Catch Your Dreams Before They Slip Away

“There’s no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain’t life unkind?

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Ruby Tuesday lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

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Battling Burnout

The odd thing about burnout is that the only way out of it is to slow down.

More lists create more stress with arguable results. 

Doing less cuts stress with better results.

Think of the weight you carry on your shoulders and how adding a fast fix will feel even more burdensome. 

Burnout starts to ease the moment you say slow down. 

Prioritizing helps you slow down.

The feeling that you’re not accomplishing something is the sure way to know you are winning the battle against burnout.

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Def Leppard’s One-Armed Drummer

Drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a 1984 car accident, eventually came back to play the drums for this band with one arm and a foot.

We are reminded of this because Def Leppard was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

You may have heard the term “one-armed paperhanger” but Rick Allen overcoming the adversity of losing an arm in his profession is no joke. He teared up at the induction ceremony to lots of sustained applause.

The adversity may be physical but the advantage is always in the mind.

Believe.

Achieve.

Overcome.

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Doing Too Much

So, I met a very nice person in King of Prussia a few weeks ago who told me that she knows that she is doing too much for her children and is concerned about it.

Tying their shoes for them – they are 11.

Carrying their sports equipment from the car when they are athletic enough to handle it.

Chauffeuring them when school is just around the corner.

Still she feels badly.

Same applies to our individual lives.

Young people also feel like they are overwhelmed – that they lack the confidence to succeed because they are afraid to fail.

Too much means too much guilt.

Too much also means creating too much anxiety.

Trying to avoid adversity robs us of the tools that train us to handle adversity.

Replace “too much” with “I trust that you can do it”.

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Doing Your Best

I heard someone say “I’m doing my best but it’s not good enough”.

What?

Your best is always good enough – it’s your best.

When we let ourselves believe that everything we have to offer is still not enough, we are the problem.

All my effort – that’s the best I can give.

All my sincerity exhausts what I have inside.

All my intelligence means I have turned my curiosity loose to be open to learn more – do that and it is the best that you can do.

I’m the best spouse and father I can be – if you give all you’ve got, you succeeded in spite of any criticism.

Confusing our best with how to get better is what’s killing us.

Your best is everything you can muster and that’s also how we get better.

No employee review, criticism from a mate, harsh judgment from yourself will make you better.

Just be the fine person you are and note the difference.

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Tiger Woods

Sunday, Tiger Woods won the Masters Tournament for the fifth time.

And a major golf event for the fifteenth time – three shy of all-time leader Jack Nicklaus.

After numerous back surgeries.

Scandal in his personal life.

Struggles in his chosen career.

Adversity is best when used as the ultimate motivator to achieve your goals.

It’s not just for the stars, the heroes, public figures.

Woods’ triumph over all odds reminds us that it can happen to anyone who refuses to quit and uses their adversity to find success.

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What Happens Just Before Success

It’s failure.

Study the great influencers in the world and they all have the same pattern.

Fail.

Fail.

Fail.

Succeed.

Failure is a rehearsal for the success that will happen next not the end of our dream.

Learn from mistakes.

Adapt, change and begin again.

Never give up.

If you want to know how to recognize a person about to succeed, look how they handle adversity as a gift and not a curse.

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The Voice in Your Head

The voice in your head can either be a motivating force or a self-defeating echo that prevents health, happiness and accomplishment.

So important, that it’s worth thinking differently about that voice.

It works better when we speak to ourselves instead of letting others whisper in our ears.

Believing is as simple as repeating it over and over again.  When we are criticized or doubted, not believing takes its toll quickly in a negative way.

Criticism is outlawed – don’t accept it, don’t do it – wanting to be better is fair but not in the form of “constructive” criticism.

Love yourself, your ideas, the gifts you have been given, the people you are blessed to have in your life and replace negative thoughts and criticisms with appreciation of these things.

That voice in your head doesn’t have to scream, it just has to whisper “I believe”.

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Guaranteeing Improvement

A number of years ago the successful hockey coach Mike Keenan devised a way to steady the road to success and factor out periods of team failure.

He divided up the hockey schedule into ten-game increments.

This way players could go on a tear and overachieve or they could withstand a slump and not become so obsessed with it that they couldn’t turn it around.

Most of us don’t divide our goals into stages which is why a losing streak can really be a terminal setback.

The thing is to put goals into perspective – time periods that begin, restart or end, dividing work tasks up so that they might be addressed in doable pieces instead of all at once.

One step at a time is an idiom that takes on more meaning when we take them in separate flights not all at once to ascend to the top. 

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Problem Solving

To solve a problem, we must know what it is.

So why do we skip that step and get right to solving something we only think we know?

The Dale Carnegie Course teaches problem solving and arguably one of the most important steps is to identify the problem first.

Yes, we’re all in for solving problems even if we don’t know what they are.

Emotion factors in, fear, anxiety.

Finding the solution is not as difficult as clearly defining the problem.

Here’s the 6-step problem-solving formula:

  1. What is the real problem (not imagined, convoluted, hurtful or emotional)?
  2. What are the causes?
  3. What are the possible solutions?
  4. What is the best solution?
  5. Take action.
  6. Set a time to revisit your solution.

No workable solution can be found without using these steps.

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