Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts

Perfect is the Enemy of The Good

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We all want to achieve great things. This passion for excellence is what drives us forward but this same passion, when taken to extremes, can also hold us back. In attempting to achieve perfection, we risk never getting started.

To do great work, we must first do work that is just plain good. To do good work, we must first do work that is just plain bad – and lots of it. Even if 90% of what you do is mediocre, more often than not, you will be judged on that 10% that is excellent. While others are singing our praises about the excellence we’ve achieved, we need to accept it and not let our average be how we measure ourselves.

Consider the great inventors of the past. The Wright Brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk was an amazing achievement but, by today’s standard of flight, the Wright Glider doesn’t even compare. They knew that to achieve the goal of powered flight as a means of transportation, they would first need to accept good enough as a first step.

First Flight

Then consider great Thomas Edison who gave us the light bulb. That was arguably his greatest invention but it is also a product with a 100% failure rate – all light bulbs blow out eventually. Now we find that we are replacing the wonderful light bulb with a more efficient alternative. If Edison had waited for perfection, someone else would have come along and invented it and we would be praising their ingenuity.

The world does not want to wait for you to perfect what you have to offer. We want the best you have to offer right now. You can continue refining it but let us see what you have now. Finish that novel, display your art, perform that speech – whatever it is that you are afraid to complete or even start, put it out there.


Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 10, 2012 at 7:18 am

Posted in Business, Life, Thoughts

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Communication Skills Wins Over Intelligence

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We often mistakenly assume that others are smarter, more talented or more skilled than we are. This is especially the case when others are more vocal and firm about their opinions and ideas. They sound so sure of themselves while you still question what you think.

What I’ve found is that a person’s ability to communicate their opinion is not an accurate indication of whether they are right or not. Some people can be excellent communicators but yet have a below average intelligence. Quite often, people of low intelligence can get far in life on charisma alone. We often judge people as smart just because they sound smart.

The real winners are those excellent communication skills and high intelligence. These are the people we want to follow immediately and still continue to follow as they prove their worth by the decisions and actions they take. People like that are an extremely rare. It is highly unlikely someone with that combination would not succeed in whatever they do.

Some of the most intelligent people I know sound like idiots in everyday conversation. They have focused all their time and energy on building their intelligence and have not developed their social skills. They don’t get subtle jokes and they don’t know how to engage their listeners. It’s a shame and a loss to the world.

Business would do well to hire good communicator over the more talented. Talent is cheap and easily found, but charisma is a rare commodity.

With good communication skills you can be the enabler of people smarter than you. In truth, communication skills is just another form of intelligence. I’d be remiss not to mention the study of Emotional Intelligence, but we’ll cover than in more detail in future articles.

If you have the opportunity to work in a sales position I highly recommended it as a powerful career starter. In your current position take the opportunity to host meetings and give presentations as often as you can. It will cut into your other work but in the long run that will be skill that moves you forward in your career.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Business, Life, People, Thoughts

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Rocky Balboa Quote About Self Respect

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I watched “Rocky Balboa” again today. I’ve been a fan of the Rocky movies since I saw the first on TV as a kid. There’s something about the story that really hits home and can touch a person deep inside. We’ve all had our underdog moments just as we’ve all had our moments of achieving greatness against all odds. You can criticize the Rocky movies as adolescent and macho or you can see them for what they truly are – a poignant story about rising to challenges.

Since I had seen “Rocky Balbo” a few times already, I meant to just scan through. I don’t have time to watch a lot of movies so occasionally I’ll just skip ahead to those scenes that I like. With this movie it was all great. I had to take my time and appreciate every line and nuance.

I came to a scene where the current heavyweight, Mason Dixon was asking for advice from his old trainer, Martin. What Martin has to say can apply to anyone.

Martin: You got everything money can buy, except what it can’t. Its Pride. Pride is what got your [explicit] out here, and losing is what brought ya back. But people like you, they need to be tested. They need a challenge.

Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon: But you know that ain’t never gunna happen, there ain’t anybody out there Martin.

Martin: Theres always somebody out there. Always. And when that time comes and you find something standing in front of you, something that ain’t running and ain’t backin up and is hittin on you and your too damn tired to breathe. You find that situation on you, that’s good, cuz that’s baptizim under fire! Oh you get thru that and you find the only kind of respect that matters in this world, Self respect.

That’s some heavy stuff. This is the kind of advice we should be giving our kids. This is the kind of advice we need to help us get through our challenges.

when that time comes and you find something standing in front of you, something that ain’t running and ain’t backin up … You find that situation on you, that’s good, cuz that’s baptizm under fire… You find the only kind of respect that matters in this world, Self respect.

Success is not about the money, it is not about status or fame. Success is about living up to our own image of who we want to be. Anybody with millions of dollars can buy a fancy car.

It takes someone special to live a principled life and to never give up trying to be who they want to be.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Life, People, Thoughts

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Treasure Different Viewpoints

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I maintain a list of blogs that I read on a regular basis. On that list are some blogs that I don’t enjoy or agree with (Don’t worry it is not yours). I make it an effort to read these counter blogs as often as I can. I do this so that I am not viewing the world through the I-agree-with-everything-you-say goggles.

It takes great courage to think outside of your beliefs. There is a fear that if you consider other opinions that you may lose hold of your beliefs. Don’t let that stop you. If you have a belief that can’t stand scrutiny than that is not a belief, it is an illusion. You want to examine those illusions and eliminate them.

For example, some believe that most people are evil and/or stupid. They will have blogs where they rant on about the ills of society and people in general. Nowhere in their minds are they ready to consider that they are an example of what they most despise.

I believe everyone is basically good and that only 50% of the population is below average in intelligence. This belief that I have is somewhat of a blind spot that may make me miss the evil intentions of others. By reading counter blogs I get to see things from a different perspective and maybe gain insight that I would not have on my own or by reading other blogs with positive outlooks.

I’m not just talking about different opinions, I’m also referring to different tastes. I don’t care for fashion or sports but I’ll occasionally read article related to those topics. (I have yet to find a blog devoted to both fashion and sports but I’m still looking).

To grow you have to step outside of your comfort zone. If someone thinks different from you, that is a goldmine of varying perspectives. Don’t pass it by.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Learning, Life, People, Thoughts

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To Begin Anything, First Know The Purpose

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It doesn’t matter what you are trying to accomplish, the first thing you need to do on any project or action is to determine the purpose. Want to lose weight? Why? What’s the benefit? Would the benefit outweigh the cost?

Without knowing the purpose, it is easy to get sidetracked and that goal ends up on the stack of unfulfilled expectations.

Don’t just verbalize the purpose. Write it down. Write it down. Write it down. Did I mention that you need to write it down? Writing down the purpose is extremely important. This action tells your brain that this is not just some flight of fancy and that you are really serious about accomplishing this goal. If writing down the purpose seems like a waste of time then you don’t really want to accomplish it.

With the purpose written down, you can refer to as needed. When you are about to commit to an action or decision you can then ask yourself if this would serve the purpose. Once you determine that an action serves a purpose you can move forward with confidence.

It is also important to determine your purpose in life. Your purpose in life drives all your other purposes. My purpose in life is simply: To Help Others. That may seem like a very broad purpose but I’ve broken that down into more direct goals with their own purposes. Everything I do has to in someway align with my greater purpose in life. Knowing that I’m working towards that purpose assures me that my contribution to the world is valuable and that I am valuable.

For help discovering your purpose, I found an interesting technique at: How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes

Once you know your life purpose and have a good inventory of goals that work toward that purpose, you should then audit the things in your life right now and remove all those things that don’t contribute to your life purpose.  Trust me, when I say that this is an extremely difficult step to fully commit to.  You may need to wean yourself off the habits that you find are holding you back from your purpose. In my case, I found I was spending too much time watching TV, reading fiction, playing video games … the list goes on.  I had also decided to stop drinking alcohol as I believed it worked against my purpose of helping others with substance abuse problems (I miss beer, sigh).

You don’t have to eliminate all the activities that you do just for fun. Whatever your life purpose is, you aren’t going to get far if you are not having a good time. I can’t help others feel better about themselves if I am miserable myself. As I write this I was considering amending my life purpose to be: To Help Others and Have Fun Doing It. I’m just afraid that could be used as justification to fall back into bad habits.

As I was writing this I had to stop several times to discuss charity work we have planned for the Epilepsy Foundation. That is just one of the charities that we contribute to but it’s all part of our greater purpose. This living for a purpose is not something you do once in a while. It has to drive you on a daily basis.

Once you give yourself over to a purpose, life is better. It’s as simple as that.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

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Great post by Goss Coaching to start the day

Goss Coaching

I woke up this morning with a song in my heart. There is nothing special that I have planned for this day. There is no event or occasion. I feel happy for no reason at all, and it feels wonderful!

So often we feel like there has to be a reason to be happy. Often that reason is out ahead of us. We tell ourselves that we will be happy when we lose weight, get that job, have a certain amount of money, meet that deadline, recover from an illness, etc.

How would your life be different if you could let yourself just be happy anyway. How would it be different if you could be happy on your way to losing weight, getting that job, meeting that deadline, recovering from that illness?

Every moment that you deprive yourself of feeling good is like putting yourself in jail and…

View original post 368 more words

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

Posted in Business, Life, People, Thoughts

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Speak Up! Or Be Ignored

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There is so much advice out their preaching the value of listening. We also hear it is best to let the other person do all the talking. Well that may be fine advice for some situations but from what I’ve seen in meetings at the workplace is that most people tend to remain silent. When the host of the meeting asks for feedback there are usually only a few  people who speak up and it’s always the same people.

Employees will grumble about how they are not appreciated or the opinion doesn’t matter but when given the opportunity to speak, they don’t take advantage of it.

I was at a meeting the other day where several project teams were asked for updates on their projects. I talked about how my work was going and asked a few relevant questions. Other team leaders gave very terse answers when pressed but would not contribute any input to the group. I was a little surprised that with the amount of work that was being done that they chose not to share a little more.

After the meeting, I learned that the program manager was upset about the lack of feedback from the other teams.

I’m not entirely comfortable talking in front of large groups of people, but it is part of the job. If you can’t communicate effectively, you have no business managing a team of employees.

If you are not going to voice your opinions, you have no right complaining when others go in  direction you don’t agree with.

Also, when you do get the courage to speak, raise your voice. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a meeting where I can’t hear a word they are saying. I know the old trick about how you should speak softly so others will pay attention, but if you can’t be heard at all, you give the impression of meekness. The only people who can get away with speaking softly for effect are those who normally speak clearly. If you are quiet as a mouse, people will think you are a mouse.

It’s kind of ironic that I’m giving this advice. Throughout most of my life, I’ve been a bit of a low talker and that was when I dared speak at all. Now I will adjust my volume as needed to meet the needs of the situation. If I didn’t want to be heard, I wouldn’t speak at all.

I think part of the problem is that most people still have the worker mindset where they must wait for direction from their leaders. The leaders, on the other hand, are being taught to encourage collaboration and increase employee engagement. When employees don’t speak up it gives the impression that they don’t care. If you don’t care, quit and stop wasting the time and resources of the company you are working for.

Even if you don’t feel confident, speak up anyway if you have something to say. When you are nervous, you may stammer and stumble on your words the first 2 to 100 times, but if you do it enough that nervousness will eventually get under control. It won’t go away completely, but you will be able to deal with it.

Life is so much better when you are an active participant.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

February 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Business, Life, People, Thoughts

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