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Week of 8/14/23

Morning Minute: 8/15/23

“Your Habits Create Your Destiny!”

What IS your destiny?

In “The Six Pillars of Intimacy,” Alisa DiLorenzo shares: “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Make sure you watch your actions, because they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny!”

American psychologist, William James stated: “You’re not what you think you are, but what you think…you are!”

These quotes contain pearls of wisdom for creating your destiny, and the life you will enjoy. Start with your thoughts. Either you control your thoughts or they control you. For example, knowing you must decide, but thinking you may fail, your thoughts lead to failure. Concentrating on what you will gain, you are more likely to succeed.

Your thoughts create a mental picture. Based on that mental picture, you make a commitment to take action. The commitment you make, and the action you take, will affect both you and others. Based on the effects of your decision, you must have the discipline to either repeat, alter, or discontinue your action.

Continue that action often enough and it becomes a habit. Habits are simply repeated actions we employ without the need to rethink them. They may be good or bad habits, based on the results. You need discipline in order to create good habits or to change bad habits. Discipline requires you to do what is right even when unnecessary, so when it becomes necessary, you automatically do what is right.

Having the discipline to develop good habits creates character. Character is defined as, “The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”  Mental refers to our thoughts. Moral refers to what we believe is right. So, what we think, and what we believe, defines our character. Our character, whether good or bad, will determine our destiny.

In the movie, Forest Gump asks his mother, “What is my destiny?” She replied: “I believe you make your own destiny. You’ve got to do the best with what God gave you!” Using the talents and personality God gave you to control your thoughts, decisions, commitments, and actions will create good habits. Having the discipline to make good decisions, even when they are hard, creates in you the character that controls your destiny.

Your thoughts create actions that are affected by your commitments and decisions. Using discipline to create habits that are aligned with your character will determine your destiny!

That is today’s Morning Minute.  

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Morning Minute: 8/18/23

Morning Minute: 8/18/23

“Focused, Firm, & Flexible?”

How are these compatible?

When beginning a new project or responsibility, it is imperative to be laser focused on what results are expected of you, plus what you expect for yourself. These results will be what you must focus on. Post them in multiple places to remind you of their importance.

Then, work backward from those expected results until you arrive at where you are now. What steps must be completed, in what order, to achieve those results? That will be your action plan. First comes the goal. Then work backwards to formulate your plan.

For example, you want to train new team members to achieve proficiency in their jobs. First, you must demonstrate what that proficiency looks like. Then, working backward, you share with them the functions they will be required to learn. It is your job to teach, and their job to learn, the skills required for proficiency. You must be focused until those results are achieved.

Be firm as you monitor the progress of these team members. They must put forth the necessary effort to learn the skills required to achieve proficiency. Your firm direction will keep them on a path of continuous improvement, resulting in their success.

Changing processes, products, and events may create opportunities disguised as problems. You must be flexible enough to pivot, making the changes required, to take advantage of these opportunities.

Years ago, I was assigned as GM to a dealership with multiple franchises that had been barely profitable. For 2001, our leadership team set a BHAG (Bold, Hairy, Audacious, Goal) for net profit for that year. Each team was responsible for achieving their stated share. The managers analyzed their 4 Ps, people, process, product, and promotion to determine what steps, in what order, must be taken to achieve their forecast. They were laser focused on massive increases in sales while reducing expenses. Plus, they were quite firm that customer service and teamwork would not be sacrificed as they worked toward their shared goals.

Due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks our sales dropped over 50%. In answer to this event and to take advantage of 0% financing from GMAC, we were flexible enough to make a quick 48 hour pivot. Our flexibility allowed us to change our “go-to-market” strategy 25 – 30 days before our competition could adjust. Being focused, firm, and flexible made our 2001 a spectacular success!

“Focused, Firm, & Flexible!”

That is today’s Morning Minute.