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Archive for 2012

How Do You Think?

How Do You ThinkPeople often ask others what they think about various things. But what someone thinks about something isn’t really thinking. We all have thoughts, opinions and viewpoints. We reflect on things that have happened and speculate on what may happen. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But having thoughts is not thinking. I think (pun intended) that real thinking involves asking questions. It requires us to ponder, to weigh various options, to connect things that weren’t connected before and ultimately to make choices based on our thinking.

So how do YOU think? What processes do you use? How do you test and clarify your thinking? Do you write things out? Do you discuss them with others? Do you test and question your own premises?

Metathinking is thinking about what we’re thinking about. And my sense is it’s rare that we do much of that.

I believe that our minds are better designed for critical thinking than they are as a filing cabinet. And yet our educational system seems more focused on information than on processing that information. I moved around a lot in my younger years and perhaps I missed the class, but nowhere in my formal education was a course on critical thinking. I don’t remember much discussion at all about how to think effectively.

With the vast universe of knowledge expanding as rapidly as it is and with entire industries being born and dying within a generation, this seems like kind of a no-brainer to me.

So the question remains. How do you think? And how much time do you actually spend thinking?

Do successful people think differently than unsuccessful people? Does it take a high IQ to think clearly, interpret accurately and evaluate with discernment?

What role does common sense play? How do we know when our facts are inaccurate or incomplete?

Do you consider yourself a good thinker? Do you solve problems effectively? Do you feel clear or muddled most of the time?

Can we LEARN to think better? It seems logical to me that we can.

But unless we ask the question, unless we think about what we’re thinking about, and unless we have a desire to improve our capacity to think more critically, it’s unlikely that we will.

I’m planning to write a book on successful thinking. And as I research the subject over the next few months, I will share with you what I find. I’ll share what I’m thinking and what I’m thinking about.

And hopefully that will be something for you to think about.

No One is Coming to the Rescue

No One is Coming to the RescueOne of the underlying tenets of SuccessNet’s philosophies is that we are each one hundred percent responsible for our lives. We need to take charge of our lives. There is nothing and no one to blame for where you are. And no one is coming to the rescue.

But few people operate this way. Most just hope and wait. And hope is not a strategy.

Regardless of who gets elected president, they will not take care of you. Congress certainly won’t fix everything. And no matter what they say, they are not really looking out for you.

If you want things to change, you have to change. If you want things to get better, you have to get better.

The cavalry is not going to ride over the hill. The government is not coming to help you. And it’s highly unlikely your parents, a rich uncle or a winning lottery ticket is going to save the day.

Real independence comes from self-reliance. Real financial freedom is being confident you can always generate the income you and your family needs whenever you need it.

Far too many people spend their time and energy blaming and complaining about their lot in life.

Self-reliant people spend their time and energy getting clear on what they want and need, how to get it and what they need to do to get it.

The old adage is true: “If it’s to be it’s up to me.”

And I’m willing to bet that even God wants you to be self-reliant. Most religions believe God works through us. He doesn’t want us to be a victim or be dependent upon others. I always like what the Quakers said, “When you pray, move your feet.”

The sooner you become self-reliant and financially free, the sooner you can do great things that benefit yourself and others.

So figure out who you are. Get clear on your values. Decide on what you really want out of life. Learn what you need to learn, do what you need to do.

Just make it happen. Because no one is going to make it happen for you.

Resources . . . 

Your Core Values Course
Find out about our most popular course and how it can help you have more clarity and make better choices.

Mission Statement
Get our SmartGUIDE to creating a mission statement that really works.

Who’s On Your Team?

Many small businesses—especially solopreneurs—don’t think of themselves as having a team. But they actually do. It might not be the same as a sports team or project team in a larger organization, but you do have a team—at least you should.

Even our household has a team. My wife and I are the primary members, but there are others. There’s Mark and his team who mow, blow and edge our lawn. There’s Steve who fertilizes and treats for weeds and pests. And Wesley who keeps the pool chemicals just right. Emily cleans the house and George keeps the bugs and termites away. Victor is the guy we call for handyman projects.

They’re all part of the team, and they make our life and work easier and more effective.

In your business, you most likely have people to call on for graphic arts and printing. You probably have an accountant and an attorney. Perhaps you even have an Advisory Board and or a MasterMind Team, which I highly recommend. Perhaps you have a virtual assistant and/or an IT person to help you with your computers, phones, printers and software. I hope you also have a personal coach.

So you see, you really do have a team, even if you never really thought about it in that way. A team is there to support you and your organization in achieving your purpose. Your team allows you to accomplish far more than if you tried to do everything yourself. And a good team is a triple win—a win for you, for them and for those you serve.

Trying to do it all on your own is a setup for frustration and likely failure. Going it alone simply doesn’t allow you to grow very well at all.

The first step is to identify your team—who are all the players who help get the job done. And then start thinking of them as your team—even if they’re not full time. Nurture them. Thank them. Let them know they are part of your team and that you appreciate their contribution.

My favorite acronym for TEAMS is Together Everyone Achieves More Success.

So who is on your team?

By the way, I currently have one opening for a one-on-one coaching client. If you would like to be personally mentored by me in building you and your business, eMail me at skipper@SuccessNet.org with your contact information. I will then schedule a no-cost consult to determine if you, I and your objectives are a good fit. Just put COACHING in the subject line. Serious inquiries only please.