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:
Reach out to me if you need help or more direction.
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:
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.
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:
Reach out to me directly if you would like more.
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.”
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:
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.
Recently my wife and I discussed the movie, Saving Mr. Banks. I was reminded of how surprised I was by the story and the film itself. It really got me to thinking about what shapes you as a person, over a lifetime. If you are not familiar with the story behind P.L. Travers and her character Mary Poppins, you can read this article for more.
Much of who I am was shaped by my childhood.
During my childhood, I had a father who drank to excess, suffered the neglect that goes with substance abuse, saw things that today are still difficult to write about, and witnessed an event that left a permanent mark. I know many of you have your own stories as well.
What’s most important here, though, is how Ms. Travers was shaped and how it produced such great work. It’s ironic how her great pain produced such great work. I found myself, as I watched the film, feeling like I was watching my own movie.
Much of what I have created, has been born from my pain and wounds.
In my one-on-one work with people, I use a process designed to help them look over their lives to find the pain and the wounds. This can be difficult work. Many are the walking wounded, and they’ve taken the path of “medicating” or just looking to escape. My great mission is to help people deal with what often they would prefer to ignore. I understand this and carry empathy for the great struggle many are facing. American culture has not helped. Our ever-increasing desire for entertainment, medication, and status are fierce animals.
Much of what I do is motivated by mission.
PL Travers found an outlet for some of what hurt. Her work has made a lot of children and adults happy. In the end, that counts for much. I don’t know if she was truly whole before the race was over, but maybe that happens on the eternity side.
Do you know what shapes you?
All of us have, and will, come face to face with temptation. If all of your cylinders are firing, you’re facing temptation daily. My post is not a sermon on good and evil, though the two have a part to play. I really want the focus to be on what temptation looks like and how it plays out to our harm.
The idea of temptation is found in moving in a direction that will ultimately cause harm-great or small. Temptation is also subtle and unique in the beginning. Which is why so many fail the test come exam time.
The following are some areas that temptation shows up in:
Think for a moment. Do any of the areas connect for you? Are you in the midst of giving in now?
I’m not going to give a topic-by-topic breakdown, just a general process to understand and resist what may be tempting you.
Every temptation begins with subtlety and seeming innocence. The subtlety usually appears in a quiet and calm persona. It could be a person or situation. In my case, there was a time where I encountered both. I was rising at a heady (at least it felt that way) clip in my career. On one occasion I had a conversation over lunch with someone I admired and trusted. He told me I was a part of the group of young executives that would be asked to take the helm at the next level, when the current leadership retired. I remember stopping (in my head) and reviewing his opinion. It sounded great and he was in a position to know, so why not take what he said as fact? At the same moment the reason side of me kicked in. Questions like; “do I even want to be the next thing” and “are you giving in to flattery?” ran through my mind. In the end, I allowed my reason to win the day and deflected the conversation into the wind.
I’ve also had situations where I gave into temptation. This is a tough one to write. I had been given advice over the years to listen to my wife. Not as an obedience thing, but as a good source of wisdom and intuition. I remember vividly a time where my wife warned me about a venture I was pursuing. The venture seemed sound, and ripe for success. She didn’t feel good about it and wanted me to pass on the opportunity. I faced a crossroads. Would I listen to her sound advice or push forward with my plans (one thing you should be aware of is the power ego plays in these scenarios)? In this case, I gave into the temptation my ego laid out. It cost me dearly.
Notice the subtlety and innocence in my two situations? I look back and can understand the subtlety of my thoughts and the innocence of seemingly good things/opportunities.
The end goal of temptation is to lull you and give you a false sense of reality. Voices like the following come next:
Again, maybe you’re in the midst of deciding whether you will pay heed to temptation or resist. I wrote this post for you and for me because there’s so much evidence of how better life is when you don’t give in.
If you would like more help with this topic, reach out to me directly.