Use It Or Lose It

The Parable of the Talents

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Continue reading “Use It Or Lose It”

When a Strength is not a strength

Discovering and using your Signature Strengths is one step in creating your Excelerated life, a life of well-being, meaning, and purpose.

What Is A “Strength”?

The VIA Character Strengths originated from a group headed by Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology and Dr. Chris Peterson, a distinguished researcher and scientist. The task they set for themselves was to define and classify human strengths, similar to the way the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies and defines mental disorders. They envisioned a method to identify the traits that enable people to flourish just as the DSM allowed professionals to identify the traits of mental disorders in order to treat them successfully. [Seligman] Continue reading “When a Strength is not a strength”

Why I Wear A Uniform

Wearing a uniform is not about doing with less — it’s doing with more . . . more time, more money, more willpower, more peace of mind.

“A [person] is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Months ago, I adopted a uniform – a specific dress code or set of clothes that I wear each day. Of course, I’m not the first person to do this. One of the most famous uniform wearers is the late Steve Jobs, who was always seen in a black turtle neck, jeans and sneakers. (As a matter of fact, one of my friends began joking about my “Steve Jobs look”.) And there are a number of other people, famous and not so well-known, who have chosen their own personal uniform — Mark Zuckerburg, Albert Einstein, Johnny Cash to name a few. Continue reading “Why I Wear A Uniform”

Goals Are For Losers

Do you prefer winning once in a while or winning every day? That’s a difference between having a goal and having a system.

“. . . as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways. To put it bluntly, goals are for losers.” ~ Scott Adams

Goals vs. Systems

Goals are for losers? That’s a pretty odd statement for me to endorse as someone who spends his working time helping and encouraging people to set and achieve goals. However, after reading this in How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big by Scott Adams, best-selling author and the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, I have to say he has a good point. Continue reading “Goals Are For Losers”

Make Your Contribution Greater Than Your Reward

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

In the book, The 10 Laws Of Lifetime Growth, authors Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura share their ideas, captured in 10 “laws” or principles, for continued growth, self-development, flourishing, and a lifetime of contribution and service. Continue reading “Make Your Contribution Greater Than Your Reward”

The Habit Of Discipline

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” ~ Brian Tracy

In an interview I heard recently with Brian Tracy, a leader in the field of self-development, the interviewer asked Brian if he had one overarching “secret” of achieving success or attaining a goal. Brian stated that he had been asked this question hundreds of times, usually at the end of a TV or radio interview. And for years, he declined to answer the question, Continue reading “The Habit Of Discipline”

Willpower, Won’t Power, and Want Power

Have you ever set the intention to eat a more healthful diet? You pass up the doughnuts at work, eat a salad for lunch, snack on almonds or raw veggies in the afternoon . . . then at home, after work, you find yourself sitting on the 2nd shelf of the refrigerator, eating everything in sight. Or you decide to start an exercise program and to go to the gym directly after work. You load your gym bag in the car . . . but at the end of the day, you are so tired, you drive straight home – past the gym – and collapse in a heap in front of the TV. What happened to your willpower? Continue reading “Willpower, Won’t Power, and Want Power”

Ten Daily Habits

“Give those you love the gift of taking excellent care of yourself.”

As you begin the new year, it’s a good time to reassess how well you are caring for your most important asset . . . you.  Excelerated self care — taking excellent care of yourself — isn’t selfishness but selfulness . . . filling yourself up from the inside. You can’t give what you don’t have. You must care for yourself if you are to be able to care for others. Continue reading “Ten Daily Habits”

SMART+Plus Goals

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” —Benjamin E. Mays

You have likely heard of setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals. In addition to those criteria, research in positive psychology and goal-setting has identified some other guidelines to help us create goals that will increase the positive effect of goal-setting. These are SMART+Plus goals.

According to, 45% of Americans “always” make New Year’s resolutions and another 17% “occasionally” make them. How many people successfully achieve their resolutions? Eight per-cent!

The statistics also show that “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Continue reading “SMART+Plus Goals”

Remembering 2017

“When you think about it and apply yourself, you are creating your life. When you don’t think about it and do whatever, you are creating your life.” ~ Holiday Mathis

The new year is often a time for beginning new things. We make resolutions and set goals. Sometimes we make other new starts . . . a new assignment, a new project, a new job. It can be exciting, and sometimes a little scary, to make a fresh start and the new year just naturally offers a place to start anew.

Before jumping headlong into the new year, it can be beneficial and freeing to reflect on the year we are finishing up. Continue reading “Remembering 2017”