Learning From Others’ Mistakes

I have a confession to make.  Ready for it?   Ok, here goes….

I'm not perfect.

I have in fact made mistakes (hundreds, thousands, I would venture to say tens of thousands) during the course of my thirty years on the Earth.  Though I wish I could say that I learned from all of the mistakes, that statement wouldn't be accurate.

The lessons that I have learned have helped me gain wisdom in some areas of life and in many cases, I have passed these lessons on to others. 

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Should I Be Quiet?

If you look at the amount of information that floats around every day, it is easy to understand why there is such a sense of overload.

There are millions of blog posts being written on millions of blogs every day.

There are probably millions of videos being created and being posted each day (in fact I heard Cliff Ravenscraft say 72 hrs per minute uploaded to YouTube).

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One Thing That Holds Most People Back

If you know me personally or have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I love to read books by inspirational people and entrepreneurs.  

I also love to listen to podcasts and watch videos from successful people.  

Success stories amaze me and there is one thing that sticks out to me in most cases.  Successful people believe they can be successful.

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The Importance of Practice

We all know the saying, "Practice Makes Perfect".  Perhaps you have heard a variation of this phrase as I have too – "Perfect Practice Makes Perfect".  

I don't want to get into which is more appropriate or more correct, but the bottom line is we tend to get better at things when we spend time practicing them.  

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5 Ways to Stay Focused

I'll be the first to admit, with so much technology and gadgets at our disposal, it can be very hard to stay focused these days.  You can start out with the best of intentions, but if you don't take intentional action, you are likely to be distracted.

I have attempted to write this post 5-7 times, but each time I started, I wound up getting distracted by something else and then getting away from it.

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Don’t Forget to Pray

Today has been designated by Congress as the National Day of Prayer.  From what I understand, this day has been officially observed since 1952 and each year it falls on the 1st Thursday in the month of May.

As I reflect on this observance, I get a great sense of gratitude that in this country I still have the freedom to pray on my own and in group settings with other believers.

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It is very easy to get caught up in the fast-paced, technology-driven society that we live in and to neglect simple blessings such as prayer, but we don't have to.

1 Thessalonians 5 encourages us to "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in everything".  

I believe we often make prayer more complicated than it has to be.  We may think of the long, lofty prayers that some people offer up or the stories that we hear of people praying for hours at a time.

That may all be fine, but I believe if we are to pray without ceasing, it means we should continually have a mindset of prayer, or speaking to and thanking God.

We can look for every opportunity during our day to pray and then we'll never forget.

The following situations might give you a few ideas:

  • Waking up in the morning – Thank God that you are still alive and have the opportunity to be with your family, to be a blessing to others, etc
  • Eating breakfast – Thank God that you have something to eat
  • Getting dressed – Thank God that you have clothing to wear
  • Leaving for work – Thank God for a way to get to work/school.  Ask God to help you get there safely
  • Arrived at work – Thank God that you made it there safely and that you are able to work
  • Got paid – Thank God for provision
  • Going to a meeting/test – Ask God for wisdom in the meeting/test

The list could go on and on, but as you can imagine, we could have dozens of reasons to pray and hundreds of situations to pray about each and every day.  Maybe we didn't have an hour to do a formal prayer with God this morning, but could we spare 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes?  

Can we remember to pray for a few seconds for the person that just passed us in the hallway?  We probably can.  

I have heard it said hundreds of times and I believe it to be true – "Prayer changes things".

We live in a world that is full of people who are hurting, confused, and suffering.  Our need for prayer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't matter who we are, what we drive, or where we live, we need prayer.  <Tweet This>

Lastly, I encourage you to do what it takes to remember to pray and you won't regret it.  Set a reminder on your calendar.  Add it to your to-do list.  Make a sticky-note for your monitor.  It's up to you.

Questions:  What are some ways you remember to pray?  Are you participating in some sort of event associated with the National Day of Prayer?

Rest is Important

I have always been an earlier riser.  I used to wake up no later than 6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. when I was in college…even on the weekends (I know, I'm weird).

Now, my wake-up time is usually 5:00 a.m.  I say "usually" because I have learned that sometimes other factors enter the picture and our bodies get tired and need rest.

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If we choose to ignore the warning signs from our bodies, we can have terrible consequences.  

I discovered this as a junior in college.

I was used to staying up until after midnight on most nights and I would still wake up before 6:00 a.m. each day.  I found that the early morning hours were my most productive time, so I would wake up to do homework or to prepare for a test.

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The Joy of Writing Thank You Notes

Over the past few years as I have listened to podcasts and read the blog posts of creative and inspirational people, I have heard a number of them discuss the idea of writing handwritten notes for people.

Some of these authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs have talked about the effects that their notes have had on others and some of them have raved about a handwritten note that someone had written them.

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Podcasts I Listen To

Without a doubt, one of my favorite ways to get ideas and to learn new things is to listen to podcasts.

I listen to podcasts while washing the dishes.  I listen to podcasts while mopping floors (yes, I help out around the house).  I listen to podcasts while working in my office.  I listen to podcasts while taking walks.  I even listen to podcasts while cutting the grass on the weekends.

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It has become a part of my professional development and I'm glad to be able to listen to such great resources that cost me a grand total of $0.00.

Whenever I discuss podcasts, I often get asked what I listen to, so I figured I would share a list in this post.  FYI: I listen to all of these using the Stitcher app or Stitcher.com

Here is a list of most of the podcasts I listen to with brief descriptions:

  • The Dave Ramsey Show – great money management advice and encouragement. The real-life stories give a spark to get out of debt and "live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later"
  • Entreleadership – business/life lessons from Dave Ramsey and interviews of great leaders by Chris Locurto
  • This is Your Life with Michael Hyatt – Former CEO/Chairman at Thomas Nelson. He shares intentional leadership strategies in an easy-to-understand way. He's a great blogger/speaker and he shares success strategies.
  • Coach Radio with Justin Lukasavige – topics vary, but sometimes listening to real-life entrepreneurs have a conversation about different topics sparks an idea of something that I want to do.
  • Podcast Answer Man – Cliff Ravenscraft shares many things about podcasting and life.  He's the go-to guy for podcasting.
  • Unofficial Linchpin – Andy Traub periodically interviews people who are making things happen.
  • Eventual Millionaire – Jamie Tardy interviews millionaires and gets real advice that people who are starting out can use
  • Focus on the Family – I listen to this great family/ministry podcast nearly every weekday morning. Great encouragement for Christians, fathers, married couples, single folks, etc.
  • The Wired Homeschool – great tech topics for homeschooling families and parents in general
  • In The Loop with Andy Andrews – Andy Traub (A.T.) hosts and shares great conversations with author and speaker Andy Andrews 
  • Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn shares his experiences and how he runs his business
  • Beyond the To Do List – Erik J. Fisher shares great interviews with entrepreneurs 
  • 48 Days to the Work You Love – Author/Speaker, Dan Miller answers listener questions about doing work they love, whether finding a job, starting a business, or both.  Just the weekly dose of inspiration that I need.

Question:    How about you?  Do you listen to podcasts?  If so, what are some that you would recommend?