Introducing Vision 30!

 

I would like to thank everyone who has invested any amount of time in visiting this site.  This site was a result of a vision I had three years ago has been more of an experiment in the process of defining a bigger vision.

The bigger vision has become: Vision 30! – www.Vision30.com

The purpose of Vision 30 is simple. 

We want to help young adults in their 20′s become the leaders this world desperately needs.  The kinds of leaders, who are confident, live passionately, make the world a better place, and inspire others to do the same.

We will fulfill out purpose through a variety of programs and resources.

Please take a moment to visit Vision30.com, register to receive email updates, and/or subscribe to our RSS feed.

Again, thank you for taking an interest in this mission.

We look forward to providing you even more value in the future!

Vision 30 Team

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Be Impulsive!

“Being impulsive” is something I’ve been trying to work on over the past few months.

I want to be more Impulsive!

Dictionary.com defines Impulsive as:

“actuated or swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses

Yes, I have been working on allowing myself to be swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses.

When I started studying leadership 10 years ago, everything I was learning drove me to become less impulsive and more calculated.  I trained myself to be more objective, seek greater understanding, and assess situations before making decisions.  Leaders have a very intentional way of approaching the world that allows them to make a difference and influence people around them to do the same. 

I wanted that!

Over the past 10 years I have been very intentional with how I have approached the world, whether it was achieving the “By 30 Vision” I created when I was 24 or how I over came the adversity that comes with a struggling business and marriage in my early 30’s.  While I was far from perfect, I rarely veered off course from being the man I needed to be and fulfilling my purpose.  I was able to maintain organization, balance, and achieve success in the four key areas of my life: health, finances, relationships, and career.  But, for how secure and confident I was in the direction I was going… I felt like I was missing something.

I was ignoring my impulses!

I realized I wasn’t listening to myself like I needed to.  I wasn’t trusting my gut.  I knew my purpose, was confident in where I was going, and I understood what kind of man I need to be, but I would feel impulses to take action and I would talk myself out of it.  I would rationalize why it wasn’t the right time.

It had to stop!

I would find myself in situations where these thoughts and emotions would hit me like a bolt of lightning and I finally started to listen and trust my impulses.

Three things have happened because I’ve decided to be more impulsive.

  1. I’ve started building a relationship and mentoring a 16 year old young man who recently became a father.
  2. I’ve started working with a local non-profit focused on providing life skills and leadership development to teenage boys 13-17 years old. 
  3. I’ve started creating the vision and laying the foundation for something I’ve been thinking about for years.

These three things have all happened within the past month and a half, because I let myself be impulsive.  

WARNING – WARNING – WARNING

Impulse is like many things in this world.   It can be good or bad. 

Proceed with caution!

We all know people who are impulsive.  They make quick and emotional decisions that rarely lead to positive results.  Many times the choices make sense in their heads, but appear to be the result of misguided and mismanaged thoughts and emotions.

On the other hand we all know people who seem to “have it together” and they appear to maneuver through the world with a tenacity, confidence, and success.

What’s the difference?

The people who appear to “have it together” have done their homework and invested time and energy in themselves.  They have a greater self-awareness, understand what’s really important to them, and know the impact they want to have in the world.  

They have purpose!

If you know your purpose; start being impulsive!   Listen to yourself, trust your gut, and start impacting the world.

If you don’t know, figure it out!   Your world depends on it!

I dare you to Be Impulsive!

Settling = Success

What if I told you a key to success is settling?  

You would probably say I was nuts. 

We live in a “I will not settle for less” world and as a result the word “settle” has gotten a bad wrap and is associated with the idea that you are giving up something… your dreams… your goals… your passions.   Sure, this is the reality for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be.  We easily get frustrated with the here and now and we feel like we need to do something . . . change things . . . keep moving.  

I REFUSE TO SETTLE!

I think one’s willingness to settle and find comfort is key in finding security, confidence, and fulfillment in life, but it does require a some work first.   This work is easier for some people than others and it might feel a little goofy and uncomfortable at first, but those that have done it will tell it is the most important work you can do.   The work is to learn more about you!

I call this your journey to Personal Leadership.

When you do the work . . . when you take the time to understand who you are today, who you want to be, and the impact you want to have on the world the game changes.  All of a sudden you have a vision for what you want your life to look like that is based on your core values and beliefs.  When you understand your core values and beliefs and you let them drive your decisions . . . your thoughts, emotions, and actions are more purposeful and productive and your results are more impactful and fulfilling. 

This is where you want to settle.  But, you’re not settling for less and giving up on your goals and dreams . . . you’re making the decision to settle on a way of living that directly impacts and increases the chance of you reaching your goals and dreams.

Think about the most successful people you know.   I don’t care if they are successful with their health, finances, relationship, and/or careers.   Each of them made a decision to settle and find comfort and consistency in the journey they are on.   The more you know about you and where you want to go, the more fulfilling the journey is.   If you refuse to do that you will always be questioning if you’re doing the right thing.  You will wonder what else is out there.  You will never be truly happy and fulfilled.

We can find all kinds of things to devote our time and energy to.   Take time and give some focus to the most important thing you will ever learn about . . .

YOU!

The Battle You Can’t Afford to Lose

In a world of complexity I really try to make things simple.  In my opinion, a person’s fulfillment comes down to one battle that occurs in all of us:

Confidence vs. Insecurity

Merriam-Webster.com defines each as:

Confidence: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
Insecurity: deficient in assurance: beset by fear and anxiety

A theory that I personally use to organize my world is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  In a nutshell this theory says that insecurity prevents us from developing:

    • Healthy relationships
    • Self-esteem needed to strive for greater accomplishment
    • Ability to discover our purpose or as Maslow says “Self-Actualization”

Without even realizing it, insecurity drives us to act in ways and make choices that we would not make if we were confident.  It paralyzes us from being the person we want to be and living the life we deserve to live.  It kind of holds us hostage.

Insecurity does serve a purpose however.  It’s a survival and protection mechanism that gives us a sense of short-term comfort and control when we feel, as Merriam-Webster.com says “fear and anxiety”.  Again, this happens without even realizing it and we don’t see it as a problem because it gives us temporary comfort and control.  Yet, we keep experiencing stress, discomfort, and unfulfillment in certain areas of our life.

The question we all have to ask ourselves is do we want our lives defined by choices based on “fear and anxiety” or do we want our lives to be defined by choices based on the genuine belief that we are acting in the “right, proper, or most effective way” to reach our goals?

That’s confidence!

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Asking this question will probably provoke one of two emotions.  You’re either feeling inspired or uncomfortable.   Perhaps, simply feeling inspired creates discomfort for you.  Why is that?

Don’t ignore discomfort (don’t dwell either).  Take some time to learn more about it.  Doing so could be the key to unlocking the confident you.  The YOU, you’re fighting like hell to be, but for “some reason” afraid to make happen.

In your battle of confidence vs. insecurity… which side will be victorious?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

The Problem with Motivation

With only a week and a half left of 2011 a lot of people are getting ready for the New Year by setting their New Year’s Resolution.   Finally they are going to make the decision to lose weight, stop smoking, go back to school, save money, travel, spend more time with family, and be happier.

Yes, on January 1, 2012 millions and millions of people will suddenly find the motivation that has been avoiding them the other 364 days of the year.

And . . . this year is going to be different!

Motivation won’t be the difference maker.

When I was doing leadership assessments, coaching, and speaking, I’d get asked if I was a motivational speaker and as quick as the question was asked, I’d answer with a NO!

Here’s why . . .  

Motivation is a temporary emotion that comes and goes.  We have an experience that provokes something within us that fires us up.  It’s an awesome explosion that will quickly fade unless one major decision is made. 

That decision is commitment.

Commitment will be the difference maker.

I don’t know about you, but I can get excited about a lot of things.  I’ve set a lot of goals in my days and every single one of them started because I felt motivated.  However, the only goals I’ve followed through on and achieved are the ones I committed to.

Motivation might be the spark that ignites an explosion, but commitment is what allows the fire to keep burning.

Commitment is a choice.

It’s true; commitment is a choice to be made.  It doesn’t just happen.

I always shake my head when I hear people say “I have no motivation” or “I need to find some motivation” like it’s some wonder drug that is going to dramatically change their lives.  The problem is they haven’t made the choice to commit to whatever it is they can’t find “motivation” to do. When you make a commitment it’s amazing how motivation is much more accessible.

Don’t half ass it.  If you are going to set goals, don’t rely on motivation.  Commit to your results!

The process of commitment.

I can only speak for myself, but it tends to be easier to make a commitment when things are important to me and really align well with who I am and who I want to be versus trying to commit to every explosion of excitement ignited by external influences.  The challenge is knowing … I mean really knowing what is important to you… not what society says should be important … not what your family or friends say should be important … what you determine to be truly important.  Now, I’m not saying disregard what your family and friends say, but you have to make the final call and when you do it has to be true to you!

Whether you have a hard time articulating what’s important to you or you just need to do some reassessing there are some great exercises out there that can help you figure this out.  For me it was reading Seven Habits of Highly Effective people 10 years ago.  I can honestly say my life changed. No exaggeration.

If you find value in my perspective there are a few of my previous articles that touch on this:

As well, I’ve put together a Personal Leadreship discovery packet that will challenge your thinking and give you greater clarity.

               Click here to download the Personal Leadership discovery packet.

At the end of the day you have to decide what type of person you want to be.  Do you want to be like the masses and talk a big game only to fizzle?   Or do you want to be one of the few that sets a goal, makes the commitment, and achieves success.

It’s your choice!

Will you commit?

Survival of the Fittest

Everyone has probably heard the phrase “Survival of the Fittest”.

The phrase was first used by Herbert Spencer in his 1864 book “Principles of Biology” after reading Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species”.   My non-scientific interpretation of Survival of the Fittest is that the species that are able to change, adapt, and grow with present and future environments will be the species that sustain and survive.  Those that are not able to change, adapt, and grow will eventually go away.  With no intention of being scientific or 100% in alignment with it’s original meaning I use the phrase Survival of the Fittest quite a bit when I’m talking to people as I think it is a simple way to articulate a point.

To me, survival is striving to enhance our quality of life versus being satisfied with “the way things are” and settling for average or status quo.  It’s about continuously moving forward and progressing in this crazy… unfair… political… dog-eat-dog world.  Survival is about dealing with all the bullshit and stress that may come our way on a daily basis and staying secure, confident, and fulfilled in our lives.  I don’t just want to go through the motions living . . . I want to survive.  I want to change, adapt, and grow with every situation I encounter, good bad.  I need to, and so do you!

Those that have the greatest chance of surviving are those who are the most fit and healthy:

  • Mentally
  • Emotionally
  • Physically

Being fit and healthy come down to three things for me. 

Fit people . . .

  • THINK more productively.  People that think productively are more aware and secure with themselves and the world around them.   They assess information and situations objectively, allowing them to make better decisions.  When they are faced with stress and adversity they are better equipped to overcome and recover more effectively.
  • Have EMOTIONAL awareness, intelligence, and they are able to manage their emotions appropriately.  Part of the awareness and management process is understanding how we show up in situations and what makes us think and feel certain ways.  This allows us to be more  intentional when we do things, as well how we react to things. 
  • Take the most effective ACTION to get the results they want.  Without thinking productively and having emotional awareness and intelligence, it’s much more difficult to consistently take the best action.  Unproductive thoughts and mismanaged emotions are the main ingredients of insecurity.  When people are insecure they make choices to satisfy their discomfort, fears, and insecurities rather than approaching people and situations with confidence.

Like anything worthwhile, this takes time, energy, and attention.  It might not be easy or pleasurable at first.  We live in an insecure society and if we’re not intentional it’s really easy to allow ourselves to be knocked around by average and status quo.  Everyday you don’t try is another day you’re digging yourself a hole that is full of average and insecurity.   How far down are you going to dig before
the hole is too big to climb out of?

Everyday we have a choice to simply live and settle or strive to survive.

What do you want to do?

Action isn’t Enough

This morning I was at the gym doing my 60 minutes that I commit to my health every day.  I was looking around as I often do trying to distract myself from the mental and physical discomfort I was feeling as I was trying not to fall off the back of the treadmill that I had on a 15 degree incline.   It was great to see so many people who were willing to take time out of their morning to improve their lives.  They have taken the first step to creating change and working toward their goals . . . they took action.  Simply taking action is many times the most challenging part of doing something.  There are so many barriers that can get in the way of making the decision to do so.  Some of the barriers are real and some of them are excuses that really aren’t valid.  

What excuses do you make that prevent you from reaching your goals?

So . . . these people are taking action. AWESOME!   The next thing that goes through my mind is whether or not they are taking enough of the right actions.   Taking action and being busy doesn’t mean you are being productive.   I see a lot of people in and out of the gym, with a wide variety of goals who are taking action and appear very busy, but they really aren’t moving any closer to reach their goals.

A great example is the gym.  Many people pay for a gym membership because they want to get fit.   To many people getting fit means losing weight.   If we look at some of the science behind losing weight we can look at calorie intake versus calorie burn.  We consume calories by eating and we burn calories by moving.   The more we eat, the more calories we take in.  The more we move, the more calories we burn.  If we consume more calories than we burn on a daily basis, we gain weight.  If we burn more calories than we consume on a daily basis, we lose weight.  These aren’t difficult concepts to understand, are they?   Calories in and calories out!

I see people who have taken action, probably feel productive, look busy, but probably aren’t ever going to achieve the results they want because they aren’t taking enough of the right action.  They are there and moving, but they really aren’t burning the necessary amount calories that will create the changes they are hoping for:  Walking on the treadmill at a slow pace, doing the elliptical with little to no resistance, casually riding the stationary bike, or lifting weights that don’t really challenge them.   If these people want to see the results they desire they must exert enough energy to burn the necessary amount of calories for the changes to occur.  Of course this is example about losing weight and there are other things to consider besides exercise, such as nutrition, which others smarter than I have said is even more important than exercise.   If someone wants a different result or are training for a specific activity other actions will need to be taken.

What is the number one goal you want to achieve by 2012?   Are you taking the right actions?

The point is if you say you want to do something and get a certain result, simply taking action and being busy is not be enough.  It doesn’t matter if your goals are related to your health, finances, relationships, or career.  We live in a culture of busy people.  Everyone is going 100 miles per hour doing something.  Take a look around you.  Creating change, achieving specific goals, and living a fulfilled life doesn’t just happen.   It takes the right attention and efforts and sometimes the process can really, really, really suck.   That’s life.

If you want something, what choice do you have?

Think different  . . . Act different . . . Be different . . .