Do you know where you are on your journey?

Life is a curvy journey. There is a definite beginning, a muddy middle, and a certain end. The government issues you a certificate to mark the start and endpoints. But the rest is up to you to chart.

Do you know where you are right now? Knowing where you are on your path is key to navigation. So is knowing your ultimate destination. So take a moment to evaluate where you are on your journey, like Steve Perry. You can use this evaluation on your personal life, professional career, or spiritual journey.

Where are you right now?

On the right road. This means you are doing what you expected to be doing right now. You have chosen a career you like or a role in your family or community that you enjoy, and it aligns with your vision. Keep going.

Make sure to bring Twizzlers and Funyuns.

On a detour. A detour means you were on the right road, but something has forced you off. Now you are having to find a new path forward. If you are on a detour keep your eyes open for opportunities to get back on track. It may take a series of approximations and corrections. Just make sure you a still magnetized to the original destination.

This is French for The Tour.

Driving aimlessly Yes, you are driving. But there is no destination. You are traveling just to travel, not with purpose. While this can be an interesting way to see what is around you, it is also a way to lose time, like Morris Day. It helps to set a limit on how long you will allow yourself to move this way. Then it’s time to pull out the map and determine where you need to go next. Which may also require you to redefine your ultimate destination.

Eventually, driving aimlessly will bug you.

Lost You thought you knew where you were headed. But somehow you have gotten turned around, bright eyes. A job, a boss, a workplace, or a significant other has made you question whether you were on the right path for you. Maybe you have never found your purpose and have been driving aimlessly for too long. It’s time to stop and think about your purpose, your goals, and your ultimate destination. Think about what makes you happy. Write your own obituary. The way forward can often be found through this exercise because it forces you to start again with the end in mind.

It’s time to find yourself again.

On a dead-end road. There is no path forward on the road you are on. If you find yourself here, turn around now. Any other road is better than this.

Turn around. There is a reason this is called a dead-end.

In a Cul-De-Sac This is like a dead-end, only it is really comfortable. You may be in a job that is paying you well, but it is not getting you all the way to your original goals. Or you may be settling for good enough. The Cul-De-Sac can be very comfortable today. But may lead to significant regrets in your final evaluation.

The comfortable dead-end.

Headed directly towards a clear destination This is the ultimate goal. If you know where you are headed and you are pointing in the right direction the only question is how fast are you moving? Check your speedometer, Casey Jones. Are you moving fast enough to get to your destination on time? Are you moving too fast, and likely to damage the equipment at your current pace? Or do you need to give it more gas? Chances are you could give it more gas.

Enjoy the ride.

Key Takeaway

To get the most out of life it is important to regularly evaluate where you are on your journey. Noting your where and when coordinates will tell you what you need to do next to get to your destination on time. Know your endpoint. Use all the navigational tools you have available to help you get there. And keep moving forward.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Not all remarkable people start out that way.

I love to listen to audiobooks when I drive. It’s the only time I multi-task. (I am a devout mono-tasker.) This week I began listening to Titan by Ron Chernow. It is the biography of John D. Rockefeller. The Rockefeller. The man who practically invented oil. The world’s first billionaire. And, I assume, the guy who invented oysters and The Rockettes.

I expected the audiobook would be long. After all, there is a lot of money to cover. But when I discovered the recording was 35 hours long, it exceeded my wildest ear-spectations. Today, I am only 3 hours into the book and The Original Rock is still just 16 years old.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Notice how it says HER on his forehead?

The Inspiration

There is one thing that stands out about young John D. that I find tremendously inspiring. At 16 years old, the most remarkable thing about the future world’s richest man is just how unremarkable he still was. There was nothing that indicates his future success. He was no child prodigy. He was no Doogie Howser. No Stevie Wonder. No Sundance Kid.

I find stories like Rocky’s thrilling. Calvin Coolidge became President of the United States, arguably the most powerful man on Earth. But his childhood, and even half of his college-hood, was bland and mediocre at best. Sara Blakely was another late bloomer. She was selling fax machines door-to-door for 7 years before creating Spanx and becoming a self-made billionaire.

You Are Not Done Yet!

Keep Rockefeller, Coolidge and Blakely in mind as you travel your path. You have the ability to do, be, create, and accomplish much more than you have so far. Whether you are a high school student or a retiree, there is still time for you to discover your calling, your perfect pitch, and create your personal legend.

Keep Going!

Remember, your achievements, accomplishments and impact will continue to grow until you stop pushing them. So think bigger. Take more action. Surround yourself with the right people. Take risks, and make them pay off. It is how you write a great biography for yourself, in real-time.

Key Takeaway

It’s not the beginning of your story that matters. Keep growing and learning. Keep pushing yourself. Discover what you are really capable of. Maximize your gifts and you can create the You that You always wanted to be. The You that You know you are. Have a vision for yourself. Dream no small dreams. Make the story of yourself in your head come true. Anyone can do it. Why not you?

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Be kind when you rewind your life in your mind.

Imagine your life as one long continuous recording. As Mo Gawdat notes in his book Solving For Happy, at our core, we are the observers of our lives. Your 5 senses record your life, from beginning to end. At any point, pre-Alzheimer’s, you can replay a part of it again. This is what you are doing when you tap into your memory. You are rewinding, and watching the game film of your life.

Watch Your Wins

What you decide to replay for yourself makes all the difference. Replaying past successes is good for you. It reinforces how capable you are. It reminds you how you win at life. It builds confidence, determination and a positive outlook. It reminds you that you are good enough, you are smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.

Watch Your Failures Once

Don’t make a habit of watching your failures over and over. Your failures, shortcomings and mistakes should only be watched once. This allows you to study the game film, see where the mistake was made, learn, and correct the behavior. After you have learned the lesson, let your failures go. They are done.

Create Your Personal Highlight Reel

How you view your life, and thus how you view yourself, is a result of which game film you choose to watch. Rewatch the good parts often. They will become your personal highlight reel. And just like your favorite movie quotes, those memories will be quickly accessible anytime you need them. So you’ve got that going for you. Which is nice. #NameThatFilm

My Highlight Reel

When I watch game film of my life here are some of the go-to moments I go to often:

• Tests that I scored 100% on. It reminds me I am a good learner

• Breaking the state record in the discus in high school, 8 months after having my ACL reconstructed. It reminds me of the power of my determination.

• Winning a new business pitch after a client told me I had no chance. It reminds me I can win, even when the odds are stacked against me.

• Founding The Weaponry, my advertising and idea agency, with $16,000, and growing it to a multi-million dollar business. It reminds me to take risks.

• Meeting my wife Dawn It reminds me of my good luck.

• Vacation adventures with Dawn and our 3 kids. It reminds me of how fun life can be.

• Seeing a map of the 120+ countries where my blog has been read around the world. It reminds me to keep writing.

• The positive notes from people who heard me speak or give a presentation. It reminds me that my messages have value to others.

The time I made a joke and someone laughed. It reminds me that it could happen again.

Binge Watch Your Best

To live a great life is to watch the good parts over and over. Remind yourself of your strengths, great performances and wins. Remember your positive interactions, collaborations, friendships and love, and you are sure to see more of it in your future.

Key Takeaway

We all have successes and failures. When you rewind your life, watch your failures once, to learn. Replay your successes often. Remind yourself you are a winner. You are smart, kind, and brave. Always focus on your good film. It will increase your happiness, and lead to more good film to watch.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

Do more of the things you know you should.

Ever wonder what the difference is between successful people and unsuccessful people? It is not physical. Both people look very similar on the surface. If you cut them open you would find all the same things inside both. You would also discover that both groups highly dislike being cut open.

The difference between successful, accomplished people and those who never progress is not in knowledge. Everyone knows what to do:

  • Eat right
  • Exercise
  • Work hard
  • Network
  • Study
  • Show Up
  • Volunteer
  • Collaborate
  • Save
  • Invest
  • Rise early (to get the worms)
  • Take risks
  • Read
  • Follow up
  • Wear deodorant

The Difference

Successful people do what they know they should do. They act. They make. They move. They try. They try again.

The unaccomplished know what to do, but don’t.

Don’t be a don’ter.

The Cycle

The more you do the more you will accomplish. And the more you do the more you will be inspired to do. It is a virtuous cycle. Get yourself into the positive feedback loop of action and you are sure to get more action. (And who doesn’t want more action?)

Getting Started

Make a list of the things you know you should do today. The whole list can be written in 30 seconds. 5 minutes if you have a slow pen. Then simply spend your day doing the things on your list.

Key Takeaway

Take action. Do what you already know you should. It’s the not-so-secret secret to success.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

You imagined a great life. Now make it happen.

When you were young you had an exciting vision for your life. You knew that in the future your life would be amazing. You would have a career you loved, a family who spent a lot of quality time together, and a fun friend group. Perhaps you imagined travel and adventure. Or you contributed significant time, talent and money to important causes. You created art or music. You looked great for your age. And you imagined yourself reading a blog post that reminded you of your life’s vision.

There may be hundreds of details about your life that you pictured differently than they are right now. But remember, you have the power to change those details. You have the ability to continuously improve your life. In fact, your life will become more like the life you envisioned until you stop trying to make it so. Or until you die. Whichever comes first.

Don’t settle for less. Remember that things don’t just happen. They are made to happen. You are the author of your story. You are the architect and builder of your world. You are the head of quality control. You are the bouncer, deciding who gets in and who gets thrown out. You are the boss, determining what work needs to be done next. You are the Dean, setting the coursework you must study. And you are the timekeeper who announces when you have spent too long on something that is not working.

Key Takeaway

You can change your life to be more like the life you imagined at any time. Don’t settle. Don’t give up. Revisit the vision you have for your own life often. And live into it a little more every day.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

How to think of 2021 in the story of your life.

That was quite a year we just had, huh? Which is why 2020 had more nicknames than Sean ‘P-Puffy-Diddy-Daddy’ Combs. 2020 was called Train Wreck, Dumpster Fire, Sh!t Show, The Worst Year Ever. And then, of course, there were the really bad names.

But none of those labels are helpful. So as we start 2021, consider reframing how you think of 2020, and the year ahead.

The Story Of Your Life.

Think of each year as a chapter of your life. Chapter 1 was your birth. Your Genisis (only without Phil Collins). The next few chapters covered your childhood. Several chapters later, you left home on your life’s journey. The following chapters were full of exciting rising action, as you found your path, gained momentum, and enjoyed success, happiness and stability.

Then Came 2020.

In the story of your life, 2020 was the plot twist. It was where your plans were disrupted. The path was blocked. The rules were changed. The villain showed up and started messing with your toilet paper. Maybe you lost all you had. Or lost someone close to you. Or lost an election.

But remember, the best part of the story always happens after the plot twist. The story gets really good after things go sideways, or downhill, or into the dumpster and set on fire.

As humans, we can’t wait to see what happens next. We are dying to know how the hero of the story responds. Do they splat or do they bounce? Do they give The Wicked Witch the ruby slippers, or do they moisturize her and steal her cleaning equipment? Enquiring minds want to know.

Welcome to 2021 everyone.

This year, and this chapter, represent the critical choice of your story. This is where you, the main character, responds to the plot twist. This is where you make the critical decisions that ultimately lead to the climax of your story.

So, we all want to know, what are you going to do now that it is 2021? How are you going to respond? What are you going to make happen next? How are you going to get your happy ending? (Robert Kraft wants to know.)

It’s up to you. You are both the author and the main character of your story. You are in control. You choose the adventure. You choose the tone and the pace. You choose your supporting characters. And your choices make all the difference.

Key Takeaway

2021 is a pivotal year in your story. Remember, you get to write what happens next. So write a really great chapter. You have 365 days to work with. Use them all.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

30 Important questions to ask yourself at the end of the year.

We have finally come to the end of 2020. This year is certain to be a first-ballot inductee to the Year Hall of Fame. The unprecedented health, economic, political, racial, and social issues of 2020 have made this a year like no other.

Yet the adaptability, innovation, resilience and humanness revealed in 2020 have shown just how amazing humans really are. While cockroaches are known as the species that will survive anything, 2020 has proven that human survival skills are very well intact. Right Mr. Darwin?

Preparing For 2021

Now it’s time to prepare for a great 2021. Why prepare? Because great years, like great lives, don’t just happen. We make them happen.

A key element of living a great life is self-reflection. Asking yourself good questions is like conducting your own performance review. It’s a simple way to discover where you need to course correct, where your course is already correct, and where your corset could correct.

If you don’t know what questions to ask yourself, you’ve come to the right blog post. Here are 30 questions to ask yourself now to prepare to make 2021 your best year yet. For best results, write your answers down. In fact, I created a Google Doc that you can print or make a copy of right here.

30 Questions In A Particular Order.

1. Am I educating myself? Getting better starts with getting smarter. Continue to self-educate and your knowledge, abilities, and competitive advantages will grow like compound interest. 

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2. Am I exercising enough? Your body is your life vehicle. Regular exercise keeps it in top shape. Which will allow you to travel further, faster and over rougher terrain.

3. Am I giving enough to others? Shel Silverstein famously wrote about The Giving Tree. But there is also a magical Giving Boomerang (perhaps made of wood from the giving tree). Because when you give your time, talent and treasure to others, good things come back to you in even bigger and better ways.  

4. Am I disciplined enough? Discipline is what gets the job done. If you are not doing the things you’ve committed to, or if you are not avoiding the things you should avoid, check your discipline. Remember, you only need enough to create a habit. Then the habit takes over and discipline can be deployed towards something else.

5. Am I thinking big enough? The answer for 99% of us is no. Think Bigger. Think as big as you can. Think Elon Musk-y. Because bigger thoughts lead to bigger results. It costs the same amount to think big as it does to think small. But the return on your thinking investment is much different. You can always go bigger. #TWSS

woman draw a light bulb in white board
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

6. Am I taking the actions that matter most? Not all actions are created equal. Remember the 80/20 rule. Find the small actions with the biggest rewards. There are a lot of actions that generate very little results. Simply taking the right kinds of action (interacting with the right people for example) can change your life. For proof see Sliding Doors or Run Lola Run.

7. Am I empathetic enough? Are you putting yourself in other people’s shoes? (Like Dr. Scholl’s) Are you really thinking about issues from someone else’s perspective? Want to make and keep more friends? Or develop more sales? Develop your empathy.

8. Am I providing more value than I am costing? This is the key to becoming a highly valuable and sought after human. Always give more than you take and you will remain in control of your destiny. As soon as that ratio flips you are no longer in the drivers seat. Sorry Charlie.

9. Am I getting better or getting worse? Check your trajectory. You are either headed up or down on every possible measure. The good news is that with all but some physical aging issues you can always improve your own angle through focused effort, commitment and mindset. 

10. Am I strengthening my network? Most people think far too little about the strength of their network. But take it from the mobile carriers, it is all about the strength of your network. Continue to develop and maintain meaningful relationships. Make as many genuine friendships as you can. When you do, your social, professional and political capital will continue to grow. Which opens you to more opportunities. Remember, opportunities are human things. 

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11. Am I valuable to know? Do you add value to others? Are you kind, helpful, or inspiring? Do you offer access and connections? Are you are great listener? Really think about the value you offer others. The more value you offer, the more people will seek you out. And you want to be sought after. 

12. Am I stretching myself? Growth occurs by stretching beyond your previous abilities. By stretching you expand and strengthen. If you are not stretching you are prone to atrophy and shrinkage. Nobody wants shrinkage. Just ask George Costanza.

13. Am I surprising people? Are you simply doing the things others come to expect of you? Or are you surprising them with new abilities and ambitions? Have you become predictable? Or are you endlessly interesting? Keep the surprises coming. 

14. Am I keeping my word? Trustworthiness is the bedrock of relationships, and the gateway to opportunity. Check your trustworthiness more often than once a year. Keeping your word is required on a daily basis. Like flossing and changing your undies.

15. Am I living into my vision for myself? You have aspirations. But simply having aspirations is not enough. You have to get yourself to the destination. You have to become the person you imagined, dragon. Do the doing, not just the dreaming. 

beach woman sunrise silhouette
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

16. Am I noticing those who need me? We all have people who need us. Family, friends, clients, employees, community members. Do you see them? Do you notice what they need from you?  Do you notice what you have to give?

17. Am I being present? Be now. This is all you ever have.

18. Am I taking care of my health? Have you seen your doctor and dentist lately? Do you have a doctor and dentist? How about a mental health specialist? A chiropractor? Take care of yourself. Because everybody needs a body.

19. Am I eating well? You are what you eat. Literally. Be mindful of your personal building materials. It makes a difference. Because you don’t want to look like a Cheeto in your Speedo. 

20. Do I have a healthy way to destress? The world is an all-you-can-eat stress buffet. You need to have ways to rid yourself of the stress. Sleep, exercise and church are my go-to’s. Find your ways to destress best.

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21. Do I have enough human interaction? It is easy to become isolated from others, especially during a global pandemic. Humans are social creatures. We need a minimum of human interaction. Positive human interaction is often exactly what we need for comfort, belonging and perspective. During times of isolation, use technology to get your daily allowance of humans. Don’t use Chat Roulette.

22. Am I spending enough time in nature? Spending time in nature is great for re-grounding yourself. A little quiet time with Mama Nature provides peace and perspective you can’t get anywhere else.

23. Am I getting enough sleep? Sleep is the great reset button. It enables you to regenerate your best self. Take advantage of it. Get as much as you need. 

24. Am I finding joy in my work? Work fills half of your waking hours. Finding joy in work is finding joy in life. If you are not finding joy it is time for a change. A new approach, a new job, or a new career should be on the table.   

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25. Does my boss value me? An unfair amount of your happiness is tied to your relationship with your boss. If you have a boss that values you and treats you well you have won half the battle. If not, make a change. Life is too short for bad bosses. 

26. Am I living a story worth reading? You only get one shot at life. Make it great. make it a story worth telling, worth hearing and worth reading.  

27. Am I positively impacting others? At the end of our days the only thing that really matters is the impact we have on others. Focus on making a positive impact and you will live a great life.

28. Am I laughing enough? This is the easiest way to measure happiness. Laughter is more valuable than money. Spend more time with the people who make you laugh. They will make you feel most alive. 

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Are Reserved. All Lefts Are Outgoing. 

29. Am I making others laugh? We are drawn to people who make us laugh. Are you able to see the humor in life and share it with others? A humorous perspective is always a valuable resource. Especially during difficult times.

30. Am I investing enough in my most important relationship? Think of the one relationship that means more to you than any other. A spouse or significant other. A parent, child or sibling. A friend, partner or neighbor. Are you investing in that person as much as you should? Always give the most important people the most. 

31. Am I giving more than people expect? When you offer up 30 questions do you actually give 31? It’s not that hard to do. Overdeliver. People remember.

Key Takeaway

Self improvement starts with asking yourself good questions. You are a work in progress. Knowing what you should work on is how you make the progress.

*If you know someone who would benefit from these questions, please share this with them.

Here is the link to the Google Doc with the 31 questions.

Happy New Year! 2021 Is going to be great! No Question.

How to take your good ideas from a lean to a run.

We all have aspirations of creating cool new things. Maybe there’s a company that you always wanted to start. There’s a t-shirt or hat you wish you had. Or a new product or service you know the world needs. Perhaps there is a meetup you wish existed. Maybe there is a regular get-together among friends. Or a new blog post that didn’t exist at 6:00 this morning. #ItsTimeToMakeTheDonuts

You wish that you actually started, did, or made those things that you think so much about. Right?

Well, you should.

What most people do when they have a great idea is fantasize about it for too long. Sometimes for years, or even decades. Unfortunately, the idea often dies when the person dies. Then the human and their unrealized dreams have a double funeral. It’s all so sad. (Tito, get me some tissue.)

At some point in the process, you lean forward on the idea. You start writing the idea down in your notebook or on your digital device. You sketch out details. You do some online searching on the topic. You talk to other people about it. Your Aunt Jan thinks it sounds fabulous.

Once you have leaned forward on your idea one of two things happens:

  1. You lean back to your normal resting position. At that point, the idea stops progressing into reality. Instead, it goes from a growing grape to wrinkly raisin.
  2. You transition from a lean to a run. You start taking bigger and faster steps. You quickly cover more ground. You start passing other people. Your hair blows back in the wind. You start hearing the theme song from Chariots of Fire.

Which of these do you think leads to real results, real businesses, and real products, services, and events that exist here in the real world, Alan Jackson?

Come on Eileen! It’s time to run.

Obviously, it is #2.

Transitioning from a lean to a run is the magic point when ideas get made. People who really create things don’t stop at the lean. They don’t simply fantasize. They don’t perform the minimum. They take additional steps. And those steps happen faster and faster.

What you’ll quickly find is that it only takes a few important steps in the right direction to build momentum. Once you have created momentum, the development process begins pulling you along, like a riptide. For those who create a lot, the process becomes like a black hole sucking you in until the idea is fully made. This is what you want. And it’s easier than you think.

Key Takeaway

Don’t just lean in on good ideas. Start to run. Rapid steps of progress get the job done. #RhymingReminder

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

How snowballs can help make your dreams come true.

Do you have big dreams? Do you have lofty goals and imagine yourself as a big success? Of course you do! You are full of ideas about the things you want to make and do. Which is a great start. But it is the same great start that everyone has.

There are amazing things happening in your head. But no one else can see them. Except maybe your radiologist, and that woman from Long Island Medium. To transform your dreams and ideas into reality you have to take action. You have to make, and do. You have to press your ideas into the world. Here’s how it works.

A Lesson In The Snow

A thought is like a field of freshly fallen snow. They are both full of potential. But to transform the field of snow into something of your own creation, you have to reach down and grab a handful of it. You have to pack it into a ball. By doing so you have begun to convert an idea into something tangible and real. Suddenly you have something of your own creation. You have built the initial unit. (snickering) This is the first visible product of your thoughts.

Step 2

From there, you decide the next step. You can grab another handful and pack a bigger ball. You can place the ball on the ground and create another one just like it. And another and another. You can create a small line of snowballs. Then start a second level. You can create a circle of snowballs like the foundation of your snow fort.

Or you can put that snowball on the ground and begin to roll it. You can watch it grow quickly with thick layers of compounding snow.

Keep Going. Keep Rolling. Keep Growing.

That snowball, gathered and rolled, will grow as long as you keep rolling it. Stop rolling and the progress stops too. #PleaseDontStopTheMusic

But if you keep pushing you will get to a point where you need more people to push it with you. (Like Salt N Peppa did.) Find yourself a hill and let the universe work its magic. Suddenly, growing bigger is easier. Before you know it you will have a giant snowball thanks to simple, steady effort multiplied over time.

Where It Started

Remember, it all began when you squeezed together that first small handful of snow. That was the step that mattered most. Without that, nothing else was possible. There was nothing to multiply. Nothing to add to.

My Snowballs

I dreamt of starting my own advertising agency. So I took on a project from a friend. Now The Weaponry is a multi-million dollar business with offices in 2 states.

I wish I had a blog. So I wrote one post in the fall of 2015. Now I have written over 530 posts. Today my blog has been read in 130 countries.

I always wanted a family. So I asked my co-worker to go see a movie. Now Dawn and I have been married for 18 years and have 3 crazy kids. (My youngest, Magnus, just popped his head into my office, and in his best narwhal voice said, ‘Bye Buddy. I hope you find your Dad.’

Key Takeaway

Make snowballs. They are the easiest thing to create. But they make all the difference.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

How to get the most out of each workday.

Yesterday when I arrived at work I sat down at my desk to plan my day at The Weaponry. I firmly believe that you must get on top of each day before the day gets on top of you. #ItsBetterOnTop

Like Lynyrd Skynyrd, I plan my days in 3 steps, mister.

  1. I open up my daily calendar to see my obligations for the day.
  2. I open Stickies on my laptop to see My Priorities List. I created a list that includes my clients, business development efforts, and major life goals.
  3. I open up my notebook and create my Daily Success List.

The Success List

At the top left corner of the page, I write Success List, because names matter. Then I add the date, for historic purposes.

Next, I fill the rest of the header section of the page with my 3 major career goals. I do this to keep them in mind, and to make sure the rest of the day aligns with my major goals. Because each day is like a tool we can use to achieve our dreams. Which means each day is kinda like a dreamcatcher, only without the feathers, string and rearview mirror.

After the page header has been properly transformed into a navigational tool, I begin my list.

Yesterday, I had no external obligations on my calendar. So I was free to make it the perfectly productive day. Which is probably why this topic is top of mind today.

With no meetings of any kind required of me, which is a real rarity, I filled my success list with my priorities.

The list included:

  • Creating a new planning process for one of our service offerings
  • Contacting several clients
  • Prepping for the implementation of our new 401(k) plan
  • Contacting potential future Weapons
  • Reaching out to friends in my network for no good reason
  • Strategic work for a client
  • Creative work for a client
  • Naming work for a client
  • Scheduling a client presentation
  • Reviewing an updated video script
  • Checking in on a logo design project
  • Contacting my tax accountant
  • Contacting my realtor
  • Contacting my favorite banking professional
  • Checking on our plans for an upcoming film and photoshoot

Making It Happen

When I was done creating the list there were 24 action items on it. The 24th action item was the most important. It simply said, Schedule Day Full. Which meant that now that I had my list of things to do for the day, I had to put them on the calendar in order to create a concrete plan to make the day productive. I then filled the rest of my calendar from 9:30 am to 5 pm with actions to take.

This meant that by 9:30 am I had transformed my day of no obligations into a day packed with actions and priorities. As a result, I knocked off 22 of the 24 items on my success list.

I even scheduled an hour for lunch at noon. Because eating food keeps me alive. And like the BeeGees, I find that staying alive is important to my long-term success. Over my lunch hour, I watched several videos on MasterClass, which I have added to my self-improvement program. More on that in another post.

Key Takeaway

Create a Success List every day. Start by listing your long term goals, and let them guide your actions and priorities on a daily basis. Schedule your workday full each day. And make sure to eat lunch and learn something new. Do this day after day, and not only will you cross your daily actions off your list, you will start crossing your long term goals off the top of the page.

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