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Wisdom from the Beatles

September 30, 2011 by  
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Do you think the most successful band in history might have a few bits of wisdom to share? Well, in the book “The 5 Best Decisions the Beatles ever Made” they have, well, 5 bits of wisdom–rules you might consider adopting to aid your own super success.

No. 1 Share the Spotlight
In other words, hire and work with the best people you can find, people that are smarter than you are, who know their stuff. Don’t try to take it all on yourself and don’t hire mediocre people or you may never even have a spotlight to share.

No. 2 Have a Great Dream and Share It

Dream big about something you’re really passionate about and then surround yourself with people that will be as excited, inspired and energized by your vision as you are. They should be so excited by your dream that they make it theirs as well. If you have people that see the work they do with you as just a paycheck or simply ‘doing you a favor’, have them move on and get the people that will not only keep up the energy and momentum you need but grow it.

Then there’s No. 3, 4 and 5 … but I’m not going to talk about those yet. You need to go buy the book and let the pages inspire you. Or maybe, just maybe, I will tell you about the other great decisions in future blogs. But if you’re already getting wound up by the idea of adopting the rules the great Beatles followed, why wait?

Small Decisions

September 23, 2011 by  
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I just read a great book called “The 5 Best Decisions the Beatles ever Made”. Apparently, the driving force that pushed the Beatles to be the best was that they had decided they needed to be better than Elvis, something that they said to each other almost daily. And I don’t think anyone can argue with their results!

The title of this book is what really grabbed my attention at first. Decisions are so very, very critically important in all of our lives. One or two good decisions can lift a life to great heights just as a couple of real bad decisions can be devastating. A friend of my son’s made a very bad decision one night, choosing to drive home after too many drinks. What seemed a small decision cost him 12 years in prison and, even worse, ended the lives of two innocent young girls.

On the other hand, it’s true that even small decisions can have a tremendously positive affect on our lives. Like something as simple as deciding to tell yourself every day that you are going to better than the most successful person in your field. Small decisions like that are what took the Beatles to the very top and, of course, in many people’s minds they are still the best.

I’ll talk more about the 5 best decisions discussed in the book in the next couple blog posts. Maybe a small decision like returning here next week will result in your discovery of a fantastic idea that changes everything for you. You never know.

Friendships for Health

September 16, 2011 by  
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It’s not only me that believes keeping up friendships is important to your health and the quality of life. I recently came across an article on the Mayo Clinic site (that highly respected health research and educational organization) about just how important it is to maintain your friends and social circle.

According to this article friendships can:
• Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
• Boost your happiness
• Reduce stress
• Improve your self-worth
• Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
• Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Now that’s a lot of benefits for something most of us would like to have more of anyways! So why don’t we keep up with our friends better?

It’s because life just gets in the way. We are constantly drawn away by other priorities such as work, caring for children or elderly parents, or trying to make a dent in that long to-do list that is always hanging over our heads. We also move around a lot in this country so even well-established friendships start to fade with the distance between us all. And then it’s hard to find the time and even motivation to go out and make new friends. But it would seem, we can’t really afford not to.

It’s not that we need to have a lot of friends to get these benefits, but rather, according to the Mayo clinic article, it’s the quality of the friendships–do the friendships you have fulfill your individual need for a certain kind of closeness, comfort, and availability? It’s different for everyone but the important thing is to value those friendships, take time to call, visit, write or whatever else is appropriate for the relationship you have with your friends. Don’t let time and distance get in the way of acquiring all the great benefits friendships bring you and giving those same benefits to others.

If you’d like to read the Mayo clinic article, you can find it at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/friendships/MH00125

Comfort of the Familiar vs. Excitement of the New

September 9, 2011 by  
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I’m still on a high from the great trip we had a couple of weeks ago. I love being out on the road, looking at all the wonderful scenery we pass, some familiar, some new. I know when we stopped in Garland Utah, both my wife and I were struck by how the town has not changed in 50 years and we both agreed that we actually liked it that way.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, that may not sound like me. I have often gone on and on about how novel experiences make things exciting, fires up your passion for living and keep your mind active and in shape. But life doesn’t have to always be about excitement. There can be a great feeling of comfort and safety when things don’t change and sometimes we need that. For instance, on this last trip, there was a lot of comfort and joy in seeing old friends. However, often times when I travel I try to meet new people. I think we need both–the comfort and ease of the familiar and the excitement of the new.

It really comes down to balancing what you do. I think for many people, sticking with the old familiar things provides a comfort they find hard to let go of but it also can hold you back from living fully. In order to liven up your life and to live passionately you need to get out of that comfortable place occasionally. Try something new, meet and chat with complete strangers, travel somewhere unfamiliar. And in between, rest and recharge with the comfort of the things you know well.

Recharging and Making Memories

September 4, 2011 by  
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My wife and I just returned from the annual Stein Eriksen Tennis tourney just south of Ennis Montana, high on a mountain over the Madison River. Kimberly and I planned out the trip in detail, contacting a number of people to tell them we were going to stop by. When we finished the trip I was a little shell shocked by the “super high” that the trip gave me. And it was really more the people and the reconnecting with old friends that did the trick, even though the scenery was spectacular.

Our first stop was cute little Garland Utah where we visited with Bob Jensen, an old friend I’d met in England back in 1963. Then we drove to Providence Utah where I renewed my friendship with a middle school friend, Jay Low. Then it was onto Bear Lake where we stayed overnight with my good friend and prior business partner for over 17 years, George Winquist.

When we arrived at the tourney, we were warmly greeted by Stein and Francoise Eriksen and several other friends from my more recent past. The next day Bjorn Eriksen buzzed the house in his small plane to let us know that he and his girlfriend had arrived. For the next three days 40 of us played tennis, laughed and talked over great wine. Isn’t it amazing that you can go a year or even many years without talking to a good friend and then you pick right up as if no time has passed at all?

Even our drive back was highlighted by great conversation. In Jackson there was another middle school friend, George Thompson and wife Jett. The next day we stopped to see sister Sue and her husband Paul and my brother Scott and his wife Pat. And every conversation just recharged me more.

Family, friends, and tons of great memories made just filled me up on this trip. It gave both my wife and I a super re-charging of mental and even physical batteries. All of us can and should re-dedicate ourselves to staying in touch and re-connecting with friends and relatives–it’s the best stuff in life, keeping us pumped up and making life so much richer.