How to Have Your Voice Heard

One of my goals is to learn how to be more persuasive.  This stems from John Maxwell’s book Thinking for a Change, and specifically a little blurb on page 52 where he talks about how he wants to be so influential and be filled with so many good things, that whenever he opens his mouth good stuff flows out.  Being filled with so many good things is a great goal, but in order to get people to stop to listen you have to be persuasive.

10 P's of Persuasion

Recently, while going through some sales training, we talked about the 10 P’s of making a sale.  These are attributes that you have to have, and attributes that you have to think about, in order to be a good salesman or woman.  While going through them I couldn’t help but to think that these are actually the 10 P’s of persuasion.

As your read through them, you will probably think of more attributes (and many that also start with the letter “P”).  Add those to your list, and grab the power of persuasion.

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Get More Done Before the Heaviness of Day

There are two schools of thought out there when it comes to working.  Some people say, “I’m not a morning person, I do better work in the afternoon or evening!”  And other people say, “I do my best work first thing in the morning, productivity drops off as the day goes on.”  Over the years I have found that it doesn’t matter what you say; mornings are better for productivity.

Avoid the heaviness of day

The reasons are numerous, but one shines above the rest.  Mornings are different than the rest of the day.  Not just because it’s early, or because the world is asleep; there are certain biological and natural instances that happen that create a change for the morning hours. More »

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

There is a car commercial that aired recently.  It showed a group of young people, getting out and having fun.  The commercial goes on to say, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”  It’s a good quote and it encourages people to get out of their comfort zone and explore and go do things!

Be strong and courageous

But what about those that are a little nervous to do so?  How do you gain the courage you need in order to get out there and live life to the fullest?  It starts with claiming God’s promise.

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How to Eliminate the Stressors

Every day there are things that cause us stress.  These can range from mild setbacks, to workloads, to family and friends.  Stress is a way of life, and it’s going to happen no matter what stage of life you are in.  The only thing that we can do is manage the stress, and reduce it as soon as it pops up.  We can eliminate almost all of it by carefully monitoring how we react to it.

Now it is important to note that stress and adversity are not the same.  Recently in a Biz to Biz meeting we talked about how we handle adversity.  I commented that I define adversity as something much worse than stress.  Adversity pops up every few months; stress comes daily.

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How You can Become Better

A couple months ago I wrote about being a failure.  We took a sneak peek into Dr. Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.  The idea was that there are two types of people.  Those that see failure as a permanent reflection of their abilities, and those that see it as a growing opportunity.  The sad reality is that a majority of people are in the fixed mindset category.

Adopting the Growth Mindset

That doesn’t have to be the case.  The first step to moving from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset is understanding the two, and then carefully training yourself to make a conscious effort into the growth mindset.  Here’s how you can get started.

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We aren’t All Supposed to do the Same Thing

Years ago I read the book “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper.  The basic idea of the book was that we shouldn’t get caught up in material things and forget about our Savior.  Instead we should keep God at the front of our minds, and everything we do should serve to bring about his glory.  On the surface it’s a great message.  But the book wasn’t quite just that.

Use your gifts the right way

While Piper does emphasize that the point isn’t to have everyone pursue a life of missions work, the underlying theme was just that: if you’re not spending your life in full-time mission work, then you’re wasting your life.  It even starts out with the story of a couple that worked hard and enjoyed an early retirement.  Piper talks about how when they’re standing before God, they will have nothing to show except their collection of sea shells.

What Piper fails to realize is that we all have different gifts; and we should be able to enjoy the fruits or our labor without fear of judgment.  In essence, we can feel free to make a bunch of money and spend it lavishly on ourselves.

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The following are my notes for a presentation that I recently gave to Elevate Leadership and Consulting.  A big shout out goes to Bible.org for providing the founding principles and the inspiration for a good portion of this presentation.  To download the PowerPoint; click here.

Understanding the Law of the Harvest

We all know the Law of the Harvest, it has been drilled into us from when we were little.  We’ve been told you are what you eat.  Garbage in, garbage out.  You become the average of the friends with whom you associate.  You reap what you sow.

That idea stems from the Bible verse Galatians 6:7 which says “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.”

The verse is talking about you can’t trick God.  If you invest in yourself and in sin, you can’t turn around and say that you are trying to do what God would want for your life.  But beyond spiritual application, there are important personal and business applications that we can take away from this simple verse.

The Law of the Harvest

 

John Maxwell touches on it in on page 13 of Thinking for a Change when he says “If you expect to reap corn when you planted nettles, you’re not going to get corn — no matter how much time you spend watering, ferilizing, or cultivating your plants.  If you don’t like the crop you are reaping, you need to change the seed you are sowing!”

But it goes a lot deeper than that; yes if we sow corn we reap corn and sowing nettles yields nettles.  But that’s just the start.

In reality, there isn’t a law of the harvest.  There are 7 laws of the harvest.

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Or Are You a Learner?

When we are born, and through the first few years of our lives, we have an insatiable appetite for learning.  Everything is new; we explore, test, try, and more often than not, fail.  We get right back up, try again, and keep practicing until we are able to master the skill.  But at some point, that switch turns off.  Somewhere along the way, many people stop trying.  They fail once, twice, or a few times and begin to think they simply don’t have the ability.

Are you a failure?

Can you imagine what the world would be like if half of the babies learning to walk gave up after failing 10 times?  They simply thought, “I just wasn’t born a gifted child, there’s no sense in trying because I’ll never master it.”  We would have a few billion adults crawling around the world because they thought they were unable to walk!

What this all boils down to is your mindset.  Specifically, is it fixed or open for growth?

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Success Begins in the Heart

Most of us want to be successful.  I have yet to talk to anyone that said, “I woke up one day and decided to fail.” Or a new high school graduate that said, “My goal in life is to be as mediocre as possible.”  No, we want to be successful, we want to soar and do better than anyone imagined.

Yet many won’t.  Many will end up in the doldrums of life and have achieved that mediocrity that nobody wanted.  They will go to a job they don’t like, to a home without love, drive a car they can’t afford, and overall not be happy with what they have.

Fortunately, the secret to success and happiness is far easier than most imagine.  It’s not a long self-help book that will get you there.  It consists of five simple words.

be wildly successful by delighting in the Lord

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 ESV

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Are We Losing our Ability to be Creative?

I recently started a new book.  “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman is about a man that’s almost 60 years old.  His wife died recently, and he was recently laid off (forced to retire) from his job.  He is bitter, doesn’t like it when people don’t “follow the rules” however arbitrary they may be, and isn’t too fond of his neighbors.

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While there are a lot of great little one-liners in the book, one stood out especially.  The book describes his morning routine, and how he percolates his coffee each morning rather than buying a latte; and it talks about the value of a hand-written note.  Ove critiques modern culture as having forgotten how to do anything for themselves, and today it’s all “computers and espresso machines.”

I pondered that for a bit.
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