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The Fine Line Between Living and Dying a Slow Death

Fine line | Bigg Success“Woke up, fell out of bed

Dragged a comb across my head

Found my way downstairs and drank a cup

And looking up, I noticed I was late

Found my coat and grabbed my hat

Made the bus in seconds flat

Found my way upstairs and had a smoke

And somebody spoke and I went into a dream”

~ The Beatles, A Day in the Life

Do these lyrics describe a routine? Or is this person in a rut?

It’s a fine line. Many people cross the line without realizing it.

Routines help you do all that you do more efficiently. Ruts impede your effectiveness.

Routines are processes

In your small business, you probably have certain processes. These processes are in place because you’ve found they are the fastest way to complete a task, given the expected standards.

Routines are the equivalent in your personal life.

You probably shower without even thinking about it. In essence, you’ve reached a flow state.

It’s automatic. You can multi-task effectively – plan your day while you clean up, for example.

Ruts start as routines

In your small business, you don’t develop a process and forget it. You constantly look for ways to improve it using feedback from both internal and external sources.

A rut starts out as a routine. The routine turns into a rut because we don’t seek feedback.

We stop looking for ways to improve it. We just do the same old thing, day after day, month after month, year after year.

Dr. Peter Laurence said, “A rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.” It’s a slow death.

Put life into your process

Once you understand that ruts start as routines, you can get out of a rut more easily. Put some life back into the process:

  • Start small

    Think about a seemingly insignificant routine that’s turned into a rut. For example, if you commute, to what do you listen on the drive to work?

  • Think about alternatives

    Instead of music, listen to talk. Instead of talk, listen to an informational podcast, like The BIGG Success Show.

  • Get feedback from others

    Ask others what they listen to while they drive. Expand your quest beyond your inner circle.

  • Test

    Try on different things. Maybe the first podcast won’t tickle your fancy. Don’t eliminate podcasts in general; try another one in that genre. If it’s still not your cup of tea, try a different genre.

  • Transform.

    This is the goal, right? Evaluate your progress. Is your new routine helping you grow? If not, change it up again. If so, keep going.

    Just remember – transformation isn’t an event. It’s a living process.

Image in this post from kovik.

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Office Politics and How to Rock the Boat

rocked_boatWe recently met up with our friend, Andrew Timms. A great time was had by all as they say. He told us that he’s running for a local political office and related a conversation where it was stated that “politics is dirty business.”

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His response caught our attention. He said:

“Politics isn’t dirty business; partisanship is.”

We think he’s right and we’re not trying to be partisan!

But we’ve forgotten that politics is supposed to be a noble endeavor. The term “politics” has gotten a bad rap because we use it when we really mean partisan.

Politics is supposed to be about give and take. It’s the business of compromise. According to Merriam-Webster, politics is about guiding or influencing governmental policy.

Those are pretty soft words, aren’t they? Guiding. Influencing.

Doesn’t sound dirty, does it?

On the other hand, Merriam-Webster says that partisanship is “a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause or person” but they don’t stop there. They add “especially: one exhibiting blind, prejudiced and unreasoning allegiance.”

Now that’s a pretty strong indictment. Partisanship is dirty at best and downright stupid at worst.

Because everybody is wrong sometimes. And every group misses the mark at least occasionally. 

Bigg success is life on your own terms. It means you think for yourself. You don’t blindly follow anyone or any group. 

Politics and partisanship doesn’t just apply to government. We have them at the office as well. It’s particularly important that leaders aren’t partisan.

So let’s go back to the 60’s to discuss 3 bitchin’ tips to rock the partisan boat as a leader. C’mon. Get your mojo going! Are you ready to rock?

You say yes. I say no.

You say stop. And I say go, go, go.
Oh no. You say goodbye. And I say hello.
Hello. Hello.

Now that we’re through with our tribute to the Beatles, our first tip is to be careful of “yes” people.

We all like confirmation of our ideas. It’s a boost to our ego. But a lot of times, it’s the counterpoint that keeps you out of trouble.

As a leader, you need to go out of your way to seek out opinions that differ from yours. Encourage your people – heck reward them – for speaking out with a different point-of-view.

Wild Thing, you make my heart sing.

Thanks to The Troggs, our second tip is to be a political animal. Great politicians are great compromisers.

As a bigg goal-getter, you can do even better. Bring factions together to find a better alternative. Don’t compromise. Synergize!

When you get people working together for a common solution instead of defending their side, you’ll find a bigger win in most cases than what either side could come up with on their own.

Let’s get past the British invasion and …

Break on Through to the Other Side!
Straight from The Doors, our third tip for rocking the partisan boat is to open the door to other parties.

If you’re a suit, get with the geeks.
If you’re a bean counter, hang out with the pitchmen or women.
If you’re white collar, spend some time with blue collar workers.
If you’re C-level, get out on the front line.
If you’re an insider, solicit the input of outsiders.

Take these groovy tips and rock the boat on partisanship. You’ll soon be bookin’ on the road to bigg success.

How do you rock the partisan boat?
Share that with us by leaving a comment, e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com or leaving a voice message at 888.455.BIGG (2444).

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks for hanging out at our pad today. Please join us next time when we get out blender to create a better life. Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00494-100509.mp3

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(Image in today's post from Manthy)

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Can Happiness Buy Money

golden_eggWe’ve heard it again and again … money can’t buy happiness. According to the Beatles, it can’t buy love either!

But what if the order is reversed? Can happiness buy money?

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The latest research supports the notion that happiness can buy money[PDF]. It comes from a team effort with researchers from the University of Virginia, Michigan State University, and last but certainly the most, the University of Illinois. Okay, we’re biased but at least we admit it.

Happiness buys an extra $8,263 a year!

The researchers surveyed incoming freshmen at 25 elite colleges. We’re not sure how they defined “elite”, but we’re pretty sure it’s the schools we attended!

The participants reported their cheerfulness. 19 years later, when the participants were about 37 years old, the researchers asked them to report their annual income.

On average, the participants in the highest 10% on the cheerfulness scale earned over 15% more than those in the lowest 10%. In 1995 dollars, this was a difference of $8,263 a year, on average ($62,681 vs. $54,318).

Attitude to altitude

That’s a bigg difference. So not only can happiness buy you money, it can buy quite a bit of it! Apparently attitude does determine altitude!

That’s one of the bigg takeaways here. If we approach the days of our lives with the right attitude, we’ll be more productive. We’ll show more initiative. We’ll get more opportunities.

More money, less risk

We also found it interesting that the most cheerful participants were one-third less likely to ever be unemployed than the least cheerful. It appears that being of good cheer not only helps you be more prosperous, it reduces your risk as well. That’s a slam dunk!

And it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. We learn in business school that you have to take more risk to make more money. But as this study shows, you can make more money and actually have less risk with the right attitude!

That’s the bigg idea behind bigg success – to get all areas of our lives working harmoniously by finding synergy like what we see here.

Being too happy is costly

Here’s a surprising twist from this study: People who were moderately cheerful (above average on the researchers scale but not in the top 10%) earned the most on average.

They made almost 6% more than those in the top 10% and about 22% more than the bottom 10%. In 1995 dollars, that means they earned $3,563 and $11,826 more than the highest and lowest deciles respectively.

So being really happy leads to much better income than being really unhappy. But being happy instead of really happy is even better yet!

It turns out that Droopy had it right. He never said, “I’m really happy.” Just “I’m happy.”

Bigg Success is the community of bigg goal-getters. People who are usually happy, but never content. This research supports the notion that this “happy, not content” attitude leads to bigg success.

Thanks so much for checking in on us today. You can get more tips and tools to be a bigg success by subscribing to our free weekly newsletter.

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what entrepreneurs have that MBAs don’t. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00446-072709.mp3

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(Image in today's post by Mattox)