#1 Self-Improvement?

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What is the number one thing you would most like to improve about yourself ? If you succeeded in improving this one thing, your life would become better or happier, or more satisfying.  What would it be?

If you took a moment to think about it, did you choose to improve something you were already really good at doing or being? If you are like many people, did you immediately focus on wanting to fix one of your limitations, personal failings, or fatal flaws?

A lot of people focus first on what they perceive as their negatives at the expense of their potential.  Did you?

Any personal self-improvement plan is basically a goal, a realistic understanding of one’s starting point and a plan of action steps that build a pathway that leads to the goal. The rest is persistence and perseverance. In short, you choose to just do it.

Certainly one may choose to not allow a limited capacity in any aspect of one’s life to keep one from achieving one’s goals or purpose. If something is holding someone back, then setting a goal and creating an action plan to reduce the impact of a personal limitation is a wise decision.

Our frustrations often come when we focus our energies on actually trying to dramatically improve a limitation or “weakness” to the point of where it becomes a strength.  This tends to not work out very often as we have real limited capacities in areas of ourselves that we are  unable to significantly improve even with our best of plans, intentions and efforts.

We end up wasting a lot of our time, resources and potential success, when we focus too long and hard on our limits at the expense of our potential. Focusing your energy and power on your weaknesses often results in making you more powerfully weak, as frustration and perceived failure set in. We often give up when we perceive our efforts as being futile.

Recognize, accept,  manage and minimize your limited capacities and then begin planning to empower your potential using your natural strengths.  Use your gifts and talents in new ways to realize your full potential, purpose and dreams.  Successfully achieving your goal will  require your persistence and perseverance but you have been well equipped for the journey and each small improvement in your strength will fuel your next step.

Focusing your personal power on developing stronger strengths is the key to living a fired up life!

If you would like to learn more about how to live Fired Up!, buy a copy of my book, “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!”  Tom Rath’s, “StrengthFinder 2.0” is also an excellent resource to help you discover your strengths.

The full-potential you that you were born to be is waiting to take center stage of your life’s performance!

Is it time to just do it?

Top 20 Significant Suppers

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With whom would you most like to be able to share a “Significant Supper?” This dream dinner could be with someone you admire, find interesting, intrigues you, has inspired you, or maybe just shares a common interest.  The only requirement is that you are fairly confident that the evening would be “significant” in your life.  Whom would you choose to invite?  Money and reality can be suspended.  I like to only consider living dinner companions.

Here’s my top 20 Significant Supper list, in no particular order:

Dr. David L. Cook–Author, speaker, and peak performance consultant. He is passionate about moving men from success to significance. Included some aviation in his wonderful book,Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days At The Links Of Utopia.”

Zig Ziglar–Master salesman, speaker, author, and an amazing teacher.

Richard Bach–Author and pilot.

Jimmy Buffet–Musician, author and pilot.

Bob Buford–Author of the must-read for middle-agers book, Halftime.” Founder of the significance movement.

Robert Fulghum–Author and master storyteller.

Donald Miller–Author and speaker who wrote, Blue Like Jazz” and other really well written books.

Tom Rath–Author, researcher at The Gallup Company. He wrote StrengthsFinder 2.0.”

Jeffrey Gitomer–Master salesman, author, speaker and trainer. The Sales Bible” is one of the best sales books ever written.

Roy H. Williams“The Wizard of Ads.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer–Author, speaker, and teacher.

Patrick Morley–“The Man In The Mirror.”

Ray Hilbert–Author, speaker, teacher at Truth@Work. Wrote “The Janitor” and “The Carrot Chaser.”  (Ray is the one guy on my list I get to have significant and hilarious suppers with, but I always look forward to our next one!)

Marshall Goldsmith–Executive coach.

Sir Richard Branson–Virgin visionary.

Dr. Ken Blanchard–Author, speaker, and “The One Minute Manager.”

Daniel Priestley–Author, TEDster.

Guy Kawasaki–Author, Co-Founder of Alltop.com.

Dr. Rick Warren–Pastor, Author, Speaker, Teacher.  Wrote, The Purpose Driven Life.”

Jesus Christ–Son of God, Wonderful Teacher, Counselor, Rabbi, Savior and former human craftsman.  I’ll save this one for my last supper, because I know it’s going to be an eternally long one.  I’m betting the angel food is heavenly!

Whom would you like to have a significant conversation with over dinner?

As I was writing this dream list, I started thinking about the “Significant” dinner conversations I am blessed to have daily.  “How was your day?” “What was your favorite part of today?” “Tell me about your day.”  I am fortunate to have a family who believes in sitting down together to say grace, share our evening meal and have significant chats about our lives.  You never know what conversations will end up being truly significant. Often one finds significant meaning in what seems mundane at first.

While I would really enjoy sharing a meal and a conversation with any of the above people, I would not trade a one of my family’s common table talks for an evening with any of them, except for the one who I believe joins us nightly anyway in spirit.

Have you shared any significant suppers?  Is it possible that maybe you have been involved in signficant suppers and you have just not been listening and paying attention?

Are you prepared to have your first and forever supper with Jesus?

Your table is set. It’s supper time.

3 Steps to Fire Up Your Life!

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How can you live a life that is more passionate, fulfilling, meaningful,  on-purpose and satisfying?

Three Steps to Fire Up Your Life!:

1) Find ways that you can use your unique, God-given, strengths, talents, gifts and resources to serve others.

2) Serve others passionately, humbly and as anonymously as possible.

3) Repeat steps one and two daily.

Tom Rath and the wonderful folks at The Gallup Organization created “StrengthsFinder 2.0” to help you to learn about your natural, personal strengths.  Marcus Buckingham has written numerous books on how to put your strengths to work.  I wrote “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” to help you to make living a strengths-based life a habit. Download my how to find your strengths exercises for free here:  Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life! Exercises.

There are three requirements to create fire:

1) Fuel

2) Air

3) Ignition source

If you want to fire up your life you need three similar essential elements:

1) Fuel=Passions, strengths, talents, gifts, knowledge, skills, and personal experiences.

2) Air=Time

3) Ignition souce=Other people, situations, circumstances and I believe, God.

You were uniquely designed for a purpose. Your life’s quest is to seek to discover and to serve your purpose. Your purpose will involve serving others in ways that only you can serve them.

Your service to your purpose may end up only being a percentage of your time, but it will be your most satisfying use of your time. Living on-purpose is the reason to live.

My life motto is, “Learn it. Live it. Share the spark!”  I believe that my purpose for being alive is to first learn new things. Then I live with them to personally prove that the new learnings are true and helpful. Finally, I get to enjoy the satisfaction of sharing what I have learned and how it has personally benefitted me in my life’s journey to hopefully  help others in their journeys.  I live to be an ignition source or as I like to think of it, a “sparker” of other people so that they can live their lives more “Fired Up!”  Each time I can share a spark with  someone it fuels me up to invest more time in sparking more people which helps keep my life matches burning brightly!  Sparking others is my passion and is now my habit.

I was not always a sparker.  I had to learn and do the three steps above.

Unfortunately, one tends to lose what one does not use.  Fire up or  fizzle out.  You get to choose.  I choose to live Fired Up!

Hopefully, by writing this, I have shared a spark with you.  Please let me know if this helps you to serve your life’s purpose and to Fire Up Your Life! Then you will be sharing your spark with me.

PS: I give all money I receive  from  the sale of  the book “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” to CHADD, the national non-profit organization that supports people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).  Learn more about CHADD at http://chadd.org.  You can buy “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” at http://www.booklocker.com/books/4765.html.

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