Archives For Lifestyle

The phrase, “there are no dumb questions” came up yesterday at work.  We talked about it for about 30 seconds.  It made me think about the phrase.

We tell our children constantly that there is no such thing as a “dumb question” but the truth is, there are dumb questions!

Right off the top of my head, I can think of a quarterly meeting that I attend where without fail, every time, there are 2-3 people that extend the meeting by asking stupid questions.  Sounds harsh but it is true.

These people ask the same generic questions (sometimes the exact same question from quarterly meeting to quarterly meeting).  They either don’t think before they speak OR they need to take notes because they forget easily.

I’m not being mean.  I’m just saying there are “dumb” questions.  Here are some tips to think about BEFORE you ask a question in a large group.

5 things to ask Yourself before you ask a question

1. Is the question relevant?

2. Is this a question that should be asked now or AFTER the meeting in private?

3. Does your question pertain to the entire group or, at least, MORE than just yourself?

4. Will your question actually help you if you get an answer?

5. Can the question actually be answered?  In other words, are you asking a question with a definitive answer?  Is your question too general?

I HIGHLY encourage you to ask questions.  Don’t be intimidated.  Just do it in a helpful way so that you can get the answers you need to be successful on your project.

Do you want a trick that will guarantee you get more things accomplished during your day or week?

It’s not a trick but a simple tactic that will guarantee you get a lot accomplished.  You may not finish everything but you will be ahead of the game.

Set a Deadline

Without a deadline you will always feel like you have an unlimited amount of time to finish.

Quick personal example

I had been working on my 4th music CD for 3 years.  It dragged on and on.  It felt like a burden on my back for a few reasons.  Long story, short, out of frustration and weariness of the process,  I set a CD release date. 

I had just 1 month to finish the recordings, 2 weeks to have it mastered and then 3 weeks to have it manufactured (including the artwork, etc).  I got the boxes of CDs just days before the CD release party.

Had I not set a date I may still be working on it!

Chances are you didn’t just happen upon my blog but if you did, welcome!  The majority of people that visit my blog are looking for tips on improving their marketing, blogging and social media influence. 

How would you feel if I told you that there actually is a “secret” ingredient that will guarantee that you succeed?

You would tell me that I am blowing smoke up your rear.  (Click the link for a short history lesson on this phrase.)

Take a look at Mark Zuckerberg (co-founder of Facebook), Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft), or the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  What’s the common theme among these four ultra successful people?  Okay, besides they are all computer geeks. 

What one common trait did all of these guys have that led to their success?

You Need Passion In Order To Succeed

But what about the guarantee?  Okay, so maybe it was a few puffs of smoke to get your attention.

While having an unrestrained enthusiasm for a project (or cause) may not guarantee success, NOT having a strong passion to succeed will almost always guarantee that your project will fail.

Before you take on the next project take 5 minutes and ask yourself, “Am I willing to commit to making this project a success?”  If there is any doubt in your answer then you should pick a new project.

Life is short.  Tasks lists are heavy.  Lighten your load by only picking things that you are willing to give all of yourself to.

Most people never get started doing what they love because they just don’t have the time.  They get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, maybe play with their kids for a little, sit on the couch and then go to bed.

For me this lifestyle is B-O-R-I-N-G.  I like to do things…  build things.. beautify things… write things… and play too.

I need more than the normal 9-5 and I bet most of you are the same way.  I would bet that 90% of people are unsatisfied with their jobs.  Most are thankful, especially in this day and age where unemployment is through the roof, but unsatisfied.

There is hope!

You can change your life by doing ONE thing

If you could make your life AWESOME by doing just one thing would you do it?  What if it means not watching as much TV?  What if it means sacrificing a little sleep?  What if means you might stick out?  What if it might include failing sometimes?

One thing DOES make a difference

Do you believe that one thing can make a difference?  How about 5 letters?  Can you ignite a fire with 5 letters?  YES YOU CAN!  If you don’t believe me then try this experiment.  Go up to a lady on the street and call her a “b!tch.”  You will quickly see how something as simple as 5 letters can change your entire world in a split second.

Remember I talked about my friend’s brother who posted a threat on the news group?  He got several years in prison with just a few seconds and a few strokes at the keyboard. 

So the question is, what is the one thing that you can do to make your life massively more appealing?  You can simply START.

Start that project that you’ve been putting off.

Start writing that novel that you dreamed about all of your life.

Start weeding your garden.

Start cleaning the attic.

Start brainstorming new business ideas.

Start making a commitment to going to church.

Start a new exercise program.

Start giving more of yourself than you receive.

Start with ONE thing and spend 5 minutes doing it.  Not only will it stimulate your brain and break you of your habitual routine but it will also make going to your job that much more enjoyable.  Variety is good and keeps you fresh.  Do ONE thing today.. if even for 5 minutes.

Below are the words of Henry Ford.  These two passages really hit home with me.  I firmly believe them.  The more I learn the more I realize that there is so much more to learn. 

None of our men are “experts.” We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert–because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job.

A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is.

Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the “expert” state of mind a great number of things become impossible.

I love Mr. Ford’s philosophy on not dwelling on “failures” as well.  He practiced what he preached and constantly worked at keeping things simple and effecient.

I refuse to recognize that there are impossibilities. I cannot discover that any one knows enough about anything on this earth definitely to say what is and what is not possible.

The right kind of experience, the right kind of technical training, ought to enlarge the mind and reduce the number of impossibilities. It unfortunately does nothing of the kind.

Most technical training and the average of that which we call experience, provide a record of previous failures and, instead of these failures being taken for what they are worth, they are taken as absolute bars to progress.

If some man, calling himself an authority, says that this or that cannot be done, then a horde of unthinking followers start the chorus: “It can’t be done.”

You can read My Life and Work by Henry Ford for free at Google Books.