Friday, June 15, 2012

10 Vital Tips for the Job Seeker

When I job search I take my own advice. I'm currently trying to change jobs, careers, and locations. Oddly enough, I was accused of calling someone a "Welfare b****" when I gave this advice. The individual seemed to think her age and experience was beyond these recommendations. That I am older and have more experience didn't seem to change her mind.

Also know that I learn from books much better than webinars, seminars, or any talking head I've ever met. There are some really good speakers and videos available but for me they are introductions until I can find the book.

That said, here is the advice I am currently following.

1. Integrate "The 7 Habits for Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. You must begin with the end in mind.

2. Some recent version of "What color is your parachute" by Richard Bolles. Look at transferable skills vice being stuck in a rut.

3. Prayer and Introspection. God does talk when I shut up and listen.

4. Find supporting, positive, people. I have a list of friends and former co-workers I can turn to for encouragement when the job search wears me out.

5. Recommend people on LinkedIn, and don't be too shy about asking for recommendations. Sometimes I get really down and reread what folks have said about the positive difference I have made.

6. Have a life. Some hobby or other distraction. Skim the book "Flow" at the bookstore. It's a pretty good book but the short version is that we are most joyful when we are doing something fun that stretches us just a bit. Buy the book if you have the spare $$.

7. Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters web site. I'm not totally sold on it but they do have some good ideas. Free CD download too. The book version is "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters" and I have that too.

8. Help others out. This is one idea from GM4JH. Skip the networking party and write a tutorial or some code that solves a problem. Share said tutorial or code

9. Once you have your web presence/portfolio/resume on line, go read blogs on topics you are passionate about. Add constructive comments. "Way cool!" does not count. Something like "This works well with the Aqueduct Project. Thanks So and So for your thoughts. Have you tried this with XYZ?" Make sure your web self is positive, professional, and helpful.

10. If you're a geek, read "The Personal MBA" by Josh Kauffman. He really makes business make sense and explains the concepts needed to get your geek ideas accepted as good business practice. Buy this book since Josh has had some personal setbacks due to wildfires out west.

Bonus Tip: Avoid processed sugar. Depression often accompanies job searches and processed sugar makes the depression worse.

Double Bonus Tip: Accept being loved. Job searches can really make you doubt your value and beat the heck out of your self-image. A supportive spouse and a faithful dog (or two) can keep your heart healthy physically and euphemistically.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hard truth

Patrick Lencioni, author of nine best-selling books and capstone speaker at today's powerful Chick-fil-a Leadercast, forced me to face a hard truth. Pat talked about Organizational Health and I have some good notes to share with my co-workers next week. But tonight I have to deal with a question I would rather not have to face.

During his talk Pat asked which was more important, work or family. He then half jokingly added that he'd send a book to anyone who raised their hand for "work". When you hear that question you know the answer; of course family is more important. When you are young your parents and the elders who raised you deserve attention. Then you move forward in life and start a family of your own and they become the reason you go to work and the reason you stay sane.

I raised my hand for work. Not because work should be the most important thing, but if you look at my behavior it gives a more honest answer than any words.  If I had a middle name it would probably be "guy who makes dumb choices way too often". Pat talked about Organizational Health and Core Values and I try to lead at work and yet fail to prioritize the most important team.

Some leaders are hired because of their long track record of success, some for their demonstrated wisdom in moments of crisis. I am the leader at work because everyone senior to me left. If there is a leadership track at work I did not make the cut; my studying and time come from my pocket and from my vacation days. Work life is doing the best I can to take care of my team and encourage my co-workers.

Pat said "Great leaders are humble and willing to do what it takes." I can not speak for great leaders but those of us who are brokenly desperate and in need of wisdom will set ego aside and ask for help. I reached out to Amy Hiett, General Manager at The Table Group, and told her what Patrick had said and my response. In less than an hour she had asked for my address.

I do not know what Pat's book will say to me but I know that his team speaks with the same encouraging voice that he shared on today's stage. I do not know what I need to know but there is hope because people like Amy and Pat walk their talk and encourage people like me to face hard truths and change our lives.

Whatever struggles you face in life I encourage you to reach out. There are good people who will help you grow. I met two of them today.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Josh Nankivel


Josh Nankivel is a Project Manager who produces the training at http://pmstudent.com. He writes great blog articles and serves as a leader in the Project Management community. He sets a high standard for a Mind on a Mission and I hope you enjoy hearing his story as much as I did.

Please welcome Josh to the blog podium. (insert large crowd cheering)

What is your proper title at work? Senior Project Manager, Director of the Project Management Office, Guy Everyone Cusses At?

Probably the last one, "Guy Everyone Cusses At" at least unofficially :-)  My official title is Senior Systems Engineer / Project Manager for the Ingest, Subsetter, Inventory, and MDS ground systems of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), a joint project between NASA and the USGS.

When did you start to become a Project Manager and what did you have to sacrifice for that goal?

I first started managing projects around 1998. I was 20 years old and in my first management role in the training department of a major computer manufacturer. I just called it 'getting things done' back then when we created a new system or product.

It wasn't until 2004 when I discovered this thing called "Project Management" and that there were organizations and standards out there. It was a real paradigm shift for me. The more I researched about what project management was, the more I said "out of everything I love about the roles I've had, this 'project management' thing is the part I love and am best at."

Probably the biggest sacrifice was when I went back to school to get a degree in Project Management. I was very passionate about learning everything I could, which is probably the only thing that got me through it. I worked a full-time job during the day, and trudged to class every night. It was a full-time class load and I took every class offered during the summers. I finished the 4-year BSc in Project Management degree in a little over 3 years. It was an exhausting stretch.

Aside from my degree, there have been several times in my career where I've taken a "step down" in order to get my foot into the right company or department for long-term advancement in project management. Moving down in pay and responsibility level is a hard pill to swallow, but if it's a strategic move it can and probably should be done. I've given up management roles to take individual contributor roles like "project coordinator" for instance, which is how I moved into my current project with remote sensing satellites. It took me a year to learn the ropes and lingo for how the systems work in aerospace and satellite ground systems before I was ready to even think about managing project teams in this domain.

Who has helped you become the success you are today?

Thousands of people too numerous to mention. I credit the authors of all the books I've read, the great people I've worked with and for who have taught me lessons along the way, and the fantastic people I've had the privilege to interact with online through my blog and elsewhere. I learn new things with every conversation.

The constant drive to learn and listen to other people's experiences and opinions are exactly what makes people better and better. There was a time when I was a young "hotshot" who had a pretty big ego. I was afraid to admit when I didn't know something, and always thought my way was the best way. Only after I matured a bit more did I realize that if I'm not listening to other people, I'm not learning jack squat. There is a huge difference in my professional growth rate and I can't recommend LISTENING as a primary mode of communicating with peers and advisers enough.

You do a lot of things for the Project Management Community; run the PM Student Website, a lead contributor for the "Career in Project Management" LinkedIn Group, teach project management on-line, work as a project manager, and now you are coming out with a free course for new project managers. How do you stay fresh and rejuvenated with all that going on?

There's really only one "secret": Do what you love, and it will never feel like work.

I love that quote. It has been guiding me for two decades.

I've been writing and training about project management since 2006 and I simply love teaching people about project management and trying to make sure everyone (including me) is doing the best work we possibly can.

Another thing that sustains me is all the great people out there who genuinely appreciate what I'm doing for them. When I started really listening to people I also realized that to live a fulfilling and happy life, I had to make it primarily about helping other people. I realized that when you give freely, you get back the things that help sustain and fulfill you and make it all worthwhile. If I were just concerned about collecting a paycheck and putting my time in, there's no way I could do this.

Sometimes it is tough to keep going, there are good and bad stretches. But then someone leaves a positive review on my book or sends me an email about how a training course or article helped them. Maybe to land a job, gain a certification, or just understand a new concept they've been struggling with. Those help keep me energized too.

What do you wish someone had told you early on in your career?

I wished there had been some resource that focused on helping new project managers get into the field in the first place and figure out how to do it. That's really why I created the blog in the first place, because I had no resources like that when I started. It was all experienced people talking about advanced topics that went way over my head most of the time. There are hundreds of individual questions I wish someone would have been there to answer for me early on. I try to answer them with my writing and online training.

Who do you turn to for wisdom?

Everywhere available to me. Offline, online. Books, articles, journals, blogs, podcasts. I like to study areas that aren't really just about project management but a somewhat related topic. I like to try and figure out how seemingly unrelated concepts can apply to project management. Most of my current inspiration comes from the Software and Systems Engineering discipline, but in the past I've learned a lot from people who focus more on other areas like process improvement/engineering, people management and leadership, or productivity.

My blog and forum groups are great resources for me to learn too. I've interacted with thousands of people this way, and I learn new things all the time. People who haven't written a book or whatever can still have tremendous wisdom and experience to share with you....if you are only willing to listen. Sometimes in answering someone's question about a topic it becomes clear to me that I've been doing it wrong. I just hadn't been prompted to think deeply about that particular aspect of project management before. These "light bulb moments" are awesome for me.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The meaning of life

When life questions us, what do we say? Much of my past would be better ignored, honestly. I am not a total idiot but you have to go hunting for proof. The idea of life questioning you comes from psychologist Viktor Frankl. He feels we should not ask what the meaning of life is but be ready to answer when questioned by life. Here it is in his own words.

"We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual."

Many psychologists have said lots of things that sound good but have no practical application. Frankl's words were not lived in the soft chair in his reading room but in the German concentration camps during World War II. His outlook was based on helping others survive through some of the harshest conditions mankind has ever inflicted on itself. If your life seems too difficult, remember that others have endured worse. You can too! It is not about which government agency bails you out or what you can do to beat the system but how you stand up and survive no matter what life puts in your path.

You can read more in "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. It is an easy read but will challenge you to look at life differently.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Radical Leap

One of my favorite quotes from Steve Farber's  The Radical Leap Re-Energized is "Do what you love in service of people who love what you do".  While the book label says it will change the way you lead, I prefer to change the way I live. Leadership is just one part of my life; why limit a good idea to a small portion of who I am?

Since leadership is part of what I do then why not dissolve the separation from one part of me to another? For example, as the head of the house I lead my family in certain directions. As the team lead at work I lead us in getting things done. You cannot fully and passionately engage yourself or others if you cannot fully and passionately engage yourself in what you do. This is probably going to be a struggle for a lot of us because the current economy makes it difficult to transition to a fully engaging job at a salary we would like.

If you are in that position, there are still steps you can take towards success. Naturally, you can read Steve's book. It is written in a parable format and should be available through inter-library loan. You can also realize that where you are now is not where you have to be the rest of your life. Spend some time creating the ideal way to be engaged in your work life and then evaluate that in relationship to what you want to accomplish. What do you need to do, or not do, to meet those ideals? Do you need to change your standard of living to give you the freedom to do what you really love? What skills can you learn now that will prepare you for your chosen path? What character traits do you need to work on to get where you want to go?

In the past several weeks I have written about mental management and how it related to scuba diving. I am sure you have realized that mental management can be applied to any aspect of your life. You do need to actively choose your path, critically evaluate what you want to get done, and do what it takes. Mental Management is not a sugar coated pill to solve your problems without work but a work based structure to get more out of whatever path is right for you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mental Management when you can die - I Live!

The top people in any sport have what's called a "Passion for the Process". I mentioned this earlier and seeing my behavior in that light clarified why my shooting scores never got much better. I really didn't enjoy the daily practice required to get better. I understood it and could even help others understand it, but it did not engage my passions.

There are people who compete and sometimes win. Statistically, though, 95% of the winning scores are produced by 5% of the competitors. Those people who Lanny says "Train to Win" are at the top levels of their activity. Not only do they have the resources and opportunity to compete but they have the passion for every aspect of their game and are rejuvenated by daily effort towards their goal. They go past the knowledge stage of learning and adjust their behavior to improve their skills on a frequent and demanding schedule.

If you are going to "Train to Win" there will not be any doubt in your mind or in anyone else’s perception of you. You know the challenges you face and what aspects of your performance need the most improvement. If there is a tool you need to succeed then you find a way to adjust your budget and get it. You negotiate with your family for their support and you do what it takes to keep those relationships strong. You still pay attention to what the top competitors are doing but other people start paying attention to what you are doing.

You don't have to "train to win" to enjoy an activity. Winning is nice, but ten years from now will anyone care? Even if they did, would it matter? Let me close this blog series with a two for one deal. This week you get two Mental Management tools for the price of one!

Reaching goals in life is less about what you achieve and more about who you become. Lanny calls this “Attainment”. Pushing yourself to win will force you to face the consequences of your choices and the circumstances of your life. You want to run a marathon and smoke two packs a day? Might want to rethink one or the other. Does the fear of failure activate childhood trauma? Have you treated your family with disdain and now want their full support?

In reaching my goal of cave diving there have been emotional, financial, and professional challenges. I have to continue lifestyle changes to improve my health and ability to perform physically and mentally. The outward goal was just a measurement; the real value has come in terms of personal change and a more joyful, focussed life. Attainment does not come easy and it does not remain without constant review.

Can you use what I have learned to help you? Are you thinking about moving forward in a challenging task and need Mental Management tools to help? Have you found your life’s calling and want to take the next step? I encourage you to move forward because you deserve to live a full life and the world will be a better place when you are fully engaged.








P.S. If you do little else, pick up Lanny’s book “With Winning in Mind” and explore the wisdom straight from the master’s pen. You’ll be glad you did.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mental Management - Directive Affirmations

Before we get to the last level of participation, let’s take a performance tool from Lanny and apply it to daily life. One of Lanny’s teaching points is that your self-image can be changed through directive affirmation. He recommends that you create an affirmation of what you want to be and then state it as if it already is and your performance will improve. Further, if you do not meet your directive affirmation goals you actively dismiss that moment as “not like you”. Do not let a poor performance one time affirm the negative self image.

For example, I have been using a scuba diving based directive affirmation for some weeks now. While it was created for my challenging dives I made it broad enough to apply in other areas of my life so that I can practice and strengthen it even when not diving. My directive affirmation targets a specific behavior I want to change and I must fight my self-image to effect this change.

In my case I tend to passionately engage in any problem that comes along. This stems from a long history of dealing with problems; I have been the “go to guy” for fixing things for a large part of my career. However, my solutions were based on a need for speed and sometimes there are problems that require careful consideration before acting. Speed solutions often subconsciously lead to physical responses. Tense muscles for fast reactions, tunneled vision for problem focus, and shallower breathing for higher oxygen transfer rates. These are exactly the wrong things to do when you face a scuba diving challenge! My problem solving habit had to be broken and my directive affirmation was the first big step in that.

To improve the self-image you need to visualize the positive change you want and then build the directive affirmation that is “like you”. If you perform in your new self then that is “like you”. If you do not succeed then it is a temporary moment and it is “not like you”. I needed to be much more relaxed in my problem solving, it should be like me to face a challenge and act coolly and properly. My directive affirmation is:

“I respond to challenges with calm precision.”

This is great for scuba; it means that when any difficulty comes along I calmly pick the best solution and execute the actions efficiently. I do not “react” but “respond”. My actions are based on thought and are not the first emotional reaction that comes to mind.

In scuba diving you need to be able to respond to a variety of challenges. Your air supply is low, your buddy is out of air, you get separated from the group. All sorts of things can happen but you generally have time to respond and go to the surface and fix it. In cave diving you can not go to the surface, there is usually several dozen feet of rock between you and air. You must solve your problem right then, right there. That is why there is so much training involved in cave diving; you have to be practiced in how to respond to all the likely challenges. My directive affirmation makes it like me to solve these challenges properly.

How about you? Are there behaviors you want to do differently? A directive affirmation can be used to stop smoking, improve spending or exercise habits, or even revitalize personal relationships. What can you choose this week to make your life better?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mental Management - Just say "no".

The dives I didn't make might be the best ones. The mental management project is actually working. This series of posts is not hypothetical; I am testing Lanny Bassham's Mental Management system and myself in a fairly dangerous laboratory.
 
In scuba diving there is a golden rule; "Any diver can call any dive at any time for any reason, no questions asked". Scuba diving is fun but there is risk. Any time you feel it is not right to continue a dive you can end it. This past weekend I had a great class even though there was a lot of performance anxiety involved. I'm pretty good with mental things and absolutely stink at anything requiring relaxed and coordinated movement. Okay with numbers but I can not tell left from the other left.

Leading up to the class I had been listening to my head and dealing with issues as they cropped up. I committed to the class in that I would not "wimp out" and try to find an excuse for laziness or being overly self-critical. However, there is a line to be drawn and I faced it Saturday morning.

Like I said, there was a good bit of performance anxiety going into the class. But Saturday, in my dry suit, I tasted some primal fear about this dive. I wanted the class. My instructor, Ronnie Wakefield, is good and I trusted what he had taught us so far. After tasting the fear for a few minutes, trying to see if it was just performance anxiety, I realized this was a totally different flavor. No idea what it was at the time but it was not the same.

So I called the dive. That was tough for my ego but it was the right choice. Ronnie and the other student supported my decision and helped me out of my gear. While they were diving I really worked on understanding where my head was, to understand what caused the fear. Fortunately I have a lot of experience wandering around my brain. The fear I had tasted was not caused by one big thing but several small stressors . I had not dried my gear from the day before and I really don't like getting into clammy cold socks and thermals. I need to replace the too small boots on my dry-suit as they cramp my feet. Some one had mentioned low visibility and the spring was already looking crowded. While the class was a growth step for me, as a good class is, there were several new pieces of gear and new skills that I needed to grasp.

The root cause was the accumulation of discomforts and challenges that my brain knew would cascade quickly. I would not have gotten into the water happy and things would have gone down hill from there. So I kicked my ego aside and called the dive. Once I knew what the issues were I set about fixing them. Cold clothes got put in the sun to warm up. I made a mental note to get with Steve Gamble and talk about dry-suit boot replacement, and I put the memories of yesterday's fun dives to work to hype me up for the afternoon. After lunch I went back inside my head and made sure things were cool. The fear was gone we had a great dive.

Basic lessons: Listen to your fears but don't be consumed by them. Analysis will either clarify the issue or expose the illusion. Mental Management still works; it is not false bravery but cool headed thinking that carries the day.

Are you facing something that needs examination? Do you need to call the dive or are you letting fear rule your decision? What is real and what is illusion?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mental Management when you can die Part 3

In sports there are three levels of performance. Most people start at the "Train to Learn" level. These are the folks new to the sport who are trying it out and enjoying something different. You enjoy a church softball league game and then go home to be passionate about something else. If you have several different activities here you're a more well rounded person that the average television watcher. What you should not expect is great strides in your performance if you only spend enough time and effort to just participate. If you play table tennis with your spouse once a week you should not get upset if your serve is not as good as an Olympian. They are consumed, you are having fun. On the bottom corner of my paper I wrote activities where I am at the "Train to Learn" stage. No condemnation, but there was no passion in those activities.

On the left corner I listed activities where considerable time and resources have been spent to learn more about and to help others learn more about. You do not always have to teach others if you are passionate about something. It is in my nature to encourage people so teaching is one way my love of something manifests itself.

At this point on the paper there are three topics. USPSA competition handgun, Linux computing, and scuba diving. In each of these areas my time and knowledge has gone past the "Train to Learn" stage; I've been a firearms instructor and Range Officer, 95% of my day job has revolved around Linux for well over a decade, and my level of personal bliss rises significantly when I am exploring underwater.

Lanny calls this the "Train to Compete" level. At this stage people seek out instruction. They spend time critically evaluating skills and work on challenge areas. Having a talent helps but hard work sets you apart from the crowd faster than talent. It is at the "Train to Compete" level that you see sparks of passion driving you forward. Your circle of friends includes people with similar interests, you act like those who lead the field, and your spouse starts to wonder if you're seeing someone else. Best keep your sweetheart aware of your activities or you may have to wind up doing everything around the house because no one else is there.

In the crucible of "Train to Compete" you identify those one or two passions by how your behavior changes. For a long time I beat myself up over poor shooting. My scores did not reflect my desires even when I knew what the process should be. My circle of friends includes top shooters, my wife knew which range I was on and she knew there was always time for her. Maybe not a lot, but there was some. Almost everything that was needed to move my game to the next level was in place, but it was a lack of Passion that kept me stuck for years.

Have you taken time to self-evaluate and separate things you are passionate about from the things you just do? There is a great mental relief in not expecting more results than your engagement level provides. Spend some time this week looking at what you do and pull out those things you are passionate about. Next week we will look at the top level of performance and you will want to know where your greatness lies.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mental Management when you can die Part 2

Fresh from that first step of real progress with my daughter I started processing another point Lanny raised. Remember, he is an Olympic gold medalist. If there's one group of people who can talk about what it takes to achieve success in sports it is Olympic gold medalists. A critical factor for repeatable success is what Lanny calls "Passion for the Process". Winning is fun but competing at the highest levels requires a significant amount of time and dedication. Even if someone has the natural capacity to perform at an Olympic level they will not do so without tremendous effort. That level of work cannot be sustained over a long time without a deep passion for whatever you are striving to master. What are you really passionate about? It could be golf, archery, shooting sports, table tennis, or coaching youth. Whatever you engage in directly relates to you as an individual. Your level of success will be fueled by your passion. Conversely, your lack of passion for an endeavor will limit you more than the talent you may or may not have.

This was a challenge for me. There are several activities on my agenda but few of them really connect to my passions. Finding your passion can be fairly straight-forward; look at what you dream about, think about, and talk about most. If your life revolves around fishing, then that may be your passion. Separate what you want to spend money on or want to accumulate from what you enjoy working on even though you have nothing new. A person who was passionate about fishing might spend time talking to others about what's biting where, keeps the gear clean and orderly, and knows all the local types of fish, best bait, and which of their friends can be called early in the morning for a great day on the water.

Sometimes businesses diversify when they want to grow. There is an advantage to be gotten in adding new products; if one line starts to lose market share the business is poised to grow elsewhere. While humans have a diverse number of interests, and it is probably healthy to try new things to keep your mind growing, we seem unable to be totally consumed by more than one or two passions at a time. Maybe I'm wrong in this but my gut feel is that you get one passion going at a time and anything else is a distraction. Deep commitment to a diverse personal portfolio seems to weaken our performance.

So there I was, stuck with trying to un-diversify and find my passion. I've been pondering career growth options and paths lately and one wall has several sheets of brown paper with my notes about things I should do, want to do, and want to do but don't seem to have time for. "Passion for the Process" started resonating with me more clearly and up went another sheet of paper. Cut square and tilted onto a point so that it sat like a diamond, the three lowest points corresponded to another of Lanny's talking points.

What passions do you have? What things are in your life that are distractions from what you are really created to do?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mental Management when you can die Part 1

or, "Are you really serious about this stuff?"


Late January saw me driving half way across the country to take a two day seminar from Lanny Bassham. If you don't know Lanny or know about him, the short version is that he was a Silver Medalist in the 1972 Olympics. Silver was great, but he could have gotten the gold if he hadn't lost his mental game. Lanny really wanted the gold and he spent the next four years understanding why he choked in '72. What he came to understand about the mental aspects of personal performance paid off; he won the Gold in '76.

I have twenty pages of notes from those two days and will spare you the agony of trying to read my hand-writing. What I want to share is a view into my story as it is being written. You will see the triumphs and challenges as I integrate Lanny's concepts into my life. What makes this a challenge for me is two-fold. Not only do I have to be honest with you if I fail but I'm taking this experiment into a dangerous place. While the Olympics are stressful and challenging, my project is more subdued and lethal. If I lose my mental game badly enough I die.

Please don't think I'm nuts, just having learned something in a short seminar and then throwing my life away to prove it. While I can't contest my lack of sanity at least in this one instance there's actually a reasonable and logical basis for success. I have been a student of Lanny through his books "With Winning in Mind" and "Freedom Flight". Highly recommended! If you apply them they can change your life. I have used his techniques for a couple years and they have given me a good measure of success. For example, right after class I drove a few hours to visit my daughter and used tools directly from class to make that visit more of a success.

My daughter, by the way, is a wonderful young lady. However, our family fell apart when she was very young and I've not been the best dad to her. Actually, I've been a lousy dad and there's a long list of lousy excuses for my choices. This weighed on my mind as I drove to see her. One of Lanny's lessons become the modus operandi for my plan. I would not care about how the time with my daughter turned out as there are too many variables outside my control. There is a different path to the deeper success I wanted.

Lanny speaks often about success and how to achieve it. I have failed to do great things with my daughter because I want to do great things with her. Too much focus on the end goal impairs the ability to perform activities that will provide her a great time and stronger relationship. She deserves the best I have and Lanny helped me better connect with her. The trip didn't undo two decades of challenge but we really had fun, we really connected, and I saw her as the awesome person she is. That pleases me to no end.

As this blog installment continues I will show you how to apply mental management to a specific activity where mental failure can mean death. Hopefully I learned enough from Lanny to reach the end of the series. Hopefully you can find ways to integrate these concepts and better face your own challenges.

Join me on the path to success.