Challenge: Remember

Memorial Day is more than just one more excuse to take a day off from work or from school–it’s a day to acknowledge that all of the freedoms we have to pursue our Best Self, to chase our dreams of a Perfect Life, and to change our own circumstances have been bought at a steep price by men and women from the frozen fields of Valley Forge to the scorching sands of Iraqi deserts. 

And perhaps it will serve as a reminder to those of you who are still searching for a path in life: there is no nobler pursuit than service.  And while it may not end up being your dream life, you will learn a great deal about yourself while serving your country, and perhaps that will point you in the right direction.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tenets of Life: Indomitable Spirit

Jeffrey Price was working in the automotive section of the WalMart last Sunday in Joplin, MO when the terror of a massive tornado bore down on that city.  He and about 100 other people were told to move towards the back of the store and seek shelter while the storm moved in.  There he stayed while the storm ripped the roof apart, pulled structural supports out of the ground and partially collapsed the building around him and his new-found friends. 

Then Price–Army National Guard Specialist Jeffrey Price–went to work.  For the next two hours Price and his former-Marine supervisor led the efforts that extracted 50 to 60 people up through the rubble, across a collapsed roof, and down a partially collapsed wall to safety.  And all this while Price’s fiancee and infant son were somewhere in the path of the storm (they came through fine, by the way).

One of the unique, special aspects of being human is the ability to put aside our personal situations to be a better version of ourselves for a short period of time to make the world around us better.  Spc. Price could have easily extracted himself from the rubble, given thanks for his personal safety,  and run off to check on his family, and nobody would have given it a second thought.  But instead he put aside his personal situation to act on behalf of dozens of strangers.

And that kind of Spirit–that invincibility and largesse–is within each and every one of us, if we just look for it a little bit.  Heroes aren’t heroes for what they do: they’re heroes for choosing to do what most of us are capable of but are too afraid/self-absorbed/unaware to take care of. 

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 12:08 am  Leave a Comment  

Challenge: Press Your Advantage

This is the time of year when many people graduate, and it’s a grand achievement!  Congratulations!  Enjoy it.

But don’t enjoy it too much.

Not to be a downer or anything, but most of the people you are graduating with have grand plans to take a couple months off and then start their big job search or their studying after a period of relaxation.  THAT is your advantage.

Think of any competitive endeavor–there is a season, and an off-season.  Barring blockbuster trades at the deadline, teams rarely get better during the season: they are largely what they are.  However, during the off-season some teams work significantly harder than others, and get better, and develop a competitive advantage.

So while your friends are doing their “relaxation” thing, your have a simple challenge: out-work them.  Get your resume out early and start interviewing for jobs right now; take advantage of the natural down time by pursuing a high-impact internship; or buy the latest research book related to your field of study and start to get yourself in the mode right now.

Not all of life is competition, but some parts are.  Seek out and exploit those rare opportunities to give yourself an advantage.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tenets of Life: Humor

A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.
–Hugh Sidey
As much as we recognize that the “armor” is a necessary component of day-to-day life, it’s really the grasp of life that makes the biggest difference.  After all, isn’t that what “Getting It” is all about? 
We think it is really difficult to look at the world around us and understand it well without having a certain ironic sense of  the ridiculousness of it all.  In fact, that is why most of the best stand up comedy is based in observational humor about every day life.  From people eating breakfast and talking on the phone while driving to 7 yr old children imitating their elders and “talking smack” on the playground, there are just so many behaviors that people regularly engage in that should cause laughter that it’s just a lack of imagination not to.
And on top of that, the research is pretty clear: laughter increases your sense of well-being, your mental clarity, and your attractiveness to other ridiculous humans.
So lighten up!  Laugh a little! 


Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekly Challenge: Think Ahead

This week’s challenge is a little on the “out of the box” side of things.  So strap in and please keeps hands and feet inside the ride until it has come to a complete and total stop . . .

Imagine yourself 20 years in the future.

Now imagine yourself 20 years in the future looking back at the last twenty years.

Imagine, if you will, what your future self would have to say to your less-future self about what is going to happen along the way to the next twenty years.  And then write a letter to yourself, giving yourself advice about your future. 

A little too convoluted?  Fair enough.  Let’s simplify:

Take an honest assessment of your strengths, your weaknesses, your tendencies, and Vision.  Now, imagine what is going to be important for you to deal with in the next ten years so that you can start making notes to yourself about what to emphasize, what to look for, and what to avoid.

A difficult challenge, to be sure.  None of us has a crystal ball, so exact knowledge of the future is impossible.  BUT . . . you do know who you are and what sort of things you typically have to overcome in your life.  So you can project the future and try to manipulate it accordingly.  For instance, you can’t know what your next boss is going to like in a worker, but you can maybe guess that your college habit of oversleeping is NOT going to impress, so start working up new sleep habits now that would show other people that you’re serious about your future.

Your Perfect Life is a lot more likely to happen if you’ve tried to think through the contingencies ahead of time.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tenets of Life: Self-Control

What is self-control?

It’s the ability to take a deep breath when what you really want to do is yell at the top of your lungs at the person/people/situation that is frustrating you.

It’s the ability to NOT bite the head off of the 19-yr old customer service representative who is doing exactly what his boss told him to do.

It’s the ability to look in the refrigerator at night and pull out the orange that was sitting next to the left over piece of cake.

It’s the ability to pin yourself to the task at hand until it gets done–no matter how nice the weather is.

And it’s the ability to make yourself get out of bed/leave the house/get your butt moving for your workout.

Self-control is simply putting what your brain knows it needs to do ahead of what your body or spirit decide on any given day that it wants to do.  It might feel very good, in the short term, as an example, to lash out at the driver who just cut you off in traffic, but when your young child repeats verbatim what you said in front of your dinner guests, you won’t remember that good feeling.

But you’ll remember the embarassment for a long time.

More importantly to your Perfect Life, Self-control will keep you on task, moving forward, and help you brush off all the myriad of distractions that every day life presents to people who are trying to accomplish something.

So start practicing self control.  Baby steps: pick one habit fo yours–snacking, for instance–and eliminate it.  Not permanently, just as an experiment.  Then start applying some self-control to other aspects of your life. 

Control yourself .. . . because there’s so little else that you actually do control.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Challenge:Nurture Your Dream

In honor of Mother’s Day, a few thoughts about your “baby.”

Your Dream started as some strange, formless idea.  You may not have even been aware of it for some time–just a vague sense of understanding and drive and hope. 

Eventually, that idea took shape.  It forced you to confront your strengths, your weaknesses, and to give more of your time and energy than you thought capable.  But it was alright, because you were enjoying every step of the way.  It wasn’t mind-numbing, soul-draining monotony like the rest of your life: it had purpose and meaning.

In many ways, your Dream is just like a child, and your Perfect Life is the realization of that Dream growing up.

Any parent will tell you that it is the hardest job in the world–seeing your Dream through to it’s conclusion will occasionally be exceptionally difficult.  Parents will also tell you that it is the most rewarding job–just wait until you see what waits for you in your Perfect Life!

But no child, no Dream, arrives safely at adulthood without a generous mixture of discipline, effort, creativity, laughter, good food/fuel, and an occassional treat.

So this week decide what form of “mothering” your Dream requires, and then provide it. 

And a very hearty Happy Mother’s Day to all our mommies out there!

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on May 8, 2011 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tenets of Life: Perseverance

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”–Calvin Coolidge

Remember that–we can’t say it any better.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekly Challenge: One Step At A Time

Seasons are a normal and natural part of the world, much like they are a natural part of your life.  And there are seasons in each year that seem more challenging and more daunting for everybody.  The inbox gets overrun, the to-do list needs a second page, the computer keeps chiming “incoming message” at you–you know the feeling.

It can be overwhelming.

And it always seems like May is that time of year.  Either it’s the end of the school year cycle that we all remember, or its just that Spring has sprung and our hibernation is over.  Whatever it is, it’s bad.

So the challenge this week if you’re starting to feel things getting a little out of control is to just stop and do one thing.  One thing, that’s all.  And when that’s done, do another.  Don’t stop to think about the lengthy list of things you’re not doing–just do one thing.

Pretty soon, you’ll start to feel a sense of accomplishment which will return your sense of control.  And shortly after that you’ll start to notice that your list is getting more manageable.

One step at a time.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment