Goals Are Dreams with Deadlines

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“Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.”  -Brian Tracy, personal success coach.  Whenever I feel my dreams losing steam, I always think of Booker T. Washington. Born a slave in 1858, his childhood years were anything but pleasant. The family’s farm cabin had no glass windows, and any opening to let in light also let in the freezing wind in the winter.  The floor of the cabin was dirt. The life of slave was back-breaking work that started before the sun came up and continued long after it went down again. His childhood was also lived out during the Civil War, which created turmoil, fear, and uncertainty in the lives of Southern slaves and added additional pressure to an already hopeless state of affairs.  But in spite of that desperate situation,

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Leaders: Cutting Back Can Make You More Successful

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In consulting with nonprofit organizations around the world, our team at Cooke Pictures has discovered that the most successful are deep, not wide.  In other words, they know how to focus on one big thing, instead of trying to do many things badly.  In this video I talk about why it matters, and how being lean and mean can make a huge difference.  If you know a leader of a bloated or ineffective organization, make sure he or she sees this: 

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Learn to Re-invent Yourself, and Become a Legend

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Remember some of the great bands of the 60’s and 70’s?  Three Dog Night, Led Zepplin, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Rare Earth, and even the Monkees? What songs do you remember? Probably, songs they recorded during that specific period. Then think about the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Elton John, or Dylan, and what do you remember? Chances are, you remember something much more recent. That’s because most of the great bands of the 60’s and 70’s got stuck. They couldn’t break out of the era of their initial success. Sure they continue to play, but while they used to pack any arena in America, today you’ll probably find them

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What Do You Have to Trade To Be a Success?

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The highest levels of performance in sports, the workplace, school, or the nonprofit world, never happen without trade-offs and sacrifice.  The extra hour an Olympic athletic spends training is an hour less he or she can spend with their family.  The extra effort it takes to win that major client project means chipping away at your personal life.  For most people, the illusive idea of work/life balance is an illusive ideal, because in reality, it’s one of the most difficult goals you can achieve.  That’s why I moved from

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What Does Success Look Like For You?

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When I was a kid in the 60’s, success for my father was a Cadillac.  He was the pastor of a local church in Charlotte, North Carolina, but I’ll never forget his dream of one day owning a “Caddie.”  For my friend’s parents, it might be a golf club membership, summer home, or regular vacations to Florida, but in so many cases, an “object” represented that generation’s “arrival.”  Today, it’s vastly different.  Not only do I have more opportunities than my parents, but I’m far better travelled, and been exposed to so much more.  As a result, “arrival” for me isn’t a thing, it’s a state of mind.  For today’s generation, success is about

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What is the Tradeoff for Success in Life?

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The highest levels of performance in sports, the workplace, school, or the nonprofit world, never happen without trade-offs and sacrifice.  The extra hour an Olympic athletic spends training is an hour less he or she can spend with their family.  The extra effort it takes to win that major client project means chipping away at your personal life.  For most people, the illusive idea of work/life balance is an illusive ideal, because

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How to Achieve Olympic Levels of Success

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I love watching the Olympics because it’s one of the few places where you can spend a few weeks watching the best in the world. It’s really a celebration of sacrifice, training, and performance that’s hard to beat. But how do they achieve these extraordinarily high levels of success? Certainly it’s a complex answer, but when I was writing my new book “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” three areas stood out as absolutely essential to Olympic level success on the field or in business:

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