Coming Soon: 369 Days - How To Survive A Year of Worst-Case Scenarios

After 8 years, many pivots, changes and life lessons, I have put to words a very challenging period of my life.

I wrote 369 Days to share my story of losing everything that people fear to lose, in a year’s time.  This book will walk the reader through the losses, and how I came out of each challenge better and stronger than before.  The book will show people how to create proper boundaries in their life, so they can prevent significant losses in their own lives.

The book will be released on September 12th, so stay tuned for further details over the coming days and weeks ahead.

Be well!

 

How To Create A Successful Morning - Triage Your Calendar

This post features content from my How to Create A Successful Morning e-book, which you can get for free, by subscribing to my e-mail posts.

When I began my career, I played an accountant. As an accountant that would provide services to clients, we had to track our time, down to 15 minute increments (one firm I worked for billed in 12 min increments.) It’s a habit that many would hate, but I keep track of every day, using a calendar on my laptop that syncs across my devices. I look at my calendar frequently (maybe too frequently), to see what I’ve worked on, and what’s next on my plate.

For a successful day, you should look at the next day the night before. This will mentally prepare you (or scare you) of what you have to face the next day. I also suggest looking at a week view of your calendar, to allow you to batch like-items together (when possible.)

A deeper subject is when to schedule tasks, meetings, and so forth through your day. Most of us in management do have some flexibility on our schedules, but even if you are front lines, you can work with your bosses to establish the best times to meet. My next book on making your schedule match your inner life with go deeper into this subject, with tools on how to discover the best times to perform tasks, hold meetings, and down time, to stay in rhythm with your soul.

 

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)

 

 

 

How To Create A Successful Morning - Journal

This post features content from my How to Create A Successful Morning e-book, which you can get for free, by subscribing to my e-mail posts.

I love to write. Whether it’s tweets, or longer posts it’s helpful for me to write that I’m thinking or feeling. Writing down what’s going on your life is good for the soul, as you can empty the things you’re thinking onto paper (or a tool like evernote.com) helps you shift those events to something that you can see and not just kept in your mind.  You don’t have to write a novel (or maybe you want to!) I tend to write about experiences from the day before, or things that come to mind. There’s no rules here, it’s your journal!

I do recommend one place to write, if you’re using technology. Our digital toolboxes can get as cluttered as a junk drawer, if you’re not methodical in what you do. I like Evernote, because I have the app on my phone, as well as my home laptop. The information syncs up across all of your devices, so you can pick up where you left off, no matter where you are.

 

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)


How To Create A Successful Morning - Pick Your Attire

This post features content from my How to Create A Successful Morning e-book, which you can get for free, by subscribing to my e-mail posts.

For an easy entrance into your day, I cannot recommend enough to pick out your clothes the night before.  Did you know your brain consumes calories, just like your body does? Why would you waste the precious morning brain power of starting your day strong, by wrestling of what to wear tomorrow?

If you live in a climate where the weather varies dramatically, then I suggest looking at your weather app the night before, to see what the temperatures will be the next day. In the spring and fall seasons where I live, the mornings can be cold, and afternoons warm, so layers are important.

One other Pro Tip I have for you on attire (works well for Men) is to standardize your clothing. Buy the same socks, undershirts, and underwear. Also have at least 2 weeks supply of each, so you’re not constantly needing to do laundry (another Pro Tip!) I have a preferred brand of undergarments and socks, and by having the same type of socks, laundry is a lot easier when matching up pairs of socks. Who wants to spend their lives trying to match up socks. Not this guy.

For slacks and shirts, there should be some variety, but go with the style and color (colour in Canada) that best fits you. Spend the money on quality attire, and they will last you a while. It will help you when you put on your clothes, that your attire will fit you the way you want them to. Be sure to mix up your shirts,, though. You don’t want people thinking you only have one shirt ;) It worked for Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg though, so if you can only have one kind of shirt, go for it, boss.

 

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)


How To Create A Successful Morning - Eat Well

This post features content from my How to Create A Successful Morning e-book, which you can get for free, by subscribing to my e-mail posts.

I ate cereal as a kid. A LOT of cereal. The sugary, toy in the bottom of the box kind of cereal. Not exactly the best way to start your day. We ask our bodies to put up with a lot during the day, so shouldn’t we provide our bodies something to help them fight the good fight? Each person has their dietary requirements, so I won’t say what you should, or shouldn’t eat. I’ll leave that between you and your nutritional counsellor. My diet varies in the morning, other than the staples of water, tea or coffee (yes, I consume both), and either oatmeal, yogurt with granola and fruit, or the classic bacon-n-eggs.

 

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)


July 4th Thoughts: We can do better, America

The Declaration of Independence launched the separation from Great Britain on this day, in 1776.  The U.S. was at war with Great Britain at the time that the Declaration was approved on that special Thursday in Philadelphia.

Here we are 241 years later, and there's a great divide that impacts our country.  That divide is within.  

If you believe media reports, the country seems split right down the middle, on every subject under the sun.

I don't believe the media.  While I don't think they're lying to us, I do feel that their opinions have self-bias, and they will align with whatever political camp they were told to follow. #Sheep

My gut is that most of us have more in common, than differences.  We all want to have accessible and affordable healthcare when and where we need it.  We want our roads and infrastructure to be safe.  We want great education for our children.  We want to feel safe and protected when we are at home, work, the mall, etc.  We want a life where we can afford the things we need, and the opportunities to earn more, if we are willing to do what it takes to earn that living.

Social media gives us all a great platform, but I'm thinking instead of having normal, deep conversations, we're having 140 character rants.  Some of those comments are thought provoking, but many are the equivalent of leaving a flaming brown bag of 💩 on someone's front porch.  We can do better, America.

On this 4th of July, I encourage you to have conversations with people.  Don't be judgmental if their opinion differs from them.  Ask them why they feel the way they do, in a non confrontational way.  Listen.  Learn their perspective.  

United We Stand.  Divided We Fall.  Reunite, America.

Be well!

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)

 

How To Create A Successful Morning - Workout

This post features content from my How to Create A Successful Morning e-book, which you can get for free, by subscribing to my e-mail posts.

There are countless studies on the benefits of exercise. There has been an increase in health apps and devices for our phones.  There’s never been an easier time to track your activity than today. My phone counts my steps, so I do my best to hit 10,000 steps per day. Some days are easier than others, but ironically I easily surpassed 10,000 steps whenI attended a week long’s worth of conferences. From walking to the train station, to walking around the various conference halls and exhibits, I easily surpassed 10k steps, just by walking around. Be sure to seek approval from your medical provider, to make sure what exercises areright for you.   I suggest investing the money into a personal trainer, evenif it’s only for an intro session. You’ll learn how to properly use the equipment, and the steps necessary to exercise properly.

You’ll have more energy, your stress levels will drop, and your stress management will improve. My suggestion is to work out first thing in the morning.  I know many of you don’t like waking up early, but by getting up at the same time every day, you can do this as well. Be sure to drink water when you first wake up. That kickstarts your body into attacking your day.

 

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)

How to Create A Successful Morning - Wake Up The Same Time Every Day

This post features content from my How to Create A Successful Morning e-book, which you can get for free, by subscribing to my e-mail posts.

Wake up at the same time every day. I know many of us use an alarm clock, to wake up for our work days, but not on the weekends. Your body is not a big fan of ups and downs, and craves stability. Use your alarm and wake up the same time every day. Once your body gets used to this, you’ll thank me later.

Would this require you going to bed at the same time every day? I recommend doing that, to get the ample amount of restful sleep every day. I know that life doesn’t always provide for this opportunity. You have guests from out of town, so you’ll stay up late. Or you have tickets to that sold out concert or sporting event.  By no means am I suggesting you miss out on those things. On the contrary, I’d suggest taking time off of work to do those things. Please don’t have your boss e-mail me on that one. I know that I’m a better employee when I’m rested.  My ability to focus improves when I’ve had decent sleep over time.

Plus, doing things that bring you happiness and pleasure.  You’re not a robot. When you are happy and rested, you’re a better employee, a better family member, a better lover, a better person for your community.

 

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)

What Canada Day Means To Me

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I moved to Canada on Canada Day Weekend in 2004.  So my life as a Canadian resident just hit teenage years ;)

Growing up in Southeast Michigan, I was very familiar with the Canadian way of life, having spent a lot of time in Windsor, as well as several trips to Toronto (my home, today.)   I watched Hockey Night in Canada before Cable TV was available, and would watch CBC if there was a significant world event happening, to get the international take on the event.

My American brethren often ask me what life is like in Canada.  After the obligatory igloo and poutine jokes are done, I'll simply comment it's similar to living in the States, but different.

It's much different.  The way of life here is a better match for me and my values than where I'm originally from.  Less political strife here.  

Today is a day where Canada unites and celebrates 150 years of Confederation.  As Prime Minister Trudeau said, Canada has been around a lot longer than 150 years.  Yes, we have our issues, but we're working through them.  Things take time.  

To my Canadian family and friends, Happy Dominion Day.  Be well!

4 Winning Posts I found Interesting

Hope you have had a great weekend, and are excited for the week ahead.  Be sure to refer to my Successful Morning checklist, to get a great start.  If you don't have that checklist, sign up to my e-mail by providing your email address on my home page.

Here's some posts I've seen over the past few days that I thought you'd like.  Cheers!

Better Than It Needs To Be By Seth Godin.  If you're not subscribing to Seth's blog, you should.  He blogs every day, and his posts often challenge you into becoming better.

17 Ideas for the modern world of work by Seth's AltMBA program.  See what I meant, by Seth challenging you?

Why Exercise makes us happy by Skip Pritchard.  There's countless posts on exercising and improving your health.  Happiness does wonders for you, and how you lead your life!

How to have a great vacation by Barking Up The Wrong Tree.  I keep reading stories about how people don't take vacations.  Why not?  Get away from it all, people.

Do me a big favor (favour in Canada).  If you click the share option on this site, send me a tweet that you shared (@bfastleadership) and I'll send you my successful mornings checklists, as well as my ebook on Avoiding Chaos in leadership, for free.  Be well!

WANT BETTER MORNINGS?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)

 

Top 10 Reasons Tragically Hip’s last concert Is a Life Lesson For Us All

Source: Evan Mitsui/CBC

Tonight CBC is showing the Tragically Hip's final concert from Kingston, Ontario. For those outside of Canada, the lead vocalist for The Hip, Gord Downie announced in last May that he has terminal brain cancer.

It’s hard to imagine the moment when Gord heard that news. Likely it was in a doctor’s office which we all know can feel like a cold, antiseptic place.

For people that are diagnosed with a terminal disease, there’s a whirlwind of emotions that come to mind:

“I won’t get to see my kids grow up”

“I won’t get to go on that vacation to <insert dream locale here>”

“I wish I would have done more of <insert anything here>”

“Why me?”

Mr. Downie may have had these thoughts. But somewhere along the way, he decided instead of staying home, spending time with family, or preparing for his untimely end, he decided to celebrate his talents and head out on the road for a tour.

That tour ended in Kingston.

Gord’s unselfish decision to tour with The Hip shows what he thinks about his fans, his country, and the music.

Here’s 10 reasons why tonight’s concert provides life lessons for us all:

  1. Appreciate every moment in your life. While I hope you never have that meeting with your physician telling you that you have a terminal condition. We all come with expiry dates. Act like that, and cherish every moment.
  2. Life is to be celebrated. You have talents that are special to you. I hope that you know what they are, but if you don’t, keep searching. The world needs you, and what you have to give.
  3. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory” Dr. Seuss. Live in the moment. Be mindful of your daily lives. Don’t live on auto-pilot.
  4. “The trouble is that you think you have time” Buddha. Gord didn’t think a year ago that he may pass away in the near future. No one does. If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do, do it. Don’t wait.
  5. Celebrate your mistakes. Your life and accomplishments are built on not only what you’ve done well, but what you’ve royally screwed up.
  6. Forgive. Don’t carry a grudge against ANYONE. I don’t care what they did to you, or how it made your life Hell. Guess what? Carrying that burden continues the pain of whatever that person did or said. Let it go.
  7. Invest in others. Your ancestor’s ancestor’s ancestor’s (etc.) invested in their children. You’re here because of that investment. Repeat often.
  8. Invest in yourself. Never stop learning. Be the best you can be, and if you have a gift like Gord Downie does, share it with as many as you can.
  9. Have fun along the way. No matter what struggles you may be facing, or could potentially face in the near future, don’t fret them. Have fun. Enjoy your life.
  10. Smile. We don’t smile as much as we used to.

Enjoy the concert, and all the best wishes to Gord, his family, and his ever loyal fans and friends. Everytime you go.

Do me a big favor (favour in Canada).  If you click the share option on this site, send me a tweet that you shared (@bfastleadership) and I'll send you my successful mornings checklists, as well as my ebook on Avoiding Chaos in leadership, for free.  Be well!

 

Want Better Mornings?

Do you want a better start to your day? I have a free e-book on six easy steps to a better day, that I personally follow after I experienced a significant health scare. If you would like this free e-book, please click the link below.

Six Steps to a great Morning (Besides coffee)

 

Do this right now...

The work week (for most of us) is over.  You survived.  You accomplished a lot, even though you might feel like you didn't.

Did you keep track of your accomplishments?  Why not?  It's important for you to document your life.   When people ask what you've been doing, can you answer with detail?  Or are you answering the common way of "keeping busy"?

If you don't track what you do, start tomorrow.  Grab a piece of paper and jot down what you're doing throughout the day.   If you want a template, go to my home page, and at the bottom click send me a message, and I'll send you the template I use to track my daily activities.

Don't go through life going through the motions.  Journaling shows you how much you've accomplished.

Be well!

Know someone that is struggling with boundaries in their lives?  Refer them to my website, to show them you care!

Top 7 Leaders to follow for a better work life

7?  Why not 10?  Well, David Letterman will always “own” Top 10 lists in my mind, so I’m going to truncate the list down to 7.

In leadership, there are many days (feels longer) that you feel like you’re on an island, and no one is experiencing what you’re facing.

Bulls###.  

You’re not alone.  What you’re facing is not the first time it’s happened.  Maybe some components are new, but the overall circumstances are not new.  “Nothing is new under the Sun.”

Over the years, I’ve read and subscribed to books and blogs of several leaders.  You may have heard from some of them, but maybe not all.

Below is my (current) Top 7 leaders that I follow, and the reasons why I do.  Note they’re not in any particular order of importance.

  1. Michael Hyatt  (Twitter) I’ve followed my “virtual mentor” for nearly a decade.  I originally was part of Thomas Nelson’s Book review program, when Michael was CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing.  His blog has grown over the years, and he publicly shares tips, tricks, ideas, etc on how to make yourself a better person and leader.  

  2. Jon Gordon (Twitter)   Jon is HUGE in Korea, lol.  (You’ll get that comment if you watch some of his speeches.)  Jon has published several books, and the common theme is positivity.  Life and leadership can beat you down, so choosing to be positive in your daily lives will help you become a better leader, and your teams will grow because of it.

  3. John C. Maxwell (Twitter)  I can’t thank Dr. Maxwell enough for his work, and gifts he has given to me, and leaders across the globe.  His down-home, Grandpa-like way about him creates a level of comfort, that makes you want to sit on the floor near him, and listen to his stories.  You’ll learn so much about life with Dr. Maxwell.

  4. Michael Levitt (Twitter)  Wait, I follow myself?  How does that work?  Am I going to refer to myself in 3rd person now?  Michael Levitt is AWESOME!  (Or at least that’s what I’ve been told.)  Why do I follow me?  Because I want to see what I’m doing to grow, to help others, to help myself (selfless not selfish) and to leave a positive footprint on this world.  

  5. Joseph Lalonde (Twitter) My leadership brother from the Mitten writes great posts about lessons every leader needs to hear.  Joseph will use pop culture movies and other things in society, and ties them to how to improve your leadership of others.  

  6. Dan Rockwell (Twitter)  Leadership Freak’s content always seems different than other leadership blogs.  When you look at several leadership posts from a variety of people, you will see similar posts, but Dan’s blog posts always seem to connect with me in a different way.  Well worth your time to subscribe.

  7. You.  You clicked on this blog post to see who you should follow, and one of those people is you.  You’ve come so far in your leadership journey, and if you’re anything like the others on this list, you want to become the best leader you can be.  Keep striving for that, because our world needs you.