You Must Deal With Discomfort In Order To Win Big

You Must Deal With Discomfort In Order To Win Big

You must deal with discomfort in order to win big in life. Being able to leverage that unease feeling we feel in our stomachs is critical if your goal is to achieve something of significance in this life. You must experience discomfort. I mean, literally.

These are some examples of discomfort that often leads to big victory.

  1. Pumping iron religiously in order to gain muscle mass
  2. Studying long hours in order to ace the test
  3. Programming overnight in order to finish a game prototype
  4. Initiating anything worthwhile in life and not giving up
  5. Taking a stance on a position and sticking to it

These are some examples of comfort that often leads to loss.

  1. Pumping iron in order to gain muscle mass today but quitting tomorrow because of body pains.
  2. Studying long hours in order to ace the test but compromising on focus.
  3.  Programming overnight in order to finish a game prototype but giving up at 4:42am.
  4. Initiating anything worthwhile in life and giving up when challenges arise
  5. Taking a stance on a position and failing to stick to it

There is no way out. Either you go through the motions of experiencing discomfort or you will never experience a big win. Tiger Woods hits golf balls for hours on end in order to win the Masters; Edison failed over one thousand times before inventing the light bulb. Arnold schwarzenegger didn’t become Mr. Olympia seven times by avoiding the uncomfortable.

My advise is this — Put your smartphone away and start working hard unless the discomfort your need to experience to win big involves using your smartphone. You have the chance to be like anybody else and don’t win anything big in life or experience the uncomfortable and win big.

What is your choice? Choose wisely.

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People Who Are Legitimately Interested Will Make The First Move

People Who Are Legitimately Interested Will Make The First Move

Whenever a student is interested in learning, he/she takes the initiative to come to class early and raise his/her hand first. When colleges and universities are interested in an applicant for a job, they initiate the communication process and follow up first with a finalist. When an organization wants to hire a potential employee, the organization also makes the first move and keep the candidate aware of their intentions to hire him/her. Initiative means interest. Lack of initiative doesn’t.

I’m always a bit weary when people say they are interested in something but they don’t make an attempt to make the first move. In the back of my mind, I wonder — Are they really interested if they hesitate? Let me go even further. It worries me when I see, for example, students lacking initiative because lack thereof may mean something much more than just initiative.

When I’m interested in something, I take the initiative to make things happen. I make the first move to make an impact and show interest. we You should do the same.

Why?

Because by showing interest and stepping up first to make a stance is rare. In an abundant economy that is so cluttered with supply and output, taking the initiative is int itself a rare behavior. We cannot afford to be average anymore.

Taking the initiative and being first in something makes you an outlier by default. It ain’t a bad place to be, I must add. My recommendation: When in doubt, take the lead and initiate.

 

 

Success In The Age Of Automation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people possessing a bachelors degree still make more than people who only complete a high school diploma or an associates degree in full-time work. A talented masters degree recipient makes on average 15% more than those who hold a four year degree, as long as both are over the age of 25. Professional degrees tend to generate 50% more return over a person’s investment against a bachelors degree. Clearly, pursuing formal education is worthwhile statistically but not in the way you may think. 

The majority of people would agree that when a person combines a solid college education with hard work, it is nearly impossible to fail. Although this has been the case for many years, I don’t think that we are operating under the same criteria anymore. A college degree and hard work isn’t enough for you to succeed in the workforce anymore — at least not in the long run. College students must work with professors who understand where the economy is going and how to anticipate the effects of automation in their fields during academic advising and work together to come up with a strategy to deal with these challenges overtime.

I would even argue that strong interpersonal and cross cultural communication skills are also required for graduates to succeed over time in 2017 due to the fact that we now belong to the world economy. Being able to interact with others will prove to be an indispensable skillset for millenniums to have because it will be a commodity. As more automation is introduced in the workforce, we are going to find ourselves relying more on these systems yet leadership will do business as usual, interpersonally.   

We live in a society that is fast paced, driven by expertise and hard work, where investors want to get immediate return over their capital investments so that more innovation is then infused back in the workforce in order to maximize profit, even if your job is at stake regardless of your work ethic. If we ignore how technology is evolving in our industries, we run the risk of putting ourselves out of business before the first quarter!

Where is Kodak today? Do you remember CompUSA? I don’t believe that the employees who worked for these companies were all incompetent. I am also skeptical that they may have all been lazy and therefore their mother companies either ceased to exist or significantly reduced their operations. Maybe there was another reason for why they all lost their positions within the American corporate world. To me, the differentiator that has made them move from a leader to being a player or no player in the American business landscape was how they calculated rates of automation in their own industries overtime.

A college graduate must understand this reality not after years working for Amazon but while they are in high school. As a parent, you must tell your kids that life today is in many respects more difficult than life was for you as our economy now has more people competing for positions, less jobs available and has an increasing amount of automation impacting these former dynamics which can only result in one inevitable outcome — potential unemployment for those who aren’t experts in their field of study or who have poor work ethic and ignore the predictable changes that automation will bring to their industries.

I may appear to be overly cautious about the systemic side effects of innovation in the American workforce sometimes but I find it difficult to believe that my concerns for the sustainability of small town living and progress for the middle class isn’t grounded in sound principles of what makes companies successful overtime. Perhaps if companies like Sears and Borders were more sensitive to the automation that was occurring at Wal-Mart and Amazon, they would still be with us today.

We live in a world market by change and automation. Failing to compute its impacts on our long-term economic sustainability seems juvenile to me. We need to be proactive and increase our awareness of the inevitable impacts of automation so we can keep achieving the American dream.

In This Life You Need To Be Spectacular. 

In This Life You Need To Be Spectacular. 

In this life, you need to be spectacular in what you do. If your gift is playing classical music, your goal is to become the next Mozart. If sports is your gig, try to be the next Pele. Are you talented in art? Your competition is Andy Warhol not the local starving artist living on 3rd street. Never, under any circumstances, be satisfied with being mediocre. You were born to achieve greatness in this life, remember that. Your competition isn’t local or regional — it is definitely global and inter generational. 

I don’t know about you but my biggest competition lies inside of me. I don’t look at others for inspiration or guidance other than looking at true timeless talent to keep me in reality. I have no problem looking at amazing talent to help me to develop my own talent. In a world dominated by excellence, failing to perform at the highest level is capital punishment. Be aware of the fact that it is only by discovering your true talent that you will have the chance to make it big in this life. The irony of the former is that so many people work in so many areas of life that they are not talented in. How can that be? Let me explain.

In life you need to be spectacular, hands down. Too many people, however, believe that in order to be spectacular people need to be a millionaire. Well, these days, too many even think that people need to be a billionaire. The reality, though, is that some industries aren’t made to make most into either of thee categories yet you can be truly exceptional. You need to trash the idea that money equates to greatness today, not tomorrow, next week, or sometimes in the near future. Otherwise, you might end up being a mediocre engineer when you should have been the new Mozart in town. 

Focusing on dollars isn’t the main variable that is going to make you spectacular. Working on your true gift, however, will. Your goal isn’t to be wealthy necessarily. Your goal is to discover your true talent and focus. If you do the former, you will be well compensated over time, I bet. What comes easy goes easy. When you work in what you do best, you win overtime which is the best way to win. Remember: In this life, you need to be espectacular. 

The Importance of Being Nice

The Importance of Being Nice

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Life is too short for anybody to be mean to others. We must celebrate the gift of life with joy, a smile on our faces, and an eye towards the great Lord of the universe. In Ephesians 4:29 we learn to “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Proverbs 11:17 also teaches us the importance of being kind, “Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.” In Colossians 3:12 we read, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Why be mean to others especially when they have done nothing against you? Let’s not forget that human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires, James 1:20. God takes care of its people, though. Our God is a just God who is merciful. There are a number of ways in which you can be kind to others in this world. In the paragraphs written below, I will share three ways anybody can use to be more kind to others.

  1. Make God the center of your life.  Live for God by faith all the days of your lives. Remember: Your life doesn’t belong to you but to God.  We are to do God’s will and live by faith in this life. We need to be thankful not vengeful or angry. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we learn that we are to give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Why should we reject God’s teachings? We shall not, that’s for sure. Whenever you make Christ the center of your life, you find true happiness and tremendous freedom.
  2. Seek love and avoid contention.  In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  we read, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love is without question one of the most incredible qualities of a Christian. If we choose peace we shall find the kingdom of God. The bible is quite clear about contention, “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Proverbs 17:14). Love one another and abandon the need to fight. Choose love over evil.
  3. Pray for those who prosecute you without a cause. In Matthew 5:44, we learn, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Pray and pray hard for those who act without honor against you. The good God is a Lord of forgiveness and understanding. Be the salt of the world by adopting a lie philosophy that is based on prayer and forgiveness. Be the light of hope in someone’s angry unjustified demeanor. In the end, their prosecution of you is an act of insecurity. Make them more secure if you have an opportunity. Be a witness of understanding and always take the high ground. Most folks are egoistic. be generous especially with prayer. God wants you to pray and serve others.  Do your part — be obedient.

Life is too short for anybody to be mean to others. We must celebrate the gift of life with joy, a smile on our faces, and an eye towards the great Lord of the universe. In the end, we are all in this world together seeking our biggest gift of all — salvation. Turn your eyes to God and pray. Be the hope you want to see in others.

Caring Academic Advising –A Necessity For The Lifelong Success Of Any Professor.

Caring Academic Advising –A Necessity For The Lifelong Success Of Any Professor.

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One of the most gratifying feelings a teacher can have is to mentor students and seeing them succeeding. This is Matt, one of my former academic advisees, who now is the manager at Enterprise-rent-a-car after only a few years out of college. Matt once said, “Dr. A, I just want to graduate from college and have a suit and tie job so I can support my family.” We sat down and in a period of a few months, we generated a strategy to help him achieve his dream of working in a white collar job. Although there are so many ways a pre-professional can be advised, there are three ways in which I believe future workforce stars should be guided.

  1. Future workforce stars should be encouraged to look at the self. I don’t care if a recent graduate majors in Engineering, Communication, Art or History. Everybody has a talent given by God. The real challenge is to find out what people are really great at. The best person to answer this question is of course the person seeking advising. Rather than trying to work in a job purely because of money, future workforce starts should do what they can to work in their talent. Matt works in his talent. He is successful and happy.
  2. Future workforce stars should be told when they suck at something. You read it right. Nobody can improve to a level of a star if they think they are good in an area when in trueness they suck at it. Never forget this — You are perceived by society based on how others see you. It really doesn’t matter if you think that you can sing like Prince if others tell that you sing like William Hung. True success is defined by what others think of you. Once in a while, it is good to be told that you suck at something if the constructive criticism leads you to discover your true talent. Remember to not be cocky. Nobody is great in everything. If somebody tells you that they can do everything chances are high that they can’t really do anything.
  3. Future workforce stars should be told about the word of God. As an empiricist, I can’t prove to you with quantitative data why this is the case because nobody can prove or disprove God. We simply trust or should I say, “have faith.” What I have seen in my life as a teaching professional and adviser is that God can do miracles in our lives. The bible says in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 21:22 states, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” It seems only logical that we should believe (have faith) and start thinking about living a life for God. I wish I could prove this to you but scripture is gospel or colloquially put, “good news.” Being with God is a gift that pays off. By knowing about God, you are going to know more about yourself.

Caring academic advising is a necessity for the lifelong success of any employee. Nobody, I mean.. nobody wins alone. College graduates might fulfill the requirements for a bachelors degree on their own but letters of recommendation are required for full-time employment. The same goes for Master degree candidates or doctoral degree recipients. If you think you can do it all alone, think again. Embrace the lifelong learning philosophy and seek an academic advisor in which you trust. You won’t regret.