Don’t Waste Your Time!

Recently I’ve happily discovered It’s a refreshingly open-minded site where people can post their writing about pretty much anything.

You might find some things there that will offend you with vulgarity, “forbidden” topics, “out-there” opinions, or whatever. Nonetheless, I applaud a site where people can post what they choose.

I just ran across a good article on avoiding time-wasters. Probably more people than not waste time on one or more of the pursuits Sean Kernan discusses here.

Protester Holding sign by max-bender-ODotTSKv_BI-unsplash.jpg

Of these three time-wasters, it seems to me the “elephant in the room” is reading and posting negative chatter on social media. As Sean points out, people are more willing to blurt out whatever’s on their minds when they feel anonymous.

During my years as a professional pilot, I heard many stories of quips offered by pilots on the radio. Unless a pilot chooses to give his or her call sign, no one knows where a radio transmission comes from. Many of these stories were quite amusing, some downright slanderous. Of course, I heard a few of these anonymous remarks first-hand. Of course, some stories no doubt “enhanced” the truth!

One crucial thing comes to mind here. When you speak what’s on your mind, it’s a whole different experience for you than just entertaining a private thought. We all think thoughts that should never be voiced. That’s natural – our minds wander. With that said though, steering your mind in a positive direction is a worthwhile exercise. Think of the glass as half-full, not half-empty.

Putting a thought into spoken words is totally different. The person receiving your message may not know who the message issuer is but, if it’s you, you know who sent it. If it’s a negative message it affects you as much, probably more than if you received it from who-knows-who.

You can quickly dismiss a negative comment from someone you don’t know, or even someone you know but mistrust. When you send a comment, you remember that comment. If it’s negative, it can poison your mind (more than the receiver’s) for a long time.

Two rules to live by if you want to be viewed positively – by others and, most importantly, by yourself:

  • Maintain a positive, productive mindset by keeping your negative thoughts to yourself. If you wouldn’t say what you’re thinking to the other person’s face, don’t post it! (Productive dialog with someone with whose opinion you differ is fine – and positive.)
  • Don’t waste your time reading others’ negative dribble. It too will poison your mind.

To me, reading negative comments on social media or anywhere else has a parallel effect to watching shoot ’em up movies or playing that kind of video games. It can make the reader, viewer, or player begin to believe nasty comments or randomly shooting people is maybe not so bad! I’m convinced the experiences with violent games and movies are behind some mass shootings.

Sean’s article mentions two other pursuits that can sap your time. I haven’t dwelled on them here, since I think the internet drain overshadows them. Nonetheless, these others can drain our time reserves if we ignore the advice Sean offers.

  • When a relationship is dead, save yourself hours of anguish by letting it die. You’ll know if it’s honestly recoverable, but don’t delude yourself.
  • Passion is a wonderful thing. Temper it with consideration of the consequences of mindless passionate actions. Those actions might cost you many hours, dollars and anguish!

Be A Leader, Not A Manager!

A leader doesn’t tell people what to do! Does that strike you as a contradiction? Read on.

In these letters, we’ve often examined aspects of what constitutes genuine leadership. Recently I listened to one of the best in-depth looks at this issue I’ve come across.

We’ll learn that the leader’s job is to provide the vision and why that vision is powerful, and what success looks like. Then he or she must get out of the way and let people do their jobs.

People may come back with questions. Of course, those questions must be answered. If they need support, emotionally or functionally, it’s the leader’s job is to provide that. The point though is that the leader doesn’t manage. The leader empowers people to do their work in a supportive environment.

Here’s Ben Hardy, one of my favorite sources for inspiration and great unique ideas, discussing truly great leadership. The idea of leading without managing is one of the cornerstones of modern leadership theory. Sadly, it gets more lip service than true adherence.

Useful background for what I’m about to offer can be found in my several-weeks-ago issue. There we discussed Ben Hardy/Dan Sullivan’s book, Who Not How. Ben refers to it often in today’s video.

Benjamin Hardy holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology. He’s also the author of Personality Isn’t Permanent and several other books exploring personality change. He knows what he’s talking about!

The three things people need to do their jobs are:

  • Competence to do the work, and confidence in their competence.
  • Autonomy – the authority to apply their skills. They must be in control of how they do their jobs.
  • Connectedness – Being connected with team members is highly empowering.

One who takes any of this away is disempowering the worker and stripping them of the important elements they need to carry on effectively. The person guilty of this is trying to be a manager, and is not a leader. “Managing” people is an inefficient way of trying to get anything done. It usually results in the loss of the best talent, and the remaining people are unmotivated.

Ben discusses three stages of human development, a Robert Keegan model. I’ll briefly describe them here. He does a much better job of imparting a full understanding of them than I can do here in a few words,

  • Dependence – The socializing self – taking all sense of identity and direction from others.
  • Independence – Self-authorship – having one’s own goals and pursuing them without relationship with others. The only relationships an independent person engages in are those he or she believes will further his or her goals.
  • Self-transforming stage – two or more people share goals and solutions, neither imposing views on the other, but sharing views to result in the best solution they can see together – the team is better than the sum of the members.

In that third stage, mutual respect and trust are vital. If one party tries to dominate the goals, visions, and outcomes, the effort breaks down.

Be a leader! Don’t be a manager! Learn the psychology behind this here.

Gratitude and Acquaintances

This week I depart from my usual theme of what you can do to improve your business and/or life.

That said, this is somewhat related, as we often talk here about the value of gratitude. The story I’m about to relate is to celebrate my gratitude for a chance meeting with new and very interesting friends. It’s always a lovely surprise when such new connections come out of nowhere! (A couple of examples of previous articles on gratitude are here and here. Search on keyword gratitude here for more.)

This past Saturday, I learned from a friend who’s taking a pottery class that there was to be an event to celebrate the class progress. Would I like to attend, and see what she and her fellow students had created? And of course, as is the norm for this wine community, share some live music, a glass of wine, and a bite to eat.

I gratefully accepted that invite and showed up at the appointed location and hour (actually about an hour and a half late). Surprise! The place is locked up and not a soul around. My friend had already given up and left.

I went and ran some other errands and returned a few hours later to find it still locked, but some activity evident inside. Curious! I finally gave up the whole idea and decided to go have dinner at my friend’s lovely wine bar.

Two newly acquainted friends by charles-lebegue-aG6oMVQ5PCA-unsplash

As I approached the wine bar, I noticed some unusual activity across the street. Turns out I was at a different entrance, around the corner, to the place I’d found locked. The event I’d been seeking was coming to a close and the musicians were packing up to leave.

Nonetheless, I was able to browse some interesting, diverse arts and crafts. I found the food and wine station still open. Having planned the day for the event, by now I was quite hungry. I bought a couple of little “slider” type sandwiches and a bottle of my favorite Cabernet Franc wine. I found a comfortable place to sit in the lovely outdoor courtyard at the back of the place and settled in to watch people, enjoy my repast, and smoke a cigar.

A Chance Meeting

I struck up a conversation with a guy and gal who appeared to be in charge of the event. I knew her by appearance but hadn’t talked with her before. I introduced myself to both and got their contact information. Paola soon went off to other duties. Ramiro seemed quite relaxed, so I invited him to share my wine and join me, with his 10-year-old son Carmelo.

As it turns out, Ramiro is the owner of the hotel that’s the parent organization to the whole complex, and a very interesting guy. Among other things he’s a very intentional enjoyer of life, and he’s a poet, about to publish a book of poems. I gave him my contact information and asked to see a copy of his book. He readily agreed. We spent the next hour or so discussing the uncommon beauty and other assets of Cafayate, our lovely rural pueblo in northwest Argentina.

We struck up quite a friendship. When I left I felt newly infused with a sense of the wonderful things that can happen when one is open to such nice surprises as this. True everywhere, and Cafayate is a particularly easy place to do it because so many others have the same attitude.

My point in relating all this is to publicly express my gratitude for the lovely environment where I live, and for the opportunities that potentially lie at every turn. Thanks to Ramiro, Carmelo, and Paola and for all our openness to new acquaintances and friendships.

Life is beautiful and full of wonderful surprises! Even when the surprises appear less positive, such as the event seeming not to be happening, and then arriving very late, there’s usually something good to come of it.

Napoleon Hill said,

“In every diversity, there’s the seed of an equal or greater benefit”

I firmly believe that, and see it proven every day!

Gain More By Doing Less!

Many people believe they can be more productive by striving to do more.

Most people will gain more by doing less rather than by doing more. The key is to do more of what’s important by doing fewer things.

Most of the many things on a typical day’s to-do list mean very little in the day’s results. They may be enjoyable interludes but not very productive. They can be done in leisure time or not at all with no effect on results.

Such things as checking social media posts or messages, texts, emails, etc. are all unproductive, unless you need information from one of those messages to do something important. Many people get consumed by these tasks during what should be the most productive part of their day. Other pressures can also draw us away from what’s most important. In today’s world, early-morning message-checking is probably the most prevalent.

You can scan your list of messages in a few seconds to see if there’s anything important and urgent in them. Do not open any other messages during your productive day.

Max Phillips posted this article on several months ago. It discusses 7 time-wasters low-productivity people engage in. Avoid them!

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Prioritize ruthlessly. Determine what two or three (no more than three) items will “move the needle” each day. Do those few things first every day. When they’re done, you can work on second-, then third-priority items with whatever time is left.

Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog! and a quote from Jim Collins emphasize these concepts elegantly.

Brian’s book focuses on the idea of doing the most difficult, least enjoyable task (such as eating a live frog!) first. When you have that done, you can be pretty sure the rest of the day will go easier.

Jim’s quote, “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any” needs no explanation.

If you so choose, continue working after the first two to four hours working on high-priority items – just recognize you’ll probably get less done per hour.

Eric Lofholm (see below) promotes the idea of measuring time in results per hour rather than minutes per hour. What you accomplish is much more important than the time you devote to it.

Another of Eric’s important concepts is an idea called “last productive day”. Decide what is the last date you commit to being productive. For him, it’s the day before his 75th birthday. He has an app on his phone that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until that date. Having already passed that time in my life, I’ve settled on the day before my 90th birthday.

The idea behind this concept is that we always have certain knowledge of how long we have to accomplish our life goals. Of course, we can continue working after that date if we so choose. It’s not a prediction of retirement or death. We’re just committing to be optimally productive at least to that date.

A Positive Mindset Makes all the Difference!

My friend, mentor and sales coach, Eric Lofholm, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day, and sometimes even on holidays. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for the call here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, by phone or soon, Eric says, on LinkedIn.

Eric is unique in that his free programs offer solid value rather than just sales hype. This short conversation is serious training, and serious motivation, and it’s completely free of charge. Though there’s sometimes an offer to sign onto a paid program, that’s separate from the training and inspiration.

This call is a great way to get yourself started with a positive mindset every day.

Are You “Backable”?

Have you started a business? Applied for a job? Do you plan any of these?

Have you struggled to find the financial backing you needed to get the business “kicked off?” Many, if not most, entrepreneurs have stumbled on this block.

Alex Sanfilippo, (Creating a Brand podcasts), recently interviewed Suneel Gupta, who talks about his recently published book Backable.

In the beginning of the conversation with Alex, Suneel describes his extensive research. He talked with many well-known people. How did they become “backable”? What’s the unique story they told, or personality trait, that caused people to write a big check?

He says he wrote the book because the question was burning in his mind. He says, “I’m not backable. I look too young. I’m a serious introvert. Etc.” And he wanted funding for his business. He says he felt confident of his qualifications, but he’d been rejected by several prospective employers and investors. So he felt a need to answer this for himself, as well as to impart what he learned to others.

Suneel tells the story of his interview with Jack Dorsey, founder of Square. Again, he felt qualified for the position he was being considered for, but he blew the interview. He believes this happens more than many people would like to admit. It could be in front of prospects, clients, teachers – anywhere one is seeking to demonstrate knowledge, sell something or influence someone else.
From the many ideas in the book, Alex and Suneel select three elements of influence techniques to dig deeper on.

  • Storytelling: Make your story relate to one particular person, ideally someone close to you personally. You may want to expand into the data after you’ve made your point with the personal story. Example: One person in 25 experiences what my friend, my father, or whomever you focused on, experienced. Suneel tells the story of his experience with Groupon as it grew from a small company focused on small customers. It grew, went public, and lost its focus on individuals. H feels that held it back from its full potential.
  • Share an “earned secret”, Explore insights that truly enlighten people about something they probably don’t know – something that’s not “Google-able”. Intoxicate people with your effort!
  • Turn “outsiders into “insiders”. If you come across as someone who has it all figured out and you’re just sharing your knowledge, you keep them on the outside. Pull them into the process of reaching a conclusion. Tell enough of you’re story to make it cohesive, but leave some dots for the listener to connect.

As an example of the third technique, Suneel goes back to the 1940’s and tells the instant cake mix story. Initially the mixes didn’t sell well.- they were so easy to use that the user didn’t feel involved. When they left out an ingredient for the home baker to add (Just stir in an egg and make a beautiful cake!), sales took off! Now the homemaker could be proud of what she created. Before, she felt like she was just “watching something happen.”

When you’re rejected, Suneel advises, pick the refuser’s mind. What could I have done differently to get you to say yes. How can I improve my process. Make sure you do this with a positive approach, not “sour grapes.” If the other person gives you meaningful advice, apply it and come back to let them know they were helpful. You may get accepted, or not – do it anyway!

If you’re seeking funding, applying for a job, or in any way trying to influence someone else’s decision, this interview might provide the “golden nuggets” that help you succeed in your effort. I hope you enjoy it and find it valuable. If it really resonates with you, you may want to buy Suneel’s book as well.

Be Authentic!

Each week, unless I stumble a great idea (I often do!), I search for meaningful content to be the basis of the week’s article. This week I came across several essays related to authenticity. I decided to build on that theme, without pointing to one particular article.

The concept is: Are you, or someone you’ve been admiring, the same person in your private life as your “public” persona? 

I came across some authors who claim to have evidence of inauthenticity in certain famous people. According to these authors, these people with upbeat and positive public images mistreat their employees, their families, or others in their less-public realms.

When you learn of someone whose approaches to her/his family members, employees, friends, clients, and others align perfectly, you’ve found a worthy model for you to respect, study and pattern yourself after. 

With experience, you’ll learn to sense this alignment, or its absence, pretty quickly. If it’s missing, you probably would do well to find a different model. 

If you find fundamental differences between someone’s personas in those different environments, better take a harder look at whether he or she deserves your further attention. 

I came across authors who reported dichotomies in behavior in Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeff Bezos. I know nothing firsthand about any of these personalities, or the authors who undertook to judge them. I advise you to research their private behaviors if you care to dig deeper, and especially if you plan to model them.

In past issues, I’ve held each of these famous people up as examples of leadership and promoters of effective policies. The authors whose articles I pointed to obviously differ in opinion from the authors I’ve recently encountered. If in fact, their personalities are inauthentic, I apologize for holding them up as role models. The behavior I discussed is still a desirable behavior, even if the model I chose doesn’t exemplify it.

A term I’ve recently seen used is “integrous” behavior. Integrous probably isn’t a word in any official dictionary, but it seems to me it ought to be. It nicely encapsulates the theme of today’s premise. Integral has a different connotation. Integrous is used as a descriptor for one with aligned behavior toward all.

Be careful whom you associate with!

Who Helps You Achieve Your Goals?

You may remember my coach and mentor Ben Hardy from a recent issue. In case you didn’t see that issue or don’t remember Ben, I’ll repeat my introduction to him:

Benjamin Hardy holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology. He’s also the author of Personality Isn’t Permanent and several other books exploring personality change. He knows what he’s talking about!

Ben’s book I’m focusing on today is his latest, WHO NOT HOW, which he co-wrote with Dan Sullivan. Interestingly, Sullivan didn’t write a word of it. Ben was Dan’s “Who”, and Dan was Ben’s “Who”.

You’ll come to understand that distinction as we move along in this discussion. If you read the book, you’ll understand it with crystal clarity. I just finished reading the book, and I find it transformational!

Dan Sullivan, the co-author, is the founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc. A visionary and a gifted conceptual thinker, Dan has over 40 years of experience as a noted speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach to entrepreneurial individuals and groups.

Ben says that, without Dan’s support and coaching, the book wouldn’t exist. Dan says that, without Ben’s dedication and writing, the book wouldn’t exist.

The premise of the book is:

  • Find the person or group that is uniquely able to help you achieve your goals. Trying to figure it out by yourself is inefficient and ineffective.
  • “How” limits you to your own knowledge and capabilities. Who” immediately connects you with different knowledge, insights, and capability.
  • “Who” can immediately free up hundreds of hours, which you can spend in better and more meaningful ways. 
  • Self-expansion is a core human motivation, and it occurs through Whos.

Time Freedom

Procrastination, while it can cause immense frustration and loss of ambition, is actually wisdom. Creative procrastination is saying, “This goal is amazing! But I’m not the one to do everything involved!”

Leadership is having a clear vision, delegating its pursuit to the right “Who” and getting out of the way. Your potential is virtually limitless when you stop asking “How?” and start asking “Who?” Asking “Who?” can create results 10X or even 100X faster than asking “How?”

Money Freedom

Time Creates Money. You can’t have money freedom until you achieve time freedom. Improving how you spend your time automatically improves your ability to make money. Chapter 6 is titled: “If You Have Enough Money to Solve a Problem, You Don’t Have a Problem.”

Adding a Who to a specific area of your life eliminates decision fatigue in that area. Decision fatigue depletes motivation faster than any other kind of fatigue.

Engaging in Hows to avoid costs actually costs you and your future hugely in the long run.Investing in the right Whos is not a cost, It’s an investment that can create transformational relationships. It can quickly 10X or more your income and revenue.

Be a Good “Who” for Others

When you enter a relationship, first create value in that relationship. Keep creating value and nurturing your relationships. Ask “What’s in it for them?” rather than “What’s in it for me?” Know what the other person cares about. Do your homework!

To have Freedom of Relationship, you must intentionally engage with people who align with your vision. Avoid directly working with people who aren’t relevant. As you say no to people and opportunities that don’t align with your vision of your future self, your confidence will increase. Your team will also become more confident in you as a leader.

Your current self no longer tolerates situations and people that your former self tolerated.Your future self will not tolerate situations or people that you now associate with.

Wherever you see brilliant work happening, there’s collaboration. No one has all the answers. It’s wise to consider yourself ignorant on most things and to seek other people’s perspectives and solutions. Avoid over-obsessing about your part of the project. Get feedback fast! Be radically open and honest in your communication. Ask for help when you need it. Ben says he violated that principle himself when he got sick and faltered during his writing!

Focus on Collaboration, not Competition

Focusing on “How” leads you to being isolated in your goals, and ultimately slows your progress. Being isolated in your goals diminishes your dreams.

Competition stunts creative innovation and limits your future. Collaboration allows you to focus on what you want to focus on and feel good about getting help.

Collaboration improves a project. It becomes better and more impactful than you would have created on your own. By expanding your vision, your Freedom of Purpose also expands.

Expand Your Purpose

Through Whos, important miracles and blessings can happen in your life. You can transform and expand your purpose and life through Whos.

Whos help you see potential in your future, and in your work that you can’t presently see alone. You need another’s insight. Whos expand your vision, giving you the confidence to pursue big goals. Your Whos become your purpose.

If these ideas and principles appeal to you, I recommend you read WHO NOT HOW. In any case, have a wonderful week.

Maintaining Mental Health In The Face Of Challenges

As the quarantine, however severe it currently is for you, wears on, your mindset can turn negative. This is hardly a healthy or effective way to face issues in your life and business. So once again, I’m offering some suggestions to help you keep a positive outlook in the face of challenges.

Joely Simon, an Inc. magazine editorial intern, offers some practical tips for maintaining mental health in the face of challenges.

Central to this discussion, she borrows Eve Lewis Prieto’s definition of mindfulness: The ability to be fully engaged and present with a soft and open mind, or “paying attention on purpose.” She identifies three practices for maintaining mindfulness.

  • Identify your feelings. Then express them in writing, even if it’s just listing them. If you find going deeper to be helpful, by all means, do it.
  • Talk with others about what’s going on for you and how you feel about it. Of course, invite others to express themselves too. In the pandemic, this may take a bit more effort – make it happen!
  • Give yourself a break. If you find exercise to be good therapy, do some, even if it’s just a short walk. I find a half-hour bike ride after a couple of hours work clears my mind.

Joely tells several stories of applications of these methods. I won’t steal her thunder by re-telling them myself. I will relate that, for me, all my deeply ingrained practices of meditation, focused breathing, journaling, etc. have served me very well.

It’s my good fortune to live in rural Argentina, where the effects of the pandemic have been fairly limited for me and my friends (not so for many local people, whose businesses depend on tourism). I also hear horror stories from many in other parts of the world.

However the societal conditions impact you, strive to find ways to focus your mind on important things. There are many things happening that you can’t control. Stewing about them will only keep you from seeing the positives, and paying attention to what you can do to improve your life.

As Napoleon Hill reminds us, every diversity has within it the seed of equal or greater benefit.

Joely’s article is a good guide for being mindful. I hope you read it.

New Perspective = New Reality!

This week, we return to our common theme of directly addressing leadership. What is it? How, specifically, does one accomplish effective leadership?

Sam Shriver is the Executive Vice President at The Center for Leadership Studies. In a recent LinkedIn Live episode, he interviewed Daryl Davis, an accomplished pianist and civil rights activist extraordinaire.

Davis has accomplished amazing shifts in perspective of some people who were deeply invested in their white supremacist ideologies. He’s done this with a unique style of communication. As we discuss here often, communication is one of the keys to effective leadership.

Below, I’ll discuss a few highlights of their conversation. However, you’ll miss the full impact of Davis’ communication technique without watching the interview. I promise it’s worth at least a listen!

Skipping to the 6:30 time in the video will jump past the introductory stuff, which I’ve already given you. In the last 20 minutes or so, Davis talks about how he’s viewed the civil rights movement evolving over the past 60+ years. Leaders at every level of government, and even businesses, have reacted very differently in the last few years than before that. All very important to him and to black leaders everywhere. With that said, that last part of the interview is off my topic. You may well find it interesting, but it doesn’t pertain directly to my theme of individual leadership and communication. If you choose to skip that, you can get the gist of my article in a bit over 30 minutes.


Davis leads off his comments with this: True leaders want to help others do something better. More importantly, they want to help them learn to lead others in what they do.

In order to help others learn to lead, these leaders must develop trust in those who are following them. That’s the only way they can offer their followers useful advice, coaching, and mentoring.

After performing his music all over the world he concludes everyone, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, religion, or whatever wants to be:

  • Loved
  • Respected
  • Heard
  • Treated fairly
  • Able to provide the same things for their families.

By feeding these desires in others – especially their desire to be heard – he’s been able to communicate respectfully with people who appear to be his natural opponents.

Example: As a (very) black man, he developed a respectful and friendly dialogue with the Grand Marshall of the Ku Klux Klan! They visited each others’ homes and had an active friendship. Most of the video focuses on how he developed that communication and friendship.

In a conversation with anyone, particularly someone whom you know to have a different, and likely opposing, view to yours:

  • Keep your emotions in check. Keep them “behind you”.
  • Listen to what they say – until they’ve finished saying it. Remember, people want to be heard.
  • Present facts in support of your view, but not to confront or attack the other person or his/her views.

Davis engages people whose views he’s interested in studying. In those conversations, he’s sometimes attacked and insulted. He listens intently and respectfully to whatever they say. He doesn’t get “hooked” or take any of it personally. He says, “I may not respect what they say, but I respect their right to say it.”

Most people, Davis suggests, when they become aware of truths contrary to their beliefs, begin to experience “cognitive dissonance”. They gradually become uncomfortable with the disagreement between what they now know to be true and their established beliefs. They begin to wonder:

  • Do I stick with my old belief and ignore the truth? or,
  • Do I embrace the truth, and change my belief?

Are You Logical or Emotional?

Davis focuses in part of the interview on the reality that some people are swayed by facts and some by emotional concerns. Trying to use logic to sway an emotional person is futile, as is the opposite.

He provides an example of this: A white supremacist he knew quite well was murdered. The man’s emotional father vowed to kill the person he knew had killed his son. Davis avoided logic in convincing the man not to carry this out. He suggested “You have other children and grandchildren. If you commit murder, even in the name of ‘justice’, you will lose them as well. You’ll be in prison!” That emotional appeal swayed the man from avenging his son’s death. He was willing to endure the penalty until he realized how it would feel to be taken away from the rest of his family.


One’s perspective is his or her reality. If someone is offered a new perspective that resonates with them, and it differs from their current reality. it may alter their reality. Davis offers a couple of scenarios to demonstrate this.

Daryl Davis is proud to claim that he’s the impetus for over 200 white supremacists changing their ideology. That happened because he offered them a new perspective.

He says “I did not convert them. They converted themselves by seeing a different perspective.”

Your Past Has The Meaning You Give it!

Have you considered the meaning you’ve given your story of the past? Your past has the meaning you give it. It’s just a story. Tell it the way you want it to be!

Now that you’ve done that, consider this – there’s also a story attached to your future. That’s where you can get really creative!

The meaning you give the stories of your past, and of your future, shape your present.

Here‘s a 13-minute video of Ben Hardy diving deeper into these concepts. It’swell worth your time to check it out!

Benjamin Hardy holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology. He’s also the author of Personality Isn’t Permanent and several other books exploring personality change. He knows what he’s talking about! Here’s an article I wrote in August introducing some of his ideas.

Ben’s introductory comment pretty well sums up the concept.- “Your identity is the story your tell about yourself, and the story you tell about yourself determines your behavior, and it determines your outcomes.”

Your story – who you are now – should be quite different from your story 12 months ago. Your story of your future self (a year, or 3 years out) should be very different from who you are now. One of Ben’s key concepts is that we can decide who our future self is and live as if we are that person now.

One of my favorite Ben Hardy quotes:

If you’re not embarrassed by who you were a year ago, you’re not making enough progress.

People who’ve had traumatic experiences (who hasn’t?) often make their stories about those experiences. If they feel they acted wrongly in those events, they may fold that into their stories, past and present. If they felt victimized, they may live as a victim. They may live into that story so it becomes their future story, as well. All this creates a negative self-view. Unlikely to help them move their lives forward!

What people must understand is, they are not now the person who acted however they acted in the past. They will be a different person in the future than they are now.

A powerful present – what you do and how you do it now – depends on your stories of your past, and of your future. Your past has only the meaning you give it.
Your stories determine WHO you are, and you are the author of your stories.Write them, and tell them, so they serve you. Ben Hardy’s presentation provides the inspiration, and the blueprint, for doing that.