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Do You Know Too Much?

When George told his dad that he was going to get his Master’s degree, his dad said, “Be careful, son … you don’t want to get so educated that no one can use you!”

Is your knowledge a blessing or a curse?

The curse of knowledge
It seems that as our knowledge and experience increase, our creativity and innovation decrease. When you become an expert in a field, you risk losing the innovation that probably got you there. That’s the curse of knowledge!

That leads to some strange things … for example, why do you have to go to “start” to shut off your computer? Techies understand that. However, to the average person, it doesn’t make sense at all.

Group think often results when experts collaborate. As long as you only involve people just like yourself, you end up with things like going to “start” to finish.

The sign of the curse
Have you tried reading a book written by an expert in a field new to you? Or gone to a web site that’s outside your area of expertise? What did you see? Perhaps it was like reading a foreign language. It was jargon – the sign of the curse.

Maybe you’ve sat in a room of people, all speaking jargon. At some point, you asked a question! Gasp! Do you remember the looks? You don’t know it all! Gasp (again)!

If you find that your speech is full of jargon, you may know too much!

New discoveries
Something interesting happens as novices ask questions. The experts are forced to explain their subject simply – from the perspective of a newbie. In the process, the experts often discover new ways to look at the same old problems.

So why do so many people only hang out with people just like them? Because it’s comfortable. It’s good for your ego to feel like you’re part of such a prestigious group. Your input is valued when you’re in your area of expertise talking with other experts.

A good problem within limits
We’re certainly not suggesting that you don’t want to be an expert in your chosen field. In fact, the opposite is true – seek first to be an expert!

Then you can have the problem we’re talking about here – it’s a good one to have! But recognize that your creativity and innovative tendencies are often limited when you’re an expert.

So how can you remain creative when you’re an expert?

  • Make some new friends, outside of your field.

Or reconnect with some old friends, outside of your inner circle of experts like you. People you don’t converse with much anymore because you’re too busy! Mingle with people who have a variety of experiences. You’ll learn things from them that that will help you be more innovative again.

  • Get a hobby, especially a creative one.

We wrote an article recently, 98 Does Your Hobby Work For You] It highlights a study of Nobel laureates. That’s a pretty innovative group, wouldn’t you say? The researchers found that about one percent of all scientists claimed some leisure pursuit. They were surprised to learn that over fifty percent of the Nobel Prize winners had a serious hobby! So get out of your “lab” and get your creative juices flowing again.

Sometimes, it pays to listen to novices

Cynthia Barton Rabe wrote a book called The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine… And What Smart Companies Are Doing About It. She tells the story about an executive who was with Ralston Purina when they bought out Eveready. Eveready had successfully marketed flashlights for years, but now the business was very mature.

This was the mid-1980s. Eveready sold their flashlights through hardware stores and lumber yards. They offered two colors – red and metal. The transferred executive suggested new colors – pink, light blue, and light green. These colors would appeal to women, she argued. Gasp! The experts only looked at her with dismay.

She suggested that the flashlights be distributed through grocery stores! Gasp! Fortunately, she sold the decision-makers on her idea. The result – bigg sales! You’re the expert.

Keep in mind that sometimes that’s a curse. Be open to new ideas, even from novices!

Our bigg quote today comes from William Shakespeare.

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

If you know at all, you’ll know that you don’t know it all.

Next time, we’ll discuss climbing the stairway to … success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00045-011108.mp3

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The Magical Word That Helps Balance Your Life

By Bigg Success Staff
01-03-08

Work-Life Balance

little magicians

If you want something done, recruit a busy person to do it. That’s advice with which we’re all familiar. Busy people are able to juggle a number of things at once. They are well-organized personally so they do what they say they’ll do. They are thorough so you don’t have to worry about something being overlooked.

The problem is this: because they become known as the go-to guy or gal, everyone goes to them. At first, it’s flattering, but at some point, they become overwhelmed.

As a bigg goal-getter, you’re probably all too familiar with that scenario. You’re one of those busy people to whom everyone goes. You’re so busy doing that you have no time for being. You don’t have time for “you”.

Like a magician in a straight-jacket, you’re so tied up you can barely move. So we want to share a secret with you – the one word that insures that you spend your time how you want. That magical word is ….

… “no”.

Learn to say “no” and you’ll get more out of your life. That sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Here’s why it works:

Think bigg passion.
11 First, think about what you want out of your life]. Knowing this makes your choices much easier. If the opportunity before you doesn’t help you get closer to your dream, then just say “no.”

Think bigg purpose.
Next, think about 62 what’s most important to you]. How does this request stack up? What else could you do at that time? Have you recently done something similar to this? If so, maybe you should spend this time on something else. Answer these questions and you may just say “no.”

Think bigg growth.
As a go-getter, you want new challenges. You understand that pushing yourself to your limits helps you grow personally. Look for opportunities that provide that to you. Say “no” when the opportunity before you doesn’t provide that. Put another way, if you’ll be doing something you’ve done before, just say “no!”

Think bigg impact.
You’re in demand professionally and personally. Everyone needs you – family, friends, co-workers, fellow volunteers, and more. Don’t you feel special? Probably not! It’s more likely that you’re frustrated because you can’t clone yourself! Think about the difference you’ll make is you say “yes.” If doing something else will make a bigger impact, just say “no.”

So the next time you’re faced with an opportunity, pull these four points out of your magician’s hat! Sometimes saying “no” is the best thing you can do – for you and all those you touch. You’ll do better when you do say “yes” and you’ll feel more fulfilled as you live your bigg passion with purpose!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related Links:
Visualize The Life You Want, Part 2
Live Your Dream With Purose

(Image of litle magicians by Mikto&Teukka, CC 2.0)

image of a woman with a butterfly on her shoulder and the title: live your dream life with purpose part 2

Live Your Dream With Purpose – Part 2

image of a woman with a butterfly on her shoulder and the title: live your dream life with purpose part 2

This is the second of a two-part series where we share how defining your core values helps you live your dream with purpose.

Yesterday, we discussed why defining your core values helps you live your dream life. You won’t have peace of mind if your life isn’t consistent with your values. Knowing your values invigorates you. You see the BIGG picture – your current situation may not be all you dream of, but you can see how it’s getting you where you want to be.

We’re working toward a written statement of values. Having your values in writing makes them more tangible. It keeps them in front of you. You’re forced to analyze them more thoroughly than if you just keep them in your head.

Let’s look at two techniques you can use to discover your core values – yours, not someone else’s. Whichever technique you use, you’ll want to find a place that’s conducive to creative thinking.

    • The List

Select the ten things you think are most important from our list of values. It’s not easy, but that’s the point – discovering what you value the most. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to add your own values.

Once you’ve done that, up the ante. Choose the five values that are most important to you. Then four … three … two … one. You’ve just created an ordered ranking of your five most important values!

    • The Blank Sheet

Start with a blank sheet of paper (or a blank word processing document, if you prefer to type). Write “What’s most important to me?” at the top. Now brainstorm.

Write freely – don’t analyze. Anything and everything that comes to mind. Now get away from it. Come back to it again. Don’t worry if a couple of days pass.

When you return, look at your list. Do you want to add anything? Cross something off? Have at it – it’s your list.

Next, look at each word. Ask yourself what it means to you.  How does it help you live your dream with purpose?

For example, maybe your wrote down money. Money can mean income, wealth, freedom, security …. what does it mean to you? You’ll often find that what you value is underlying the word you wrote. Dig deep.

Now, start eliminating values so you end up with an ordered ranking.

You may find that combining the two techniques works best. Start with the first. Look over the list. Then get away from it. Return to a blank sheet and start brainstorming.

Visualizing your dream life, free of constraints, helped you uncover your passions. Now we’re bringing beliefs to those passions, which defines your values. That’s the life you want. In a couple of weeks, we’ll bring in the constraints; we’ll assess where you are. Then we’ll develop strategies to link the two together.

Our quote today is by the French writer and philosopher Michael de Montaigne.

“The value of life is not in the length of days, but in the use
we make of them; a man may live long but yet very little.”

So seize today. Value your life and live your values.

Next time, we’ll talk about success snake oil – know when you’re getting scammed. We’ll recount some recent experiences. Until then, here’s to your BIGG success!

In case you missed it, here’s the first part of this 2-part series:

Live Your Dream With Purpose – Part I

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/biggsuccess/00027-121807.mp3

butterfly on a woman's shoulder with the title: live your dream life with purpose part 1

Live Your Dream With Purpose – Part I

butterfly on a woman's shoulder with the title: live your dream life with purpose part 1

This is the first of a two-part series where we share how defining your core values helps you live your dream with purpose.

About thirty days ago, we asked you to visualize the life you want. Specifically, we asked you to remove the two constraints – time and money – and answer this question:

If neither time nor money was an issue,
how would you spend your time and money?

Mary-Lynn said that, as a long-time broadcaster, her dream is to develop her own content that helps people. She’s doing that with BIGG Success. George says his dream is to travel more, especially spending more time on the beach.

Dreaming is great, but we all have responsibilities. Money is limited. Time even more so. How does it help to dream without considering that fact?

Understand that this is a process. We’ll bring the two constraints back in … but not just yet. First, find your passions by dreaming about the life you want. But you won’t have peace of mind if you’re not living your values.

And, if you remember, we defined success as peace of mind. You’ll never feel successful without it. So, now we want to define our core values.

What’s most important to you  to live your dream with purpose? You’ll find your core values at the point where your passions and your beliefs intersect. They’re the combination of what you want and what you believe (i.e. your morals).

Everyone lives according to a set of values. Sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously. We have all sorts of values … our own, things our parents taught us, influences of our society …

The question is NOT, “Are you living by a set of values?”
The question is, “Are you living by YOUR core values?”

Many people default to a subconscious set of mostly external values. Defining your core values should be extremely personal. What is most important to YOU? If you don’t live your life in line with your answer to that question, you’ll never achieve peace of mind. You’ll experience frustration, stress, burnout … all things diametrically opposed to peace of mind!

If you’re like a lot of people, you may say that your core values interfere with pursuing your passions. For example, supporting your family may be an overriding value of yours. You’re not happy but you have to do what you have to do, right?

Keep in mind that seeing the big picture – aligning your core values with your passions – energizes you. You may come to see your current situation as a stepping stone to the future of which you dream. Doesn’t that change how you look at things as they are now?

We’ll revisit this topic next time. Between now and then, think about what’s most important to you, given your passions and beliefs. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about two techniques that will help you discover your core values so you can live your dream life with purpose.

Our quote today is by Steven Covey.

“Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and your
values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them.”

So values your values and your vision … and live your life with purpose, on purpose.
Next time, we’ll continue on this track. You’ll get two techniques to discover your core values so you can live your dream life with purpose. Until then, here’s to your BIGG success!

When you are ready, check out Part 2 of this series, which features a free list of core values.

Live Your Dream With Purpose – Part 2

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/biggsuccess/01028-092820.mp3

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The Home Stretch

By Bigg Success Staff
December, 06 2007 

Work-Life Balance

We recently discussed how pushing yourself to your limits leads to your 7 peace of mind]. “Brazen Careerist” blogger, Penelope Trunk, wrote a related post recently called “Don’t get too comfortable at home after work.”

She cites the book, Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment written by Gregory Berns. Berns is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Emory University and Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Now that’s a title!

In his book, Berns discusses the mood-lifting chemical reaction that occurs in your brain when you stretch yourself. Trunk asserts that you won’t be happy if you only push yourself at work. You also need personal growth at home. Otherwise, you’ll feel a void. Her post is ripe with ideas. We think you’ll enjoy reading it. Here are some thoughts on how to begin.

Shake up your after-work routine
Start with little changes. Make it a habit. You’ll soon feel excited about your new routine. Then you’re ready for bigger and better things.

  • Instead of sitting, stand. When you would usually stand, walk.
  • If tonight is pizza night, order a Hawaiian pizza instead of pepperoni.
  • Instead of staying at home, go out. Instead of going out, stay in.
  • Watch an educational show instead of that show you normally would view.
  • Eat dinner at the table, instead of in front of the television.
  • Instead of surfing the internet, browse materials at your local library. You remember the library, don’t you?

Without balance, you can’t be whole. It’s analogous to taking elective courses. They round you out. You become a more interesting person because you expand your point-of-view.

Without growth, in all areas of your life, you won’t feel fulfilled. Begin with baby steps. Make stretching yourself, at work and at home, a habit. Start today!

Related link:
10 The Work Life Teeter -Totter ](article)
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