Go Big or Go Home is Wrong

surfer

Sometimes we aim too high, too fast, and then should all over ourselves. You know, I should have gotten more done. I should have been smarter. I should have achieved my goal already.  I should be reading Greg’s blog every week and getting him to coach me. (OK, that last one was a shameless plug.) None of this is helpful.

When we should on ourselves it just leads to discouragement and it makes it harder to reach our goals. Two things happened to me this week that reminded me how destructive all that is.

First, I heard an interview where a world class, female athlete was asked how she accomplished so much. Her reply was awesome.

“I didn’t really have lofty goals when I started. I just wanted to get good enough and make enough money to feed my dog. Once I did that, I set higher goals. Now I set goals I couldn’t have dreamed of before.”

dogwithbread

Yes! She created a goal, achieved it, and then created momentum. She has so much confidence now that her goals are enormous.

She didn’t live by the t-shirt slogan, Go Big or Go Home. She went small, won, went bigger, won, and now she goes LARGE!

Don’t get me wrong. Setting big goals is an awesome thing to do. Just don’t let the size of them paralyze you from taking action. Don’t become discouraged because you don’t change the world in a day.

The second thing that happened to me was a new friend of mine spoke eloquently to me about Grace. He reminded me that we are all flawed. No matter how much we try, we make mistakes. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

And that’s OK.

Give yourself some Grace.

Give your friends and family some Grace.

Take a breath.

Action Steps:

  1. Take your big goal and break it down.
  2. Create smaller goals to get there and action plans for the next year, six months, one month, one week and one day.
  3. Take action every day.
  4. Watch your small steps turn into something BIG.

If you’ve had a tough time or two, budget some time for a pity party if necessary (not for long, though).

Regroup.

Then, GO!

Question for comments: What small goal led to something you didn’t think you could accomplish?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

What Would You Do If It Was Impossible to Fail?

apollo-13-free-movie

You can’t do it. It’s impossible. Can’t be done. There’s just no way. You’re wasting your time.

When you say that, your brain doesn’t even try to come up with options. It just says, “Well, guess I don’t need to think about how to make that happen. I’ll just move on to trying to figure out the next thing they should stuff in our pizza crust. Did you know they stuffed one with hotdogs?! (OK, maybe that’s just my brain.)

If you believe it can’t be done, you will never do it. You will never even try to do it.

But what if?

What if you assume it is possible? What happens then? (Then I can start putting chicken and waffles in my pizza crust? – Greg, what is this obsession with food today? Hey, I haven’t had lunch yet. )

What happens then is you start to imagine how it could be done. Your brain starts a new kind of innovative, inventive, creative and productive thought process.

Hey, what if you could create a self driving, flying car – with a bed – that massages you – and cooks your favorite food? (Greg, enough with the food ideas already! – Sorry.)

You’ve asked your brain to find a solution so it’s working on it.

Remember the Apollo 13 space mission? After the fire and oxygen problems, imagine if the astronauts and engineers had said, there’s just no way we can fix this. Not good.

Instead, they said, “Failure is not an option.” And they figured out a way.

Is there anything recently that caused you to say it can’t be done?

  • A potential customer you don’t think you can land?
  • A new business venture you really want to try but you don’t see how you can make it work?
  • Creating a lasting relationship with someone you might want to spend the rest of your life with?
  • Buying that new house?
  • Taking on a new project?

What would happen if you assume it’s possible, say failure is not an option, and start some imaginative thinking on how to do it?

If you start asking the right questions, you might be shocked by the answers your brain comes up with.

Let me know.

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

STOP Listening!

stop listen

I’ve got some counter culture advice for you. If you want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and create the life of your dreams, it’s time to STOP listening.

Whoa, Greg. That sounds crazy. Everyone I know talks about how important it is to listen. There are seminars, books, videos and courses you can take that will teach you how to be a great listener. Now you’re telling me to stop listening? Have you gone cuckoo for cocoa puffs?

I understand your skepticism (but I think you need to be a bit more politically correct to our friends with mental health special needs). Let me explain.

I’m not saying stop listening to everyone and everything. That WOULD be bozo. I’m saying you need some selective hearing (like when someone asks you to take out the trash compared to when someone calls you to dinner).

Be selective about who and what you listen to. It can support you, encourage you, and build you up, or it can demoralize you and tear you down.

Are you listening to the world or yourself? The world will demand you meet its needs. It will give you all kinds of reasons to do what it tells you. It will result in a never-ending game of When-Then.

The World says when you get enough money, know the right people, earn the right degree, have enough experience – Then you can try and launch your own business/product/service/website

The World says when you get that job, promotion, bonus, or new house – Then you will be happy, respected, and successful.

The World says when you create a real light saber – Then you will become the coolest dad in the universe. (Wait, don’t write that, Greg. Use your inside voice on that one.) Sorry.

When-Then always leaves us wanting more and much less happy than we thought we’d be.

The World will whisper that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. Your job isn’t prestigious or important enough. You don’t do anything significant. You will fail if you try. You’re a fraud. Why would anyone want to work with you? Why would they buy from you? Who are you to write a book, or start a new business, or become a consultant?

The World will tell you, that you don’t really count and you never will.

Man, The World is kind of a jerk. Yup. So why do we listen to it?

Listen to yourself and follow your Passionate Purpose to be happier, more successful, more significant and a better person for all you love. You get to decide what’s important to you and your family. Don’t give that power to anyone else.

Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Are you happy with that answer?

When passion and desire meet you have tremendous power. When you put everything into it – you have more enjoyment and success. Don’t murder your dreams by telling yourself you can’t do what you feel you were born to do.

Living an extraordinary life isn’t just for the special or elite. Everyone can do it, but not everyone will do it.

Decide what you want, why you want it, and start today with some baby steps to get there. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap, but you do have to begin.

Questions for comments: What baby steps can you take today to get started?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Positive Thinking – That Works – Isn’t Lying to Yourself

power-of-positive-thinking.001

 

Because I generally have a positive outlook, I frequently have people ask me, “Greg, you’re not one of those positive thinkers looking at the world through rose colored glasses are you?” Well, yes and no.

I am a positive thinker, but I’m not someone who ignores problems and pretends everything is perfect. That’s not being positive and optimistic. That’s being stupid.

The optimist throws the curtains open and says, “Good morning, God!” The pessimist rolls over and says, “Good god, it’s morning.”

If you are having trouble paying your bills and instead of doing anything to fix the problem you simply think positive and hope your bills get paid, they will eventually come take your car and foreclose on your house.

But that doesn’t mean the only thing you can do is focus on your poor financial situation. There is always more than one reality.

Reality 1: You don’t have enough money coming in.

Reality 2: You have a good job. You have opportunities for advancement. Maybe you can ask for some overtime work, or take on some extra responsibilities and earn a promotion. You have skills to earn extra income. You could start a side business via the Internet. You could cut back on some of your expenses that aren’t necessities, etc.

The reality you focus on will greatly affect your mood, actions and outcome.

Remember, you aren’t lying to yourself or ignoring reality. You are choosing to focus on the reality that will help you the most. And that is key:

  • You get to choose your reality
  • You get to choose your attitude
  • You get to choose how you react
  • You get to choose to be happy

“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are weeds that strangle confidence.”
–Bruce Lee

Research shows that to get the best results you need to focus on the positives three times as much as the negatives.

Action steps:

  1. Pay attention to your thoughts. When you have a negative thought, yell STOP! (If other people are around, you may want to use your inside voice. We don’t want the men in white suits coming to get you with a net.) Replace that negative thought with a realistic positive thought.
  2. Focus on those positive thoughts and take action on them to improve your situation.
  3. Every night write down three new things you are thankful for. They can be something big or little that happened that day, or anything in your life your are grateful for. The trick is to come up with 3 new things each day. (Research shows this simple exercise significantly improves our happiness.)

It’s something all of us can start doing today. When I do it, I move forward and feel better.

Let me know how it works for you.

Let’s GO!

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

How to Outsource What You Don’t Want to Do – For Almost Nothing!

should-you-outsource-510

Are there things you have to do, but you don’t really want to do? Maybe some things you aren’t great at that need to get done? Are there things that you could do, but aren’t the best use of your time?

Um, Greg, is this a trick question? Does a one-legged duck swim in circles? Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Do I always show up on time for dinner?

Sorry.

Here’s the point. You can outsource almost everything you don’t want to do, everything you aren’t great at, and everything that takes your time away from doing what you are great at – and most of it doesn’t cost very much. Why waste your precious time doing things you don’t like and might not be very good at?

How much more could you get done if you focused most of your time on the things you love to do and do well? At work? At home?

Yes, it costs money. But not as much as you might think, and how much more money could you make focusing on your most important things? And how much is your time worth? You’ve heard it said that time is money. Nope. Time is more valuable than money. You can make more money. No one can make more time. So, how much is your time worth?

As I was writing my book (shameless plug – makes a great Christmas gift – especially for your college educated son living in the basement playing video games all day) I realized I didn’t want to spend the time and effort creating the cover, formatting it for print and digital outlets, and doing the final editing. I also knew I couldn’t do those parts of the book as well, and as quickly, as people who do those sorts of things as their main job.

So, I outsourced all of it!

I used a website called Fiverr. Check it out. (No, I don’t get a kickback if you use them. Although, I’d like to! Hey, Fiverr – help a brother out!) The site has tons of people and organizations from America and all around the world to choose from. Each one’s performance is rated by the users and you can reach out to them before you put down your money to get the job done. All the work is based on $5 gigs. Some jobs take multiple “gigs” to get done.

My front cover was $5. My back and side cover were another $5. A digital 3D photo for my website and Amazon was $5. You get the idea.

I had several people in the business tell me it would cost several hundred dollars to get my book cover created. I did it for $15 plus tax. Sweet.

Here are some other websites that can help you outsource your unwanted tasks:

Peopleperhour
Guru
Upwork
Elance
Fiverr
Toptal
Outsource

As I continue to run my business on helping people and businesses find and pursue their Passionate Purpose I plan to spend my time on what only I can do and what I like to do –  and outsource the things I’m not as good at, don’t like to do, or don’t want to spend my valuable time doing.

Think about all the things you could outsource at home and at work:

  • Video editing
  • Grocery delivery
  • Research
  • Web design
  • Research
  • Graphic design for covers, logos, banners, etc.
  • Creating Power Point slides – Great ones
  • Podcast editing
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Cleaning: It doesn’t have to be a weekly maid. How about once or twice a month? How about only the really tough stuff, like the bathrooms, and the windows?

Have you always wanted a personal assistant like CEOs and celebrities have, but you can’t justify spending the money? Here’s an article listing the The 10 Lowest Cost Virtual Assistant Services.

Do what you love, what needs your touch or voice, and what creates the most for you. Outsource the rest.

Question for comments: What have you outsourced? What has worked well and what hasn’t?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Do You Have the Perfect Idea?

It means nothing, unless...

lightbulb

Have you ever had the perfect idea? What did you do with it? Did it change the world? Did it make you super successful in every meaning of the word? Or, did something else happen?

Last night I had a dream. I came up with a perfect idea. I have a strategy to save these ideas. I keep my phone right next to my bed. When I have an idea in the middle of the night, I record it into my phone. The problem is that when I listen to it in the morning it often sounds like, “Don’t forget to oxenfrter the blktmite and grnxl prkngrp.”

Awesome.

This time it was even worse. I couldn’t wake myself up enough to make the audio note. Instead, I told myself in my dream/wake state to remember this perfect idea…

And I forgot it.
So I can’t act on it.
So it wasn’t a perfect idea.

What perfect ideas have you gotten that you’ve never acted on? No matter how great they were, they are worth precisely nothing because you didn’t act on them.

It’s not too late. If you had a perfect idea – act on it today. The next time you have a perfect idea, or even just a good one:

  1. Write it down (legibly) so you remember it.
  2. Brainstorm ways to implement it and break your ultimate goal down into achievable mini-goals.
  3. Take some form of action – no matter how small – right away!
  4. Take consistent, daily action every day. Make it a ritual.
  5. Don’t stop until your idea is realized.

That’s the only time ideas actually count.

Now excuse me while I try to translate my midnight brilliance from my smart phone. (This isn’t going to end well.)

“Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about.” – Ashleigh Brilliant

Questions for comments: What great idea have you not acted on that you could start acting on today?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

 

You Are Exactly Where You Are Supposed To Be

believe

I missed my chance. I made the wrong decision. It’s too late for me. I can never do it now. Haven’t we all told ourselves that at some point? I know I have – too many times.

But I don’t believe that anymore. Here’s what I believe because of what I’ve done and what I’ve seen other people do:

You are right where you’re supposed to be. Every decision, moment, and event in your life has brought you here, reading this in order to do something extraordinary.

Even the tough times and difficult decisions can be used to get us ready for something great. Have you ever looked back on a stressful period of your life and realized you needed to go through that to become the person you are today?

I made the decision to move my family across the country for my job four different times. It wasn’t easy, but we made new friends, were exposed to different cultures and had experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My work experience from being a probation and parole officer, a mental health counselor, a radio talk show host, and someone who has started three small busineses, has lead me to develop the skills and expertise I need to become a professional speaker, author, and coach.

It’s not too late.

Your chance is now.

Take action.

Isn’t that exciting?

It can also be kind of scary. Fear will creep in and tell you that if you take a big leap you might fall flat on your face. You might lose everything, let your family down, and end up eating government cheese, living in a van down by the river.

Wow. That was a quick downward cycle, but I get it. Fear can be paralyzing.

But, what if you don’t have to take the huge leap? What if you can take some baby steps today that lead into big strides? What if the big strides can turn into jumps and then, one day, you take a big leap into the life you’ve always dreamed of?

People do it everyday. Why not you?

You’re reading this for a reason.

Now is your time.

  1. Define your passionate purpose.
  2. Set your big goals.
  3. Break them down to small, attainable, measurable goals.
  4. Take DAILY action on those goals. Make it a DAILY habit. Small, DAILY action is all it takes!
  5. Stay focused on your why and let it motivate you.

Let’s GO!

If you get stuck, email me, check out my book, and/or check out my coaching.

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

If You’re About to Give Up, Read THIS First!

A young looking pensive while covering his mouth with a clenched hand

You’ve been working really hard and you’re frustrated. All the big ideas, extra hours, sacrifices, and effort you’ve put in have gotten you…what?

Exactly Jack Squat!

Maybe.

But what if you’re this close to a breakthrough? What if that last little bit of work will put you on a path to something that could really change your life?

My first job in talk radio way back in the 90s was not as a talk show host. I was working for minimum wage doing all the grunt work and overnight shifts. I even had to buy time to get a chance to be on the air. Fairly quickly they were “kind” enough to let me provide a show for the station for free, but I still wasn’t getting paid.

YES! I always wanted to work for free! Ok, maybe not. I wasn’t exactly reaching my radio dreams…yet.

Even though my wife’s job and my part time job as a mental health counselor were earning enough to support us, I felt like I was letting her down. I told her I was about to quit the radio dream and get a full time counseling job.

She convinced me to stay at it at least until the end of the year. (She’s awesome.) She said, “Hey, you’re actually pretty good at this.” (Yeah, she’s funny, too.)

About a month later I was offered a full time job as a talk show host on the number one station in town. That was the start of my 21 year career as a radio talk show host including national syndication and stints in Dallas, Kansas City, and Jacksonville. What if I’d given up one month before my big break?

I was reminded of this while I was watching The Voice with my daughter. One of the contestants is married with children. He’s a teacher and sings on the side. He’s been doing it for over a decade without much success. He told his brother he was about to give up on the idea of a singing career – and then he got a spot on The Voice.

What if you’re that close?

Before you give up, do a double check:

1) Remember why you want this. Is that why still strong for you? Why are you working this hard? Why are you doing what other people aren’t willing to do? Isn’t is because then you will get to do what other people aren’t able to do?

2) Review the progress you’ve made so far. You might be surprised at what you’ve already accomplished.

3) Review your plan. What parts are working? What parts aren’t working? What could you change to get better results?

4) Imagine what your life would be like if this started turning around for you? What would change? How would that impact you, and those around you? How would it make you feel?

5) Give yourself some grace. Maybe you just need to slow down and take a bit more time on this. Maybe you’re burning yourself out and expecting too much too soon. Go for smaller successes and then build to bigger things. You’re human, and that’s ok.

6) Email me before you give up and see if I can help you! greg@gregorybknapp.com

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”
– T.F. Hodge

Question for comment: How do you keep going when you feel like giving up?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Let’s GO!

George Costanza Can Help You Find Your Passionate Purpose

george

 

If you want to live an inspired, extraordinary life you’re my kind of people. Finding your Passionate Purpose is the first step on that amazing journey. A couple of posts ago we went over how it helps you in so many ways.

I received an email saying “Greg, I’m on board. I want to find my PP and live the life I was meant to, but I’m having trouble figuring it out.”

I got you.

First, there is no one right way to do this.

But I do have a ton of strategies and techniques to help you find it and I’ll lay them out over the next few posts.

Let’s start with George Costanza. Remember the Seinfeld episode where George figured out that his life was a mess because he always made the wrong choices? He decided he was going to do the opposite of what he would normally do and see how that would work. His life improved greatly!

Of course, it wasn’t hard to improve the life of a bald, middle-aged, unemployed man who still lived with his parents, but you get the idea.

The Costanza Method

Figure out all the things you don’t want in every part of your life.

Describe what your worst job would be, who you would work with, what your hours would be, how much you would earn, and what your vacations would be like.

Then move on to where you would live, who you would be married to, and what your family and friends would be like.

Continue describing what you don’t want for your spiritual life, your physical fitness and every other aspect of your life you can think of. Write this out in as much detail as you can. Make this your nightmare life.

See it, feel it, and make it as real for you as you possibly can.

Pretty brutal.

Now apply the Costanza method. Imagine and write down the exact opposite life and you’ll be on your way to your best life.

And you have a bald, middle-aged, unemployed man who still lives with his parents to thank for it.

george gif

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Let’s GO!

Two of the most POWERFUL words we don’t use enough

In our personal relationships and in business

thanks

How do you feel when you get a real thank you? I’m not talking about a “thanks” for holding the door, passing the ketchup, or a perfunctory thanks for taking my phone call. Those are all fine, but how do you feel when you get a sincere, meaningful thank you? How do you feel when someone looks you in the eye, gives you a firm handshake – or even a hug – and says, “I really want to thank you for ________. It means a lot to me and I’ll never forget it.”? How do you feel when someone hand writes you a heartfelt message and a “Thank You” on personal stationery?

Awesome, right?

“A sincere ‘thank you’ can change the day – even the life – of the receiver and the giver. Who do you need to thank today?” 

A sincere, “thank you” creates an emotional bond between both parties. It encourages the person you’re thanking. It lets them know they count in this world, they’re making a difference, and they touched your life. It also makes you feel better, elevates your relationships, and often leads to more business (bonus!).

So why don’t we do it more? We tell ourselves:

  • We’re busy
  • The other person knows we appreciate them and doesn’t care if we say “thank you” anyway
  • We don’t know how to say it
  • It’s too much trouble.

All wrong.

Here’s how we need to answer those negative thoughts we tell ourselves:

  • We’re busy – Everyone’s busy, but no one’s too busy to give or receive a thank you 
  • The other person knows we appreciate them and doesn’t care if we say “thank you” anyway – The other person doesn’t know how you feel unless you tell them, and they do care
  • We don’t know how to say it –  Just say what you feel
  • It’s too much trouble – It only takes a few minutes and can cause joy and even miracles.

I think there’s one other reason we don’t say thank you enough…It can be scary.

When you admit that you needed someone’s help, or you couldn’t have done it without them, or you care about someone, you are making yourself vulnerable.

Being vulnerable does open you up to being hurt, but it also opens you up to deeper relationships and bigger opportunities.

You can take the risk to be vulnerable, offer a sincere thank you,  and make an impact.  Or you can play it “safe,” stay quiet, and miss your opportunity. Which will you choose?

Questions for comments: Who are you going to sincerely thank today? What happened when you did?

I want to give as many people as possible my free eBook, 5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose. Please forward this to a friend who needs it. If they click here, they can get the free eBook.

Let’s GO!