The First Thing Required to Grow You...

When I (Cindy) first studied the Law of Awareness in the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell, I realized the more quality questions we ask ourselves - about us- the deeper an awareness we can obtain on who we are, where we are, and where we want to go.

Not everyone likes questions and has a natural curiosity like I do. But since the Law of Awareness says, You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself, we have to start with us.  And know one knows us better than we know ourselves! If introspective questions are not your thing that's okay. We don’t have to like the steps and stretches it takes to grow but we do have to take intentional action in these right areas to grow. And I promise the growth you obtain along the way will be worth your effort!

A good first question to ask yourself is, Who are you? Since we must know ourselves in order to grow, asking who you really are will help you identify things about yourself you may otherwise overlook or take for granted.

Think...

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Lean & Mean!

For almost all of the nearly 20 years I worked in manufacturing, I had at least some level of involvement with implementing the tools most commonly referred to as LEAN. Truth be told, at least ten of those years consisted of a high level of hands-on involvement where I worked directly with teams throughout the facility to build the various tools within that methodology into the workflow for improved productivity. I even have a fancy framed certificate (that’s buried amongst a bunch of other fancy certificates) showing where I completed a customized Lean Manufacturing course at the University of Michigan… Impressive, huh…

In addition to all that, I even got to learn to concepts of Lean from a true master consultant who had read about it in a book but never seemed to be able to offer tangible examples of how any of his other clients implemented what he was regurgitating to achieve a tangible return on investment - but I’ll save that story for another day...

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LA via Omaha...

If you were a fan of the late Charlie Daniels, the subject line of this message may ring a bell. While I often reference my taste for guitar solo-laden tunes by 80’s hair bands, I always enjoyed CDB (the Charlie Daniels Band), not to be confused with all the hype today around CBD - although I’d expect many of the musicians I was fond of engaged in their fair share of CBD-like substances… (A line in Long Haired Country Boy comes to mind immediately as I share this…)

I remember the first time I introduced Cindy to the song Uneasy Rider. We were parked on I-81, just north of the JMU exit in Harrisonburg and headed somewhere south. I pulled that amazingly fun ballad up on my phone, hopped off the exit as soon as I had the opportunity, and took every back road possible to keep moving in the general direction of our destination. Shockingly, Cindy didn’t like the song even a little bit - to which I still question her sanity. She was also less than pleased...

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Keep Making Your Decision EVERY Day!

In our microwave society, the majority of the messaging that seems to come at us on a daily basis whirls around the ideas of bigger, faster, and stronger… Before I go on, please understand just how much those messages resonate with my HIGHLY DRIVEN approach to everything I see, touch, do, and even consider! That said, a healthy portion of reality like I choked down when I tried running that mile can often help us keep things in the proper perspective.

Once we can come to terms with ourselves and accept that we’ll rarely accomplish anything significant right off the bat, then we develop dogged consistency with the action steps we can actually follow through on moving forward, we should have a solid foundation in place to build from. But as I mentioned in the last post, thinking there won’t be times where we land in the ditch on one side of the path or the other is just as unrealistic as me thinking I could walk out on that track and magically run a full mile at a...

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Sometimes It’s Just HARD!

Apparently the last post sharing my near-death experience during that less than half mile run was somewhat amusing… Not only did I receive a few direct email responses about the humor folks were able to find in my stupidity, I heard Cindy laughing uncontrollably from the other side of the house as she read it. I suppose she’s earned the right to laugh at me since she had a front row seat when it happens, and she’s tolerated so many similar instances!

So that was clearly an example setting an unrealistic goal that I was in no way prepared to even come close to achieving, but there are times where sticking with even the best laid plans to reach modest goals can get incredibly hard. In each of the last few posts on this topic, I’ve continued to call attention to the importance of consistency. I won’t be varying from that here either! 

I learned about habits more than twenty years ago through the work I was doing with behavior-based safety. Sure, I...

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It Takes FOUR Laps to Make a Mile...

Now that we’re more than one week into the new year, are you still on track and moving toward any goals you had set to make 2021 your best year yet? As Cindy and I pulled into the gym parking lot early this morning, there were still several extra cars - but not as many extras as last Monday…

I closed the last post by emphasizing the importance of being realistic about how much our circumstances and limitations can impact our progress toward achieving new goals, especially when those goals are really big and require significant changes to our daily routines! I also promised to share a story of a time where I failed miserably because I allowed my ego to take over; it was one of those cases where my mouth wrote a check my butt couldn’t cover…

When Matt was wrestling, he and I were extremely consistent with our workout schedules. We would typically lift weights three or four days each week, even during the wrestling season when he had practice every day after...

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Why Professional Development?

Why does professional development matter? For your future self? For those counting on you? For all the ways you can add value to others? For tomorrow to be better than today? For an edge in your career pursuits?  Don’t miss the opportunity at the end of this blog to access our complimentary professional development resources and create your own personal & professional development growth plan!

As I (Cindy) caught up with a group of friends we chat with at the gym, one of us asked “who is excited about a new year coming?!” Since we were wrapping up 2020, you can imagine the howls and cheers coming from that simple question! We had some good laughs and shared a few hopes for the New Year, then went about the serious work of strengthening ourselves.

I couldn’t help but think of the strength a simple decision backed with Intentional Action will add to anyone’s life who chooses it. It certainly has added physical strength and increased quality of...

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The Dangers of Inaction

Wes and I just passed the one year mark of being back in the gym taking intentional action to be a healthier and stronger version of ourselves.  And frankly, I’m trying to ward off some of the aging process too!  A consistent routine at the gym was one of our intentional action commitments for 2020 at least 2-3 days each week. 

When the gyms closed down I was blessed to know some excellent coaches who provided virtual workouts, so I didn’t miss a beat.  Having some equipment at home didn't hurt either!  However, there were MANY things I wanted to be doing at 5:30 a.m. (like sleeping) and working out wasn't one of them! But, it was the right action for us to reach the goals and growth we wanted for 2020. 

Unfortunately for me, it took a back injury and other ailments before I made the commitment and took intentional action to create change in my life. I had good intentions toward better health and becoming stronger but I wasn’t...

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Maybe Not Slow, But Definitely Steady!

First off, let me apologize for the last post. I had no intention of pushing anyone to break any New Year’s resolutions so early on by sharing how little will power I have when it comes to greasy pizza. Judging by a few of the replies I received, I may have been a bit too graphic…

As I closed that post though, I referenced the old fable so many of us have heard about the tortoise and the hare. The hare gets a blazing start, runs way ahead of the tortoise, then decides there’s time for a nap since the tortoise is so far behind. The tortoise keeps moving, ever so slowly, and eventually passes the sleeping hare to win the race. It's a cute story for sure, but it’s not so cute when it matches our own behavior!

I’ll emphasize here again, I’m not knocking the importance of setting goals and working to press forward toward them. But if we give it all we have out of the gate, and the changes we’re attempting to make (like cutting out every bit of...

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All In, At Least For A Little While...

Picture this: so many times I’ve buckled down and cut nearly all the carbs out of my diet. No candies, very little bread, no macaroni & cheese or pasta… Basically nothing I enjoy except meat and cheese. As I write this, I have an image in my head of Buddy the Elf telling the fake Santa he smelled like beef and cheese. I knew a guy like that once; front lobby Bobby! He ate summer sausage and cheddar cheese every day for lunch and it oozed from his pores, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my point so I’ll get back on track…

With regards to changing my own eating habits, I even remember a time where the only things I ate after 5p was two cans of tuna with a splash of Italian dressing and some hot sauce. Over the course of 30 days or so, I dropped more than an inch off my waistline but I still struggle to even touch a can of tuna and that was nearly 15 years ago!

Regardless of the approach, going all in to cut carbs and trim down was always a chore...

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