Devote Yourself to creating something that gives you purpose . . .

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

Tuesdays with Morrie, author Mitch Albom

Friday, July 30, 2010

Money - What is Your Relation to It?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a society that did not use money as a means for livelihood?  There are countries in the world where reciprocal arrangements are made to care for the needs of those within a community.  Knowledge of how money works is not a concept that they are familiar with.

In Lynn Twists book, The Soul of Money, she describes a situation where a member of such community moved into our realm and had to learn from scratch how to survive.  In her words,  He began to see how it is in America:  that virtually everything in our lives and every choice we make-the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, the schools we attend, the work we do, the futures we dream, whether we marry or not, or have children or not, even matters of love-everything is influenced by this thing called money.

As foreign as a concept of money is to such a community, it is also a topic that many of us do not question or think twice about . . . money is just money and remains a way of life.  Gaining better insight to the purpose of money and the value we place on it is something we should endeavor to understand.  Lynn says:  We all have an identifiable through largely unconscious and unexamined, relationship with money that shapes our experience of life and our deepest feelings about ourselves and others.  She goes on to say Money has become a playing field where we measure our competence and worth as people. 

Lynn’s books provides great insights on how our society has come to not question the relevance of money and how it drives our lives, our decision, and our self-esteem.  If you would like to question your own ideas of money, I think you will find this book very insightful.  We challenge assumptions about every other facet of life:  race, religion, politics, education, sex, family, and society.  But when it comes to money, we accept it not only as a measure of economic value, but also as a way of assigning importance and worth to everyone and everything else in the world.  

Often times we use the term success to mean wealth, maybe success is a concept that we should also evaluate?   

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Lesson of Two Wolfes

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
"One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
 "The other is God - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea

Have you read the book 10-10-10? This book is a very short read, but provides the basis from which we can more clearly evaluate decisions that impact our business or personal lives.  For each decision you make, think of the impact this decision will have in the next ten minutes, ten months, or ten years.  You might find from doing this little exercise that you gain better clarity on how to make wise decisions and may find that some decisions lose their relevance based on looking at them within this context.  Some decisions may have no impact in the next ten minutes, or even within ten months; others may have more relevance on the short-term, but no impact ten years from now.  This book should help one stress less over the decision one makes.  

This book was written by Suzy Welch.

Strength Finder 2.0

Do you know your strengths? Recently a friend recommended a book that she was reading called Strength Finder 2.0 written by Tom Rath. The premise of this book is to help you evaluate your areas of strength and focus more fully on the things that you are good at. The book is organized by 34 Themes, so when you know your strengths you can concentrate on the sections that are most relevant to you. This book provides insight as to what someone with this strength might sound like. It also provides ten insights on ways that you can increase your aptitude in your area of strength and who you might pair yourself with to become more successful.

The book does not encourage anyone to focus on their weaknesses. It also points out that from early childhood, we have been encouraged to spend more time on things that we don’t do well. A child who does not do well in math is instructed to spend more time in math to master the skill. This conditions us to focus on our weakest areas, which although makes sense in education, it might not be sound principles on which to build a life or a career.

In our network, 3 Degrees Connected, it is our hope that we will encourage you to seek out individuals who are good in the areas you either do not have skill or interest. For example, as a business owner, you might find that math/finance is not your strong suit. Instead of trying to master this skill, hire someone to help you who has been trained and has interest in this detail work. Spend your time on areas where you can be more productive.

When you purchase the book Strength Finder 2.0, read part one. Go to the back of the book and get the access code which provides access to testing on the Internet. Take the short 35 minute quiz and within minutes you will have a report listing your “top five areas”. For less than $25 (the cost of the book), you will gain new insights that can improve your chances of success. Enjoy improving skills in areas that you already have a natural talent.

If you are reading a book that has given you more insight on how to succeed in business, please don't hestitate to share it with us and tell us how the book inspired you.