Simplicity

I take on new themes every year. Often they are small phrases or tiny one word concepts that help me improve my life. Believe me, you can spend a lifetime appreciating the implications of seemingly small words. Here are 5 G-words whose lessons will bring you greater wealth and happiness.

Gratitude

There’s an old saying “Where you look is where you go.” And if you can look down on your feet and smile in appreciation for the shoes covering them, it’s easier to imagine all the wonderful places they are taking you. That’s the power of gratitude. Gratitude shifts your focus from a place of lack, to a place abundant with opportunity. In the business world, this is the ideal mental space that helps put you in a state of flow. Gratitude shifts your center of gravity, and pulls your attention to creative possibility. It picks your head up and helps you walk forward with a smile and rose colored glasses that filter the noise and focus on the treasures.

Resentment and fear generate very little momentum. Competitive thinking is rooted in scarcity, fearing there isn’t enough for everyone. Right out of the gate, this mindset creates anxiety and distress, and this is where many people anxiously attempt to make themselves feel busy. They narrow their vision and confuse speed, and things like multi-tasking, with being productive. They feel desperate for sales, people notice and are turned off by it. They overwork on the wrong tasks, don’t get enough sleep, and suffer from burnout.

On the other hand, gratitude helps you appreciate your true gifts, to broaden your vision, calm your mind, and creatively act. If you believe there are more than a few successful outcomes, or better yet, that an abundance of successful outcomes exist, you  no longer need to focus on perfection or the destination, and you can focus more on the journey. This approach aids in increasing true productivity; the quality and efficiency of your work, and the happiness of your mind. Over time, this leads to the elevation, connection and growth of yourself and of those around you.

Elevating yourself with gratitude often inspires others to adopt the same behavior.  When you truly connect in this way, you will begin to see more like-minded individuals come your way. And off we go.

Building a personal gratitude practice or integrating it into your culture can not only make you a happier person, but a more efficient and wealthier one as well.

Action Items:

  • To get started, take notice of and appreciate small things. Reframe all your critical observations and judgements into things you are thankful for. If you’re really good at cynical judgement, you can learn to use that keen vision to reflect internally and make an observation of appreciation and gratitude within yourself. Humans are blessed with the gift of discerning observation, and if we choose to use it to empower ourselves, we can become aware of a lot to be thankful for. Underneath all the baggage of our judgemental minds, are wonderful attributes waiting to get noticed. The more you begin to appreciate, the more opportunities you’ll notice. The more you give thanks and recognize opportunities, the faster you’ll develop an expectation that more good things are on the way. And that is where faith is born. The faith that stems from gratitude is a powerful force that can help you command value and advancement in your life.
  • Find things to be thankful for. Start with simple things and make a list. It can include your wife, kids, shoes, your watch, your dog, car, fancy laptop, whatever. Start a list.  Implementing this active practice will help you generate gratitude that can be extended beyond the things that are easy to spot, and extend to the less visible ( friendly attitudes, letters, notes, kind words, thoughtful expressions, recalling a happy memory from the past, etc.).
  • Next, extend your list to include the opportunities that lie before you. Everyone has opportunities to advance themselves. It may be tough to see them at first, but it gets easier as you go. Call attention to these things, write them down. Say thank you for the opportunities that lie in front of you, those that you notice, and those beyond your vision.
  • Start expressing gratitude for the opportunities you can’t yet see. This is a humbling yet positive reminder that there is more to the world than what we perceive. There is more opportunity than we can imagine. Be thankful.
  • Stop complaining. Everything you have experienced has lead up to this moment and these opportunities, which have all helped in your advancement. Be thankful for all the imperfect, dysfunctional conditions that have brought these opportunities and aided in your development thus far. This includes the corrupt politicians, lawyers, and anyone else you normally struggle to appreciate.

Grace

Grace comes from the  Latin ‘gratus’ meaning pleasing, thankful. In modern times to the Western world, when we think of Grace we think in terms of having God’s favor, despite our being human (undeserving sinners). I think of grace in a slightly broader and more positive manner. Here’s my definition – being a gracious person means extending courtesy and kindness despite perceived appearances. Aspire to be a gracious person and look beyond your preconceived notions and judgements, and connect to a world beyond what is easily perceived. This is an act of faith. It is an extension of gratitude for living in a world of abundance beyond our perception. Acting with grace and granting it to others will extend your faith and gratitude.

Action Items:

  • Hold the door for others. This isn’t for them. It’s for you. It’s a reminder action to call attention to your grateful, advancing self, appreciative of opportunities to connect with others.
  • Consciously start your sentences with please and thank you more often.
  • Ask more questions regarding your observations.
  • When someone criticizes you or even judges you, fairly or not, before you assert your healthy boundaries, grant them a little grace and kindness. Consider giving them the benefit of the doubt. Ask one or two questions in a kind tone before becoming defensive.

Giving

Aspiring to be grateful, gracious people, we end up giving a heck of a lot more, and feeling the need to “take” less because we become more aware of how much is actually given to us. Giving is a key to success and there are so many things we can give that do not cost a thing. We can of course give grace to strangers by being kind to them, by doing things we know all appreciate like holding doors, or using your barista’s name, giving conversation, giving an ear to listen to others, and so on. If you want to receive big things from the world, make room by giving. Simply having a giving attitude and starting with all the seemingly small, emotional and connective kindnesses, is a great place to start. This will reinforce your faith in the abundant world.

“Behold I do not give lectures or a little charity, When I give I give myself.” -Walt Whitman

That’s one of my favorite quotes that reminds me that there are very few truly altruistic actions. Don’t get hung up on codependent notions of sacrifice or altruism. There’s a lot of ego and dysfunctional codependent attitudes in attachment to these ideas. Isn’t it more than fair to think that when we give, we receive? We benefit in giving. We receive in giving. Our influence increases, as does our standing in the community. Our attitude is elevated and more opportunities to connect and grow find their way to our awareness. Give more and receive more. The immediate gifts you receive may merely reinforce your attitude of gratitude, and as previously mentioned, this can improve your ability to recognize opportunities and create new ones.

Action Items:

    • Start with a simple smile. How about a little PDA for your life? Give some Public Displays of Appreciation for your life. Show your smile more often. People are attracted to happy people. Happy people are advancing people. Advancing people and happy people are attracted to each other. Advancing people create opportunities together in connection and abundance. It starts with a smile. Let the haters, and competitive, scarcity believers be confounded, disturbed, and ruffled by your presence. Their discomfort will keep them away from you. And you will only attract people who are in a place of abundance and gratitude.
    • Give simple greetings and use people’s names. Give some mind share to people’s names. Learn more names and use them. People’s moods are elevated by simply hearing their names. Learn your baristas’ names at your favorite coffee joint. Say hello every visit and use their name out loud every time. This will help you commit to memory. Unlike last nights episode of whatever you watched, remembering names and using people’s names in simple greetings will actually serve you in your life and career. You can spare the mental capacity to learn people’s names and give more greetings.
    • Give yourself more time to do things. As a society, we’re addicted to speed, and getting things done as quickly as possible. Often, this means things get done poorly which in turn leads to poorer results, which leads to fear, scarcity, anxiety and distress. Give yourself the gift of redefining your benchmark. For important tasks, give yourself twice as long as you believe necessary. If you finish early, reflect on your effort and see if there are 10 refinements you can implement to improve things. Give yourself at least a 20% buffer with your estimate. If you are not in charge of time, give yourself the opportunity for more time by asking for a 20% time buffer to do things well.

 

  • Give opportunities to complete strangers. Have you ever hoarded ideas or knowledge that were gained through expensive lessons? I know I have. This comes from a scarcity mindset. There are many opportunities, connections, ideas, and information that you can give that won’t affect your workflow. You can give recommendations for good books, restaurants, people, ideas, etc. Don’t limit your giving to your most coveted ideas. Make a list of all the knowledge you are comfortable giving away. This will help you preserve healthy boundaries while advancing your life and creating more opportunities through giving.
  • Give referrals. It is wonderful to connect good vendors to good clients. It advances both parties and is a very efficient means of cultivating growth.

Growth

Expanse, advancement, increase, more, I love these words. I am an advancing person, a growth minded person. I am grateful for the opportunity to live and act on that gratitude by attempting to live life to my maximum potential, by reaching out for more. If you want more out of life, you need to do more than think with gratitude, you need to act upon it and with it everyday. A fundamental appreciation for your life can help motivate you to aspire to be an advancing person. Incorporate growth into your daily mantra and find ways to improve your life.

Action Items:

  • Grow by aiming your willpower inward and refining your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes until you are satisfied with the results. Willpower is most effectively used on yourself, not others, but many people seem to believe the opposite is true.
  • Find one growth book, and study it. I said ONE book. And I said STUDY it. That means read it, highlight it, re-read your highlights, discuss it with others, and write about it. A few easy to read, recommendations from a growth minded, prolific reader (and book snob):
    • The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles (This is where “New Thought”, and “New Age” and “The Secret” came from – way back in 1910!!!)
    • 15 Immutable Laws of Growth – John Maxwell (Covers so much in an easy to read package)
    • The Go Giver – A simple story approach to how giving can grow your life.
  • Do things to advance yourself each day. Hoping you’ll advance by someone else noticing your hard work is not likely to produce much fruit. Doing things to advance yourself each and everyday will. In order to grow, you must own your power. Recognize your own ability to improve yourself and your condition. What tiny insight can help you own your stuff, cultivate a bit more gratitude, appreciate more in your life, and look forward to the opportunities on the way?

Gentleness

Gentle means to be kind and tender, or moderate in action. And in this way gentleness is a reminder to grant grace to yourself and others. We are all wounded children on the inside, and are to be handled with care.

Action Items:

  • Use kind words about yourself in your self talk. Limit your criticisms to recognize how you are feeling in the moment. And avoid labels or absolutes unless they’re in alignment with your aspirations. It’s okay to be honest with your feelings. If you feel like crap, just recognize that that is happening in the moment. If you can, challenge yourself to get on the good foot in the next moment. “I feel like crap right now, but give me a minute and I’ll be back to being my usual awesome self.”
  • Be gentle in your growth goals by slowing down. Oftentimes people set themselves up for failure by setting extreme goals with short time periods associated with them. You’ve heard them all before:
  • Losing 10 lbs in two weeks
  • Learn a language in a weekend
  • Build your website in a weekend
  • 6 second abs!

How often have you seen results or how long have you stuck to extreme goals? Most people are harsh on themselves when they set the goals, and beat themselves up after they fail, only to ensure they never aspire to the feat again.

Try extredium- it’s a slower pace for people recovering from chronic fatigue and failure. Being Gentle with yourself involves a slower pace than what you are used to reading about. Slow down. I love extredium, it’s almost oxymoronic like, ‘intense relaxation.’ It makes me laugh, but reminds me. Try this for a while, moderate gains, slower running, or even walking, lose 1lb a week instead of trying to lose 2! Start reading more by trying to get through 1 book instead of the top 10 or 100.  Small, gentle, course corrections on your life can go a long way towards improving your life for the long haul and they are much more enjoyable.

Wrapping Up

These are 5G words that can transform your life if you want to: Gratitude, Grace, Giving, Growth, and Gentleness. They are all interconnected, overlapping, and redundant in some ways, and isn’t that just a sure-fire way to reinforce your ability to build an abundant growth engine in your life?

 

On the great list of all metrics worth tracking, somewhere high on the list, is your product. What are you producing? How’s the quality? Are you producing enough? Is that effort generating the results you want? These are essential questions to explore on a regular basis. In fact you can take charge of your productivity, simply by defining, owning, and measuring what it is that you produce.

These days, products take many different forms. In fact, defining where products stop and services begin is really tricky in the Information age. There’s service as a product (SaaP), product as a service (PaaS) and a lot of confusing, blurry areas in between.  For a more functional, modern definition of what a product is, how about this:

Products are ideas that are given form to add value to others. The creators of the product are responsible for its quality. And owners act as stewards of that quality.

Products do not have to be physical. They can be packaged ideas, like software, or even a methodology. They can be experiential, like services, video games, and roller coasters. The roller coaster is part of the product but so is the experience of the ride.

Products represent and embody your brand when you are not around. They are the chief experiential marketing collateral for any brand. Products are physical expressions of our values and perceptions. They allow us to scale and grow. They bring value to more people than we can meet face to face in a day, and create opportunities to entice people to share more with us in many forms of value.

Owning what we produce and how we produce it, transforms our work into our craft. We are rewarded with a craftsman’s pride; a sense of service and worth that allows us to experience greater flow in our work. Ownership through craftsmanship is an aspiration worthy of encouragement for those seeking high performance and more productivity for themselves and/or their teams.

What you produce speaks volumes about the level of integrity with which you operate at the moment of production. Did you make strategic considerations to ensure that your product would deliver value for consumers and your returning customers, or did you put it together last minute? Is it a finished product? These are but a few questions that even the largest enterprises fail to stop and explore from time to time.

For those in the service industry, or those with specialized roles inside an organization, it can be challenging but immensely valuable, to clearly define your product. Products come in different, nuanced forms.

Think about what you put down on paper or build with your own two hands. Are you laying bricks or dropping truth bombs in documents and reports? Whatever those key things are that you produce, they are products of your personal and professional brand. Many things we produce are taken for granted, dismissed and devalued. Yet, when we take a bit more ownership, and put a little bit more excellence into them, they get noticed and great things can happen.

From a performance and productivity standpoint, our products are anything we generate with our own two hands. Sure, we may like to avoid ownership of a lot of things, but would our lives be better off if we did? I think so.

Here are a few products that are taken for granted everyday:

  • Moms and Dads pack lunches for their kids. How much love and consideration is packed each day? Kids measure this stuff (ultimately), just as customers measure products.
  • A great meal – TV dinner or farm to fork?
  • A clean home – I know many dedicated and underappreciated neat freaks out there. We love you.
  • A refined, edited document – Again, the guy who solves problems we never have to see. My editor Mike Penfield for example.
  • An organized office – I still think these are about as common as unicorns for really productive people, but I’m open to the idea.
  • A TPS report – What’s this I hear about you having trouble with your TPS reports? Someone needs these?
  • A handwritten note, sent through snail mail
  • Sales and marketing collateral – The better armed your sales and marketing team, the more successful they can be.
  • An outreach email – Yes you can create these in a hurry and generate spam, or put a little more care into them and increase the engagement.
  • A birthday card – Or anyone with a shop on Etsy, you know who you are. Keep it up!

Just about anything you can experience or create can be a product. Calling attention to what we produce, and raising our awareness as to its potential, is a Heroik metric and an empowering tool.

Whatever you are producing, here are a few questions to consider regarding taking account of your products and production process:

  • Are you doing what you can to make your products excellent?
  • Do your products embody your values and aspirations?
  • Are you committing enough Time, Effort and Energy (TEE) to achieve the quality standard on par with your brand?
  • More importantly, are you measuring / comparing the two?
  • What tweaks can you make to increase your rate and/or quality of production – without selling yourself short of course?

The more you think about the things you produce as products of your personal brand, and the more you are aware of this connection, the more mindful your decisions and output will be.

Track This: The number and quality of face to face meetings you have with people.

Meetings offer opportunities to get belly to belly with people that matter to you. Getting face to face with your customers, partners and your team is certainly better in cases where you want to increase connection, meaning and value. If culture and performance matters to your organization, you need to consider these elements when deciding when, where, why and how often to have meetings.

Belly to belly meetings allow you to do many things including:

  • Build/reinforce rapport
  • Connect and form genuine relationships beyond tasks and agenda items
  • Show respect, regard to valued parties
  • Create an omni-dimensional opportunity to collaborate and make decisions
  • Read body language and other nonverbal communications

If you don’t need these things and an email will suffice, then by all means don’t abuse this tool. However, when you’re measuring what matters in meetings, be sure to account for all of the blessings of getting face to face.

All the technology out there is great but it is also an abstract proxy of a real relationship or connection for the parties involved. Hence, the reason we see so many remote workers being called back into the office.

Technology creates abstraction, distance, disconnection and increased likelihood of insincerity. According to multiple studies, all the wonderful technological terrors we’ve created (video conferencing, social media and so on) actually increase the disconnect and devaluing of people and relationships. For example, people are more likely to be deceptive over video conference than they are face to face because to some extent, the mind sees the person on the screen as an abstraction; that is, more of a cartoon than a human being. I say all this as a technologist. These abstractions continue as things get more digitized, like on social media. People get depressed with pseudo-relationships. They want the satisfaction of a real connection.

Darth Vader put it best, “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

All the technology is great and amazing, but compared to the Force of real connection and getting face to face, it is insignificant. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. But I am also pragmatic and practical, and I recognize where it serves and where it doesn’t. Don’t let the tech tools replace all your meetings. Recognize and measure what you get from getting belly to belly. Make strategic considerations for all of the benefits of getting face to face vs. phoning it in. This goes beyond achieving the items on the agenda.

Meetings Won’t Help Those Who Don’t Meet to Create Value

Many people try to avoid meetings. I believe this is because they go in without any intent to create value and fail to account for the value created beyond the agenda items. Then they proceed to victimize themselves by thinking the meeting was a waste of time. If rapport, relationships, community and connection building are a waste of time, dollars to donuts your company culture is struggling.

Would you want your congressional representatives to phone it in to a session, or fight on the floor in a rigorous debate? Which do you believe is more effective?

How about your lawyer? When it’s time to put up a defense or resolve a conflict, do you think a skype or hangout session will do?

When you need to inspire your team to perform, to show them that you care and that you are in fact leading, is an email or conference call the appropriate representation and embodiment of your commitment?  STEP IT UP.

My point is, when it matters, people show up. People have face to face meetings. The corollary is also true, many meetings that don’t matter or are unimportant take lesser forms. There are endless useless conference calls and committee sessions that take on a variety of forms. That’s fine, just be honest with yourself and your team about what you expect to get from your meetings. Measure the results and decide what is best for you and your team.

Track This: The number and quality of those people who like you, like what you do, and want you to succeed.

Let’s begin by defining what I mean when I say fan. I’ll give you a hint, it has little to do with social media. A fan is someone who knows you, likes you, likes what you do and wants to see you succeed. This is very different than someone who likes what you say, imagines who you are, and wants to get to know you.

How many people out there fit this description for you and your endeavors? Make a list. Write their names down. It will make you feel good. Include the family and friends (who fit the description of course).  Look next to customers, partners, colleagues and other acquaintances who may fit the bill to finish your list.

Now, for those you considered that were a marginal fit, ask yourself:

  • What would it take to get these people I know to become my fans?
  • How can I invest in them (without selling myself short) and get them to advocate for my growth and success?
  • What role can they play in my growth and success?

You’d be surprised how many fans you can really have, and how effective real life fans are compared to the digital ones. Work on developing these marginal folks into real fans.

The small things matter and the little people can have a big impact on you and your business.

The title of fan is not reserved for only referral partners or business prospects, and I pity the poor souls who limit their thinking to such few categories. Fans are people that come from all walks of life. The friendlier they are and the more they relate to who you are and what you do, the stronger your brand truly is. They are your personal army of advocates. And when a prospect hears your name from the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, he or she is far more likely to contact you. Don’t discount anyone because of their role. You’d be amazed at the level of influence that all the so-called “little” people have in the world.

The  many roles of fans

  • Referral and Recommendation – Those interested in your success will consciously work on your behalf to connect others to you.
  • Spread the Legend – Fans share your stories and tales of epic achievement.
  • Encouragement - It feels good when the grocery store clerk remembers your name and says hello. This is a form of fan and a gift. Don’t underestimate the value of the people who can recharge your batteries and uplift your spirit. The more of these experiences you have, the more effective you can be.
  • Feedback – I’m not talking about advice on your business strategy. I’m talking about basic and more subtle forms of feedback. Do people smile as they shout your name across a building/store or parking lot? If so, this is a good sign. People go out of their way and risk a little embarrassment just to get your attention or say hello. This feels good and boosts your confidence. This is a huge moment.
  • Insight - How many TV shows involve a protagonist who gets insight from a seemingly unrelated source or unrelated topic to solve a profound puzzle? There are many enlightened ah-ha moments that come from seemingly disconnected ideas.

You don’t have to spend money to build fans. Real fans require less and give more than those on social media. Kindness is so quick and easy to give. It requires little preparation or investment. People want to feel acknowledged, have opinions validated, and held in high regard, or at least preserve their egos. Simply saying a person’s name, restating what they’ve shared with you to reflect understanding, and adding something to it go a long way to building a fan that can transform into a referral.

So be generous in giving kindness. Listen, connect, share and be open to receive the benefits of such generosity. It works.

TEE, Time, Effort and Energy,

Track This: Where and how you spend your focused attention; time, energy and attention.

The most important metric or currency of  these days seems to be our focused, attention time, composed of time, energy and attention (TEA). The modern audience of potential customers, partners and fans, for your business and mine, is actively searching for ways to spend less time consuming anything where there is a low perceived value. These are called low information diets. These diets have different needs, like tools that block ads and social networks. Or management programs that provide analytics and visual breakdowns of where they are spending their precious available TEA. The point is, measuring in terms of TEA, is really important.

At Heroik, we’ve been asking our clients where they are pouring their TEA (Time, Energy and Attention) for over 8 years. We work to make their businesses more efficient, and free their TEA so that it can be poured elsewhere. We also pay attention to the TEA of their customers.

Measuring where and how you’re spending your time, energy and attention, and comparing it with the results earned, can help you make better decisions and invest wisely. The TEA metric is a powerful business tool that helps you:

  • Measure the return on sweat equity and whatever demands your attention
  • Helps you to create more effective processes
  • Find more time to invest in customers
  • Identify activities that deepen relationships vs. make more noise
  • Be more considerate and respectful for other people’s TEA

With Customers: It’s important to invest some TEA in developing  and serving potential and existing customers. Content is an easy example, investing a little TEA to provide an audience with useful information can go a long way to a fruitful and profitable relationship.

Reflecting on where you pour your TEA can help you identify waste. For example, over-estimating the value of social media engagement can cripple a business. If you spend too much time flirting on channels that don’t convert, this can significantly take its toll on the clock, your enthusiasm and of course your wallet.

The TEA metric also allows you to create more effective processes. Process is about creating effective activities and standards that lead to greater efficiency. The standards and repeatable steps in your workflow also make it easier to automate, delegate and liberate your TEA. We use this concept to help our clients identify waste and inefficiency.

It all starts by looking at your efforts through this lens. In terms of strategy, you can create an actionable process around the quality and frequency of your work to eliminate waste and inefficiency, which will give you back the important commodity of time. More time can translate to more freedom. Use your new strategy to achieve a higher level of freedom.

Ask yourself: Where are you pouring your TEA (Time, Energy and Attention)?

3  Emerging TEA Trends

  • Awareness of the new currency of TEA (time, effort and energy) is leading to more sophisticated consumption habits. Content creators drew so much attention to the attention economy that the modern audience is now adapting as it becomes more aware that the world is competing for this commodity.
  • The word count and thickness of the book matters less. One book weighs as much as another on the iPad. Quantity matters less than quality and TEA required to understand the content. People are paying as much for the cliff notes and summaries as they are for the complete work. This is but one example of the attention metric.
  • Continued Increase in audience resilience, scrutiny and filtration. This applies to everything, especially content, and means there is a growing value placed on being mindful of the TEA metric. By being aware and having a regard for others’ TEA, you’ll be on the cutting edge of value creation.

No easier or more practical example can likely be found than that of the content we create and share. If you pour your TEA into building something in alignment with your values, and emphasizing those that you share with your target audience, you’ll notice a few things:

  • It feels easier because it is easier. You’re not spending energy faking it. You’re gaining energy and supercharging your batteries by sharing what comes organically while in alignment with your audience
  • You grow faster because what you have to say, and how you say it, resonates as honest and true with your crowd
  • Creative ideas for refinement and growth come easy, because you’re not distracted or vulnerable to the snake oil tactics that serve at best for the short-term

If you enjoyed this post and want to explore more implications of the TEA metric and content creation, be sure to check out our book “The Heroik Power of Headlines“. You’ll get plenty of practical advice on how to more successfully leverage it in your business.

Meeting someone once or twice is pretty easy. Creating a robust professional relationship requires work and TLC. You can run into the same person at a mixer or 3. Connecting in meaningful ways, or even reconnecting, proves to be an elusive skill for most. If you’re looking to reconnect with contacts you’ve met once or twice, or colleagues you know but don’t see often due to your schedule or theirs – look no further. Here’s a sure fire, 8 step, simple formula to get back on their radar. The trick involves sending an email  from your account, adding personal context, an invitation for them to share with you, and give visual bullets of what you’re interested in sharing with them. This doesn’t work if you are trying to spam all of your contacts. However, this  can be very effective if you’re sincerely trying to reconnect and maintain or grow a healthy, professional relationship. Read on!

Everyone has something important they need to remember but, often our memories fade and decay over time. The likelihood of remembering a single piece of information decreases after each minute that passes. This is exacerbated by the fact that in the digital age, we’re constantly bombarded with “important” content. Information is presented to us like a gushing hose from all angles. This flood of data makes what we really want to remember difficult. A new app and web service, Studyhive promises to help make remembering easy.

As leaders and ambitious professionals, we all want to cultivate the practices, habits, and culture that truly serve us. And we want to hit the eject button on all the garbage that does not serve us. The things that don’t serve us, act as roadblocks, keeping us from growth, performance, and success. So how do we identify those things that don’t serve us?

Your inbox and social feeds are probably regularly bombarded with zillions of tips and tricks of what you should do to succeed. How much of that has helped you confront the things that are currently getting in your way? Are you ready to try something different? So why don’t we Heroikly go where few have gone before? Let’s get a step closer to becoming Mission Ready For Life. First, let’s get clear about the things that benefit us and the garbage that hinders, damages, and holds us back.

What does it mean when we say something is serving you?

At the core of Heroik Culture is our mantra: Mission Ready For Life. This is an attitude and dedication to both personal and professional growth, and it has many implications. One of the key practices boils down to this: cultivate that which serves you, and proudly hit the eject button on that which does not.  Bruce Lee, the Martial Arts legend, said “Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

empty your cup

So, want to make like the lord of kung-fu, empty your cup, and get trigger happy with the eject button? Read on!

It’s amazing to me, how many ambitious upstarts have the passion for new endeavor, yet hate to read and learn to reach their goals. If reading is a barrier to improvement for you, perhaps because you find it slow-paced, difficult or uninteresting, then you’re in luck. With the help of some new technology, you can speed read your way at 2-4x your current speed. This is a real time saver.

How Speed Reading Works

Email has been a great tool, revolutionary even, but times have changed and so have our expectations for modern communication and collaboration. After considering a wide market of new options to traditional email dependence, does good ol’ email measure up anymore?  Is email the right tool for collaboration? Is it the best? At the very least, the leaner and more efficient our inbox, the more productive your team can be. So read on and discover new ways to cut down on the pile.

Here are the 4 email obstacles that are keeping you from getting things done: 

Picture Batman robbed of his utility belt. He’s still  more than able whoop your ass, solve the riddle and save the day. You too, should aspire to cultivate your skills to the point that  armed with only the most primitive of tools, locked in an 8×10 room with a magic marker, you (your ideas, filters, lenses and processes) can be just as dangerous and powerful. Do you want more mental clarity, focus, less anxiety and stress? This year, this month, this week, try something different and get back to the basics. Brush the dust off a pen and paper, visit ye olde staples, follow along, get involved, and  measure your gains. Spend the $10 on a pad of paper and something to write with. I recommend a moleskine notebook and a good pen. Just as a fool trusts his life to a weapon, do not place ultimate faith in your gadgetry. I’m not anti-tech. I’m a thrivalist.  Read on if you want to become a bare knuckle  biz champion of  productivity.

I prefer to operate lean, mean and mobile when it comes to tech. I live by the Principles of Digital liquidity – A discipline for the digital lifestyle consisting of  constant pursuit of 6 factors; speed, simplicity, independence, mobility, control and tactility. The tools that make it onto my utility belt help keep me free and in control of my digital lifestyle. All of these applications are cross-platform, synchronized, mobile-reachable from the web as well as via apps for iOS, Android, etc. Though I use many apps and solutions, these are kept in my pocket and on call everywhere I roam- digitally speaking. Here are 5 I never leave home without:

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