That mental DNA

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin


The dinosaurs were powerful, but not resilient.  They couldn’t, and didn’t, weather the onslaught of change.


Power, skill, and even knowledge are not enough.  Resilience – that remarkable ability to just roll with change, to prevail in spite of what shows up  - is what’s fundamental to moving from good to great, to creating lasting excellence in your life.   Resilience is what pulls you through the random difficulties and problems that show up.  It’s what moves you beyond barriers.

Resilience is the cultivation of the mental DNA – the grit –  to more than survive, but to thrive in spite of what shows up.  Today, what are you doing to cultivate, to nurture, that resilience in your own life?

Just ask

“Always be asking “What’s next?” - Jocelyn Glei


If you don’t ask questions, how will you find out?   How will you get the answers, the guidance, the direction that points you toward your desired destination?  

Don’t be the person who drives in circles, hopelessly lost, because you won’t stop and ask for directions.  Set aside fear or pride, or whatever scares you or holds you back, and just ask.

The problem with problems

“The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.”  - Theodore Rubin

No whiners, no crybabies. The problems, the difficulties, the challenges – they are part of the normal order of life.  You ultimately have no choice but to deal with their existence, their daily reality.  But you do choose how you perceive and internalize  them, and how you confront and address them.

Every day, you decide whether you will hide from, fear, or deny the problems  that show up.  Every day you also choose if you will reframe difficulties into possibility, into opportunity, into motivators for change.

So what will you do today with the challenges and circumstances that show up at your door?

10 Steps from Disappointment to Happiness

  1. Less expectation, more exploration.
  2. Trust yourself to handle any situation.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up over the past.
  4. Treat yourself like a friend you love.
  5. Don’t let external influences distract you from what’s good for you.
  6. Seek out and embrace the unknown.
  7. Turn off bad news.
  8. Focus on accomplishments, not failures.
  9. See the good in others.
  10. Plan a vacation.

In summary, let go of your expectations and preoccupation with the past.  Find the good in others but don’t let the external distract you from the good in yourself.  Live in the now, embrace adventure, don’t fear the unknown, trust yourself and your ability to succeed.



Progress or perfection?

“It’s easy to sleepwalk through life.” - Carol Dweck


All you have to do is be good, be good enough.   But you must choose – do you want to merely be good, or do you want to get better?


The “just be good” mindset leaves you vulnerable to the hard times, when those around you start to excel and move ahead, when your abilities start to lag, and life –  the life you desire –  moves further from your grasp.  The just be good mindset lulls you into setting goals of modest difficulty, goals that fail to force you to grow, to excel, to achieve. Perfection today, without challenge tomorrow, soon decays into mediocrity.

Today, start thinking in terms of progress, not perfection.

What does today feel like?

“If today feels just like yesterday, something is wrong.”  - Stuart Mickle

Why do so many want to return to yesterday?   Why do so many pursue the glory of their past?  Years from now, will they awaken and ask “What happened? Where did my life go?”

It takes courage and burning desire  to move past yesterday and live in the now,  It takes imagination, vision and effort to enliven and enlarge your new day, and transport you to the future of your dreams.

What  does today feel like for you?

Never, if you’re doing it right

“When does it get easier?”


Never.  It never gets easier.  If you’re doing it right, it gets harder.  


When it gets easier, you’ve fallen prey to what worked in your past.  But today is not the past, so reject the flawed enchantment of predictable perfection.  

Every day is the opportunity for rebirth, to challenge yourself and step out into uncertainty; to try again – only better.  Every day presents the opportunity to become more.  So become, become more – today.

Choose carefully

“Everyone wants to be Cortes…nobody wants to burn their ships.” – Hugh MacLeod

According to the Conquistador story, when he landed in the Americas, explorer Hernan Cortes burned all of his ships.  His army had to either move forward, or die.  There was no going back.

So what will you do when faced with the possibility of exploring new territory?  Will you move forward and blaze new trails, or sit by the pool with a cozy mojito, and spin tales of your past?

In the real world, you must choose new trails, or relinquish your future to the retelling of old tales.  Choose carefully.

Take off the blinders

“We cannot afford to walk sightless among miracles.” - Dani Shapiro


Many live within the self-imposed walls of tunnel vision.  They focus on the minutae, and fail to explore the larger world around them.  In the process, they forfeit the experience of surprise.  They miss out on joyful astonishment and the discovery of possibility.


The cure for this imposed blindness starts with the nurturing of curiosity, the cultivating of the desire to explore, to gain knowledge.  It starts with enabling the urge to look farther, and deeper, at life around us..

Today, miracles abound, they simply surround you.  What do you see?