Current Events Motivation Self Improvement

Sam Zell dies at 81. My memories of Sam.

It was a strange day at the Los Angeles Times. We knew Tribune Media was sold, and we were summoned to an all-hands meeting with a guy named Sam Zell. I didn’t know what to expect. I had work to do and I was hoping that we could just get this formality over with and get back to the real business of the day. I had already pictured what the speech would go like; I imagined, “blah, blah, blah”, or something similar. Then Sam came into the room.

Sam started using some colorful language. I had not quite experienced this in such a forum. It got my attention. It got everyone’s attention. Then he said some things that really resonated with me. One of the first things that he said was, “if your IT Department is blocking content, that shit stops now.” He was all about getting things done, and the IT filters were, in fact, an issue. He went on to say, “I don’t give a fuck if you’re looking at porn three times a day as long as you’re getting your job done. If you aren’t, you’re outta here.” Wow. It was refreshing. He spoke to us average Janes and Joes like he knew what we were thinking. Everybody screws around occasionally and has less productive days. He knew it. He didn’t want to punish us and kill morale. He wanted us engaged with the company. He didn’t want to be our boss, he was going to be our leader. I still parrot his words to my teams.

Another thing that stuck with me was more of Sam Zell’s philosophy on productivity. He wanted to cut out the red tape and bureaucracy. He was all in on eliminating road blocks and hurdles. He said, “if your boss is preventing you from getting your job done, go around him or her. Go to your boss’s boss if that’s what it takes.” He wasn’t big on excuses. He was a fervent believer on taking the most direct route to accomplishing a task or solving a problem. Wow again. I was in awe of this man and his get shit done approach. These weren’t just empty words; he was right.

I will never forget Sam’s words. He has accomplished so much in his life, and there is a lot to admire. I will hold on to that day at the LA Times. I’ll reach back and grab Sam’s words whenever I see a better way to do something, or an opportunity to be more productive.

Thank you Sam Zell. You will be missed.

Motivation Self Improvement

Overcome Fear to Become the Best Version of Yourself

Don’t be afraid of failure
Most people are afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid of failure. Realize that life’s failures are just lessons that help you do a better job the next time. People that want to criticize you for failing at something are too scared to try new things on their own.

Your thoughts are holding you back
People are capable of amazing things, and are mostly just limited by their own thoughts. They see that nobody else has done something, so they don’t think they can do it either. For example, everyone used to think that running a 4 minute mile was impossible, until Roger Bannister finally broke the 4 minute barrier in 1954. Now that people know that it is possible because they saw somebody else do it, many people can now break that record. In fact, a guy from Morocco, that holds the record, ran a time of just over 3 minutes and 43 seconds in 1999. If you have a goal, do everything in your power to achieve it. Don’t worry if nobody has done it already. The limit is most likely all in your head.

Live Every Day Like it is your Last
Live every day like it is a precious gift. Don’t wait until it is too late. If you wake up every day and tell yourself that trying is useless because you’re probably gonna die today, one day you’ll be right.

Always Try Your Best
Try your best at everything that you do. Even if you have a simple job making sandwiches, try your best and take initiative to do better. You may think this is a waste of time, but you never know where life may lead you. Perhaps someone that runs a successful business will notice your work ethic and offer you a better job. At the very least, doing your best is good training for whatever comes next in life; such as starting a family, having a successful career, being your own boss, or having a happy marriage.

Do the Right Thing
Do the right thing, even when it is unpopular and even when you think nobody is watching. Having a good moral character will help you attract people that have a similar mindset. You may think that nobody will notice your good deeds, but you never know when somebody will catch you on a smartphone and turn you into a viral sensation, either for a good or a bad deed. According to John Wooden, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”

Help Others
Try to help people by sharing what you know. As the saying goes, “what comes around, goes around”. Most of the time, when you help and teach others, you end up benefiting by learning more yourself.

Go First
Volunteer to go first. If you’re scared of getting on a ride, speaking in public, or even introducing yourself to a potential mate, know that going first gets it out of way and makes you appear more confident which, in turn, helps you become a more confident person. We are our own biggest critics. If you think you are not very good at something, like speaking to an audience, there are at least 10 people that probably think you are amazing.

Be Positive
Positivity is contagious. So is negativity. Try to encourage the people around you to do the right thing and to do better. One person cannot change the world but, the world around you will become a better place as the positivity you exude comes right back to you tenfold.

Ignore the Haters
Ignore what other people think. People are usually so afraid that they try to judge anyone that tries at something. If you fail at something, you’ll typically have a group of haters that wants to point an laugh. The hard truth is, they feel like failures on the inside, so they want to try to bring others down to their level. Ignore it. Move forward. Repeat.

Strive for Continuous Self Improvement
Always try to improve your skills. Nobody is perfect. Even Olympic champions need training to become the best at what they do. Never stop learning. New knowledge can change your life.

Audio Book: Mind Hacking Secrets: Overcome Self-Sabotaging Thinking, Improve Decision Making, Master Your Focus and Unlock Your Mind’s Limitless Potential (Power-Up Your Brain Book 1)

Book: Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear