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This is a continuation of our series on Personal Leadership. Previously we reviewed the first and second law.
The third law is the Law of the Mirror. This is your self-image. This happens after the law of awareness. It is about being honest with yourself and understanding where your self- image is suffering. Self image is what you tell yourself when no one is around, when no one is listening. It is often a very loud voice that screams you screwed up – or you rock! A strong self image will get you further in life that most anything else. It will get you through the rough times as you will pick yourself up and keep moving. It will shout louder than the
negatives around you that say it can’t be done – or you can’t do it. Work on your self image and make it as strong as you can. I don’t care who you are, you are unique in a positive way. You have value. You can share that value with those around you, so start telling yourself this each and every day!
The fourth law is the law of reflection. Each one of us needs to STOP, pause, and reflect on what we are doing, have done and create a plan of what we need to stop doing and what we need to start doing.
One of my favorite YouTube videos is with Bob Newhart http://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw Watch this video, it will give you perspective. The law of reflection is about those I am spending time with and asking the question – who do I need to add to my sphere of influence? Reflect on the experiences you have. Experience means nothing unless you reflect on it and learn something. Wisdom is reflection on experiences. Without reflection wisdom does not show up. The law of Reflection challenges you to Stop, Pause and Reflect.
Here is what I do.
Each week I reflect back on the prior week. What is working and what isn’t (this doesn’t take long – maybe 15 minutes). Each month, I reflect back on the month. Did I use my time wisely, what changes do I need to make in the coming month. Each quarter I do the same. Now on an annual basis as a part of my planning I reflect on the prior year.
Here are questions I ask at each juncture:
- What activities are producing results?
- Where am I spending time – where should I stop
- Where am I disciplined - where do I need to
The Law of Consistency is the difference between motivation and discipline.
- Motivation is easy to generate.
- Motivation gets you going.
However, what happens when the road gets rough, the rocks get bigger, and fatigue sets in? That’s where discipline steps in. Without discipline, motivation is useless.
- Consistency becomes a differentiator between winners and those who don’t reach their goal.
- Discipline is the bridge that gets you over the hump to where you want to be.
The Law of the Environment is where your growth happens.
- Growth happens best in conducive surroundings.
- If your surroundings are holding you back, then change them.
It can be as simple as rearranging the furniture or as complex as moving your office. If you live in confusion and chaos then make the changes necessary. If lack of organization keeps you from moving forward then get help to get organized. Learn new skills to make the change.
Personal development cannot be in a small-minded environment. You need to think big and dream big. Our society creates more negative than positive messages on a daily basis. The news, the economy, and often our friends and family, will tell us all the reasons we can’t succeed but not the reasons we can succeed. It is up to you to find fresh thinking, find new things, and create your new environment.
The seventh law is the Law of Design. To maximize personal growth you must intentionally develop strategies. Think -
- I intend to grow and I intend to measure my growth.
- I will build my strengths.
- I will not focus on my weaknesses.
A focus on weakness will at best make you average unless you want to make it a strength. Let me give you an example. If your weakness is public speaking and you want to grow in that area, then go for it. Get a speaking coach, read books, learn how
to be a good public speaker. However if you don’t like detail (like accounting) then don’t try to get good at accounting, hire someone else to do it for you. At best, you might become a mediocre accountant.
This is a continuation of my series on the 15 Laws of Personal Growth
The 8th Law is the Law of Pain – Without the pain there will be no growth. Just ask anyone who competes in sports, business, and life. There is an old saying of “no pain, no gain” and it is true. Good management of bad situations leads to great growth. When you manage a bad or painful circumstance well, you gain much. We actually learn far more from the pain than we do pleasure. We don’t remember the pleasure for nearly as long as we do the pain. The reason people don’t sustain success is people believe success sustains itself. That isn’t true, we can stumble upon success, but it won’t continue if don’t learn how to work through the pain, or what might also be called failure.
What isfailure – but pain? How we react tofailure, how we (to quote an old song) “pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again” will be the true measure of our success. If we back off because of the pain and never push through it, we will never see the reward, the success, and learn from the pain.
I have found when I am the most frustrated, in the most pain, and at the end of my rope is when I am most able to succeed. I am more open to learning and more ready for the end goal. Actually, putting myself in the situation where failure is not an option, no matter what the pain ensures my success.
Many of you know I like to climb 14’rs and we have many of them in Colorado. On the way up the mountain, there are many times it would be easiest to just turn around and go home. Yet, turning around isn’t an option (unless health and safety are at issue).
Turning around because I am tired (and trust me I am), or it is hard (yes it is hard) or any other reason is just not on the menu of options. By pushing through the pain, through the hurt ad making it to the top – I am able to experience the success (and the view) and it is so worth the pain. Every time I grow, apply, learn, and continue on the journey – how about you?
This is a continuation of my blog series on Personal Leadership
The 9th Law is the Law of the Ladder. This ties to John Maxwell’s Law of the Lid. Your organization can only grow to where you are in leadership. If you have a cap on your leadership then your business growth will reflect that cap. The same is true personally. Character growth determines the height of our personal growth. We all must have a solid foundation. Just like my house, if the foundation isn’t built on solid rock, level, and firm, then the house will sway with the wind, storms, and weather. We are the same way. If your character isn’t firm, we aren’t firm on our character and values. Each new idea, situation, and opportunity will cause the ladder of our life to sway and sometimes fall. I often see this in business. Owners have a firm course of action until something comes along that is a new bright shinny object. Their focus, thoughts, and activity follow this new shinny object. Then we wonder why the results desired aren’t what we wanted, we aren’t getting ahead, and the profits we depended on are negative and not positive.
What is your character? What are your values? I look at these as nonnegotiable. These are the items that if you had to compromise, a piece of you would die. A value to me is my spiritual compass and guide to a fulfilled and meaningful life.
My values are:
Relationships: With God, Family and Friends and clients
Freedom: One reason I own my own business, desire to have control, ability to travel
Congruent: Being true to my word
Mental Growth: Desire to learn
Health: Desire to not be dependent on others as I age
Financial Independence: Desire to not be in debt, not rely on others for financial matters
Structure: Desire to have things in their place and be clean
Challenging: Never wanting to be bored, always ready to step out of my comfort zone, ready to do new things
So what are yours?
Rubber Bands and Leadership
Law 10 is the Law of the Rubber Band – The only time a rubber band is worth anything is when it has tension. The value is the stretch. Yet if we lose the tension of growth, we lose. No great discovery of life was found by a satisfied person. Be grateful for the tension in your life, it shows you are alive. Where do you want to be? What tension are you creating to help you be there? Then what is the next level you strive for.
I lived in Massachusetts for 30 years. The last few years were all about determining where we would get to live. See we were making a choice to move, making a choice to get out of our comfort zone. We spent time researching, learning, visiting and making a decision. It was fun, it was challenging, it was scary. We were leaving where we had lived for a long time, going to a place where we knew no one, we had never lived, and jobs were unknown. We did it, survived, loved it and have always been thankful we made the change. Yet, the challenge really came after the move, there was a time of restlessness – especially for me. What was the new challenge, what was next on the horizon? I needed a new tension. My rubber band was all out of tension. I wasn’t growing, stretching and pursing a new goal. That had to change – which it did – it was called opening my own business.
What I learned was – never complete the stretch without choosing the new stretch, the new place to go and grow. When there is no tension you are under the ground – and I am not ready for that!