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if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!
âIf You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Togetherâ â African Proverb
I blew the dust off some olds posts to rekindle some of the most important information for work and life.
Itâs about dealing with people you canât stand.
Whether you think of them as jerks, bullies, or just difficult people, the better you can deal with difficult people, the better you can get things done and make things happen.
And the more you learn how to bring out the best, in people at their worst, the less youâll find people you canât stand.How To Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst (Including Yourself)
Everything I needed to learn about dealing with difficult people, I learned from the book Dealing with People You Canât Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst, by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner.
Itâs one of the most brilliant, thoughtful books Iâve ever read on interpersonal skills and dealing with all sorts of bad behaviors.
The real key to dealing with difficult behavior is more than just recognizing bad behaviors in other people.
Itâs recognizing bad behaviors in yourself, the kind that contribute to and amplify other peopleâs bad behaviors.
The more you know, the more you grow, and this is truly one of those transformational books.Learn How To Deal with Difficult People (and Gain Some Mad Interpersonal Skills)
Iâve completely re-written my pot that provides an overview of the big ideas in Dealing with People You Canât Stand:
Even better, Iâve re-written all of my posts that talk through the 10 Types of Difficult People, and what to do about them.
I have to warn you: Once you learn the 10 Types of Difficult People, youâll be using the labels to classify bad behaviors that you experience in the halls, in meetings, behind your back, etc.
With that in mind, here they are âŠ10 Types of Difficult People
Here are the 10 Types of Difficult People at a glance:
I warned you. Are you already thinking about some Snipers in a few meetings that you have, or is there a Yes Person driving you nuts (or are you that Yes Person?)
Have you talked to a Think-They-Know-It-All lately, or worse, a Know-ItâAll?
Never fear, Iâve included actionable insights and recommendations for dealing with all the various bad behaviors youâll encounter.The Lens of Human Understanding
If all this talk about dealing with difficult people, and having silly labels seems like a gimmick, itâs not. Itâs actually deep insight rooted in a powerful, but simple framework that Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner refer to as the Lens of Human Understanding:
Once I learned The Lens of Human Understanding, so many things fell into place.
Not only did I understand myself better, but I could instantly see what was driving other people, and how my behavior would either create more conflict or resolve it.
But when you donât know what makes people tick, itâs very easy to get ticked off, or to tick them off.
Hereâs looking at you âŠ and other people âŠ and their behaviors âŠ in a brand new way.You Might Also Like
I know several people looking for inspiration.
I believe the right words ignite or re-ignite us.
There is no better way to prime your mind for great things to come than filling your head and hear with the greatest inspirational quotes that the world has ever known.
Of course, the challenge is finding the best inspirational quotes to draw from.
Well, here you go âŠ3 Great Inspirational Quotes Collections at Your Fingertips
I revamped a few of my best inspirational quotes collections to really put the gems of insight at your fingertips:
Each of these inspirational quotes collection is hand-crafted with deep words of wisdom, insight, and action.
You'll find inspirational quotes from Charles Dickens, Confucius, Dr. Seuss, George Bernard Shaw, Henry David Thoreau, Horace, Lao Tzu, Lewis Carroll, Mahatma Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey, Oscar Wilde, Paulo Coelho, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stephen King, Tony Robbins, and more.
You'll even find an inspirational quote from The Wizard of Oz (and itâs not âThereâs no place like home.â)Inspirational Quotes Jump Start
Here are a few of my favorites inspirational quotes to get you started:
âCourage doesnât always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, âI will try again tomorrow.ââ
â Mary Anne Radmacher
âDo not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.â
â Ralph Waldo Emerson
âDonât cry because itâs over, smile because it happened.â
â Dr. Seuss
âIt is not length of life, but depth of life.â
â Ralph Waldo Emerson
âLife is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by every moment that takes your breath away.â
âYou live but once; you might as well be amusing.â
â Coco Chanel
âIt is never too late to be who you might have been.â
â George Eliot
âSmile, breathe and go slowly.â
â Thich Nhat Hanh
âWhat lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.â
â Ralph Waldo Emerson
These inspirational quotes are living breathing collections. I periodically sweep them to reflect new additions, and I re-organize or re-style the quotes if I find a better way.
I invest a lot of time on quotes because Iâve learned the following simple truth:
Quotes change lives.
The right words, at the right time, can be just that little bit you need, to breakthrough or get unstuck, or find your mojo again.
Have you had your dose of inspiration today?
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." -- John C. Maxwell
How many people do you know that talk a good talk, but donât walk the walk?
Or, how many people do you know have a bunch of ideas that you know will never see the light of day? They can pontificate all day long, but the idea of turning those ideas into work that could be done, is foreign to them.
Or, how many people do you know can plan all day long, but their plan is nothing more than a list of things that will never happen? Worse, maybe they turn it into a team sport, and everybody participates in the planning process of all the outcomes, ideas and work that will never happen. (And, who exactly wants to be accountable for that?)
It doesnât need to be this way.
A lot of people have Hidden Strengths they can develop into Learned Strengths. And one of the most important bucket of strengths is Leading Implementation.
Leading Implementation is a set of leadership skills for making things happen.
It includes the following leadership skills:
Letâs say you want to work on these leadership skills. The first thing you need to know is that these are not elusive skills reserved exclusively for the elite.
No, these are commonly Hidden Strengths that you and others around you already have, and they just need to be developed.
If you donât think you are good at any of these, then before you rule yourself out, and scratch them off your list, you need to ask yourself some key reflective questions:
Iâve seen far too many starving artists and unproductive artists, as well as mad scientists, that had brilliant ideas that they couldnât turn into reality. While some were lucky to pair with the right partners and bring their ideas to live, Iâve actually seen another pattern of productive artists.
They develop some of the basic leadership skills in themselves to improve their ability to execute.
Not only are they more effective on the job, but they are happier with their ability to express their ideas and turn their ideas into action.
Even better, when they partner with somebody who has strong execution, they amplify their impact even more because they have a better understanding and appreciation of what it takes to execute ideas.
Like talk, ideas are cheap.
The market rewards execution.
âStartups don't win by attacking. They win by transcending. There are exceptions of course, but usually the way to win is to race ahead, not to stop and fight.â -- Paul Graham
A startup is the largest group of people you can convince to build a different future.
Whether you launch a startup inside a big company or launch a startup as a new entity, there are a few things that determine the strength of the startup: a sense of mission, space to think, new thinking, and the ability to do work.
The more clarity you have around Startup Thinking, the more effective you can be whether you are starting startups inside our outside of a big company.
In the book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel shares his thoughts about Startup Thinking.Startups are Bound Together by a Sense of Mission
Itâs the mission. A startup has an advantage when there is a sense of mission that everybody lives and breathes. The mission shapes the attitudes and the actions that drive towards meaningful outcomes.
âNew technology tends to come from new ventures--startups. From the Founding Fathers in politics to the Royal Society in science to Fairchild Semiconductor's âtraitorous eightâ in business, small groups of people bound together by a sense of mission have changed the world for the better. The easiest explanation for this is negative: it's hard to develop new things in big organizations, and it's even harder to do it by yourself. Bureaucratic hierarchies move slowly, and entrenched interests shy away from risk.âSignaling Work is Not the Same as Doing Work
One strength of a startup is the ability to actually do work. With other people. Rather than just talk about it, plan for it, and signal about it, a startup can actually make things happen.
âIn the most dysfunctional organizations, signaling that work is being done becomes a better strategy for career advancement than actually doing work (if this describes your company, you should quit now). At the other extreme, a lone genius might create a classic work of art or literature, but he could never create an entire industry. Startups operate on the principle that you need to work with other people to get stuff done, but you also need to stay small enough so that you actually can.âNew Thinking is a Startupâs Strength
The strength of a startup is new thinking. New thinking is even more valuable than agility. Startups provide the space to think.
âPositively defined, a startup is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future. A new company's most important strength is new thinking: even more important than nimbleness, small size affords space to think. This book is about the questions you must ask and answer to succeed in the business of doing new things: what follows is not a manual or a record of knowledge but an exercise in thinking. Because that is what a startup has to do: question received ideas and rethink business from scratch.â
Do you have stinking thinking or do you beautiful mind?
New thinking will take you places.You Might Also Like
âRemember this: Anticipation is the ultimate power. Losers react; leaders anticipate.â â Tony Robbins
Have you ever noticed how some leaders have a knack for "the art of the possible" and for making it relevant to the current landscape?
They are Visionary Leaders and they practice Visionary Leadership.
Visionary Leaders inspire us and show us how we can change the world, at least our slice of it, and create the change we want to be.
Visionary Leaders see things early and they connect the dots.
Visionary Leaders luck their way into the future. They practice looking ahead for what's pertinent and what's probable.
Visionary Leaders also practice telling stories. They tell stories of the future and how all the dots connect in a meaningful way.
And they put those stories of the future into context. They don't tell disjointed stories, or focus on flavor-of-the-month fads. That's what Trend Hoppers do.
Instead, Visionary Leaders focus on meaningful trends and insights that will play a role in shaping the future in a relevant way.
Visionary leaders tell us compelling stories of the future in a way that motivates us to take action and to make the most of what's coming our way.
Historians, on the other hand, tell us compelling stories of the past.
They excite us with stories about how we've "been there, and done that."
By contrast, Visionary Leaders win our hearts and minds with "the art of the possible" and inspire us to co-create the future, and to use future insights to own our destiny.
And Followers, well, they follow.
Not because they don't see some things coming. But because they don't see things early enough, and they don't turn what they see into well-developed stories with coherence.
If you want to build your capacity for vision and develop your skills as a Visionary Leader, start to pay attention to signs of the future and connect the dots in a meaningful way.
With great practice, comes great progress, and progressing even a little in Visionary Leadership can make a world of difference for you and those around you.You Might Also Like
If your team or company isnât thriving with innovation, itâs not a big surprise.
In the book, Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of building Breakthroughs, Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, and Brian Quinn explain what holds innovation back.
Goofy innovation techniques are at least one part of the puzzle.
What holds innovation back is that many people still use goofy innovation techniques that either donât work in practice, or arenât very pragmatic. For example âbrainstormingâ often leads to collaboration fixation.
âPart of the Innovation Revolution is rooted in superior tradecraft: better ways to innovate that are suited for tougher problems. Yet most teams are stuck using goofy techniques that have been discredited long ago. This book is part of a new vanguard, a small group of leading thinkers who see innovation as urgent and essential, who know it needs to be cracked as a deep discipline and subjected to the same rigors as any other management science.â
The good news is that there are many innovation techniques that do work.
If youâre stuck in a rut, and wondering how to get innovation going, then abandon the goofy innovation techniques, and cast a wider net to find some of the approaches that actually do. For example, Dr. Tony McCaffrey suggests âbrainswarming.â (Here is a video of brainswarming.) Or check out the book, Blue Ocean Strategy, for a pragmatic approach to strategic market disruption.
Innovate in your approach to innovation.You Might Also Like
Some people specialize in a narrow domain. They are called specialists because they focus on a specific area of expertise, and they build skills in that narrow area.
Rather than focus on breadth, they go for depth.
Others focus on the bigger picture or connecting the dots. Rather than focus on depth, they go for breadth.
Or do they?
It actually takes a lot of knowledge and depth to be effective at integration and âconnecting the dotsâ in a meaningful way. Itâs like being a skilled entrepreneur or a skilled business developer. Not just anybody who wants to generalize can be effective.
True integration specialists are great pattern matchers and have deep skills in putting things together to make a better whole.
I was reading the book Business Development: A Market-Oriented Perspective where Hans Eibe SĂžrensen introduces the concept of an Integrating Generalist and how they make the world go round.
I wrote a post about it on Sources of Insight:
Given the description, Iâm not sure which is better, the Integration Specialist or the Integrating Generalist. The value of the Integrating Generalist is that it breathes new life into people that want to generalize so that they can put the bigger puzzle together. Rather than de-value generalists, this label puts a very special value on people that are able to fit things together.
In fact, the author claims that itâs Integrating Generalists that make the world go round.
Otherwise, there would be a lot of great pieces and parts, but nothing to bring them together into a cohesive whole.
Maybe thatâs a good metaphor for the Integrating Generalist. While you certainly need all the parts of the car, you also need somebody to make sure that all the parts come together.
In my experience, Integration Generalists are able to help shape the vision, put the functions that matter in place, and make things happen.
I would say the most effective Program Managers I know do exactly that.
They are the Oil and the Glue for the team because they are able to glue everything together, and, at the same time, remove friction in the system and help people bring out their best, towards a cohesive whole.
Itâs synergy in action, in more ways than one.You Might Also Like
Iâm a fan of monthly plans for meaningful work.
Whether you call it a task list or a To-Do list or a product backlog, it helps to have a good view of the things that youâll invest your time in.
Iâm not a fan of everybody trying to make sense of laundry lists of cells in a spreadsheet.
Time changes whatâs important and itâs hard to see the forest for the trees, among rows of tasks that all start to look the same.
One of the most important things Iâve learned to do is to map out work for the month in a more meaningful way.
It works for individuals. It works for teams. It works for leaders.
Itâs what Iâve used for Agile Results for years on projects small and large, and with distributed teams around the world. (Agile Results is my productivity method introduced in Getting Results the Agile Way.)
A picture is worth a thousand words, so letâs just look at a sample output and then Iâll walk through it:
What Iâve found to be the most effective is to focus on a plan for the month â actually take an hour or two the week before the new month. (In reality, Iâve done this with teams of 10 or more people in 30 minutes or less. It doesnât take long if you just dump things fast on the board, and just keep asking people âWhat else is on our minds.â)
Dive-in at a whiteboard with the right people in the room and just list out all the top of mind, important things â be exhaustive, then prioritize and prune.
You then step back and identify the 3 most important outcomes (3 Wins for the Month.)
I make sure each work item has a decent name â focused on the noun â so people can refer to it by name (like mini-initiatives that matter.)
I list it in alphabetical by the name of the work so itâs easy to manage a large list of very different things.
Thatâs the key.
Most people try to prioritize the list, but the reality is, you can use each week to pick off the high-value items. (This is really important. Most people spend a lot of time prioritizing lists, and re-prioritizing lists, and yet, people tend to be pretty good prioritizing when they have a quick list to evaluate. Especially, if they know the priorities for the month, and they know any pressing events or dead-lines. This is where clarity pays off.)
The real key is listing the work in alphabetical order so that itâs easy to scan, easy to add new items, and easy to spot duplicates.
Plus, it forces you to actually name the work and treat it more like a thing, and less like some fuzzy idea thatâs out there.
I could go on and on about the benefits, but here are a few of the things that really matter:
I find a plan for the month is the most useful. If you plan a month well, the weeks have a better chance of taking care of themselves. But if you only plan for the week or every two weeks, itâs easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, and the next thing you know, the months go by. Youâre busy, things happen, but the work doesnât always accrue to something that matters.
This is a simple way to have more meaningful months.
I also canât say it enough, that itâs less about having a prioritized list, and more about having an easy to glance at map of the work thatâs in-flight. Iâm glad the map of the US is not a prioritized list by states. And Iâm glad that the states are well named. It makes it easy to see the map. I can then prioritize and make choices on any trip, because I actually have a map to work from, and I can see the big picture all at once, and only zoom in as I need to.
The big idea behind planning tasks and To-Do lists this way is to empower people to make better decisions.
The counter-intuitive part is first exposing a simple view of the map of the work, so itâs easy to see, and this is what enables simpler prioritization when you need it, regardless of which prioritization you use, or which workflow management tool you plug in to.
And, nothing stops you from putting the stuff into spreadsheets or task management tools afterwards, but the high-value part is the forming and storming and conforming around the initial map of the work for the month, so more people can spend their time performing.
May the power of a simple information model help you organize, prioritize, and optimize your outcomes in a more meaningful way.
If you need a deeper dive on this approach, and a basic introduction to Agile Results, here is a good getting started guide for Agile Results in action.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times âŠ
Itâs not A Tale of Two Cities. Itâs a tale of the Innovation Revolution.
Weâve got real problems worth solving. The stakes are high. Time is short. And abstract answers are not good enough.
In the book, Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of building Breakthroughs, Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, and Brian Quinn explain how it is like A Tale of Two Cities in that it is the worst of time and it is the best of times.
But it is also like no other time in history.
Itâs an Innovation Revolution âŠ We have the technology and we can innovate our way through radical transformation.The Worst of Times (Innovation Has Big Problems to Solve)
Weâve got some real problems to solve, whether itâs health issues, poverty, crime, or ignorance. Duty calls. Will innovation answer?
âPeople expect very little good news about the wars being fought (whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, or on Terror, Drugs, Poverty, or Ignorance). The promising Arab Spring has given way to a recurring pessimism about progress. Gnarly health problems are on a tear the world over--diabetes now affects over eight percent of Americans--an other expensive disease conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer are also now epidemic. The cost of education rises like a runaway helium balloon, yet there is less and less evidence that it nets the students a real return on their investment. Police have access to ever more elaborate statistical models of crime, but there is still way too much of it. And global warming, steadily produces more extreme and more dangerous conditions the world over, yet according to about half of our elected 'leaders,' it is still, officially, only a theory that can conveniently be denied.âThe Best of Times (Innovation is Making Things Happen)
Innovation has been answering. There have been amazing innovations heard round the world. Itâs only the beginning for an Innovation Revolution.
âAnd yet ...
We steadily expect more from our computers, our smartphones, apps, networks, and games. We have grown to expect routine and wondrous stories of new ventures funded through crowdsourcing. We hear constantly of lives around the world transformed because of Twitter or Kahn Academy or some breakthrough discovery in medicine. Esther Duflo and her team at the Poverty Action Lab at MIT keep cracking tough problems that afflict the poor to arrive at solutions with demonstrated efficacy, and then, often the Gates Foundation or another philanthropic institution funds the transformational solution at unprecedented scale.
Storytelling is in a new golden age--whether in live events, on the radio, or in amazing new television series that can emerge anywhere in the world and be adapted for global tastes. Experts are now everywhere, and shockingly easy and affordable to access.
Indeed, it seems clear that all the knowledge we've been struggling to amass is steadily being amplified and swiftly getting more organized, accessible, and affordable--whether through the magic of elegant little apps or big data managed in ever-smarter clouds or crowdfunding sites used to capitalize creative ideas in commerce or science.âItâs a Time of Radical Transformation and New, More Agile Institutions
The pace of change and the size of change will accelerate exponentially as the forces of innovation rally together.
âOne way to make sense of these opposing conditions is to see us as being in a time of radical transformation. To see the old institutions as being challenged as a series of newer, more agile ones arise. In history, such shifts have rarely been bloodless, but this one seems to be a radical transformation in the structure, sources, and nature of expertise. Indeed, among innovation experts, this time in one like no other. For the very first time in history, we are in a position to tackle tough problems with ground-breaking tools and techniques.â
Itâs time to break some ground.
Join the Innovation Revolution and crack some problems worth solving.You Might Also Like
âBecause the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has twoâand only twoâbasic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.â â Peter Drucker
Iâm diving deeper into patterns and practices for innovation.
Along the way, Iâm reading and re-reading some great books on the art and science of innovation.
One innovation book Iâm seriously enjoying is Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of building Breakthroughs by Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, and Brian Quinn.
Right up front, Larry Keeley shares some insight into the journey to this book. He says that this book really codifies, structures, and simplifies three decades of experience from Doblin, a consulting firm focused on innovation.
For more than three decades, Doblin tried to answer the following question:
âHow do we get innovation to succeed instead of fail?â
Along the journey, there were a few ideas that they used to bridge the gap in innovation between the state of the art and the state of the practice.
Here they are âŠBalance 3 Dimensions of Innovation (Theoretical Side + Academic Side + Applied Side)
Larry Keeley and his business partner Jay Doblin, a design methodologist, always balanced three dimensions of innovation: a theoretical side, an academic side, and an applied side.
âOver the years we have kept three important dimensions in dynamic tension. We have a theoretical side, where we ask and seek real answers to tough questions about innovation. Simple but critical ones like, 'Does brainstorming work?' (it doesn't), along with deep and systemic ones like, 'How do you really know what a user wants when the user doesn't know either?' We have an academic side, since many of us are adjunct professors at Chicago's Institute of Design and this demands that we explain our ideas to smart young professionals in disciplined, distinctive ways. And third, we have an applied side, in that have been privileged to adapt our innovation methods to many of the world's leading global enterprises and start-ups that hanker to be future leading firms.âEffective Innovation Needs a Blend of Analysis + Synthesis
Innovation is a balance and blend of analysis and synthesis. Analysis involves tearing things down, while synthesis is building new things up.
âFrom the beginning, Doblin has itself been interdisciplinary, mixing social sciences, technology, strategy, library sciences, and design into a frothy admixture that has always tried to blend both analysis, breaking tough things down, with synthesis, building new things up. Broadly, we think any effective innovation effort needs plenty of both, stitched together as a seamless whole.âOrchestrate the Ten Types of Innovation to Make a Game-Changing Innovation
Game-changing innovation is an orchestration of the ten types of innovation.
âThe heart of this book is built around a seminal Doblin discovery: that there are (and have always been) ten distinct types of innovation that need to be orchestrated with some care to make a game-changing innovation.â
The main idea is that innovation fails if you try to solve it with just one dimension.
You canât just take a theoretical approach, and hope that it works in the real-world.
At the same time, innovation fails if you donât leverage what we learn from the academic world and actually apply it.
And, if you know the ten types of innovation, you can focus your efforts more precisely.You Might Also Like
Iâm always on the hunt for people that do what makes them come alive.
Artists in particular are especially interesting for me, especially when they are able to do what they love.
Iâve known too many artists that lived painful lives, trying to be an artist, but never making ends meet.
Iâve also known too many artists that lived another life outside of art, but never really lived, because they never answered their calling.
I believe that in todayâs world, there are a lot more options for you to live life on you terms.
With technology at our fingertips, itâs easier to connect with people around the world and share your art, whatever that may be.
On Sources of Insight, Iâve asked artist Rebecca Tsien to share her story:
Itâs more than a story of a digital artist. Itâs a journey of fulfillment.
Rebecca has found a way to do what she loves. She lives and breathes her passion.
Maybe her story can inspire you.
Maybe thereâs a way you can do more art.
Business model innovation has a couple of myths.
One myth is that business model innovation takes big thinking. Another myth about business model innovation is that technology is the answer.
In the book, The Business Model Navigator, Oliver Gassman, Karolin Frankenberger, and Michaela Csik share a couple of myths that need busting so that more people can actually achieve business model innovation.The "Think Big" Myth
Business model innovation does not need to be âbig bang.â It can be incremental. Incremental changes can create more options and more opportunities for serendipity.
â'Business model innovations are always radical and new to the world.' Most people associate new business models with the giants leaps taken by Internet companies. The fact is that business model innovation, in the same way as product innovation, can be incremental. For instance, Netflix's business model innovation of mailing DVDs to customers was undoubtedly incremental and yet brought great success to the company. The Internet opened up new avenues for Netflix that allowed the company to steadily evolve into an online streaming service provider.âThe Technology Myth
Itâs not technology for technologyâs sake. Itâs applying technology to revolutionize a business that creates the business model innovation.
â'Every business model innovation is based on a fascinating new technology that inspires new products.' The fact is that while new technologies can indeed drive new business models, they are often generic in nature. Where creativity comes in is in applying them to revolutionize a business. It is the business application and the specific use of the technology which makes the difference. Technology for technology's sake is the number one flop factor in innovation projects. The truly revolutionary act is that of uncovering the economic potential of a new technology.â
If you want to get started with business model innovation, donât just go for the home run.You Might Also Like
Lifeâs better with the right words.
And life quotes can help us live better.
Life quotes are a simple way to share some of the deepest insights on the art of living, and how to live well.
While some people might look for wisdom in a bottle, or in a book, or in a guru at the top of a mountain, surprisingly, a lot of the best wisdom still exists as quotes.
The problem is they are splattered all over the Web.The Ultimate Life Quotes Collection
My ultimate Life Quotes collection is an attempt to put the best quotes right at your fingertips.
I wanted this life quotes collection to answer everything from âWhat is the meaning of life?â to âHow do you live the good life?â
I also wanted this life quotes collection to dive deep into all angles of life including dealing with challenges, living with regrets, how to find your purpose, how to live with more joy, and ultimately, how to live a little better each day.The Worldâs Greatest Philosophers at Your Fingertips
Did I accomplish all that?
Iâm not sure. But I gave it the old college try.
I curated quotes on life from an amazing set of people including Dr. Seuss, Tony Robbins, Gandhi, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Dean, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Confucius, Jonathan Swift, Henry David Thoreau, and more.
Yeah, itâs a pretty serious collection of life quotes.Donât Die with Your Music Still In You
There are many messages and big ideas among the collection of life quotes. But perhaps one of the most important messages is from the late, great Henry David Thoreau:
âMost men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.â
And, I donât think he meant play more Guitar Hero.
If youâre waiting for your chance to rise and shine, chances come to those who take them.Not Being Dead is Not the Same as Being Alive
E.E. Cummings reminds us that there is more to living than simply existing:
âUnbeing dead isnât being alive.â
And the trick is to add more life to your years, rather than just add more years to your life.Define Yourself
Life quotes teach us that living live on your terms starts by defining yourself. Here are big, bold words from Harvey Fierstein that remind us of just that:
âNever be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no oneâs definition of your life; define yourself.â
Now is a great time to re-imagine all that youâre capable of.We Regret the Things We Didnât Do
Itâs not usually the things that we do that we regret. Itâs the things we didnât do:
âOf all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, âIt might have been.â â John Greenleaf Whittier
Have you answered to your calling?Leave the World a Better Place
One sure-fire way that many people find their path is they aim to leave the world at least a little better than they found it.
âTo laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of childrenâŠto leave the world a better placeâŠto know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.â -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Itâs a reminder that we can measure our life by the lives of the people we touch.You Might Also Like
Confidence is one of those things that makes all the difference when it comes to realizing your potential.
So many people have great ideas and great ambitions, but lack the confidence to follow through when it counts.
They hold themselves back.
Their amazing and bold ideas turn into lackluster ideas, as fear starts talking (if they talk at all.)
A while back, a team in HR interviewed me on confidence, because enough people pointed back to me as somebody they saw as confident.
What HR wanted to know is, where does my confidence come from?
For me, it mostly came from a relentless focus on making impact.
I put my focus on doing great things, creating raving fan customers, and taking on big challenges.
Where you put your focus, instantly changes your confidence.
If youâre too worried about how you look or how you sound, then you arenât putting enough focus on the amazing thing you are trying to do.
So it wasnât confidence per se. It was more like putting my focus on the right things.
But there was more to it. I was confident because of a few basic beliefs:
Another thing that helped is that one of our leaders was relentless about âexposing our thinking.â He wanted us to always detach ourselves from our ideas. He wanted us to present ideas without being attached to them so they could be criticized and evaluated in more objective ways.
This sounds simple, but youâd be surprised how difficult it can be to detach yourself from ideas. But the beauty is that when you are able to do this, your focus changes from defending your ideas, to really helping to create better ideas. And this little shift takes you from fear or lack of confidence, to purposeful exploration, with full confidence.
Anyway, I think we become the thoughts that we think, so I think itâs really important to fill our head with the right words on confidence.
To that end, here is roundup of some of the greatest confidence quotes of all time:
See if you can find at least three that you can use to help add more juice to your day.
If there is one that I find myself referring to all the time, to remind myself to get up to bat, itâs this one:
âA ship is safe in harbor, but thatâs not what ships are for.â â William Shedd
I learned it long ago, and itâs served me well, ever since.
While that one reminds me to do what I do best, itâs really this one that inspires me to expand what Iâm capable of:
âLife shrinks or expands in proportion to oneâs courage.â â AnaĂŻs Nin
I hope you find the right words that give your confidence just the boost it needs, when you need it most.
Itâs time to blow your mind with the amazing things going on around the world.
Each year, I try to create a birdâs-eye view of key trends. Itâs a mash up of all the changes in technology, consumerism, and ideas that seem to be taking off.
Here are my trends for 2015:
I call it the year of Digital Transformation because of the encroachment of technology into all things business, work, and life.
Technology is everywhere (and itâs on more wrists than Iâve ever seen before.)
Whatâs different now is how the combination of Cloud + Mobile + Social + Big Data + Internet-of-Things are really changing how business gets done. Businesses around the world are using Cloud, Mobile, Social, Big Data, and Internet-of-Things to leap frog ahead of their competitors and to differentiate in new and exciting ways.
Businesses around the world are using technology to gains insights and to shape their customer experience, transform their workforce, and streamline their back-office operations.
Itâs a new race for leadership positions in the Digital Economy. With infinite compute and capacity, along with new ways to connect around the world, business leaders and IT leaders are re-imagining the art of the possible for their businesses.
While Cloud, Mobile, Social, Big Data, and Internet-of-Things might be the backbone of the changes all around us, itâs business model innovation that is bringing these changes to the market and helping them take hold.
Here is a preview of 10 key trends from Trends for 2015: The Year of Digital Transformation:
As a tip, when you read the post, try to scan it first, all the way down, so you can see the full collection of ideas. Then circle back and slow down to really absorb the full insight. Youâll find that youâll start to see more patterns across the trends, and youâll start to connect more dots.
I designed the post to make it easy to scan, as well as to read it end-to-end in depth. I think itâs more valuable to be able to quickly take the balcony view, before diving in. This way, you get more of a full picture view of whatâs happening around the world. Even if you donât master all the trends, a little bit of awareness can actually go a long way.
In fact, you might surprise yourself as some of the trends pop into your mind, while youâre working on something completely different. By having the trends at my fingertips, Iâm finding myself seeing new patterns in business, along with new ways that technology can enhance our work and life.
Trends actually become a vocabulary for generating and shaping new ideas. There are so many ways to arrange and re-arrange the constellation of ideas. Youâll find that I paid a lot of attention to the naming of each trend. I tried to share what was already pervasive and sticky, or if it was complicated, I tried to turn it into something more memorable.
Use the trends as fodder and insight as you pave your way through your own Digital Transformation.
Motivation is a powerful skill.
It can lift you up from the worst of places, and inspire you to new heights.
After all, nothing is worse than slogging your way through your days, or working your way through a bunch of mundane tasks.
But, like I said, motivation is a skill.
You need to learn it. For many people it does not come naturally. And chances are, many of us have had bad models, bad advice, and worse, bad habits for a lifetime.
One of the most important insights I found was said by Stephen Covey long ago â satisfied needs donât motivate.
Itâs why we need to stay hungry.
Hereâs how you stay hungry -- find a problem you hate, and focus on creating a solution you love.
But how you light your fire from the inside out in a sustainable way?
Thatâs where the 7 habits of highly motivated people comes in.
I wanted to put together a very simple set of habits and practices that actually work for building your motivational muscle and finding your inner mojo.
Here are the 7 habits of highly motivated people at a glance:
There is a lot of science behind the habits. If youâre that motivated, you can research it through bunches of books, bunches of sites, and brilliant TED talks.
But, Iâd much rather that you spent the time simply adopting and applying the habits, so you can set your motivation on fire.
Itâs time to do more of what you were born to do.
Itâs time to live and breathe the things that you want to live and breathe.
Itâs time to rise again from whatever ashes might have burned you down, and let your phoenix fly.
If you arenât sure where to get started, first read 7 habits of highly motivated people, and then adopt habit #1:
Find Your WHY.
Youâll be glad you did.
I can see your pilot light is on already.
We live in amazing times.
The world is full of opportunity at your fingertips.
You can inspire your mind and the art of the possible with TED talks.
You can learn anything with all of the Open Courseware from MIT or Wharton, or Coursera, or you can build your skills with The Great Courses or Udemy.
You can read about anything and fill your kindle with more books than you can read in this lifetime.
You can invest in yourself. You can develop your intellectual horsepower, your emotional intelligence, your personal effectiveness, your communication skills, your relationship skills, and your financial intelligence.
You can develop your career, expand your experience, build your network, and grow your skills and abilities. You can take on big hairy audacious goals. You can learn your limits, build your strengths, and reduce your liabilities.
You can develop your body and your physical intelligence, with 4-minute work outs, P90x3 routines, Fit Bits, Microsoft Band, etc.
You can expand your network and connect with people around the world, all four corners of the globe, from all walks of life, for all sorts of reasons.
You can explore the world, either virtually through Google Earth, or take real-world epic adventures.
You can fund your next big idea and bring it to the world with Kickstarter.
You can explore new hobbies and develop your talents, your art, your music, you name it.
But where in the world will you get time?
And how will you manage your competing priorities?
And how will you find and keep your motivation?
How will you wake up strong, with a spring in your step, where all the things you want to achieve in this lifetime, pull you forward, and help you rise above the noise of every day living?
That's not how I planned on starting this post, but it's a reminder of how the world is full of possibility, and how amazing your life can be when you come alive and you begin the journey to become all that you're capable of.
How I planned to start the post was this. It's Spring. It's time for a refresher in the art of Agile Results to help you bring out your best.
Agile Results is a simple system for meaningful results. It combines proven practices for productivity, time management, and personal effectiveness to help you achieve more in less time, and enjoy the process.
It's a way to spend your best time and your best energy to get your best results.
Agile Results is a way to slow down to speed up, find more fulfillment, and put your ambition into practice.
Agile Results is a way to realize your potential, and to unleash your greatest potential. Potential is a muscle that gets better through habits.
The way to get started with Agile Results is simple.
For bonus, and to really find a path of fulfillment, there are three more habits you can add ...
A simple way that I remember this is I remember to think in Three Wins:
Think in terms of Three Wins for the Day, Three Wins for the Week, Three Wins for the Month, Three Wins for the Year
Those are the core habits of Agile Results in a nutshell.
You can start with that and be well on your way to getting better results in work and life.
If you want to really master Agile Results, you can read the book, Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life.
It's been a best seller in time management, and itâs helped many people around the world create a better version of themselves.
If you want to take Agile Results to the next level, start a study group and share ways that you use Agile Results with each other around how you create work-life balance, create better energy, learn more faster, and unleash your potential, while enjoying the journey, and getting more from work and life.
Share your stories and results with me, with your friends, with your family, anyone, and everyone â help everybody live a little better.