Elephants Matter!

elephant-4Take a phrase from the culture, change a word or two, and wrap it in a metaphor and you have a blog post.  Yesterday while I was writing I felt my brain nudging me toward a special message that would capture your imagination and everyone else’s. Knowing that we all have unique needs and desires, I wondered if the contents of any message could have 100% appeal to a diverse audience. As I thought carefully about it, I determined for myself this message could in fact be relevant to virtually everyone. Whether you agree or not, I believe it is so rock solid and has such great potential to change lives that everyone will want it. What’s not to like about that?

You would expect that something of this value would already be universally known and part of everyone’s life. Yet I would wager that within five minutes of observation we could discover that what seems obvious and valuable for mankind is not a dominant part of our culture. And as long as we remain in our private world we will fail to see the magnitude of this truth. Why? Because this problem is about something that is missing. It is more challenging to see what is absent than what is present. Like elephants, we seldom think about them until there is one in the room. Even then, some people miss it!

So what is this elephant that is not in the room for most people, much of the time?  The elephant is this: “Think strategically every day and plan accordingly.”  It’s as simple as that.  Whenever the elephant leaves the room one of two things happens. Either we don’t act when we should or we act poorly because we didn’t think first. Both are potentially dangerous! That’s why everyone needs an elephant like mine.

By the way, my friend Michael Ehrler has a name for his elephant: Strategic Time-Out Pause (aka S.T.O.P.)

What is Attitude, Really?

Attitude IS Everything!

Why?  Because attitude influences everything we say and do.  Winston Churchill explained it this way…  “Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference.”  Another wise man, W. Clement Stone, had his own definition.  “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude and the big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

Today’s message is dedicated to some game-changing attitudes.

Work Ethic…
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
    
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Forward or Backward…
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”
    
– Henry Ford

Emotional Response…
“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”
    
– John C. Maxwell

Potential…
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
    
– Zig Ziglar

Choice…
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Excellence…
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
– Colin Powell

Relationships…
“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.”
– Earl Nightingale

You can learn a lot about your own attitudes by looking back at certain actions you took and the ones you neglected.  You can also predict which actions you will take and its probable outcomes by recognizing and understanding your attitudes.  For example, what is your attitude about personal and professional development?  How will this attitude impact your life?  Zig Ziglar would have responded this way…

“You were born to win. But to be the winner you were born to be, you gotta plan to win and prepare to win. Then and only then can you legitimately expect to win.”
– Zig Ziglar

The Value of a Ziglar Legacy Learning Experience

When you are aware of your thirst, you are already on the path toward dehydration.  Does that mean you are in grave danger?  Not necessarily!  However, it does mean that appropriate and prompt hydration is a good idea.

When we find ourselves mentally and emotionally thirsty it’s time for a different kind of action, such as: attending a Ziglar Legacy Event.  It just might be the first stage of a good idea that prepares you to become “healthier!”

The thought for today is…

…50 Reasons for Attending a Ziglar Legacy Event

During a Ziglar Legacy Event (or another similar engagement)
you just might…

  1. …learn something that’s new and life-changing.
  2. …be reminded of something valuable that you had forgotten.
  3. …be inspired like never before.
  4. …have fun!
  5. …discover an opportunity.
  6. …rediscover previous commitments you made to yourself.
  7. …meet the collaborative partner you’ve been looking for.
  8. …meet your next employee.
  9. …get a prospect referral.
  10. …make a positive impact on someone else.
  11. …set a positive example for someone else.
  12. …earn someone’s heartfelt testimonial.
  13. …take something home that you can share with others.
  14. …take home a book or recording for your own personal development library.
  15. …win a valuable door prize.
  16. …make a new friend.
  17. …discover an old friend.
  18. …reconnect with a former colleague.
  19. …inspire someone you meet.
  20. …encourage someone else.

    You might also…

  21. …spawn ideas for someone else.
  22. …take the first step of a new habit that changes your life.
  23. …discover what your career has been missing.
  24. …discover what your life has been missing.
  25. …discover what your team has been missing.
  26. …discover what your business has been missing.
  27. …discover your true purpose.
  28. …discover your true priority.
  29. …realize the value of a day away from the office.
  30. …learn a new skill.
  31. …practice a new skill.
  32. …change your perspective.
  33. …discover a hidden talent.
  34. …refine or restore a rusty talent.
  35. …realize that this event on this day was meant for you.
  36. …be challenged in ways that are new to you.
  37. …replace one of your limiting beliefs with the truth.
  38. …leave the event with renewed confidence.
  39. …overcome a fear.
  40. …clean up your stinkin’ thinkin’!

    You could even…

  41. …have a life-changing spiritual experience.
  42. …discover choices you never knew were available.
  43. …hear a powerful quotation.
  44. …hear an unforgettable poem, story or song.
  45. …discover how great it is to be around people who want to learn and grow.
  46. …rediscover how important it is to invest in yourself.
  47. …rediscover the facts of life.
  48. …return home with page-after-page of life-changing notes.
  49. …meet the perfect accountability partner.
  50. …shift into overdrive by a day full of “Aha’s!”

To identify the value.  Choose any three outcomes in the list above and ask yourself the following questions…

  • What would it mean to me personally and professionally to experience just three of these outcomes?  Would it be worth my investment of time and money?
  • What choices am I continually making that block me from the growth and development that will empower me to become the person I was meant to be?

Click Here to learn about personal and professional development opportunities.

Shortcuts and Running In Reverse

Hudson Taylor said, Do not have your concert first and then tune your instrument afterwards.  This bit of common sense counsels us that our “Befores” are intended to precede our “Afters”. Why? Because there is something significant going on in between that works only when the sequence is correct.

Think of a race track. The starting line always precedes the finish line and there’s always a meaningful journey in between. Otherwise, the Olympics might have a one-millimeter dash.

If we analyze our lives we are likely to recall times when we were tempted to take shortcuts, even trying to start races at the finish line. Sometimes temptation won and when it did, we lost.  Below are two categories of broken races that are more metaphoric than realistic. Some are downright preposterous, but all contain a lesson intended to challenge our modus operandi.

Running the Race in Reverse:

  • Dry your laundry then wash it.
  • Eat your food then cook it.
  • Jump from the plane then put on your parachute.
  • Swallow the liquid then read the label.
  • Pull the trigger then ask, “Who’s there?”
  • Go out to the mailbox then get dressed.
  • Saw the board then measure it.
  • Fire, aim, ready.
  • Swallow before chewing.

Taking Shortcuts:

  • Develop relationships without engagement.
  • Take action without a plan.
  • Seek progress without change.
  • Create strategies without information.
  • Expect potential without learning, practicing, developing and implementing.
  • Pursue efficiency without systems and processes.
  • Expect career success without intentional learning, consistent practice, strategic development and the help of coaches and mentors.

Here’s your challenge:  Tune your instrument today for next week’s concert.