Is THIS Your Opportunity to Succeed or Give Up? — Yes

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My daughter has a stomach bug and she asked me to watch a movie with her. She decided on, Joy, with Jennifer Lawrence. It’s the story of how a divorced mother of two, living with a very dysfunctional family, went from nothing to creating a multimillion dollar business empire.

The film is loosely based on the life of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. I thought the movie was just ok, but even Hollywood messing with the truth, the messages I took from Joy are great.

Joy had family troubles, house troubles, ex-husband troubles, work troubles, financial troubles and legal troubles. Most people would have given up. Her mom did give up – she just laid in bed watching soap operas all day. Joy could have followed that example, but instead she kept making the choice to take action and succeed. (Yes, that is a choice.)

I keep noticing that the biggest difference between success and failure is not giving up. I’m not saying that’s easy. I know I’ve had times when I wanted to give up. In fact, I have given up before, and then gotten back in the game. What’s stopping you from getting back in the game? You haven’t failed until you’ve given up permanently.

What will you choose to do with your next opportunity? Keep going and tweaking it until you succeed, or get discouraged and give up?

Unfortunately, just about everyone in Joy’s family discouraged her. They told her that her business ideas wouldn’t work, that she wasn’t smart enough, and she was “just an unemployed housewife.” She almost allowed them to be right.

How many people – some of them meaning well – are pulling you down and preventing you from pursuing your Passionate Purpose? How long will you let them? What can you do today to change that dynamic in your life?

Joy’s Grandma, daughter, ex-husband, and best friend believed in her. She leaned on them for support. We all need that. Who does that for you?

Action steps:

  1. Actively seek out and spend more time with your supporters. Bounce your ideas off them. Thank them.
  2. Avoid the energy vampires. Remember, they can only hurt you if you let them.
  3. Figure it out: Is THIS your opportunity to succeed or give up? The answer is, yes. Which one will you choose? What can you do right now to pursue your current, best opportunity?

Let’s GO!

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. You can also purchase my book, GO!

How Trying to Show How Smart I (think) I Am Hurt Me

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We all want to connect with people, right? We want to form good relationships in and out of the workplace. We want to be respected. We want people to know how smart and great we are!

Okay, Greg, you lost me on that last one.

Did I? Maybe it’s just me. Sometimes I notice that I have an unhealthy desire to make sure the people I’m dealing with know I’m smart, accomplished, successful…(Geez, just writing this out makes me feel like a jerk.) What adds insult to injury is that when I do this, it doesn’t help me it hurts me. It also hurts the person I’m trying to show up. So, why do I do it?

I rationalize that I mainly fall into this trap when the person I’m dealing with is putting out signals that he thinks he’s better than me. To which I brilliantly respond by thinking, “He thinks he’s better than me? Who does he think he is? I’ll show him!”

Yes, brilliant. That will get him to like me/buy from me/want to do business with me.

Wrong.

This kind of thing just happened the other day. I told myself a story that the guy I was talking with was acting like he was way better than me. So, I started talking, and talking, and talking to prove how much I knew, how smart I was, why he should listen to me, blah, blah, blah.

Then I realized what I was doing. I physically felt ill at my actions. So, I stopped. I apologized for dominating the conversation and started asking him questions. I learned a lot and actually started a friendship.

How many times do we tear down the relationships and influence we are trying to build with the need to make sure the other guy knows we’re pretty cool stuff?

We can fall into this trap with our bosses, the people we manage, our children, our spouses, our preachers…

What helps me with this is being secure in who I am, yet working at remaining humble. I remember that we are all equal in God’s eyes, that everyone knows something I don’t know, and that I will learn more and make more friends by asking questions and listening than by trying to show off.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
-C. S. Lewis

I also remember what my dad used to tell me, “Some people are thought to be fools. Others open their mouths and prove it.”

If this post resonated with you, Please subscribe to my blog and get my free eBook — 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose.

Being Assertive Right Away Pays Off Big Time

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I can’t believe what that guy said to me.
Wait until you hear what our vendor just did.
That customer wastes so much of my time, I wonder if he’s even worth it.

Do you ever say things like that? Why don’t you do something to stop these problems from happening again and again?

Well, the customer is always right. I don’t want to be difficult, or rude, or impolite. I was raised to be nice to people.

I get all that, but are you confusing being nice with being a doormat?

You can be polite and nice while still being assertive. When you do, your life will get so much easier. People will respect you more – even the people who are mistreating you – and you will start to be treated preferentially.

When I was in 7th grade I got into 13 fights. I didn’t start any of them. I was a short, scrawny kid with braces, glasses and acne. I looked like I had a sign on me saying, “Please pick on me.” The bullies did.

I didn’t win any of the fights. But I never fought the same kid twice because I stood up for myself. When someone started to hit me, I hit him back. But I didn’t just hit him back, I went CRAZY! I yelled, screamed, punched, scratched, kicked and did whatever I could to let him know I was not an easy target. He might win, but he would be licking some wounds in the victory circle.

It took a while for word to get around the bully clique, but after 13 fights no one ever picked on me again. The bullies didn’t become my friends, but they respected me.

Greg, um, I don’t think it’s good advice to beat people up.

I’m not saying it’s time to beat up everyone who mistreats you. But the idea that you have to take people’s garbage and smile is ridiculous. Don’t be aggressive, be assertive.

When someone is speaking rudely to you kindly, but firmly, let them know you’ll be happy to speak with them when they’re calmer and can be civil.

When your vendor isn’t living up to the contract, politely but firmly remind them of the details and hold them to it – or change vendors.

When a customer is more pain than he’s worth, let him know that while you appreciate his business, it seems he isn’t happy with what you offer and it’s time he takes that business somewhere else.

Start being assertive right away and watch how things change. You will end up being happier, more productive, and probably make more money by doing away with so many problems. You’ll also be treated better by everyone you interact with.

Try it and tell me how it goes.