Living Life’s Contradictions

I believe, life is meant to be lived on both sides of the coin, not the extremely narrow margin on the rim…never tipping one way, or the other.

For goodness sakes…please try BOTH. Now!

How could one day, I act one way, and then, a short time later, be on the entire other side of the spectrum? Because I believe life is about managing both sides of a situation, learning from it, growing as a person, and living as a contradiction the entire time.

My life is one big contradiction.

Some people have a BIG problem with this. Like it was once written: a person can only stand for one thing, or act only one way for their entire life. I know what that sounds like…BORING.

Curious as to what I’m thinking about?  Here are the contradictions I’m living at this very moment.

  1. Money – I’m traditionally a very frugal person. I’m an investor, a saver, playing the long game. However, how do you know how many turns on this earth you get? None of us know. That being said, every so often I’ll spend money like a teenager with my first paycheck in hand. New Jeans – Yup.  New Sneakers – yup. New Johnston and Murphy – why not.  Anything else I can find in that 24 hr period. Contradiction. Yin and Yang. Stretch and reflex. Contradiction.
  2. Work-Life Balance – I’m not about finding 50/50 balance in the often talked about, seldom lived, zen world of “work-life balance”. I think “balance” is whatever makes a person happy. For me, that’s a few weeks in a row of being really into work. I mean INTO it, thinking about it in the morning, on the weekends, at night, etc. Studying it. Burying myself in the business and thinking about it. I love it. Conversely, a couple times a year I love just unplugging for a few days to clear the body and brain. No connection. No pitches or P&Ls. Stretch and Reflex. Contradiction. Balance so it seems, for me.
  3. Management – I’ve always believed a leader must lead from the front, and yet, can’t ever be afraid to jump in and “push the broom” so the saying goes. Alternatively, spend too much time in the details or “pushing the broom” and others can’t grow. Challenges in delegating show themselves like a bad skin rash. Contradiction…do both!  When and where it makes sense. Many aren’t comfortable with this grey advice.  I’m sorry. It’s reality. If there was a leadership equations for the 100’s of personalities out there, we’d of figured it out by now.
  4. Tortoise and Hare – There are places in my life I can think very long term and exercise tremendous patience. There are MANY others where I’m consistently impatient (ask my better half)…like REALLY impatient. Focusing every day on what can be moved, improved or accomplished now. Many small wins, compounded over time (Slight Edge Principles) is how the game is won. Consistently balancing the tight-wire of when to push, and when to pause and let be. Contradiction.  Be patient but also be ready to SPEED UP!!! FASTER FASTER.
  5. Time – I believe in investing in others. Investing in their hopes, dreams, causes, and helping think through troubles. Knowing that somewhere in the world, the good deed will come back my way and bear fruit because I’ve sure needed the help! Somehow. Someway.  Alternatively, and admittedly so (The Right Selfish), I can get very selfish with my time. Focusing much of my energy internally to audit my thoughts, feelings, and current path in life. It is a “Give and Keep” tug of war. Contradiction.

I believe humans need and thrive in some element of change and/or newness. Stay status quo and insurmountable boredom takes over. Ask any client who has fired an agency because, “they’re happy, but wanted to see something new” – that’s called losing!

Structure is good, but boredom is without a doubt the enemy of Thriving. Thriving is the key to happiness. This is why I live the contradiction. Balancing what works or normal on one hand, while not being afraid to cut ties and try something entirely opposite on the other. Why not?

That is balance for me.

It might not work for you or anyone else for that matter.  But that’s the point.

Find your balance.

ACTION ITEM: Find and embrace your contradictions. Balance ensues and you’ll grow in the process.

31 Things I Learned Turning 32

Yesterday (March 15) was my birthday.  Beware the Ides of March.  I took some time to reflect on the previous year and just where I’ve been. 31

The 31st year of my life was a really challenging and wonderful year.  Below is a list of 31 things I learned in the last 365 days.  I’ll also leave you with what I’m most looking forward to in the upcoming year.

1. Be myself – every day

2. Read more

3. Embrace fears – everyone is scared (Jay-Z)

4. Say “Thank You” more often

5. Ask more questions

6. Meditate often

7. Listen to more podcasts (most are FREE)

8. Help accomplish goals for others

9. Don’t take myself too seriously

10. Start more: projects, relationships and solutions

11. Launch a blog and share something great with the world (check!)

12. Waiting sucks – go now!

13. Buy a gift for an unsuspecting friend

14. Find a mentor or mentors

15. State your intentions clearly

16. Buy a drink for your friends

17. Don’t be the smartest guy in the room

18. Challenge yourself to get better every day

19. Goals are great, discipline is paramount

20. Get uncomfortable

21. Save a little for a rainy day

22. Eliminate average: thoughts, actions and people

23. Dress for success

24. Ask for help – no great thing was ever accomplished alone

25. The Masters (golf tournament) is a really magical place.  Thank you Juan for the tickets!

26. It’s okay to say NO

27. Tell a better story

28. Donating time can be more valuable than money

29. Take time to recharge

30. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer

31. The number of people who REALLY CARE is astounding.  Thank you to all of my friends!  I hope I can repay you.

Looking forward to year 32, I can tell you without reservation I’m most looking forward to being a dad.  Everyone tells me it’s a life changing event and I’m ready for the challenge.  Come August 2014, Beth and I will be welcoming another Keen Mind into the world.

ACTION ITEM: Take time to reflect on what you’ve learned in the last year.  I’d really love it if you’d share your thoughts in the comments below with our entire tribe.

 

Success Bible

Watch the video below.  I’ll tell you exactly why you need to start a success Bible today.

I mention in the video the book, “The Winner’s Bible.”  I suggest you pickup a copy of the book on the Amazon link below.  Dr. Spackman will help to teach you how to rewire your brain with the simple but elite tools used on some of the greatest athletes in the world. 

Winner’s Bible: Rewire your Brain for Permanent Change

As I continue to practice what I preach, I’ve included a couple little nuggets of emails I’ve saved over the years.  I read these from time to time for a quick pick me up or for a jolt of confidence.

The messages themselves are very short and sweet, but every time I read them I feel better.

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How many emails, messages, notes should you keep?  I think the specific number is up to the individual, but I’ve probably got 15-20.  They’re from different clients and different experiences in my life.  The purpose is to put a smile on my face, confidence in my mind, and wind in my sails.  It works every time!

ACTION ITEM:  Please, Please, Please start your Success Bible today.  Find an old email or two you’ve kept and get them organized into a folder.  I’ve also seen hard copies kept with people.  I choose to keep them available in my GMail account so I can access them anytime, anywhere.