5 Lessons On Achieving Goals You Can Apply Today

goals, goal setting, success

Over the weekend, while watching the NCAA wrestling tourney on TV, I was reminded of my dad, coach Jimmy MillerServing as Cornell’s head wrestling coach for more than 25 years, he oversaw many young men with intense goals. And many of them found success. During those years, he frequently made two comments about semifinal versus final matches.

One interesting, one wise.

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Personal Accountability: Doing My Job

Do-you-job2I asked our twentysomething daughter, Molly, who has served as captain of soccer and basketball teams, “Molly, in your opinion, what makes an effective team?” I was honestly just curious what she’d say; it wasn’t like I was doing book research! But I loved her answer: “Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job.”

Perfect. So her outstanding thought went into Outstanding! in the “Work!” chapter.

Can you imagine responding to Incorrect Questions (“IQ” vs. “QBQ” tutorial) with Molly’s simple message? A message that is succinctly stated in the photo above, taken by her thirtysomething sister, Kristin, when in New Orleans to speak on QBQ!

These three words may not seem very “politically correct” to you; maybe they even seem harsh, cold, and callous. But let me paint a picture that might help:

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12 Thoughts Achievers Think

Rock John2

As the SunPraireFilms.com photographer—also the only QBQ! daughter-in-law, Casey Mae—prepared to snap the next shot of this author/speaker, she wryly said, “Okay, John, pretend you’re thinking.”

So I did.

While feigning the act of thought, I had one:

Henry Ford.

The famous inventor and businessman made a profound statement:

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Love that.

Of course, any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness, so even thinking can be overdone. As we all know, it’s called “paralysis by analysis.”

However, I would posit this:

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She’s One Impressive Manager – You’ll Never Guess Her Age!

office depot amanda

Amanda’s Place – Office Depot Store #2657

After reading her Office Depot “Store Manager” badge, I asked the delightful young woman, “Really? The top top manager?”

Amanda replied, “Yep, that’s me.”

“You’re not the weekend manager?”

“Nope. I really am the Store Manager.”

Sincerely surprised, I jested, “Wow, the GM of an Office Depot at 29.”

She corrected me …

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17 “If Onlys” and How To Chase Them Away

If onlyIf only I was taller I could reach that cupboard above the fridge!

At 5 1/2 feet, “If only I was taller!” could be a frequent lament for me. But since it’s something I can’t change, I can get around this limitation by grabbing a nearby stool or chair.

Bemoaning, griping, and complaining won’t add a single inch to my stature.

Not to mention any joy to my life.

I also used to whine, “If only I was thinner!” Of course, this was something I could change so … I lost weight.

And this:

“If only my mom hadn’t died when I was a teen.”

No fixing that one.

There are three ways to handle an If Only:

1. Find a workaround (the handy stool)

2. Solve it (walk more, eat less)

3. Let. It. Go. (grieve and move on)

Left unattended, any and all If Onlys waste time, talent, and energy.

Agreed?

Yet, they’re so common. Here are 17 If Onlys:

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Humble vs. Haughty—The 5 Truths of Humility

IMG_8188A very fine line exists between humility and haughtiness.

I recently posted this picture of Central Park on our QBQ! Facebook page and wrote this:

Not a bad way to spend a morning, walking Central Park. In Manhattan to teach QBQ! at NBC at “30 Rock” Mon morn.

I knew from experience that posting where I was and why I was there was risky. In 1996, as a young speaker, I was hired to present on the same platform as Lou Holtz, the renowned Notre Dame football coach. Totally excited and enthused, I faxed—yes, faxed—an announcement to my clients.

The next day, a training manager told me that her VP of Sales boss had privately remarked, “There goes Miller grandstanding.”

Ouch.

I suppose I should’ve known better since I’d been taught better …

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Personal Accountability: My 5 Anti-Victim Thinking Commitments

“Victim thinking” happens, and it looks a lot like this:

  • I’m a victim because my friends don’t understand me.
  • I’m a victim because my spouse doesn’t help out around the house.
  • I’m a victim because raising great kids is really hard work.
  • I’m a victim because I didn’t get a raise, promotion, or enough training.
  • I’m a victim because the referee made a bad call.
  • I’m a victim because someone said something that I decided is offensive.
  • I’m a victim because others make more money than I do.
  • I’m a victim because my teacher gave me a bad grade.

And this—victim thinking taken one step further:

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Accountability: Be Good Enough To Beat The Ref

Ref shirt2The photo above is of the actual shirt I wore when officiating high school wrestling matches in the Southern Tier of New York State from 1978-1980. As a Cornell student, it was a fun and meaningful way to make money. Recently discovering it, I am reminded daily of what my dad taught me—and many others—about personal accountability. An idea so powerful it became a chapter in QBQ! The Question Behind the Question.

With NFL playoff football ahead, this message couldn’t be more timely. So, share on!

“Beat the Ref” (Ch. 16 of QBQ!)

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Accountability: 13 New Year’s Questions For Personal Growth

Answers in questions - Playfair fontHere are 13 questions that challenge me to think hard, which can lead to learning, growth, and change. Each laced with an underlying QBQ! book message of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, these questions can help to make 2016 outstanding!

1. In 2015, what did I learn about myself that helped me mature?

2. What relationship did I make better and what relationship must I strive to improve?

3. How good am I at helping others feel special and who needs more of this from me?

4. When do I let victim thinking into my life and what are the consequences?

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Parenting: Loving The Job Is The Best Approach

PQW 2Skimming the internet, I stopped on a parenting article which began with a fairly common statement: “Parenting is one of the toughest jobs around.” 

Karen and I understand that many will defend this thought—vigorously.

But what causes moms and dads to say it? Parenting is a job we chose. It’s a job we asked for. It’s the job we sought. For many, it’s the job they love, knowing it’s THE greatest opportunity to leave a legacy.

Yet, so often parents seem to need to yell, “PARENTING IS HARD WORK!!!” But …

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