Category general ideas

Finding Strength In Your Weaknesses

In case you missed it, Lazaro Arbos’ story is amazing.

Lazaro lacks confidence. He’s socially awkward. And he has a stammer so thick, the judges can’t even wait for him to tell them the title of his audition song. Lazaro seems so riddled with weaknesses failure seems inevitable.

And then Lazaro opens his mouth and begins to sing. He’s still not super confident. He’s still a little awkward. But the stammer that made it impossible for him to communicate is gone and every note he sings is perfect. Hidden in the source of his greatest weakness lies an extraordinary gift.  Funny how that works, but it’s true for all of us.

This is because our greatest strengths often give birth to our greatest weaknesses.

You may be terrible at seeing the big picture, but awesome when it comes to the details. You may be viewed as hyper-emotional or overly sensitive, but possess an incredible ability to take care of others. You may suck at math, but have an uncanny talent for putting words into story.

If you’re having trouble finding your art. If you’re having trouble figuring out where you are great. Start looking at your weaknesses. Identify those weaknesses and then flip them on their head. That’s where you’ll find your strength. That’s where you’ll find your gift. Once you locate it, don’t hide it or revert to focusing on your weaknesses again. Do like Lazaro was advised and just make sure you sing all of the time.

 

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For My Birthday I’m Giving You A Gift

Today is my birthday.  And, as I walk into another year, only one word can describe the life I’ve lived so far: blessed.  I couldn’t begin to name or count all of my blessings because the list would go on forever.  God has truly been good to me.  So now it’s time for me to be good to others.

Rather than celebrate another year by asking the world for gifts, I’m going to celebrate by offering a gift to the world.  Over winter break I finished my first book.  It’s sitting with the editor now and I hope to publish it within the next month.

My birthday gift to you is this: You can have my book for free.  The book is a compilation of ideas (some revised posts from my blog + new additions) designed to inspire and provide concrete steps on how to live an unconventional but extraordinary life.  The book stays true to my blogging style by providing snackable content (succinct and easy to consume) in terms of each entry length as well as the overall length of the book.

In order to get your free copy, all you have to do is leave a comment on this facebook post and let me know you want a copy (you can like the post, but if you want the book you’ll have to leave a comment so that you are subscribed to the post).  When the book is ready for release, I will notfify everyone on this thread that they can download it for free.  The book will be free to you for 5 days and then it will officially go on sale.

Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me.  If you want in, leave your comment here.  I hope you’ll enjoy your gift. What better way to celebrate the Year of the Artist.

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Welcome To The Year of The Artist

According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 is the year of the snake. But if you’ve been following this blog, you know that last year we started a new tradition here by creating our own theme for the new year. Last year was the Year of the Microaction, this year is the Year of the Artist.

2013 is the year we will celebrate the artist in all of us. No longer will we be restricted by limiting the definition of art to something that only has to do with paint, clay or music but we will open up the definition to capture the fact that art is simply what we do when we are at our best. Our art may be found in a pitch deck. Our art may be found in our cooking or the way we dress. Our art may be found in our play time with our children. Whatever it is, you will know our art when you see it because our art happens when we are most alive.

Let 2013 be the year you take your art to new levels. And for those that have yet to unearth their art, let 2013 be the year you embrace the journey to discover it. We need your art.  The world simply won’t be the same without your artistic contribution.

In honor of the Year of the Artist, I have updated my web site to showcase my very own art. It’s just the beginning.

Welcome to the Year of the Artist.

img src: Art by Andre Woolery

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Dial It Up

Reading today’s news headlines makes one thing apparent…trust, integrity and grace are three valuable character traits that are in extremely short supply. Whenever a priceless resource goes scarce, you can find people who not only desire it but are also willing to pay top price for access to that resource. If you operate with any of these three character traits, don’t change to be like everyone else.  Dial it up. It will prove to be beneficial to you, the world and probably your pocketbook.

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Life Simplified

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Albert Einstein

When you think about trying to master the game of life it can get be overly complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. The framework for life is pretty simple–so why shouldn’t the formula for winning at life be as well?  Here are a few simple rules for making the most out of life:

Get better. You won’t always be right. You won’t always be wrong. But you can always get better. Don’t pay as much attention to the daily ebbs and flows as you do observing yourself over seasons. Are you better today than you were six months ago.

Rock out the middle. Your beginning was a fixed moment in time that was out of your control. Your end will be the same. What is in your control is the middle…why not rock it out? For me, rocking out the middle means dreaming big, creating change, refusing to settle and having a lot of fun along the way.  This what I live and blog about. Figure out your own definition of “rocking out the middle” and leave it all on the floor.

Contribute to the overall masterpiece.  There is a reason we are all here that is bigger than us. Do your part to contribute, big or small, to the overarching story that is being written.

Maybe this is all too simple. But then again, maybe it isn’t.

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Discover Yourself

The barriers to “being discovered” have been eliminated.  No longer are musicians dependent on expensive equipment and a “hope and a prayer” that someone with a big record label budget will find you, fall in love with your work, publish your work and promote you.  No longer do entrepreneurs need multimillionaire investors backing them and a retail deal with Walmart, Walgreens or some other big retailer to be be noticed.

Thanks to technology, everything has changed.  With just an i-phone app that lets you play the guitar you can get signed to Epic Records.  With an idea about connecting your watch to your phone you can raise millions of dollars from strangers.  With channels like vimeo and youtube, even an 8 year-old-kid can be noticed by one of the biggest celebrities of today and given a platform to show the world what she’s made of.

No longer should you be waiting for access to the right stage, people or tools; nowadays, the only thing you have to wait on is for you to discover yourself.

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