Although no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending

Although no one can go back and make a new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. – Carl Bard 

On a daily basis there are comments, actions, and events I’d like to “do over.” There are times I’d like to hit the reset button and have a re-do. Although I strive to act with purpose and discipline, while I want to always be Above the Line, I fail every day. I make mistakes and I learn from mistakes. We are all human; no one gets it right all the time.


My joy, my hope, is that I will get better. My growth mindset keeps me on the path; my passion pushes me to adapt and adjust. We can’t go back, but we can shift our course to create a better tomorrow.


We are on a path together . . . we strive for alignment and live our passion for excellence. We make mistakes, and we learn together. The start of a new calendar year provides a natural time for reflection and a planned opportunity for rest and relaxation. We can’t re-do 2016, but we can learn from the experiences. It takes more than words; it takes action. You get to make a brand new chapter in your personal journey. What will you do to make 2017 a year of action with a brand new ending?

Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing, and love what you are doing

Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing, and love what you are doing. 

Were you happy in 2016? When you look back on the past year, is it with fondness and satisfaction? What will it take for 2017 to be even better?


I often say, our goal is to be better today than we were yesterday and we will be better tomorrow than we are today. This is our growth mindset; this is our passion for growth. With this in mind, we want to be better in 2016 than we were in 2017. We must take the time to identify what we believe and to align our goals as a team. You must take the time to know what touches your heart and soul . . . you must be doing the work you love.

You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing the small things so that all the small things go in the right direction

You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing the small things so that all the small things go in the right direction. – Alvin Toffler 

Life is about balance. We balance personal and professional. We balance mental and physical. We balance leading and following.  


As we go about our daily work we must balance the “big things” with the “small things.” There are tasks in our life that simply need to be done. There are times that we get to embrace our passion. We have “have to do” events in our lives and we have “want to do events” in our lives. The journey to ELITE starts by aligning the small tasks with our big vision. We can’t be elite in one aspect of our lives by accepting mediocre in other parts.  


Take the time to define your own values and beliefs. Think about your own personal purpose and direction. Can you align your “must do” and “want to do” things? When you can align your purpose everything goes in the right direction.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little extra. 

The most successful people know how to push themselves to their own edge. There is an edge to each task, to each event, and to each opportunity. The difference between ordinary performance and extraordinary performance is pushing to the edge.  


What can you to do be extraordinary? Where can you find the time, the energy, to do that little extra?  


This isn’t just about work . . . it’s about life. Fine that edge as a spouse, as a parent, and as a friend. Be extraordinary in all aspects of your life . . . it takes just a little extra. This is our path, this is our journey, to being ELITE.

Surround yourself with positive, purposefully avoid the negative.

Surround yourself with positive, purposefully avoid the negative. 

Forget the news . . . the local and national news is one of the worst things you can do if you desire to stay positive. It is part of the “news trap.” News organizations purposefully strive to create uncertainly . . . it is what makes us continue to watch, read, and listen.


Don’t be a troll . . . Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites are wonderful for sharing information quickly. Social media is great for sharing quick information with your network, but it isn’t for cultivating deep, personal relationships. Think about it . . . do you know a single happy, optimistic person who posts multiple times per day on Facebook?


Optimistic people . . . successful people . . . take the time to build real relationships. Happy people spend time serving others; they spend time devoted to positive outcomes. It takes discipline to purposefully avoid the stagnation of negativism. We must intentionally surround ourselves with positive people and in positive situations. We must create the culture we expect.  


Be skillful how you spend your time, with whom you spend each moment, and where you devote your energy. Live in the positive, avoid negative traps, and create the culture in your life you demand.

Seek balance, embrace wellness, and manage yourself.

Seek balance, embrace wellness, and manage yourself.

Life requires us to balance a myriad of aspects, of competing issues, on a daily basis. One area that requires this balance is our habits and wellness. Yes, we are committed to serving others and making a difference. Our personal values put the needs of others above our own desires and wants. BUT, and yes there is a but, we must be at our best to effectively pursue our values.

First of all, we must seek a mental balance. We must have our minds right, we must be focused and intentional, in order to be at our best. This includes time for relaxation and mental breaks. This includes spiritual wellness and a commitment to our own heart and soul. Our mental balance provides the ability to say “no” when necessary and to turn a deaf-ear to distracting noise.

Our physical wellness is also essential to serving at our highest level. Our bodies require nutrition, exercise, and sleep. It isn’t selfish or self-centered to take the time to be at your best. In fact, it is selfish and egocentric to not make time to take care of yourself. Being a martyr doesn’t serve anyone . . . it only leaves you at less than your best.

As we reflect on this past year, and plan for the future, make a commitment to yourself. Be intentional in your actions and be purposeful with your calendar. Our work is too important to be anything less than our best. It doesn’t take hundreds of dollars in equipment, gym memberships, or professional counseling (at least for most of us). It takes a simply step – think about wellness and balance. Make the commitment to be at your best so you can serve others with purpose.

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.

Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly. – Dr. Robert Schuller

We are on a journey. Our journey requires us to act, to embrace our growth mindset, and to take action. We all know people who “do nothing flawlessly.” We know people who pine for the past, who bemoan the present, and who fear the future. We know people who would prefer to complain about the current situation than take action to make it better.

For us, for those with a passion for excellence who serve other to shape the future, we know we must step up and make a difference. We will never make a difference by doing nothing; we will never serve others through lack of thought, discipline, and action.

We learn though experiences – even when the experiences are imperfect. Imperfection provides opportunities for growth and improvement. This is what we do; this is who we are. When in doubt, be intentional and act.

Don’t count the days, make the days count.

Don’t count the days, make the days count. – Muhammad Ali

Every day is an opportunity – an opportunity to make a difference for others. While there are dates, events in our lives that we look forward to taking place, we can’t let any moment slip past us.

It’s natural to look with anticipation to events in the future. It’s natural to count the days to special events. It takes discipline to look to the future while maintaining purpose in the present. Let’s commit to take advantage of each and every day. Regardless of what’s to come in the future, the future starts with each moment. We are on a journey, on a path to success. Make sure that each step counts.

Life’s most urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

Life’s most urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr.

If your purpose, if what drives you, is about you, chances are you aren’t very happy. Living a life that is focused on self isn’t rewarding. Living a life focused on your own happiness makes it very easy to blame others. When you aren’t happy – when you are the one person you care about – you become negative and pessimistic.

Living a life focused on service, a life centered on others, provides endless opportunities for optimism and success. Living with purpose, a life for others, is the greatest joy. As we reflect on 2016 and prepare for 2017, ask yourself, “what am I going to do for others?” Our path together, our commitment to our values, requires discipline and focus. When we focus on living our lives for others it makes everyone more successful.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. – Thomas Edison 

I’ve got to be honest, there are times I have the impulsive thought to simply throw in the towel. There are times we spend hours communicating and sharing information, and then we find people haven’t bothered to read their newsletter, email, or web post. There are times the negativity on social media serves as an energy vampire and simply sucks the life out of me. There are times that unhappy people create such noise (even though I know they are the minority) that it is challenging to stay on our path.


It is in these time that I refocus on my purpose; it is in these times that I turn to those on our team for strength and focus. Living a discipline life . . . a life with purpose . . . with intentionality and optimism requires me to step up. I know that positive, optimistic people are always more successful than negative, pessimistic people. I know that any group is energized by optimists and pulled down by pessimists.  


You, like me, have a choice. You, like me, are challenged every day to stay on our path. We are all faced with negativity and energy vampires. There are times the easy option is to simply give up, to walk away, and to let the negative people have the last word. This would expose our greatest weakness. Commit to be a champion for optimism; commit to having your positive voice lead the way on the path to success.