Sunday, November 29, 2009

Get up!

Out of the Box
On a clear day, you can rise forever

Monday, November 23, 2009

Keep your Promise

A promise is a contract… to someone else, to ourselves; to life itself. To take that lightly has serious consequences for everyone involved. Keeping our promises builds our relationships, our reputation; even our self-esteem. It’s setting goals, but with accountability and commitment built right in. A promise is the vehicle that drives us to our goal.

Only make promises I can keep.

We must be able to do what we say we can do. If we know we can't achieve it, we shouldn't promise it in the first place. Also, we shouldn't promise results if there's too many things out of our control (we can promise "I'll do my best to win the gold medal" but we can't really promise that we'll actually win it)

Only make promises for myself.

We can't control the will of others, so we also can't make promises for them. Either the other person is going to resent us for committing them; or if they fail to deliver, we'll be the one who looks bad. It's not a winning thing to do. It's better to get them to make their own promises if we need their help.

Don't make conflicting promises with another.

To be really true to the goal, we shouldn't make a promise to someone else that conflicts. One of them is sure to be deisappointed; maybe even both.

Follow through.

It's not about being able to make a promise that builds our character and our reputation. It's about us actually coming through on them. To become known as someone who follows through helps us as much as it helps them.

Follow up.

How will we ever really know if we "did good" unless we ask? Getting the feedback not only tells us whether we've succeeded or not, it helps to show we really, really care.


Guru-cize it

Start small. Think of the little promises we make during the course of the day."I'll pick up bread on the way home" or "I'll call you this afternoon" and write them down. Have a little "promise book" in your pocket; like a "to do" list but only of the things that have been committed to someone else.

Then make sure to check them off.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Out of the Box
When you gotta go, you know you know,

Friday, November 13, 2009


Out of the Box
You are unique... just like everyone else!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don't Speed on the Learning Curve

Life is full of lessons, and those lessons take time to "get." Sometimes we're so distracted by everything else that we don't get it for quite some time. It's not really a problem, as long as we understand that. Unfortunately, it often comes with a lack of patience too. We've become such a Now Generation that we don't even enjoy learning; we just want to know it NOW.

Well, it doesn't work that way… and if we try to speed along the learning curve, we're setting ourselves up to fall off the edge.

Accept it

Acceptance is a huge way of lifting the burden. "It's going to take some time, ok!" That way we're more willing to take the time, because we know we need it.

Set smaller goals along the way

The trip of Life requires snacks and potty breaks. Let's not see it as one long road, but a series of short hops. It'll make the trip go by smoother and be a lot more enjoyable.

Get ready for more curves

The learning curve is not one long curve… it's a series of twists and turns all over the place. We can't see around the bend either, so it's best to just be prepared to turn.

Look for short cuts

That's how everyone else makes it look so easy; they know that there's easier ways to do everything. So we need to find our own short cuts. One we do that, the learning curve won't so look big and menacing after all.

Ask for directions

Other people have "been there, done that" before us; so asking them about their experiences will not only show us short cuts, it'll help us avoid the pitfalls. Don't let their experience go to waste.

Look back every once in a while

When all we do is look forward, it seems like we're never going to get there. Every once in a while, it helps to look back at the progress we've made. It's not only surprising, it can also be comforting.

Show others the way

The best way to learn is to teach. That's because we have to simplify it for someone without our experience. Simplifying it for them often simplifies it for us. So share knowledge and experience; give them directions. Hopefully, they'll take them.


Guru-cize it

Make a map of your learning curve...

• Pick something you're learning or want to learn

• Pick out "Progress Points" along the route

• Estimate the time line (be realistic)

• Seek out advisors (on the web, or organizations, etc.)

• Commit to do it, and stick to it, until you arrive

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Better Half

Out of the Box
The day's not over til you're over the top!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Challenges should not be Struggles

We all know that there is suffering in Life. We often use it as an excuse to stop trying, or to not believe in something bigger than ourselves. There used to be a popular saying "No Pain, No Gain" but if something really hurts, it's just not right.

Just because Life can be tough, that doesn't mean that everything we do has to be painful.

They look alike

Challenges and Struggles have a lot in common. It's often impossible to tell the difference when you're in the middle of it. There are differences though, and recognizing them early can save you a lot of frustration and pain.

The difference is in the goal

What often sets a challenge apart is a specific attainable goal. Struggling happens when you lose focus and your sense of direction and purpose.

The difference is attitude

A challenger doesn't give up hope, even when faced with impossible odds. A Struggler doubts.

The difference is in the progress

Progress is measured by how much closer we move towards our goal. It might be a lot of so little it's hard to tell. If we find ourselves going in all different directions, that's a good indication of a struggle.

The difference is in the results

Basically results tell it all. "The proof is in the pudding" as the saying goes. Does all this effort pay off with an enriching reward? It is fulfilling all by itself? Are we better for doing it? Then the challenge is worth it.

Guru-cize it

Choose something that you're going through now; anything that takes effort. Then ask yourself these questions:

• Is it rewarding?

• Is it lofty / noble?

• Is it attainable?

• Is it enriching to myself or to those I love?

• Is the reward ultimately larger than the effort?