Tough challenges become your greatest assets

I’ll make this one quite simple. There is no doubt that immediate challenge and adversity faces us multiple times in our lifetime. Unfortunate things happen and years of planning can be thrown out in an instance. All of a sudden, we are forced to play defense, but let me reiterate a point. These challenges, adversities and setbacks can be our greatest weapon if we choose to let them be. By taking affirmative action to grow, learn, and reflect, we will more often than not come out better than we were previously. This doesn’t mean it will be easy, but what’s the alternative? Sit back and make excuses as to why these things are happening to you? No, that won’t do you any good. Use adversity as a weapon to better your life. Let your character be a testament during these times because no matter what, they will happen. There is no better time than now to show how you will emerge from unprecedented and challenging times.


What’s not there might mean more

Have you ever thought about what you can learn that’s not happening? It’s quite powerful if you think about it that way.  From the hidden & unspoken, we can learn a lot. Perception is not always what’s visible, but what’s invisible. Communication is a lot of the same thing. Sometimes the words unsaid mean much more. The actions not taken speak that much louder than action taken. Try to be aware of this. Don’t get so focused on what’s right in front of you that you don’t see what is there as well, but less apparent. Life is a little bit of both.



Tenacity & Patience

I believe there will be many times throughout our life where tenacity will need to be met by patience with understanding, not angst. Tenacity is a good thing, and we must exercise it throughout life if we are to get what we want, but also know that there is a time where our tenacity must let patience do its course .

We must exercise our patience with all things we cannot control and realize at that time when our tenacity has exercised its fullness. Especially when we are dealing with people our patience must stretch farther. Everyone has a unique perspective and a process that we must inevitably respect. Not doing so, we risk being seen as ignorant. Our tenacity can overshadow our patience if we try to control things that are outside of our circle.

Knowing when to push & and when to wait is key wisdom we must gain in life if we are to progress forward with understanding.

Once we recognize that life moves differently beyond the lens we see through, we will not only help ourselves be at ease, but also provide guidance to understanding the limits our our tenacious ways.


Importance of non-busy things

Life is hectic and we all have a lot going on, no doubt. I’ve learned that there will always be things that “need” to be done, the list is endless. If we are not careful, we can get caught up in these things. Some of them are important, some urgent, and some a combination of the two. Unfortunately, a lot that is urgent is not important, although there are urgent matters of importance that we must attend to. These urgent matters are bound to happen and we must attend to them for the sake of what they are.

There are matters, however,  which we mistake as urgent, but are not truly important in the sense that they don’t contribute to our life in an effective way. These things often disguise themselves in the non-busy arena of the daily grind, but in hindsight, are very important. We obviously don’t do them because they don’t pull at us like urgent “to-do” like agendas. The trick is to identify these non-busy, non-urgent things that are very important to our life because, more often than not, they are the most important things at the end of the day.

I feel being effective is identifying what is truly important and making sure to spend time with and on those things. Behind the hustle and grind is always a greater why and, if we are not aware, we can spend time on the grind with the sincere intent to make the important things better, but still fail because we neglected them for too long. It’s up to each of us to identify what’s important and do so sooner than later before we are swept away by the subtle undertow of a busy life.

Our Best Self

We can never be free while we continue to burden ourselves with a false sense of who we truly are. We must be ourselves, unique in the way that God made us. I would guess that most are trapped in the opening line, with a “false sense of who we are”, describing the many who are living out a life they feel is expected of them, as opposed to relentlessly pursuing who their true self is, a self that brings joy to both them and those around them.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

I feel this is more relevant today than ever. We are constantly being pulled in all directions with messages of all kinds reiterating who we need to be, how we can do it, and how quickly it will take us. Our goal must be to unlock our best self and stay true to it no matter what. No one person is the same. We all have something to offer and give to this world. Don’t take away the one thing that this world needs to be complete: You.


Is 80/20 a real thing?

Many of us have heard about it, but what exactly does it mean? Many know it as Pareto’s Law, but also informally known as the 80/20 rule. So much can be interpreted from this, and we could take a deep dive into how it works, but I simply want to highlight the core message of 80/20.

Many of you have heard, “80% of your results come from 20% of your inputs”, or some variation, but what I really take away from the Pareto’s Law is one word: focus. Meaning, only a few things matter in making major changes in your life. It doesn’t take drastic, monumental changes to impact your results, but more so, simple, vital functions that are both easy to do and easy not to do. I say simple because we can all do it, and I emphasize vital because, well, they are important. In fact, they are so important, that not doing them will subtly move you in the wrong direction, but doing them will, obviously, move you in the right direction, although it might not be as fast as we all want. I’m sure all of us would agree that we can be impatient at times.

That’s the challenge with seeing the long-term results you want: they take time. Yes, we can experience things quickly, but long-term sustained results require simple, yet important and disciplined habits. Period.

As the underlining message emphasizes focus on things that matter, it simultaneously emphasizes that most things don’t. In fact, most us do things on a daily basis that matter very little in accomplishing our goals, yet we do them.

Remember, if 20% of what we do leads to 80% of the results we seek, than 80% of what we do accounts for 20% of what we seek. Cut the extra out, as it will make you more effective.

You could also take this farther: 4% of what we do leads to 64% of the results we seek. We can keep going, but the truth is that there are only a few things that matter in accomplishing any goal. They are simple, profound, and greatly impactful on our results. Take the time to identify these functions, as they will make the biggest difference in where you will end up.




There are a lot of things that can make us better, but one thing stands out above the rest and that is being open-minded. The difficulty with being open-minded is that we could be wrong and some of us don’t like to be wrong. Thinking that our present awareness of the world is the answer to everything is a narrow-minded way to view reality. In the grand scheme of things, we know very little.

Yes, we have areas of strength, but yes, we also have areas of weakness. Our weakness is that we often only see the world as we are, not as it really is. Those who are able to step out from themselves and see the world from a higher perspective will advance much quicker. In my opinion, they will be more understanding, patient and happier than those who are unable to see beyond themselves. And the core of this is open-mindedness.

Being open-minded requires us to be vulnerable. Most are uncomfortable being vulnerable because they don’t want to appear weak in the eyes of others, but it is essential if you want to advance your life. Understanding that you might be wrong, or not know something, is a great first step towards getting better and building strong connections with others. It tells another, “Here’s what I think. I may, or may not be right and I’m ok with that.” And you should expect this from others just the same. Being open-minded is a healthy and should be, an expected way for us to advance one another, as well as society.

Look at it this way. Our decisions are limited by our awareness, which comes from what we know. We can only be aware to the degree in which we know something. Being more open-minded creates greater awareness, thus expanding what we know. So then making better decisions is aided significantly by being open-minded. It’s much more simple to say then do, but once we can get in the habit of being open-minded to what others have to say, to new ideas, to being wrong…the upside is unlimited. I’d go as far to say that it is the primary reason why you are not where you want to be. You are stuck in your own thinking.

So, work more on being open-minded, and if you already are, to being even more so, because the upside is endless.