Archives For Random Thoughts

Effective Vs. Efficient

June 11, 2013

Ouch, that’s about all I could say after reading part of Tim Ferriss’ book, The Four Hour Workweek.

IStock_000019289272XSmallI have always taken pride in the fact that I can be incredibly efficient when I need to get something done. In fact, I have even made the statement that I seek efficiency in everything I do. That’s why I am always looking for some new technique or way of doing things better and faster.

I thought this was a good thing. After all, I am the enterprenurial type, and we are always looking for ways to fix problems. Right?

Well, as I was reading through Tim’s book, I get to this section where he talks about the difference between effectiveness and efficiency. According to Tim, effectiveness is doing things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is doing a task(whether it’s important or not) in the most economical manner possible.

At first, he threw me for a loop when I read this, but then after thinking about it for a second, I realized that these 2 things are not one in the same.

You see, I can and have been very efficient many times in my life, but I have not always done what was the most effective use of my time. I have been incredibly efficient in setting up ways to get my desk cleaned up. I have been incredibly efficient in getting projects done over the years, whether it was in school, or even in business. But, was I being effective? Did me taking the time to streamline a way to get my desk cleared make me any more money. More importantly, did it actually free up any more of my time?

That is an important distinction. And, it’s one that we really have to ask ourselves if we are wanting to take our lives to the next level.

Is what you are doing today, this very moment, taking you closer to, or further away from where you want to be in your life? Answer that question honestly and see if you come up with the same response as I did. Hopefully, your ouch doesn’t hurt quite as much.

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The Day It All Changes

June 3, 2013

There are many different parts in the making of a champion life. We try to cover the major categories in life from which we believe everything else is a spinoff, whether it’s Physical, Mental, Social, Spiritual, or Financial. But, at times there are things that we like to cover that don’t necessarily fall into one of those categories, at least not a single one specifically. And, this is one of those:

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The Day It All Changes

Have you ever had a time in your life when you just finally reached the point where you said, “No More!”? Have you been pushed by people, circumstances or situations until you finally felt like you were in a corner?

Well good!

There is tremendous power in that day!

You see, when you get backed into a corner, you only have 2 options. The first is to lie down, feel sorry for yourself and just keep letting life hit you. Or, you can take option number 2, and pick yourself up, look whatever is putting you there in the eye and saying, “You know what, I’m not afraid of you anymore! If that has been the best that you could do to me so far, you are in trouble. I’m still here and I’m still breathing. Now, it’s time for you to take some shots from me!”

When you get pushed to that point where you are no longer afraid, but more “ticked off”(I was trying to figure out the nicest way to say that, this wasn’t my first choice), you inherently find the strength and abilities you have to change your situation.

Suddenly, you lift your head, you look up and ask God for some guidance, and then you fight back.

It’s from situations like this that people go on to change the world.

It’s from situations like this that people go on to become millionaires.

It’s from situations like this that we raise up a whole new generation of people that will dramatically change the landscape of the world we live in.

These situations are that powerful. And, they only come along so often in life. Don’t waste them.

Question:

Have you ever reached the end of your rope with your circumstances? What did you do to change them?

The tragedy at the Boston Marathon earlier this week showed us a couple of things about the American Spirit. One of which is that we, like a family, can fuss and fight, but when a tragedy strikes, we tend to stick together. We will offer condolensces, say a prayer, hold a hand, or even run toward a place an explosion has just occurred to help those effected. This incident showed us that there are heroes in our culture. Sure there are the heroes we see everyday in the military, fire trucks, and police cars, but moreso that in many of our “regular” citizens, there are just as many potential heroes.

IStock_000015897460XSmallThat being said, there is a part of me that has to ask(just like I often do in dealing with people’s health), “How come there has to be an emergency or tragedy to wake that hero/spirit/thought process up?” Why can’t we see that coming out of people everyday?

I have a friend that posted on her Facebook page yesterday about the loss of freedoms that her chidren will face when in comparison to her childhood. She went on to say how she was fearful of going to places where there would be large crowds(i.e. sporting events, concerts, etc.). And, there were several other people that commented the same on her post, as well as several similar posts that I saw just yesterday as well. And, in all fairness, that is a totally rational and expected reaction so close to a recent tragedy. I don’t blame any of these people for having those types of emotions or fears.

What I personally fear more than bombs is the loss of the freedoms that she referred to in her post. I fear watching my children grow up in this society where “everyone wins”, there is little to no degree of self responsibility, and everyone that tries to make their life “successful” is seen as evil and only in it for themselves.

We have gradually(and that is the key) let our society become something other than what our Founding Father’s intended. We have gradually replaced the values of our grandparent’s generation, and we are getting consequences that many of us don’t really like.

What we really need at this point, and I alluded to in my response to my friends Facebook post, is for those of us that still believe in the American Spirit, and in the Human Spirit to step it up in our own lives. We need to do the things that matter. We need to take time to make ourselves better. We need to show our children that they can in fact live a life that they design for themselves. And we need to show our children that a lifestyle that is made by design, by planning, and by hard work is something that all of us could and should strive for. It’s what made America great, and it’s what will make America great again. Our children need us to be their heroes. They need for us to show them what life should be like.

Would that have stopped the bombing in Boston this week? We really don’t know, seeing that as of this writing, we don’t know who is responsible or why they did it. But, that is not the point that I am writing about here. The point is that many of us(I might even go so far as to say that most of us) have a hero inside of us that is willing to run into the line of fire when something like this happens. Why won’t we run into the line of fire in everyday life?

It’s time to start, if you haven’t already, to take a look at your life. Look at the small daily disciplines in your life that make you a success. Look at the places you are doing great, and be thankful. Look at the places that need some work and start addressing them. Become who you were created to be. Our children, and their futures, depend on us. They need us to be their heroes.

Question:

What is one small thing you can do this week to show your chidren how life is meant to be lived?

Dreams and Reality

April 7, 2013

If you have checked out our Facebook Page already, then you know that alot of the things that I post have to do with facing your fears and pursuing your dreams. And, while many people have been a little confused as to exactly what Designing A Champion is all about, they still seem to love when one of the quotes I put up really inspires then to take some sort of action.

IStock_000001843223XSmallYou see Designing A Champion is about “Rekindling the human spirit”. It’s about helping take a country full of people that have somehow let themselves slide into area of complacency that eventually became a prison for most and showing them that there is a better way. Life is made to live, not just to survive.

Many years back, a group of people know as the Greatest Generation fought their way through some of the toughest times this country ever faced. Many of them were alive during the Great Depression, they fought in World War 2 and helped turn the United States into what became the greatest single nation on earth.

Then, they went on to build companies, work hard, save up, and raise their kids to have a life “better” than the one they had. They lived in circumstances that were much less than ideal for the majority of the early part of their lives, yet they saw a vision of what could be and they went after it. They didn’t just settle into the fact that life was made up of a number of years in which a person should just scrape by, be happy with just being able to get out of bed in the morning, and just hope that someday they might be able to retire and live on half their paycheck for the rest of their lives. They knew things could be better. They raised their kids to know things could be better, and as a result of their efforts the Baby Boomer Generation went on to be arguably the most successful generation in the history of the United States.

Then the Law of Familiarity settled into our society. The Law of Familiarity states that “all things of value will, with the passage of enough time, be taken for granted”. In other words, we had an extremely prosperous and an overall peaceful time in our society, and it lasted long enough that we started to take it for granted. Now we have a society on the brink of not only financial trouble, but also health and lifestyle disaster as well. We have a nation of people that have lost their spirit. And, we have a nation of people that have lost their fight. Instead of trying to make things happen for themselves, unfortunately most people now would rather have someone else do it for them as long as they can stay comfortable. And, this is killing the spirit of our country.

Here is where Designing A Champion comes into play. We are wanting to help people learn to develop themselves again. We want to help people again see the value in self discipline, in striving to become more, and in dreaming. We know that not everyone will go on this journey with us, but we are looking for people that are looking at our society and thinking that something has to change. We know where we are headed. We have a dream for what America can be again, and we want you to join us!

“Reality once was a man riding on a horse, but dreams gave us the car, the plane and the stuff you and I take for granted. Behind every movement was a dream…Free people living in a free country was once a dream before the dreamers got to work.”-The Gift by Ron Reynolds

Question:

Have you ever had the opportunity to sit down and visit with someone from the Greatest Generation? What was their mindset on what you could achieve in your life?

“…Your talent will create a place for you.”-The Gift by Ron Reynolds

IStock_000001956089XSmallHave you ever taken the time to really evaluate your current circumstances? Do you love the life you are leading? Do you even like the life you are leading? Many people will unfortunately answer this with a “no”.

I have heard it said that up to 85% of people in the United States hate what they do for a living. And, to me, it’s mind blowing how in the greatest country in the world it’s come to such a circumstance for so many. Over the course of my life, I have always tended to be someone that others tell their troubles to. And, I have heard many people over the years tell me out of their own mouth that they were not satisfied(many used much stronger words) with the way their life was going.

This has led to alot of observation, and here are a few reasons I believe people get sucked into a life that they didn’t create:

  • Finances-This by far has been the primary reason that most have given me for the circumstances they feel control their life. We live in a society that has pushes debt onto kids as soon as they get into college, or as they are just starting work. Along with the rocketing cost of living, we end up spending money on school, healthcare, and various necessities that can come in and take a large part of our disposable income. Combine this with the fact, that most people have next to nothing in savings, and you can see a problem. Last, unfortunately, their is no real financial education in our school system, so unless you learn from someone close to you that is good with money, or just take the time study the subject on your own, it’s easy to let money control you.
  • Time-This is second to finances in most people’s bag of excuses. People tell me that they would step out and try to start creating the life they want, but they just don’t have the time. Keep in mind though, that this is the one single thing in life in which all of us are completely equal. We all have the same amount of time in our day. Yes, Donald Trump and the homeless person lying in the street both have 24 hours in their day. It comes down to what you do with that time. It’s been an observation of mine, that most of the time, the most successful people are also the most busy. The primary difference is that they control their time, versus letting it control them, or even worse be controlled by someone else.
  • Fear-This is the true reason why most people don’t do anything to change their circumstances. It can come in many didn’t shapes, sizes and forms, but when you peel back all the packaging, it comes down to fear. Many people would rather live a life that is uncomfortable but familiar, than to step out, take a leap of faith and have to deal with the uncomfortable winds of change. This is regardless of how much better life can be for both their family and themselves. The fear of change and the fear of the unknown is just too much for most people.

No matter what someone wants to label as the reason for a life less than what they are called to live, it’s important to know that the option is up to them. I have walked this road before myself, and I speak from experience when I say that once you give up the excuses, and step out in faith, your life will never be the same. If you will just have some faith and follow your passion and talents, your talent truly will create a place for you in the world. You just have to take the time to find it and make it happen.

Question:

Have you ever tried to pursue your passion and talents?

 

Why I Started Blogging

March 13, 2013

Social media has caught on like a firestorm in the last few years. So much so, that it’s hard to imagine that less than 10 years ago, most of us had never even heard of Facebook or Twitter. Google + wasn’t even a thought, and if you had asked me to pin something, I would have thought you meant on a corkboard hanging in my office. We are of course, living in the Information Age, and some people are even saying that we have moved into the Connection Age. I think they are basically one in the same.

IStock_000021994485XSmallIn the Connection Age, the idea has become that we want to make sure we connect with people that share similar interests, concerns, likes, etc. We realize that as we do so, we invariably are able to become part of a tribe. Our tribe will most often listen to us, and in turn we listen to them. Each of us grows in some way as we exchange information on what we are doing, seeing, listening to and even eating.

As this has happened, many of us have started to notice how much easier it is to start getting our vision out there to a group of people. After all, our tribe will most definitely at least listen in to what we have to say. If it makes enough of an impact, they will then in turn share with other tribes they may be associated with, and if you are lucky enough your ideas will go viral. When this happens, you suddenly have at least a brief chance to have your story or vision heard by millions.

For me, blogging has been something that I have chosen to spend part of my time doing as a result of this idea. You see, we thought of Designing A Champion itself a few years back, but the basic concept is something that has been ingrained in the core of both Penny and I for over a decade. We have this idea that most people are living so far below their potential, that if they were to stand on a ladder they couldn’t even see it. This is true in their health, finances, spiritual walk, emotional state, intellectual ability, and socially. Our belief is that if we can get people to just start taking the lid off of themselves just enough to see a little bit of the freedom and vitality living at a greater level can offer, then we literally can change not only our communities, but also our nation, and even the world. As I stated to a friend yesterday, what if people would just start living at even 20% of what we are capable of? What would this world look like? What would our kids be like? Can you imagine?

We desperately want to be able to help influence people’s mindset. Not just to get them to agree with us, but to impact this world. We have a message that we believe is so strong that as many people as possible need to hear it. We also realize that there physically is no way we could reach everyone, so we talk to people about our vision, and now I blog. I ask you to listen in, but also to add input as well. It takes a team of people. As John Maxwell states, “”One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” If you really want to take an idea to the highest level, ask others to help you.” So, I ask you to keep reading what we put out on the site and on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, but more importantly communicate with us, and share these ideas with your friends and family. Let’s make an impact on this world!

Question:

How do you use social media(to get your ideas out, relaxation, keep up with old friends, etc.)?

IStock_000016599625XSmallThese last few months have been some of the most amazing months of my life. Our little girl was born back in November, and as promised by every parent out there, our lives have changed forever. I really think that one of the most interesting parts of being a dad now is how much it has made me really take a closer look at myself, and what I want to be and do in my life. It has shown me that there are some traits of mine that I don’t want my daughter picking up from me, and that I need to work on those. Thankfully, it has also shown me that there are other parts of me that I hope that she picks up on and learns from me.

I am sure that as she continues to grow up, and as I continue to grow as well, that there will be more things to add to this list. Here is a short list so far:

  • Trust God-Being a entrepreneurial type, I know what it’s like to have ideas and feel led to get something new started. I also know what it’s like when others can’t, or won’t, see the vision you see. I’ve been through struggles as I tried to get my business up and running, and during some of the slow times as well. Through all of this, God has shown me that I sometimes just need to trust in Him. Sure, I believe that God helps those that help themselves, so I do everything I can to move things along. Still, there are times when I have done everything I could do, and I just had to back off and let God do His work. One of my favorite analogies on this came from Jim Rohn. He said that you need to do your part, and let God do His. You plant the seed and let God make the tree. Could you imagine what it would be like if you had to figure out how to make a tree?
  • Love your family-This, of course, our little girl can learn from any of our family members or friends. Still, I realize that there is always a different perspective for each individual in every group, family, etc. I hope that our little girl will learn some of the ways that I view my family, and how much I appreciate all of them. There have been lots of changes in our family in the last decade, nonetheless the love goes on both to and from one family member to the next.
  • Be entrepreneurial-This is one trait of mine that is both a blessing and a curse at times. I truly believe that the entrepreneurial mindset is part of what makes this country great. I believe that the entrepreneurs make this a better world by trying to add something of value to others lives. I also know that being an entreprenuer requires several qualities that I hope she learns. Things like vision, courage, leadership, work ethic, responsibility, and more.
  • Think big-This goes along with the above, but I can’t stress enough to her that you will never grow past your ability to think. So think big!
  • Learn all you can-I confess, I am a nerd. I love to learn. I want to know as much as I possibly can about as many different things as I can. This world has so much to offer. People have so much to offer. Our own minds have so much to offer. What if we could learn just a tenth of everything there is to know? How much better would our lives be? How much could we help the rest of the world be better? What kind of legacy would we be able to leave as a result?
  • Laugh and have fun-Far too often we get so caught up in just getting by that we don’t stop to just enjoy life and have a laugh. My Grandfather(I called him PaPa) always said that I had the life of humor. I can find something to laugh about in almost any situation, and in my opinion, life just doesn’t get much better than when you can laugh so hard your stomach hurts.

This is just a short list of some of the things that have been on my mind lately. More will come up no doubt, but if we could just start here, her life can be so rich. Mine will continue to be as well just knowing that maybe I had some part in giving her some of these traits.

Question:

What are some things you hope your children learn from you?

Today

October 17, 2012

Today

 

Once in a while life will give you a good smacking and wake you up. I am kind of dealing with some of this right now in a few different areas of my life. Don’t get me wrong, things are good, just a little stressful at the moment. Some of it is due to some decisions that I have made and some of it has been due to things that were out of my control. Nonetheless, the decision that I have now is to either lie down and just keep beating myself up about things, or I can pick back up and look fear and stress in the eye and say, “You can’t take me down that easy.” Happily for me, I have always been the type that doesn’t mind a challenge and so the latter is my choice. I have been through some of this before and came up swinging. I will do it again. I can do this because there are a few things that I know beyond a shadow of any doubt.

First I have a loving God, and He promised that if I would just trust in Him that He will take care of me and my family. Jesus said that I have come that they may have life abundantly. I take that to mean a couple of things. Of course I believe that Jesus meant that in the spiritual sense, but I also believe it carries over into this physical life we are living. I just can’t believe that God wants us to scrape by in life and struggle all of our days. I don’t believe that is who God created me or anyone else to be. I believe that He sets a purpose in our lives and a desire in our heart to accomplish that purpose. As a result, I believe that we have this yearning desire in our hearts that can only be quenched when we are on the right path toward that purpose. When we stray from it, life has a way of letting us know.

Second, I have an absolutely amazing wife and family. They will stick with me through thick and thin. Penny and I paired up to take on this world together a few years back and we are in this for the long haul. One of the most amazing things about our relationship is that we compliment each other so well. There are things that I am good at, and things that she is good at doing. Together, we make a powerful team! That is vital to success in life. You truly are the sum total of the 5 five people you most associate with. In my particular case, I am fortunate enough to have my lovely wife as the person that I am around more than anyone else. As a result, we share goals, dreams, thoughts, disappointments and everything else and we help each other steer our lives toward the purpose we feel we are called to fulfill.

Third, I am just flat out too stubborn to stay down. I refuse to be just another person in this life and not have any impact on this world. Call it positive thinking, call it naïve, or call it a slight bit of arrogance, but I believe that I was called to make an impact on this world. I believe with everything in me that God has something special He wants to do through my life and I accept that call. I look forward to seeing the vision that He has given me for Penny and me and our family. This in and of itself is one of the most powerful things that I have going for me. I say that because it gives me a definiteness of purpose. Will I face roadblocks or downturns at times? Sure, we all do, but when you have definiteness of purpose you can see the difference between a temporary defeat and a true failure. I simply will not allow failure to be an option in my life, especially when it comes to the purpose that I feel I am called to fulfill.

So, whether it’s self induced stress or circumstances beyond my control, today I will get up and fight. I will never back down, and I will get back on track with the things that I know to be true and the things that work. I will follow the ideas and suggestions that I give others, because I know my life is an example of what I believe to be true. I will expand my mind and my vision, and I will act upon that vision!

Questions:

Do you have definiteness of purpose? Have there been times in your life when you were sidetracked by circumstances?