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More Than One Outcome...

Have you ever noticed that once you've achieved a goal that you gain more than one outcome? You gain what you set out to achieve, which is wonderful, AND you often gain a deeper, stronger, more collaborative relationship with at least one other person. When it takes more than one person to achieve a goal, you gain that extra closeness with someone that is hard to get any other way. Some goals wouldn't be worth achieving except for the relationships that they build -- and that makes them well worth achieving. -- doug smith

Play Fair

We all know the temptation to cut corners, skirt rules, and dance along the line of cheating. But, whatever it takes, however hard it is, it is best to play fair.  When the truth discovers you, let it be a truth worth sharing. Play fair. It does take extra work. It's easy to find people who do not play fair and who seem to be getting ahead. That's not for you. It's much better to feel the complete satisfaction of leading with integrity. If you game the system you ultimately game yourself. Play fair. -- doug smith  

Clarity Always

  How do you feel about being misunderstood? It makes me frustrated, but I've learned that being frustrated in someone else's inability to understand me has no pay-off. Instead, the opportunity is to clarify how I'm communicating what I want to say. If they didn't get it, I need to try something else. I could say it in a different way, or use a story to illustrate, or identify data that supports the message, or let them tell me first to see what they already know...many ways to clarify and clarify we must. We are so often misunderstood that we must work extra hard to be precisely clear in our meaning. We can always do that, and it's not likely that someone else will do it for you.  Clarify! -- doug smith

Celebrate Progress And..

When was the last time that you were frustrated in trying to learn something? If you can't remember, maybe it's time to learn something new -- something tough and challenging. Truly worthwhile endeavors are often struggles. The satisfaction comes not only in the final result, but also in the progress toward that final result. The best way to avoid a sad let-down once a goal is achieved is to enjoy the journey all the way thru. Celebrate your progress! Not so much that you feel finished, but enough so that you feel able. Celebrate progress, and then keep on progressing. As that beat poet and philosopher Harry X. Tudas once said, "Feel in the groove but continue to improve." -- doug smith

Pass The Learning On

  If it's worth learning, it's worth teaching. If you want to be sure that you've acquired a skill, do your best to teach that skill to someone else. You'll quickly find your gaps. You'll humbly stumble in some of the difficulties. And that will all help you learn while you share the knowledge that you are gaining. If it's worth learning, pass it on. -- doug smith

Prevention: Why Wait?

There is usually more glory (and satisfaction) in solving a problem than there is in doing the hard work ahead of time to prevent the problem in the first place. It means paying attention to risk, rather than dismissing it with some wildly optimistic notion that things will stay steady and true and always work out for you. That would be great, but have you considered the potential problems. Potential problems have a way of turning into actual problems. It takes less energy to prevent a problem than to solve it. Why wait? Fun or not, prevention works. -- doug smith

Collecting Problems?

Does it feel like you're collecting problems? One thing leads to another and before you can resolve one issue another pops up?  It's like being in the middle of a movie when you just keep falling deeper into one hole or trap after another. There is usually more than one solution to any problem. If it feels like you're just collecting problems, try collecting solutions instead. You can't have too many solutions, so be generous with your generating. -- doug smith  

Take a Positive Step

Sometimes it's too much to muster up a big effort. Maybe that's when a little effort gets us going. Even the smallest positive effort has a positive impact. Let's start with that. -- doug smith  

Shifting Perspective

How flexible is your perspective? There is value in seeking a different point of view, especially in setting goals and in solving problems. Any way we ever look at anything is always a limited view. That's a broad (and possibly inaccurate) statement and yet what if it's true? Or, as my alternate perspective might state, what about it is true? Or even, what about it could be true? Sometimes we hold our problems too close to see what's causing them. Shifting the perspective opens up new vistas. That might be all we need to see the best possible solution. -- doug smith  

Assess The Risk

Fast is good, and sometimes dangerous. Easy is preferable, until it isn't. We make trades in a hurry without enough analysis because the convenience seems worth it. Our premise is "how bad could it be?" and maybe, just maybe it could be quite bad.  Be careful about accepting a premise that can later be weaponized. Because, if it can be weaponized, it will be... -- doug smith   

Truth First

A clumsy truth is more noble than an eloquent lie. The lie is so tempting. It feels like it preserves our ego. Instead, it delays the bruise that's bound to appear. Clumsy truths unnerve me sometimes. As Brene' Brown might say, we just need to risk being vulnerable in order to make the better choice, to disclose our truth. Awkward, sure. Embarrassing, maybe. But let's go with the truth first. It's a vital step toward going with the truth always. -- doug smith