Live Life With Purpose with Adam Smith
Summary: Live Life With Purpose is a podcast that teaches you how to live with purpose in every area of life. Living life with more purpose will be beneficial to not only you, but those around you. This podcast will increase focus, better your productivity and strengthen every relationship in your life. Subscribe to receive a new episode of Live Life With Purpose every Tuesday. http://asmithblog.com
Sustained growth happens when you give more than you take over an extended period of time. If you’re trying to grow a blog, podcast, or social media channel, my best advice is to offer more value in the information you provide than the time it takes for your readers to consume your content. If you’re trying to grow a business, my best advice is to offer more value in your product or service than the price that you are asking for your product or service. But also remember, offering value is needed far in advance of the actual “ask”. Trust is built over time–years, not in days. [Sidenote: I built an audience by writing free weekly content on my blog for six years before offering coaching and consulting services, and waited another four years before asking people to buy a book from me. Listen to this podcast to hear more on that.] If your business isn’t growing as fast as you would like, or are seeing a slump in sales, I would start with being honest with yourself in this area. Are you truly giving more than you are taking from your audience? This advantage can be found in perceived value (placebos, etc.) or actual value. * With your product, does the price tag honestly represent the features and benefits that consumers will experience? With your service, are there ways that you can have an advantage in the marketplace by giving above and beyond what is expected? * What hidden value(s) does your product or service have that can be marketed to the consumer? * Does the offer you came up with years ago still attract new customers, or should you change things up a bit? * Can you give up anything in short-term gain to gain more over the long-term? This principle may seem backwards, but today’s economy respects generosity, even if it doesn’t feel like it some days. When you offer a value proposition that clearly states your priority of keeping the consumer first by giving more than you take, you’ll eventually find what you are looking for.
I had a season where I dealt with depression and I have to say that it was the worst thing I have ever been through. It’s dark, it can feel very lonely, and it tries to steal the life out of everything good in the world. The only way that I beat it was to consume everything positive that I could get my hands on and to shut out all negativity. It was the most intentional I have ever been about something in my life, but it was necessary to begin seeing the world as I once knew it. The process took about six months, but was well worth the time and effort. Of course, everyone’s experience and dealing with depression is different, but I did find that there are proven ways to mitigate the pain. And my own findings recently helped me in giving advice to a friend of mine who has been dealing with a deep depression for about four years. He moved to another country trying to find happiness with no success. Now he is on antidepressants and is seeing a therapist to hopefully ease his internal struggle. I will say that his dealing with depression seems to be more extreme than my own dealings, as he is at the point of not being able to make himself do almost anything, but the common underlying theme for everyone who experiences depression is the same: the life we are experiencing has stopped meeting our expectations. So what are the top seven fixes that we should attempt in order to rid ourselves from depression symptoms: * Pay close attention to your diet. More than likely there’s an imbalance. When we fix our energy levels, the world begins to look brighter, and we can do this through our food intake. * Take supplements that include fish oil, vitamin d3, and b vitamin. * Start exercising if you aren’t already or increase your levels of activity. This one thing helped me, and my friend also said that it has helped him to start feeling better. * I also recommend meditation as it allows you to become more in tune with your body and helps bring a greater understanding of your current state. * Have realistic expectations. Much of depression is rooted in not meeting the unrealistic high expectations we have placed on ourselves. Yes, we should be setting goals—that can get us moving in the right direction—but not meeting too high of expectations only increases the negative voice inside our heads. * Cut out all negativity that you can identify and begin replacing it with positivity. The people around you and the environment that you find yourself in can deeply influence the way you see the world. If you are constantly around fun people, it’s difficult not to eventually crack a smile. * And last, create a list of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Thankfulness is one thing that can instantly change your perspective. Remember, you are the one who is in charge of the way you see the world. It’s not easy to change or to fix depression, but you are the one who freely chooses to see the world in the way you want to see it. It’s up to you to change. *Disclaimer: Please contact a medical physician if experiencing depression symptoms. Not mentioned in this episode is the possibility of a chemical imbalance or need for medication.
Social media. It’s something that can consume us if we’re not careful. Lately I’ve noticed that many people who I consider successful aren’t on social media as much as I am–Cal Newport, Seth Godin, Greg McKeown, and many more–and this has me thinking a lot about how I use it. I think I’ve gotten caught up in the habit of using it merely for promotion of some sort or maybe the idea that “people buy you before they buy the product”, but if the product is good, word of mouth is the marketing that takes over. Since the first episode of my other podcast, “Ideas”, I have been thinking about Seth Godin’s question that he raises—“What is it for?”. That’s the question he asks often, and it’s one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. “What is it for?” Or, why do you do what you do? It’s an interesting question, because motives matter. Are you doing what you do because you want some sort of attention or do you want to leave an impact? This idea of “look at me” can only appeal for so long, because it will only leave you empty. At the end of the day, you need a reason to do the things you do—that’s called living life with purpose, and that’s what this podcast is all about. So, my question to you as it pertains to social media is, “What do you use social media for?” Is it to connect? Is it to keep up with other people? Is it to sell? Or, is it to flaunt? In an episode of “Ideas”, where I talk to Cal Newport, he said he doesn’t use social media because to might equate to 500-1,000 more book sales, and that just isn’t enough for him to sign up for this time waster. When I talked to Seth Godin, he believed that signing up for social media would take him away from producing more important work. And when I recently talked with Greg McKeown, we agreed that in order for me to produce more important work, it would make most sense for me to give up social media. Now, I’m not saying that you should give up social media, because we all have different goals with our work. What I am saying that you should at least give thought to the work you are producing and if you are using your time in the best possible way to create the things that you truly believe will make the impact that you want to make. And in my experience social media is the easy way out. It’s the easy way to saying that you are putting in the work, when in all actuality, it’s a distraction more than anything else. Maybe I’m wrong, and feel free to email me your thoughts. But let’s think about it. What are your goals? To write a book? Are you writing your book or are you thinking about writing one while posting on social media? To build a business? Are you working towards all the many things that it takes to start a business or are you posting about it on social media? To become a better leader of your household? Are you merely posting photos of your family online or are you spending the necessary time with your kids in order to help mold them into the young adults that they are called to be? All of these are tough questions, but I believe that it’s answering these types of questions that makes us better human beings. I agree with the document the journey mentality with social media, because at least you are putting in the actual work at the same time of posting on social media. Because without putting in the work, you’re just talking about it, taking the easy way out. And we all know that it takes much more than merely talking about an idea to make an idea happen. I promise that if you begin putting in the work starting today—whatever that means for you—you will see results in a year’s time. Now go and put in the real work, today.
My new book, The Bravest You, is on sale now! I wrote a book about bravery because fear is the number one obstacle that people need to face in order to accomplish more with their lives, and I have a solution that I’ve repeatedly seen success with. If you are experiencing fear of any kind and need to find success with your ideas, this book is for you. Here’s what people are saying about The Bravest You: “Instead of cringing before challenges, those using Smith’s principles should be able to face any situation not only with confidence but with aplomb.”—SUCCESS magazine “In a world of online criticism, trolls and constant invitations to create a fake social media version of yourself, The Bravest You dares you to live differently. You’re the only you we’ve got, learn how to love that truth with this book.”—Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author of Do Over “Too many of us live in the shadow of fear, letting it steal our happiness and human potential. Adam Smith’s book is a welcome antidote—a practical guide to living courageously that anyone can follow.”—Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach, business educator, and New York Times bestselling author of Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There “Your greatest fears and challenges will lead to your greatest accomplishments and triumphs if you have the courage to keep moving forward. The Bravest You shows you how! Read it and leap towards your destiny.”—Jon Gordon, bestselling author of The Energy Bus and The Carpenter “Courage is fundamental to human life and accomplishment, yet it is completely learnable. In this book, Smith gives readers specific action steps they can take to fight fear and make bravery a reality in their lives.”—Sydney Finkelstein, professor, The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and bestselling author of Superbosses “If you’ve ever held yourself back or played it safe, you know the toll that fear and conformity takes. You owe it to yourself to live a life of meaning and impact. The Bravest You shows you the path forward.”—Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, and adjunct professor, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business You can order The Bravest You from your favorite retailer below: U.S.: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s | Books-A-Million | Hudson | IndieBound | 800-CEO-Read | Target |
What resources do you need to make your goals happen? What work do you need to put in to make your goals happen? What rewards will you reap from reaching your goals? Knowing the answers to these questions not only lets you know what you already have in your possession, but what is needed in the future to achieve your goals as well. The first question that probably comes to mind is a question about your current and future financial resources. I don’t talk about money often, but regarding resources, it’s a very important topic. Your question around this topic may sound something like this: “How am I going to make this happen with the finances I currently have and how can I save more money until the time that I really need it?” The answer could be to keep going to your day job every single day and put some money away in retirement and hopefully have enough to make it in the future, so you can “someday” achieve your goals. But when you settle for that way of life, you put your goals and dreams off for a time later than right now. You need to pursue your heart’s passion sooner rather than later, so it is imperative to find resources before the 10, 20, or 30 years that it could take for you to retire and reap the benefits of your work. When you find more income, you accelerate your power to impact others. This is the only reason that strong financial resources is important. No matter what you do, you need to find ways within your current career or with second and third jobs that build income. Very rarely do people who make a lot of money only work on one thing. Nine times out of ten, it’s those who have two or three sources of income and are juggling them well who will find financial freedom. Now, you don’t need to go and get four new revenue streams right away, but what you do need is help from people who have experience in your area of focus, a plan to make your goals happen, and to be willing to put in the work. I will say it until I’m blue in the face: work is what makes your resources and knowledge come to life. Work is where the magic happens. There is always a reward that comes from the work that you do. But, it is up to you to decide whether or not your pursuit is worth the risks and effort along the way. And since changing things for the better requires taking action, think for a minute about how you can start building extra income. Can you sell something online? Can you have a huge garage sale? Do you have a service or product idea that other people want and need from you? Could you get by on one vehicle instead of two? However you can produce extra income, put in the work, and start setting money aside. There are so many benefits in doing this: lower stress levels, more options, and freedom, just to name a few. But many times, people remain so focused on their monotonous routines that they forget about everything else that they could be doing. And in addition to increasing your income, there is also the need to save money. So, I will leave you with three of the best financial tips that I’ve ever received: * Invest as much money as you can. * Just because you make money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. * Be a good steward. Use these ideas to increase your revenue and save more money, so that you can begin funding your dreams, today.
The hard truth is that most people don’t care about what you say you want to do in ten years; they just want you to do it. On the same note, the more work I do, the more I find that people don’t care about excuses; they only care about the results you produce. (This, of course, excludes the people who are closest to you.) This means that besides your current circumstances, and past your feelings, my question to you is, what are you doing? Yes, there is a time to grieve over traumatic events in our lives, because we’re human. We all have emotions. But at some point, to make a difference, we must bounce back; we must get up when the world tries to knock us down and out. Life is difficult sometimes. People lose jobs, people lose children, people lose spouses, people lose money, and people lose sight of their potential. But as former US president Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” He didn’t exclude anyone, because everyone has something beautiful to offer, no matter what. Even with your fears and imperfections, you can start working towards your goals today. How, you ask? Learn what you need to learn to get where you want to go. Make a plan that will help you carry out your ideas. Fight back when things don’t go your way. Show up when you say you will show up. And do what you say you are going to do. It is never enough to just think about what you want to do, because at some point, you have to put in the work. Execution is what brings results and results are what matters. Now go and put in the work, today.
Want to influence more people through your work? Go first. That is why bravery and creativity are such important subjects of focus. You have to go where no one else will go and create things that others aren’t creating to stand out in the crowd. You cannot lead without first producing innovative products so that people will follow. Think of the biggest businesses in the world right now in 2017 — Apple, Amazon, Facebook — they all built something first, giving others the option to follow later on. Apple built amazing computers and phones and now the world gets to enjoy them on a daily basis. They even have multiple companies imitating them, but people know who the original is. As long as Apple continues to become better, their results will attract even more people. Same for Amazon and Facebook. They continue to innovate, attracting even more people to use their products. So how can you begin leading in your area of focus? Here are five steps that anyone can implement in their lives and in their work to lead in work and in life: Know who you are. I recently wrote an article for Success Magazine on this very subject, and it’s an important step to not miss. Many times people don’t stop long enough to pay attention to this before putting in the work, and for an idea to resonate with you (which is what you need for the next step to make sense), it’s a good idea to focus on this first. Find an idea that intrigues you. Someone recently asked my advice for creating a new business, and here’s what I told them: Find something you love, something you’re good at, and what the market needs. That’s the idea that should intrigue you to pursue further. Design a plan for where you want to go. Although plans won’t end up exactly where you think they will, planning is still an important part of the process. A detailed plan gives you direction and clarity. You need a plan to lead well. Realize that your work isn’t for everyone. Just because you receive criticism along the way doesn’t mean that you’re doing the wrong thing; you just haven’t found your audience yet. How do I know this? Because there’s a market for an incredible amount of bad inventions and ideas. (Not saying yours is bad. Ha!) As you pursue those ideas that you feel impressed to chase, there will be doubt, but that’s natural. Pursue them anyway. Pick one thing and start working. How bad do you want your dreams to happen? If you want things to happen, you’ll put the work in. This is the most important part of the equation because nothing happens without taking action. Remember that the next time you wonder why your ideas aren’t taking flight and commit to putting your time and energy where you need to most. Do these five things and go lead, today.
January 1st was the day that so many people waited for to try something new in hopes to change their lives. Instead of starting what they should have months ago, they put their hopes and dreams off for this week. But, as much as these people want January 1st to be a clean slate — a new chapter in a new book — life doesn’t work this way. The same problems that you encountered on December 31st, 2016, are the same problems that you dealt with on January 1st, 2017. Just because a calendar flips over to a new year doesn’t mean that issues go away. In fact, for the months that people put off the necessary, their problems — and lack of self-discipline — only grew. Maybe this resonates with you. Maybe every year the calendar changes over to another year and you have every intention to make things better, yet your life remains the same. But there are a few key reasons that this is a common occurrence, and here they are: 1. You keep holding on to the wrong goals. Listen, if you’ve had the same goals for the past two years, and you still haven’t put a dent in them, it’s either time to get serious about these goals or get rid of them to make room for goals that you will actually work towards. There are so many frustrations that lie around having the wrong goals, and the easy fix is to be reminded that you get to choose what you put your time and effort into. Find what you are devoted to, choose your goals accordingly, and stop being disappointed in yourself. 2. Your expectations are too high. Having high expectations is great, but having too high of expectations is unhealthy. You need to be realistic with your timeline, because it is only when you do this that you can be happy with your results. This used to be my biggest weakness, but when I truly came to terms that there are only 24 hours in a day and that my goals will still be there when I come back to them, the workload I placed on myself lessened and my approach became much less stressful. You may have the right goals, but it could take you longer than you think. When you learn to not look at a long timeline as a problem, life becomes much more enjoyable. 3. You neglect the necessary habits. Of course, results don’t just fall in your lap. It requires a commitment to good everyday habits to make them happen. The question is, do your habits match up to achieving your biggest goals? (And if this is where your issue lies, I have an eBook to help you with self-discipline when you sign up to receive emails from me.) My best advice with this step is to take small steps towards your goals. No, you’re not going to win your goals in a day, but your daily habits over time will help you accomplish what you really want to. 4. You don’t have the right people helping you. None of us are self-made people. We’ve all had people who helped us get us to where we are. And those who we allow closest to us influence us most, and many times, people have the wrong people closest to them. If you need more encouraging friends, find them. And if you need a trainer, coach, or consultant, hire them. You being able to accomplish your biggest dreams is always worth the extra effort in finding them. Now go and stop dealing with the same problems, today.
The number one reason that people make bad decisions is because of fear. And many times, fear comes from a lack of preparation. So, how can individuals prepare to make better decisions? It begins with three things. First, look at the data. One of the easiest ways to know if you are making a good decision is to look at others who made the same decision in a similar situation, and decide if they experienced an outcome that you want to experience for yourself. The results may not turn out the exact same way, but they will most likely be close. Past decisions are full of data to learn from and shouldn’t be ignored. This principle applies to individuals and businesses alike. Google is known as one of the most data-driven companies in the world. They collect it, analyze it, and make better decisions due to being aware of user data. Be like Google and use data to your advantage. Second, think about the future consequences. “There is no such thing as a future decision. There are only present decisions that affect the future.” – Venita VanCaspel Can you think of a decision that you made long ago that is still affecting your life? My guess is that you can remember something, good or bad, that helped place you where you are at today. Whether it has something to do with your relationships, your work, your school, or your moving to a different city, there has been a decision along the way that changed everything. Every decision has a ripple effect on your world, sending future consequences into motion. Every choice has a cost; impacting people, the available time that you have, and your own journey. Every time you choose one thing over another, you are taking time and effort away from something else, or even someone else. This is just another reason that our choices are so important. This means that we must weigh the cost versus the payout; the risk versus the reward; and the effort versus the possible result; and then make decisions accordingly. Third, when other people are involved, use emotional intelligence. “What really matters for success, character, happiness and life long achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your emotional intelligence — not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests.” — Daniel Goleman In a speech given at Harvard Business School, James Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase said, “Your IQ’s are all high enough for you to be very successful, but where people often fall short is on the EQ. It’s something you develop over time. A lot of management skills are EQ, because management is all about how people function.” Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is someone else who is known for using his emotional intelligence. When someone wrote about their negative view of the work environment at Amazon in the New York Times, saying that management wasn’t accommodating to its employees, Bezos recanted with an internal memo to all of his employees. In this memo, Jeff made sure to say, “…our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero,” and for good reason. Bezos, the most successful CEO ever in my opinion, understands just how important having emotional intelligence can be. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It is explained as self-awareness,
To grow our businesses we probably don’t need more money, but what we do need are better ideas. Stop worrying about new investors and lengthy business plans, and focus your attention on what really matters. If you want your business to thrive, you not only need better ideas for now, but for the road ahead, as well. This fact shouldn’t strike you with fear, but instead, it should make you realize how important the idea process is, and it should also excite you for what the future holds. So, here are the five most important steps to create better business ideas: 1. To have better business ideas, you must begin with research. José Scheuer, a lecturer in business and marketing at the London School of Business and Finance, says that market research is necessary because competition is tougher than ever. In a recent interview, José explained that small businesses compete in a much larger field than ever before, much due to the growth of e-commerce. And with the growth of e-commerce, other small businesses, and large businesses, it is often found that competitors have greater negotiating power to source products and sell them at cheaper prices. This is why you must not miss the competitor advantage that research gives you. Research is what will separate you from everyone else and will only make you better. What are other people in your business space already doing? Steer clear from those ideas, and find your own niche. Research will tell you where you need to be now and in the future, as well. Who can you reach out to that will make you and your business better? Research those in your field who are doing things right, and learn from them. How do they work, what positives can you take away from their work, and how can you make your business better than theirs? Whichever area you need help with in your business, researching businesses who do things well and not so well will help you become better. You can always learn from the triumphs and mistakes of other businesses. It amazes me how easy of a concept this is, and yet people miss out on it time and time again. These are the same businesses asking themselves, “Why are we not effective?”, when there are tons of resources available to help them become better. You need research to become better, so you can impact more people. 2. To have better business ideas, you must build on your previous ideas. Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer, built his company on the ideas of other scheduling Twitter clients and apps that didn’t perform well. He extracted the good ideas from those apps, threw away the bad ones, and then made his own tweet scheduler to fit his own needs and the needs of many others. If you aren’t familiar with Buffer, the main difference that sets it apart from other tweet schedulers is that it has created a way to queue up tweets based on the time of day where the most people can be reached, instead of scheduling each tweet individually, without knowing if your audience is even online to read your content. Joel’s idea with Buffer shows that rarely is one idea sufficient on its own, because ideas are meant to be built upon. If an idea comes to you, make sure to capture it, but never consider it your final idea. This is where the ideation process is given life. My own practice is to grab two ideas that have one similarity or more, to see how they relate and to see how they’re different. Once I have an idea of how they fit together, I take two brand new ideas that are completely different from the first batch, and then find something similar between those two ideas.
My biggest weakness is stopping long enough to live in the moment. (I’ve previously written a post on the need of being present, which you can find here.) I know it and have always known it. This being said, I must be very intentional with celebrating any wins along the way, I must fight the urge to skip past the present moment, and I must put my phone down and engage with the people around me. I have fought my biggest weakness many times before, and won, but as with many issues we all face in life, it isn’t a one and done circumstance, but rather, a continuous battle that I find myself in. Since I have always dealt with this, I have learned a few things about how to best deal with bringing myself back to the present, instead of always being in the future, and here they are: First, realize that you will never get your present moments back. I have to say that I didn’t truly realize this point until I had kids. Imagining my kids ten years older than what they are now, and knowing what I want them to say about me, has significantly influenced where I put my time. I have cut out things that aren’t necessary in order to create the moments I want to have with them. I haven’t been perfect in this area, because there have been seasons where business dictated my schedule more than I liked, but I am very aware that a busy schedule is only manageable for a season, not a lifetime. If I have any piece of advice for you in regards to time management it is to find a reason big enough to make you question where you put your time, and then make changes to match what you want from your life. When you create margin in life, you can then put things back into your schedule in order to do what you really want to do. But don’t forget to leave enough time to enjoy the present, to stop and smell the roses, and to live in the moment. Second, see just how short life really is. 28,000 days is the average person’s life expectancy. That may sound like a long time, but it really isn’t. You get one life, you can’t escape death, and what you do every day matters. Got it? Now go and figure out what matters to you, and cut out the things that don’t matter, because life is short, and you need to do something that matters. And third, do what only you can do. When you take this idea to heart, the fear of missing out is lost in the hard work and dedication that it requires for doing what only you can do. You were put on this earth for a reason, and it is up to you to find that reason. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone else. Nobody else can be you. Own that, take that responsibility, and be the you who you are meant to be to the people around you. Now, go and live in the moment today.
Making a decision is much more difficult than anything else that comes before the actual decision. We can mentally prepare for what’s ahead, but to actually make a needed decision is much different that the process of preparation. To make a decision you must take all data into careful consideration, and then make the decision that you see fit, no matter how hard that may be. The good news is that very rarely is a ‘final decision’ truly final. There’s always room for improvement and there’s usually a chance to make things right. This being said, people many times become paralyzed, not able to make a decision due to the fear of being wrong. Let me just say that perfection isn’t possible, no matter how much time is put into the process. There will always be something that could be done differently, but the most important part to know is that a decision must be made, right or wrong. So, here are five steps to making the best possible decision with the information you have in your possession: First, become okay with making mistakes. If you’ve read my work before, then you know that I am all for making mistakes on the way to finding success. You need these mistakes to learn what works and what doesn’t. You can then make changes along the way to better your final outcome. This is called life. If you are just starting out along the decision process, it’s okay to not have it all figured out. Own that. You don’t need to know everything. Life will teach you lessons along the way — learn from them, become smarter from your journey, and keep pressing forward. Don’t let the wrong decisions cause you to give up, but rather, use what you learn from your decisions to become better in the future. Also on this point, keep your distance from those who force you to be perfect with every decision. Those are the people who will hold you back and keep you from ever making a decision, because it’s ‘not good enough.’ Make the decision that your research and gut tells you to make and make changes if needed. Second, pay attention to your willingness to fight for your ideas. If I’m passionate about an idea and believe that it will work, then I see it as worth fighting for. If I’m not fighting for a certain outcome, then I know that it either doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, or I don’t care about the outcome. Either way, I don’t need to waste my time with it. This principle applies to anyone and everyone. If you don’t believe in something enough to fight for it, then it’s probably the wrong decision, and you need to rethink your position. Third, look at the decisions that others made and decide if you want to experience similar consequences. One of the best ways to know if you are making a good decision or not is to look at others who made the same decision in a past similar situation, and decide if that’s the outcome you want for yourself. The results may not turn out the exact same way, but they will most likely be close. Fourth, don’t just look at what your decision will do right now, but think about the consequences that your decisions will have in the future. Every decision has a ripple effect on your world, sending future consequences into motion. Every choice has a cost; impacting people, the available time that you have, or your own journey. This can be heavy to think about, but consequences are real. And fifth, use emotional intelligence as an advantage. This step is important because emotional intelligence, or EQ, takes emotions into consideration when making decisions, those of your own and the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is explained as
Time is one of the most important possessions we have, so we must learn to use it wisely. This being said, here are three ways to save hours every single week: 1. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions… or Google it. Many times, due to ego and pride, people won’t ask questions. It’s like the old story of men not stopping at the gas station to ask for directions, which kids don’t even understand because of gps and smartphones, but it further proves my point here of questions saving time. Whether you ask a question to someone who already knows the answer or you type it into Google, asking questions and seeking answers saves much more time that just trying to figure it out on your own. There’s a difference between doing new work to go where others haven’t gone before and doing tasks that others already know how to do but you haven’t done before. You don’t know everything — none of us do — and that’s perfectly fine. Keep asking questions and find the answers you need along the way. And then use the knowledge of others to become better at what you do. 2. Batch as many tasks as you can. I have been using this process for years, as it doesn’t force me to drag out less than ideal tasks for longer than I need to. And even still, I also use this process for things that I like doing, such as writing. The mind best focuses on one thing at a time, and if you can devote each day of the week to one specific area, it’s better for you and your time. Doing this allows you to focus on the task at hand, allows you to get more done, and helps you build on previous ideas, rather than having to drop everything and come back later. 3. Figure out how much time you actually want to devote to the necessities of life and execute accordingly. If you figure up all the time you take to care for children, sleep, eat, drive, shower, and use the restroom, the time adds up. Those are the necessities of life — the things you have to do. I’d say that all of these things add up to 11 hours per day, give or take a few hours. Whatever you need to do every day, tally up the time and hold yourself to it. Be realistic with the amount of time you need, because it’s important. Just like the budget you have for your finances, your budget of time keeps you accountable to what matters most. So now, if you add in work and working on the relationship you have with your significant other, you don’t really have much time left in your day. Now, the question becomes, where can you save even more time in order to make time for others? The answer is to combine strengthening relationships with the meals you already have to eat. I believe in Coke CEO, Muhtar Kent’s philosophy of always eating with others so you can focus on relationships while taking care of the necessity that eating is. This is a simple way to fit even more in and care for people at the same time. Since caring for other people is the only reason that we do what we do, we must learn to steward our time well. Doing these three things will save you hours of time every single week. Now go and save more time, today.
People underestimate the power found in being nice to others, but it need not be forgotten. Being nice to others can open the door to opportunity, but of course, that’s not the reason to be nice. Being nice to others is just the right thing to do, because paying it forward puts more positivity in the world. Yes, focusing on bettering yourself is important, and yes, putting in the work is typically the fastest way to see results, but those things are just the beginning. The only reason to better yourself is to turn around and then impact other people. Now that we have that out of the way, I want to talk about the three ways that people can be nicer on a daily basis: The first way that people can be nicer is by being nicer in their businesses. There are two ways that people can operate their businesses — with a takeaway or giveaway mentality. In my experience, I have found that businesses grow much faster when they are more generous with customers than when they are always stingy. In fact, in an interview I did a few years back, I attributed giving things away for free as a key factor of my success; I believe in it that much. Business people, it’s okay to give some things away for free every once and awhile. Of course, I’m not saying to give everything away for free, nor am I saying that you shouldn’t make money — that’s not what I’m saying at all, actually. But what I am saying is that being nice in business is the best way to get more attention from a new audience, and it creates better relationships, no matter what business you’re in. When you begin thinking long-term rather than short-term, and you see every action as an investment rather than needing an immediate return on it, then you are well on your way to finding what it means to be generous in business. If you’re wondering if you should be more generous or more stingy with your next business decision, I would choose to error on the side of being generous. The second way that people can be nicer is by being grateful for opportunity. Having a good attitude is another way to be nice, and when gratefulness is present, it definitely shines through one’s attitude. We’ve all been around those who don’t have a good attitude, and what a difference it makes. Every day is an opportunity, and that’s enough to be grateful for. This means that gratefulness, happiness, and niceness can become a way of life when we realize what each minute of every day can bring. Choose to be grateful rather than ungrateful; it makes a world of difference. Being nice not only changes your world, but the world around you. And the third way that people can be nicer is by choosing better words. If you don’t have anything nice to say, find something nice to say and say it. It doesn’t take much looking to find people who are tearing down other people with their words, and what a sad reality that is. Whether we are looking at the blatantly mean bully, the passive-aggressive coworker, or the condescending boss, mean words hurt. When we think about the words we use, and take the response from others into consideration before we speak, we will create better relationships. The excuse of “I just don’t think before I speak” just can’t cut it anymore — we need to commit to use the brains that God gave us. It’s there for a reason. We are all better than cutting other people down. We can give life to others with our words. Now go and be nice, today.
Most people want to make a positive difference in the world, but many times, people don’t know where to start. If that’s you, here are the necessary five steps along the way to doing something that matters: First, decide once and for all that you’re tired of not making a difference in the world. SO many people live life in a monotonous routine, not paying attention to the people around them. Listen, if you’re not impacting people in some way, then you’re not making a difference. I’ve been making a difference for the last ten years by consistently producing free content so my readers can benefit and use it in their own lives. Why did I start putting my valuable time into doing that? Because I wanted to make a difference in the world, so I used my expertise and combined it with my interest in social media to find my place in the business and self-help landscape. And it worked. Whatever you do in life, shoot for making a difference in the world. People need you. Second, find your passion and area of expertise, not someone else’s. Knowing who YOU are, and how you’re designed, and what sparks passion inside of you, and what you’re good at, is so important. Too often people look at others to know who they should be, but that’s not creative, that’s not innovative, that’s not leaving your imprint on the world, that’s not you; that’s someone else’s job, not yours. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, and begin concentrating on who you were designed to be. Ask yourself the question, “Who do I want to be and where do I want to be in life?” Answer that question and plan accordingly. Life is too short to spend wishing, or not being who you were intended to be in the first place. You have purpose. Third, stop looking for permission from other people to do what you know you are meant to do. What I am about to say I don’t like to admit, but it’s the truth — it’s how the world works. And here it is: If you don’t chase your dreams, someone else will recruit you for theirs. Now, if you believe in someone else’s dreams enough to help them, then I am all for it — helping people is what I do. But at some point you have to wonder if there isn’t something else that you were made for. Maybe it’s time for you to lead the way. My question to you is, “Why not you?” Fourth, find a problem that most people face and give them a solution that works. I am constantly asking people the question, “What problem do you need solved?” I ask this question because when enough people give the same answer, it lets me know that people need an answer. And if it lies in my area of expertise, then I will research it, draw a conclusion, and then produce content on the topic. When you do something that matters, you will find a solution that works through trial and error and provide it to those who need an answer. Complaining about the way things are is one thing, but actually taking the time to find a solution is taking it to another level. You were designed to help others. Fifth, put in the work. Putting in the work is the most important part of the equation. When results aren’t realized early on, and people aren’t patient enough, quitting becomes a reasonable option. On the other hand, when people are determined while putting in the work, and they already know who they are and what they were created to do, putting in the work becomes a way of life. When people have this mentality, a lengthy timeline isn’t a distraction, but rather, it becomes something to work towards. Your reward is found in the work. One of the weirdest questions that I get asked is, “Why do you work so much?” Of course, if you have read any of my work, then you know that I believe in the principle of getting back wha...