A Rewarding Life: Is It Boring Or One Worthy Of A TV Show?

I first read the term “lifestyle design” in 2007 while reading Tim Ferris‘ book, The 4-Hour Work Week. Tim Ferris introduced me to at least two powerful things I hadn’t known before: lifestyle design and virtual assistants. Both are powerful. Ferris, on many levels, is quite brilliant.

Don Miller‘s book, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, is another book that intrigued me. It made quite an impact last year as people embraced the metaphor Miller put forth. Life is a story. If you’re unsatisfied with your life, craft a better story. Live a better story.

Saturday I was doing some work in The Yellow Studio. I turned on the TV to serve as background noise while I worked. I’m fond of Discovery, The History Channel and The National Geographic Channel. It happens that my set was tuned to The National Geographic Channel. The show? Locked Up Abroad. I’d never seen this show, but it was a marathon for this series on Saturday. As I worked, the channel remained on this show. Ten or more episodes, each an hour-long, appeared as I was in and out of the studio working.

Ferris proposed – and I agree with him even though I never had a label for it – that we construct our lives with intention. That we design the life we want. I began to consider Miller’s premise that our lives are a story and it’s up to us to write one that is more interesting. I thought of each episode of this TV show – a compelling show. Interesting stories. Riveting.

As a man in search of an epiphany, I was blessed with one. Okay, I admit it wasn’t really new to me. I admit that I’ve felt this way for quite some time. You may not agree with me, but that’s okay. Maybe that makes things more interesting.

My Failed Attempt (So Far) To Make Sense Of It All

I’ve made sense of some things, just not all things.

Last week I paid for and took the new online assessment tool, StandOut. This is a Marcus Buckingham product. He co-wrote (with Donald O. Clifton) the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths.

When I began my business career companies regularly used polygraph exams for pre-hiring assessment. Hard to believe, but it was common practice in the 70’s and into the 80’s. Experience taught me that the polygraph exams weren’t nearly as valuable as the opinions of the examiner administering the test. I went to greater lengths to find an examiner I trusted than most because that was what I valued most. The fact is, I’ve always trusted observation – body language, tone, personality, demeanor, eye movement, response and communication skills – more than any test or profile.

Personality profiles and other forms of assessment fascinate me. I have used a variety of tests designed to show us how people are wired. For many years I used the DISC profile during the pre-hire process, but I always used it after being convinced I was going to hire the candidate. I wouldn’t offer a candidate a job until I got the results of the DISC profile. The outcome of the profile never affected my decision to hire. The DISC profile helped me see ways I could better communicate and coach the person once I did hire them. I found it helpful, but it was just one piece of the roadmap I used to lead companies.

But this short video isn’t really about assessment tests or profiles – well, not entirely.*

A few years ago I revisited my interest in profile testing when Tom Rath‘s book, StrengthFinder 2.0, was released. My interest was no longer in the pre-hiring process. Now, I was interested in personal discovery and development. Those remain the focus.

The StandOut profile indicated I’m a person who tries to make sense of it all. Life is a puzzle and I’m a guy who is constantly trying to put the pieces together. It’s true. At least I feel like it’s true. It doesn’t mean I’m successful all the time.

Today, I focus on just one little business phenomenon that has constantly puzzled me. I can’t figure it out. I confess. I’m beaten. The puzzle is too complex. My mind, too simple.

Have a great weekend,

*I’m planning a show on profiles and assessment tests. Do you have experience with one that you think is the cat’s meow? Would you be willing to join me on an upcoming podcast to discuss your use of it? Drop me an email or leave me a voice mail.

Episode 91 – I Don’t Believe In The Law Of Attraction, But I Do Believe In The Power Of Head Room

Podcast: Download

You got up this morning feeling great. You had a good night’s sleep and you’re rather excited about the day ahead. Then, an email hits your inbox and suddenly everything changes. In a FLASH.

Suddenly, you’re feeling drained. You’re sad, unhappy, nervous, anxious or feeling a variety of other emotions that cripple performance.

One email. One message has managed to completely alter your feelings and negatively affect your emotions. It happens to all of us.

We have to manage how we feel – our emotions. Don’t just surrender to the adversity. It’ll smack you around, knock you to the ground, then stand over you and mock you. What are you gonna do about it? Well, you must do something about it. Fight back.

We need emotional head room. Our feelings play a big role in how well we perform. Performance fuels success.

I don’t believe in The Law of Attraction. It’s called a law by clever marketers. It’s a theory. And a poor one at that, but some people believe it…because they want it to be true. Wishing it won’t make it so. However, I do believe in emotional head room. That’s the subject of today’s show.

Mentioned in today’s show:

• Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heartso is he.”
Muhammad Ali – He may have invented smack-talking
Proof that Ali knew how to manage his emotions, and how to impact the emotions of his opponents
• And still more proof

Social Media For The Simple or Simple Social Media

Perhaps that title should have a question mark at the end of it. You think?

They’re one and the same, at least in my mind.

There are 3 things – components – that I believe are vital to effective social media behavior:

a. Caring
b. Sharing
c. Like-ability

When you’re asked to explain social media to people with no online experience, what advice do you give?


Why Be In A Business You Must Always Defend?

Businesses have a life span. Some live to be very old. Others die young. None are immortal.

Some get sick, but they get well. Others get sick, then get sicker.

Some businesses die on their own, while others are euthanized.

The same is true of careers. Our professional lives aren’t often diagrammed by a never-ending upward trajectory. They sometimes stumble, falter and take a nose-dive. At times they have to be reinvented. Like the US Marines, sometimes we encounter problems in our career and we have to improvise.

If you’ve got a business – or career – that is always under fire…take heart. There are probably opportunities within reach. You have to get some focus and clarity so you can see them.


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