FOUR WAYS TO BEAT THE RESISTANCE AND REACH YOUR GOALS IN 2018

Polizze-vita-Rendimenti-Imc-e1445701205829It’s about that time you overcame what’s holding you back. Based on the statistics, a large percentage of people who made New Year’s resolutions are thinking about throwing in the towel. Some already have.

According to research from the University of Scranton, nearly 4 out of 10 people quit their resolutions before reaching the month of December. Even more will fall off after that. But what about you?

If you’re like most people, you have goals for your health, relationships, faith, wealth, or personal development. These are the things that matter most to us, and yet it can be so easy to start with the best of intentions and flame out after a few weeks.

What’s Stopping You? The Resistance

Life happens. Given all our personal and professional demands, it’s no wonder we get distracted, feel overwhelmed, or find ourselves wrestling along the way with doubt, discouragement, even fear. But what if we didn’t let all of those demands and distractions have the last word? Since our goals represent the things that matter most to us, shouldn’t we fight for them? Aren’t our greatest hopes worth overcoming the resistance?

The person who popularized the term resistance for what we’re talking about here was Steven Pressfield in The War of Art. It’s been a pivotal book for me. In fact, I recently listed it as one of the 37 best business books I’ve ever read. Pressfield says that we encounter the resistance any time we try doing something important. It could be improving our health, writing a book, reaching a financial milestone, getting our inbox to zero – we’ve all felt it a hundred times. I’ve already felt it this morning – twice.

But there are tactics we can employ to beat the resistance and accomplish the things that matter most to us. I’ve picked four of the best ones:

5495444_orig1- Stay connected to your why – I’ve been teaching this tactic for a while because it’s the core of any important goal. Let’s face it, unless a goal is motivated by something big, it’s just another way to kill time.

When we hit the wall, when you feel the resistance, the answer is to remember why you wanted to go over it to begin with. If you goal is about improving your marriage, get reconnected to what that would mean for you and your spouse. If it’s about losing thirty pounds by the middle of the year, remember what that will mean for your energy and long-term health.

We have to imagine our desired outcomes and stay emotionally connected to them. Our dreams deserve at least that much, don’t they?

2- Keep your negative emotions at arm’s length – While we need to stay emotionally connected to our why, we need to push any negative emotions we experience to the side. We don’t have to shut them down. In fact, we shouldn’t – they can be useful. But we shouldn’t let them dominate.

I watched a documentary about Valery Rozov, a BASE jumper who leapt from the face of Everest. It was the highest base jump in history. But as cool as the jump was, what stayed with me was Rozov’s approach to fear. He says that he feels several emotions that we usually call fear, but he separates himself from them, minimizes them, and then jumps anyway. Rozov is in control, not his emotions.

Pressfield says that the resistance is always internal. It’s not the facts of the case that are the problem, but how we emotionally respond.

Fear, doubt, disappointment, feeling overwhelmed – we may experience these emotions, but we don’t have to let them dictate our actions. We can notice them for what they are, and then just keep moving forward.

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3- Find someone who’s already done it – Since the resistance we feel is internal, many obstacles we face to our goals are just in our heads. If we can see the possibility of pulling it off, we can usually pull it off ourselves.

I’ve written before about the pathbreaking accomplishments of Roger Bannister and Chuck Yeager. Here’s another amazing example. In the middle 1980s skateboarder Mike McGill did the first ever 540-degree aerial turn in his sport. No one thought it could be done, but once McGill finally did the “McTwist,” everyone started doing it.

And once McGill paved the way, others pushed it even further. Tony Hawk did the first-ever 720-degree turn. And then in 2012 Tom Schaar – at just twelve years old – did the first ever 1080. That’s three full rotations in the air! “It was the hardest trick I’ve ever done, but it was easier than I thought,” Schaar told ESPN.

Overcoming the barrier once means that overcoming it again – and doing even more – becomes imaginable, maybe even inevitable. Tactically, what that means is that we should find people who’ve done what want to do or can show us how. If we can see the road, we can walk it.

4- Get the help you need – I don’t know why we make this one so hard. A goal represents new ground, new territory. That means you won’t know how to traverse it. That reality is actually essential to establish compelling goals. Once you have a reason, the resources will start to materialize. But sometimes we feel like we have to go it alone. Why?

businessman-in-boardroom1Resources are more than time, talent, and money. Information, experience, and training are also important. And you can buy those – at least indirectly. I decided on some significant health-related goals for myself recently. I’ve been running for years, but I knew that running alone wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go.

I also knew that I didn’t want to waste a lot of time trying to figure it out. The delay would possibly dampen my spirits. So I got a personal trainer who developed a plan for me and is helping me, day by day, reach my goals. Sometimes all we need to overcome the resistance is a hand. Why fly solo when the right copilot can get us to our destination?

Millions of us start the year with high hopes, but lose altitude within weeks. We don’t have to join that number. Our goals are too important to let the inertia and difficulties of life stop us. The resistance is real. But we can overcome it, instead of letting it overcome us.

Then we can look back at the hardest thing we’ve ever done and say it was easier than we thought.

What could happen in your life if you could punch through the resistance and make it happen in 2018?

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LACK OF COURAGE TO ACT? TO CHANGE?

5471828941_2679e3b0d8_bHave you stopped to think about how many times in your life you have used your courage to move forward? Or even if the lack of it has made you stay in an endless zone of comfort?

It is important to be aware that you are stimulated by some kind of motivation and that you must understand what the reasons for taking action are, and of course, to find out why you are often stagnant. These are vital factors for the growth of your results.

Sometimes you know what you want, you really want to achieve something, but you don’t even move toward to your dreams. Do you know the motive of their moorings? What standard behaviors come up in times of internal or external crisis? Are the locks part of the game? What do you do to connect thoughts and feelings to concrete and effective action? That’s a lot of questions, isn’t it?

Starting the process of discovering these issues strongly supports your internal changing process and a consequent external change. Yes, knowing your potentials, your limitations and your motivations open paths never known before. The search for self-consciousness gives rise to incalculable advances which it is unlikely to achieve without first taking this important step.

What do you need courage for? For new steps – those you know and plan, but stay motionless when faced with obstacles? To make a personal or professional decision, albeit in an apparently safe scenario? To be different, to understand, to respect and to use your talents in all the means in which you live? To paddle against the tide, be that person who is always working for mental, physical, psychic well-being, no matter how favorable the environment is? To give a new idea in the work environment? Working with oratory? To shine?

And this much mentioned courage, where does it come from? It is usually a personal or professional need to move forward on something that is very much desired to achieve and that this internal decision of maturation and learning is already taken. Be aware on the next steps and consequences so that you can overcome any obstacles that are in the way to be trod.

como-olhar-para-o-fracasso-de-outro-jeito-noticiasRealizing yourself about something new requires daily exercises, and your mind is the most adaptable way to arrive at this result. Everything that passes through it generates and registers emotions and thoughts that lead to action or reaction. It is necessary to observe your behavior patterns, your beliefs, your emotions and your thoughts, only by lighting this light, “zooming in” is what makes it possible to perceive what limits, what drives, what prevents it from winning or makes it a winner.

Actions are, for the most part, reactions of the thoughts and feelings that are linked to the subconscious mind, and thus automatically lead us to reckless or undesirable attitudes in the face of situations. It is necessary to know what beliefs are positive in your life so that you can use them in order to boost your chances of strengthening and advancement. In addition, you need to become aware of beliefs that you have since childhood and cause you to have thought patterns and behaviors that limit you. in order to transform them into potential beliefs. Countless times you encounter life challenges and you do not know where to draw the courage to reverse the situation.

Then the memories of the triumphs you have had in life can and should support you in identifying what feelings, thoughts, and attitudes you had in that scenario when success came. To rescue this memory and to use it in favor is exalting because it takes away the drama and creates an antidote for this saboteur.

Find models of people who inspire your evolution, this exercise may surprise you when your motivation needs to be watered. For courage to be with the flame burning it is necessary that daily find your motivation for that goal. Get in touch with him through the acknowledgment, gratitude and celebration of every little or big step taken in your direction.

1-insatisfacaoIf you are the type that believes in a better world, then create a better world because nothing changes if you do not change. And if you want to change your life, change your tuning, listening to the same radio every day will never give you the opportunity to hear new styles of songs. You can start over, exercise your mind to get different results.

Want a tip? Use your senses in favor of redesign. Repeatedly speak on the day, preferably out loud, what you want to achieve, your goals for that day or week, always have positive words to say, and direct your conversations to relevant issues that support your growth. Listen to what you and those around you are talking about, observe what you hear from you and others has pleased you, have been positive, and select what you should do from now on. Everything else, discard. Just listen to what will support you.

Visualize results as you will be and feel when you conquer it. Notice what feelings are flowing at this time and how your body and mind behave. After all this self-observation, you gain self-confidence, self-love, and security, then get up and do it. COURAGE!

Since you are in charge, then order it already, tell your mind that you can, deserve, and will get what you want. That will overcome this need and achieve its merit so dreamed. Do not allow yourself to sabotage.

What posture have you been keeping in front of your challenges? How many times do you use your fear more than your courage? How have you been dealing with these mediocre results? Yes, mediocre because they are medium-sized, comfortable, maybe even uncomfortable, but not enough to stir up their courage alone.

autojulgamento---um-direito-a-liberdade.htmlFor this reason I give you support tools to overcome this seeming deficiency more and more. What do you gain and what do you lose by allowing courage to dominate you? And letting fear overpower you? Try to know the results of this reality that surrounds you. Notice if there are moorings in your body, for it “speaks” if something is out of context. Manage thoughts and beliefs, be aware of the feelings and thoughts that surround you and dream, dream big, dream big, because it gives the same job of dreaming small. Who is afraid of growing, dies small. Do not be afraid of not giving, you can and deserve to shine. Re-evaluate how the vicious circle walks and transform it, raise your self-esteem, for life begins at the end of your comfort zone, be free to be the best of you, your best version. Start where you are, use what’s best, and do all you can to get there. Make a plan and follow it, have A, B, C plans and how many are needed to follow your planning, priorities, urgencies, delegate actions, discard possibilities if they prove unnecessary, set deadlines and find out what for each action .

If you exercise your mind, reprogramming and giving new meaning to words and attitudes, you automatically feel stronger and safer to take new steps, to dare, for only those who dare grow up, only dare who have courage, because fear must rather exist , but only to be a caretaker of your exaggerations and impulses, never to paralyze you when you need it most. Because those who have the courage, ACT, and those who act, advance, have gains, learnings, achievements and feel on the skin the wonderful adrenaline of overcoming. Be you the change you want, potential you have and if what you lacked was courage, it ends here.

Life is a gift, recommence, reprogram, redesign, plan, follow your plans, meet your deadlines, have models, LIVE intensely, open your heart, release your body from the moorings and take your feet off the ground. FLY, allow yourself to dream, believe that it is possible to reach, use your COURAGE in order and be very HAPPY!

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THE GRATITUDE ADVANTAGE – FOUR WAYS GIVING THANKS IMPROVES YOUR LIFE

vem_vencer1aThere are a lot of myths around the first American Thanksgiving in 1621, but one thing is for sure: the Pilgrims were lucky to be alive, and they knew it.

“Eleven months earlier the Pilgrims had arrived at the tip of Cape Cod, fearful and uninformed,” says Nathaniel Philbrick in his history Mayflower. “By all rights, none of the Pilgrims should have emerged from the first winter alive.” But they did. Thanks to God, their faith, and help from many Native Americans, they did more than survive. They began to flourish. And it’s a virtuous circle.

Most of us know this from personal experience, but for the last several years researchers have come to the conclusion that gratitude is a key component of helping people live happier and longer.

I know this is true in my life. It seems the more I give thanks, the more reasons I have for gratitude. We all know that materialistic people who expect possessions to make them happy are usually unhappy – no matter how much stuff they get their hands on.

The reason, according to researchers, is that by focusing on what we do not have, we are less likely to give thanks for what we do. And gratitude leads directly to feelings of satisfaction and well-being.

How? According to research reported by Robert A. Emmons and Anjali Mishra, there are several scientifically supported ways gratitude helps us flourish. Here are four I found especially compelling:

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1- Gratitude reduces our stress. Thankfulness redirects our attention from our difficulties to the benefits we enjoy. It’s like creating a stockpile of good thoughts for when times are tough. It also helps us reframe our losses and stay connected emotionally to friends and family.

 

2- Gratitude inoculates us from negative emotions. When we focus on what we don’t have or how our decisions could have turned out better, we leave room for resentment, envy, and regret to build. Gratitude can keep these feelings at bay.

3- Gratitude sustains our relationships. Let me just ask, Do you like hanging out with people that gripe and complain? Me neither. It’s gratitude that draws people together, builds trust, and strengthens ties. That’s true in the workplace, among friends, in families, and between husbands and wives.

4- Gratitude improves our health. Grateful people visit their doctors less often and live longer than others. The research shows that thankfulness helps us sleep better, control our blood pressure, and generally reduce physical complaints.

Given these four ways gratitude can benefit us, I’d say we have some very good reasons to return thanks more than once a year. Cultivating gratitude makes each day worth living and might even give us more days.

However we do it – make lists of our blessings, journal our gratitude, practice mindfulness, pray, find a trigger to pause and express thanks, write notes to colleagues and friends – let’s just make sure we do it.

What are you grateful for right now?

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THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE HAPPY

382655_2866146813532_1255635524_3294106_1043099070_nThere aren’t many phrases in English more recognizable than “the pursuit of happiness.” But what could happen if we turned it around? That’s exactly what Chris Guillebeau does in his book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life, which I have just read.

At the age of 36 – when he wrote this book – Chris had already led an amazing life. A self-starting entrepreneur since age 19, he felt depressed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and decided to dedicate himself to something truly significant. He began working on a medical ship off the coast of West Africa. That’s where he caught the travel bug. Since then he has visited not a dozen, not two dozen, but all 193 countries in the world. Now Chris works to share that spirit of adventure with others.

Chris’s secret power is bringing people together who want to pursue a vision bigger than themselves. It’s totally inspiring, and his new book takes all that inspiration and makes it accessible and actionable to a wide audience.

The Happiness of Pursuit is a roadmap for people who want to experience significance and joy in life. That might describe you – as it definitely describes me. In the book, Chris tells compelling stories about others and self-deprecating ones about himself. The effect is not only encouraging, but also enabling because along the way Chris details several tactics for finding and pursuing a great quest.

2014-09-13-14937504351_56846a5663_z-thumbaHappiness in life usually comes by making meaningful progress toward significant goals and those goals don’t have to be traveling to every known country, completing a four-year degree in twelve months, or running fifty marathons in under three hours each. Some of the best quests happen inside the four walls of our homes.

Here are five steps I’ve pulled from Chris’s book that can help us find the right adventure and see it through.

1- Listen to your discontent – We usually think of dissatisfaction as a negative feeling, but in The Happiness of Pursuit Chris reframes it. “Properly examined,” he says, “feelings of unease can lead to a new life of purpose.”

Discontent is like an indicator light on the dashboard of our lives. If we’re paying attention, it can tell us when something is wrong. And that might be exactly what we need to redirect. But how?

2- Add inspiration – As Chris says, discontent is not enough. Lots of people are unhappy. In fact, fewer than 20 percent of workers in America and Canada are satisfied with their work, according to one study.

The important thing, Chris says, is to combine our discontent with inspiration. That fresh sense of purpose can give us new direction. What starts your motor? What gets you fired up? Inspiration turns discontent into fuel for positive change. And it’s got to be something we really believe in because the journey won’t always be fun, fast, or easy.

5783739A3- Be brave – As we contemplate new paths, fear always rears its head. It’s inevitable. And it doesn’t matter. “Embracing new things often requires us to embrace our fears,” Chris says, “however trivial they may seem. You deal with fear not by pretending it doesn’t exist, but by refusing to give it decision-making authority.”

Who’s in charge? I’ve experienced enough in life to know that nothing new, amazing, or meaningful happens when I stay huddled inside my comfort zone. Is stepping out risky? I’d be lying if I said no, but that’s where real adventure leads, and it’s totally worth it.

4- Count the cost – What will be required to achieve your goal? Chris recommends that we list our goals and make estimates on the time and money and other costs required to achieve them. He calls this “deductive reason,” and we need to be smart about the costs. But there’s often a direct correlation between how much satisfaction we gain to how much we invest. “It is precisely the arduousness of the task that makes the accomplishment an epic one.” And as he says, effort can be its own reward if you love the work.

5- Divide and conquer – Chris didn’t just launch into his world travel. He mapped it out first. He broke things down in to regions and figured out what was i10350343_734994039925324_8622083252132648507_nmportant for each. Nearly two hundred countries is a lot, but chunking them out gave him a place to start and a scope he could manage.

For me, the best thing about breaking goals down into a list of milestones is checking things off my list. Progress is a powerful motivator. As we face roadblocks and setbacks, this can help us pull through and make it to the end.

And what do we find at the end of our quests? If the adventure is truly meaningful, it will transform us. We’ll be more confident, mature, capable of seeing e

ven bigger adventures, and empowered to pursue them.

This last point is important I think because, as Chris says near the end of The Happiness of Pursuit, “Quests do not always tie up well.” A quest might end better than we imagine or disastrously. Either way, the good news is that there’s always another adventure if we’re willing to pursue it.

What quest have you been dreaming of lately? What’s stopping you from getting started? Take the first step. The others will come automatically.

EIGHT KEY ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL PRODUCT LAUNCH

leading-ideaWe are constantly launching our products/services, and quite often it goes extremely well, but not every launch works, and sometimes we’re left wondering, “Why went wrong?”

A friend recently commented on his product launch fail. He used a good and proven launch tool, one I’ve used myself, but he didn’t get a single order or call, not even a single lead. Most of us in business have been there at one time or another.

After hearing from my friend, I went back through some strategies and came up with a framework to analyze eight different key elements of a successful product launch.

When a launch fails – barring external events we have no control over – it’s usually for one or more of these eight reasons. But the good news is that you don’t have to wait for failure to use this framework. It doubles as a pre-launch checklist to ensure we get things right on the front end.

  1. 03People – Have you targeted the right prospects? It doesn’t matter how good your product is if you’re offering it to the wrong potential customers. If you’re trying to sell snow in Siberia, don’t be surprised if it’s tough sledding.
  2. Problem – Have you clearly articulated the prospect’s problem using the language they would use? Having the right prospect is only part of it. Can you connect your product to their needs, fears, or wants? All the better if you can articulate something they need your help to understand. No one knew their reliance on the Walkman was a problem until Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPod.
  3. Promise – Have you painted a vivid picture of a desired future state – the transformation your product can bring? This is all about connecting the dots. Do the work for the prospect. Will your product solve their problem? Then show them what their life looks like after they’ve used your product.
  4. Position – Have you positioned yourself as an authoritative guide who can help them get to their destination? It doesn’t matter if you’ve communicated the promise to the right people about their problem if they’re unsure you can solve it. Trust is crucial to any product launch. Endorsements can help, but nothing beats winning people’s confidence directly.
  5. Plan – Have you shared a plan they can follow that will lead them to their destination? Sometimes this is simple. Buy product, use it, voila! Other times the transformation is more nebulous. A clearly articulated plan will help the prospect see how your product can help them.
  6. Preparar ano letivo_webdoorPitch – Have you created an irresistible, no-brainer offer? Problem, promise, position, and plan form the content of your offer, but your pitch represent style and approach you take. Some pitches are inappropriate for some audiences and undermine your credibility. Think of it this way: A pitch is not only an offer, it’s a musical note. Hit a sour note, and you might lose the sale.
  7. Price – Is your product priced right for your market? Pricing can be very mysterious. What people won’t buy for $10, they’ll buy for $99. One thing is for sure, nailing the right price is crucial for success. Price communicates more than mere monetary value. Before you go to market it’s critical that you get this right – even if that means relearning everything you think you know about what your product is worth.
  8. Place – Are your marketing efforts reaching prospects at the right place? Nothing is more wasteful than advertising that never connects or affiliates that can’t reach your people. Make sure you’ve got this eighth element working for you or it can undermine all the rest of your efforts.

We can’t predict anything about launch, but my team and I have been hyper engaged at every step, calibrating and recalibrating our messaging, frequency, and more. It is like running with the bowling ball down the lane to make sure we hit all the pins.

Whatever you’re launching next, try them! You ain’t got nothing to lose, only to win!

RETIREMENT – A WORD THAT BOTHERS

retirement1Retirement has always been used as a way for people in authority to induce behaviors in others for their own purposes.

Augustus Caesar, for instance, gave his former soldiers big pensions to prevent them from becoming disgruntled and overthrowing the government, and Chancellor Otto Von Bismark threw a wet blanket on socialist radicals in Germany by offering payouts to the elderly.

The common denominator in these and other examples is that retirement was a way of buying people off and getting them out of the picture. I think the modern idea of retirement, stemming directly from the industrialized workplace, is the same. The idea is that you can induce someone to do repetitive, soul-killing work with little emotional benefit if you promise a big enough carrot at the end of the stick. For people in my parents’ generation, it was the only way to keep the machine rolling.

Retirement-555799035-750x485This is a terrible and dehumanizing way to think of work. It assumes that workers have no real value beyond output. Once their productive years are over – however that’s determined – then we send them out to pasture. The only way to get workers to play along is to convince them that the pasture is lush and relaxing. Suck it up now because it’s going to be wonderful in a few decades.

The effect is that we’ve now raised a few generations to look for fulfillment in the pasture, not their work. Satisfaction is a future thing, not a present possibility. Joy is for later. Meaning and significance comes from checking out down the road. If you’re looking for a way to murder your heart, then congratulations. That’s it.

The cost of the trade is too high. It encourages alienation from our work. It wrongly assumes those who have lived the longest and experienced the most have the least to offer, and comes with significant health risks, including reduced mental function, heart attack, and stroke. Also, it often comes with feelings of purposelessness and loneliness and deprives our communities of the contributions we still have to give.

For those who look at life from the Christian perspective, think of people like Moses and Caleb. They were productive to the very end. Job’s best days were his last days. We would trade that? Not me.

86494288The best answer to the culture of checking out is to think differently about our calling in midlife and beyond. Here are three steps to doing that:

  1. Eliminate the word “retirement” from our vocabulary It’s an unhealthy concept. If we chose to use late life as an opportunity to change directions in our work, great. But it’s not retirement. Staying meaningfully engaged in the world is essential for a sense of purpose.
  2. Keep the door open to our own contributions If retirement has been a way to get people out of the picture, why do that to yourself? The more you know and grow, the greater potential contribution you have to make. Stay committed to playing full out till the end. How?
  3. Recommit to work we love When Duke Ellington was asked why he didn’t retire and live off his royalties, he responded, “Retire to what?” It wasn’t that home was so empty. It was that his work was so full. He lived his art. Retiring would have been like turning off his own soul.

If you’re doing meaningful work you enjoy, why would you ever want to quit? And if you’re not doing meaningful work you enjoy, it’s probably time to reconsider what you’re doing before your only real option is hoping for some shade in the pasture.

Thankfully some polling I’ve seen shows that people are increasingly retiring retirement. It’s an idea whose time is long over.

How would it change your working life now if you stretched your productive horizon out another decade or more? 

YOUR PEER GROUP MATTERS MORE THAN YOU THINK

mensagens_de_agradecimento_aos_amigos_f_lHave you ever noticed how the people in your life affect you? The impact can be so significant that one of the best things we can do to change our lives for the better is change our peer group.

In the 1930s C.S. Lewis started a small literary circle called the Inklings. The group started with J.R.R. Tolkien, and eventually included others like Owen Barfield and Charles Williams. The influence on works in progress of the different members was huge. Lewis actually scrapped the first draft of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe after his friends heard some chapters. They considered it “so bad that I destroyed it,” he said. It’s impossible to discount the influence of our friends.

That’s why Solomon stressed friendships so much and so often. “Iron sharpens iron,” he says in one place, “and one man sharpens another.” He also warned about negative friendships: “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.” Our peers really matter. And we can put that to work for us if we’re intentional about it.

group_selfieUsually we drift into peer groups. They could be associates from work, our kids’ school, church, whatever. The important thing to notice is how often these relationships just happen. They’re not intentional. But if iron sharpens iron, shouldn’t we be careful about the kind of edge others are giving us? Instead of random relationships, what if we could create communities that helped everyone involved achieve their goals together, like Lewis and the Inklings? We can, and this kind of intentional relationships are invaluable in at least three areas:

  1. Learning – Getting connected with a good group can accelerate your learning, provide key insights, help you find important resources, and teach you best practices.
  2. Encouragement – Whether it’s business, family life, or our faith journey, life can be tough. A good peer group can give you the validation and support you need to keep going and rise above the tempests.
  3. Accountability – We need people who can speak into our lives and help us when we’re veering off track. The right peers are essential for this.

And of course, it’s not just about what you get. You can offer the same learning, encouragement, and accountability to others in the group. These peer groups can take different shapes and configurations depending on how intimate we desire them to be.

tmp708601562729021440Examples of different groups could include:

  • Blog or social media communities. I’m proud of the community you’ve helped me build here. It’s source of information and encouragement to many, including me. I feel the same way about the intentional community we’ve built through Platform University.
  • Mastermind groups. These are a key way to learn best practices, insider information, and get feedback for new ideas and projects. These groups work best for sharing among people who are highly accomplished in their fields who feel comfortable sharing with others. Here’s how you can launch one of your own. I’ve greatly benefitted from mastermind groups and am starting my own soon.
  • Mentoring groups. Many of you know that I’ve run my own mentoring group. The idea was to get young professionals together to grow through some of life’s challenging and exciting moments. When all was said and done, I found it as helpful as the others did.
  • Reading or study groups. There is so much to learn about life, faith, family, and business sometimes the best way is get a group of people around a table and study a book on the topic together. The book gives the group a track to run on, and the right chemistry among the members can create conversations that go far beyond the book itself.
  • Accountability groups. There are very formal accountability groups like AA or the Samson Society, but they can be more informal as well. The idea here is that members are invited to speak into each other’s lives to encourage and challenge when needed.
  • séries-1Close friendships. Nothing replaces good friendships. Lewis and Tolkien’s relationship went on for years, and even when it was strained, remained beneficial to them both. I’ve found the same thing among my own friends. It’s easy to place work or family ahead of these sorts of relationships, but good friendships are like supports that hold up other areas of our life. Without strong friendships the quality of our lives can be greatly diminished.

Do your peers get you? Can you contribute and add value to their lives? It’s might be more important than you think to your well being. Intentional relationships make us more productive, creative, and useful than we could ever be on our own.

If you’re like me, building these relationships can be a challenge. Professional and family demands can easily interfere with building and maintaining these sorts of groups, especially the more intimate and intensive ones. But don’t miss out! They can also benefit your professional and family lives in ways so big you may never be able to measure them.

What relationships have you found the most helpful for your professional and private life? Remember: we are the average of the 5 people we deal with at most. Choose them wisely.

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