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

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

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:

Life’s Loaded Question: Do We Really Have a Destiny?

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The issue of destiny is loaded question. Nearly everyone wants to believe in the concept. Atheists may believe that there’s no God, no purpose, and no point to life, but it’s pretty tough living that philosophy out in the day-to-day trenches. The idea of destiny gives us a reason to go on, motivation that our lives matter beyond PTA meetings, job reviews, and visits to the local coffee shop. The Christian tradition teaches that God has a purpose and plan for our lives. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we have a

The Countdown to my new book begins: “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do”

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Stop being average at so many things, and become extraordinary at ONE BIG THING.  My new book, “One Big Thing” is set to hit shelves nationwide on July 17th. I’ve been working on it over the last year, and I’m more excited about it than any book I’ve ever written. The book asks a simple question: What were you born to accomplish with your life?  “One Big Thing” will help you discover what you were put on the earth to do and allow it to revolutionize your business, your ministry, and your life. After years working with major organizations, I’ve learned something that’s true for those organizations and for individuals as well: You’ll never get noticed for being “pretty good” at a lot of things. Today, you’ll only get noticed by being extraordinary at one big thing. The question is -

Stop Blaming Everyone Else. Your Future is In Your Hands

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I worry that we live in a culture today where growing numbers of people look outside themselves for success. And when they fail, it’s always someone else’s fault. But the government, your parents, your education, and your job aren’t the key to your success – you are.  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

For 2012, Let’s Get Serious About New Year’s Resolutions:

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Every year we make new year’s resolutions, and every year we forget them by March.  But what if we could actually make our goals happen?  What if we could actually stick with it?  To make resolutions work we have to first learn how to make change happen in our lives – how to embrace it, and how it use it to take us to the next level.  So this year, before you lock in resolutions, let’s study this list of how to position ourselves for change.  I’ll pulled these from my book “Jolt!” and I think they’ll help you in 2012: 

The Failures of Steve Jobs

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I’ve been reading the eulogies about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs with great interest.  There is no question that he was our Edison – a brilliantly gifted and visionary leader.  But as most of these stories focus on his remarkable success, I’m much more drawn to his failures.  They were public, and they were big.  Remember the Apple III in 1980?  Probably not.  It was Jobs first attempt at a business computer.  It was rushed to the market with so many issues it was abandoned a few years later.  How about Lisa in 1983?  It borrowed elements like the mouse, windows and menus from Xerox’s famous Palo Alto Research Center. But at $10,000, no one could afford it.  After getting a humiliating boot from Apple, he launched a new company called NEXT in 1988.  They created a machine academics liked, but still,

In the Digital Age, You Can’t Hide Failure.

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Google isn’t just about search, it’s about reputation management. The river of information that flows online is a tsunami, and whatever failure you’ve experienced in your past will show up in a Google search. So get used to it. Today we need to embrace our pasts and live more transparent lives than ever. Even more important, we need to stop