The Question Is.

"The Question is not 'Can you make a difference? You already do make a difference. It's just a matter of what kind of difference you want to make." ~ Julia Hill.

The earth spins on it's axis and we call it a day. The moon circles the earth and we call it a month. The earth revolves around the sun and we call it a year. We come into this earth and then we leave it and we call it a life. The question is not 'Can I make a difference?' The question really is ~ What kind of difference do I want to make?

Think about all the people you've come into contact with in your life. The faces and the memories. The lessons you've learned. The things people have said and done that stuck with you. Think about all the people you've worked for and with. The people you've sold to and those you've bought from. The people that have helped you and those that have hurt you. Think about the difference they made. Then think about the difference you made to them.

Sometimes they tell you. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes the thoughts and memories inspire us and sometimes they serve as lessons learned. Each person though makes a difference. Each day the earth spins on it's axis. Each month the moon circles the earth. Each year the earth circles the sun and each life makes a difference to someone. Each person we come into contact with in our lives provides us an opportunity. An opportunity to ask ourselves not the pitiful, self serving, cry of 'Can I make a difference?' ~ But the responsible and life affirming call to action of 'What kind of difference do I want to make?'

Define the difference you want to make - Really define your core competency, what you can give. Because that is what people remember ~ Our core is what we give. We are our value proposition to others. We are what we give and leave with others.

Listen Up.

"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk." ~ Doug Larson.

"Listen Up" ~ Two words that coaches, moms and authority figures of all kinds use to get our attention. They're often barked as the final call to pierce through babble, merriment, and casual conversations. But even after those words are spoken how many really pay attention?

Recently I had one of those rare opportunities to test myself and see whether I could truly "Listen Up". ~ It was a humbling experience.

A person I respect a lot, David A. Brock, introduced me to a couple of his close friends. Connections that he valued and respected. During the conversations I noticed the temptation to chirp in with common interests and shared experiences. There were people and places we had both enjoyed that seemed like natural conversation connections.

But sharing isn't listening is it?

It's me focused - not you focused. Like most people who have sold, and are alpha type personalities, enthusiasm and where we want to go with the conversation tends to interrupt our interactions unless we are very careful. During our talk the 'me too' had reared it's ugly head instead of the 'tell me more' that tends to deepen conversations.

Isn't it strange how great lessons usually are recognized in retrospect? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could learn as the situation occurs rather than after the fact?  A valuable lesson was learned nonetheless.

'Tell me more' ~ Brings people together a lot better than ~ ' Me too'.

What Is Your Quest?

"And I know If I'll only be true. To this glorious quest. That my heart will lie peaceful and calm. When I'm laid to my rest..."