Category: Perspectives

look for patterns and find opportunities

We all have patterns in our lives – patterns of thinking, feeling and doing.  But have you ever noticed that when you find yourself repeating a pattern you don’t care for, it feels like it has a motive power of its own – either forcing itself on you or “sucking you in” like some powerful giant whirlpool?

The good news is that these impressions are false. The reality is that patterns emerge in our lives only because we keep referring to and running them much like football plays from a playbook. In fact it’s our current energies that actually fuel every pattern we find ourselves “stuck” in. A hard truth? Perhaps. But we run them, they simply cannot run us.

So…where’s the good news again? Right here: no matter how powerful our bad patterns may seem, we always have the option of replacing them with better ones!

Here are two critical pieces of information you need to remember about patterns: First, patterns are constructs of your past, so they have no power to automatically influence your future unless you choose to return to and run them. And second, you always have the freedom & power to choose which patterns you run, and from which playbook.

Try looking at patterns as opportunities to recalibrate your direction, and keep in mind that they can never exist without your permission. They don’t rule – YOU do.

how to get things done

The Scenario: Who isn’t consistently under pressure to complete tasks & projects? But you have a choice: You can PUSH THROUGH them to “Get them off your plate” or make the time to WORK THROUGH them to the best of your abilities.

WORK THROUGH is taking active control of the momentum of whatever you’re doing. This happens when you consciously make one decision after another, purposefully linking them together in a calculated series until you achieve your outcome.

Insight: Since choosing to WORK THROUGH involves consciously making repeated decisions, two very useful things tend to happen: (1) Each successive decision you make strengthens your ability to keep on making even better decisions as you move on. (2) Since you’re actively guiding your decisions, you’re very likely to achieve whatever effect or outcome you have in mind; you get done precisely what you wanted to get done.


PUSH THROUGH is rolling with the momentum of whatever activity you’re doing. You simply continue your efforts until some manner of conclusive “decision” is generated for you by circumstance.

Insight: Since choosing PUSH THROUGH involves avoiding proactive decisions, there is the real danger of ending up a victim of your circumstances. Should you let this happen, the quality of your outcome will reflect your choices, and you’ll have missed an opportunity to cultivate your potential.


The Takeaway: When you find yourself under the gun, take a moment to reconfirm your completion strategy: Will you WORK THROUGH by making decisions or will you PUSH THROUGH and accept the default outcome. Both options are usually available to you, so stay mindful that the choice is yours.


find the hero within

Looking to find the heroic in you?

  1. Take the INITIATIVE to challenge assumptions.
  2. Find within yourself the COURAGE to set positive change in motion.
  3. Exercise your WILL to follow through on positive transformation.

You can… and it is worth the effort.

Live your best!

got fears? just corral ’em!

Everyone has fears. The trouble is that many people are afraid of their fears; understandably so, as left unchecked they can be devastating.

The good news is that they can be of real positive value to you too – just never neglect them.

Never allow your fears to fester in a corner, gaining strength and increasing control over your imagination! Instead, call them out into the light every so often – make a habit of doing so – particularly when you are feeling overwhelmed by them.

Shake hands with them, give’em a quick rinse, remind them that while you must co-exist YOU are still the boss, and then let them drift on their way.

I guarantee that if you do this periodically your fears will behave themselves, and stay in their rightful place as challenges to be accepted and cautions to be heeded.

What does not kill you makes you stronger.


how to increase your personal authority

The Scenario: Circumstances call for you to exercise your Personal Authority – which is the most appropriate response strategy?

Using FORCE on yourself or others is akin to bulldozing around dirt in the expectation of digging a well and finding water.

Insight: The fuel of FORCE is often fear, which unfortunately constrains free and innovative thinking. So you will get an outcome, but perhaps not of the kind or quality that you expect. And since feelings of pressure & discomfort frequently accompany FORCE, you risk the types of outcomes one gets from being inflexible.


Applying DISCIPLINE to yourself or others is like making the calculated choice to dig a well where there’s water below.

Insight: The fuel of DISCIPLINE is motivation of success. So you’re likely to get the results you expected.  Even if the task before you is tough or even unpleasant, when you are exercising the freedom to do or be your best under the circumstances, DISCIPLINE delivers results. And more to the point, it can foster an environment of creative freedom, innovative thinking and maneuverability.


The Takeaway: Keep in mind that the fundamental difference between FORCE and DISCIPLINE lies in their fuel; it really is a matter of choosing to rely on positive or negative emotion. So stay mindful of which fuel you are choosing and why, and you’ll know exactly what types of outcome to expect.


how to overcome getting stuck

There comes a time when each of us, mindful or not, sees our expectations of moving forward outpacing our actual performance. And the result is that we find ourselves mentally stuck or stalled in a, well, let’s call it a “crappy place”. But while it feels very real, it’s often just feeling and not fact. So ending up there once in a while is not necessarily something that has to be “fixed” right away.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, here’s the method behind my madness: If you can focus on maintaining a certain level of objectivity while you are in the middle of a mental maelstrom, you can actually get a lot more insight (about you & it) than if you were outside of it. Think about it: You get the benefits of being an objective observer as well as the benefits of being an active participant – kind of like being a war correspondent on the battlefield but without having to worry about being shot at.

So next time you find yourself mentally in a “crappy place”, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, enthusiastically seize the opportunity to learn something about how you operate on your deepest levels – it may be a little scary, but it’s a great way to uncover some of that hidden potential.

Nietzsche sums it up beautifully: “He possesses heart who knows fear but masters fear; who sees the abyss, but sees it with pride. He who sees the abyss, but with eagle’s eyes – he who grasps the abyss with an eagle’s claws: he possesses courage.”

a formula for optimal outcomes

The Scenario: Being EFFECTIVE and being EFFICIENT – both deliver value, so which one is better to focus on?

Being EFFECTIVE means doing the right things in order to yield the best results.

Insight: Applying your skills to a chosen target with confidence in the outcome can make you EFFECTIVE. This is valuable because confidence in your choice of where & why you are applying your efforts will get you the results you’re looking for far more reliably than skill alone.

Being EFFICIENT means doing things right, with the least amount of wasted effort.

Insight: Possessing the right skills along with a high degree of competency can make you EFFICIENT. Keeping you on-track while optimizing resources, the value of EFFICIENCY is that it can get you from point A to point B via a straight line, which has some real power.

The Takeaway: So the $64,000 question remains: Which one – if either – is “better”?
Well, being EFFICIENT tends to be more popular because it seems easier to achieve, and the consequences of being inefficient are usually not as harsh as those of being ineffective.

That said, choosing to focus on being EFFECTIVE means you’re aiming your sights at the result, so you’re more likely to continually improve upon the means & methods that will get you there.

The bottom line? EFFECTIVE & EFFICIENT work best together; they’re both important and shouldn’t be considered mutually exclusive. The key is to judge at the outset which choice of focus will deliver the results you’re looking for under your particular set of circumstances. As Henry Ford said: Put all your eggs in one basket, but then watch that basket!


Back To Top