotion again. I see it as an art form and another use of a person’s creativity and ingenuity. Instead of blaming others for what wasn’t working, I focused on solutions to fix it. That was empowering–going from victim to victor.

3. For the first ten months of the year I was working on a business book about innovation . . . and struggling. I let it go and instead gave in to write the book I wanted to write. In less than two months the book is done (and edited, thanks to many of you.) Letting go of what was frustrating me was freeing.

ACTION: I bought a black rubber bracelet that serves as a constant reminder to be more in the moment and focus 100% on whatever I am doing. I think of it as my reset button.

Lighten Up

Be Brave

I’m such a wimp. Why? Because I was afraid to let go of something (and someone) that was known, for the unknown–even though the known was known to be bad. Why is that? I think I know.

I lacked the self-confidence to believe I could go it alone and things could and would be better than before if I made the change. I reached out to my mentors and they reminded me of me—that I was the person who already beat the odds in business by creating a career doing something I love and, according to them, was very good at it.

Not everyone has a support system to push them past what they think they can do so they can take a leap of faith. Or have people who will be there in case they fall. Or do they? Maybe like me, they’re there, but we are afraid to ask for help until we have no choice. I’m here to tell you, I’m glad I reached out for guidance.

I’m looking forward to turning the page on 2019, and starting a new chapter in 2020. The reason I’m sharing my trials and tribulations with you is because sometimes we see the new year as a new start, but end up back to our old (comfortable) ways by March . . . or sooner. That’s why I’m pulling a “Cortez” and “burning the ships” so I have to sink or swim—my plan is to swim.

For the first time in 21 years I’m on my own–you thought I was leaving my wife, didn’t you? Not a chance. I love my wife, and I love what I do–creating and giving customized presentations. The difference for 2020 is I’m now in charge of finding places to speak. You know what? I say, bring it. *

Okay, enough about me, let’s talk about me. Ha, I’m kidding, What about you? I’m sure you’ve seen some of the following questions before, but this time answer them with the belief that you can’t fail, and if you do, you’ll be all right.

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1. What do you want to do more of next year? What gets in the way of that, and what could you cut to free up the time or money to do it?

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2. What annoys, frustrates, and worries you the most? Is there a way to eliminate the cause of this anxiety?

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3. If you knew you would not fail, what would you give up? What would you do differently?

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4. When was the last time you felt nervous, anxious, or afraid? What is something you can do that will force you to take a step outside of your comfort zone?

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5. If you knew that next year would be the last year of your life, what would you do differently?

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6. What do you hate doing, but still do? What would happen if you stopped doing it?

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7. If you won millions of dollars in the Lottery and money was no longer a concern, what would you stop doing, get rid of, or change in your life?

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* I know I sounded so confident in the earlier paragraph that ends with this asterisk, but truth be told, if you know of any group, association, organization, company, convention, or club that needs a speaker who puts his heart and soul into his presentations, I’m available.

Be Brave

Fear of Starting

When Doing Nothing Is Worse Than Doing It

When the fear of what will happen if we don’t do something is greater than the fear of doing it, that’s the tipping point. This is usually brought on my an impending deadline. If you don’t file your taxes on time, the cost of filing late (or not at all) is worse than the time it takes to get them done.

Maybe doing the worst first isn’t the best advice. Sure, Mark Twain said if you have to eat a frog, do it fast and first so you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you.

However, if you have to eat a frog and put it off, everything else you have to do will look a lot more attractive. Then the deadline of the end of the day will force you to finish off that frog. Yes, this goes against conventional wisdom, but it works for me.

Fear of Starting

Fear of Sharks

When Irrational Fear Become Rational

Ignorance is bliss. When I first moved to Maui I surfed a break near where I lived without a care in the world. Later, I learned the spot was called Shark Pit. I thought it was just a clever name and I had nothing to fear. Not so much. A woman swam out at this same spot to swim with a pod of dolphins only to realize (too late) it was several sharks in a feeding frenzy.

Statistics show that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than bit by a shark. However, if you surf near a river mouth, at dawn or dusk, and are bleeding your odds of a shark encounter go way up. When I was bumped by a shark at my regular surf spot, I thought it was a fluke—because I was bleeding and it was early in the morning. Still . . .

I switched to surfing in front of my house because I thought it was safer . . . until last week. My Lifeguard friend asked me if I noticed the helicopter hovering over the water in front of my house. I told him I hadn’t. That’s when he explained there was a large Great White shark in the surf zone. Should I be afraid? Would you?

Fear of Sharks

Fear Of What Others Think

What Would You Do If Nobody Cared?

Social media allows us to paint ourself in the best light. To show the world what we want them to see. To create an illusion (a delusion) of what our life is like. The problem with this is we begin to wonder what’s wrong with us? Why don’t we have a perfect life, too?

Fake it till you make is advice I’ve heard and heeded. (Act as if I am the person I want to be.) It works, but the word “fake” is still in the sentence. What if we were real? To ourselves, and to a certain extend, others? Would it be so bad if people knew we struggle with the same things they do?

Also, if we weren’t so worried what others would think, would we not be so afraid of failure and go for it? Would we be more willing to do what makes us happy, even if others disapproved? Would we feel better about our lives by not comparing ourselves to others?

Fear Of What Others Think