Tuesday, November 29, 2016

“If You’re Good, You Can Have Some Ice Cream”

I wonder how many times, in the history of ice cream, a parent has said something like this to a small child as a way of bribing them to cooperate. In one sense, it sounds like a simple harmless statement.  In another sense, it’s a walk down a dangerous road because so many bad things can happen if ice cream becomes a parent’s go-to behavior solution. The child could grow up deciding (s)he needs to be “paid” for their cooperation. Or they could become addicted to sugar both physically and mentally. The list goes on.

If you understand the dangers of ice cream, or cookies, cakes, candy, sugary cereal, etc., then you know something a lot of younger less-experienced parents haven’t learned or figured out yet. If you’re a grandparent, you could probably come up with nine other things younger less-experienced parents could benefit from knowing too. In fact, you could write a book—10 Quick Parenting Tips Every New Parent Needs—upload it to Amazon, and sell it. Will it sell? If you put your honest effort into writing it, making sure it looks great, and marketing it, then it’ll sell. I don’t know how many copies. That generally depends on how much genuine and sincere effort you put into writing, editing, formatting, and marketing.

We all have specialized knowledge of some sort. Sometimes, it’s a bizarre sort of knowledge such as how to always get the window seat on a plane. Trust me, there are people who want to know how to do this, and if you know how to make this happen, and you write and market a quick, but good, ebook about how to accomplish this, you’re very likely to sell a few copies.

Just about everybody has some kind of specialized knowledge that could help others. Sometimes those people think about writing a book too. Perhaps you know what I’m talking about because you’re getting that tingling feeling, the one that reminds you how much you’d like to share what you’ve learned. If that’s you, then please, on behalf of all the people waiting for the knowledge, information, wisdom, and insights you have to offer, please write your book.

Don’t let yourself get bogged down by the idea that your book has to be perfect, or that it has to hit the NY Times best seller list. Focus on the person who desperately needs your knowledge and wisdom in their life, and write your book for them. Help that person change their life for the better so they can then pay it forward in their own way. 

Writing a book is not the daunting task it used to be—especially when it comes to self-publishing. So, if you’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book, let’s trade a few emails or have a conversation so I can answer the questions you’re sure to have.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Grit Part 3

According to Dr. Duckworth, a Gallup Poll found that 2/3 of adults aren’t truly engaged at work. Sadly, few people do what they love. It looks like those countless commencement speeches that constantly say to follow your passions really are on to something important here, aren’t they?  The few who are lucky enough to follow their passions into a career field feel extremely satisfied, are usually more productive than their peers and many times don’t really feel like they have worked a day in their lives because their vocation is really their advocation.
            So, why isn’t everyone doing this? Why isn’t everyone following their passions and landing in the perfect job that brings them eternal satisfaction and happiness? Dr. Duckworth thinks that it might be because too many people think that one’s interest and one’s passion is something that one just finds or discovers somehow. However, that’s not how it works. Although, there is some degree of discovery involved in finding one’s interest and passion, a much bigger and powerful component of interest and passion is development. One has to actually develop it!
            If you can remember your old school guidance counselor driving you crazy in high school, like the author of this article can, when our counselors used to brow beat us while telling us that we had to know exactly what we was going to do with the rest of our life then reading Grit will help you. It will help you realize that high school is way too early for most of us to know what we want to with the rest of our lives, or what our passions are. For most of us, passion is something that really is developed rather than just internally pulled out of oneself or just ‘found’.
            Furthermore, we’re not supposed to immediately fall in love with our first job. It’s a mistake and an unrealistic expectation to think that one can just go try out a job and instantly fall in love with everything about the job. The perfect match just isn’t out there, especially for beginners. It’s sort of like relationships. With these unrealistic expectations that many young people have today about everything fitting perfectly and how it shouldn’t be hard, they just jump from one relationship to another or from one job to another never spending enough time to develop a true passion and grow some grit.
            Hey, it’s not our fault that we do this hopping around thing. It’s just natural for us humans to want to jump from one thing to another. Unlike animals who have instincts, when we humans are born, as babies we need to learn through experiencing new things. This basic experiential learning helps keep us alive. Thus, novelty, change and variety is a basic human drive that formed its genesis in the survival of our species.
            The trick though to building ourselves some grit is to fight these natural impulses and then eventually even learn to use them to work for us, instead of against us. For instance, for the beginner, novelty is anything that they haven’t encountered before. For the expert, novelty is the nuance. Nuance is what keeps the experts or aspiring experts going while others get bored and quit. Nuance is what most non-experts misunderstand. They can’t see what the expert can see.

            So are you moving on too quickly, or are you sticking it out to develop your passion and build some grit?
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker and educator. You can learn more about him at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.