Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

Clarifying Faith in the Workplace

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Planting Seeds Of Faith in the WorkplaceRecently, I have seen a resurgence in the topic of Faith in the Workplace. Just this week I participated in a training session with Sandi Krakowski, social media guru, and founder of A Real Change International, Inc. Over the past year or so, I have watched Sandi bring her faith to the forefront of her business.

Entrepreneur Magazine recently invited Sandi to become a columnist for the online edition of their publication and address the idea of faith in the workplace.

Related: Why Faith Belongs In Your Workplace

Another business guru, Mia Davies, recently shared in a video broadcast how she “Gave her business away”. In the YouTube video (no longer available), she describes how she changed the focus of her business to be more in line with what God wants for her.

Typically, when someone mentions the term faith in the workplace, it is generally understood that they mean “Faith in God”. (In full disclosure, I have complete faith in the existence of God. Though I do have a Judeo-Christian background, my understanding of God and spiritual concepts continues to grow with age.)

Could it be that by corralling “faith” into the “faith in God” understanding alone, we could be missing out on a much broader experience of this amazing power? Whoa, hold up. I’m not suggesting a diminished value of faith in God; by no means. In all fairness, the concept of faith does seem to originate in the Judeo-Christian religions. But is faith a purely religious concept?

Could faith in the workplace have additional value and meaning? I believe in the power of faith as taught in the Judeo-Christian teachings, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the substance of your idea, invention, unrealized business, book, or whatever you want to create. It begins as faith. In faith, you act. You act with the conviction of one who knows the imagined will be made real.

This well known Biblical quote does not attach the definition of faith to faith in any particular thing or person, God or otherwise. So is faith a religious concept or a power that is available to everyone to be used in all areas of their life? Yes.

Faith in the workplace can include our faith in God, and includes much, much more:

  • Faith in the power of God to bless and multiply your business.
  • Faith in your ideas, that they will become a reality.
  • Faith in your employees, that they will live up to your expectations.
  • Even faith that our clients will continue to pay us on time so we can continue to build our business.

Remember, faith is based on things we can not see. The idea in your head for a new product or service requires faith to bring it to fruition. Creating a team that will take your business into the future requires faith. Where there was no team, faith built it and built it.

While I believe that faith has its origins in God, its power expands beyond the religious or spiritual avenues. It is a power that can be applied in all areas of our life. When we need the power to move toward the unseen, toward the intangible, faith provides this power.

So the next time someone starts to talk about faith in the workplace, ask yourself, “How am I already exhibiting faith in the workplace and how can I foster more faith?”

“Faith is the head chemist of the mind.” Napoleon Hill

4 Easy Steps to Writing Faster and In Less Time

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Image of ideas for writing faster and in less timeAt the beginning of the year, 2014, I joined the ranks of New Year’s Resolutioners and committed myself headlong into writing as I’ve never written before, consistently, persistently, and voluminously.

I, like many other writers, have found that consistent, worthwhile production is the holy grail, hidden in some faraway land where only a lucky few seem to find it.

Some time ago I encountered the idea of building a regular habit of writing 1000 words a day. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the name of the author, or her book that recommended this practice, but thanks to her, and some new year’s determination, I was able to consistently practice this habit for 22 days, and in the process, write over 39,000 words.

Now I didn’t do it to impress you. However, I did end up impressing myself with how easy it is to produce when I commit myself to a specific and attainable, daily goal.

So how did I start writing faster? What did I learn? Why did I stop (Yes, I stopped)? And, will I start again? Well, as you can see from this article, I’ve started again on March 5, 2014.

How You Can Start Writing Faster Today

  1. Picked a topic of interest.
  2. Chose a time with no interruptions.
  3. Set a timer. (More on this later.)
  4. Keep a spreadsheet of daily words written with a running total.

What did I learn from my New Year’s experience?

Creating a habit produces great results. Had I continued my daily habit, by the date of this blog post, I would have written 150,890 words, enough by most standards to be a book.

Production begets production. In other words, I learned that the more I wrote, the easier it was to write. A 1000 words turned out to be not a difficult goal to reach. In fact, over the first 22 days of this New Year’s resolution, I actually averaged over 1700 words, even after missing several days.

Writing is easy. That’s right. It’s easier and easier to write when I actually write and keep writing.

Write a thousand words a day… and in three years you’ll become a writer.” Ray Bradbury

Writing faster is easier than you think. In earlier attempts to build the writing habit, I had discovered that I could write 1000 words in an hour or two. In January, I wondered if I could do it faster. I read somewhere that you can increase the speed at which you do things simply by timing yourself. After timing myself for several days, I discovered that I could crank out 1000 words in about 40 minutes. I also discovered that it helped to turn off the spell check on my computer. Those darned squiggly red lines always make me at least pause in my writing flow, but most often make me stop and edit myself in real-time. Speed comes from writing un-distracted, as quickly as you can. Editing can come later in your off time.

Keep a daily record of your progress. Secret results are not motivating. From my days in sales, I learned that keeping a record of my daily progress, with a historical total, can be very motivating, as long as you are actually active. Seeing the running total of words written continued to inspire me as I passed 10,000 words, then 20,000, then 30,000. As I approached 40,000 words I began to realize I was well on my way to writing a small book.

So, why did I stop, you may be asking, after such a productive run? This is a great question and one that is not simply answered. Suffice it to say at this time, the creative bug went a few hard rings in a not so professional wrestling ring.

If I can do it, you can too. I believe if you have the desire to do something, such as write, you can do it.

How Writing 1000 Words a Day Changed My Life

Related: How Writing 1000 Words a Day Changed My Life

In his blog post “How Writing 1000 Words a Day Changed My Life”, Srinivas Rao talks about the power of momentum in the habit of requiring yourself to write at least 1000 words per day. I found this power to be very real in my own experience, which is one reason I have chosen to get back on the horse.

Like Sriniva, I too found myself writing above and beyond my goal. In fact, on one day, I wrote over 4700 words. Looking at that number on my daily chart made me feel good. And for a writer, feeling good is like getting paid. Sometimes, it’s our only pay.

As I read through Srinivas article, I began to wonder what results I might have achieved had I continued with my writing. Be sure to click through to his article. I’m sure you’ll find in inspiring as I did.

Do You Have a Great Idea for a Book?

“You wouldn’t believe how many people I meet who tell me they’ve got a great idea for a novel … if only they had the time to write!” Josh Finder

Related: Just Write That Damned Book Already

So, what are you and I going to do about that book? Why not just write it, as Josh Finder recommends. Turn off the spell check, the grammar check, and just write. Like me, you may be surprised as the 10s of thousands of words add up, and your story or your book just takes you away.

I used to be in the bad habit of complaining, “I don’t have time.” Then I learned that we all have the same amount of time. We all have 24 hours each day that we can dedicate as we choose. If you get fast, like me, you may be able to write 1000 words in 40 minutes or even less. Just sit down every day and set the timer.

Now, I no longer allow myself to use the words, “I don’t have time.” By carving out 40-60 minutes a day to write 1000 words, by the end of the year, you’ll have 365,000 words written, enough for more than one good book.

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
― Ray Bradbury

The Choice Is Yours

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Image of man leaping across a gap.Are you ready to get it? Ready to go get your dream? Ready to rip it down from the sky, to make it your own?

Or, are you losing faith, losing ground? Are you at the end of your rope, out of hope?

Are you trying to go it alone? Does anyone get your dream, your big idea? What you put into your mind will impact what you put out, how you get up, how you fall, and how you rise.

You Are Not Alone

You are not alone. Someone has gone before you. Someone has conquered that mountain. Someone has scored that impossible hit. Someone has changed the world.

Are you ready to be next? Are you ready to kick it, hit it, launch it, leap off it? Are you ready to fly over it, around it?

There’s a fire burning in each one of us. For some, it’s only a flicker, threatened by every passing trial. For others it’s a raging inferno, threatening to blaze a trail across time and space.

Are You Ready to Burn?

Every inferno begins with a spark, every flame can be fanned into a blaze. Are you ready to burn? You can. It’s entirely up to you. It’s your choice. You can fan the flame or cast the blame. You can get in the game or sit it out in shame. It’s entirely up to you.

Your dream is real. Your dream deserves to be brought into the light. You deserve to reach your peak.

What is in your way? What is bigger than your faith? What is stronger than your courage?

The Creator said, “If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” The Creator said, “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of courage.”

Gather up your courage, act on your faith. Your life will never be the same. Are you ready? Ready to get back in the game?

Take Action Now To Get Your Dream

If you haven’t watched this short film above, do so now. It’s like lighter fluid to the flame. Bookmark it and watch it again and again. I know you’ll feel the burn, the heat, the drive, the determination to get up, cast of, put to sea, go all in, give it your best and forget all the rest. You can and you will, when you choose.

The choice is up to you and me.

Four Steps to Conquering Can’t

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Image of man conquering can't.We are like ants. Our strength is much greater than our size. Because of this, the possibilities for what we can create, or destroy, are endless.

Despite their diminutive size, ants have held our curiosity for thousands of years. We have both battled them as pests and studied their industry. We are amazed at their ability to construct, communicate, and destroy as a unit.

The great King Solomon advised us to “go to the ant and consider her ways.” When we do this, we are amazed that such a little creature can do so much.

“Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves, engage in child labor, exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.” Lewis Thomas

Can’t is a Four Letter Word

Over the past few years, the word can’t has made it onto my list of inappropriate four letter words. When used, this word is like a colony of ants in their destructive mode. This single word can quickly tear down all possibilities.

Why is can’t such a terrible word? It is most commonly used as a first descriptor of a given situation. When we don’t have any answer, or know how to do a certain thing, we quickly say, “I can’t do this,” or I can’t do that”.

It’s almost an auto response for many people.

On a Mission to Exterminate Can’t

I’m on a personal mission to exterminate the use of the word can’t. This tiny word is one of the most destructive words in the English language.

  • Can’t is water on the flame of innovation.
  • Can’t eliminates even the most simple possibilities.
  • Can’t is the needle to the balloon of enthusiasm.

Strong words, you say. Absolutely. When battling the destructive can’t species, I believe only the strongest pesticides will work. How do you use can’t? Are you using this little destructor in your personal relationships, in your business? Pay attention to your own speech. You may be using it more frequently then you realize.

As a child, I often heard, “We can’t do it because we don’t have the money.” In businesses I’ve worked with I’ve often heard the same thing, “We can’t do it because we don’t have the money.” Of course these may both be accurate statements at the moment they are spoken, or they may only be a perception of the situation.

I’m not apposed to identifying that at a given moment an activity may or may not be possible. “At this exact moment, I can’t purchase the item, because I don’t have the money.” However, this is where most people stop in their personal life and in business.

Instead of stopping at the moment, I encourage you to quickly move beyond what may be obvious to you and simply entertain the idea that you can, in fact, do it, simply by finding a way.

Change Can’t to See Ants

Let’s go to the ant for a moment and evaluate their ways.

  • Some ants can support up to 100 times their weight while hanging upside down on glass.
  • Ants move an estimated 50 tons of soil per year in one square mile.
  • Ants and humans are the only creatures that farm other animals.

Now let’s go to the human and just glimpse what we can do.

  • Humans can find a way to go to the moon, and now, Mars.
  • Humans can find a way to capture the sun in a tiny glass sphere.
  • Humans can take an empty void and fill it with amazing structures.

“Not to engage in the pursuit of ideas is to live like ants instead of like men.” Mortimer Adler

Can’t is death to ideas. It snuffs out their life at an early stage. Throughout human history we have seen dreamers, imaginators, visionaries, describe the seemingly impossible. Everyone of them had their detractors. And yet, through their courageous vision, we have all benefited from what “can’t” be done.

Humans are superior to ants, and yet we so often forget this.

  • “We can’t go to the moon, it’s not possible.”
  • “We can’t keep the patent and trademark office open, everything has already been invented.”
  • And on and on it goes.

Thank God there are those visionaries who turn the can’t into “see ants”. They see the possibilities. Instead of saying “I can’t,” they say “How can I?”. Everyday we benefit from what these visionaries create. How much more could we do in our own lives if we would just eliminate that little four letter word, “can’t”?

Four Steps to Conquering Can’t

Step One – Listen

Listen to your conversation, both audible, and what goes on inside your head. Recognize your use of this word. You don’t have to mention it to anyone. You don’t even have to acknowledge to anyone that you are committed to eliminating it from your vocabulary.

Step Two – Ask

Every time you catch yourself making the statement “can’t”, turn it around into a question. Ask yourself, “How can I do it?” “How can I get the money?” “How can I write the book?” “How can I take the trip?” “How can I go back to school.?” Whatever it is, there is very likely a way to do it or get it. Don’t forget to ask Google.

Step Three – Write

Write down any options that you come up with, no matter how silly they may seem. This is very important to your creative process. Do not prejudge any options or solutions that you or anyone else comes up with. Many times, your solution will appear farther down the list. Prejudging your options is a negative attitude that can often cause the flow of creative solutions to dry up before the right solution is created.

Have fun with this step. Fun fosters creativity. Get your family and friends involved. Play a game with two rules; 1) Anything goes. 2) No negative attitude.

Need 10 million dollars? Robert Schuller did. He made a list entitled “10 Ways to Get a Million Dollars”. An idea on the list fit the need. He raised the money and built the Crystal Cathedral.

Make your own list; “10 Ways to ________”. You may be surprised to find a simple solution to your own challenge.

Step Four – Take Action

Select the best option from step three and create a list of tasks or actions that you need to take. The victory goes to him who takes action. When take creative action, you can end up at the moon.

“Men of action, above all those whose actions are guided by love, live forever.”
Jose Marti

“Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.” Ralph Waldo Emerson