Successful folks do…..

Wow, where has all the time gone…. been quite some time since I’ve posted, mostly because….  but it’s time to start sharing thoughts that have been rattling around in my head for the past year… It’s also time to start getting refocused after a pretty major health scare. Time to start pushing the rock up hill again, but should probably learn from from Sisyphus and start on a  clearer path. I submit these thoughts for your perusal.

sisSuccess is a game of habits. In itself, “success” is a relative term and so its “achievement” is fully dependent upon the habits you put into place that move you step by step toward the “end” you define for yourself.

To be “successful,” it becomes a matter of the routine you put into place for yourself.

Whenever you are looking outward, for example, it is very clear the difference between those who create positive daily habits for themselves versus the people who let life’s waves dictate their day to day.

Remember: You are the surfer. It’s up to you to ride the waves based on where it is you want to go, versus letting them carry you where they will.

1. Successful people plan ahead.

Failure to prepare is the act of preparing to fail.

Those who are successful at what it is they want to do spend a healthy amount of time planning, thinking, strategizing, and preparing in advance. They don’t wait until the moment has arrived to contemplate how they’ll tackle a situation. Instead, they get as much completed and ready ahead of time so they are more free to embrace the challenges of the moment.

Spend some time each night, and at the end of each week, reflecting on what it is you’ve accomplished already and what it is you want to “get done” next. Make your list, create your plan of action, and then let that ruminate in your subconscious while you sleep. And the next morning, you will be one step ahead.

2. Successful people do the hard stuff first.

Lazy people have a knack for getting done all the things that are not true priorities. But when it comes to the hard stuff, they suddenly find every reason why they could not complete the task.

That’s because hard stuff is, well, “hard.” It is a priority for a reason, and that’s because it is the thing that’s going to move the needle. But often times, what moves the needle lies in the unknown. It requires a risk, or a leap of faith, in some way.

Those who are successful at what they do know this. And instead of shying away from the challenge, they make themselves do these “hard tasks” first–before allowing themselves the luxury of the easy stuff.

3. Successful people say no.

If you want to go your own way, be prepared to piss a lot of people off.

Nobody likes being told no. That’s why so many people say yes to things. They don’t want to make others feel bad, or they don’t want to sever current or potential friendships, or they don’t want to be excluded from future possibilities, or they don’t want to be looked down upon, etc.

But the truth is, if you want to be successful, you’re going to have to say no a lot more than you say yes. Want to go hang out at the bar? Want to post up for the afternoon and watch football? Want to take an extended vacation? None of these things are bad in themselves, but if you still haven’t made your dream come true, then realize that every time you say yes to what someone else wants you to do, you are saying no to whatever it is you truly want to do.

It’s a judgment call, and one a lot (and I mean a lot) of people struggle with. Successful people are very conscious of how they spend their time.

4. Successful people invest in themselves.

Both in terms of time and money, successful people see life through a lens of investment.

The majority of people don’t invest; they spend. They spend the money they earn. They spend their time with people they don’t really like, doing things they don’t really enjoy. They spend and spend and then wake up one morning wondering why their life is the way it is.

Successful people, on the other hand, invest. They are conscious of how they spend their time and invest it toward their goals. They invest their money in creating additional revenue streams, not owning depreciating assets. They invest in themselves, taking courses, exposing themselves to worthwhile attractions, feeding their interests.

Investing over time is what ultimately creates wealth, both financially and in terms of knowledge.

5. Successful people surround themselves with other successful people.

Your network is your net worth.

The true value of having a network is not access to “things.” It’s access to habits and thought processes you would otherwise struggle to create on your own.

When you are surrounded by people who embody the same traits you hope to one day have, it speeds up the learning process. You inherently rise to their standard, and push yourself to grow through imitation (which is actually a very good thing). Similarly, if you are surrounded by negative people, lazy people, angry and depressing people, those same traits will rub off on you.

Surround yourself with people who, in some way, are who you want to become yourself.

6. Successful people study their craft.

I blame school for this, honestly.

There are a lot of people in the world who believe that life operates the same way as formal education. They go to college, get their diploma, start working at a big company, and then just assume that over time their years spent there will carry them up the ladder to a nice and comfortable position (just as you rise from freshman to senior).

Unfortunately, there are situations that reward the fundamental metric of time, and people can climb the ladder of “success” by simply staying the course. But the truth is, those are not the ones who end up becoming thought leaders, innovators, industry experts, or even accomplished creators. Because to do that, you have to actively be studying your craft in ways that does not happen by simply clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 5.

Successful people don’t separate their job and their “personal life.” Their job is their passion, and their passion is their craft. They study their craft relentlessly because it is part of who they are. It is not dependent upon time. It is merely a reflection of their own curiosity.

7. Successful people are accountable for their actions.

Lazy people point the finger at others and make excuses for why things didn’t happen. Successful people own up to the weight of their actions and take accountability for their own shortcomings.

This is a habit and a mindset, and one that takes years to cultivate properly. To truly be successful, you have to be extremely self-aware and willing to question the reality you are living. If things are amiss or not going the way you want them to, you cannot point at others and blame them for your unhappiness, dissatisfaction, etc. You have to own up and admit that you created your reality and nobody else.

8. Successful people believe in themselves.

Lazy people want others to believe in them before they believe in themselves.

Successful people, on the other hand, believe in themselves against all odds, often times long before anyone else does. To be successful, this is a must. You cannot expect others to support and believe in something that you yourself cannot even tap into. It has to come from you before it can come from anyone else.

To do this, however, you must take considerable time to understand, know, and nurture yourself. It’s tough work, but it’s foundational work, and is often what makes the difference between building something that lasts and instead hoping for short-lasting approval.

Believe in yourself. That’s where it all starts.

Til next time….


Wow its been nearly a year since I’ve posted something. Where has the time gone? And more importantly what have I really accomplished? That said, It’s time for a rant especially with all that has gone on around us these last few months. I think it just might be time for that proverbial “bitch slap” to help keep or rearrange priorities…. Lord knows its easy to get distracted these days. Without further ado:  avoidence

In this age of the quantified self, we measure how many hours we slept, steps we took, calories we burned. Yet we know nothing about ourselves. We spend more time checking-in to our stats than our souls. Our experience is mined for data but not depth. We have all these numbers to improve now, but no idea how to dial back the numbness.

Life isn’t necessarily a spreadsheet, yet our useless fascination goes on. We spend more time shopping – considering the thread-count of our sheets before purchase, than we do soul searching, you remember that beautiful art of thinking about the quality and purpose of our lives.

We are addicted to the constant digital stream, often peering gape-mouthed into the sordid details of other people’s lives; (ie. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” or “I am Cait”) in the process we have checked-out of reality, neglecting our own life so pregnant with potential and meaning.

If we are to measure, monitor and improve anything, let it be our presence and character, a mindfulness for who we are and how we are experiencing and relating with the  world. Have I been true to myself? Have I lived vibrantly today? Have I loved openly today? Have I made a difference today? Let us check in to ourselves in these ways; for in the end, these are the only measures that matter.

Nuff said….

Til next time…

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day of Thanksgiving…family, friends and health come to mind as things to be thankful for….I’m also thankful for all who have crossed my path or me theirs and left a mark on my life….some of those I caught their names….some crossed so fast like a shooting star on a summers night that names were not ever exchanged…even those who have caused me ill feelings have taught me something in life…and yes- I am thankful for them as well…..

I ask at this time of year that you make that call to that person that you’ve been meaning a-charlie-brown-thanksgiving-original1 (1)to….that you invite that person you know is alone to come join you for a meal….that you bring some wood to those who would appreciate a warm night time fire….and that you tell those who have impacted your life just that…..tell them of the difference they made to you and watch the tears well up in their eyes…..Blessings to all of you who take the time to come visit me here…..you have made me smile often….I am humbled to know you all.

Til’ next time…

A reboot? Maybe….

I might not know a lot about you personally (okay, maybe nothing) but there’s one thing I can assume with certainty; you’re a thinker. And as you read my stuff, there’s something else I might assume with a high level of probability (but not certainty); you’re a periodic over-thinker. Or worse; a chronic over-thinker.

Nothing wrong with thinking of course (it kind of helps with that whole ‘living life’ thing), but there comes a point in the cognitive process where healthy thinking morphs into unhealthy (obsessive, destructive, weird, compulsive, anxiety-producing, fear-driven) over-thinking. Bells?

In summary…

Thinking: good.
Over-thinking: shit.

The science of Meta-Cognition is an area which explores the notion of ‘thinking about thinking’, (among other things) which is both fascinating and relevant, but to be able to put it into some kind of practice in the real world and create some kind of a positive outcome on a personal level is tricky because after all, you are you, you think like you think, your self-created reality is your reality (only yours), your beliefs are pretty much set and like the rest of us, it’s all you know. And while you exist, interact and ‘operate’ in a physical, three-dimensional world (like the rest of us), the place you do most of your ‘living’ is in your head. Specifically, your thinking.


What if there was a better way to see the world and yourself in it? What if the thing that held you back in life was not your intelligence, talent, education, qualifications, body, environment, opportunities or (insert barrier of choice)? What if your biggest limitation was, in fact, your thinking? Your crappy self-talk? Your self-limiting beliefs? About the world? And you in it? Your propensity to find problems, not solutions? To look past the good stuff and see only the bad stuff? To talk yourself down? Way down?

Okay, be honest and courageous, does any of that sound like you? A little bit?

If you answered no, you can stop reading now (well done, see you next time) and if you answered yes, well done also; you’ve just stepped into a place called self-awareness. Not to be confused with self-loathing. When we start to operate in a state of self-awareness, we begin to discover that ‘our reality’ is just that (our reality) and that we each exist and operate in a multitude of realities and possibilities, all created by the people around us. Operating in self-awareness helps us to understand, connect with and empower others. It also helps the world around us, and the people in it, ‘make sense’ (to us).

In life, there’s no doubt that bad things happen to good people but in the middle of that life, there’s you and me. The story tellers. The interpreters of events. The creators of experiences. And the makers of reality.

When we change our thinking, we change our life.

Til’ next time….

  1. Don’t trust people (too soon).
  2. Expect people to lie.
  3. Don’t expect people to celebrate your success.
  4. Expect resentment.

Now, before anyone starts jumping up and down, shaking their fist and expressing their disdain at my lack of faith in humanity… take a breath and put your soap box away. Put the emotional reaction on hold for a moment and consider a few things. Do you think I would share something so (seemingly) negative without good cause? And by the way, it’s not really negative but rather reasonable, rationale and realistic advice (albeit uncomfortable to hear or read), based on my every-day, real-world experience. Over a very long timewoods---web-copy.

The truth is that many people confuse pragmatic, not-always-comfortable, reality-based advice with negativity. They are quite different. Negativity is expecting a poor outcome for no logical reason or irrationally expecting the worst every time. Whereas, anticipating the possibility (notice I didn’t say certainty) of less-than-desirable behavior from someone (or ones) in your orbit can be not only money-saving, career-saving, relationship-saving, and sanity-saving, in some extreme situations, it can even be life-saving.

That matters.

If you’ve met me (or read me for a while), then you know that I’m a positive, solution-focused person who works diligently to find and develop the best in people but in the middle of my optimism, I’ve experienced the negative version of ALL of the above four behaviors on a regular basis for my entire working life. Often, all on the same day! Is this revelation a display of negativity or toxic thinking on my part? No, it’s a commentary on a thirty-year career, thousands of encounters and an honest insight into one facet of human behavior.

I’ve had people that I cared for (deeply) lie to me, trash talk me, steal money from me (literally), undermine me, resent my success and sabotage my endeavors, so in my world, expecting the best from people (all the people, all the time) would be irrational and potentially, dangerous. (*I’ve also had total strangers be incredibly generous, kind, loving and supportive.)

So, am I saying don’t trust people? Absolutely not. Am I saying everyone’s a lying, selfish, resentful dick? Nope. What I am saying is that life is not a Disney movie and while most people have the capacity for all things generous, kind and incredible, you might want to pay attention (to people) for a while – quite a while – and then base your expectations (of them) on your experience, insight and observation.

This might be an uncomfortable lesson for some of you but I can assure you that learning it this way is more pleasant than the alternative. 😉

Til’ next time…


I know its been a while, but now that things are calming down it time to take a look at whats going on around us. Since it is election/campaign season (God when isn’t it in the US) I need to speak. 

I believe it’s okay to disagree with or have a contrary opinion to someone (healthy even), but it’s not okay to launch a personal attack on a person simply because they don’t share our thinking, beliefs or perspective. Sadly, this seems to be happening more and more in social media and in society at large. It’s kind of unpleasant and unnecessary. Apart from the fact that it makes the attacker look like an irrational, self-righteous dick (and therefore, less likely to be listened to or respected), he/she will destroy any chance of being able to educate, enlighten or influence the other person (because they’ve just created disconnection and disdain), even if they’re 100% right (which is'You can have any opinion you want as long as it's mine.' unlikely). And no, I’m not talking about disagreeing with or reacting to something extreme (like criminal behaviour, for example), but rather, the way we respond to, and interact with, people in our day to day lives. The way we create friction, tension and dis-ease out of nothing.

Every day I hear and read things that I don’t agree with. As do you, I’m sure. It’s part of life. Part of being a conscious, considered being. Our challenge, then, is to know how to invest our time and energy (in relationship to the things we disagree with) while being mindful, self-aware and realistic about what type of impact, effect or outcome a specific response might have.

In this regard, sometimes the best response is no response

good bye….

One of the perks of my profession that I have enjoyed over the years is that I have been able to meet folks who have or had some notoriety. They usually were “infamous” types but every once in a while I’ve had the privilege and honor of meeting someone genuinely kind. I been thinking about some of the chance meetings I have had with Robin Williams. Actually I’ve have been debating about addressing his death the last few days… I’ve met him on a few occasions where I actually got to speak to him, before going on stage (albeit for just a few minutes… where he was in that quiet shy almost vulnerable place). Yet as soon as the lights went on, and he was announced I saw him morph into a completely different person. I was always fascinated by that.

It’s a curious thing isn’t it, to miss someone you didn’t really know? Maybe it has something to do with their entrance? In show biz, and life, a big entrance can leave a big impression, and Robin made a very big one. He crashed into our lives 36 years ago, and took up a kind of residence. Now that he’s left, maybe we miss more than the person? Maybe we miss the version of ourselves that was on hand during that first meeting. Does that make sense?

When I first saw Mork and Mindy, I was eighteen years old, and badly smitten with a girl named Margie. We watched the first episode together in her parents basement, and laughed like lunatics. Then we made out. When I heard about Robin on Monday, my first feeling was shock. Then, a kind of sadness, too shallow to call grief, but to too real to ignore. It wasn’t till later that I found myself wondering about Margie for the first time in years, and recalling my eighteen-year old self with a weird mix of nostalgia and melancholy.

Some people enter our lives and become benchmarks in ways we don’t realize. Then they exit, and we struggle. Sometimes, those people are high-school buddies, and sometimes, they’re stranrw jwgers who somehow felt like friends.

Either way, it sucks when they go.

I’m going to miss him, but hopefully he and Jonathan Winters are having a good laugh somewhere. Just the thought of that makes me smile.

RIP RW may you find peace where ever you are.

Til’ next time….