How My Father’s Death Taught Me to Take Responsibility for Creating My Future

Man watching a sunsetMy dad had a massive heart attack at 47 years old. I was 21 at the time — just shy of 22. To say it had a profound impact on my life is an understatement. As I’m writing this I’m in my early 40’s. Crazy to think that I’m not that far off from how old he was when he died. Crazier still to think about how that event was a catalyst for change in my own life.

The point of my sharing this isn’t to garner sympathy. Instead, I hope to share some of the lessons I learned as a result. There’s truth in realizing that even the most painful or difficult challenges can bring with them important lessons, assuming we are willing to accept they exist, and be open to identifying them. Often, we just have to get a bit of time behind whatever the experience was to fully realize there was a life lesson to learn.

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How to Lead Your Professional Field With an Entrepreneurial Mindset

If you’ve ever felt uncertain along your career path or in your professional life here are two words you need to embed in your vocabulary right now:

Entrepreneurial Mindset …

No, I’m not saying you have to start your own company, and that’ll be the cure for any and all challenges in your professional life. Not by a long shot.

I’m actually talking about cultivating, and living your life as though you are an entrepreneur, regardless of whether or not you start or run your own business. “What the heck?” I can hear you saying.

What I mean is this. Live your life much the same way an entrepreneur does even if you find yourself working for someone else. Bear with me before you write this off as yet another wacko sharing some nonsense advice.

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What Leadership Means to Me

Leadership written on wood blocksI used to think of leadership simply as something that one aspired to professionally. My thoughts on it changed when I read author and business speaker John Maxwell say “Leadership is influence, nothing more nothing less.” The quote isn’t near as open ended as it may seem at first when you really think about it.

Whether we accept it or not, we all influence countless people in different ways each and every day.  Not always in a monumental way, but we yield influence just the same. If you doubt me consider the following scenarios:

As a parent your influence is vast, not only in your own life, but the lives of your kids. You can even hold influence over the friends of your children. Your points of influence are far reaching. The way in which we live, and the decisions we make, and those we don’t make are all influential in different ways.

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You Are Goal Driven By Design

View from a mountain topYou are designed to have goals and to work towards their achievement — and by doing so make the world around you a better place.

Consider the following story of some of the first astronauts. Some of them, upon completing their mission would experience depression and other life difficulties. How could this be? Particularly from a group of people that anyone would rightly describe as super achievers. If these folks were susceptible to this what hope could there possibly be for the rest of us mere mortals?

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Getting started with what you have is the key to reaching where you want to go

start where you are to get where you want to goThere will always be barriers — at least when it comes to accomplishing anything of significance. The challenges of life bring with them important opportunities to grow, to become better, and ultimately allow us to be the type of person capable of being a good steward of whatever rewards we happen to be entrusted with.

The fact that things take effort is a good thing. Sure, we say we want things to be easy, but would we truly value them as much as if we had to work for them — stretch ourselves, and grow to become the type of person that was ultimately capable of acquiring whatever it was we obtained? Of course not. If we are really honest with ourselves it’s the challenge that makes the “success” worth the blood sweat and tears it can take to see things through. I love the quote from Jim Rohn who says, “Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.”

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