when life gives you lemons

What Stands Between You and Delight

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

The only thing between you and your delight is your thinking. Whatever you are focusing on at work or at home that has you feeling badly tends to remain in place.

I know; it is so counterintuitive. When we see trouble we want to press harder. We think we need to figure things out. We need to do more, to force ourselves and the world around us to yield.

But let’s recognize why. Driving our need to press is quite a damaging belief. We believe that whatever we need to succeed is scarce, hard to come by, and available only with luck or hard work. And it just isn’t.

What you need is right there, inside you–part of you. Feel good to access it.

Relax. Allow. Ease up.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Jill Clardy via photopin cc


Think Again

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you are headed for the inevitable, think again.

Others may appear to be getting in your way. Think again.

Whenever you think you just don’t fit, think again.

If you regret what has happened or worry about what might happen, think again.

You may catch yourself saying, “That will never work!” Think again.

Should you ever believe that people don’t understand, value, or respect you or your work, think again.


In your corner,



PS: I am quite certain you are vastly more powerful than you may sometimes imagine. Think again, ‘k?




What To Do When New Habits Won’t Stick

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Try as we might, sometimes new habits just won’t stick. When we struggle to adopt a new habit–eating well, not procrastinating, or reacting better around others, for example–we very likely are holding ourselves stuck with another, deeper habit. Replace the deeper habit to eliminate the struggle. Then adopt the first habit with ease.

The deeper habit can be tricky to identify. Here’s a big tip: it is always a belief about something being fundamentally wrong with you, others, or the rest of reality.


In your corner,


PS: And usually what appears as something fundamentally wrong with others or reality is really something I believe is wrong in me.

PPS: Yeah, it’s profound. And simple.

PPPS: The good news is that no belief about you, me, or it being fundamentally broken, flawed, or wrong is true. Not a titch.

Today’s photo credit: driek via photopin cc


Can We Change, Really?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Can we really change? Can people on our team change? Can any of us get better at anything or are we stuck with the hand we’ve been dealt from the personality card deck?

If we believe that our personality traits are set for us by some combination of nature (DNA) and nurture (our experiences), then change will be slower and more difficult.

If we believe we have control over our reactions, then change is inevitable. By taking command of our reactions, we can change life-long habits of thought and behavior for the better. Tools like the flip, the ladder, telling yourself a different lie, the keep-or-toss, focus on the good stuff, this is me, and knowing how to change a habit help us change.

A better question is, “Do we want to change or are we resisting?”


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc



Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 1 min.

Imagine that success–your success–is right here, waiting just outside your door. If this were true, what would you do? Of course, you would open the door. That is, you would have a swagger in your step, a smile on your face, and a wonderful zoom-tingly-yes! feeling leaping up inside you.

The really weird thing is that whenever we pretend that our success is right here–when we swagger, smile, and cultivate that zoom-tingly-yes! feeling–real success tends to show up.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Throwa_UK cc

Organizational Culture

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Organizations
Reading time: 1 min.

Organizational culture is not made with rules, procedures, processes, and systems. It does not come as a result of publishing your mission, vision, and values. It is not a communication problem, either.

The elements of a great organizational culture include

  1. A clear, compelling, and commonly-understood focus.
  2. The right people, in the right roles, collaborating with win-win, and generating the right results.
  3. A method for exposing obstructive personal and organizational beliefs and assumptions. And a method for replacing those with constructive beliefs.
  4. Practical tools for knowing what could be done and selecting what to do that is in line with the focus and desired results.

While a great organizational culture can happen by chance, you can engineer it in new and existing organizations. You just have to get started.


In your corner,


Look for the Shortcuts

Posted on 3 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

I wonder what William Blake meant when he said

“The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”

Here’s one interpretation: “What you believe to be true is true; you can rock any set of beliefs.”

If you believe you need to get an MBA to succeed, then you do. If you think that your company’s culture is poisonous, then it is. If you are certain that you must exercise 5 times per week to stay healthy, then you do.

If you believe that this pill will cure you, this chemical will make you ill, you are no good at sales, your colleagues are bores, this line of inquiry is useless, you are great at your job, your life isn’t working, the Internet is a force of good, your marketing program will work, you can, you can’t…or the opposites of these things…then they/you will/won’t/are/are not/can/cannot.

As far we can tell, no matter which path you take–based on whichever beliefs you use–you will succeed.

Sometimes, though, you can take a shortcut by choosing a new belief.


Look for the shortcuts.


In your corner,

(your fellow persistent fool)

Quietly Cultivate

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Yesterday we saw how you get what you subtly believe you will get. A huge part of success in anything is tuning your subtle beliefs, your deep habits of thought, to the idea that it will all work out, that you will succeed. This belief-tuning can be tricky because there is a trap along the way. It’s a trap I’ve fallen into many times.

The trap is the temptation to make yourself think that it will all work out. “I will succeed. It will work out.” You are using your will power to push through any lingering doubt. Using your will power here does the opposite of what you hope: it delays your success. Why?

  • In part because making yourself do anything always causes resistance.
  • In part because the very reason you would force yourself to think you will succeed is that, subtly and deep down, you don’t really believe it. And so things more likely will not work out.

Instead, quietly cultivate that sense that everything will work out. Start by noticing whatever is good around you. Make a list of things, peoples, ideas, structures around you that you appreciate, that are good. Remember: whatever you put on your list is an example something that has already gone well.

In your corner,


Success is as Simple as This

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

A major indicator of success anywhere is whether you really believe you will succeed.

The problem is that most of us have the subtle habit (that is, you might not be completely aware of it) of thinking that it won’t work out. And oddly, that’s what happens: we don’t succeed. Some of us have the subtle habit of thinking that it will work out. And it does. Most of us have experienced both. (Hint: if you are regretting the past or worrying about the future, chances are you are in the habit of thinking that it won’t work out.)

Success is as simple as this: you get what you subtly believe you will get.

This can seem too good to be true. Maybe you think it’s just hooey. Or maybe you think it works for some people but not for you. It’s too easy (not to mention incomplete) for me to dismiss your disbelief in this approach as proof that it is correct. Instead, look for examples in your life where you have been successful with little struggle. Chances are high that, at those times, you trusted, you knew that it would work out.

Tomorrow we’ll cover a common trap that prevents this approach from working and even convinces people that it does not work.

In your corner,


PS: What do you believe?

It’s Not Your Business Plan

Posted on 4 CommentsPosted in Career, Money, Strategy, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 3 min.

Let’s say there is something in your business or career that is not working. And let’s say you have thought of or tried everything without seeing the results you want. It’s as if you’ve hit a wall and cannot find a way around or over it.

Five will get you twenty, it is not your business plan; it is not your career plan.

It is you.

Whenever you are struggling, it is how you see yourself and how you see the world that are at odds with the success you want. These ways of seeing things are so ingrained that you may not even notice them. And when you do notice them, you think they are part of who you are; you resist mightily any attempt to change them. These ways or beliefs were taught to you and were once useful to you. You may still see them as the secret sauce in your success recipe because they had helped you so well in the past. Holding on to them tightly–even after they have stopped working for you–you hit the wall.

What do you really need to do? You need to change who you think you are (which will lead you to change how you think the world is).

Not to worry, though. Odd as it may sound, a part of you already knows what you need to be. The rest of you thinks you are not ready and is in fear. The good news is that because you hit the wall, you are ready.

Exercise: Quietly ask yourself this question: “Who do I need to be in order to have the success I seek?” Be willing to be surprised by your answer. Write down your answer. Then ask, “If I were to become this, how might I do it? If my friend wanted to become this, what would advise?” Write down your answers to these questions. If you answered, “I don’t know,” to any of these questions, then try setting the exercise aside and coming back to it in a day or two. Or reach out to me or another friend.


In your corner,



PS: It is also not your marketing, sales, strategy, or operations. It is not your networking, resume, or interviewing skills. It’s not the economy, competition, …

PPS: Some common examples of these “wall hitting” beliefs include

  • “I am not a salesperson.”
  • “Life is harsh, chaotic.”
  • “Business is war.”
  • “I am not good at X.”
  • “I am not allowed to have what I want.”
  • “No one wants what I have to offer.”
  • “Money is scarce.”
  • “Money is bad.”
  • “Poverty is good. I want to be good.”
  • “I do not deserve.”
  • “Hard work is the only way.”
  • “With enough data or assurance from others, I can be secure then act.”
  • “I am lazy.”
  • “Life is a competition. Get before others get.”
  • “No one can tell me what to do.”
  • “I am not a leader.”
  • “You’ve gotta push to get what you want from others, from life.”
  • “I am threatened, alone, weak, ignorant, ugly, graceless, an impostor…”
  • “I cannot stand out. I am not special.”

PPPS: The very good news is that none of those things are true, really.