Simplifying Simplicity

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Searching for the next Big Idea

I am in love with ideas. I am intrigued and fascinated by them. One of my Signature Strengths his Love Of Learning. I like to learn new things and new ways to do old things. I am constantly searching for shiny new ideas and new twists on old concepts.

One reason is that I, like many people, am basically lazy. I want to have and do and be various things — and I want to have and do and be them NOW with the least amount of effort. So I am regularly on the look out for the newest big idea that will get me what I want. I flit from this book to that audio CD seminar to the latest program of something or other.

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Lay A Solid Foundation

“You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley The first step in creating your Excelerated Life is to lay a solid foundation by identifying and living from your Valid Values.

The Parable Of Two House Builders

Two men aspired to build houses for themselves.

The first man, who was wise, selected a firm foundation of rock and built his house on this solid foundation. The second man, not so wise, decided it was too difficult to find a rock base for his house, so he built it on the sandy soil where he stood.

Both houses rose tall and stately while the sun shone and there were no troubles or bad weather. But one day, trouble came. It began to rain hard. Flood waters rose. The winds blew and beat against the two houses.

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Positive Powerful Goal Setting

“Sometimes we may ask God for success, and [God] gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. [God] may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals.” ~ David A. Bednar

From Authentic Happiness To A Theory Of Well-Being

In 2002, Martin Seligman, the “father” of Positive Psychology, introduced the Authentic Happiness theory. The theory can be stated in this “happiness formula”: H = S + C + V where H is your level of Happiness, S is your happiness “Set point”, C represents the Circumstances of your life, and V stands for things under your Voluntary control. According to Seligman, we can influence as much as 40% of our happiness level through those things under our voluntary control. [Seligman; Authentic Happiness]

About 10 years later, in Flourish, Dr. Seligman explains how the theory of Authentic Happiness evolved into a deeper and wider Well-Being theory. Whereas the Authentic Happiness theory was concerned with happiness only, Well-Being theory is concerned with the broader concept of well-being.

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Where To Have A Reserve . . . And How

“Build a superreserve in every area: have more than enough.” ~ Thomas Leonard

Out Of Gas

I was on my way to work and decided to stop at a nearby store to fill my car’s gas tank. As I was waiting for the tank to fill, I noticed a woman who was trying to fill a gas can but was obviously having trouble understanding how to use the pump. I walked over and offered to help.

As I filled the can, she told me that she had run out of gas a short way from the gas station. A policeman had given her a ride to the store. She said she had a pre-op appointment with her doctor that morning. She had spent the night with her mother because it was closer to the doctor’s office.

Now, she was in danger of missing this important meeting with her doctor because she had run out of gas. As she told me her story, I thought to myself, “Here is a person who needs to keep a reserve.”

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Get Unstuck!

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.” ~ Ronald Reagan

The Way Things Were

Do you know where the term “status quo” comes from? It’s from the Latin phrase, “status quo ante bellum”, or “the state before the war”. This refers to the borders, property boundaries, and other evidence of ownership used to reinstate land when a nation was defeated in war. At times, we can feel defeated, overwhelmed by too much to do or entrenched in negative habits and thought patterns, beaten down by indecision or faced with changes that we feel have been thrust on us. Continue reading “Get Unstuck!”

Step Out Of The Pit

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Each of us has Teachers that come into our lives at various times. Each of these Teachers brings an important lesson. Until you learn the lesson, that Teacher comes back again and again. Until you learn the lesson, you can’t move on.

The Farmer and the Donkey

I once heard a story about an old donkey who had outlived it’s usefulness. It was too old to work any more. The farmer who owned the donkey thought about having it put down, but just couldn’t bring himself to do so. However, one day the donkey fell into a deep pit and couldn’t get out. “Well,” thought the farmer, “this is the end. I’ll just fill in the pit with dirt and bury this poor old donkey.” Continue reading “Step Out Of The Pit”

How To Know Your Values . . . And Why

“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person. . . Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.” ~ Dr. Stephen Covey

“Crossing The I-Beam”

If you have ever read much or listened to presentations by Hyrum Smith, founder of the company that developed the Franklin Planner time management system and co-founder with Stephen Covey of the Franklin Covey company, you have likely heard his “crossing the I-beam” exercise. If you haven’t, I’ll summarize it here. Continue reading “How To Know Your Values . . . And Why”

Effort or Results?

“The amateur focuses on outcomes and expects immediate results. The professional plays the long game and prioritizes the process, perfecting it for years with no immediate payoff.” ~ Ozan Varol

The Process

“We decided to use the approach that we’re not going to focus on the outcome. We were just going to focus on the process of what it took to play the best football you could play, which was to focus on that particular play as if it had a history and life of its own. Don’t look at the scoreboard, don’t look at any external factors, just all your focus and all your concentration, all your effort, all your toughness, all your discipline to execute went into that particular play. Regardless of what happened on that play, success or failure, you would move on to the next play and have the same focus to do that on the next play, and you’d then do that for 60 minutes in a game and then you’d be able to live with the results regardless of what those results were.” ~ Nick Saban [Elmasry]

Nick Saban is considered by many people to be the most successful coach in college football. He has a lifetime record of 218 wins, 62 losses (and 1 tie). He is tied with the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant for most NCAA championships. [Wikipedia] Saban credits much of his success to the fact that he and his teams follow what he calls “The Process.” Continue reading “Effort or Results?”

“Hate Well”: How To Deal With, Not Put Up With, Tolerations

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” [Romans 12:0 (NLT)]

What do you hate?

What do you hate? We are conditioned to find this question a little uncomfortable. We are generally taught that we shouldn’t hate anyone or anything; that it is somehow bad or anti-social. But before you answer the question, consider this point of view from Dr. Henry Cloud.

“What would you think, for example, about a person who said that he hates the following things: arrogance, lying, innocent people being hurt, harmful schemes, evil practices, telling lies about others, and things that stir up dissension among people? Continue reading ““Hate Well”: How To Deal With, Not Put Up With, Tolerations”

Capacities Clamoring To Be Used

“The muscular person likes to use his muscles, indeed, has to use them in order to self-actualize, and to achieve the subjective feeling of harmonious, uninhibited, satisfying functioning which is so important an aspect of psychological health. People with intelligence must use their intelligence, people with eyes must use their eyes, people with the capacity to love have the impulse to love and the need to love in order to feel healthy. Capacities clamor to be used, and cease their clamor only when they are used sufficiently.” ~ Abraham Maslow  Toward a Psychology of Being

Capacities clamor to be used.

I read this quote from Abraham Maslow’s book in a recent +1 note from Brian Johnson. The capacities that “clamor to be used” remind me of the VIA Character strengths.

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