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Unlimited Opportunities

How many opportunities have you had so far today to do something great? How many opportunities have you had to demonstrate leadership -- spontaneously, graciously, unselfishly? They can slip right by, and yet they are there. Opportunities to make a difference. I'm sure that I miss them all the time, and I am grateful when I catch one and make a humble attempt. It's not that I regret all of those that go whooshing by, it's that I am working on mindfully finding more of them. Good luck, right? Yes. And more than that, good effort. No one even knows most of the opportunities available to them. Let's grab the ones we find. -- doug smith  

Which Goal Right Now?

What if your biggest goal is not your most important goal? It's natural to think that your priorities are always determined by size: which goal will produce the largest revenue, save the most money, or give you the biggest impact. And, yes that's important. But should it determine what goal you work on today? I guess that it depends on whether you ask yourself or your boss, but I like to ask myself "which goal brings you the most joy right now?" Happiness matters. What if the purpose of achieving your goals is to make you happy? What if while you are working om your goals you felt great joy?  If the joy is missing, maybe the goal isn't so big after all... -- doug smith

Keep Moving

What if everything is already working out for the best? If you're on the right path, keep moving. If you're on the wrong path, change. Isn't an optimistic journey easier than the alternative? Keep moving. -- doug smith

Satisfaction and Happiness

No one gets everything -- learning to live with satisfaction in place of perfection is a peak happiness skill.  -- doug smith

Something Better than Survival

We tend to glamorize bad instincts. Not intentionally, but dramatically. We feature movies with guns. We cast self-driven egotists as strong leaders. We talk about survival of the fittest as if it were some type of idyllic meritocracy. It is not. Survival of the fittest leaves a majority of non-survivors. That's not the kind of world that high performance leaders should create. It's not the kind of environment centered leaders want to promote.   Survival of the fittest puts everyone at risk. What if everyone survived? Not as some type of hand-out free-gift. People do need to work. People need to get stuff done. And those who do should not just survive but should also thrive. That dish-washer who quietly keeps the kitchen together so that you can sell those hundred dollar dinners? They should be able to thrive. That customer service representative who calms a customer crazed by poor processes and a world in constant crisis? They should thrive. It's more than money. It's

Consider Others

People care about what you do, especially when what you do affects them. Do you like it when an organization makes a decision that affects you without asking you about it? Probably not. New conditions, new constraints, new rules. It's beyond annoying, and when leaders cause these types of unilateral inconveniences (which create new paths of resistance and passive aggression) they are doing harm to their vision and to their organization. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. Would you rather consider the needs of others now or wait until they are upset with you? Now. Now would be good. -- doug smith

Gratitude Today!

Some of the best and happiest people I know take some time every day to focus on what they are grateful for. Their lives aren't perfect and they don't expect them to be, but their lives ARE filled with wonderful blessings, gifts, moments of joy, and the pleasure of helping and being helped. Usually, that gratitude starts in the morning. I find that when I spend some time being grateful in the morning (it begins with prayer and returns during meditation) that I have more moments during the day that spring up spontaneously: joyful, unexpected moments of gratitude. With so much to be grateful for, I revel in enjoying each of those moments. How about you? Here's my gratitude suggestion for the day: Take a deep breath while you contemplate something or someone you are grateful for.  Pause and repeat. Isn't that nice? -- doug smith 

Habits Come From Repetition

  Habits are a choice, until they aren't. We can choose which habits we adopt when we repeat them. Over and over. Do you want the healthy habit of exercising every day? You know what comes next: exercise every day.  As James Clear points out in his useful book Atomic Habits, the best support to a good habit is to do it every day without fail. You might not always do the habit completely and seldom will you do it perfectly but zero repetitions is not acceptable. If your goal is to do 100 push-ups a day and you must fail today, you fail by doing SOME push-ups (maybe 50, maybe 99) but you certainly don't do ZERO push-ups. Leaders must form healthy habits and do them every day in order for our team members to pay attention and adapt healthy habits of their own. Behavior is contagious, even exemplary behavior. Show what you want. Do it. -- doug smith

Encourage Your Team

Does your team have doubts? Do you? Most people have doubts at some level. Some are spoken and obvious, others are hidden and untold. The challenges your team has faced may have nearly worn them out. Their spirits may be down and certainly tested. You can do something about that. Reward them fairly, of course. And encourage them. Let them know how confident you are in them. Tell them you're grateful for their work. Encourage them to find the joy in their work, even during tough times. Encouragement costs nothing and yet provides power to improve and prosper. How can you encourage your team this week? -- doug smith

It's Up to You

How do you measure success? Some people measure success with money, but you probably know that money alone is not success. Other people measure success based on the quality of their relationships. Or, success could be measured by the level of your game play, or the quality of your collectibles, or the land and resources that you control. There are as many ways to measure success as there are people measuring it. Success has many measures and yours are up to you. You might as well focus on what you think that means. -- doug smith

More than a Wish

Ambition needs more than anticipation or wishes -- it needs hard work to achieve its goal. Think big, sure...then work hard. -- doug smith

It Will Change You

It's a step outside of your comfort zone. It's a move you've previously not taken. It is a stretch. One scary thing about achieving a goal is that it will change you. Don't be scared. -- doug smith