This was the video script that I was developing for this week, but a lack of sleep and energy left me feeling zero credible to make this video.  

What is the good life?

The good life is choosing to go beyond mere survival.  Survival comes in the genes.  We are automated to eat, breath and procreate.  This is not living the good life.

The good life is a daily intentional choice to flourish.  We can develop to the full the best of our strengths and bring the worst of our weaknesses under disciplined control.

The ABCs of living the Good Life:

  • Action towards your strongest values (Productivity) make progress towards important things; Eisenhower’s matrix
  • Belief. Give your life away… chosen sacrifice-Sense of purpose (contribution, give your life away… can’t “save” your hours, must invest). The test of value: you get paid. Paid doesn’t guarantee value, but free is idealistic… and idealists will kill us all.
  • Curiosity – Life long learning (always curious, painful feedback) be better today than yesterday, be better tomorrow than today
  • Discipline over your poorer habits
  • Energy. Health (Imagine you had 1 car all your life… how would you take care of it? that is your body…)
  • Friends (top 20… when was last you spoke?) inner circle… better a shack with someone who loves you than a mansion with those that use you

What are your thoughts?  Should I make this as a video?  What questions do you have about the 6 areas?

PS The video that I ended up making this week was all about an excuse that I was using that was taking me away from any sort of good life.  I was being reactive and enjoying the feeling of victim of poor sleep and blaming others.  Not a pretty place.

One of my posts over at LinkedIn “11 Differences between Busy People and Productive People” was turned into a cool infographic by an author at Inc Magazines blog.  Given that it has horses and unicorns on it, I wanted to share it here.

Thanks Inc 😉

Check out the article over at Inc: The Differences between Busy and Productive People

Be careful what you wish for… In the Zoo, the animals are safe in their cages, they are fed 3 meals a day, the fence keeps out predators and competition (isn’t that what Trump promised?).

We have to be careful what we wish for.

Freedom comes with a price, and that price is called responsibility. We need to practice the responsibility that allows us to deal with true freedom.

From Peter Drucker:

“The Nature of Freedom

Freedom is never a release and always a responsibility.

Freedom is not fun. It is not the same as individual happiness, nor is it security or peace or progress. It is a responsible choice. Freedom is not so much a a right as a duty. Real freedom is not freedom from something; that would be licence. It is freedom to choose between doing or not doing something, to act one way or another, to hold one belief or the opposite, It is not “fun” but the heaviest burden laid on man: to decide his own individual conduct as well as the conduct of society and to be responsible for both decisions.”

If you liked this, you will like reading Freedom is Not Fun.

Listening is a state of seeking to be changed by the other person.

Listening is less about the ears, than about a state of openness to change.

Hearing is different from all other senses in that it has a buffer, a short term memory of the last 8 seconds that we have heard. This allows us to pay little attention until we hear a word, our name or a silence and this triggers us to scan the last few seconds of audio intently. Most of the time we learn to listen with little attention.

This is a dangerous mode of listening to those whose relationships are important to us. We must learn another way of listening to people who we value and are important to us. We must “listen with our eyes”.

When someone approaches me with the challenge: “I have a really difficult time communicating with my second son”.  My question: “how have you let him change you?”  This is what makes a relationship – a sense that both have the capacity to affect change in the other.  Where I don’t let you affect my views, you will not let me affect your views.  This does not mean that we let go of rationality.  This means we are open to the different priorities that another person uses to view the world.

If you liked this post, you might also like How do I become a better listener? and How to build trust, improve relationships and enhance the quality of our lives?

I spoke with one of my mentors in Madrid this week.  We spoke about success in business.

What is business success?

  • What price is worth paying?
  • What are the ingredients of achieving success?
  • Is Business Success due to Great Decisions, or is it due to Excellent Implementation?

I share his answer in this video.

PS 99.9% of business (and life) success is due to Commitment, rather than Brilliant Ideas or Decisions

Write stuff down.

I say it over and over again. I repeat myself. My blog is an extension of my habit of writing down ideas.

A short pencil is longer than the longest memory.

Writing is among the greatest inventions in human history, perhaps the greatest invention, since it made history possible. Yet it is a skill most of us take for granted.” Andrew Robinson, The Story of Writing.

Check out how to begin with a journal, or hear what Jim Collins has to say on the writing process.

 

This weeks video is inspired by a book: The Road Less Travelled, by M. Scott Peck.

The book begins with the statement “Life is difficult”. It is my failure to understand this, believing that my life should be easy and problem-free that is the root of suffering.

Life is not meant to be easy, and is a series of problems which can either be handled or ignored.

Discipline is required to solve life’s problems rather than ignore them.  Discipline is made up of 4 aspects of how we chose to live our lives.

The 4 Aspects of Discipline:

  • Delaying gratification: Sacrificing present comfort for future gains.
  • Acceptance of responsibility: Accepting responsibility for one’s own decisions.
  • Dedication to truth: Honesty, both in word and deed.
  • Balancing: Handling conflicting requirements. Scott Peck writes of an important skill to prioritize between different requirements – bracketing.

Carl Jung, said “neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” Neurotics make themselves miserable; those with character disorders make everyone else miserable. Everyone is neurotic or character-disordered at some time in their life, and the balance is to have a structure and relationships in your life than can help you see your lack of balance before you hurt yourself (or others).

Dedication to the truth represents the capacity of an individual to modify and update their worldview when exposed to new information discordant with the old view. Dedication to truth implies a life of genuine self-examination, a willingness to be personally challenged by others, and honesty to oneself and others.

Really coming to terms with oneself is very hard and painful work. Most people prefer to complain about their pain and continue their self-destructive patterns than to take up the challenging task of constructing a self and a life they could really live with.

 

This video is about Building Trust – and how building Trust will Improve Relationships and the Enhance the Quality of our Lives. After you have food and shelter, it is the quality of the relationships that really make your life. Relationships are about trust. Where there is no trust, there is no relationship.

I’d love to hear your comments, thoughts, reflections and questions on this and the other educational videos on my channel.

I wrote a few years ago a longer post on The Trust Equation: https://conorneill.com/2011/11/17/trust/

How do you Increase Trust?

In order to Increase Trust =

  • Increase Perception of Credibility or
  • Increase Perception of Reliability or
  • Increase Intimacy or
  • Reduce Perception of Self-Orientation.

Ways to increase Perception of Credibility:

  • Tell the truth.
  • Don’t exaggerate.
  • Avoid saying things that others may see as lies (eg “We’ll put our best people on it”)
  • If you don’t know, say “I don’t know”. Quickly.
  • If you don’t belong, don’t go.
  • Do your homework.
  • Care about the work.

Ways to increase Perception of Reliability:

  • Make specific small commitments and deliver 100%.
  • Send meeting materials in advance.
  • Make sure meetings have clear goals, and that those goals are met.
  • Use the words your listener would use.
  • Review agendas for meetings.
  • Re-confirm events 24 hours before.

Ways to Increase Intimacy:

  • Ask insightful questions.
  • Share first.

Ways to Reduce Perception of Self-Orientation:

  • Ask questions.
  • Listen and paraphrase without adding anything.
  • Resist the need to fill silences.
  • Focus on defining the problem, not guessing the solution.
  • Say “I don’t know” if you don’t know.
  • Take responsibility for failed communications (Say “I have failed to communicate clearly”, not “You don’t understand“)
  • Think as if you were completely responsable for this person’s future success in all aspects that are important to the other person.
  • Care about the work. If you don’t care about the work, it is inevitable that you will focus more on yourself. Low self orientation is all about intensity of your commitment to help your listener.

Jack Daly says “you are either practicing in private, or you are practicing in public”.

This video is about Excellence. What is the path to Mastery? What do successful people do differently?

Success is the choice to practice in private. in this video, I also celebrate this week’s milestone: 50,000 subscribers! Thank you to all who subscribe, comment, share and contribute to the community that helps support me as I develop these ideas.

Jim Rohn had a wonderful saying: “Success is a few good habits repeated every day, Failure is a few bad decisions repeated every day”

If you are reading this via email, the video is here Success is a Few Good Habits Repeated Every Day

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is old wisdom but relates to success in our lives. What are your apples? Your daily positive habits? Let me know in the comments below 😉