12 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 43 Years

I turned 43 today.

I feel a bit like Forrest Gump sitting on a bench, reflecting on what I’ve learned in my life.  (Cue music and feather floating in the air.)

Sit down
I wish I learned these things earlier, but I guess this is all part of the journey.

Here are 12 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 43 Years.

1) Giving is better than receiving. Serving others brings great joy.

2) You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself.

3) Life is better when you focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

4) Starting each day with gratitude leads to greater perspective and a happier life.

5) Words are powerful. They can be used to shape people’s futures, for better or for worse.

6) Money doesn’t buy happiness. (But it can be a blessing when you use it in the right ways.)

7) Everybody needs encouragement. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

8) Life can be hard at times. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

9) Everybody is in the people business. Most of our success in life is built around how well we interact with others.

10) Life is not meant to be boring.  Have fun and create adventures.

11) A marriage of your dreams is possible.  Dating your spouse and learning their “love language” are keys to creating it.

12) God is faithful.

Bonus:  Chipotle is better than Moe’s.  (Moe’s fans, please refer to #2)

What has been the best advice you’ve ever received?  Would you share it in the comments below?  

Yes You Can

English heart surgeon Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.”

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We all have tapes that play in our head.  Many times, those tapes are saying something negative.  “I can’t do that”.  “I’m not smart enough”.  “I would fail if I tried that”.

However those thoughts got there, I think many people have a tendency in general to gravitate first towards the “I can’t” mentality.

What if we could change that?  What if we started with “I can”?

I happen to be a Christian.  One of my life verses from the Bible is:  “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

Attitude is everything.

Someone once said, “If you think you can, you can.  If you think you can’t, you can’t.”

In other words, if you start with an “I can’t” mentality, it will be 10x harder to accomplish something than if you start with an “I can” mentality.

A positive attitude will trump a negative attitude every time.

Here are 3 Ways to Have an “I Can” Attitude:

1)  Surround yourself with the right people.  Experts tells us we will be the average of the 5 people we associate with.  Your friends are a preview of your future.  Are you surrounding yourself with mostly negative people?  Seek to limit those relationships and surround yourself with positive people.  You will begin to notice a big difference in your attitude.

2)  Fill your mind with the right stuff.  Read books and listen to podcasts that are life giving. If your media diet consists of only watching the news, it’s probably time to change the channel.

3)  Remind yourself of the right things.  God has created you to be amazing and unique.  There is nobody else on the planet exactly like you.  You have gifts and talents and were created to do great things.  Remind yourself of past accomplishments.  Rediscover (or discover) what you can be the best in the world at and work on your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.

Change your attitude.  Change your life.

Yes You Can.

What is one area you can have a more positive attitude in today?

How Disney Achieves Excellence

You would be hard pressed to find a person that hasn’t experienced the Disney brand in some form or fashion.  Whether it’s a theme park, movie, product or resort, Disney does it right. They are known for their excellence.

Just how do they achieve it?

Cinderella's Castle, Walt Disney World
Walt was a stickler for detail.  He believed details mattered.   To give an example, if Disney was to paint something in one of their parks a certain color (let’s say white for example), they would test dozens of shades of white in various sunlight situations.  All to get just the right shade as it related to the surroundings.

In the early days when Disneyland had opened, Walt would make his “imagineers” (those that designed the park) crawl through the park on their hands and knees to get the same perspective as a child.  He wanted them to experience things as their guests and make changes accordingly.

He also required his staff to ride the rides and eat with the guests to see things from their angle.  Adjustments were easier to make to serve them better.

Walt believed in “Fresh Eyes”.

Fresh eyes as a leader is the ability to see things from a fresh perspective.  Specifically from the perspective of those you serve.

In business, what does your customer experience when they interact with your company?

Is your environment clean?  Were they greeted with a warm welcome?  Was the process efficient?  Did you exceed their expectations so much they would give you a word of mouth referral without you asking?

It’s easy to get so entrenched working “in your business” that you forget to work “on your business”.  

Sadly enough, my experience lately is customer service in many places of business has been in decline.  It’s easier than ever to exceed the competition with just a little extra effort.

Experts say that you can exceed the competition if you can do something just 5% better.

This “Fresh Eyes” principle isn’t just for business.  It can also be used in your personal life.

You can look at your home, your relationships and your life with fresh eyes.  What is the current experience  and how can I make adjustments to make it better?  How can I serve others better?

One tip I would give you is to ask for feedback.  In business, bring in someone to give you some unbiased feedback on their experience with your company.  Set up a survey to get feedback from your customers.  Ask questions regularly with the goal of improvement.

Seeing with “Fresh Eyes” and acting accordingly always leads to improvement.  And when you improve, everybody wins.

What is one area of your organization or life you can look at with “Fresh Eyes” this week?

3 Ways To Make a Good Marriage Great

When I was younger I worked as a life guard at a community pool.

Enamoured couple is played

One day, a disgruntled older man decided he would give me some advice.  He said, “Don’t ever get married.  You’ll be miserable.”

I remember telling him, “Just because you have a bad marriage doesn’t mean I have to have a bad marriage.” It was a sad thing to see someone so negative against marriage.  It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

With the divorce rate in America hovering around 50%, there is a good chance you know someone that has been affected by the devastation of it.

No one sets out on their honeymoon with the goal of getting a divorce, but sadly many people end up there.

For the 50% of couples that don’t end up divorced, there is a percentage of those that feel their marriage is  just not what they thought it would be.

But I believe a large percentage of that 50% have a good marriage, but feel it could be better.

Whether you are married and looking for ways to make your marriage better or you are currently single and desire be married; 

Here are 3 Ways To Make a Good Marriage Great.

1) Consider Your Spouse’s Interests.

My hunch is that when you were first dating you did lots of things that typically “weren’t your thing”.  It doesn’t mean that men need to flock to the mall with their wives every weekend or that women need to go out and buy a set of the latest Duck Dynasty camo.  It does mean that marriage isn’t all about us.

How can you create a connection with your spouse with the things he/she is interested in?  It may be as simple as a conversation asking them about their interest that shows you care.

My wife, Jacque has a love for helping orphans in Mexico.  She oversees a mission trip there with a group of about 100 people.  I know she cares about that deeply and I know it means a lot to her when I ask how things are going with the planning.

2) Apologize When Necessary.

The two words, “I’m sorry” tend to be some of the hardest to say when you are married.  No one likes to admit they are wrong.  If you have offended your spouse, be quick to apologize.  Easier said than done, but sincere apologies create relational equity.  It goes a long way and shows your spouse your relationship is more important than being right.

On a similar note, when your spouse apologizes be quick to forgive.  Unforgiveness and holding grudges create a wedge in your marriage.  It’s impossible to create a great marriage if a spouse is holding onto a grudge.  Drop the rock of unforgiveness and your relationship will move forward.

3) Be a Good Listener.

Listening shows value.  Genuine listening.  Waiting for your turn to talk is not listening.  Your spouse knows you care when you listen.

A word to the men.  We have a tendency to try to “fix things”.  Sometimes our wives need to just be heard and understood.  Ask them if there is anything we can do to help, but many times they will just want to be heard.

Also, a word to the women.  Men have shorter attention spans when it comes to listening.  Men want to serve by listening, but it can be difficult to stay with a long story.  It’s just the way many of us are wired.

If husbands and wives can understand their differences, communication in the relationship can flourish.

These are not the only ways to make a good marriage great, but they certainly are things every couple can put into practice and see results.  

A great marriage is possible.  One great decision at a time.

Which of these do you feel is the most important?

 

5 Strategies To Instantly Improve Your People Skills

I’ve heard it said that 85% of our success in life comes from our people skills.

Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughing
The way we interact with others in our personal and professional life can make or break a situation.

John Maxwell said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

The good news is everyone can learn to improve their people skills.

Good people skills start with the right heart.  A heart that genuinely cares about others.  This works in business, personal relationships, job interviews and casual conversations.

Here are 5 Strategies To Instantly Improve Your People Skills:

1) Be a Good Listener.  We’ve all heard the adage, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.”  People love to be heard.  One of the greatest gifts we can give to others is to listen to them.  It’s normal to mistake listening for waiting…waiting for your turn to talk.  Fight the urge and genuinely listen.  Listening shows others we value them and are ready to serve them.

2) Smile.  The was a popular song recently that was called, “What Does the Fox Say?”  A great question to ask is, “What does my face say?”  If we are not careful, we may be sending off a mixed message and not even know it.  Especially for more intense individuals, our face may be communicating a scowl when we are really just thinking about solving a problem.  Be aware that your body language can communicate even more than your words.  If you want to instantly connect with someone, smile more.  Even a slight smile tells others you are approachable and sends a positive message.  Positivity trumps negativity every time.

3) Give a Sincere Compliment.  Positive comments are a bridge to connecting with others.  Everybody loves to be noticed.  Look for ways to connect with others through a sincere compliment.

4) Talk About The Other Person’s Interests. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and what they like.  Talking about the other person’s interests is the fastest way to building a connection.  Look for common interests as that engages you in the conversation and builds an even stronger connection.

5) Follow Up.  Look for ways to continue to build a great relationship by following up.  Bring up the last conversation you had and ask them how they are doing.  I have a business friend that would actually write notes from our conversations.  He would refer to them the next time we talked about restocking his product.  Even though he was in sales, it made me know he cared about more than the sale and that made a big impact on me.

Relationships will always be at the core of who we are and what we do. 

Put these 5 strategies to work and I guarantee you will improve your people skills.

Which of these strategies do you feel is the most effective in connecting with others?

21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now- Part 3

I hope this 3 part series has been helpful and given you some tips to get organized and increase your productivity.

As we said in the previous post, time is the only non-renewable resource we have.  And because you are reading this, that puts you in the top percentage of people that succeed in life.  You want to make the most of the time you are given.
Better work flow: get organized

 

As we bring this 3 part series to a close, here are the final seven tips of 21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now.

15) Delegate. Delegate.  Delegate.

How many times have you heard people say, “It’s just easier to do it myself”?  Maybe you’ve even said those words.  While that statement may be true at times, experts tell us we can go further, faster over the long haul if we hand off things that are not in our strength zone.  In fact, I recently heard the leader of a large organization recommend delegating anything to someone else they can do at least 60% as well as you.  If we can delegate the things we aren’t great at, things that zap energy from us and in turn focus on the things we do best, our productivity will go out the roof.

16) Take regular breaks.

My wife often says, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”  It also makes Jack a tired boy.  Our bodies were not meant to run 24/7 without breaks.  Working this way is actually counterproductive and hurts us and the relationships with those around us in the long haul.  Try practicing the 5/30/1 system.   Take a 5 minute break during every hour you work throughout the day, at least a 30 minute lunch break (where you don’t do work) and at least one day off per week where your brain can disconnect from work and recharge with things that are life giving.  Those consistent breaks along with healthy sleep patterns will give you more energy and increase productivity.

17) Break larger projects into smaller tasks.

Many times larger projects can be overwhelming.  Just the thought of starting them is overwhelming because we don’t know where to begin.  One helpful tip is to “begin with the end in mind”.  In other words, picture the ideal outcome for the project.   Once you have that, you can reverse engineer the process by making a list of everything that has to be done to accomplish that desired outcome.  Make a list of even the smallest tasks and details.  From there, prioritize the tasks in the order of importance and sequence.  Delegate the tasks others can do and begin to schedule and accomplish the ones you can do.  By cutting everything into bite size pieces and pacing your progress, a large project suddenly becomes much more manageable and less stressful.  It brings clarity, focus and simplicity to the process and ultimately increases productivity. Bottom line:  how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  O.K., we can pass on the elephant.

18) Focus on tasks that achieve the biggest results.

One of the challenges that busy leaders have is confusing busyness with effectiveness.  How many times have you asked the question, “How have you been?” To which you receive the answer, “Busy”?  Busyness does not equal productivity.  As leaders, we have to get the right things done, not just many things done.  Before you begin your day, make a list of all the things that need to get done in order to move the ball down the field.  Out of those items, ask yourself, “What one to three tasks would bring the most results if I accomplished them?”  Prioritize those in order of importance and key results and get to work.  Delegate or delay the other tasks and watch your productivity skyrocket.

19) Reward yourself for results.

Leaders love accomplishment.  Too many times we don’t slow down long enough to celebrate and enjoy the win. Try giving yourself small incentives for finishing smaller tasks and larger incentives for finishing larger projects.  It’s the carrot principle.  In fact, if you are competitive, (which most of us are) play “Beat the Clock”.  In other words, tell yourself, “If I complete this task by a certain time, I will reward myself with _______. (Pick a reward relative to the task.)  Not only will you have the satisfaction of your accomplishment, but you will also enjoy a reward a much deserved break along the way.

20) Practice pre-vacation mode.

If you’re like most people, the day before a vacation you get a ton of stuff done.  Why?  Because you know you have to.  You want to be able to leave the office without the weight of things falling through the cracks while you are gone.  So you pick up the pace and get the most important things done before you leave.  What if you applied that strategy to your workday on a regular basis?  How would that increase your productivity?

21) Limit time in meetings.

Unnecessary and/or inefficient meetings can be huge time bandits.   Sometimes they are unavoidable.  However, if it’s up to you, look for ways to limit your time in meetings.  Meetings should not be used for conveying information that can be communicated in an email, text or phone call.  The exception to that rule is if a sensitive subject is being discussed.  Things that could potentially be misinterpreted in written form should always be done verbally so all parties can hear the tone involved.  Tone does not come over well in writing.  That being said, the most effective meetings have a set agenda, start time and end time.  Valuable information is sent before the meeting to all participants so the meeting can be used for the sole purpose of doing what the group can only do together; things such as brainstorming and decision making.  After the meeting, it is always productive to recap three things:  1) What was decided.  2) Who is going to do it. 3) When they are going to do it by.  Most meetings fail because they had no structure.  Add structure and guidelines to your meetings and you will experience a much more productive day.

I hope you enjoyed this blog series and that it added value to your life and organization.

When each of these 21 strategies are applied to your life, you will see your productivity unleashed.  You will have more time to do what matters most.

Work hard.  Work smart.  Be awesome. 

Which tip did you find the most helpful?

21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now- Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of a 3 part series on 21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity.

Better work flow: get organized

Yesterday we were reminded that we have one thing in common:  The amount of time given to us per day.  The difference between successful people and those not as successful often boils down to how that time is spent.

To view that post click this link: Increase Productivity Part 1

Today we are going to look at the next seven of the 21 Tips To Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now.

7) Clear the clutter.

A disorganized work space can greatly reduce your focus and productivity.  I tend to be very easily distracted and I work much better in a clutter free environment.  My office is very minimalistic.  I work from a small round table and only keep what I need on there.  Usually, this means my laptop, a legal pad and a pen.  It helps me to focus and I’m not distracted by the things around me that aren’t contributing to my work at hand.

8) Get up early or stay up late.  

Let’s face it.  Distractions kill productivity.  One way to limit distractions is to work when less is going on.  Most activity happens between 9am and 5pm.  I recently adjusted my schedule to get up before 6am so I can be at the office before anyone gets there.  I also am able to leave earlier as well.  This early morning routine allows me to be much more productive.  Late night routines can work equally as well.

9) Leverage your most creative time. 

We all have periods of time during the day or night that we are most creative and alert.  For me that is usually early morning.  Work on your most creative tasks when you are most alert.  Save the mundane tasks like answering email or returning phone calls for when energy levels may not be as high.  It will definitely increase your productivity and results.

10) Turn off the phone.

Unfortunately, we live in a time where everyone almost expects 24/7 access to us.  However, we create the system that allows access to us.  Unless you are in a career that dictates constant access, turn off the phone for blocks of time for the purpose of uninterrupted focus on projects or tasks.  Change your outgoing message to let callers know you will be unavailable between a certain time frame and that you will be returning calls after that time.  As a courtesy, give them a contact person in your organization to call in the case of something urgent.  Most things, however, can wait at least an hour or so while you focus on getting important things done.

11) Take a nap.

At first glance, this seems counterproductive, but in reality it is one of the most productive things we can do.  Sleep experts tell us that a short 20 minute nap can renew our energy and clear the mind.  This sets us up for sustained productivity throughout the workday.  Presidents, world leaders and famous historical figures such as John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and Thomas Edison knew the power of the nap and used it regularly to increase their effectiveness.

12) Work in blocks of time. 

One of the most productive things you can do is give yourself enough time to work on certain tasks or projects and take regular breaks.  For example, use your phone as a timer to work in increments of 55 minutes with a 5-10 minute break.  The timer will help you stay focused and the breaks will help you sustain concentration.

13) Get proper rest.

Sleep experts tell us most people need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.  Anything less for a sustained amount of time decreases our creativity, alertness and ultimately our productivity.   Try cutting back on T.V. to recapture time you could be using to get more sleep.

14) Adopt a healthier lifestyle. 

Energy management plays a big part in productivity.  And a healthy lifestyle plays a big part in energy management.  Sugar and a diet high in carbohydrates, saturated fats and fast food contribute to energy crashes during the day, which decrease productivity.  Eat a healthier diet that consists of more fruits and vegetables and low fat proteins along with drinking plenty of water.  You will set yourself up for better sustained energy levels.  If you really want to kick things up a notch, exercise at least 3 times a week.  Increased exercise (at least 20 minutes that gets your heart rate up) will also increase your productivity.

Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for the third and final post in this series.

Which one of these tips can you put into practice today?

21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now

If you’re like most of us, you often feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything you want to do. 

books stacked

The older you get, the faster time seems to go.

The reality is all of us have one thing in common:  The amount of time given to us per day.  The difference between successful people and those not as successful often boils down to how that time is spent.

Time is a nonrenewable resource.  We can’t “save up” time like we can money or some other resource.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” — Jim Rohn

We can however, spend it wisely and make the most of our time.  The goal is to create blocks of time to do the things that really matter to us.  Things that make a difference and bring success, happiness and fulfillment to our lives.

Note: This is part 1 of a 3 post series.

Here are the first seven of the 21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now.

1) Plan your day in advance. 

I have found this to be the greatest time tactic of all.  I use a very simple system that works for me.  You can use a digital platform, but I currently use a legal pad.  I write down everything I need to do in advance and work off that list.  Often times, I plan an entire week in advance, which works even better.  I go down the list and cross off the things that I accomplish.  Once I finish something, I move on to the next most important thing.  Crossing or checking something off gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue.  The list keeps you focused on doing the right things.  If by the end of the day, you haven’t accomplished everything, you simply move the tasks to the next day.  It’s a great feeling to know you got the right things done.

2) Use the batching technique. 

This is another great time tactic to maximize your time.  Batching is a technique where you do all the same type of activities together.  For example, when possible save up your phone calls and make them together.  If you have to do errands, do them in one trip.  Return emails at certain times during the day.  Some experts recommend mid morning and before you leave, depending on your job.  Batching things together can bring a lot of momentum and get the activity done quicker.

3) Don’t multi-task. 

This goes against our common sense, but studies have shown productivity actually goes significantly down when we focus on doing more than one thing at a time.  I heard one expert say that it takes up to 18 minutes to transition when we stop and start an activity over again.  Focus and finish a task and then move on to the next thing and you will be much more productive.

4) Prep the evening before.  

Deciding and doing what you can the night before can be a big time booster.  My mom is a master at this.  She is one of the most organized people I know.  She makes her lunch, decides what she is going to wear and lays everything out she needs for the next day the night before.  Once you get up in the morning, you are ready for the day without spending time prepping and looking for things.   Another effective strategy is to plan your to-do list for the following day the night before.  Your brain will subconsciously begin to process what needs to be done.  This practice will bring much more efficiency and clarity to your day.

5) Practice the 80/20 rule. 

The 80/20 rule is the idea that 80% of our success is made up from 20% of our efforts.  This, of course, is not a scientific number, but generally  speaking, it’s true.  Spend 80% of your time doing the things that will bring you the greatest amount of success.  Do your best to minimize the time spent on the rest.

6) Reduce your time online and in front of the television. 

I love spending time online doing things like catching up with friends on Facebook and surfing the internet.  The problem is, I often spend too much time online and find myself wondering how the time passed so quickly.  I don’t recommend everyone completely eliminating these activities, but giving yourself a limit (budgeting your time) can greatly increase your productivity and still give you the break you desire.

7) Clear the clutter. 

A disorganized work space can greatly reduce your focus and productivity.  I tend to be very easily distracted and I work much better in a clutter free environment.  My office is very minimalistic.  I work from a small round table and only keep what I need on there.  Usually, this means my laptop, a legal pad and a pen.  It helps me to focus and I’m not distracted by the things around me that aren’t contributing to my work at hand.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the next 7 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Your Productivity Now.

What is one tip you have found that helps you get organized or increases your productivity?

image credit for stacked books

3 Lessons I Learned From a Crazy Trip to Walt Disney World

Our family loves Walt Disney World.
Cinderella's Castle - Magic Kingdom
My wife, Jacque and I have been going there since we were kids.

It’s just a special place and naturally, we love to share that experience with our own children.

Because it’s only a short drive away we have often packed up the mini-van and headed up for some family fun.

We hadn’t been for about a year, so we decided to take advantage of the kid’s being off school for Christmas break and enjoy a night on their campgrounds.

This time, we told them they could invite some friends to come along.

Little did we know, it would become something we would never forget.

Let the Craziness Begin.

The trip started with attempting to cram 8 of us in a mini-van with everyone’s blankets, pillows, food, bags and all the camping gear.  Even with the car carrier on top, we were packed like sardines inside.

We looked like a combination of The Brady Bunch and The Beverly Hillbillies.

We made the 2 ½ hour drive to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground and decided to set up camp.

The only problem was, it started raining.  And not just a quick sun shower.  It didn’t look like there was any end in site.

We set up the tents and the air mattresses in the rain, which wasn’t the end of the world.

The real issue came when the rain started coming INSIDE the tent.

Needless to say, we ended up with soaked air mattresses and puddles inside the tent that were quickly turning into small ponds.  The other issue was the temperature was dropping into the 40’s.  Not the best combination for wet sleeping arrangements with 6 kids in tow.

We decided we would go to the front desk and see if there was a cabin available to transfer to.

To our surprise, the Disney cast member came back and told us there were not any cabins available, but they were going to upgrade us to the Wilderness Lodge for the cost of the campsite. 

We were shocked because the campsite was $55.  The Wilderness Lodge is a deluxe resort that can go for $500 per night.

We were now getting 2 rooms in one the nicest resorts on Disney property for $55 each. 

We quickly packed up our campsite in the rain and did the happy dance all the way over to the resort.

We checked into the resort, got our keys, threw our stuff into one of the rooms and headed to dinner.

The kids went to Downtown Disney and met us after dinner to get the room keys.

This is where the story gets crazy.

When they went back to the hotel, some of the kids entered the second room we hadn’t gone in, because we were pressed for time to make our dinner reservation.

It was a scene straight from Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.  With a twist.

Someone was in the room we were assigned.  Actually, someone’s stuff was in the room we were assigned.

And that someone’s stuff included drugs that they had brought into the room.  Lots of money worth of drugs.

Long story short, we returned to our room to talk to the hotel manager, housekeeping and an officer trying to figure out what was going on.

The hotel had somehow booked two parties in the same room and they were horrified.

The manager apologized for the mix-up and said they were moving us to the club level with all you can eat food, all day long…for no extra charge.

We got a big kick out of the experience and kept saying, “Can you believe what just happened??”

Needless to say, it’s a trip we will never forget, nor will the kids.

While I realize this was an out of the ordinary experience, there were 3 lessons I learned from this crazy trip to Disney World.  These are lessons anyone can apply to their life.  

1) Make Memories.  I think most of us want to make more money.  Money is important.  Especially if you have future expenditures you need to save for, like kid’s college tuition, a daughter’s wedding or retirement.

However, I think we should put just as much effort into making memories as we do with making money.

Money can come and go, but memories last a lifetime.  I want to look for better and more ways to make memories with my family and friends.

2) Laugh Often.  Studies show that there is a significant difference between the amount of time adults spend laughing compared to children.  It seems the older we get, the less we laugh.  I want to change that.

There is an ancient proverb in the Bible that says,  “A cheerful heart is good medicine..”

God created laughter as a way to enjoy life.  Let’s enjoy it by laughing more often.

3) Live in the Moment.  In our busy lifestyles where we are constantly keeping schedules and checking social media platforms, it’s easy to miss what is happening in front of us.

 How often have we been in a restaurant and seen everyone looking at their phones instead of talking to each other?  

Life goes by fast.  Let’s make it a goal to enjoy every moment living it to the full.  Each minute is unique and is a gift from above.  Let’s not miss out on any of it.

So that’s our crazy vacation story and the lessons I’ve learned.

Which of these 3 things would you like to practice more?

 

The New Year’s Challenge (And 2 Free Movie Tickets)

Happy New Year!  I thought we could have a little fun today to kick off the New Year, right.
MovieGift
I’m going to give away two free movie tickets and a free resource that can help you make 2014 your best year ever.

Make sure you read this post all the way through to find out more about that.

What if 2014 could be your best year ever?

What if you could build better relationships, get in better shape, increase your income or simply have more joy in your life?

A wise person once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

One of the keys to success in life is having a target you are aiming for.  Once you have a target, you have a better chance at hitting it.

Some people may say, “I don’t want to set a goal because I may disappoint myself by not achieving it”.

I can understand how some people may feel that way, but I have found the opposite to be true.

The person that works toward a goal will get a lot closer to reaching their potential and becoming everything they were created to be than someone who has no direction.

A life without direction is like going down a river without a paddle.  A goal helps guide you to where you want to go.

Let’s start off the New Year heading in the right direction.

Experts have found that when people can take one small step towards something, the rest becomes easier. 

Let’s take one small step together and have fun with it.

I’m going to throw out a challenge.

I’ll call it The New Year’s Challenge.

1) Think of one goal you would like to accomplish in the next 3 months and write it down.  (Writing it down tells your brain it’s time to go to work to achieve it.)

2) Then, in the comment section below, type the words, “I’m in.”

As an incentive to every person that leaves a comment, your name will go into a drawing to win 2 FREE movie tickets.  No strings attached.

3) As an extra incentive, if you click the Facebook “Like” button on this post or the “Tweet” button and let me know in your comment, I’ll enter your name twice in the drawing to increase your chances to win.

My goal for this blog is to help make 2014 your best year ever.

To do that, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I want to give you a free resource.

This Free Report Reveals My Top 10 No Cost Tools For Making 2014 Your Best Year Ever

These tools will help you have better relationships, increase you income, get organized, be more productive, connect with God, become a better leader, stay motivated and more.

Click here to get My Top 10 No Cost Tools For Making 2014 Your Best Year Ever.

And don’t forget to leave a comment, “I’m in.” (and click the “Like” or “Tweet” button and let me know) so you are sure to enter your name in the drawing to win the free movie tickets.  

I’m believing the best for you in 2014!  Let’s make it the best year ever!

P.S.  The last chance to enter the drawing and win 2 free movie tickets will be midnight, Thursday, January 2nd.  Winner will be announced on the blog on Friday.  Good luck!

PPS The contest is over, but you can still take advantage of the offer (and you can jump in any time, even if you missed January 1. These tools work any time, any day.) Click here to get My Top 10 No Cost Tools For Making 2014 Your Best Year Ever.