Don’t Let This One Thing Bring You Down and Stop You

With video

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You’re so close to being done. You’ve put in a lot of work already, but it’s not quite finished. There are still a few more things to do and you’re not exactly sure how to do them all. Or you feel like you don’t have time to work on it anymore. Or maybe you think there are more important projects out there for you.

So you don’t finish. And it makes you feel like a failure. Your brain keeps reminding you that you didn’t get the job done. It’s stressful, frustrating, and depressing.

Not good.

If you ever feel like that, check out my video on how to Finish Strong.

“There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on.”
– Robert Byrne

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!

Do You Know Someone Who Needs This?

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The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. — Mark Twain

Do you know someone who hasn’t figured out their why? Someone who doesn’t even know what they really want? Someone who is struggling to find a purpose in this world?

I want to help. My Passionate Purpose is to help as many people as I can find their Passionate Purpose so they can live out the extraordinary lives of their dreams.

If you know someone who needs this information and encouragement, please pass on the link to my homepage and the link to my recent appearance on KC Live

If they are interested my book, GO! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, please pass on the link to it on Amazon.

I would love to give them my free, companion eBook— 5 Steps to Finding Your Passionate Purpose. They can download it from that link.

If you are receiving this as an email, just forward it to anyone you think might benefit from it.

All the best.

Greg Knapp

Workin’ Hard Getting Nothing Done

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We all work hard and it seems like there’s always more work to be done. My last two posts were on 7 Steps to Having More Time. (Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2)

I’ve noticed something about myself and I’m wondering if it’s the same for you. When I plan out my day to focus on my most important thing and stick to the plan I get a ton done.

“Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?'”
— Marcus Aurelius

When I just have an idea of what I’m going to do, I don’t get as much done. Yet, I still feel like I worked just as hard. How does that happen?

This morning I realized how it happens for me.

I work from home in the mornings and I had great plans on important things to do. But, first I decided I needed to merge my domain email with my Gmail account — 40 minutes gone. Next, I decided I needed to upload the video of my daughter’s performance with the Starlight Stars. My phone didn’t sync with my Mac, so I had to download a program – 30 minutes gone.

Then I noticed a few hundred photos on my phone that were taking up space so I decided I needed to upload select photos from my phone to my Mac – another 20 minutes gone.

And so it went:

Send YouTube video I created to a contact (and watch some of my old ones) – 30 minutes

Check and reply to FB messages and notifications – 10 minutes

Check my LinkedIn account and reply to messages – 10 minutes

Renew my library books online – 5 minutes

I finally shook myself and realized that although I felt like I was working I had spent almost 2 hours doing absolutely no work on my most important thing. Not good.

I hadn’t planned well, and I wasn’t even sticking to my not so great plan. It wasn’t that the things I was doing were bad, it’s just that they were taking me away from the more productive things I really wanted to get done.

Focus, Grasshopper, focus.

At the end of the day we’re usually tired. If we’ve run around all day chasing our tail, putting out fires and just doing “work” we will experience an empty, dissatisfied, frustrated kind of tired.

If we focus on what’s essential and make great progress on that, we will experience a job well done, life is good, now I’ve earned some relaxation time kind of tired.

Questions for comments: How do you stay focused on your plan?

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

Who Else Wants to Overcome Your Obstacles?

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You have big dreams and big plans. You have educated yourself, set your goal and worked towards it. But, you see some obstacles in your way and you want to make sure everything is just right before you act, right?

That’s how we all get sometimes. It is good to plan, but there is never a time when everything is just right. If you wait for that moment, you will never take action.

But, Greg, what if I go for it and fail? What if I’m rejected?

Great questions. This is where we remind ourselves the simple truths that we often forget. If you never take action, aren’t you failing already? If you learn from a failure or a rejection, can’t you just take action again in a better way that has a greater chance of success? Isn’t taking action how you have achieved your success so far?

Aren’t all these objections to taking action really just a way we hide from our fear?

I just met a new friend yesterday who reminded me of how I wasn’t taking action and was giving in to fear. I have so many things I want to launch, but I find myself waiting until everything is just right.

He asked about how I got started in radio and I remembered – I took action.

He asked how my show became nationally syndicated and I remembered – I took action.

Then I started remembering how I wrote my book, started my blog and started speaking – I took action.

Everything wasn’t even close to being just right. But, by taking action, things started to come together. I met people who helped me. I learned things that helped me. I gained momentum and confidence and kept taking action.

My new friend hit me with it hard when we were talking about how I could increase my speaking business. He said, “You should see if you can work with Dave Ramsey. He endorsed your book and you would fit in great with him.” I told him I agreed.

“Then why don’t you call him and ask — today?”

Great question.

So, I did.

I also wanted to set up a speech at a friend’s business, so I called and asked him. I took action.

It was a little scary, but it felt great.

What have you been thinking about doing but you’ve let fear stop you? Take action.

Ask.

Do.

Go!

You will be surprised how fast fear falls and miracles happen.

Questions for comment: What have you been planning but not doing? How did you take action? What happened when you took action?

Who Wants to Work for Fear and Money?

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Have I got a job for you! You will do what the boss tells you to, check with her before you do something on your own, and meet the numbers she tells you to meet or your fired. If you do all that, you will get to keep your job and get paid every two weeks.

Are you in?

Using the fear of losing your job and the reward of getting paid is how most businesses have been managing (controlling?) their employees for the last hundred years or so.

It works…kinda.

Depending on how badly you need the job, you put up with it. But for how long?

And what kind of work and life does that lead to?

A friend of mine had a “great” job at a big company. He was a team leader. He was earning good money. Even in this still struggling economy his job was “safe.”

And he couldn’t wait to leave.

The culture he was working in was destroying him. He felt like the company didn’t really care about him, his coworkers, his family, or even the idea of a life outside the office. It’s hard to put in your best effort for a company like that.

He was offered a job with the type of culture he was looking for and he took it. When he put in his two-week notice the company was upset. They didn’t want to lose him. They offered him a promotion and more money. They thought the old model of motivation still worked, they just had to push harder.

Wrong.

My friend took the other job. He’s super excited about the culture and is already happier, more engaged with his company, and ready to do his best work.

Gallup has done a lot of research on “employee engagement.” An engaged employee is someone who is emotionally and enthusiastically involved in the purpose of the company. He enjoys his work and looks for ways to create, innovate, and do more than is asked of him. It’s the kind of employee every business wants.

Bad news. Gallup’s numbers from 2015 show that only 35% of managers are engaged and only 30% of all employees are.

This old method of motivating employees leads to a bunch of disengaged, unhappy, ready to jump ship at a moments notice people.

Who wants to work in that type of environment? Nobody. It’s one of the reasons there is so much turnover in the workplace.

It also costs a company’s bottom line. Gallup estimates that employee disengagement costs American companies about $300 billion every year.

Ouch.

There is a better way.

The best organizations engage us by asking us to share in their purpose and share in the pleasure of:

  • Creating individual and team goals
  • Contributing something signifcant
  • Innovating
  • Making a difference
  • Working with people who support and encourage us
  • Working towards and achieving goals
  • Celebrating achievements and being rewarded for them
  • Helping us become an expert at what we do

Add in an understanding that your entire life is not the job and now you’ve got someone working with their heart and soul. Now you’ve got someone who will stick with you.

Questions for comments: How does your company engage its people? How could you improve that?

“I’m Too Old To Live My Dream”

When I finished my presentation on Finding Your Passionate Purpose this morning. One of the men in the audience said, “Greg, I’m a little depressed now. You got me to think of a dream I gave up on because I’m too old.”

“What was the dream?” I asked.

“To be a Catholic priest.”

Now this guy looks to be in his late 50s, maybe early 60s. I said, “Too old? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a TON of old priests! Have you seen the Pope? This isn’t just a young man’s game. Why would you be too old?”

Are you telling yourself you’re too old? It’s only true if you believe it.

  • Grandma Moses didn’t START painting in earnest until she was 78.
  • Ray Croc didn’t start McDonald’s until he was 53.
  • Duncan Hines didn’t license the right to use his name to the company that developed his cake mixes until he was 73.
  • Julia Childs didn’t make her television debut until she was 51.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t get Little House in the Big Woods published until she was 65.
  • Fauja Singh didn’t run his first marathon until he was 89.
  • Audrey Crabtree went back and graduated high school at the age of 99.
  • Frank McCourt didn’t publish Angela’s Ashes until he was 66.
  • Diana Nyad didn’t swim from Florida to Cuba until she was 64.

You can still live your dream. Let’s GO!

You Didn’t Win the Powerball Lotto, Now What?

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OK, I admit it. I got swept up in Powerball Fever and bought a ticket. And…I lost. And so did you. Bummer.

Wait a second. I can make this a good thing.

Greg, I love your enthusiasm but losing $1.5B is not a good thing. That’s like saying Jar Jar Binks was a good Star Wars character.

I hear you, (and please don’t ever make me think of Jar Jar again) but you didn’t lose that money, you just didn’t win.

The whole reason I bought a ticket was to try to make my dreams as real as possible. I spent some time imagining what I would do with all that money. I would travel the world (but mostly warm places). I would go on adventures. I would give more to my church, family, friends, and charity. I would take guitar lessons again. I would learn several more languages. I would live by the beach. I would still work at helping people find their Passionate Purpose. I would…

What would you do? Not just what things you would buy, but what you would do? The answer to that might just give you a peak into what you’re most passionate about.

You lost, now what? What if you could still do most of the things on your list? Are there ways you could do that?

Why not turn losing the lotto into a positive thing? It got you to start thinking about what you really want. Now dig a little deeper. Why do you want it? Write it all down. Take those ideas and write down goals that go along with them. Start reading those in the morning and at night before you go to bed. (I know you’ve heard this before, but have you done it? It works! Try it.)

When you get sure on your what and your why, the how begins to appear. You will be shocked at all the ideas that pop into your head when you begin to focus on this. I have seen it happen countless times in my life.

You don’t have to take a huge leap, quit your job, and risk everything to follow your dream. You can start with baby steps and transition to it.

Time keeps ticking by no matter what we do. In a year you will either be exactly where you are right now, or you will be a year along your journey to your extraordinary life.

Which will you choose?

Let’s GO!

We Can Actually Learn Something From American Idol

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I don’t watch much reality TV, but my daughters and I all play and sing so we watch AI. As I was watching last night I realized the show has a great lesson for everyone.

OK, Greg’s finally lost it. The only thing I can learn from American Idol is how to waste an hour of my life.

Not so fast, Usain Bolt. Hear me out. All the people who audition – even the ones who are terrible — have something in common that we should imitate. (And no, I’m not talking about putting on a crazy costume and yodeling.)

Instead of just dreaming about what they want in their life, they took action and tried to make it happen.

The talented ones did even more. They put in the hard work to get themselves in a position to create their “lucky” break. They’ve been working on their singing and musical skills for years. Most of them put in countless hours of practice and performances before they went in front of the judges.

I love hearing their stories. Where did they come from? How did they decide to do this? Why do they want it? What have they been willing to do to prepare themselves for this moment?

Even if they aren’t very good, I salute them for not just wishing they could live the life of their dreams, but taking action to see if they can create it. Sure, some of them just want an easy ride to the top. Yes, they need to work on their plan and put in the hard work required to reach their goal. But at least they took a shot. Hey, if they keep taking action who knows what they might accomplish.

What do you want? Why? What are some ways you could start on the path to pursuing it?

Yes, it’s time to act like a contestant on American Idol and take action on what you really want.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put on my cheetah outfit and get my yodel practice in. Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Good night.

Who Else Has Trouble Letting People Help Them?

Do you ever feel like you are totally on your own in pursuing your goals? Most of us don’t have a big network or platform to lean on.

But, what if we have more than we think? What if there is a way to let (not “get” but “let”) other people help us?

What if you open up, take a risk, and tap into a network that you didn’t even know you had?

Greg, my network is too small to even matter, I don’t know anyone who could help me. I doubt if anyone but me would share my vision for asparagus ice cream anyway.

I thought the same thing (except for that asparagus ice cream thing). But, by stepping out of my comfort zone, I have had people I haven’t spoken with in years connect with me and offer to help me. This can happen for you, too. Stick with me through this story…

I launched my book Go! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose this year.

When I first started thinking about “launching” the book I thought to myself, “Self, who is even going to know you wrote a book? Who is going to care? You don’t have a big following. Only family and friends will buy it.”

Yup, you can see I was really encouraging myself. I need to go back and read my own blog posts on the voices in my head and how to make them work for me.

Then, I calmed down and started thinking in a more positive way:

I have a radio show and many of those listeners will buy the book. (Don’t worry. You don’t have to host a radio show for this to work. It isn’t part of this story, but I wanted to be honest about the platform I have.) I have been increasing my activity on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. I try to add value and encourage people on those sites. I did that enough that posting about my book didn’t come off as pushy sales stuff.

I did some research and came up with the idea of building a “street team” for my book launch. I reached out to people on Facebook, Twitter and through my radio show. I let them know that I was creating a team of 100 people. I would give them a digital copy of my book before it was for sale. All they had to do was agree to write an honest review on Amazon, post about it on their social media accounts, and tell all their friends about the book.

Part of me was a little worried about telling my family, friends and acquaintances about my manuscript. Would they think I was just trying to make money off them? Would they be offended? Would they care?

But, at heart I am a dionarap. It’s a reverse paranoid (OK, you got me, it’s just paranoid spelled backwards). I believe everyone is out to help me, not to get me. The responses to my postings on Facebook supported that belief.

People I haven’t spoken to in years reached out to help me. One recommended my paperback to her book club. Another put it on the reading list for his clients and students. In fact, he called me up and we may end up collaborating on a book in the future. We found ways to help each other that we never even dreamed of before.

I had people offering to help me with my website and to proofread my book. I had people posting kind comments and encouraging me. It made me feel wonderful.

And all of this because I reached out to people and took a small risk. I didn’t even know the talents and interests that so many of my friends have. I bet you have connections that would love to help you. I bet they have skills you don’t know about. They are just waiting for you to let them help you.

Let them. Then, go one extra step. Let them know how much you want to help them. Ask them what goal they’re working on.

What skills do you have to help that they may not know about? What information or person might you connect them with that will help get them where they want to go?

When we start looking to help each other there’s no telling how much we can accomplish. And, the love it generates feels awesome. (But you might want to come up with a better goal than creating asparagus ice cream.)

Action step: Take a risk. Reach out to whatever network you have. Explain what you’re working on. Ask for help. Let me know what happens.

Question: What has worked for you in helping others and letting others help you? What’s the best way you’ve grown your network?