Archive - April, 2006

Discipline is critical

Jim Rohn, known as one of America’s foremost business philosophers, has addressed over 6,000 audiences and 4
million people worldwide.  He tells us that for every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.  That’s one
of life’s great arrangements. In fact, it’s an extension of the
Biblical law that says that if you sow well, you will reap well.

Snoopy_reapwhatusowEverything of value requires care, attention, and discipline.  Our thoughts require discipline. We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our codes of conduct, or our thoughts will be confused. And if our thoughts are confused, we will become hopelessly lost in the maze of life.  Confused thoughts produce confused results.

Remember the law: "For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards." Learn the discipline of writing a card or a letter to a friend. Learn the discipline of paying your bills on time, arriving to appointments on time, or using your time more effectively. Learn the discipline of paying attention, or paying your taxes or paying yourself. Learn the discipline of having regular meetings with your associates, or your spouse, or your child, or your parent. Learn the discipline of learning all you can learn, of teaching all you can teach, of reading all you can read.Discipline_1

For each discipline, multiple rewards. For each book, new knowledge. For each success, new ambition. For each challenge, new understanding. For each failure, new determination. Life is like that.  Even the bad experiences of life provide their own special contribution. But a word of caution here for those who neglect the need for care and attention to life’s disciplines: everything has its price.  Everything affects everything else. Neglect discipline, and there will be a price to pay.  All things of value can be taken for granted with the passing of time.

That’s what we call the Law of Familiarity. Without the discipline of paying constant, daily attention, we take things for granted.  Be serious.  Life’s not a practice session.

Essential People you need in your life

Nevereatalone_natlbestseller_cover_1I like lists.  And, I love Keith Ferrazzi and his book Never Eat Alone.  Yesterday’s post on the Never East Alone Blog by Ian Yberra has the following with a link to good descriptions of the first five or so on Kai Chang’s Blog:

"How many essential people in your life?

My friend Kai Chang lists his 16 and a few descriptions on his blog. Here’s the list for quick viewing.

1. Headhunter
2. Computer Security Guru
3. Realtor
4. Criminal Defense Attorney
5. Personal Finance Advisor/CPA
6. Medical Doctor
7. Police/Law Enforcement Officer
8. "The Wolf"/"The Cleaner"039_27431harveykeitelposters
9. The Event/Ticket Connection
10. The Local Celebrity
11. Big Money Guy
12. Local Politician
13. Auto Mechanic
14. Consigliere
15. Mr. Connections
16. Best Friend

It’s valuable to have a list of categories such as these but also make sure you fill them with friends.  Some should be a few people deep just in case your first stringer ends up unavailable.  As Ian said, "How long is your list and Who’s on it?"

Sonny Rollins Saxophone Colossus

Rollins200x150Sonny Rollins turned 75 not long before his performance this week at the UC Davis Mondavi Center. As is typically the case, my wife Liz purchased tickets to see Sonny and his band some six months prior to the concert.  Funny how when the day rolls around, even after looking forward to it for months, we were distracted by parenting, chores, and the absence of energy for a cultural outing.  We got angry with each other in the car not long after leaving our home.  Our argument lasted and nearly ruined the evening.

Our lack of harmony met the odd confrontation of walking into the hallowed church of the arts where we were about to see one of the finest, most talented musicians to grace our good planet.  The inspiration unfolded as a mirror to my foolishness.  What focus and power this man represents after more than fifty years of honing and practicing his craft.  I share this description from John Ellis (also a wonderful saxophone player that Sonny Rollins influenced):

“The term “organic” is used a lot in music. I think Sonny bestRollins defines
what that means–he’s an organic improviser. Listening to him is like
watching the sun rise or the trees grow. It never sounds forced, and
each idea develops from the next one. On top of that he has so much
humor and spirit–you can feel his eyes twinkle–or maybe it’s behind
his eyes, a sparkle, as if he’s amused by each phrase he discovers. And
it certainly sounds like every phrase is a discovery. He also has the
funkiest feel for time, but it’s really flexible. And his articulation,
like a drum. And his sound is beautiful, incredibly warm and direct–it
reaches out and envelops you.”

Seeing Sonny play the saxophone would cause most fans to be
introspective, but you have to be in harmony with yourself and your environment to allow the influence to wash
over you. The experience “sharpened my saw” in emotional and spiritual ways.  It also to reminded me to focus on what is truly important.

Four (4) Questions to help Check Yourself

Self awareness, self evaluation, introspection…it’s all a path to understanding who we are, what we’re passionate about and what we want to improve.  I believe in focusing on growing and improving strengths while recognizing and being considerate of our weaknesses.  Being clear about your mission and attaching yourself to it firmly can help.  We must consistently return ourselves to center in some way.  You have to know, by trial, what way works for you. Ask yourself TOUGH questions and write down your answers:

  1. Do I feel good about my work, the people in my life, myself?
  2. Do I waste valuable time and energy on things that don’t really matter?
  3. When is the last time I _______? (fill in the activities that are pure joy for you.)
  4. What should I be doing differently in my work to be happier, more productive, less frustrated or less bored?