There’s an instructive scene in the Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda is instructing Luke Skywalker in how to use the Force. He asks Luke to retrieve his disabled spaceship out of a bog where it has sunk, using only his mind.
Luke, of course, thinks this is impossible. Sure, he has been able to move stones around this way. But a spaceship? That’s completely different. Or is it.
Recently, I was preparing to deliver a speech and found myself in a funk. I was experiencing an unusual amount of distraction and self-doubt. Fortunately, I had about four hours before I was to go on stage. So, I decided to call my wife, Gail.
She instantly knew I wasn’t in a good place. (This is one of the many benefits of long-term marriage. My wife can read me like a book.) After listening to me whine for a few minutes she said, “Okay, I want you to hang up and go for a run. Call me when you are done.”
Recently, I attended the The SCORRE Conference, formerly called The Dynamic Communicators Workshop, in Vail, Colorado. It is absolutely the best training available for speakers and everyone else who wants to communicate with more clarity and power. (I liked it so much the first time I attended that I am now a partner with Ken Davis, the founder and primary instructor.)
In the last session of the conference, we heard from speaking coach and master communicator, Stacey Foster. He closed his talk with this powerful story:*
Most people won’t change course until something traumatic happens that gets their attention. Maybe it’s the loss of a job or a marriage. Sometimes it’s a health crisis. It happened to me.
Several years ago, I was in New York City on business. I was having a relaxing dinner with one of my colleagues. Suddenly, as we were finishing our meal, I started to have chest pains.
As I indicated in yesterday’s post, many people drift through life without a plan. For some, things work out fine. For most, they end up far from their intended destination.
Others, end up living someone else’s dream, the victim of another agenda. This almost happened to a Mexican fisherman in a story told by Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Work Week. (This story appears in various forms on the Internet.)
I first met Dave Ramsey in the early 1990s. At the time, he was the co-host of a local radio show called, The Money Game. He had also self-published a book called Financial Peace, which was later picked up by Viking and became a New York Times bestseller.
I had the privilege of working with Dave on the launch of his book, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. It become a mega-bestseller, selling over four million copies since it first came out in 2003. In fact, month after month, it is still one of Thomas Nelson’s top ten bestsellers. It is the first book that I recommend to couple’s wanting to get control of their finances and improve their marriage.
I have always been driven to achieve. According to the Strengths Finder Assessment, achievement is one of my top strengths. I don’t know whether I was wired that way from the beginning, or my propensity toward achievement came out of my upbringing.
As a kid growing up in seven different countries, I always found myself as the new kid on the block. I discovered that one of the quickest ways to get noticed was to achieve. The more challenging the achievement, the better. Most kids want to be noticed and I was no different.
During my coaching sessions at EntreLeadership Master Series in Orlando, there were a few themes that kept popping up. One of those was leaders having problems with their teams not going the extra mile. Not taking on more responsibility. The first instinct is that you hired lazy people. In many cases that is true.
But there’s a combination that I’ve found that explains why so many team members are so hesitant. When a leader is perceived to be a bully, or condescending, or leads with fear, then I find that they tend to have a team that, in their own words, “won’t go the extra mile.”
I attend a lot of conferences and meetings. I have noticed that most people play it safe in these settings. They are reserved—arms crossed and skeptical—or simply distracted, hunched over their smartphone. Precious few take the plunge and play full out.
Several years ago, Robert Smith, Andy Andrews’ manager, paid for Gail and me to attend an internationally renowned motivational conference. Though it only lasted four days, it changed our lives. We still feel the impact today.
I first became acquainted with Tim Sanders when I read his first book, Love Is the Killer App. It is still one of my favorite business books. I have given dozens of copies away. As a result, I was very eager to review his newest book, Today We Are Rich.
Tim begins the book by telling the compelling story of his grandmother, Billye, who raised him. Though she didn’t have much in the way of worldly wealth, she imparted to him an “abundance mindset” that proved to be far more valuable. She intentionally passed this on to Tim in the form of homespun wisdom.
Andy Andrews is a dear friend, one of my favorite authors, and maybe the best speaker I have ever heard. His new book, The Final Summit, is the much-anticipated sequel to his New York Times bestseller, The Traveler’s Gift. In a minute, I will tell you how to get a copy of his new book FREE.
The Final Summit is a great read. Like Andy’s other books, it is chock-full of wisdom, perspective, and inspiration. The best part is that Andy personally exemplifies these characteristics in his own life. He walks his talk.