Intentions Are Everything on the Road to Purpose

Recently I asked my boss for an opportunity to develop my leadership skills. I was given an assignment to teach a short workshop at an upcoming sales meeting. I began putting together some thoughts. Immediately I went into “impress” the boss mode. This is a ridiculous self aggrandizing exercise of compiling how much I know and finding a way to look good. The “what’s in it for them” is getting schooled by me. This misses the point. My purpose is to provide value; to do good. I was focused on looking good. Zig Ziglar said You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want. Unless the room is full of groopies rather than my co-workers, I have been working with the wrong intentions. This happens. You may have experienced a lapse in your purpose as I have. By our nature, we think of ourselves first. After all, no one cares more about you than you. You must leave it at that step away from your inherent nature if you live in any society that involves other human beings. You will create more influence. You need other people in order to function and succeed. You need other people on your own journey to find happiness and to live with purpose. Fortunately, I was able to discover my mistake before delivering disastrous results in front my peers. Here are a few take aways you can use to make sure you are “doing good” while “looking good”.

Bumpy Road

Bumpy Road (Photo credit: donrul)

1. Have Purpose: Back to basics. Is your success associated with influencing others to find success?
2. Stay Golden: Remember the Golden Rule? Are you leading in a way you would want to be led?
3. Find happiness in helping others succeed. Helping others bears such wonderful results. Often times, the person sharing learns as much if not more than the person being taught.
4. Be good at what you do. Intentions are nice, but if you don’t have anything to offer, you can’t help anyone.
5. Start with the end in mind. Ask WHY am I doing this. What do I hope to gain? The answer may be startle you to the core.
6. It’s never too late to refocus your intentions. A bumpy road to purpose is better than a straight road away.
How are you going to DO GOOD today?

Rocco De Leo


I don’t care what you think, but I care what you think

I was driving my kids to school and going through the usual “pre-flight” checklist (lunch money, karate clothes, teeth brushed, trumpet, etc), I discovered and opportunity for personal growth and a great blog topic. I always, always, yes, 3 always, forget what days Rocco Jr. has band, soccer, karate, and minimum days. I had an inclination that it was a band day (although as I write this on a Monday, I couldn’t tell you if today is band). He, in his 9 year old, coming of age wisdom, feared being laughed for carrying his trumpet to school if the teacher was out. He wasn’t sure if the teacher, Mr Boyer, was going to be on campus. There was a 99% chance, Mr Boyer would be at work. But the 1% had Rocco Jr. concerned. Rocco Jr. feared that he would be the only band student carrying his instrument to class and being ridiculed. As his wise old father, I told him not to care what other people think. My 8 year old Angelina questioned my insitence on her clothes matching, or at least coming close to matching, if we don’t care about what other people think.
How do you find the balance between being self concious and simply not caring and being out of tune? This is a challenge. The objective is to be successful, authentic, and a good person. Simple enough? Many people find success in one or two of these areas, but finding people checking all 3 boxes (and deserving so) is not always easy. Here is a list of 4 must haves in order to consider yourself for the trifecta of personal growth achievement.
1. Self awareness: Daniel Goleman‘s landmark Emotional Intelligence turned the world upside down on the idea that how you know is at least if not more important than what you know when it comes to finding success. Finding self awareness may not be all that easy. There are thousands of Self-Help books, counselors, and You-Tube videos addressing this. Perhaps the bigget step has already been taken if you are asking how to become more self aware.
2. Intentions: What are your motives behind why you care what others think? Caring about impressing a potenital client, or a job interview is healthy. This is a means to an end. It says “care about my work” not “care about me”. If you are hoping to gain acceptance for a acceptance as an end, the “care about me”, in the wrong situations, this can spell trouble. There’s a time and a place for each. Knowing how to tell the difference is key.
3. Surround yourself with couragous and trustworthy coaches: As with many aspects in personal growth, the people you are around will lead you down a certain path. Which path depends upon the people you allow into your inner cirlce. Friends and family who challenge you in reasonable and realistic ways do you well. If they are well balanced, a quick check in every once in a while about your style and approach is appropriate. ” Does this present as professional?” or ” Am I comming on too strong”, are great examples of easy check in questions. The questions isn’t so much the issue as is asking the right person. Approaching someone with no social norms to advize you is not a good idea.
4. Prepare and be Confident: You are more likely to find balance when you are prepared and confident. This means that you have to put in the effort. If you are concerned about what your kids are wearing; learn. What are your objectives with what they wear? Trend? Modesty? Cultural? Whatever it is, make sure to do your homework. Put a “product” out there and be proud to know you put effort in.As you begin to grow, you’ll find you are confident in certain areas where you are not in others. This is o.k. . Learn from the positives and grow. The key here is that you are ahead of the curve by the mere fact that you are trying to get better.

Work on these a little at a time. Check in with yourself and those around you.

Share with me an area where you care too much? How about when you may not care enough (but still don’t want to change).

Rocco De Leo

No Written Life Goals? 5 Steps for the 30 something to Get Started NOW!

Dream Big White Tee

Dream Big White Tee (Photo credit: Five Wun O Clothing)

Listen to any life hack, guru, or personal development specialist and they all tell you the same thing about achieving your goals: “that which gets written down, gets completed”.  It sounds simple enough.  Write down your goals, keep time to periodically review them, and update steps along the way. Well, I’m turning 37 in 3 weeks and don’t have goals written down anywhere.  Am I doomed to failure? Absolutely not!  However, I am not advocating continuing this behavior.  Life sometimes catches up to us at the most opportune times.  The little voice in your head starts whispering when it knows you’re ready to hear.  Now that I’m considering being more tangible with my goals in life, where do I start? I think the answer starts first and foremost with my last post.  Just get off the couch and do it.  Don’t worry about inspiration, or a better time, just do something. Now is as good a time to start as any.  With that being said, there are a few things to consider.

First, make some time in your calendar to work on this.  For me, if it’s not on my Iphone, it’s not going to happen.  The other thing about this is to schedule a few times to work on it.  Give your creative mind time to digest what it is doing.  Don’t force yourself to plan out your entire life in a 1 hour appointment.

Second, find your medium to capture your goal.  Are you going to write it down or put on a computer.  If you are writing it down, put it some place special and some place nice.  This is your life, make it an enjoyable experience.  Maybe a nice journal?  This is not crucial, you can actually write it on a napkin if you’d like.  I just know personally, I get more excited about the “tools” I use at times and can help my motivation.

Third, have long term, medium term, and short term goals.  This is another one of those “no brainers” that you still fail to do.  Why do you fail?  Because you are AFRAID!  You don’t want to be held accountable.  You intend on writing this down and walking away from it.  Stop reading now if that’s your intention.

Fourth, include action items that are time bound as part of your goals.  David Allen, in his bestseller “Getting things Done” does an amazing job detailing “action” items.  Start from step one.  If your 3 year goals is to to finish your BA, your first step might be to get your transcripts from your previous school.  Think in those realistic and step-wise methods.  This is a road map to getting where you want to go.  Maps have the starting point and the end point and every point in between.

Fifth, this is so very important.  You must not limit your dreams.  Your success depends on your ability to dream.  Dream BIG! The world will stomp on your dreams, why should you? Do you want to be a senator?  Write a novel? Change careers?  Then by all means write it down.  Work backwards on what it takes achieve your goal.

Whether you achieve all your goals is not exactly the point.  You will live a much more focused life.  A life filled with purpose, ambition, and fulfillment toward a goal is much more rewarding.  Take some time for yourself to reflect on what you really want to do.  Don’t limit yourself to money or geography.  Find what will make you happy.  If you really want it, you will make it happen.