Archive for November 2004

List of Values

The following list of values will help you develop a clearer sense of what’s most important to you in life, as explained in the article Living Your Values. Simply copy or print this list, mark the values which most resonate with you, and then sort your list in order of priority. While most values on…

Full Engagement

In an article I wrote a few years ago called Do It Now, I explained some time management techniques that allowed me to finish college more quickly than usual. What I probably didn’t make clear in the article was that I didn’t overwhelm myself like a workaholic to pull it off. I had a great…

Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Should we or should we not set big, hairy, audacious goals where success is far from certain (at least without the benefit of hindsight)? I for one am grateful for the existence of people who set big goals. My country (the USA) would not exist otherwise. Nor would my city, my family, our computers, the…

Why Pursue Personal Growth at All?

This was a comment on the last post that I’d like to address, since it’s a very common issue related to personal growth: Why improve at all? We are born. We die. Everything else shares the same fate. Then why this struggle to improve? What is the use? Expectations can only lead to misery if…

What Do You Expect?

This past summer I saw Jim Key give a one-hour speech on the topic of expectations. He is without a doubt a very talented and dynamic speaker — and the 2003 World Champion of Public Speaking. Jim told the story of how he competed in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest 3 years in a row.…

Developing a Toolkit of Problem-Solving Techniques

Yesterday I was visiting a fellow Toastmaster, and we watched a DVD called Magic Moments II. This is a video that analyzes 30 clips from the 2001-2003 International World Championship of Public Speaking Competition in order to study some of the best practices. I saw this same presentation live at the 2004 Toastmasters International Convention…

Dealing with Difficult People

How do you deal with difficult, irrational, or abusive people, especially those in positions of authority who have some degree of control over your life? I’ve never met a totally rational human being. Our ability to store and process information is far too imperfect for that. But our emotions are a shortcut. The book Emotional…

Emotional Mastery

I received much feedback on the previous post regarding the challenge of consciously directing one’s thoughts to feel a certain way. First of all, recognize that there are people and corporations with a strong vested interest in conditioning you to maintain the (false) belief that you need some kind of external validation to feel a…

The Value of Confidence

Last night I gave a speech called “The Value of Confidence,” which was about how to mentally put yourself into a state of confidence, feeling certain of success even when your knowledge suggests you should expect to fail. Delivering a speech like this puts an extra burden on the speaker, since it must be done…

Sharpen the Saw

Habit #7 in Steve Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is called “Sharpen the Saw.” Covey uses the common analogy of a woodcutter who is sawing for several days straight and is becoming less and less productive. The process of cutting dulls the blade. So the solution is to periodically sharpen the saw.…