Morning Motivator - Did Yesterday Count?

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back."
- Harvey MacKay

The BEAUTY of self-improvement is the DIVINE way people are brought into your life to help teach small lessons to you daily.

Yesterday, I enjoyed lunch and an insightful chat with my new buddy, Nimitt. He is a young professional, well educated, successful (as defined by society) and seeking PURPOSE in his days. We shared a common trait... a DESIRE to help others by helping them find their PASSIONS. Fortunately, he helped me reignite mine a little bit more.

We chatted about living with PURPOSE and "making EVERY day count." He asked, "do you know what I mean about making every day count?" I said yes, and inside knew I had not been living my life that way lately. I have become a bit LAZY hidden behind the words "BUSY." Today, I will make it count! Today, I am giving one of the opening speeches at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Nashville. Today, I will live a small piece of my DREAM... professional public speaking. Today, Nimitt, my friend... I WILL make it count! Thank you.

"Making it Count" is simply a discipline in ATTITUDE. The best way to ensure a POSITIVE, FORWARD MOVING attitude daily is to find your special triggers:
- Music
- Speeches
- Exercises
- Visuals
- Foods

Understand what elements around you help LIFT your spirits and then feed, feed, feed yourself those special treats of INSPIRATION. Once you know how to get yourself going... it's easier to keep yourself RISING!

Have a wonderful weekend... and MAKE IT COUNT!


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Morning Motivator – Small Steps to HUGE Success

"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
- Sir Winston Churchill

First, thank you JULIE FESTA for this great quote. Your pure friendship and support are INSPIRING to me!

Last night, I had a meeting with one of my most trusted mentors to discuss my LIFE path and "what SUCCESS looks like." In her BRILLIANCE, she listened very intently, allowing me to speak through my entire thought process and finalize on my next steps without much intervention. She FACILITATED me to the answer I was asking her for – then helped me FOCUS on next steps. What an AMAZING skill!

Here's the kicker to the whole process development… like many others, I was at the END RESULT before I took the first steps. In my mind, I already set up REGIONAL sites, had bought my orange RANGE ROVER HSE and was thinking about selling the business. HA! How about taking the FIRST, SMALL STEP? Oh yeah… I guess I can do that.

The LESSON I can continue to learn and remind myself (and I hope you do as well), is to take the SMALLEST step first, build MOMENTUM, and then PUSH hard once we have the ball rolling. What DREAMS do you have that need a SMALL, SIMPLE step to get started? What is that step? What are you waiting on?


My mentor provided me with the best GUIDANCE statement last night – "What are you waiting for? Just do it!" Hmm… good point.

The key to LIVING YOUR DREAM is first, TAKING ACTION. Just start the process, any process, even the wrong process. By forcing yourself into a system of ACTION, you will begin to find that the LAW OF ATTRACTION will kick in and begin providing you opportunities to fulfill your dream.

Don't plan every step along the way… it takes too much time. Just take ONE SMALL STEP and let the rest just happen as it may.


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Morning Motivator – Measuring Your Purpose

"Purpose is what gives life a meaning."
-Charles H. Perkhurst

Every day I take a personal assessment. Nothing fancy, just a simple temperature gauge of what I am doing and where I am going. You might ask, "why every day?" Mostly because I have found that if you don't do a small check DAILY, you may find that many days go by and you have missed out on a LIFETIME of opportunity.

For those that know me well, know that I may have more SERIOUS conversations about LIFE, HAPPINESS, RELATIONSHIPS, CAREER and much more… Often, these discussions are MY way of gathering a TRUSTED advisor to help ensure that my thought processes and passions stay aligned with my pursuit of a greater PURPOSE.

I wonder… Does anyone else ever sit back and ask, "why am I doing what I am doing? Does this meet the greater purpose for my life?" Do you know what your greater purpose IS in your life? At what point do we choose to pursue our DREAMS over dollars? At what point, does TITLE and STATUS take a back seat to PURPOSE and PASSION? I am not suggesting you up and quit to join the peace corps… Just make sure you are doing a regular CHECK UP … its hard to know what you want to GROW UP to be, if you don't have an idea of what you WANT.

This topic is a bit unlike others in the sense that a formal process for ACCOMPLISHMENT will be difficult to define. Since the challenge of DEFINING dreams and values is so individual, I will suggest scheduling the following:

1. TEN minutes daily to spend reflecting on your daily activities – did you accomplish a HIGH VALUE ACTIVITY towards your dreams and purpose?

2. ONE hour weekly (best on Sunday) to determine what 3 SIGNIFICANT tasks you can accomplish to fulfill your purpose

3. ONE day quarterly (every 3 months) to reassess your last 3 months actions and plan your next 3

4. ONE weekend annually to get away, spend time along focusing on your passions and purpose, documenting them and defining your next steps (this is most easily done if tied to an annual holiday such as your birthday or New Years)

By continually monitoring your changing passions, you will maintain a FOCUS on your purpose and should be better able to maintain a POSITIVE forward motion towards a life of HAPPINESS, FULFILLMENT and MEANINGFUL PURPOSE!


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Morning Motivator – Getting More By Letting Go

"There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn't the end of the world, it's the beginning of a new life."

We often say to ourselves, " I need to learn to let go more." What does that mean? Let go of WHAT? I believe it's the beginning of a BRILLIANT idea that most of us fail to ever push forward on. The idea of EMPOWERMENT.

Empowerment by definition means, to give power or authority to; authorize, esp. by legal or official means. To me it means - to give someone the POWER and ABILITY to make decisions without your knowledge or direct involvement. Why would we do that? By ALLOWING someone that you have a high level of TRUST for you, we are able to DELEGATE the tasks others are best suited for and free ourselves to "LET GO" of difficult tasks that eat up our TIME and ENERGY.

Sounds great, eh? Here's the kicker… you MUST be confident in that person, such that if an error in judgment is made, you CANNOT become upset, nor can you decide mid stream of a project that you want to become overly involved. Just LET GO… if you have chosen the RIGHT person, you will find they are more successful in achieving the task with better QUALITY in their results. Now, how do you manage it?

The key to managing the "LET GO" delegation of your projects is fairly simple if you have the correct pieces and processes:

1. Engage people that are better skilled than you in the areas you need support in – its ok to be the weakest link (its actually better that way)

2. Establish a collectively accepted GOAL for the project/task – if everyone knows what the end results should be, then there should not be any challenges in the final product

3. Set timelines to check in – as a standby supervisor of this project you are NOT to do the work, but it is FAIR to ask for updates. Set times/dates to get updates and help when needed. (put these in your calendar so you both touch base when appropriate)

4. Be available – make sure that if your team needs help, you are able (and willing) to get involved to the extent that is needed to ONLY move them past that hurdle

5. Get FOCUSED on something more important – you "LET GO" because you needed more time to do all your super important stuff… get to it and let them do the work you asked for!

6. Lastly, make sure that you COMPENSATE your teams – sure, they "get paid to do that" and guess what… they still want a pat on the back, a nice lunch or a small gift card. Grease the wheels of the machine occasionally and you will find it runs much more EFFICIENTLY (and quietly).


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Morning Motivator - The Elements of Happy

"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy."
-Lucille Ball

I each of us were asked - What do you want from life?, most of us would answer with, "I just want to be HAPPY."

Personally, HAPPY is something I am CHALLENGED with daily. If you ask me, "Zach, are you happy?"... I, like most others, would say OF COURSE. Yet, is this just a trained response? Consider - are you HAPPY with your CAREER? LOVE life? PHYSICAL fitness? FINANCES? FREE time? Would you even know if you were?

The MOST DIFFICULT portion in identifying your HAPPINESS is making it REAL. I am speaking about the task of putting IMAGES, SCENTS, FEELINGS and TASTES to your "Happiness." You may say, "I just want a nice house and enough money to have fun", yet WHAT does a "nice house" LOOK like? How MUCH money is "enough" to have fun?

If you are UNABLE to define what HAPPINESS looks, feels, smells and tastes like... how will you ever know if you are HAPPY?

This is a discussion I have had with MANY people over time, some very close to me. The most difficult part in taking this SUCCESS STEP is that you are forced to face a reality... YOU MAY NOT BE DOING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. Would you rather be ignorant and let your dreams be dreams or take ACTION and GET HAPPY?!

If you want to understand what HAPPY is, you must take action in DEFINING it. Set up 5 columns to start:
1. Work
2. Family
3. Relationships
4. Recreation
5. Finances

Take 1 hour in the next week and write down the TOP 5 features of each that would make you happy. Here is an example:
1. Enjoy a 3 day weekend EVERY month
2. Take a 1 week vacation 3 times per year
3. Learn to play "Upside Down" by Jack Johnson on the guitar
4. Run a 1/2 marathon outside of Nashville
5. Spend 1 day per month taking black and white photography

By defining WHAT make me HAPPY - I can now take ACTION on BEING happy. Here is my personal quote on HAPPINESS for you all...

"Happiness is a short term state of being, not an accomplished goal. The key to BEING HAPPY is creating the feeling of HAPPY as often as possible, in the most simple ways." - Zach Barker


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