The past few times I’ve spoken to groups of business owners, I’ve shared my Not To Do list.
A To-Do list is a dangerous thing. If you’re not careful, it can become an out-of-control, never-ending, junk drawer monster that can overwhelm and paralyze you. Every time a boss or supervisor says, ‘put this on your to-do list’, things not only grow, but priorities become watered down and less powerful.
So, at the top of my To Do list, I’ve created a Not To Do list.
I don’t just want to do things right. I want to do the right things. I want to spend my energy and time doing what matters.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m sure it will continue to evolve this year…
Knowing where you want to go is easy. The hard part is knowing what to leave behind. Your NOT TO DO list might be more important than your resolutions and to-do lists.
Do you have a clear list of things to stop doing this year?
I’m a firm believer that winning the day begins with winning the first hour of the morning. We’ve all heard the science and the studies and the anecdotes of famous and successful people who get up before the sun rises.
The struggle (MY struggle) is in living life everyday with a family of 5. To be honest, I love getting up early and taking control of the day, but living in 3D has it’s inconsistencies. You know, having kids and a business and being deeply involved in a community of people and their lives… it doesn’t always work according to my random, arbitrary schedule. 🙂
Nevertheless, here’s what the (ideal) first hour of my day looks like. My goal is to do it EVERY day. A lot of days I’m pretty successful at it, but sometimes I suck at it. It’s all about progress, not perfection.
I’d LOVE to know what yours looks like. What are you doing that’s working? How are you managing your day during these crazy times? Any tips?
However, don’t give up on your resolutions and aspirations to become your BRAVEST self. As our word gets noisier and more uncertain, double down on these 5 things (V.I.B.E.S.).
The very story of human greatness is one of so-called ordinary people who—in a one moment of inspiration and self-belief—made a right angle turn into what had previously seemed impossible. And went down a road that shifted their lives forever.
Every day I’ve carried this Daily Stoic coin in my pocket for nearly 4 years now.
Not out of some macabre death wish, though. On the contrary. Because every time I put my hand in my pocket, I am reminded that my time here is limited. I’m reminded that I am spending my one-and-only life like a coin. I can spent it any way I want. But I can only spend it ONCE.
Don’t waste your life today, friends. Do things that matter.
TAG someone who needs to hear this! Let them know that they MATTER to you! And be sure to subscribe to The Impactivist Show wherever you get your podcasts. It’s where ideas and inspiration COLLIDE.
I’m reminded today that responsibility is really just response-ability.
Problems will rise up. Inconveniences will happen. You and I can’t control much around us, but we can control our response to those things. So here’s a trick.
When something goes wrong, ask yourself ‘how much of this am I willing to take responsibility for?’ 50% of it? 80%? ?
Because when you take responsibility, you have response ability. It may not be your FAULT, but it can be within your ABILITY to change it. But ONLY if you have response-ability.
For example, say I lose my job this year. It’s a tough time and things are terrible. So, how much response-ability am I going to take to change the outcome. Again, I’m not taking fault or blame… I’m only deciding not to see myself as a victim and take 100% response-ability in the outcome. I can simply decide that I have the ability to respond in the best possible way. I have the response-ability going forward to learn and grow and change the outcome of an otherwise terrible situation.
If I can do that, I am no longer a victim.
Here’s the downside: If I don’t take response-ability, I don’t have any power to change my situation or solve the problem. I’m at the mercy of another person, another company, another entity that doesn’t have my best interests in mind. And why would I do that?? Why would I give control of my one-and-only life to someone or something that doesn’t have my best future at the top of their priority list?
My encouragement to you is this: when life comes at you, when problems come (because they will), hold on to faith and hope. And take 100% response-ability to adapt and overcome. To learn. To grow. To serve. Make it your mantra to respond to struggle with the words, “I have 100% response ability in this situation.”
The #1 lesson I learned in 2020 is this: Life is a game of inches.
For me, that meant doubling-down on the number of books I read this year and being SUPER intentional about what I put into my mind. Out of the 24 books I read (or re-read), here are my Top 12 in no particular order. As always, I’d love to know YOUR favorites.
Like most of us, I’ve been called lots of things. Some good, some terrible, and some were just well-intentioned… but hurtful. People I looked up to used to call me a dreamer. But the more perspective I get in the world, I’ve begun to see I’m actually a REALIST.
The reality is you find whatever you’re looking for. You know the whole ‘seek and you shall find’ thing? It’s legit. And when I’m frustrated and focused on crappy things (or people) in the world, you know what I find? More crap. More frustration. More things for me to feel superior over.
But when I focus on all the good things, the amazing people, the blessings… EVERYTHING changes. The REALITY becomes that I get to see everything else around me that’s filled with beauty and wonder and goodness. Not 0nly does it change my outlook and the way I treat/see people, it changes the actual chemistry in my brain and body.
So, I’ve decided to practice reckless optimism. I still believe most people are good, that I have a million more things to be thankful for than to complain about, and that as Impactivists we can take charge of our own lives and have an impact on others’.
I know this is long, but if you’re still reading… I’m proud of you. Keep going. Love those around you with no strings attached. Give without expecting anything in return, and dance like no one’s watching. (They’re all on their phones anyway…)
Who’s with me on this? You know those moments when you look back and think, “That sucked at the time… but I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t have to work thru all that mess..”?
Jobs. Relationships. Friends. Or people you thought were your friends. Financial struggles. And even just tough seasons in life… it can knock you to your knees.
I know it’s tough. But if you can see those struggles as a GIFT, everything changes. (Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens FOR you.) Remember that those things are what made you strong. Those are the times you grew string muscles and a clear vision of who you wanted to become…
The heartbreak sucks. The struggle sucks. The frustration and anger suuuuuuuucks.
But you’ve survived 100% of your worst days so far. And watching people (especially our Impactivist group) interact with each other, encourage each other, and be vulnerable with each other is an amazing thing. It’s proof we’re onto something valuable in our little tribe.
And it’s proof of HOPE among all the craziness of 2020.
Thank you for sharing your lives with each other, and with me. Have a beautiful weekend!
Just some honesty here… I remember being (literally) laughed at by a best friend when I told him I wanted to be a songwriter and make a record. As a kid, I took that embarrassment and stuffed it down and didn’t tell ANYONE for years (even though I kept writing songs in my journal). I was so afraid of what people thought about me. (Any other people-pleasers reading this?)
Before he laughed at me, other family members told me it was foolish. A pastor chastised me. I thought, “If the people who know and love me most think it’s a ridiculous dream… then it must be.”
So it was 20+ years later before I released my first song on iTunes. Such a simple thing. So liberating. And so terrifying.
We all struggle with fear. We all tend to give too much attention to the voices that tell us why things CAN’T be done. Why you’re not good enough, smart enough, talented enough… Some of those voices come from the people closest to us. And some of those voices are like ghosts in our own heads… leftover words spoken into us years and years ago.
In case you need to hear it today, fear is a thief. And once you stop feeding it, it will die.
So if you’re up for a challenge, I’d love for us to share our fears with each other. (YIKES!) What’s something .. one seed of a thing, that’s been put in your heart, that you’ve been afraid to do? Afraid to say out loud? Afraid to try? Is it too big? Too small? Too silly? Too irresponsible? Too grandiose? Trust me, I’ve said it all to myself…
Is there a fear you need to stop feeding? How can we help each other here?
(If you don’t want to share it here, you can join the private Impactivist group where we’re getting into details with this.. )
Saying the 14th and 15th letters of the alphabet is hard. In order to keep performing at your best and producing your best work, you and I have to become disciplined at saying no to the wrong things– even if they are ‘good’ things– so we can say yes to great things. I discovered just how insanely valuable it is to learn to say them while writing my book, Unleashing Your Creativity. If not for this lesson, I’d have died a slow and miserable death of overwhelm and over-commitment.
How do you learn to say no to people, friends, colleagues… without feeling guilty? Feeling like you’re letting someone down? Or without sounding like a jerk?
Just save this handy-dandy graphic I came up with, hang it where you’ll see it daily, and randomly pick a response that’s easy, painless, and works in your favor. (And when all else fails, you can blame it on me.)