Build Your Monument

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Deeds, not stones, are the monuments of the great. – John Motley

In RJ Palacio’s book “Wonder”, August ‘Auggie’ Pullman is a 5th grader trying to fit in to his new school.

There’s just one problem.

A chromosome problem.

Auggie was born missing one.

This condition caused his appearance to be unlike anyone else’s in the school.

Palacio describes Auggie as “an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face”.

“Wonder” tells the story of how this 11 year old deals with being singled out, excluded, ridiculed, ignored and noticed everywhere he goes.

All because he doesn’t look like everyone else.

Could you imagine?

The book is INSPIRING and funny.

And at times uncomfortable.

But like all good books, it teaches a LESSON.

Acts of KINDNESS stand larger than stone monuments to the people we help.

One of the fun characters in the book is Auggie’s English teacher, Mr Browne.

Each month Mr Browne inspires his students with a PRECEPT.

Here’s October’s Precept:

“YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS”

This quote, which Mr Browne told the class, “was carved on the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh”, describes a timeless truth:

Actions speak louder than stone.

What we DO becomes our legacy.

Our DEEDS have a BIGGER impact than anything we SAY or THINK.

Life is about taking action.

And our ACTIONS give us our best chance to impact the lives of others.

This idea reminds us of that great line from Maximus in the opening scene of the movie Gladiator, “What we do in life echos in eternity.” 

Every KIND ACT we do is another stone cast into our legacy.

Mr Browne challenged his students to write down what October’s PRECEPT meant to them.

Here’s what Auggie wrote:

“We should be remembered for the things we do.  The things we do are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do are like MONUMENTS.  They’re like the pyramids the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Instead of of being made by stone, they’re made of memories.  YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS.”

Time to build.

#BuildYourMonument

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

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Enough

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“The greatest misfortune is not to know contentment.” – Dao De Jing

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were attending a party at a billionaire’s estate on Shelter Island, NY.

Heller, the author of Catch 22, one of the most acclaimed novels of the the 20th century, was asked a question.

Vonnegut: “Joe, how does it feel that our host made more money yesterday than ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller replied:  “I’ve got something he will never have.”

Vonnegut: “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller:  “The knowledge that I have ENOUGH.”

Ambition is a double edged sword.

What fuels our ambition is the same thing that keeps us from enjoying what we have.

The need for ‘MORE’ can crush our HAPPINESS.

It stops us from feeling GRATITUDE for the gifts we already have.

Even after we aquire ‘MORE’, the next level always comes into sight.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “It’s delusional to think that doing more of the same will bring about a different result.  The need for more will keep you from being happy.”

HAPPINESS and GRATITUDE can’t be found externally.

They come from within.

Over 2,500 years ago Lau Tzu wrote, “When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

There’s no denying there are some things we need MORE of in our lives.

But they are those intangible soft skills that can’t be bought or shown on a balance sheet:

EMPATHY.

GRATITUDE.

SELF-AWARENESS.

More TIME with the people we care about most.

Nothing we BUY or SELL can ever take the place of these.

Because what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

On his death bed, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, was the richest person in the world.

As his family gathered around his hospital bed during his final moments, Walton looked around the room and said his last words, “I blew it.”

No need to blow it.

Stay ambitious.

Keep showing up.

Please give us your best work.  

Just make sure to measure what matters.

#Enough

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Don’t Look Over

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“I am more afraid of our own mistakes than our enemy’s schemes.”  – Pericles

You can see it when a swimmer glances over to the next lane.

You see it when a jiu jitsu competitor lets their opponent dictate the pace of the match instead of executing their game plan.

You can see it when a SALESPERSON focuses more on what their competition is doing than bringing value to their customers.

When you FOCUS on things outside of your control, BAD things happen.

You start reacting instead of initiating.

Momentum disappears.

You fall behind.

Instead of dictating the pace, you are playing catch up.

Elite competitors FOCUS only on what’s in their control.

They DON’T LOOK OVER to see what their competition is doing.

They take care of their responsibilities.

Then ADAPT and ADJUST to anything outside of their control.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Very few empires are destroyed by external forces.  They are undone by their own hubris….We should be far more concerned with our own ego and our own inadequacies than what someone else may do to us.”

Over the next 12 weeks, the rest of the year will play out.

Your FOCUS needs to be on executing your GAME PLAN.

Show up prepared.

Lean forward.

No reason to hold anything back.

If you feel the need to look somewhere…

Look in the mirror.

Because that’s your REAL COMPETITION.

Word.

#DontLookOver

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

The Hard Part

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“The hard part is to just keep going.” – Shunmyo Masuno

It’s easy to start.

It’s fun to make RESOLUTIONS.

You join that new gym.

You start a blog.

You take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Goals are set.

Excitement builds.

Then it happens….

The Achilles’ heel of human nature shows up.

Inconsistency.

Your new project is no longer fun or easy.

The excitement of the start fades like the Phillies playoff hopes in September.

Welcome to the THE HARD PART

Darren Hardy said, “Consistency is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

Consistency creates your reputation.

Consistency separates the AMATEURS from the PROFESSIONALS.

An Amateurs waits for the mood to strike them.

A professional shows up when it’s inconvenient.

Consistency will make you relevant.

What does consistency look like?

It’s the writer who writes 200 words a day no matter how busy their day was.

It’s the parent who makes the baseball game coming from the airport.

It’s the runner hitting the pavement at 5am when its dark and drizzling.

Keep showing up.

Do the work.

Especially when you don’t feel like it.

Because that’s where the MAGIC happens.

It won’t be easy.

But will be totally worth it.

#TheHardPart

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Be Bold

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“Freedom lies in being bold.” –

Robert Frost

2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Democritus wrote, “Boldness is the beginning of action. But fortune controls how it ends.”

At first glance, this sounds like a copout.

Be bold…

But know that the final outcome is out of our control.

Do we control our own destiny?

Or does fortune?

Yes, to both.

We have the power to take BOLD ACTION.

But we don’t control the ending.

We can throw a perfect pass, but the WR can drop it.

We can have our best year ever, but be beat by someone who had a better one.

You can execute an amazing sales call, but can’t force the customer to take action.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “We control the beginning of things, but not the reciprocation. We can make the pitch…but fortune controls whether its accepted.”

So, no need to be a control freak.

Just take the NEXT STEP.

Make it BOLD.

Handle your end of the bargain.

The rest takes care of itself.

#BeBold

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Next Step

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“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” – William Drayton

Anxiety mocks us.

Vivid images of our future demise play out inside our heads.

We play tense.

This tension keeps us from doing our best work.

Anxiety reloads.

How do you stop this cycle?

Take the NEXT STEP.

You don’t need to leap the entire staircase.

You just need the courage to take the NEXT STEP.

The NEXT STEP starts the process.

The NEXT STEP lays the foundation.

The NEXT STEP changes the momentum.

Anxiety is an IMAGINE DRAGON.

It’s a beast, only in our minds.

How do you slay a fake DRAGON?

One STEP at a time.

Your move.

Step, step, step…

#TheNextStep

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Game Changer

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“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Einstein

Change is everywhere.

That’s a good thing.

It means you’re still alive.

And in the game.

No need to FIGHT what’s new.

Embrace it by asking this question:

What’s the opportunity?

This question is a GAME CHANGER.

It will change your MINDSET.

It can change your life.

#GameChanger

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

The Finest Hour

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

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There is an old saying, “Adversity reveals character.”

Many people crumble at the first sign of difficulty.

As soon life knocks them down, they FADE AWAY.

There’s another group that responds in a different way.

They RISE to the occasion.

ADVERSITY actually makes them better.

How you respond to ADVERSITY will determine the direction of your life.

ADVERSITY will show up at the worst time.

How will you RESPOND?

Will you RISE UP?

Or just FADE AWAY?

One of the greatest examples of LEADERSHIP under extreme ADVERSITY is Winston Churchill.

Churchill faced the daunting task of leading Great Britain against the Nazis during World War 2.

The month of June 1940 was exceptionally trying.

The “Battle of Britain” was underway.

Britain’s Royal Air Force was fighting Nazi Germany literally in the skies over their homes.

The fate of Britain and Western Europe hung in the balance.

On June 18, 1940 Churchill addressed Parliament.

Speaking in a Parliament under incredible PRESSURE and to a nation facing extreme ADVERSITY, Churchill delivered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.

The address would become known as Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech.

One of the speech’s memorable lines is relevant today as when it echoed through Parliament.

Churchill said, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties…that if the British Empire lasts for a thousand years, they will say ‘This was their finest hour…’.”

There it is.

GAME PLAN to take on ADVERSITY in one sentence.

Firm your resolve.

Do your job.

Make it YOUR FINEST HOUR.

We may not be saving the free world.

But we are impacting OUR WORLD.

Life is going to test you.

No need to FADE AWAY.

Rise to the moment.

Be a Churchill.

#TheFinestHour

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Act One

“The happiest people are the ones who make others happy.” – Anonymous

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Want more HAPPINESS in your life?

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project writes, “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.”

We are all busy.

But take the time today to do ONE random act of KINDNESS.

Hold the door for a stranger.

Compliment someone in public.

Let that car merge in front of you in traffic.

Over tip your barista.

When we make other people smile, life smiles back at us.

#ActOne

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Growin’ Up

“God have mercy on the man who doubts what he is sure of.” – Bruce Springsteen, Brilliant Disguise

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In “Springsteen on Broadway”, Bruce Springsteen’s epic 3-hour journey through his life and music, The Boss tells a REMARKABLE story about his relationship with his father.

Springsteen reveals he sang many of his songs through the eyes of his dad.

Springsteen’s father lived a life very different from Bruce.

His dad was a blue collar, hard drinking, factory worker who struggled through life and his relationships.

Springsteen says, “My father was my hero. And my greatest foe.”

Just days before Bruce’s wife gave birth to their first child, Springsteen’s dad drove over 500 miles and arrived unannounced at his front door.

Bruce said his dad wanted to “Apologize…and warn me of the mistakes he made, so I would not make them myself.”

Springsteen calls this the greatest moment he ever had with his dad.

His dad wanted to change from a GHOST to an ANCESTOR in his life.

What’s the difference?

ANCESTORS show the way forward.

Ancestors create a path.

They make life better for those that come after them.

We build on their work.

We stand on our ancestors’ shoulders.

GHOSTS are the opposite.

Ghosts are focused on themselves.

They have very little or even a negative impact on your life.

They are easily forgettable.

Ghosts pass by and quickly disappear.

Almost like they were never there.

These RELATIONSHIPS also exist in our PROFESSIONAL LIFE.  

What kind of path are your leaving for others to follow?

Who is better off because you showed up?

Will you be missed when you’re gone?

The world needs more ANCESTORS.

We’ve heard enough GHOST stories already.

#GrowinUp

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net