Weekly TKD Lesson

“Excellence can be attained if you…
* Care more than others think is wise.
* Risk more than others think is safe.
* Dream more than others think is practical.
* Expect more than others think is possible.”

                                   — Jim Gentil
So many of us have heroes. Leaders, artists or entrepreneurs that
inspire us. People who have made an impact, people who have shown
us a better way, people who have overcome outrageous odds.

Yet, the interesting insight about heroes is that they have the
human imperfections and weaknesses that we do.

They have their bad days, they feel despair, they get knocked down
(in fact, heroes get knocked down more than the rest of us).

Yet, in spite of their human frailties, heroes find a way to change
the world.

Here’s my challenge to you — be your own hero.

Ask yourself, what would it take for me to show up in the world
like my heroes?

You may never discover a life changing medicine, invent a
best-in-class product or win the World Cup. But, you can show up
every day with discipline, compassion and extraordinary commitment.
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Weekly TKD Lesson…

“Don’t get complacent. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and
set higher standards of achievement for yourself. Once you’ve
achieved a standard of excellence, never let it rest–push yourself
even higher.”
                                  — Dave Anderson

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time
and life management. It is also called the “Pareto Principle” after
its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote
about it in 1895.

Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide
naturally into what he called the “vital few”, the top 20 percent
in terms of money and influence, and the “trivial many”, the bottom
80 percent.

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was
subject to this principle as well.

For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities
will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your
customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of
your products or services will account for 80 percent of your
profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of
the value of what you do, and so on.

This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those
items will turn out to be worth five or ten times or more than the
other eight items put together.

**Number of Tasks versus Importance of Tasks**
Here is an interesting discovery. Each of the ten tasks may take
the same amount of time to accomplish. But one or two of those
tasks will contribute five or ten times the value of any of the
others.

Often, one item on a list of ten tasks that you have to do can be
worth more than all the other nine items put together. This task is
invariably the frog that you should eat first.

**Focus on Activities, Not Accomplishments**
The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest
and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these
tasks efficiently can be tremendous.

For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the
bottom 80 percent while you still have tasks in the top 20 percent
left to be done.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, “Is this task in the
top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?”

The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in
the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task,
you will be naturally motivated to continue.

A part of your mind loves to be busy working on significant tasks
that can really make a difference. Your job is to feed this part of
your mind continually.

**Motivate Yourself**
Just thinking about starting and finishing an important task
motivates you and helps you to overcome procrastination. Time
management is really life management, personal management.

It is really taking control of the sequence of events. Time
management is having control over what you do next. And you are
always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability
to choose between the important and the unimportant is the key
determinant of your success in life and work.

Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the
most important task that is before them. They force themselves to
get it done, whatever it is.

As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person
and are much happier as a result.

This should be your way of working as well.

Weekly TKD Lesson

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama

My message is the practice of compassion, love and kindness. These things are very useful in our daily life, and also for the whole of human society these practices can be very important.” – Dalai Lama

I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures that we achieve through our vices (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.

The key to developing compassion in your life is to make it a daily practice.

Meditate upon it in the morning (you can do it while checking your email), think about it when you interact with others, and reflect on it at night. In this way, it becomes a part of your life. Or as the Dalai Lama also said, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

Definition:
Let’s use the Wikipedia definition of Compassion:

Compassion is an emotion that is a sense of shared suffering, most often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another; to show special kindness to those who suffer. Compassion essentially arises through empathy, and is often characterized through actions, wherein a person acting with compassion will seek to aid those they feel compassionate for.

Compassionate acts are generally considered those which take into account the suffering of others and attempt to alleviate that suffering as if it were one’s own. In this sense, the various forms of the Golden Rule are clearly based on the concept of compassion.

Compassion differs from other forms of helpful or humane behavior in that its focus is primarily on the alleviation of suffering.

Benefits:
Why develop compassion in your life? Well, there are scientific studies that suggest there are physical benefits to practicing compassion — people who practice it produce 100 percent more DHEA, which is a hormone that counteracts the aging process, and 23 percent less cortisol — the “stress hormone.”

But there are other benefits as well, and these are emotional and spiritual. The main benefit is that it helps you to be more happy, and brings others around you to be more happy. If we agree that it is a common aim of each of us to strive to be happy, then compassion is one of the main tools for achieving that happiness. It is therefore of utmost importance that we cultivate compassion in our lives and practice compassion every day.

How do we do that? This guide contains 7 different practices that you can try out and perhaps incorporate into your every day life.

7 Compassion Practices

Morning ritual. Greet each morning with a ritual. Try this one, suggested by the Dalai Lama: “Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” Then, when you’ve done this, try one of the practices below.

Empathy Practice. The first step in cultivating compassion is to develop empathy for your fellow human beings. Many of us believe that we have empathy, and on some level nearly all of us do. But many times we are centered on ourselves (I’m no exception) and we let our sense of empathy get rusty. Try this practice: Imagine that a loved one is suffering. Something terrible has happened to him or her. Now try to imagine the pain they are going through. Imagine the suffering in as much detail as possible. After doing this practice for a couple of weeks, you should try moving on to imagining the suffering of others you know, not just those who are close to you.

Commonalities practice. Instead of recognizing the differences between yourself and others, try to recognize what you have in common. At the root of it all, we are all human beings. We need food, and shelter, and love. We crave attention, and recognition, and affection, and above all, happiness. Reflect on these commonalities you have with every other human being, and ignore the differences. One of my favorite exercises comes from a great article from Ode Magazine — it’s a five-step exercise to try when you meet friends and strangers. Do it discreetly and try to do all the steps with the same person. With your attention geared to the other person, tell yourself:
Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.”
Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”

Relief of suffering practice. Once you can empathize with another person, and understand his humanity and suffering, the next step is to want that person to be free from suffering. This is the heart of compassion — actually the definition of it. Try this exercise: Imagine the suffering of a human being you’ve met recently. Now imagine that you are the one going through that suffering. Reflect on how much you would like that suffering to end. Reflect on how happy you would be if another human being desired your suffering to end, and acted upon it. Open your heart to that human being and if you feel even a little that you’d want their suffering to end, reflect on that feeling. That’s the feeling that you want to develop. With constant practice, that feeling can be grown and nurtured.

Act of kindness practice. Now that you’ve gotten good at the 4th practice, take the exercise a step further. Imagine again the suffering of someone you know or met recently. Imagine again that you are that person, and are going through that suffering. Now imagine that another human being would like your suffering to end — perhaps your mother or another loved one. What would you like for that person to do to end your suffering? Now reverse roles: you are the person who desires for the other person’s suffering to end. Imagine that you do something to help ease the suffering, or end it completely. Once you get good at this stage, practice doing something small each day to help end the suffering of others, even in a tiny way. Even a smile, or a kind word, or doing an errand or chore, or just talking about a problem with another person. Practice doing something kind to help ease the suffering of others. When you are good at this, find a way to make it a daily practice, and eventually a throughout-the-day practice.

Those who mistreat us practice. The final stage in these compassion practices is to not only want to ease the suffering of those we love and meet, but even those who mistreat us. When we encounter someone who mistreats us, instead of acting in anger, withdraw. Later, when you are calm and more detached, reflect on that person who mistreated you. Try to imagine the background of that person. Try to imagine what that person was taught as a child. Try to imagine the day or week that person was going through, and what kind of bad things had happened to that person. Try to imagine the mood and state of mind that person was in — the suffering that person must have been going through to mistreat you that way. And understand that their action was not about you, but about what they were going through. Now think some more about the suffering of that poor person, and see if you can imagine trying to stop the suffering of that person. And then reflect that if you mistreated someone, and they acted with kindness and compassion toward you, whether that would make you less likely to mistreat that person the next time, and more likely to be kind to that person. Once you have mastered this practice of reflection, try acting with compassion and understanding the next time a person treats you. Do it in little doses, until you are good at it. Practice makes perfect.

Evening routine. I highly recommend that you take a few minutes before you go to bed to reflect upon your day. Think about the people you met and talked to, and how you treated each other. Think about your goal that you stated this morning, to act with compassion towards others. How well did you do? What could you do better? What did you learn from your experiences today? And if you have time, try one of the above practices and exercises.
These compassionate practices can be done anywhere, any time. At work, at home, on the road, while traveling, while at a store, while at the home of a friend or family member. By sandwiching your day with a morning and evening ritual, you can frame your day properly, in an attitude of trying to practice compassion and develop it within yourself. And with practice, you can begin to do it throughout the day, and throughout your lifetime.
 
This, above all, with bring happiness to your life and to those around you.
 

Weekly TKD Lesson

FRESH BREW FOR YOUR BRAIN

People don’t fail. Oh, wait. Yes they do.
Ever hear the old saying, “Failure is an event, not a person.” That
statement is half right.
Failure is an event AND a person.
The bigger statements are: Failure is avoidable. Failure is a
lesson — a hard one.
No one celebrates failure – unless you’re a Green Bay Packers fan and you just
beat the Minnesota Vikings.
No one goes into an event, a business, or a sales call expecting to
fail, or wanting to fail.
Yet failure occurs time after time.
There’s another old saying: Learn from your mistakes.
And another old saying: Never make the same mistake twice.
And another old saying: You only fail when you quit.
So much for old sayings. Let’s get to something new.
I read an article on the topic of “self-sabotage.” What a bunch of
bull that is. It’s not self-sabotage. No one in their right mind
will stop themselves on purpose. It’s stupidity or mediocrity that
stops you.
It’s lack of preparation.
It’s lack of execution.
It’s lack of experience.
It’s nervousness or fear of winning.
It’s getting too conservative when it’s time to claim victory.
Failure is never simple. It’s usually a series of events or
circumstances. A series of actions or inaction’s that end in some
form of failure – mostly self-inflicted wounds that were totally
avoidable and that end up with “blame” on the end of the stick. I
mean, come on, what fun is failure without pinning it on other
people or other events?
Here are 17.5 reasons that failure occurs:

1. Self-defeatist. Telling yourself why it won’t happen, not why it
will.
2. Lack of belief in your company, your product, or yourself. If
you don’t “believe,” you can’t convince others to believe in you.
3. Limited self-image. Needing acceptance without regard to
winning. Hoping they like you, because you don’t like yourself
enough to create your own self-confidence
4. Laziness. You lack the personal sense of urgency needed to
create it in others.
5. Failure to prepare. This is most evident in the presentation
phase of persuading or trying to get your way. Without preparation
you substitute winning for losing.
6. Failure to do your homework. Part of preparation failure is the
knowledge you must acquire about how your customer or prospect will
benefit and profit from your product or service.
7. Procrastination. A full brother to laziness, and a full sister
to failure to prepare, procrastination takes failure to an all-new
level. Putting off doing the homework it takes to be a winner –
both personally and in terms of the customer.
8. Poor timing. Trying to be there at the wrong time.
9. Saying the wrong thing. To the customer, about the competition,
about your company, about your product and, about yourself, is an
easy way to lose (and lose respect.)
10. Showing greed (money ahead of help). Trying too hard to close
the sale, and or
make your quota, rather than trying to help the customer profit or
benefit.
11. Insincerity. Most salespeople never get this one.
12. Inability to be perceived as trustworthy. Trust is something
that is earned through likability and believability. If you’re not
likable and believable, you’ll never gain the trust necessary to
succeed.
13. Failure to work your butt off. Many seasoned salespeople become
complacent, and get out hustled by a younger, more aggressive,
inexperienced salesperson. The most interesting part of this
scenario is that after they lose the sale on hustle, they blame the
loss on price.
14. Failure to follow your own plan. Salespeople tend to seek the
easy way and the fast way rather than the sure way. Cutting corners
almost always results in loss of business.
15. Trying to do everything yourself. You have a team of people, a
boss, and an army of customers, all willing to help you. The only
way to get their help is ask for it. It’s a sign of strength.
16. Making excuses rather than making sales. Excuses are not an
actual reason for failure; they’re the scapegoat. Here are a few
examples: Blaming your situation — the weather, the season, the
economy, your own company. In short anything but your inadequacies.
Blaming others – your customer, your boss, your fellow salespeople,
the competition, and anyone else you can pin the tag on, other than
the person you see in the mirror. Failure to take responsibility –
this is the backbone of failure. Once you, as a person, own up to
the process of succeeding or failing, you’ve started on the road to
responsibility. If you’re looking for the best example of failure
to take responsibility, listen to any politician. Blame and spin
are their main modes of communication.
17. Failure to do your best. Second best is first loser in sales.
Best requires commitment, focus, and dedication. In short, hard
work and smart work.
17.5 Not loving what you do. Nothing ensures failure more than a
lack of passion for what you do or a lack of passion for what you
sell. It’s evident in your effort as much as it is in your words.
The only good part about failure is that it’s an option. Something
you can choose or choose not to. Failure to do your best is making
a choice – the same with any of the other items numbered above. I
numbered them for your excuse making pleasure. To make it easier to
tell others why you failed.
And, notice I didn’t say “got beat on price” as one of the
failures. It’s one of the excuses – and a weak one at that.