Setting Goals That Inspire Action In 2013

Photo by lululemon athletica

Photo by lululemon athletica

It’s That Time, Again

It’s hard to believe, but 2012 is coming to a close in just a few days. A new year is already knocking at the door! Have you given any consideration to your current goals from 2012 and any new goals for 2013?

How did you do this year? Did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish? Do you have some current, incomplete goals you’re going to need to carry over into the new year?

This week, I’ve been in the process of reviewing my goals from this year and deciding my goals for next year.

In this post, I’d like to challenge you to think differently about your goal-setting process for 2013. I’d like to offer a slightly different approach that will inspire you to take action next year.

3 Words | 3 Pictures

For 2013, I’d encourage you to take a different approach to goal-setting than the “normal” routines that are published everywhere. The typical approach always seems so lengthy, making your goals difficult to remember. And, in order to remember them, you need to flip open a notebook and read through them at least once a week!

I believe there is a simpler, yet broader approach that still gets the job done in an efficient manner. Let me give you a personal example.

In 2012, I had a goal I was trying to accomplish. This specific goal was to achieve washboard abs in one year.

In a more traditional, goal-setting approach, I would have written out a goal that probably looked something like this:

By December 2012, I will achieve the physical look of “washboard abs.”

Now, that in itself is a pretty simple statement and easy to remember. But, I decided to take a different approach to my goals this past year then just sentence building. I used one word and one picture per goal set. So, I jumped online, found a picture of washboard abs and typed the word “healthy” over it.

I will admit right now that I don’t exactly have the “washboard” abs look I was going for in my picture. But, I will tell you that I am a whole lot healthier at the end of this year then I was last year. Back in January, I went to the doctor for a much-needed physical exam. All my blood work looked great. I’ve been eating much healthier for the entire year (more greens and proteins; fewer carbs). In May, I started working out 3-5 times a week, with a good balance of cardio and strength training. I have kept up this pace for the remainder of the year, and now I’m addicted to my workouts!

As a result of this one word “healthy” and washboard abs picture, I now have a “swimmer’s body” physique. I lost about 10-12 pounds of excess body fat. I gained muscle mass in my chest and arms. I have more strength and stamina. I have way less stress in my life. I have not been sick at all for this entire year. One word and one picture helped me achieve a healthier, better physical life in 2012.

As a result of this awesome success, I’m currently sorting out 3 big, hairy, audacious goals that I would like to accomplish in 2013. I’m fine-tuning the 3 words and 3 pictures I would like to link to these goals for the new year. I’m super jazzed about what I will be able to accomplish next year. I plan on “crushing it” in 2013.

One word associated with one picture for each life goal. Try three big goals for next year and see how it works for you!

Are You Setting Goals?

So, are you in the process of reviewing your goals from 2012 and preparing a new set of goals for 2013? How did you do this year? Are you getting excited about a new year and a whole new world of possibilities?

What goal-setting plan are you using? Have you ever used a similar approach to the one word, one picture per goal that I have mentioned in this post?

I’d love to get your thoughts on goal-setting for the coming year. Feel free to leave me a comment below.

Two Life Secrets I Learned From The Quotes Of Zig Ziglar

Photo from Zig Ziglar’s official website

Zig Ziglar Goes Home

Last week, the world lost one of its most beloved motivational speakers – Zig Ziglar. Zig passed away on November 28, 2012, from pneumonia. In the last five years, he has struggled physically from a brain injury after a fall down a flight of stairs.

Zig Ziglar is best known as a motivational speaker. He has done numerous live seminars. He has written over 30 books. He has audio and video recordings of his seminars that have been readily available for many years now. If you’ve had any connection with the self-help, success, and motivational world, then you know Zig Ziglar.

What I’ve Learned From Zig Ziglar

Over the past several years, I have listened to many of these motivational recordings from Zig Ziglar. I have read some of his writing. I have seen some of his seminars on DVD.

If there are two primary life lessons I have taken away from Zig Ziglar, it would be these:

1. Better thinking leads to better living. We can see this in the following quotes from Zig such as:

Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.

We all need a daily check up from the neck up to avoid stinkin ‘thinkin’ which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes.

If you want to reach a goal, you must “see the reaching” in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.

Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.

If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.

I believe there are a lot of important truths contained in these quotes. The world would be a much better place, today, if all of us would work on better thinking, expectations, and attitudes.

2. Helping people get what they want is important to successful living. We can see this advice revealed in the following quotes:

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.

If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.

People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.

The greatest good we can do for others is not just to share our riches with them, but to reveal theirs.

In our drive to be successful, it’s very easy to forget that the people around us are a large part of that journey. The more people we can help along the way, the greater and deeper our own success will be.

How About You?

How’s you’re thinking? Do you need a check up from the neck up?

And, how are your relationships with those around you? Are you taking them on the journey with you? Are you helping people get what they want out of life?

These two ‘big ideas” from Zig Ziglar can definitely help create a successful life for all of us.

Do you have some additional favorite quotes or other big ideas from Zig Ziglar? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

5 Thought Leaders I’m Investing Time In 2013

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The Fire Hose Of Information

In today’s highly connected, “always on” world, it’s so easy to get overloaded by information. There are a lot of great people creating a lot of great information content right now, and it’s easy to get distracted by everyone’s awesome ideas.

I’ve been so distracted lately with a lot of great thought leaders, a lot of great blogs, and a lot of great books, that I don’t feel like I’m really processing anything. I’m creating a long reading list in Safari of websites I want to come back and visit. I’m saving a lot of sample books in my Kindle app that I want to come back to, purchase, and then read. I’m downloading a bunch of free ebooks to go back and read at some point. I’m filling up my iPhone5 with a lot of great podcasts I want to come back and listen to at a future date.

As we prepare to enter a New Year, I’m finding myself trying to figure out a way to focus on this avalanche of great information that I’m compiling. I’m asking myself questions concerning how I can grow exponentially in 2013, and the answers keep leading me back to vision and focus.

5 Thought Leaders I Plan On Focusing Time And Energy On In 2013

So, as we come to the close of 2012, my plan now in 2013 is to focus any available reading and learning time on the following 5 thought leaders over the next year:

  1. Simon Sinek. Simon is one of my new favorite thought leaders. I stumbled across his TED talk several months ago on YouTube. His talk is regarding the Power of WHY, which he calls “The Golden Circle.” I’m also currently reading his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action. If you’re a leader of people at any level, I recommend watching his TED talk video and reading this book. Excellent stuff!
  2. Pat Flynn. I found out about Pat via Michael Hyatt. I believe Michael was discussing podcasters he follows. So, I started listening to Pat’s podcast and became an instant fan. Pat has some really interesting information and advice regarding passive income. He also interviews some really cool guests on his podcast. I plan on digging deeper into his content and getting better at the passive income way of life in 2013.
  3. Robin Sharma. I can’t remember how I learned about Robin. I believe I ran across him via a link to another link on someone’s website (you know how that goes!). In any case, there’s something about Robin Sharma’s message that I’m drawn to. We have many of the same thoughts and processes. His life vision resonates with me in a powerful way. I definitely plan on reading 2-3 of his books in the next year.
  4. Michael Hyatt. My brother first turned me onto Michael a few years ago because of my passion for blogging, and I’ve been following him ever since. In fact, this new blog is completely a result of reading his Platform book as well as watching this great screencast video that he produced about setting up a WordPress blog.
  5. Tim Ferriss. Like Michael Hyatt, my brother was the one who introduced me to blogger Tim Ferriss and his “crazy” first book The 4-Hour Workweek. Since then, I’ve been a regular reader of his blog. I’ve also read and applied many of the principles from his book The 4-Hour Body. I plan on getting The 4-Hour Chef in a few weeks as well.

Who Inspires You?

Do you follow a specific group of thought leaders? Do you change-up that list from time to time, or does it stay pretty consistent? Who do you follow? Who has the best ideas that you like to incorporate into your life?

Leave a comment below. Share with the community. Thanks!

8 Steps To Wow People With Analytical, Yet Creative Solutions

Photo by TZA

Dinner With Friends

Last weekend, my wife and I went out to dinner with some friends in our small group at our church. As we were talking with one of the couples, we were discussing some issues we were having at home with our kids and my solution to fix these problems.

The wife of this couple looked at me and said, “Larry, that’s so creative! It’s amazing to me that you have such an analytical mind, yet you can be so creative as well.” I laughed at her statement and simply said, “Well, that’s what happens when you’re able to use both sides of your brain!”

8 Steps To Release The Renaissance Mind

I completely understand that not everybody is (or can be) wired to use both sides of their brain. Not everybody can be highly analytical and highly creative simultaneously.

But, I do think that many people could develop this part of their everyday thinking. Here are 8 steps that have helped my own development in this area:

  1. Become intentional about it. Over the last few years, I have become increasingly intentional about developing both the right and left sides of my brain. Intentionality typically brings changes in anything you focus time and energy on.
  2. Write a lot. For me, the process of writing helps me get out all of the thoughts and ideas rolling around in my head. Keep a private journal. Write a blog. Sketch out an action plan. Jot down a “pros and cons” list. Whatever situation you may find yourself, get your thoughts down on paper or a computer screen!
  3. Read a lot. A lot of creative ideas are really recycled or improved ideas from other people. The process of reading books, pdf’s, blogs, websites, magazines, and newspapers on a regular basis will put these creative ideas into our brains.
  4. Keep a “tickler file” (or just use Evernote). In the old days, people used to make photo copies of interesting quotes, articles, stories, pictures, and diagrams and placed them in an idea folder called a “tickler file.” Today in the digital age, we now have a wonderful program called Evernote where we can digitally clip, tag, and save information for later use.
  5. Practice your talents on a regular basis. In order to grow and strengthen the more creative, right-side of your brain, practice any artistic ability you may have. Play an instrument, mold some clay, paint a picture, or take a dance class.
  6. Physical workouts. Being physically active and in great shape really does help your mental processes.
  7. Eat well. Associated with being physically fit is eating well. Ever heard of brain food?
  8. Practice creative problem solving. In our work lives and in our home life, we all have problems that need to be solved. Experiment with these problems. Practice developing multiple, creative solutions that are perhaps out of the norm, but get the job done and you noticed. Be unique.

How About You?

Are you a creative person or maybe more of an analytical one? Are you intentional about engaging both sides of your brain, the creative and the analytical parts?

Outside of these 8 steps, have you found any other helpful methods to engage both sides of your brain? Are you blowing people’s minds with your thoughtful yet creative solutions?

If so, leave us your ideas by posting a comment below.

How To Handle Circumstances And People Who Put You In A Bad Mood

Photo by Fuschia Foot

Getting Grouchy

I have a job that is highly dependent on people and circumstances. And, my job isn’t highly dependent on just any old paid, additional employees, either. I have the wonderful responsibility of leading a group of approximately 35 extremely talented volunteers each week.

The majority of the time, working with volunteers is an incredible, life-changing, rewarding experience. At other times not so much. This usually happens when the circumstances and schedules of my volunteers collide with the organization’s work agenda, especially at the last minute. Then I am pushed to be more resourceful and creative then I really want to be.

I’d much rather be focused on other important aspects of my job than spending a bunch of time trying to find people to cover all the bases on a particular weekend. But, I’m also the type of guy that just pushes through, grumpy or not, and gets the job done.

The part of my job that can lead to becoming grumpy and grouchy is when I have a number of my head volunteers all needing to be out around the same time frame. And then, when some of these head volunteers decide to communicate with me at the last minute, my frustration level begins to rise.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in this very situation with two of my key volunteer leaders and last minute communication. I wasn’t happy with my own response when they told me at the last minute that they needed to be out. This lead to a re-thinking of my entire situation as I lead my group of volunteers. I even had to go back and apologize to these leaders for my initial dumb responses.

4 Thoughts On Handling People And Circumstances

  • Acknowledge That There Will Always Be A Few Challenges. When we deal with people and circumstances, especially in our current busy life culture, then we need to acknowledge that there will be continual challenges. This is the new normal (even though we may not like it. I certainly don’t!). We need to have constant, creative back-up plans always ready to go.
  • Acknowledge That Some People Are More Committed To The Cause Than Others. I know who the people are in my organization who are sold out to the mission. I also have a pretty good idea of those who are mostly in but still part way out, weighing all their options on a given weekend. I can’t hold a gun to the heads of all my volunteers and ask them for the same level of commitment. The best I can do is be an example of commitment to them and encourage a stronger commitment over time.
  • Plan A Positive But Honest Response To Last Minute Communication. Looking back at my two people failures last week, I have a much better idea now of how I should have handled their communication with me. I should have immediately affirmed their circumstances and decision that lead to their needing to be out. And, at the same time, I should have asked for more timely notification in the future.
  • Embrace The Circumstances As An Opportunity To Grow. While we may feel like we have “arrived” in our personal growth in dealing with people and circumstances, there’s always room for improvement. Whatever challenges you may be facing with people and circumstances, seek out new areas of growth.

How Do You Handle Challenging People And Circumstances?

So, do you have some of the same challenges with people and circumstances that I have? How do you handle your challenges? Do you have additional insights that I may have missed?

If you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below.

How To Speak Well And Make An Impact On Others

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Don’t Speak Like A Goober

Have you ever been a casual observer of how people speak? Some people use a lot of slang. Some may choose to use curse words. Some use improper verb tenses. A lot of our everyday population plain slaughter the English language.

Others speak just fine, but use way too many words. They wear out their listeners. They haven’t learned the art of focused brevity.

The interesting part of it all, though, is that people don’t realize how much they can come across as ignorant, unlearned, and uncultured.

Some Thoughts On Speaking Well

Here are some thoughts regarding speaking well with others in everyday conversations, especially with professional connections.

  • Don’t curse. You would think this would be common knowledge and obvious. As a professional, make your mark, rise above the rabble, and make a noticeable difference in how you speak.
  • Don’t take God’s name in vain. Related to the first point, as a Christian, I get a little irritated with people who pepper their conversations with “God” and “Jesus Christ” when they’re not even having a spiritual conversation. Hey, you may not be a Christian, but don’t accidentally offend others because of your words. It may cost you a potential job or a great business relationship.
  • Don’t repeat the same point over and over again. There are a few people I have regular, lengthy conversations with who simply repeat their key point over and over again. They probably say it different ways, but at the end of the day, they’re just saying the exact same thing. A 30 minute conversation takes place that could have been a very simple, 5 minute one. Respect people’s time. Get to the point and move on.
  • Be careful of the “um’s” and other repetitious filler sounds. All of us do this to a certain extent. Monitor your usage and eliminate the filler as much as possible.
  • Be careful of cliché’s. We all like to use them, but after a while we start sounding like our parents or worse – hicks!
  • Be careful of your speaking flow. Some people talk really fast. Others speak slowly. Some speak hesitantly with starts and stops. Try to have a nice, smooth flow to your speaking voice so that you’re not bringing too much attention to yourself and speaking mannerisms.
  • Be aware of your general grammar usage. This is a little more difficult to monitor when speaking extemporaneously, but be careful and try not to break grammar rules on a regular, ongoing basis.
  • Don’t slip into different accents. Do you have one? Do you slip into an accent at different times for various reasons (i.e. Southern, Canadian, etc.)? Try not to do the accent thing if you can avoid it.
  • Maintain a pleasant EQ balance. What I mean is this – you don’t want to speak too high or too low. Ideally, you need to speak pleasantly in the midrange without too much treble or bass in your vocal cord vibration. I realize this is easier said than done with many people.

How Do You Speak?

Have you ever stopped and considered how you sound to other people when you talk to them? Have you ever recorded yourself speaking just to see what you sound like?

Take some time over the next week to take mental observations on how you talk to others. For the areas of speaking that you don’t like, see if you can make some minor or maybe even major improvements if needed. Then, observe how these changes impact your everyday conversations, especially in the area of professional connections. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

3 Ways To Always Be On Top Of Your Game

Photo by Dale Gillard

The President Blows It

Last week, many people were just in plain shock as President Obama got his clock cleaned by Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate. He acted like he wasn’t engaged or even present in the room. Here’s a man who has been elevated to the position of the world’s smartest politician, and he acted as though he didn’t even really want to be there.

After that horrific performance, the excuses started rolling in. “Oh, the President had difficulty because of the elevation of Denver and the thin air.” “He’s been busy doing his job and didn’t have time to prepare properly for the debate.” “Mitt Romney just totally caught Obama off guard and he had a bad night.” And, it actually got worse than this when the President accused his opponent of lying in order to mitigate his horrible performance.

Mr. Obama just needed to “man up” and admit that he had a horrible first debate. But I digress.

Professionals Always Show Up And Perform At A High Level

The more disturbing part of the first presidential debate is that from a professional point of view, the President didn’t even act like a professional politician. He seemed totally unprepared for the first debate.

We expect professionals to show up and perform. We assume those who are in professional positions will do their job. We presume they will work hard at what they do. We anticipate that they will prepare in advance and then do their very best work when it’s “performance time.”

This is who a professional is. This is what a professional does. A professional shows up. He is engaged. He is prepared. He confidently executes his work.

And, the professional not only does this when he’s on top of his game and feeling great, but also when he feels lousy. When he’s under the weather or has a bad day, he can set aside any discomfort or distractions and still perform with excellence.

Suck it up, buddy. Do your best work no matter what. This is the very essence, the very definition of what it means to be a professional.

3 Ways To Always Be On Top Of Your Game

  1. Be Fully Present. In today’s world this is getting more and more difficult. We have so many distractions that surround us. Focus your energy on being fully engaged, fully present in whatever you do. Don’t let the distractions knock you off your game. Shut out all the extra stuff and focus on your very best work.
  2. Be Prepared. Preparation is key. This is the very essence of professionalism. Spend the majority of your time working hard at preparing yourself to be excellent at what you do!
  3. Be Confident. If you show up properly prepared, then you will be confident. These two points go hand in hand. So, if you’ve prepared adequately, then just relax. Be confident that you know what you’re doing. People are attracted to confidence.

As a professional, do your very best work, at a high level, no matter the circumstances.

How To Stop Being Dysfunctional And Become Highly Functioning

Photo by Nick Harris1

We Are All Dysfunctional

At some level, each and every one of us is dysfunctional. As human beings, we all have issues.

We all have a past. We all have hang-ups that have the potential to drag us down in life.

At a certain point, though, something has to change. We need to grow up. We need to stop letting life control us. We need to get in the driver’s seat of where we want our lives to arrive in the future.

If you desire to move into renaissance living, then you must first move out of dysfunctional living.

Moving Beyond Dysfunction

Yes, we all realize and agree that we live with a certain level of dysfunctional behavior. But, how do we move beyond our dysfunctional patterns and move to a higher level of living? In order to move beyond dysfunction, you need to be “functioning” at certain levels in order to even begin the process.

I would like to offer the following steps in moving from dysfunction to highly functioning:

  1. Recognize your dysfunction. This probably seems like a “duh” statement, but you can’t change something in your life before recognizing you have a problem. This is similar to a family doing substance abuse intervention on another family member. Those who struggle with substance abuse aren’t going to change unless they are forced to recognize that they have a serious problem.
  2. Decide to change. Again, this may seem overly simplistic, but there is power in making a decision to change. As soon as you decide to make a change, the change process begins. It’s like pressing the start button!
  3. Set a new standard. Once you’ve come to the place where you have decided to change, it’s time to establish a new standard. Your old, dysfunctional behavior is no longer acceptable. You’ve decided to “rise higher” in your life. Seek out high functioning role models you can pattern your life after. I believe this one step is where massive change begins to take place in all of our lives.
  4. Employ the “rocking chair” technique. This technique is so simple. Pretend you are in your 80s or 90s, sitting in your rocking chair on the front porch of your house. As you sit there, you’re thinking back over your life. You envision what your life would look like if you continued living in your dysfunction; and you can visualize what it would look like if you made massive changes and became highly functioning. How do you feel? Is it really worth it to continue in your dysfunction? Is this really what you desire your life to become when you get older?
  5. Seek the services of a professional counselor. If you suffer from moderate to severe levels of dysfunctional behavior, then you really need to unpack your issues with a professional. They’ve been trained to assist you into better living.
  6. Establish new habits to replace the old dysfunctional habits. Old habits truly don’t die until we have replaced them with new, better habits. Get clear on your new habits immediately.
  7. Establish better goals. Write down exactly who you want to become. Then, establish goals that will get you from where you are today to where you desire to be tomorrow.
  8. Take massive action. You can write down all of this stuff. You can be crystal clear on the direction you desire to go. But, in order to make the changes you desire, you have to take massive action. One step at a time. One day at a time.
  9. Rinse and repeat. Each day when you get out of bed, you need to put one foot in front of the other and continue with the changes you have decided to make. It’s all about the choices we make each day.

Dysfunctional or Highly Functioning?

So, after reading this post, where to you see yourself? Are you in massive denial? Are you highly dysfunctional and need some major help?

Maybe, you’re in the process of making some of the choices and changes I outline above. That’s great! Start wherever you are at today, make better choices, and move beyond dysfunction to highly functioning. Embrace renaissance living at the highest levels possible.

How To Live With Excellence In A “Good Enough” World

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Good Enough

Are you familiar with the phrase “that’s good enough for government work?” Everywhere we turn, it would seem that many people settle with just “good enough” in the majority of areas in their lives. They settle for good enough in their work. They settle for good enough in their personal lives. And, they settle with good enough in their relationships. Welcome to the world of mediocrity.

Those of us in a passionate pursuit of renaissance living, though, know that this is not the best attitude. Sure, there will be times and occasions where we will be in a hurry and can only do what we can do in that moment. What I’m talking about here in this post is a general, overall attitude. People who never push themselves to go to the next level in their lives and their work. If you were to boil it down to its simplest level, we’re talking a general attitude of laziness.

Going To The Next Level

So, if you’ve just been living a life that’s just been good enough to get by, what are the steps to break out of this attitude and mindset and get to the next level of excellent living?

Here are a few steps I’ve found helpful in getting to a higher level in my own life:

  • Change your attitude. Don’t accept an attitude of “good enough” any longer in your life. The people who are living incredible lives in today’s world do not live by the motto of “good enough.”
  • Demand the best you can get. Related to the first step, the next step in a change of attitude is demanding and expecting the very best in all areas of your life. Don’t settle! Also, don’t allow those around you to manipulate you into settling. If this is happening with your family and friends, then make it very clear that you can’t settle for less than the best in your life.
  • Rinse your cottage cheese. In the book Good to Great, author Jim Collins lists the characteristic of “rinsing your cottage cheese” as a factor in taking companies from good to great. The “rinsing your cottage cheese” factor refers to an extremely disciplined world-class athlete named Dave Scott who would literally rinse his cottage cheese to get any extra fat off. He believed that being disciplined in this one, additional, small step would give him that extra edge in competition with others. So, what does Dave Scott’s example mean to you? Dave was a world-class athlete because he lived he an extraordinary, disciplined life. If you want to live a life of excellence, then you need to be ultra-disciplined in all areas of your life as well.

How’s Your Attitude?

Where do you find yourself, today? Has your attitude been one of just “good enough?” Or, are you trying to break free of that mindset and go to the next level in every aspect of your life?

I would encourage you, today, to embrace renaissance living. Experience the renewal process in your life. Change your attitude, demand the best, and be ultra-disciplined in order to get extraordinary results!

Resources:

How To Pursue Excellence Like Andy Griffith

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Andy Griffith, RIP

Last week on Tuesday, July 3, the world mourned the loss of actor Andy Griffith. Andy was best known for his roles as Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show as well as country lawyer Ben Matlock in the legal drama Matlock.

Ron Howard (a.k.a. Opie), then child actor who co-starred with Andy on the Andy Griffith Show, tweeted out this statement after hearing about the death of his friend and mentor:

Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I’m forever grateful RIP Andy

According to Ron Howard’s tweet, it would appear that Andy Griffith was a man known for his pursuit of excellence. He worked hard at his acting career and enjoyed the journey along the way.

Pursue Excellence Like Andy

As I contemplate Andy Griffith, his career, and a pursuit of excellence, I can’t help but think of some of the unique characteristics of excellent people like Andy who:

  • Work Hard. People who pursue excellence aren’t afraid of a little hard work. They’re going to do whatever it takes to get the job done with quality.
  • Have fun. People who pursue excellence attempt to enjoy the ride. They live in the moment and have fun even while working hard.
  • Bring people along for the ride. Excellent people aren’t afraid of surrounding themselves with other great talent. Many tend to build strong mentor relationships with those around them who are younger and less experienced. Andy seemed to excel in this area.
  • Aren’t afraid to fail. Andy had a breakout role in an early film as well as two hit TV sitcoms. Did you realize, though, that he had a bunch of failed films and TV shows inter-mingled with his major successes? He kept on trying different roles until something stuck. He didn’t throw in the towel when one of his TV shows didn’t work out.
  • Keep on fighting through the challenging times. Did you also know that Andy suffered leg paralysis from Guillain–Barré syndrome back in the 1980s? After an extended period of rehabilitation, though, he returned to television in the legal drama Matlock. He fought through the pain and then went on to star in another hit TV show.

Are You In The Pursuit of Excellence?

How about you? Are you in a pursuit of excellence in your life? If so, I would just encourage you to follow the example of the life of Andy Griffith – work hard, have fun, take people along for the ride, don’t be afraid to fail, and keep on fighting through difficult times.

Are there other key characteristics of people who are in the pursuit of excellence? I welcome your feedback in the comments below.