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Pay Attention to the Pennies

Penny

My grandfather passed away in 2006. One of his favorite quotes to his grandchildren was “A man’s gotta have money in his wallet.” He’d then casually slip each of us a “mallard,”  or a $100 bill, and send us on our way. In fact, my brothers and I each have the “Last Mallard” that he gave us six years ago. It was not long ago that one of my brother’s co-workers was sharing a story about every time he finds a dime, he considered it a gift from his aunt. So brother asked where his dimes were from our grandpa. That’s when the pennies started showing up in the oddest places and times that he’d never expect. We call them “Pennies from Heaven.”

Paying attention to the Pennies is not only our way to stay connected to our grandfather, but it’s also an excellent metaphor for the clues life leaves for us when we’re on our paths. Success leaves clues and it’s a matter of looking in the right place at the right time to know we’re on the right path. These clues come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Between the feedback we get from others, our previous successes and failures, and the visions we have for ourselves, it’s important to recognize which aspects can help steer us in the right direction.

Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize these clues and often times they’re scarcest when we really need them. That’s why it crucial to have a success journal. Remember that little book we use to log our past successes, future goals, and dreams? This is the perfect time to reflect on how far we’ve come and use those lessons to refocus on the future. We’ve had successes before and we’ll have them again. Connect the dots that gave lead up to our past successes. Often times we’ll be amazed at how many things had to align at just the right time to make it happen. If we can begin to recognize this pattern, we can effectively see the clues that may be around us now.

Looking Up

I am currently on my own new path. I graduated from college, moved to a new city, and am trying to find my way to the success that I want in my life. While I’ve had some success in recognizing some amazing opportunities, it’s been a challenge to determine whether it’s a penny in my path or not. I’ve spent a lot of time doing the physical “leg work” to find them as well as talking to as many people in my family and inner circle for their feedback. I’ve received feedback on just about every opinion I could imagine and what I’ve determined is that only I can recognize the pennies and ultimately, pick them up.

Are you looking in the right place? What do you look for when on your path to success? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Dealing with Failure

What is failure? We all have a different definition for it, but there is an underlying feature to failure we all experience. That experience or emotion we feel is disappointment. Disappointment can be experienced in many ways: shame, embarrassment, letdown, sad. Each varying form of the emotion has a negative impact on you and can deter you from your goals.

Thomas Edison is known for saying “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The key to recognizing failure is accepting it and learning from it. Recognizing failure starts with the feedback you ask from the people in your support network. As discussed in the previous post, failure just means you got off course and it’s time to get back on your course. As long as you keep trying your hardest, you’ll be able to effectively get back on your track to achieving your dreams.

When you realize you’re off course, it’s time to accept it. The feedback you’ve received thus far is your indicator that you’ve failed, but it’s also the stake at the cross roads you can use to get back on course. Start by thanking your accurate feedback sources for their input and time and write down their input. Writing down these suggestions will open up your mind to the experiences you came across and really display everything you have learned. Categorize your experiences into segments regarding family, relationships, clients, employees, and for yourself. This way you can begin to identify the many ways you learned to do it better the next time around.

People tend to focus on their failures and ignore, overlook, and trivialize their success. Recognizing your successes, not matter how small, is important. Remember, the small daily successes is an element of the mosaic that will become your goals and dreams. Writing down your success on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis is the best way to develop your inner coach and put the doubter in the back seat. If you took the time to write out your success, how many times would it outnumber your failures? Writing them down and acknowledging them is the only way to see that you succeed more than you fail. Your successes should tell you that you can’t and won’t quit. You never know what amazing new success could be added to your list.

Think of the last time you failed? What form of emotion did you manifest? Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Avoid the Icebergs, Course Correct

Listening to criticism can be difficult. Even under the guise of being constructive. But if we recognize the power of criticism, we can value it as feedback. Feedback is necessary for us to stay on course in the pursuit of our goals and dreams. We all like and appreciate the positive feedback we receive because it’s the reinforcement to stay the course, but negative feedback can be just as valuable in keeping us on course. Take time out from your pursuits and ask for feedback (you must be specific!). You may be surprised at how far off course you can get.

There are several key things to keep in mind when asking for and receiving feedback. Reestablish your No Exceptions Rule. This will prevent you from quitting. When you quit, you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to prove that you can accomplish your goals and dreams. You can’t prove the nay-Sayers wrong and worst of all, you feed your inner doubt which inhibits your inner integrity and cripples your authentic self.

Feedback is going to feel personal. It’s your responsibility to not let it get the best of you. Responding negatively to negative feedback is only going to fuel the inner doubter and put you on the fast track to quitting. Instead, think of it as a reminder that you are off course from what you’re ultimately trying to achieve. The source of the feedback may see something that you are missing and is trying to help you course correct. There are also bad sources of feedback. These sources offer inaccurate and not useful to your course. Take a detailed look at the source and typically you will find a person who doesn’t have your best interest at heart and the feedback is coming from their own distortions of reality.

For feedback to work, you have to be willing to open yourself up to it and not ignore it. You may be missing out on something significant.

Do you ask for feedback? How do you deal with it?Let me hear from you! Leave a comment below and follow me on Twitter @alexdbarba!

Pictures:

Titanic

Feedback

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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