The Battle Between Wisdom & Information

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? – T.S. Eliot

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? – T.S. Eliot

Think of all the information that gets thrown at us throughout our day. Be it at work, at home on Facebook, (at work on Facebook), or watching TV. The question is not what we consuming and viewing, but how we exercise wisdom based on what we’re learning. For every mindless cat video, can be a powerful message. An insight to be gained, or new perspective to view an issue from.

Sitting on information; not exercising the knowledge we gain from that information is doing a disservice to ourselves and those we impact. I chose to practice what I learn, to exercise wisdom, and to rise above the fog that is created through information overload.

See the cat video as simple information, and see the inspiration you gain as knowledge, to then practice wisdom.

Being In The Moment

The Meeting of two eternities, the past and the future… is precisely the present moment. – Henry David Thoreau

A few years ago I had a very embarrassing day, that even now I will reflect on what I learned. It all had to do with my fly on my pants. At the time, I was a full-time student at Weber State University and had a full schedule. I was at school all day, and since it was the last week of school I had a couple presentations that day as well. The entire day I was feeling confident in myself, my presentations went great, met a few new people, and enjoyed the day. However, at end of the day as I put my key into the my car door and looked down. To my horror I realized my fly not only had been down, but a piece of my dress shirt was sticking out of my fly. I could not believe I had gone all day completely unconscious to my own circumstance.

Below are two things I’ve since began to do that help me stay grounded and conscious of my surroundings and ultimately have lead me to be a more successful individual all around.


Have Your Moment

From Tony Robbins, to Michael Jordan some of the most successful people, in their respectful fields, each have a moment. A part of their day where they have an activity that grounds them. For Miachael it consisted of exercise, and for Tony it consists of meditation and prayer.

Regardless of the activity, have a moment. Have a moment where you be with yourself, however that looks. If you want to know what Tony Robbins does personally every morning, the steps are:

  1. Two minutes of a breathing exercise. Focus on breathing.
  2. Three gratitudes. Be in the moment and feel the feelings that come from three different areas in your life that you are grateful for. (For me, one I always use is my wedding day. I’l relive the feelings and emotions of getting married.)
  3. Three future gratitudes. Now visualize three things that you wish to bring about, and feel the gratitude that comes from already having those things. Again, it doesn’t have to be a physical object, it could be a relationship, etc.

Is it inconvenient sometimes? Absolutely. Do I forget, and then sometimes do this in my car on my way to work? Of course. The most important thing is to do it, and do it every day. Had I done this three years ago, I know I would of been conscious enough to check my fly.


Speak Up To Those Who Are Struggling

We’ve all noticed someone with their fly down, or something in between their teeth. But more importantly, I’m sure we’ve all noticed someone who seems to be struggling on a more deeper level. Maybe with addiction, depression, etc. Speak up! It could be you who was meant to step in, and change the path they are headed down.

I will forever be grateful to those who have called me out during times that I have personally been struggling. They cared enough to speak up, and let me know their feelings.

The Meeting of two eternities, the past and the future… is precisely the present moment. – Henry David Thoreau

Conquering Everest

I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can’t grow, but as a human, I can.

 

 

In 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay set out to conquer what was then the impossible climb to the top of Mount Everest.

Before 1953, there had been many expeditions amounting to over a dozen deaths including men from Hillary’s previous climb. After Hillary’s most recent failed attempt he was heard speaking to Mount Everest saying,

I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can’t grow, but as a human, I can.

Time passed, and they were ready to make another climb. Before Hillary and Norgay ascended the Mount Everest again they were asked that after the financial costs, all the lives lost, and failed attempts, why keep trying? To this Hillary replied,

It is not the mountain we conquer, it is ourselves.

I’m learning that my biggest challenge I face in life is looking myself in the mirror and facing my own demons/mountains. Conquering ourselves, as Hillary puts it, and realizing that we as humans grow to surpass our mountains is a personal journey, but we don’t have to walk it alone.

As feel-good as these quotes from Sir Edumnd Hillary are, for me they have lead to action and execution. I’m sure if Hillary and Norgay were alive today they would not just read memes and stories about climbing, but actually strap on their gear are go. So thank you for reading, and I hope this story hits home for you as it has for me. However, more importantly I hope you now take action. Know your mountain, and continue to make your climb.

How I Found Happiness

Happiness is the joy you feel while striving toward your potential.

What does happiness mean to you? Let me share what I’ve come to learn what happiness means to me. Thanks to Shawn Achor, my definition of happiness comes from how the ancient Greeks viewed happiness.

Happiness is the joy you feel while striving toward your potential.

Taking that definition of happiness to heart has changed everything for me. Through being self aware and realizing some of my main strengths are positivity, seeing and building other’s strengths, and being strategic, I’ve tripled down on those strengths and that’s made all the difference.  For me, knowing my strengths and tripling down on my strengths is how I move toward my potential. Knowing I’m doing that brings joy and happiness. How can it not?

Knowing that I am ultimately on the path towards achieving my potential, and realizing that I’m in it for the long haul and need to then execute patience brings joy to my heart. I feel happy!

If you’re unclear on what your potential is, I’d challenge you to find out your strengths by doing a StrengthsFinder test. If you’re already aware of what your strengths are, then realize that by focusing on your strengths can help you move toward your potential.

Feel the joy by striving toward your potential and enjoy the happiness that comes with that process.

How To Be Heard

It takes time. It takes effort. But, it is everlasting.

If you have ever felt like your ideas gain zero traction with your superiors, I’ve learned from experience that by implementing the following two points you will see a difference in how you and your superiors view your ideas.


Earn Their Ear

Take two employees. Both suddenly get the same idea. The first employee doesn’t have the best metrics at work. He’s late more often than he should, and doesn’t usually speak up. The second employee makes and effort to crush any project he’s given and his metrics speak for themselves. Which one do you think will be heard? Earn the trust.

I’ve learned I need to earn the ear of my superior. In my position, I simply don’t make a lot of the bigger decisions, although I still may feel I can make an impact. I’ll work hard and smart. Crush the assignments given to me and my team. Consistently put out great content and have great metrics. Throughout this whole process i’m earning the ear of my superior. Now, when an idea comes, they stop and listen.

It takes time. It takes effort. But, it is everlasting.


A Piece, Rather Than The Pie

So often when I get an idea I feel like it’s the end-all and be-all of a specific issue. Or, if it’s not implemented and acted upon then it is a failure. Huge mistake.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned so far this year is my ‘brilliant’ idea I think I have that I’ll share with my boss very well might not happen or gain any traction. However, it’s purpose is still invaluable. The fact that I shared my idea is worth it. My idea could pop up in my bosses head later down the road when another issue presents itself. A part of it could be remembered by a coworker when they have their own issue arise. Just because my idea doesn’t become the pie, doesn’t mean it serves a purpose as a piece, however that piece is used.

Eating Last

Leadership is about making people feel safe. When someone feels heard, they feel safe.. Leaders will sacrifice for you and expect nothing in return. – Simon Sinek

If you have not read Simon Sinek’s new book Leaders Eat Last, or at the very least have watched him talk about it here, then I implore you to do so. Below is how it’s changed my life on a professional level.

Leadership is about making people feel safe. When someone feels heard, they feel safe.. Leaders will sacrifice for you and expect nothing in return. – Simon Sinek

 

Leaders get the adornments of what a fancy leadership title brings, but it comes at a cost. The cost for me has been accountability, and providing safety. If our team does not hit our goal, it’s on me. If my team is going out on a limb in our company and trying a new project and that project falls flat, that is on me. If someone, no matter how often they speak up, talks to me, it’s my honor to genuinely listen, and acknowledge them.

Once I embraced this concept and dove in head first, our team has grown together and overall it’s been outstanding. I treat my team as if their livelihood is my responsibility. Their personal development, duties, and then the outcome of their execution is on me. Their need to feel safe, is my honor.

It’s about providing those who I care deeply about, my team, a space. To open up, to share, to leap, and to fail. Do yourself the honor of eating last, and you will see wonders.

Burn. Your. Ships.

We’ve all heard the legend.

You’ve been sailing for months. In the scorching sun you faintly lift your hand to your brow to block out the rays, only to see a faint object. It’s land. You yell in elation as your captain, Hernán Cortés, joins in with you in shouting, overcome with joy.

Feet hit the blistering sand. You made land, and just when you felt like throwing yourself overboard days earlier. Although you’ve struck land, doubt creeps in. Uncharted waters lead to uncharted land, and doubt creeps in. The foreign lands brings an uneasiness in the air that seems to reach your nostrils, and begins to course throughout your body.

Suddenly, a thought seems to lighten your burden. You think, “we’ll always have our ships. We can return anytime.” Right after you finish your thought your captain, leader, and mentor begins to gather the crew together. You make your way to him as he’s already begun to speak. He always spoke as if lighting shot out of his mouth. The power he had in every syllable, and the manner in which he moved the men was a site to behold. You push your way through the crowd, making your way to the front just to get on one knee out of respect for the man you’ve come to trust over your voyage.

You squint to block out the sun the best you can. Ready to hear your captain’s next command. Cortés turns to you, his dark eyes seem to pierce you to your soul. He grins and utters, “Burn. Your. Ships.”

My friends.. Fear is real. Doubt is real. Anxiety, hesitation, anxiety, etc. is real. For the sake of your legacy, burn your damned ship already. If you need to read another self-help book or listen to your favorite Tony Robbins quote one more time, you’ve essentially lighten your torch, but forget to set it to the wood and let your fear filled ship burn. We get one life. To quote @garyvee , “People are walking around here like they’re coming back. You’re not coming back!”

I’m burning my ships, forever. For the sake of your legacy, I invite you to do the same. Share how you’ve let go with #ShipBurnt