Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Movin' on...

A larger project is taking priority in my life, and there are plenty of great blogs out there that can help you jump start your day...many mentioned in previous posts and in the sidebar.

Thank you all for your support and feedback...

Now, go jump start your life.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brilliant stuff out there...

Go poke aroung this blog I recently came across and read one or two of the articles...

Great ideas, concise, will definitely jump start your day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This is a gift...

Save this for when you have 19 minutes to watch or listen to it...

Her talk is inspiring, different, and will make you a better creative force for listening.

Enjoy, and your day will definitely be jump started:

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thoreau said it best...

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor."

That just about sums it up doesn't it?

The beauty of the great thinkers such as Thoreau or Emerson is their ability to keep it simple. To say so much with so few words.

What we can learn from these old masters is incisive thought, economy of words, pithy, evocative expressions that carry timeless wisdom.

Quotes like these boil life down to its essence... and that's what we need to do with our lives.

It's very easy to get caught up in the distractions of life and lose sight of your core essence...what's important to you and what matters today.

The best way to jump start your day is to keep it simple...

What are you setting out to accomplish and what are you going to do to get there?

Then do those things.

All too often we become like a floodlight...scattered, looking in all directions, no clear boundaries or definitions... the trick is to be a laser...

With laser like precision and can cut steel.

Now, go jump start your day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Saw a bumper sticker the other day...

it said...

"My goal is to become the person my dog thinks I am."

Let's turn this around...

Who do you think you are?

Really, when you think about yourself, your future, where you're going and what you want...

what do you see?

Take a moment and visualize this...reach inside yourself and pull out the you that you see when you're listening to your favorite music or driving along that great road...and stop dreaming about it and...

...write it down.

The person that you dream about, visualize when alone and inspired...

the person you wish you could become...

is your ideal, and the image of this is something you most likely reserve for private, fleeting moments.... here's the thing...

Take a snapshot of that person, and live every day as a person like that would...

this is how you change your life.

It's simple, but not easy. You become what you do every day...

Isn't it time for you to start taking yourself seriously and finally be who you really are?

Go for go jump start your day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Words not to live by...

You're most likely familiar with David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology. It's a brilliant life planning process that has spawned a whole industry of websites and apps that attempt to make it even better.

There's just one problem with it...

There are several contexts you put your tasks in, such as grouping all your @computer tasks together, your @running errands together, etc. Then he throws in a list that you call "someday/maybe". This is where you put things like "Get a black belt, learn skydiving, write a novel,"etc.

Maybe...? What's up with that? You put that word in front of anything and it only means one thing...

you're not going to do it.

Call it someday, but leave out the maybe. And while you're at it get rid of these words as well:

Try, should, hope, wish, around to it and might.

These words are copouts, when put in front of your goal, dream or plan these remove all responsibility from you, it's like giving yourself a pass.

Don't fall into this trap. When you erase wishy-washy words from your daily use, commit to your dreams and become decisive...doors will open.

Life's a highway... start the engine and drive it like you mean it.

Now go jump start your day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Looking for the words that will change your life...?

Looking for that proverb, saying or parable that will make you sit up and become who you want to be? Searching for just the right combination of letters and sentences that will set your heart on fire, stir your belly and release adrenalin flows?

We all are, but one thing is missing...
Follow through with action.

Never forget that action precedes feeling...tape it to your mirror, know it inside your soul...action precedes feeling.

If you are waiting until you feel like taking action you'll wait forever...start taking action, force it if you have to...and the feeling will follow, allowing the momentum to build...

...and then there is no stopping you.

Do two things:

First, make it a part of your personality that any self improvement or inspirational media you take will write down at least one thing you can do today that gets you closer to who you want to be. Not just notes, but doable things...something you can call an actionable item.

Second...whatever feeling you're waiting for to start your current project... stop waiting, start the project...then when the feeling comes you'll be too engaged to stop and take notice.

Nothing you read or hear will do anything for you unless you act on it, and sometimes that can only happen through conscious willpower on your part...but I assure you, once you cross that threshold you'll be in another dimension that feels like you should have been there all along.

Now...isn't it time you made your move?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great post that will make you rethink where you're going...

Stephen over at the Rat Race Trap blog had this excellent post the other day, that will help you get to a new level in where you want to go...

He does great job of making you think bigger, and it reminds me of the time a good friend asked me, "Have you ever not achieved a goal that you were totally committed to?"

Enjoy will jump start your day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is a life changer...

It's easy to get wrapped up in what's going on out there economically, and this one is serious.

People in retirement are contemplating going back to work, people close to retirement are postponing it, and investors too young to even think about it are wondering where the money went.

Change however, can be good.... if we reevaluate the concept of retirement.

Previous generations were brought up to work hard, save your money, get a pension and social security at 65 - and they died 5 years later.

This generation has a life expectancy approaching the early 80's, and has a much different attitude about the quality of life in later years. The inevitable conclusion to this trend, as well as the controversy around social that we'll be working longer.

And that my friends, is a good thing...

Retirement is an unnatural state. Humans are hard-wired to solve problems, face challenges and find purpose in what they do. Work gives this to you. This is an uplifting concept on two fronts...

First, it takes the pressure off of getting a certain sum in the bank before a certain date to retire on...

More's more fun to stay in the game.

Embrace this, see it for what it is...a life changer, and take this opportunity to make new plans for yourself based on a longer life, and less pressure to accumulate millions of dollars before age 65.

Use the comments post to share anything you've changed in your life because of what's going on out there, I'm interested to see how this change is manifesting itself.

Now, go jump start your day.

How high can you really go...?

If you think you know the answer to this question, there's a good chance you're aiming too low.

The great achievements in humanity have not been accomplished by people who were satisfied with where they were in life.

They weren't done with the attitude that "good enough" is what they're aiming for.

They were done with a passionate willingness to reach higher, take it further, risk more and stretch the boundaries. The cliche "think outside the box" refers to this mindset, and instead of treating it as a corporate mantra thrown around loosely by management, think of it this way...

All of the limitations you have set for yourself are based on the past.
Your brain knows what your comfort zone is, and it will do what it has to do to keep you in familiar territory. Well that's somewhere you've already been...

Do the thing that scares you.

The mind, once stretched into a new dimension...grows, what are you doing to stretch yourself?

Now go jump start your day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are you growing...?

Or are you coasting?

There's a wise saying, "Nothing coasts uphill." You can coast for some time on your past achievements, but there will come a point when the wheels stop, and you either need to provide inertia, or risk sliding back downhill.

Learn this eternal truth: There is never a point in your life where you can step back and say, "I"m done, I've done everything I wanted to do, and now I'm going to relax and be happy."

So if this is the case, if there really is no final destination that we think we need to reach...what do we learn from this?

The journey is the destination. Growth is the path. Grow... or die.

Determine your own growth path, and instead of living life as if you're on some highway to an offramp, the arrival of which will solve all your problems...wake up, enjoy the ride, and make it interesting.

As has been said here before, you are never more alive than when pursuing something you believe treat your goals not as destinations, but as waystations...a place along the path that shows you where you are.

The person you are isn't determined so much by your goals, but more by the path you're on.

Now go jump start your day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If you want to know how you really feel about something...

write about it.

When you write out a situation, dilemma, issue or challenge... something happens that isn't showing up on the paper...

It's crystallizing in your brain.

Writing something out will give it texture, dimension, and force you to put cohesive thoughts together that when read later...will surprise you.

The best way to use this is to generate ideas or solutions to things going on in your life right now. The simple act of committing your thoughts to paper brings out your subconscious, summoning resources from other parts of your life to form a body of work that until now existed only in disconnected parts of your brain.

By connecting your thoughts you perform an act of creation, forming something tangible and permanent, that is yours and yours alone.

So instead of thinking, ruminating and worrying...grab a pen or your computer and write about it. I assure you that what comes out on the paper will have more dimension and insight than what that little voice inside your head is saying.

It doesn't have to be grammatically perfect, this is for you to do what you want with...but the very act of doing this will open gateways to progress and insight that few other activities can.

For more on doing this I highly recommend this book.

Now grab that pen and go jump start your day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea...

...It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference. ~Nolan Bushnell

What you need is a way to follow up on your ideas. The trouble is usually the best ideas, insights and flashes of inspiration happen at an inconvenient time to write them down.

Driving, showering, exercising, any repetitive task that uses minimal brain activity is actually a great way to generate ideas and bring thoughts out from your subconscious...but they need follow through, otherwise they turn into distant memories or forgotten altogether.

Follow up requires a capture tool, any way of getting your idea into some kind of memory bank that you can retrieve when you have more tools at your disposal. If you're driving, hit your office voice mail on the speed dial and leave a message to yourself. If you're exercising put the weights down, get a pen and paper, write it down, throw it in your locker.

If you're in the shower, say it out loud a few times so you'll either remember it when you get out or your spouse comes in and asks what's wrong, then she can write it down for you...

The point is it takes a commitment to remember and follow through. How many times have you seen some great idea take off and said to yourself, "I thought of that once, but I didn't do anything about it."?

What's different is follow through and execution. Once you commit to, and set your life up to receive ideas i.e. by making sure you have some kind of capture tool strategy in place, you'll start to find you come up with more ideas. The act of writing an idea down is sometimes the best way to generate more ideas.

Get some notepads and pencils in strategic locations; make sure you can leave yourself a message at home or office with one push of a button; consider one of those little micro recorders; don't be afraid to borrow a pen and paper from someone...we all do it from time to time.

The main thing...give your ideas and brainstorms the respect they deserve...and a funny thing happens...

they keep showing up.

Now go jump start your day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.

Theodore N. Vail

If you need proof that our worries are unnecessary...write down the biggest worries you have right now, and put them in a calendar or someplace you can retrieve them 6 to 12 months from now. You'll find on looking back that your fears were unfounded, new ones came up to replace them, and they failed to materialize as well.

In the meantime, worry is a stressful, unproductive, disease-carrying burden that cuts you off from living the life you want.

We as humans can handle anything that comes before us, as long as we face it, identify it, chop it up into manageable pieces and chew it up. It's the unseen, imagined, make believe stuff that will suck you down into a black hole and steal your spirit...

Don't let it...write down the worries, put them in a box and look later.

When something is tangible, in front of you, and is an obstacle to be then becomes a project, a challenge, your opponent, the monkey to get off your back.

The trick is, the sooner you realize that overcoming these obstacles is what gives life texture and fulfillment, the closer you get to becoming the kind of person who banishes worry with the only weapon that will work...action.

The most rewarding lifestyle, in my opinion, is to be too busy living life to worry.

Try it just for today and see how you like go jump start your day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What does someone who followed their dream look like...?

They look like this guy:

This was making the rounds a few years ago when it first happened, and it's worth watching again. He tells us what his dream has been, he nails it in front of the world, and the rest is history.

You can learn more about him here , the main point is that there are still people out there who can bring thousands to tears by something they believe in...

What do you believe in...and how far are you willing to take it? You've seen what it looks like...

Now go jump start your day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Check these out, and your day will be jump started...

Gretchen over at the Happiness Project writes about the myth of thinking you'll be happy as soon as something happens. It's a great post and worth checking out.

The basic idea being that if you're not happy now, you won't be happy then.

As well...Scott over at , who has a blog worth adding to your feeder, was cool enough to interview me the other day. We had fun with it, and you'll definitely find something worthwhile in his blog.

Now...go jump start your day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

These are the best days of your life...if only you treat them that way...

Malcolm Forbes

It's not the economy, it's not the environment, it's not the size of your 401k or who's in the White House that determines your success or failure...

It's what's in your head.

Once you've taken the step to accept responsibility for your attitude, you will feel liberated. It's easy these days to lament over the state of affairs out there...and some say it even gives you a temporary lift to commiserate about it. But be careful...

Your destiny isn't out's inside you.

You are your own economy...treat it that way. Work your life for you, and don't let external events throw you off the path you've chosen. It's on you to make it happen, and this is the best of circumstances...when you have chosen to be the master of your destiny obstacles seem trivial, external events happen and you take them in stride...and best of all...

your life takes on new has purpose generated by you.

So today, treat these days as the best days of your life...because that's the only way they can be.

It's been shown that people look back on the adverse times in their life with as much if not more fondness than the good times. Anybody can be happy in the good times, it takes a special individual to find themselves engaged and fulfilled in any environment...

Be that person.

For more on people finding happiness in adverse circumstances, check out Dan Gilbert's fascinating book .

Now go jump start your day.

Many men go fishing all of their lives...

without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~Henry David Thoreau

What does this mean? It's the thrill of the catch, the chase rewarded, that gives us what we're looking for.

Sure, in this example catching a fish would be a worthwhile and satisfying goal, but if a fish is all you want it would be much easier to go to the market.

What we're looking for is experience. What we as humans thrive on is the challenging pursuit of a worthwhile goal. Overcoming obstacles, seeking out resources, small victories along the way, keen insights that advance our cause, the adrenalin rush of scaling heights we set out for ourselves...that is what we seek and the reason we do is clear...

It's what gives life meaning and purpose.

You are never more alive than when you are in the pursuit of something you believe in.

Most of us are seeking some kind of inspiration, thrill, energy and fulfillment in our lives. It's already there, it just needs you to put it on the path...

So jump start your day by setting out to achieve your goals, realizing that on the way there...

you are who you want to be just by being on the path to what you want.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anyone can do any amount of work...

provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. Robert Benchley

Your brain is more powerful than you'll ever give it credit for. The trick...getting it into the right channel.

You can sit at your job all day and wonder how you'll ever get your work done, then set out on some hobby or home project...and it's as if the gates of heaven opened up and poured energy into your veins.

What this shows you is that the energy is have what it takes to do whatever you are capable of conjuring up in your mind.

It just needs to be turned on.

Think of your brain and nervous system as a V8 engine in neutral...full of power, able to do incredible things, revved and ready for action...but it needs to be put in drive.

It's got all the moving parts, it knows from your previous experiences what it needs to do, it's just waiting for you to take the gearshift and engage the transmission.

So what does it take to turn this engine on? How can we shift into drive and fire the pistons?

Just like starting the car, it's a conscious action. Life isn't one motivated move after have to turn the key first.

There is no other way. There is no secret mantra, no key, no meditation that will jump start your day... that first's gotta come from your conscious muscle movement.

Whether it's picking up the phone, writing that first draft or calling the team in for a brainstorming session...nothing gets going without some action on your part that you might not want to do. Take that first step and turn the key....after that you just need to put on your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Focus...not multi-tasking, but focus

Somehow we got it in our heads that we have to run our day like some Wall Street trader in a movie: bluetooth phone stuck in one ear, e-mailing while leaving a voice mail, buying a stock and changing a diaper all at the same time.

Change this idea...

When you multi-task, something gives. Either your e-mail will be weak, or you'll miss something in the phone conversation you're having, or something else just falls through the cracks.

Try focusing on what you're doing, one thing at a time, with intention. Your work will become more effective, and most importantly...

You will become your best.

When you focus on something enough to be at your best and give it your complete attention, you get a glimpse into what you're capable of. And when you see what you're capable of, your belief in your potential grows and... as said here before, it is your belief in your own potential that is the springboard to higher achievement.

Starting today...Be the best at what you're doing now, it will show in the quality of your output.

For more on this see Leo's blog Zen Habits

or read his book...

Power of Less, The: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Business and in Life

The choice is yours, do several things halfway, or a few things better than anybody else.

Now go jump start your day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stop philosophizing about what a good person is...and be one.

Marcus Aurelius

The gap between what you want in your mind and what you present to the world on a daily basis is the main source of angst among people today.

Your aspirations, dreams and goals are clear in your mind, seem attainable, however it's the execution that is usually the missing ingredient.

This is normal, you're human, things take time, effort, and distractions loom around every corner. Not to despair...what you seek is also seeking you, it is already there waiting for you.

The life you're living right now, the thoughts in your brain...all have what it takes to get you to your destination...the core ingredient is belief...belief in your conscious mind that your goal is attainable, worthy, and in your grasp.

We're all taught that if the mind can believe something, then it can be achieved. Yet it must be deeper than just belief, it must go to the core of your very being, every atom in your body must buy into what you're doing. The mental will then take over the physical and you will be on the path.

The trick? Daily. It must be daily, your affirmations, goal review, dreams, executable steps that get you on your way...all of this needs to be visualized, felt, assimilated daily. That's the way world class top performers do it...and it will work for you.

Commit to a daily review of your goals, dreams, aspirations; feel them as though they are a part of you every day...and then they will become what you're made of.

Now go jump start your day.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How can you get that fire burning?

What needs to happen for you to get in the flow of your day, sparks flying, getting where you want to go?

It won't happen automatically, it won't happen by reading this, it won't happen as the result of somebody else...

You need to light the match.

If you look back on those days when you were on your game, moving things, making it started with a conscious decision by you to get started on something, the momentum built and you kept on it with resilience, tenacity and drive.

Those days are a glimpse of what you are capable of, the trick is summoning that state of being on a regular basis. There are a couple of techniques you can use to get into the flow...

-Put a timer or watch in front of you next to your to do list, pick a time you're going to start, and until then visualize what you're going to do for a few minutes. See yourself taking off, it's like a race with a gun going off. In order for this to work you need to have an actionable item you can do right away. When it's time...go.

-Use a body movement that you identify with action, for me it's snapping my fingers. If I need to get jump started on something I'll snap my fingers a few times and it gives me the feeling of movement, action, things to do.

-Pretend. Tell yourself you're just going to pretend to be in the flow, moving and making it happen...just for the next 15 minutes. You can pretend anything for 15 minutes, make it your own personal development know what will'll keep going. And that's what we want, isn't it?

-If you're more ambitious you can pretend for a whole day. Decide you'll conduct an experiment and just pretend for a day that you'll live the life you want, full of action, meaning, intention and achievement. Do that for a day, and if you can do it for another day...and repeat it again...

you'll have changed your life, becoming the person you want to be.

The pretending removes any perceived risk you have of stepping out of your comfort zone. The act of doing this actually moves the base line of you comfort zone higher...try it.

So decide how you're going to light that match, and go jump start your day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's daily...or not at all...

As fellow blogger Scott over at "Yes, but still" mentions in one of the comments here, your quest for self-improvement is something that must be dealt with on a daily basis.

You have to commit to being productive all the time--even if you don't feel like it on a given day.

When you're involved in something as complex as transforming your life from what it is to what you want it to be, taking it at anything less than total commitment will lead to frustration and several restarts.

If you wake up every day and compose in your mind what you stand for, what you want out of life, and why...and lay out a game plan that involves doing something every day to get you closer to your goal...that is the first step towards total commitment. Not when you feel like it, not when you remember that's what you should be doing... but daily.

After you've done this for a few weeks, you'll start to realize that you are getting to know yourself in a way you haven't felt before. Your decisions and actions as you go through the day will be the result of confidence in who you are, what you stand for, and where you're going.

Here's where it gets exciting...

as the process accelerates your daily routine of self improvement spills over into your actions, which begins to change you as a person, which leads your conscious mind to believe in what you're doing. And it's this conscious belief that closes the gap between who you are and who you want to be.

Once you've got that belief in place, then it's time to raise the bar even higher. And that is when the fun really starts.

Start today...write it down, feel it, act it...then you'll be it.

Now go jump start your day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Success consists of...

going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill

It's not failure until you give up, and it's not going to happen until you decide to make it happen.

Once you commit, energy begins to flow. Nobody likes to back someone who's indecisive, unsure, wishy-washy. It's the same with your brain as it is with people out there who can help you along the way. They need conviction, confidence in you and your level of commitment.

If your brain can see you aren't completely on board, it will sit in the back seat, cross its legs and yawn. Same with that angel investor you're pitching, or the head of the new department you want to work in, or your family.

People will back someone they know has what it takes to follow through. Every mission will have setbacks, and it's more about perseverance and sweat than anything else.

A well known venture capitalist used to say no to every deal that came his way. What he was looking for was the guy who wouldn't back down and resold him on the deal, because that's when the passion comes out. That's what separates the doers from the seekers, the ones who have more passion than fear, and enough resilience to stop a truck.

What it comes down to is your level of commitment, in spite of the obstacles that come your way, will have more to do with you achieving what you've set out to do than anything else.

Now go jump start your day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. ~Seneca

Once you have clarity of purpose, the path becomes well lit. A life of purpose is the only life worth living, as long as the purpose is meaningful to you.

Whether your goal is to make million bucks, cure cancer or spend more time with your children...once it has clarity and meaning for you doors will begin to open. By clarity and meaning I mean it becomes part of you, something that you think about every day. When you get there the floodgates will open.

It's the same process your brain uses when you learn a new word and then you start hearing it all around you. The word was always there, it just didn't resonate with you.

If your goals resonate with you... slots of time, opportunities and connections become obvious. As with the word, they are out there right now, get clarity and meaning with your goals, make them a part of your daily thoughts...and you'll start seeing things all over the place.

Now go jump start your day.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let's put some things in perspective...

If you know what you're supposed to be doing and you're not doing it, you're procrastinating. If you don't know what you're supposed to do and you're not doing it, you're not procrastinating, you're thinking.

There are times when you aren't ready to take something on for one reason or another. It may be that the first step to whatever goal you've set for yourself is that you need to freewrite about it, in other words brainstorming to yourself.

If the project is new, unfamiliar and intimidating, it's easy to look up at the wall in front of you, turn around and put it off for another day. I've found that just sitting down and writing it out, thinking it through on paper, letting your thoughts flow and capture them can make the wall come down.

Once something like this is faced in tangible form, composed by your own handwriting, it takes on a new dimension of possibility. It will force your brain to search itself for ideas, connections and neural responses that you will read later and wonder who wrote them.

Keep a notepad or some other kind of "thought capture tool" handy because once you start this, ideas will come to you at the oddest moments. Get them down... listen to yourself, the answers are there, you just need to trust the process.

Do this for what's facing you now, and go jump start your day.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. ~Frank Tibolt

It's easy to get it backwards in the feelings we seek: happiness, inspiration, energy, etc. Too often we'll wait until we're inspired before starting that project, we'll wait until we're happy before we enjoy life, we'll wait until we have the energy before we start exercising.

Flip it around...

You will have inspiration when you start working on the project, you will be happy once you step back and decide to enjoy your days, and you will have energy once you hit the gym. Here's some thoughts...

Have you ever finished a workout and said, "Gee, I wish I hadn't done that"? Of course not.

Have you noticed that when you start working on something is when the ideas flow?

Somewhere along the line we got the idea that feeling precedes action. It's the other way around, action is the mother of feeling. You want to feel better? Take action.

Waiting for the time to feel right before taking action is going through life unconscious...become the change you want to see by your actions...and the feelings will follow.

Now go jump start your day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Going somewhere...?

If you're not, you should be. Aim for something, or run the risk of becoming a rudderless ship. The human mind is not meant to be idle for too long, we are hardwired to achieve goals, solve problems, take care of things. Once these stop, problems begin.

The recent financial scene may have you reevaluating your retirement plans, 401k's, and lamenting the fact that you might have to work longer than you planned. I'm here to tell you...

That's a good thing.

Staying in the game is vital to your well being. Embrace the fact that we aren't meant to retire at 65 like our parents did when life expectancy was in the low 70's. Today people are leading productive lives well into their 80's and loving it. This works for two reasons...

First, retiring early is an unnatural state of being, you'll miss the challenge, the reason to get up, the feeling of your importance as a cog in the machine.

Second, you'll worry less about saving for retirement. Grinding away at life to amass a certain amount, "the number", in your retirement plan, only to check out of the stressfull and unecessary. Enjoy the journey, quit stressing over getting a certain account balance by a certain age, you'll be better for it.

The happiest people I know are also the most productive people I know, and I would bet that if you looked around your circle of friends you'd come to the same conclusion.

They aren't productive because they're happy, they are happy because they are productive.

You have the rest of your life to enjoy, make it a life of purpose and direction.

Now go jump start your day.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Are you tense about the future, or in the present tense...?

If you take care of today, and are consistent about it, your future will take care of itself. Where you are now is the result of several days just like today, strung together into a group of habits, personality traits, fears and desires.

To improve your future, improve your days...

Starting with this one.

There is no perfect time to take on any pursuit, and the surest bet out there is that there is always a reason not to start today. As I've said here before, your brain will do whatever it has to in order to keep you in your comfort zone, especially those "someday, maybe" goals. Nice to dream about, always pushed off into the future.

Your future is the result of what you do when you finish reading this, and what you do tomorrow and the next.

Make it what you will, because the longer you wait...

the more of your future becomes your past.

Now go jump start your day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jets, ships and rockets do should you...

Mid course corrections.

No goal was ever achieved in a straight line. No destination was ever arrived at without an adjustment along the way, and so it goes with you. Setbacks, diversions, obstacles and
adjustments are inevitable in the game of life. Your attitude towards these will play a key part in how close you come to getting where you want to go.

If you look at setbacks and obstacles as things that will keep you from your goals, throw you off the track, make you think you really aren't cut out for this...then you'll have a hard time, while being passed by others who have a different attitude...

The attitude that obstacles are inevitable, expected, and as much a part of the game as the score itself.

When something is expected, and known as inevitable, it gets easier to handle when it does show up. At the same time, we all think our obstacles are "special", that if it was a run of the mill obstacle we could handle it, but this...well this is unsurmountable.

The obstacle is the path.

There is always a way, you just haven't thought of it yet.

Treat obstacles as speed bumps, detours, rivers to cross, mountains to climb. Go around, under, through or over...and take the attitude that was passed down to us from the stoics...

Expect what shows up. Now go jump start your day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The key is...

There is no key. We keep looking for that thought, process, insight or technique that will get us where we want to go. Turning from one source of inspiration to another, looking for the elixir that will make it happen. You know where this is going...

It isn't where you're looking.

Don't look outside yourself to change things within, look inside. The places you are going, the dreams, goals and aspirations are already in your brain cells, you just need to let them happen. Stop looking for the Holy Grail, turn inward and write down what you want to happen, what it takes to get there, then let your brain take you down the path to fulfillment. If your goal is strong enough your brain will seek out the steps needed by pointing your conscious actions in the right direction. This is where the saying, "When the student is ready the teacher will appear" comes from.

Be in tune with your goals and aspirations, and trust youself to be the guide down the path. You're the only one who wants it as much as you take the first step, look inward to overcome the mountains lurking inside your thoughts.

Now go jump start your day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obsession isn't just a perfume...

It's a conscious choice...

If someone asks you why you didn't succeed at something and you reply, "Well, I just didn't give it my all..." or something along those lines, you have given yourself the perfect out.

If you don't give 100% to what you've set out to accomplish you will always have that excuse to fall back on...your brain figured this out a long time ago and decided to hold you back just enough to fall back on the fact that you kept some in reserve, didn't give it your all.

You know where I'm going with this... if you gave it your all, devoted 100% to it...

There is no way you'd fail.

It's a paradox and the odds are stacked against you, it's why so many get close but never over the line...your own DNA is holding you back to preserve itself from the rejection of its own tissue...

Your total obsession to what you've set out to accomplish assures that it can be done, but you need to overcome your own obstacles to success, namely the fact that your brain rejects total obsession to preserve its ego from the shattering display of rejection after having devoted so much...

You see what this must get out of your own way. The greatest obstacle to success lies within the same organ that has the power to propel you to heights you've only dreamed of. Recognizing this is the first step, the second step is more of a challenge...

Get out of your own way, don't hold back, become the obsession you know you have inside you...the rest is pure alchemy.

Now go jump start your day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Commitment isn't just a word for getting serious...

It's the real deal.

You commit to something and the world will step aside for you. Opportunities show up, contacts respond, your blood flows, the adrenalin kicks in,'re off.

You pull back, show weakness of resolve, a crack in the wall of commitment... and all that vanishes. Suppose a rocket or an airplane was serious about taking off but not committed? The results would be disastrous, the engineers humiliated, and it would never get off the ground.

You are the vessel of your life...are you committed, or just blowing off steam? Are you really going to get off the ground with what you're putting out, or do you need to turn on the afterburners?

What will it take to get you launched? Are you doing that? Untie the bowlines and let your ship sail...the world wants to see how far you can go.

Now go start your day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yogi Berra was once asked what the time was...

his answer... "You mean now?"

How's that for living in the moment? The great teachers drill into us that the past nor the future do not exist, all that does is this moment in time. What are you doing with yours?

The great majority of our moments are spent anticipating and planning for the future or regretting the past. As we move forward in life our future becomes the present, then the past, and we end up looking back wondering what happened.

What happened is you lost your sense of intention.

Intention means living right now with purpose...not with regret, not with anticipation, today is the day you looked forward to when you planned your future...become the person you planned on being today.

I'm not saying this is easy, but as a wise man once said, "I might not succeed all the time, but I sure have fun trying".

Now...go jump start your day.

PS. I'm going on vacation for 2 weeks, the posts will keep showing up daily, but I won't be able to respond to comments until I return.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Procastinators aren't lazy...

When you think of procrastination it's likely you picture someone who's lazy, unmotivated and irresponsible. Far from it.

Procrastinators can look like the busiest people in your office.

Procrastination is a symptom of something else...the fact that your brain will do whatever it has to do in order to keep you in your comfort zone. If you're putting something off there's one of two things going on...

Either you're really not ready to do it, which can have some legitimacy.

Or, it's something that can make you grow as an individual, which means change, which means out of that warm and fuzzy comfort zone...zap, you procrastinate and do something else. With internet access on every desk you can look like you're researching, tasking, checking things off when in reality you've just found a way to look busy without doing "that thing".

So what to do? What I've found works is to set a timer for 3 minutes and begin the project with the idea you'll just give it 3 minutes. You can do anything for 3 minutes, after that you can go back to procrastinating.

What will happen is the law of physics kicks in and you'll keep going, reaching the conclusion all procrastinators do...

"this isn't so bad, I wonder why I put it off so long".

For more you can read Leo Babauta's book "The Power of Less" go jump start your day...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2 minutes to enlightenment...

Ran across an interesting blog the other day,

He has some smart things to say, what struck me the most is this video he put up:

Do yourself a favor and watch this, it's an entertaining 2 minutes that is a metaphor for life and will change the way you think about things.

The message is clear, and anything I say here will just detract from it. Check it out, and your day will be jump started.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What gets measured, changes...

What are the ingredients of a successful day? Two things, both related to each other...

1. You must have measurable goals, what I would call deliverables.

2. They must be something you have control over.

If you're in some kind of selling position, and who isn't these days, and you set a goal to reach a certain level of transactions or volume, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

What you need to focus on are the activities.

Write a certain number of pages, make a number of contacts, set things in motion with some e-mails to key people...whatever your situation is, make the goals measurable, achievable, deliverable.

The goals must be in place either the night before or early in the day. If you show up and just "let the day happen to you", the odds of you pulling off a successful day drop considerably. Have an action plan in place, make them achievable, measurable, do win.

If a great career or life is a series of great years, which are a series of great months, which are a series of great days...shouldn't you start today?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You... are your own economy.

It's too easy to get caught up in the negative news out there. Unemployment, layoffs, plant closings, housing, credit crisis, etc. It's a daily distraction and the trick is to find alternate sources of information to keep you moving in a positive direction.

What's happening out there is a whole army of fresh voices are blogging about things that matter more than the unemployment rate or the GDP. Concepts such as how to create your own positive mind set, changing your belief systems, and finding out what truly makes you happy.

The news has become generic, commoditized, repetitive, and as always...negative. Traditional news sources are an energy drain, and I promise you this: no matter what your career or portfolio looks like...watching CNBC never made you a dime.

Sure, be informed, scan the headlines. But get into alternative channels of information and motivation. I'll be linking to some of my favorites as we go along.

Because when the dust settles and you look back on your career, life, achievments and milestones...they were not the result of the economy, tax policy, or the S&P 500. They were as a result of your actions, and those you have complete control over.

You are your own economy, make it what you will.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sometimes one line in a movie says it all...

In the 1984 movie "Flashpoint" Kris Kristofferson and his buddy are in a predicament that gets worse by the minute with no solution.

Kris looks at his buddy and says, "Like my daddy used to say, 'If you can't get out of it, get into it'".

It's a metaphor for life...

We're here, situations come up, sometimes it seems there's no way out of them. You can make the choice to complain about it, regret it, wish it away, want more, be bored...

Or you can embrace it.

Simple, but not easy. Embracing life means taking it by the wheel, realizing now is your life, and living it with intention and purpose.

We run the risk of going through life planning things for the future, worrying about things in the future, the future gets here and becomes the present...and the cycle continues.

Here's the tough question...

Where you are right now is the future of your past, when were you going to decide to "really" live your life?

Friday, February 6, 2009

The fool is only happy when his cravings are satisfied, the true happy.

When the philosopher Seneca wrote those words 2000 years ago, he obviously had no idea of the state our civilization could reach. Yet even with all modern life has to offer...most people are unable to say they are truly happy.

If you say to yourself something along the lines of, "I'd be happy if all my debts were paid off", or "I'll be happy when I get a different job, or marry someone else...", the truth is...

no you won't.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who talk like the example above, and those who have made a decision to be happy in spite of whatever circumstances happen to be in their life. It's not a change in circumstances that governs your happiness, it is a change in your thought process.

One person can be happy with seemingly unsurmountable odds in life, while others wallow in misery over trivial matters. The difference is one has made a decision to live a life of happiness, the other is waiting for something to happen before being happy...

and that wait has the potential to become your life.

Great thinkers from Shakespeare to Henry Ford have spoken to this concept, and the idea is to work on your mindset and beliefs as much as you work at improving your life, and in the meantime enjoy the journey. In the end it comes down to this...there really is no goal out there that will change your life, your life is the journey... enjoy it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In the classic film "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"...

Humphrey Bogart is sitting at a bar in Mexico, destitute, trying to figure out how he and his buddies can raise some money to buy the tools they need to mine gold in the mountains.

A young boy approaches Bogie and asks if he wants to buy some lottery tickets, Bogie tells him to scram. The kid asks again, same result. The kid starts pleading, "Please sir, I know you'll pick the lucky one." After this Bogie tells the kid, "If you ask me one more time I'll throw this drink in your face."

The kid asks again, Bogie throws the drink in his face.

Wiping his face off, the kid approaches and asks again. Bogart buys a ticket, it wins and he's able to get the mining tools.

Is what we learn from this story to buy a lottery ticket when we need money? No, as happens so many times what we need to get from this story is the spirit of the kid. Would you keep going even if a drink were thrown in your face?

If you watch the scene it is obvious the young boy's approach to adversity was as if it wasn't there. He saw Bogie's actions as something he had to go through to accomplish what he needed to do.

What's your view of adversity? It's always going to be there, it's how you deal with it that makes the difference. Let it stop you in it's tracks, or walk right through it...the choice is entirely up to you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Decide who you are, and do it on purpose...

We know what we're supposed to do, we've read the books right? Daily affirmations, positive thinking, visualizations, high self-esteem, etc. But sometimes it's just not enough, it feels like we need more traction than these exercises can give us.

The missing link is intensity of conviction.

Your belief system must be solidly in place before your brain will allow meaningful changes to occur. In my opinion the best way to do this is to take some time and make the decision of who you are. Right now schedule a time for yourself to reflect and write down who you are and where you want to be.

Once you've taken this step, your entire being must then embrace the change you want to see.

It's not enough to just repeat it to yourself every morning, it must be felt in your body as if you were already there, it must occupy your thoughts to the extent that you have become a new person in thought alone. When get to this level you feel stronger, your actions take on new meaning, and you become the change you want to see.

Is it easy? Not a chance, it took you a lifetime to become who you are, but your brain has the power to turn it around if only you give it the right tools.

Go be who you are, and jump start your day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Joe Jackson was on the right track...

In the early '80's Joe Jackson came out with a song that went "You can't get what you want 'til you know what you want". This is true enough and a good first step, but there's one more piece...

Your brain needs to know the why.

Your brain will take on any goal you put in front of it once it knows why the goal is there in the first place. A goal such as an "income in the mid six figures", or a "book written by December 1", isn't enough to get your brain cells to buy into it. Try this: "my goal is to reach an income level in the mid six figures which will enable me to pay off those credit cards, get that vacation home in Mexico, and send my kids to the private school in town".

Now that's a goal your brain can get it's arms around.

It is specific, has emotional ties, can be visualized, and has measurable and tangible outcomes as a by-product of the goal. All of these ingredients are necessary for your brain to buy into your goal.

Right now take one of the goals you're working on and if it doesn't have a visualizable "why" in it weave that in, embrace it, visualize it, take a moment to get your brain to wrap itself around it, and go do one thing today that puts it closer.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Work backwards to move forward...

Every long range career or project is a series of months, weeks and days used to take one step closer to achieving them. The issue with long term goals for most people is they continue to be just that, long term goals.

What's missing is action.

Take your long term goal and give it some milestones, points along the way that are measurable and achievable. Put a deadline on the milestones, turn your long term goal into a series of shorter term goals that have visibility, dimension, and a high probability of success.

Every longer term goal has within it a series of tasks that when completed, get you there. While some of the tasks may seem insurmountable, there is always a smaller element of it that gets it started...and that you can do today.

Today, take one step forward. Is it a phone call? Making a list of options? An e-mail to a contact looking for information? Anything can be broken down into smaller, manageable tasks, the trick is consistency. Doing one thing every day to get you closer to your goal puts you on the path to achieving it. Everything else is just planning and dreaming.

We humans are hard-wired to move forward, being stagnant is an unnatural state of being, so fulfill your destiny and do one thing today. Isn't it time for you to make your move?

Friday, January 30, 2009

It boils down to just one thing...

Most of us think the gap between who we want to be and who we are is an insurmountable canyon of obstacles, pitfalls and failures. It isn't. It's something you have complete control over.

When you start your day chances are you have a list of things to do, some you do, some you put off, and none excite you because they don't enhance your life. So here's what you do....

Make the decision to become who you want to be by first having the state of mind that person would have. Are you wanting to be more athletic? Be that person's state of mind. Do you want an income in the mid six figures? Become that person by first having the state of mind your mental prototype of that person would have. And the beauty of changing your state of mind is this...

It is instant.

It can be as simple as saying to yourself, "I have now become the person I've always wanted to be." It can be looking at yourself in the mirror thinking, "You're an athlete, act like one." It means finally beginning to be you.

When you've done it, write down something that person would have as a goal, then write down a task that would work toward that goal and only take 15 minutes. This is the first item on your to do list today...the one that is meaningful to it first...the rest will begin to flow.

More great stuff coming go jump start your day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It begins...

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

Welcome to the first post of Daily Jump Start, a daily shot in the arm designed to get your day rolling the way you want it to. If you're reading this chances are you are a knowledge worker whose job demands creativity and self-starting.

Your task is more challenging than you may give it credit for, as knowledge workers punch their own clock, design their own day, impose their own deadlines, at the same time getting mired in the distractions of meetings, power point presentations and office minutia.
This blog was developed to recognize this and give you the mental tools necessary to overcome the obstacles to having the kind of day and life you plan for.

Each working day two paragraphs of cutting edge motivational talk will be waiting for you, designed to make your next action be to take action. There won't be any cheerleading or zen mantras, there are plenty of those on some great blogs already out there. This will be just good solid posts that will resonate with the part of your brain that stimulates activity.

The journey will be exciting for all of us...tune in tomorrow as it begins... onward.