Life

Newsletter: Creating Create Impressions

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We make fast decisions. You have already decided whether you are going to read this or not, but I encourage you to read this … why?

Because we all make impressions, but we must work to ensure that the impressions we are making, especially the first ones, are great ones.

READ AND READ SOME MORE

An amazing thing happens when you read: You get smarter. I love reading about history and the human condition. These topics give me all kinds of material for conversation.

LISTEN

Are you always talking? Perhaps it is time to sit back and listen. It is amazing what you can learn from the people around you if you stop talking, and listen. See what people are actually saying between the lines. Perhaps you’ll learn something new.

LISTEN MORE

Nothing aggravates me more than someone who is in love with themselves. How many selfies can you really post on social media? I don’t care how famous you are, I don’t need to see your hustle face every time you post. It is more important to listen.

ADD GREAT CONTENT

And as you learn and listen, then you can start to talk. As you talk (at the right moments), you will have people willing and ready to listen.

It’s all about creating the best content at the right moments.

Be authentic and honest, and above all, be the best you.

A Sponsored Story on Life

In this city that never sleeps, building and sustaining friendships is difficult. Very difficult. Dating is even harder.

Friendships are hard because everyone works until seven or eight in the evening and to get together can take an hour of travel — one way! Relationships are hard for the same reason, and because, and this is especially true if you are in the early phases of dating and getting to know someone, there is this feeling that there is always someone better. In a city of eight million people, it’s a pandemic that can’t be cured.

A friend of mine recently put it all into perspective. She said of her romantic relationships that she needs more “reach” and “impressions.” This, of course, is a play on Facebook’s marketing terms.

She continued: I’m just not putting out enough great content.

She paused, thought a moment, and concluded: Perhaps I need a sponsored story.

In this city, any city, we all need to be putting out great “content” about ourselves, our passions, and our dreams.

I can help. Let me “sponsor” your story. Leave me a comment on what content of your life you’d like to improve.

FOCUS: To Do Lists

Selected Life Lesson
Hard work yields results.
-Daniel F’s Life Lesson from Independence, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Last week I checked off a new item on my Life To Do List. Before I tell you what it was, I must ask, “How is progress on your list going?”

In our busy lives, it can be easy to forget about all the things we want to do — it happens to me too — but you mustn’t. The list is for you to experience; it is not for dust collecting. That is precisely why I recently dusted mine off and made it happen.

I sold a painting! 7th Heaven was from years ago in my early days of painting. John Elway was a sports hero of mine, so it was natural that I painted him holding the Vince Lombardi trophy after Super Bowl XXXII. The purchaser said he liked it because it symbolized victory. The day he purchased it from me, we both experienced victory.

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Winning Is Not An End

Sure, winning the Super Bowl for Joe Flacco was and will forever be an amazing experience. But what about all the experiences he has had along the way? The Pop Warner games, the high school Friday nights, and the losses all along the way.

For a guy like Joe Flacco, it has to have been about the journey. About trying to find ways to just get 1 percent better each time he went to the gym and stepped onto the field.

In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, the writer says, “But when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear.” They are right. Andy Murray just won the Sony Open, and he had fun doing it. His attitude has changed to focus on getting better each time he practices and plays.

Now that he is doing that, the winning is taking care of itself.

It will be the same for you too. Focus on getting better, and the results will become natural.

Change is Inevitable

Change is one of those things that will forever and always be a constant in life. It will always be there. Sometimes in the form of a blessing. Sometimes in a curse.

But that change is inevitable means we can either embrace it, take it, or change the change.

Parents are special in that they get to see all the changes their children go through from infants, to little children, to young adults, and then adults. I have changed a lot in my 29 years. But in a lot of ways, I am who I always was. Except there have been some times in the past six years, where I wasn’t me.

Change does happen over time, and in my life, I didn’t see it happening. But I was changing. And not in a good way. I lost who I was.

It took hitting rock bottom for me to see it. And once I did, I began to re-embrace me, the real Richard.

In Life As a House, George says:

“You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant. It happened to me.”

And it’s true. Change is hard to feel when it happens a little at a time until you get to your destination and you don’t even know who you are and how you got there.

What is my grand ‘ol lesson for you now? Listen.

Listen to yourself. Listen to those around you. And as you listen, reflect:

Is this change for good or worse?

Focus – Your Chance

Selected Life Lesson
If you never try — you never know.
-Grant M’s Life Lesson from Basehor, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Two years ago yesterday, I did what I thought was impossible: run a half-marathon. (Of course I have since done the full distance, but it was doing this race that proved to myself that I could actually do a full-distance marathon.)

At the time of the race, I had never run more than 10 miles, and a half-marathon is 13.1 miles. But I did it. It was freezing cold, but there is quite possibly no cooler feeling than running through Times Square looking up at all the lights and hearing the cheers.

Whether it is sports or life or other dreams and goals you have, if you don’t give yourself the chance to succeed, you will fail; and that is a promise.

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FOCUS: The Journey

Selected Life Lesson
Take time to develop an interest or skill in something that you enjoy.
-Lori E’s Life Lesson from Decorah, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
Spring is just around the corner. I can feel it! And with the re-birth of spring comes the opportunity to not only have a spring-cleaning party, or to finally get back outside, it is an opportunity for you to do something you’ve been putting off.

For me, the changing from winter to spring is usually a great motivator to tackle something that has loomed large on my to do list … and tackle it with gusto. And this year, it is going to be my marketing book. It has been scientifically studied how attitudes change with the seasons and this month is the perfect time for us to try to learn something new or take on that new project.

What have you wanted to do but have just put off longer than you can count? Or is there something you have always wanted to learn but just haven’t made the time. This week is a great opportunity to do just that. Make the time and become re-born with energy, enthusiasm and excitement!

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Focus – The Journey

Selected Life Lesson
At the end of your life, no one will be keeping score. So instead of relying on the points you’ve added up, you had better remember the journey life was and how much you enjoyed it.
-Jerod B’s Life Lesson from Silver Lake, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
I remember getting this lesson a couple of years ago at a student leadership conference in Kansas and picking it for this week’s lesson seemed appropriate. Life offers us so many chances to fail, and yet, so often we stay on the sidelines, opting to stay safe.

But life is all about the experiences. Growing up in Iowa, I was a Minnesota Twins fan which included the late Kirby Puckett. My dad took our family to the game where they honored him and the game when they retired his number. Plus, we went to his Hall of Fame Induction. We loved his play and his passion for the game. It wasn’t all about the wins for us. It was his joy and love of the game.

One of the lines of his speech that night in the Metrodome was simple, he wanted people to remember that ‘Kirby Puckett lived the hell out of his life.’ And it’s that passion that we all need to remember to have each and every day. We need to live, truly live with passion and love. It is amazing how things change when you do.

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FOCUS: Get Yourself Back

Selected Life Lesson
Looking up to people is good, but not to the point where you lose yourself along the way.
-Briana M’s Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas

Richard’s Thoughts…
Your life is yours to live and you can not allow someone else to dictate your life to you. I speak and write a lot about creating your own destiny, writing your own chapters.

And it is amazing that we even allow other people to take the pens from our hands. But that has to stop now. For you. For me. It’s your life to live. They are your dreams and your aspirations and you have to be the one to live it and experience it.

What’s stopping you? Lead your own life. Write your chapters.
You’ll be glad you did.

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