Why Keeping Your Commitments Is Critical to Your Influence

When we think of someone with integrity, we think of someone we can count on to come through on what they promise. Unfortunately, that’s not always a safe bet today.

Why Keeping Your Commitments Is Critical to Your Influence

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Over the last several years I’ve noticed a change in the way we use the word integrity. The word used to mean staying true to your word—even if it’s difficult, inconvenient, or expensive. But today I hear more and more people using the word as if it means being true to themselves—even if that means leaving someone else to clean up the mess.

This might look like a win if we’re trying to save ourselves from difficulty and discomfort, but it will come back to bite us in the end. Nothing destroys our credibility faster than bailing on a commitment.

5 Proven Ways to Keep Your Platform from Outstripping Your Character

There are several different ingredients to success. Talent, persistence, and timing all contribute. But there’s one factor we might sometimes overlook—character.

5 Proven Ways to Keep Your Platform from Outstripping Your Character

Character reminds me of a tree’s root system. It doesn’t matter how beautiful or majestic a tree might look above ground; it’s only as strong and durable as the roots below.

Since we can’t see the roots, we might miss what it takes to keep that tree fed and standing strong. But the roots are essential to the success of the tree.

Season 2, Episode 01: What If You Could Take a One-Month Sabbatical? [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 1 of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this first episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss my recent sabbatical. We explore how you can plan to take your own sabbatical—even if it seems impossible right now.

What If You Could Take a One-Month Sabbatical?

For each of the past three years, my wife, Gail, and I have taken a thirty-day sabbatical. This year, we went to Europe. We toured Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

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How to Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work for You

Do you ever get uneasy—or even afraid—when you’re close to achieving something big in your life? I do. In our recent relaunch of Platform University, for instance, we started with fewer responses than I anticipated.

How to Reframe Fear and Let It Work for You

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I began estimating the results for the entire campaign based on those early results and didn’t like where things were going. I started messaging members of the team, asking questions, reworking our strategy, and adjusting our tactics. Almost immediately, the results began to improve.

Later that same morning, my daughter and Dean of Platform University, Megan, said something that made me laugh.

7 Sure-Fire Ways to Reduce Stress and Restore Your Sanity

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story on the trend in slow reading. The idea is that intentional time in a book can improve our minds and reduce our stress.

My Top 7 Stress Reducers

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If you’re a book person like me, this is no surprise. It doesn’t matter if it’s paper or digital, just taking thirty minutes out of a busy day brings me a sense of calm. A good book gives me a moment to myself in a world of racing and rushing and lets me collect my thoughts—or even escape them for a while.

We all have favorite things we do to deal with the stress in our lives. These are things that take our minds off our difficulties, help us reframe them, or reenergize us to face them. Here are my top-seven stress reducers.

Why You Need More Art in Your Life (and 5 Ways to Get It)

If you want to find more creativity, satisfaction, and happiness, the single best solution I know is adding more art to your life.

Why You Need More Art in Your Life (and 5 Ways to Get It)

Photo courtesy of Eleri Ever, eleriever.com, and the Estonian Ministry of Culture

Music has been a big part of my life since I was a young boy, though my tastes have broadened a lot since I was first learning chords on my guitar. I love choral music, for instance. Morten Lauridsen’s “Agnus Dei” can bring me to tears.

Several months ago I was invited to attend a concert at Carnegie Hall, featuring not just the music of the composer Arvo Pärt, but Arvo Pärt himself. It was a one-of-a-kind night. The orchestra and choir played some of his most popular and enduring compositions. There were several moments when the music lifted me right out of myself.

The One Thing You Need to Know to Be Happy

There aren’t many phrases in English more recognizable than “the pursuit of happiness.” But what could happen if we turned it around? That’s exactly what Chris Guillebeau does in his new book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life.

The One Thing You Need to Know to Be Happy

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At just 36, Chris has already led an amazing life. A self-starting entrepreneur since age 19, he felt depressed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and decided to dedicate himself to something truly significant.

He began working on a medical ship off the coast of West Africa. That’s where he caught the travel bug. Since then he has visited not a dozen, not two dozen, but all 193 countries in the world. Now Chris works to share that spirit of adventure with others.

Why Your Peer Group Matters More Than You Think

Have you ever noticed how the people in your life affect you? The impact can be so significant that one of the best things we can do to change our lives for the better is change our peer group.

Why Your Peer Group Matters More Than You Think

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In the 1930s C.S. Lewis started a small literary circle called the Inklings. The group started with J.R.R. Tolkien, and eventually included others like Owen Barfield and Charles Williams. The influence on works in progress of the different members was huge.

Lewis actually scrapped the first draft of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe after his friends heard some chapters. They considered it “so bad that I destroyed it,” he said. It’s impossible to discount the influence of our friends.

Are You Letting Hurtful Words Sabotage Your Success?

We all know our words are powerful. We can slice someone to pieces with just a few syllables. That’s bad enough, but what happens when we turn that power on ourselves?

Are Your Words Sabotaging Your Success?

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As a young man, the writer Peter Leonard showed a short story to his famous father, novelist Elmore Leonard. Instead of encouraging his son, Elmore Leonard wrote a lengthy critique saying his characters were flat and lifeless.

“I didn’t write another word of fiction for 27 years,” Peter recalled. But as sad as that story is, we do the same thing to ourselves, don’t we?

Four Emotions Derailing Your Goals

Emotions are powerful, especially if we let them work in our lives without paying full attention. They can derail our goals if we let them.

Four Emotions Derailing Your Goals

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In my experience there are four emotions that usually come mixed in a powerful cocktail, sure to undermine our goals: fear, uncertainty, doubt, and shame. Most of us succumb to these from one time to another. I certainly do.

Don’t Quit Before the Whistle Blows

What do you do when you find yourself down on the track while the race goes on without you? We all trip and fall. The question is what comes next?

Heather Dorniden, now Kampf, is a highly decorated runner with an impressive string of accomplishments. But what’s most impressive was the time she won first place in the 600 meter dash—after falling flat on her face.