Go That Extra Mile!

We recently took a trip to a fire department for a very special private tour.  This was not set up with a school or any type of group.  It was simply one fireman telling one child (who they did not know) “I want to do something special for you.”  This tour was amazing and ended with a ride, in the ladder truck, just the engineer and a couple kids.

So why do we tell that story?  To us it was a perfect example of a get it.  It was a person who went out of their way to do something extra special for another person.  They did not do it because they had to (in fact they probably had a million other things to get done).  They did it because they wanted to, because it felt right.

Learning to live your perfect life is not always about grand accomplishments or even anything that takes much effort at all.  Sometimes it is simply going that extra mile for a significant other, your kids, family, friends, co-workers or even a stranger.  It can even be something as small as a special tour that will end up leaving a memory that will last a lifetime.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: Know The Whole Story

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy . . . must not lead us to a distrust . . .

We’re willing to bet that not too many of you know where those words come from, yet the speech that those are a part of is one of the Top Five most important speeches ever spoken in America: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  “I Have a Dream.”

We live in a society that is buried in the “10-second sound bite.”  We rarely are provided with the full context of what is said, and as a result we have a tendency to fail to listen to everything people have to say, even those closest to us. And the sad result of that is a very shallow understanding of the world and the people around us.

So this weekend, resolve to hear the whole story–don’t leave it up to the media, or to your friend “who heard it from . . . “, or to the sticky note left on your daytimer.  Make the little extra effort it takes to really understand what’s going on.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

The A-Squared Principle

Ultimately, when people finally come to a point in their life when they are content, when all the pieces seem to have finally fallen into place, when the become a Get It, it’s because they have two things working for them: Awareness and Action.  One or the other is powerful and useful; when the two work together they can have a force-multiplying effect on your life.

There are people–and you know them (or may be one of them)–who are strangely adept at observing the world around them and noticing patterns of behavior and developing trends before anybody else.  There are also people who are very decisive, who spend very little time pondering decisions, but fly on instinct and guts.  Rarely, however, do these two qualities co-exist in one person.  The highly analytical person tends to overthink decisions or be very cautious; the “snap decider” tends to only see the information they need to act without necessarily analyzing it thoroughly.

But when the two forces do manage to co-exist it can be a beautiful thing.  The patience to gather necessary information, coupled with the courage to act when the moment is ripe is the makeup of great quarterbacks, brilliant generals, and influential statesmen.  Strive to cultivate both qualities.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Extra Effort!

This is simple, just for today (or when you are reading this), put in a little EXTRA EFFORT into one part of your life, for one day.

It could be doing your absolute best at work, with your kids, extra attention to your wife, helping the parents or a friend/neighbor, etc, etc, etc.

After you do this for today ask yourself how it made you feel.  If we know our audience even a little, we think it will probably make you feel pretty good.

If that is the case, try it again tomorrow.  Before you know it, this becomes a habit (and a very good one at that).

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: The Rule of Twelve

Have you ever noticed how our society tends to run in “tens”?  Of course, there’s a reason for that–Base 10 is the foundation of our counting system, so it is convenient to operate by tens (fewer remainders that way).  Nonetheless, how many times when you go to exercise do you do 10 pushups?  Or 20 situps?

So here’s a question for you: if everybody around you is doing 10 repetitions, why should you do 10, also?  That puts you in exactly the place as everybody else! 

So try something different this weekend:  if you intend to do ten “somethings,”  do twelve instead.  If you’re rehearsing a speech, instead of ten run-throughs, give it twelve; intend to spend 30 minutes reading–go 36; plan to spend an hour helping your kid learn to hit curveballs–go an hour and 12 minutes.

It doesn’t really sound like much, does it?  An extra twelve minutes here, a few extra efforts there–no big deal.  But look at it this way: If you get in the habit of doing 20% more than everybody else around you, how much closer to your Perfect Life are you going to be than the people around you? 

Over the course of a few years, that IS a bid deal!

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 11:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Simple Question

Today, were you the person you always hoped you would be?

Really?

Well, how about tomorrow?

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on August 19, 2010 at 12:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: Disagree Agreeably

Before we dive too far into this, let’s just say that this is not always possible.  You will run in to people who are naturally predisposed to not cooperate; however, we would hope that you surround yourself with people who have mastered this skill. 

Why?  Because a very smart person once said “If you’re not very smart, hire smart people; if you are very smart, hire smart people who disagree with you.”  And then LEARN from them.  People who disagree passionately about anything will still be better off in the long run from hearing the other side of the story.  Every point of view has some element of merit to it, and often understanding the source of a person’s worldview will lead two people to common ground from which they can create an even smarter idea.  It’s not about compromise–it’s evolution, stealing the best parts of two opposed ideas to make a better third idea.

Because let’s face it, no matter how smart you think you are, you are still probably not the smartest person in the room; and even if you are, it doesn’t mean that you’re the only one with good ideas.

So this week, make an effort to talk with somebody you disagree with.  DON’T try to score points or win; instead, try to learn.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on August 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Traits We Admire: Agreeable Disagreement

As we write in the book in the chapter on about Getting Along With Everyone, you don’t always have to like or admire everybody around you, but you do need to coexist with them.  That becomes a much easier thing to do if you learn the skill of agreeing to disagree.

We have become so trained by the endless politics of this age to think that every idea has only two possible solutions, and that the only way to come to a conclusion  is for two people to be on either side of a split screen yelling over the other like a cable news show.  The problem with that approach is that neither side ever listens to the other side long enough to understand the point.  Thus, any discussion, any small disagreement becomes a death match of argument with a winner and a loser and a lot of uncomfortable people in the room. And it’s not just politics–ever get stuck in a room with a dysfunctional romantic couple in the middle of a fight?

In the next post we’ll propose some ideas for how to avoid this common trap.  In the meantime, the next time somebody says something crazy, take a moment to ask them where that idea came from.

The Gurus of Get It

 

Published in: on August 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Opportunity – 2

In our last post we talked about looking for opportunities.  We explained you needed to look at both those that are obvious and those that are outside the box.  We just got a great quote from our friend Trixie that read, “ Do you see difficulty behind every opportunity, or opportunity behind every difficulty?”

Again, this may not be anything new to some of you.  However what may be new to you is to actually follow this advice by seeing the opportunity in difficulty.  We have longed owned up to the fact that life is not perfect and it is not without its challenges.  Unfortunately we are running into more and more people who are allowing these challenges to bring them down.  This will not be the way to pursue your dreams, or even just your passionate hobbies.  In order to really give yourself a chance you need to overcome any and all difficulties and challenges that come your way.

Again, simple advice that is not always so simple.  Just for the next 72 hours, regardless of what comes your way, choose to look at it as an opportunity (even if that is just learning to get through it with a smile).

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on August 10, 2010 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend Challenge: Opportunity

The last few posts have all dealt with the “Normalcy Bias.”  The beauty part of recognizing your own normalcy biases is that once you are aware of the phenomenon, it can create some pretty wonderful opportunities for you.  That is especially true if your real Passion in life is something that may not necessarily be conducive to making a great career.

For instance . . . suppose your great Passion is creating and teaching art, but you have little tolerance for school (such that getting a teaching degree is not in the cards for you).  A “normal” approach to this might be to make contact with private institutions and community organizations to see if you could team up with them in any way to hold a few classes.  Still, that’s a tough way to make a living.  BUT if you look around and notice how difficult public school funding has become, you might notice that art programs have been cut in many schools, and that’s NOT NORMAL.  But there’s your opportunity: go outside the box, work into and through the schools to offer special classes that would allow you to feed your Passion in an abnormal environment.

That’s just one example, and the idea works in many other ways.  The point is if you are aware of your Normalcy Bias, you can go outside the Box a little easier and ask “what if?”  Once you’ve done that, a whole new set of possibilities will present themselves to you.  So your challenge is to use some “think time” this week to imagine a way for your Passion to capitalize on a “what if” scenario. You might never get the chance to do anything with it, but then again . . .

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on August 8, 2010 at 12:30 am  Leave a Comment