Forge Your Destiny

“Sow an act, reap a habit; mold a habit, create character; cultivate character, forge a destiny”–paraphrased from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Long-time readers know that we believe very firmly in the idea of establishing a Vision for your Perfect Life before embarking on any journey. But we understand that sometimes looking at the big picture can be daunting, and can even sometimes paralyze you with its enormity.

That’s why this quote is so important.  You don’t have to take your destiny all in one bite–you don’t even have to worry two or three steps down the road, if you don’t want to.  All you have to do is act.  Choose one thing that you can do right now which needs doing.  Then pick one other thing which needs doing.  Pretty soon, you’ve got a habit going.  Over time, that which is done repeatedly builds character, and character becomes destiny.

It’s also useful to note the active nature of all the verbs in that quote–you can’t wait for your destiny to happen to you.  You sow it, mold it, cultivate it, and finally forge it in the fire of your Vision.

One act at a time.

The Gurus of Get It!

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Published in: on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Respect Your Dream

We read an interview with Jack Nicklaus a few years ago, and it contained a great bit of wisdom.  Jack holds the record for winning the most “major” golf tournaments, and he attributed that to one thing: good living.  He said that, while he had plenty of challengers during his incredible run in the 60s and 70s, all of them would go out at night, drink a little too much and stay out a little long.  This worked fine in the short run, but over time each and every one of his competitors faded away.

We were thinking about this story this past weekend watching a previous subject of this blog, Tiger Woods, scrape and scratch and claw his way to a completely insignificant finish at the Masters, one of golf’s majors.  Three years ago, the smart money was on Tiger breaking Jack’s record; two years ago, Tiger had one of the most infamous personal life meltdowns in history; now, it looks like Tiger may never win a major again, much less make a serious run at Jack’s record.

Nobody wants you to live the life of a hermit; and, certainly, we preach that you should work for balance in your life.  But be aware of how your “off-hours” activities impact your life.  It would be horrible to have your night life force you to abandon your Perfect Life.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on April 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Never Miss An Opportunity

Ah, Spring Break.  

The annual ritual for millions of young people is in full swing right now, and we, ourselves, are tempted by the warming weather.  There’s something about the whole cycle of the seasons finally waking up from the winter slumber that inevitably draws out the kid in all of us.

We would never advise against this, as long as you’re not falling into one of those “Unrecoverable Mistakes” we talk about.  No, go out and enjoy your Spring Break.

But, hey, while you’re out there, in an unfamiliar city, and all your colleagues are spending their daylight hours recovering from the night before, why don’t you use this time to your advantage?  Find out who the major employers are in your vacation hot spot, and call them up to see if you can take a tour of their facilities.  Take a resume with you.  Find out what their needs are, and test the waters to see if you’re a fit.

Have as much fun as you want, but since you’re somewhere completely different, take a chance and see if there’s a door that needs knocking down.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Who’s In Your Circle?

There’s an old proverb that says “you will be known by the company you keep.”  We would expand on that.  Not only will you be known by the company you keep, meaning that the world in general will include in their evaluation of you the nature of the people you surround yourself with, but, to a large extent, the people you surround yourself with will influence who you actually are.

Do the people around you talk about ideas and bold plans for changing the world? Or do the people around you talk about the other people around you and work to tear them down?

Do the people around you have energy and seem to always be in motion? Or do the people around you seem perfectly content to sit still and let the world happen around them?

Do the people around you take an interest in your dreams and contribute ideas and encouragement? Or do the people around you only want to talk about themselves?

It’s hard to think about minutia when everyone around you is thinking ideas; it’s hard to sit still when everyone around you is racing; and it’s hard to wallow when your friends are pointing you forward, pushing you and helping you find your way.

So, choose wisely the company you keep; and also be a person the people you admire would choose to keep in their company.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on March 7, 2012 at 12:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Make a Deposit

We’ve written before about how, in many ways, you can think of your mental well-being as a bank account:  Keep giving and giving, the account diminishes; have a great success, the account grows.  Of course, that’s simplistic, but the metaphor holds up on a lot of levels.

So using that concept . . . when was the last time you made a payment into somebody else’s account?  

Last week brought a great opportunity for just such a moment.  We recognize that there’s a lot of cynicism about Valentine’s Day, and we understand why.  But it does present quite a good opportunity to make a deosit for someone else.  The well-written card, the “just right” present, the surprise gesture…these are all excellent ways to add value to somebody else’s day.  And the beauty part is that Valentine’s Day is nothing but a reminder of what we should be doing to add value to people’s lives. 

And if we are about anything, it’s adding value.

So today, when you have a spare moment, look around the office or the classroom, and see who needs to have a little value added to their day.  Then, find a way to do it. Go on–try.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 2:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Grab Your Moment

Watching the Super Bowl, we are struck by how really rare are the moments we get in life to do what is truly spectacular.

The top athletes in the world compete every day for their whole lives, and are very well-compensated and famous for it.  But the moments that everybody remembers are very rare.  How many times do you see a player get their hands on the ball in impossible circumstances and not bring it in?  And they’re not supposed to–there are a lot of other great athletes trying to prevent them from grabbing it, and it’s almost unbelievable that they even get close.

But we remember the ones who did.

Your own life will present precious few moments of potential glory, also.  Unless you’re a policeman, soldier, or firefighter, your own life will probably only present one or two opportunities for you to accomplish something amazing.  And for you to be in position to capitalize on that opportunity you have to hustle, prepare, anticipate, and work relentlessly.  The question is, when you get your hands on the ball, …

when the boss asks you to head up a project . . .

when the cameras are rolling . . .

when your dream job opens up . . .

will you be in the right position? and will you grab you moment?

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on February 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

History is NOT Destiny

Little Jimmy was born to a single mother.  He was passed back and forth between her and his stepfather; one day, the stepfather asked the mom for the $98 of child support she owed him, and,when she refused, he took Jimmy and dropped him off at social services. “Mom” took him back. Then, one day when he was 11, put him in the car and drove him to a group home.  There he would be beaten by his fellow orphans on a regular basis; after one especially violent episode, he called his mother to ask her to pick him up.  She hung up on him.

Nine months later “mom” took him back–to live with her and her abusive boyfriend.

In almost every aspect, this story is a recipe for tragedy.  But not this time.

Little Jimmy started attending a regular Wednesday night prayer meeting at a local church to get away from mom’s boyfriend and to get a free meal.  One night he shared his story with the prayer group, and the leader of the group took him into her home, changing his trajectory.

Little Jimmy graduated from college two years ago with a double degree after also having played Division One sports in two sports.  “Little” Jimmy is Jimmy Graham (all 6-foot-6, 260 pounds) of the New Orleans Saints.

Your own history may be as horrible as Jimmy’s (we hope not, but . . . ); but even so, that does not have to dictate who you are and who you become.  Your choices become your destiny, from this day forward.  Don’t try to pretend it’s anything else.

–The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on January 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sometimes the Rules Change

In 1905 Albert Einstein proposed his Theory of Special Relativity, which held, among other things, that the Speed of Light was the inviolable speed limit of the universe: no object could travel faster than the speed of light.  And his theory held up for over a century.

Until September.

That is when researchers in Europe reported that they had successfully shot neutrinos from Switzerland to Italy at speeds slightly in excess of the speed of light.

And generations of frustrated physics students do dances of rejoicing.

Rules of the universe rarely change, but they do.  Think of Galileo and the Earth as the center of the universe.  The real prize goes to the people who can imagine the next ten questions that come out of revolutionary discoveries and figure out what to do with that information.

Is that relevant to your life?  Maybe–had you gotten into real estate investing four years ago, working on the understanding that real estate always makes money, it would have been a smart move.  Until in September, 2008, it wasn’t, and hasn’t been since.

We want you to be bold and firm in holding on to your Vision.  But don’t be so rigid that new information fails to get you to think differently. Remember: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 1:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

One of the little tips that came through our research over and over again was the importance of dealing with people.  And just in case you don’t believe it, this came to our attention today:

IN early 2009, statisticians inside the Googleplex here embarked on a plan code-named Project Oxygen.

Their mission was to devise something far more important to the future of Google Inc. than its next search algorithm or app.

They wanted to build better bosses. . .

But Mr. Bock’s group found that technical expertise — the ability, say, to write computer code in your sleep — ranked dead last among Google’s big eight. What employees valued most were even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings, who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.

People spend a lot of time developing expertise, they invest in training sessions to increase their expertise, and then they try to hire people to surround them who have necessary expertise.  And all that is just wonderful . . .

Just keep in mind that sometimes the best way to get the job done is to ask the right person in the right way to do it for you.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on November 2, 2011 at 12:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Leadership and Perseverance

We at Get It live here in Denver, and the number one topic of conversation around here for the past week has been the promotion of Tim Tebow to the starting quarterback of the Denver Broncos. 

And to be sure, his first game was quite a bit short of a thing of art.  For 57 minutes he and the rest of the team looked out of sync, uncertain, and at times, completely inept.  And then Tebow and the rest of the team managed to string together three minutes of absolutely inspired football to tie the game and send it to overtime, where they managed to win it.

57 minutes of garbage–at that point a lot of people would be so consumed with self-doubt that they wouldn’t be able to function.  But one of the great qualities of people who Get It is that they persevere: they keep coming back and striving for the goal even after being turned away many times.

And in that persevering, they show others the way to persevere; and when many strive together to overcome great odds, it creates a synergistic momentum towards accomplishment; that inspiration, to become more than they could be alone, is the essence of leadership.

 

Published in: on October 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment