Podcast

Episode 117 – How Do You Want To Spend Your Days?

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Her day wasn’t going so well. She was dangling her toes over the ledge, fully prepared to implode – or quit. Frustration boiled over from too many days of chaos. Constant interruptions. Distracted at every turn from doing the work that needed to be done. She’d had enough.

And I asked the question…stopping her dead in her tracks.

He sat across from me lamenting ongoing employee problems. They simply don’t do what he needs. They’re busy solving problems that don’t exist while real problems crop up constantly…without being properly tended to.

And I asked the question…once again, the crickets started chirping.

“How do you want to spend your days?”

We often aim at the outcome we think we’d like, but we don’t often enough consider the daily actions required to achieve that outcome. Thoughtful consideration about how we’d like to spend our time – with an emphasis on our professional/business life – is in order. As with most of life’s important questions, asking is easier than answering.

I want to encourage us to spend time answering the questions. It can help us move forward, even if only by inches. Some days we need to be thankful for inches of progress. But some days, we’ll be able to advance miles. We want opportunities. We want progress. We want improvement. Advancement.

We’re going to fail. Maybe often. So what? Keep swimming. Seth Godin calls it “the dip.”

Everybody experiences a dip. Many of us experience quite a few of them. Keep swimming. Figure out how you want to spend your days.

It only happens when we’re intentional, strategic and methodical. Well, at least part of our time needs to be characterized by those things.

Mentioned in today’s show:

Jeff Dunham: The Birth of a Dummy (a Biography channel show)

• Jeff Dunham finally got on Comedy Central, but only after he went out on a big limb.

Net News Wire (a terrific RSS reader that integrates with Google Reader)

Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear what you think.

Fighting With Knives, Running With Footballs And Quitting The Gurus - HIGHER HUMAN PERFORMANCE Podcast Episode 77

Episode 77 – Fighting With Knives, Running With Footballs And Quitting The Gurus

Most people are followers. You enjoy going with the pack. You want to fit in. Be like everybody else.

The paradox is, you don’t want to be like everybody else. You want to be like the best. The famous. The rich. The well-known.

You don’t want to be –

Average. By definition “average” is common, ordinary and typical.

You want success. You want a better life. Where do you look? Well, the experts of course!

You opt-in to list after list. You read all the right blogs. And books.

You purchase all the Internet Marketing products. Still, no success.

What’s wrong?

You don’t know, but you’re convinced the successful people know something you don’t yet know.

Mat Kearney knows it’s not true. He knows the fight – the quest – is very personal. He described it as a knife fight. He had nothing left to lose as he embarked on a quest to break through to success in music. Five years of knife fighting, as he describes it.

Barry Sanders knew it wasn’t true. I suspect he still knows it.

Mitch Rossell knows it’s not true. He knows it requires the grind of playing all over Nashville every chance he gets. All the while he’s filling his notebooks with song after song – songs he’s writing. I talked with him last summer. He’s still playing as often as he can while he works a day job. Mitch is in his Hamburg. He’s in a knife fight. Time will tell whether he’ll emerge victorious or not, but I admire him for making the journey.

Stop listening. Stop reading. Stop watching. For “the secret.” There isn’t one. It’s just easier to think there is because that helps explain why others are more successful. It’s a delusion though.

Seth Godin knows there’s no secret. He knows everybody has to find their own way. Figure it out. Endure the process. Engage in their own knife fight.

Others can teach us things. They can provoke us. Yes, they can even help us. But YOU alone must do the heaviest lifting. People like me can only spot for you. The best anybody can do when you’re lifting is spot you, not lift for you.

Set out to be remarkable. Know this – remarkable isn’t a destination with a definite, quantifiable place. It’s a sliding scale that is best measured only by your capacity and capabilities. How remarkable can YOU be?

It has nothing to do with me. Or those folks who you deem to be rock stars.

While I firmly believe in the value of great information, great entertainment and great coaching – the fact is, YOU have to do the hard work of figuring it out. People can help you figure things out, but they can’t figure it out for you. It’s not going to be as much fun as consuming books, blogs, podcasts, videos and tweets. It just may be far more valuable.

Are you willing to get in a quiet place and spend some time alone with your thoughts? Until you reach that point, your remarkability will have to wait.

I’ve been doing a lot of that lately in my own life. In the coming weeks I’ll share my own insights in hopes that my work on my life can help you consider your own. No, I’m not going to be providing you with the 10 tips of this or that. Nor am I going to be telling you I’ve found “the secret.” This is MY life. You have your own. We’ve all got to find our own way.

The way to remarkable demands we stop following – and that we take leadership of our own lives! It’s not easy, but it’s worthwhile.

Give these a watch or listen:
The Word “Quit”
• The Road To Your Success Goes Through Hamburg, Germany

Chase. Climb. Fight. Figure it out. Own it.

Inside The Yellow Studio (The Little Engine That Could) - HIGHER HUMAN PERFORMANCE podcast episode 76

Episode 76 – Inside The Yellow Studio (The Little Engine That Could)

Here it is, kids! It’s the technical show that some of you have been clamoring for – this is the engine behind what goes on inside The Yellow Studio.

The studio is a 2-mic studio that can be expanded to three if necessary. It never is.

The studio desk seats three people. The pictures don’t depict that very well because I pushed the chairs under the desk.

Sound deadening is all handled by books, books and more books. I’ve had acoustical foam treatment in the past, but The Yellow Studio doesn’t need it. Books, art work and no open corners handle things nicely.

I prefer dimly lit rooms with cool lamps, but the studio does have overhead florescent lighting – although I never use it. The yellow walls brighten up the joint, hence the name – The Yellow Studio.

Here’s a list of the cool stuff (these are not affiliate links; I do have an affiliate list for most of my resources on this page – I’d appreciate your support):

Herman Miller Mirra chair
• Apple iMac 27″ with i7 processor (4GB RAM / 1TB Hard Drive)
• Apple MacBook Pro 15″
• Adobe Audition (requires Windows until the Mac only version is released)
Apple Studio Logic
Ambrosia Wiretap Studio ($69  – well worth it)
Ambrosia Soundboard (my sound cart software of choice; this is $49 – also well worth it)
Sound Byte by Black Cat Systems (another sound cart software that is also excellent)
ID3 Editor (to create ID tags)
Transmit by Panic is my ftp program of choice
Call Recorder by ECamm (the software I use to record Skype calls – when I don’t use Wiretap Studio)
Edirol R-09HR digital recorder
• Broadcast Tools ProMix12 broadcast console/mixer
Yamaha MG124C mixer
Heil Sound PR40 microphones (I love the microphones – they’re my oldest pieces of gear)
Heil Sound SM1 Shock Mounts
Heil Sound PL2T Booms
Heil Sound RS1 boom 12″ extension mount (for one mic; the other mic uses the C clamp)
• Heil Sound pop filters for each PR40
• Heil Sound foam pop filter (I have one of these in case I want to take a PR40 out in the field to use; never happens, by the way)
Electro-Voice RE50B microphones (I have two of these for field use, but they work equally well in the studio)
Aphex 230 Voice Channel Processors (one for each PR40 mic)
TC Electronic Finalizer Express (a final processor that handles everything going through the board)
Telos One Phone Hybrid
• PreSonus FP10 Firewire Interface (one for each computer)
Panamax power management
Aphex Headpod 454 Headphone Amp
• Kensington Keyboards
• Logitech Laser mouse (for the laptop)
Sennheiser HD25-MKII headphones
• Kodak Zi8 camera with a corded inexpensive AT lapel microphone
• Logitech 1080p Webcam Pro C910 (was added after this episode was recorded)
ScreenFlow by Telestream (screen capture and video recording software)
iMovie by Apple (also for some video recording)
Apple QuickTime Pro (can record audio, video or screen capture)
Camera Stabilizer (this is great; buy one if you don’t have one)

Check out the two prior episodes about The Yellow Studio:

The Ladies Welcome You To The Yellow Studio
Episode 75 – Behind The Scenes Of The Yellow Studio (Randy’s 3 Addictions)

Here are a few more pictures to satisfy your curiosity.

Rosie sometimes is the guardian of The Yellow Studio. Rocky is rarely allowed inside due to heavy snoring.

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