Get To vs. Have To

Last week’s adventure proved a very telling story when forming perspective.  I invite you to join along.

Get To vs. Have To

I Get to….


I Have to….

I headed to New York City last week on business.  A trip I’ve made many, many times.  I left Wednesday morning and as customary for any time I leave, there is a slight feeling of loneliness and abandonment (from my wife).  I hate it.  Every time.  I’m sure she wouldn’t believe me telling you this, but sometimes I selfishly feel like it’s harder on me.  At least she gets to be there with our son Landon.  Sorry honey.

I’m wishing I was there.  I’m missing putting my son to bed.  I’m remorseful of her doing all the work on her own.  None of this is easy, and deserves a hero’s thank you to my wife or any wife who has a similar challenge.

This is where I personally have to make a choice.  Put yourself in my shoes and tell me how this feels.  Same exact scenario: entirely different mindset.


I HAVE TO go to New York.  I HAVE TO go there, to meet some people to hopefully advance our team’s opportunities and all along, I’m away from my family (which I love).  I HAVE TO deal with a day of travel there and a day of travel back.  The traffic is horrendous and it takes forever to get anywhere on time.  The people are usually less than pleasant.  I HAVE TO stay in a hotel where I know no one and try to find my way around this mega city.  I HAVE TO make these few days go fast. Who wants to deal with this?

Lets take a look at the other perspective.


I GET TO got to New York City.  I GET TO go there to: meet terrific new people, work with Fortune 100 brands, try new and fabulous food, experience a vibrant city culture (albeit for a few days) and have a blast doing it.  I GET TO be at an exclusive Samsung event where I will be one of only a few hundred people to see their newest devices before they hit stores.  I GET TO be in New York City, the center of the media universe.  I GET TO scope out all the cool places I can take my wife this fall when we make the trip together.  Thanks to technology, I GET TO FaceTime my wife and son every night and at least for a few moments pretend I’m in the same room they are.  I GET TO make the most of this opportunity, because when I do, I know it will pay off.  Who wouldn’t want this?

You may be wondering, where did this come from?  The answer: Thomas Edison.

I heard this story a couple weeks ago while listening to a podcast.  One night while retiring home to his family the brilliant inventor was interrupted by an urgent guest banging at his door.  His factory and research lab was ablaze and couldn’t be stopped by fire departments in the surrounding 8 communities.  His inventions destroyed.  His life’s work in the factory would vanish in the form of smoke and ash.  What did Thomas do?  Would he panic?  Would he burst into tears because his life’s work was certainly destroyed?

He said the following,

Come along quickly kids.  You won’t ever see a fire like this again in your life!

The facts of the matter were as follows according to Mr. Edison.  The factory needed cleaning anyway.  There were numerous piles of scrap and debris that would no longer be a nuisance.  Furthermore, the fire was like no other fire ever witnessed.  The unique blend of chemicals and scientific compounds made for a six story inferno with some of the most lively colors a fire could ever produce.  He wasn’t going to stop the fire, why not make the most of it while it burned.


Working on your perspective and mindset is like bathing.  You don’t have to do it every day, but those around you sure appreciate it when you do.

ACTION ITEM: Next time you’re on the “Woe is me” train, consider your Get to vs. Have to mindset.  If you’re still stuck, imagine someone else who would desperately love to have the same opportunity.



Blog bonus: here are a few shots I took from the Samsung Unpacked Event in NYC


JK Shin. President & CEO of Samsung












Samsung unveils Galaxy S6 Edge+ & Note5


Hands on device display











Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay


Samsung Note5 Up Close

31 Days of Challenging Questions: Day 5

DAY 5: What am I doing to get uncomfortable?Day 5

ACTION ITEM:  This just feels weird reading, doesn’t it?  Uncomfortable…I’d rather settle into this couch.  The US Navy SEALS train in the uncomfortable every day.  If you don’t know what “wet and sandy” is, I recommend Googling it.  The more uncomfortable the scenario, the more they are prepared for anything anyone can throw at them.  I’m certainly no SEAL, but I love the mindset.  Hooyah!!

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset


I just got done reading, “Mindset, The New Psychology of Success” thanks to a recommendation from a friend on Twitter (Chris Wood – follow him @ChrisWood415).

This fantastic book took me about three days to read and I’ll likely read it at least two or three more times.  The reason why, is the information contained in this book is absolutely necessary for all leaders today.  NECESSARY!

The book compares the fixed and growth mindset and the affect each has on leadership, ability to learn, and overall mental capacity for growth.  I’m extremely visual so I’ll make the following comparison.

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Specifically the Fixed Mindset: I see this as a ruler.  The fixed mindset is always focused on measurement.  Best, brightest, smartest, most successful, etc.  These people and leaders are in it for the “I” and accomplishment for themselves.  Likely even at the expense of others.  History tells us the brutal stories of great fixed minded leaders so focused on their own greatness and power that they neglected to see what was really happening to their empires.

The ruler is also inelastic.  It can’t and does NOT change.  You could say the fixed mindset would agree with, “It is what it will be” nothing more or less.  Intelligence is fixed.  You’re either blessed to be smart or dumb.  You’re either “gifted” or normal.  You have the skill or don’t.  The book outlines many leaders of enormous companies with this mindset and the fatal flaws that occurred because of it.  I won’t tell you who they are because I think you should read the book yourself.

a-ball-of-clay-webThe second mindset is the Growth Mindset.  I associate this to a ball of clay.  A ball of clay isn’t sexy.  But it’s shape and form are not yet defined.  Through different experiences, pressures, and the impressions of those around it, the clay will take on a new shape.  Possibly many different shapes in its lifetime.

The growth mindset is one we should strive for.  Growth minded leaders are not the smartest, brightest, most ego driven.  They’re in it for the “we” and for the team.  They appreciate the challenge and feedback of others so long as its focused on the betterment of the entire group.  Growth minded leaders are in it for the challenge and not entirely the absoluteness of the outcome or result.

Looking at this from a personal perspective I can tell you I battle to be a better growth minded person.  I grew up with a mindset of achievement and look what I did.  It was the fastest way to get ahead.  Win more often.  I’m great, look at me, I’ve accomplished, I deserve reward.

I believe it’s the result of age, experiences and the willingness to learn that this is changing for me personally.  Perspective is a wonderful teacher if you just allow it to sink in.  Lastly, I’d like to thank Carol Dweck for writing this terrific and easy to read piece.  I hope to share it with many others.

ACTION ITEM: I highly encourage you to make the small investment to read this book.  But please don’t stop there.  Share it with a friend, not to call them out as a “fixed” mindset person, but to challenge them to think differently and get better!  To make this easy I’ve provided a direct link to the book below.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

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.