How To Embrace the 90/10 Rule

So many principles, so little time.  Today, I want to tackle the 90/10 principle (10% is the unexpected good or bad, 90% is what you choose) in relation to our life and career.

For many years I was told by mentors and colleagues that the 90/10 rule was important.  In the early years, I didn’t want to have the responsibility for 90% of my life.  It seemed so permanent to face the consequences of my choices.  And I certainly didn’t like the idea of the 10%.  Who wants to be at the mercy of the unexpected?

It was about 10 years ago that I really became conscious of the principle.  So much so that it now is a part of my culture.  I use the term conscious because unconscious living leads to incongruent values (I say exercise is important, but I never do it) or plain old hypocrisy.  No judgment here, but you need to be awake.

Here’s how to embrace the 90/10 rule:

  • You must embrace because the 90/10 rule embraces you.  Like it or not.
  • When you embrace, your emotional intelligence goes way up.  All of sudden you think before you act.
  • You must tame the beast inside.  Call it misplaced ambition, preoccupation with the opinions of others or greed.  When you realize that 90% of life is what you choose, you’ll think twice about walking all over people.
  • You’ll begin to think about your foundation.  Is it sand or stone?  When the unexpected comes what will keep you anchored?
  • Embracing the rule will simplify things.  It won’t make life easy, but it will make you decide what’s most important in career and life.
  • You’ll make the breakthrough to realizing that no one/organization can make you happy.  Happiness is a choice (there’s that 90% again) and only you can make this one.
  • You’ll stop being afraid of your destiny and get on with the mission.
  • The Oscar for best motion picture should be your life.

Reach out to me if you need help or more direction.

The List of Hope

Ever created a list of hope? I think everyone has at one time or another. Even if you didn’t write it down, you probably held it in your head. As with every list, there is the potential for losing it.

You don’t want to lose the list of hope.

The importance of hope is an obvious one. Hope is to the human being, what gas or electricity is to a car. You need it to get to where you’re going. Hope is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, a star in a dark night sky. I know you understand this.

Everyone has heard and read the stories of late. The ones of people who couldn’t fend off the despair. If you find yourself in that place reach out for help. My post is not my attempt to solve the issue of suicide or give insights into its roots. I want to start in a place where losing hope can be all too common. The place is where things are somewhat stable to good. Regardless of where you may find yourself, I want to give some encouragement around the list of hope.

I have a list that looks like this:

  • I have friends and family who value and love me, therefore I have hope
  • God has expressed his love for me multiple times (circumstances, conversations with loved ones, times of meditation), therefore I have hope
  • I have built business relationships that go deeper than a transaction, therefore I have hope
  • I’ve dealt with great difficulties and come out on the other side better, therefore I have hope
  • I look at nature and see its resilience and order, therefore I have hope

Your list can look like mine or something radically different. The key is creating the list. In the words of the writer:

“All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars.” – Neil Peart

My reasons for having the list of hope is having a document I can go to when I lose hope. The list is something tangible to remind me of what’s important. There are times (reoccurring) when I need to pull this list out to refresh, reframe and keep going.

I’m here if you need me, reach out if I can help in a bigger way.

Perspective

I gave a talk recently to a group of students at Tech Elevator. Soon I’ll have some footage for you, but this post is about perspective. The kind of perspective found in pouring out into those students in a way that left me in awe. When you look back on what you’ve learned, and what makes you thankful, it leaves you humble. Here’s a conclusion I came to today:

If I achieve nothing else from this point forward, I have learned and been blessed in a way that is beyond what I could have expected.

During the talk with those students, I helped them with a process of looking back for perspective. It was designed to give them reference points for a tough journey ahead. Often, we go into storms with no account of what we can handle. It’s as if we just react to whatever comes our way. Sometimes this works out, sometimes we’re left exposed. Please understand:

Storms are as normal, and frequent, as sun and good times.

Here are some key opportunities you can take away from looking back for perspective:

  • Looking back for perspective shows you’ve learned some things. This, of course, is dependent on you giving yourself a break and claiming the learning
  • Looking back for perspective is a strength-building exercise. It builds in you a sense of what you can handle and what you can persevere through. You’ll need this when it’s dark
  • Looking back for perspective allows you to see other people as they truly are. You might find they’re not as bad or as great as you once thought
  • Looking back for perspective, if done regularly, helps you take responsibility for your choices.
  • Looking back for perspective creates a spirit of gratitude, and gratitude will take you to good places

Reach out to me directly if you would like more.

Updates from My World

Thought it was a good time to give you some updates from world:

  • Doing some work with this group. It’s early on, but a great group of people in the EQ world. Definitely, check out the podcast
  • Working on an Epic Living podcast. Here’s a test run you can check out. Keep in-mind “test run” 🙂
  • Started work on the next book
  • Giving a talk at this organization in the coming week
  • You can join this closed Facebook group, Youandi365

Hope the above provides some value and as always, if I can help in a direct way, please reach out to me.

What Life Delivers

The post in italics below was originally written in 2009. I recall that year as being a tough one. As of late, I’ve been recalling the words from 2009. Some of the areas from that time have resolved and some are ongoing. I know the importance of my preparation and response. Both of those are key when faced with the good and bad of life.

In my current frame, I am faced with:

My alignment with God’s call and my growth in EQ have added to my sustainment and happiness. Again, this is about preparation and responding as life delivers what it delivers.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

– Shakespeare

As I wrote some time ago, I have been doing more thinking than writing lately.  One of the things I’ve been pondering is the idea of what one wants from life-specifically what I’ve wanted.

I’ve also been thinking about what I’ve gotten, and what I did in response to the result.

The following are some specifics:

  1. I wanted my dad to be around longer for me to fully appreciate our relationship.  Regardless, he passed on unexpectedly and a large comma was placed in my life.  I am relying on the vision God gave me to work through this time.  A type of vision that says: “I don’t know how this all will work out, but I trust, even in my deepest blues, that it will.”
  2. I wanted a linear path in my entrepreneur pursuits.  It has been anything but linear.  I have rolled with it and learned to embrace my disappointments as I do my successes.  Most importantly, things don’t need to look like I thought they would in order to be the “right thing.”
  3. I wanted certain people to stick with me.  Those that took off were only with me for the ride.  As a result, I redefined what friendship really means.
  4. I wanted a great career.  I lost my career and found my life.  I am most grateful for this…I can breathe.
  5. I wanted to get everything right with my family.  In the last three years, I’ve gotten much wrong. I learned  that needing forgiveness creates the art of forgiving.

How Much Do You Invest?

How much do you invest in your life? How much time and money do you spend on life?

It has been said that Lebron James spends over seven figures on his physical health. Not astounding, considering the shape he’s in and the amount of money he makes. In the end, it’s a lot of money. His physical life must be important to him.

How about you?

First, don’t make the mistake of thinking that only the rich and famous can invest in their lives. Everything, is relative, for the rich and the poor. What matters is your commitment to life. This really is about mindset and what you choose to do. Every successful person knows this. What is ironic, at least in America, is we put little value on life. This is further compounded by our over-valuing of money, celebrity, physical appearance, career, and more. Don’t get me wrong, most talk a good game, but the numbers don’t lie. We’re advancing in areas that are, on the face, good. But we’re retreating in the areas of life that are vital.

Considering that life is a limited-time offer, you would think we’d “get after it.” Maybe we really have bought the ocean-front property in Wyoming. I hope you will consider investing more of your resources in your life. Maybe like:

If you need more clarity on the above examples, reach out to me.

 

Identity and Career

Rare is the man or woman who can walk with graceful indifference to their career. I once had a music teacher advise me to learn all the theory I could, and then forget it.

Be the best you can be in your craft and then let it go. Really.

Identity and career are two parts of life that should never meet. If they do, it can be lethal, and very difficult to separate. A career can take over and leave true identity on life support. I speak from experience. It takes a long time to regain, or replace, what you lose.

I’ve found these dangers in the mixing of identity and career:

  • Quiet resignation. This occurs when we get older or have been at something for a while. The lie we tell ourselves is “we’re in too deep, and it could be worse.”
  • The high. It feels good in the moment, so we desire the thrill. We enjoy being seduced by flattery and accomplishment. Nothing quite like being the one to watch.
  • The ghost of our father. This one is so subtle. We watched a man, or a woman, toss away life for not much in the end. That script then becomes our own.
  • The payback. Somewhere we got wounded and the chip appeared. This is the closet sociopath coming out to wreck the place.
  • The false obligation. We pull out all the noble reasons for staying. “I have a mortgage, I have my kid’s college education.” It’s as if we think we’ll be excused for our fear in the end.

The choice is mine, the choice is yours. We have to remember that career is a great dance when the identity is kept separate. The challenge is found in living in a culture that values the opposite.