Category Archives: Self-Development

Purpose Driven Life – Introduction

We’ve all heard the name, Michael Phelps. An olympian, a world record holder, a champion, the best in the world, a dominant force in the sport of swimming. Here’s a human that many of us would hope to be like. An achiever, someone who’s accomplished so much and has it all; fortune and fame. Imagine that, life would be so perfect and so great.

That wasn’t the case for Michael Phelps. Yes, he had it all, but he was deeply empty. Even heading into the Olympics Game in London, he was unhappy, very unhappy. From missing days of practice heading into the London Olympic games, getting a DUI, and checking himself into rehab. It got bad and was led to a point where he stated, “I didn’t want to see another day.”

Two years ago, Super Bowl champion, Ray Lewis gave Michael a book, “A Purpose Driven Life” in hopes that he can help Michael control and overcome his “downward spiral”. In this best selling book by New York Times Best Selling Author, Rick Warren, Michael found his way back to finding the balance in his life and prevailing and dominating, yet again in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

Of course, I was intrigued and I had to pick it up for myself. I wanted to know what turned someone like Michael Phelps around. What was he missing and what made him full again?

On the inside cover of the book, the author breaks down what to expect and here’s what provoked me to take this reading seriously:

“On your journey you’ll find the answers to 3 of life’s most important questions:

  1. The Question of Existence: Why am I alive?
  2. The Question of Significance: Does my life matter?
  3. The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?

Have it gotten your attention? Do you have the answers to these 3 questions? As much as I want to believe I do….I don’t. If you feel the same way, I would like to encourage you to pick up this book and go through this journey with me.

It encompasses 42 total days of quick daily reads. The key to getting the most out of your reading is to keep yourself from jumping  ahead onto the next day. Read, reflect and identify your purpose. Stop guessing or wondering and dig deep into finding the root to your existence, your true purpose in this life.

Purpose Driven Life

During this process I wanted to focus on my personal development by streamlining my thoughts into written form. This is something that I haven’t done in awhile outside of emails and newsletter for work. I’ve realized that I had to find my way back to controlling my thoughts and strengthen my communication skills by writing again.

As part of my written excercise, I will use the 5 key features that the author has purposefully set up to blog my thoughts along the journey.

  1. A Point to Ponder
  2. A Verse to Remember
  3. A Question to Consider
  4. A Message to Hear
  5. Discussion Questions

Whether or not you want to join the journey, the choice is strictly up to you. This book is intriguing enough to keep me engaged.

Before you take anymore action in trying to “find happiness” or “finding your purpose”, if you haven’t found it already, why not start here? Afterall, what could be more important than finding purpose in life? How much more can we accomplish? Fulfilled? I’ve always been a huge fan of not wasting valuable time. This will help direct focus to living a purposeful and fulfilled life.

Good luck on your mission in finding your purpose?

As always, thanks for reading,

BPH

Lead Like Lincoln

The President of the United States of America. Wow, what an achievement, what a title. Can you imagine the weight of the responsibilities that comes along with such a prestigious title? Having an opportunity to be in a leadership position myself, one of the most important part of the role is making decisions. Some decisions are simple while others could make you lose sleep. That’s just part of our role as leaders. To be the leader of the free world, now that’s something else. I was intrigued in finding out who, we the People of the United States, thought was the best president in our country’s history, so I started to do some research.

One of the Greatest:

Of 7 different polls: The Murray Blessings (1982); CSPAN Presidential Leadership (1999); ABC Presidential Greatness (2000); Washington College Presidential Greatness (2005); Gallup Presidential Greatness (2011); Rasmussen Favorable Presidents (2007); New York Times Five Thirty Eight (2013), all polls ranked Abraham Lincoln as the #1 or #2 President of all time in Leadership and Greatness. Being a “Leadership Enthusiast”, which means I thoroughly enjoy studying Leadership, I was curious. Why did so many Americans thought Abraham Lincoln was the greatest. He’s done great things just like other presidents, but what set him apart?

I had an opportunity to speak to a great individual by the name of Jeff Conley in 2015. Jeff has an extensive background in Leadership Development as well as Organization Development. Jeff has 15 years + in mastery of his craft. With the knowledge of his background, I wanted an opportunity to gain some insight and wisdom. We engaged in a conversation surrounding “great leadership”. He went on to help me visualize a great leader and presented me a picture of Abraham Lincoln, but when he told me “why” it made all the sense.

Lincoln Memorial

Take a look at the picture of The Lincoln Memorial. Well crafted by architect Henry Bacon, sitting in Washington D.C. our nation’s capital and across from the Washington Monument, this awe-inspiring memorial attracts millions of visitors each year. Just like all other historic sculptures, there’s a deeper meaning to what we see.

The 4 Characteristics of a Great Leader:

Humility:

When we look at sculptures of great leaders, we would see someone on their feet poised gallantly. A symbol of strength and bravery. Notice, Abraham Lincoln in his memorial is sitting down. Henry Bacon wanted to depict Abraham Lincoln’s level of humility which by far, over exceeds all other Presidents.

“You know, when I think about Abraham Lincoln, what I’m struck by is the fact that he constantly learned on the job. He got better. You know, he wasn’t defensive. He wasn’t arrogant about his tasks. He was very systematic in saying, ‘I’m going to master the job, and I understand it’s going to take some time.” President Obama

At one point Grant took several strategic steps in the war that Lincoln feared may be a terrible mistake, when Grant subsequently delivered a spectacular victory, however, Lincoln was quick to turn around and concede his own misjudgment, “I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment that you were right, and I was wrong.” He then added, “I frequently make mistakes myself, in the many things I am compelled to do hastily.” (Psychology Today)

Resolute:

Look at the picture of the Lincoln Memorial again, specifically his left hand. Notice how his hand is balled up in a fist? This is symbolic to Lincoln’s unwavering determination in winning the Civil War. He believed in his cause and was willing to do whatever it took to be victorious, he was resolute. How resolute? Of all the presidents of the United States, Lincoln fired the most number of Generals, 6 to be exact; General Irvin McDowell, George McClellan, John Pope, Ambrose Burnside, Joseph Hooker and George Meade. (MyFiveBest) Which led him to appointing Ulysses S. Grant who brought victory to the Union Army therefore, winning the Civil War.

Compassion:

Now, take a look at the Lincoln Memorial with micro-inspection. Notice his right hand? Notice how it’s relaxed? This was a symbol of Lincoln’s compassion for the people. Although, Lincoln was resolved in winning the war, his purpose was much greater than the “win”. He had a strong conviction of emancipating the slaves and to abolish slavery. His passion for the people and the freedom of the people exemplifies his compassion for the people. This led to to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and added 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution which permanently outlawed slavery.

Action:

Finally, I want you to examine Lincoln’s foot in the sculpture. What do you see? Notice that his right foot is in a position where his toes are pointed up and pressure of his weight going towards his heel. His left foot, on the other hand seems to have his weight forward onto his toes. This only portrays one thing, Lincoln’s readiness to take action. “Mr. Lincoln was no saint, nor did I ever hear that he assumed to be. He was an earnest, loyal man, alike so to his country and his principles; but if the necessity arose, he wielded the weapons of political warfare with as little hesitation and with far more skill than did his political foes,” wrote General John Pope in his memoirs. (Abraham Lincoln: A Life)

Summary:

If you are in a leadership position or have the desire to be a great leader, I would encourage you to “Lead Like Lincoln”. Leadership isn’t always about being rough and tough. It’s definitely not about title. It’s about understanding, making the right decisions and standing firm on what’s right and what’s needed. We can all learn a leadership lesson from Abraham Lincoln. As we continue on our journeys to become great leaders ourselves, remember to stay Humble, be Resolute, be Compassionate and always be ready to take Action. Leaders aren’t known for their idleness. All leaders are known for the actions that they’ve taken which has impact not only themselves but the world around them. Keeping a balance between the four character trait depicted in Lincoln’s Memorial can guide us in developing a great leader within us.

So, are you “Leading Like Lincoln”? Would leading like Lincoln help you achieve your mission as a leader?

Thanks for reading.

~B.P.H.

QUOTE by Joe Frazier – Discipline

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Knowledge Shapes Who We Are

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QUOTE OF THE DAY 3.2.15

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QUOTE OF THE DAY 2.18.15

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QUOTE OF THE DAY 2.14.15

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QUOTE OF THE DAY 2.4.15

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Change is Necessary

Change?

Why?

I’m perfectly fine where I’m at and who I am…I just wished I had a better job.

Sounds familiar?  …Don’t answer it….just yet.

I just got off the phone with my brother and one of the things that we’ve discussed was the value preposition of change.  Naturally, when we take a look of the laws of nature, change…happens. There are seasonal changes, and these changes occur because it is a key part of survival. With survival there’s adaptation and evolution.  Think humans are above this law?  Fact, “There is evidence of seasonal peaks in suicides, which occur more frequently in summer, and birth rates, which also tend to peak in spring and summer. Both, however, are influenced heavily by other factors, according to a chapter on chronobiology that Provencio contributed to “Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry” (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008).”  Also fact; there is a disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  So yes, naturally seasonal changes affects some of us more than others.  Before I go way off tangent, the point is change does happen and it happens naturally, so why are so many of us so objective to the idea of change?  Especially those who are currently in an unhappy state….

Seasons

Change is a broad idea..not only is it broad, it is also a process.  Those who are resistive to change aren’t necessary the ones who doesn’t see the value in change, it is simply a matter of discomfort and uncertainty.  It’s easier to do things the way we are use to.

Here’s a video about the scorpion and a frog that depicts how detrimental it could be if we aren’t willing to change.

Before we can commit to change, we must identify what it is that we need to change and why?  The only way that we will be successful in completing the change process, is if our “WHY” is big enough.

So what are some reasons that you may want to change?  Who will it impact?

          • Better job?
          • Happiness?
          • Personal relationship?
          • Be a better persons, all around?

Once you’ve identify the reasons as to why you should change, ask yourself what it is that you need to change that will give you the best ROI.  Remember, it is an ROI because you will need to invest some personal time and potentially money to see change occur.

Then, put together specific steps with checkpoints to help you measure change.  Remember, change is a process and you can’t expect it to happen over night.  Some of us can change in a snap of a finger while others will have to gradually transition into change. Remember, this is an investment and ROIs don’t necessary come overnight.

A book I would recommend reading is called “Change or Die” by Alan Deutschman.

TAKE IT IN! Change is GOOD, Change is NECESSARY , CHANGE OR DIE!

~BPH

Right Fitting Your Career

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Right Fit = Loyalty

In retail, it is important to right fit customers to the products and services that your business provides. Why,because it allows for a great customer experience but more importantly, it allows for a long term, positive relationship.  This is how we build customer loyalty.

I had a unique conversation with someone very close to me and we discussed about a situation that they are experiencing with their current job. This person is incredibly ambitious and has all of the drive in the world.  Yet, they are experiencing friction in their position; an uncomfortable one at that.

Here’s an individual who is a strong candidate who possesses all of the right characteristics, knowledge, skills and competencies to be successful. They are professional and is an expert in their field of work. So, what could be so wrong?  Why do they feel trapped or stuck in their roles?  After a long conversation, we both came to the conclusion that it’s simply an issue of “Culture”.

We hear the term culture often; whether it be in everyday life or in business, culture is impeccably important.  This is the DNA of the company, the foundational structure that drives the company’s purpose of existence.

Organizational Culture

http://www.jobseekersguide.net

Know What to Look For

Many job seekers when applying for a job may simply do a job search that aligns to their past work experiences, look at the company profile, see what they the company is offering and apply.  Most job seekers would look at the company profile to gain more knowledge about the company in which they are applying.  The issue is, they don’t do it for their own sake.  Instead of simply studying the company on a superficial level, we must dive deeper to understand the culture of the business. Think about it, the last time you did a job interview, you must likely researched about the company, the intent was to learn about the company so that you can leverage your knowledge about that company in the interview to score the job. Instead, we should use the information to ask questions to ensure that it is the right fit for ourselves. Just like being a customer, you must research the product that you want to purchase before actually executing the purchase.

Understand the Language

Every company wants to grow.  But not everyone wants to grow their culture.  Most small businesses focus on growing the bottom line and that alone may be the reason why most strong, qualified candidates are pushed away. This is where you must be able to identify what “GROWTH” means to the company.  Language is a critical reference point to what the company’s culture is like.  It takes strong leadership and a strong vision to want to take the company to the next level. This is where we see most small companies struggle to grow and flourish. Also, not every company are structured for growth. Many companies invest very little in the company’s infrastructure which means it’s only a matter of time before the company implodes.

If you are seeking for a job, make sure to look into the company.  When you are in the corporate office, take a look at the environment.  You can get a quick glimpse of a company’s culture based on its people, the environment and the language being used.  If these things does not add up to you, it’s probably a clear sign that it’s not the RIGHT FIT.  Regardless of how much money that is on the table, it will be difficult to find fulfillment if you are NOT a culture fit with the company. Use the free tools that you have access to today.

For an example, Linkedin is a great professional networking tool to find out more about the company and the people working for it. These days, you don’t really need to talk to anyone to know about them. Look up the company, review profiles of the people that are currently active and you may want to reach out to a few to ask them about their experience working at the company.

Take advantage of the resources to right for your career!

Here are some suggested read:

“What The Heck is a Business Culture” http://www.forbes.com/sites/victorhwang/2013/09/13/what-the-heck-is-business-culture/

“Six Components of a Culture” http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/05/six-components-of-culture/

“Company Culture: Are You the Right Fit?” http://bigideasblog.infusionsoft.com/company-culture/

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