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Category Archives: Success Strategies

How Do You Respond Rather Than React

In my work with leadership teams and developing young leadership talent, it is true that those who experience the greatest growth and success are the individuals that commit to the process. A decision without a commitment can often end in less than optimal results or even failure. (More about decision vs. commitment).

Many of my clients are CEOs and senior-level leaders. They live in a world of incredible pressure to reach their goals with market challenges and internal conflicts flying at them at great speed. In this fast-paced business environment, it is easy and even understandable to take a reactive approach. But as all great leaders (and great parents and great teachers) learn, it is always better to respond than react.

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The Importance of Context. Period.

(Context is the general that lends meaning to the specific.)

Sound bites. Headline grabbers. Head-turning quotes. All in the hope that the content goes viral. This is what drives today’s “news”.

While these dramatic, if not misleading headlines might pull eyeballs, turn ears and gain air time with their shock value, they do a huge disservice to those of us trying to find news where we can get facts, figures, as well as interpretation and analysis by an ‘expert’ in the field. [Of course many of us know enough to understand that bias always plays a role, and you must always consider the source…as discussed in my previous article about bias and fact vs. fiction].

In a day and age where Russian bots influence what’s trending, spin gets typed up in 280 characters or less, and the term ‘fake news’ is bandied about when someone doesn’t like what they are hearing, it is refreshing to see reporting that is grounded in fact, understands historical context, and attempts to acknowledge the culture.

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Humans Seek Happiness Above All Else

We Seek Happiness, But Happiness, Like Success, is Elusive

Above any other goal, humans seek happiness. Aristotle came to this conclusion more than 2,300 years ago when he reasoned that happiness is sought for its own sake, whereas every other goal – health, wealth, power and others – is only valued because we expect that it will bring us happiness.

While much has changed since Aristotle came to this conclusion, one could argue that we are no closer to understanding and teaching the path to happiness than the ancients. That is Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s argument in a book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced chick-sent-me-hi) states that happiness,

“…is not something that just happens. It is not a result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power can control.  It is, in fact, a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated and defended privately by each person.”

To seek happiness is to grab water. Not only do we feel continually frustrated by our failure, we also feel miserable in the process. Another way to state this: happiness is a byproduct, not an end product.
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Getting a Handle on All the Hate

“Understand that all of your emotions are based in either fear or love.”
– Joe Caruso, Success Strategy #2

“Know that you can’t experience hatred without also experiencing fear.”
-Joe Caruso, Success Strategy #35

When we understand that all of our emotions stem from either fear or love, we can begin to acknowledge how our insecurities and fears determine how we might respond to people or events in our lives. When we feel hate, or respond with hatred, it is always based in fear. This begs the question – what is it that we fear, and why do we fear it?

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Why We Long to Make Connections

As humans, we long to make connections. How well we do that may be linked to our happiness.

Neurologically, psychologically, emotionally and socially, we need to make connections. Making connections is part of the human experience.

Why do we long to make connections?

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Most Popular Reads on Caruso Leadership

Caruso Leadership enters 2017 poised to build upon the strong growth we experienced in 2016, thanks to our wonderful clients and engaged readers and followers.

Every year, we publish our top blogs and content from the previous year. For those of you new to our work, you can read some fan favorites, and for those of us who have been with us for the long haul, it’s a great way to brush up on important reminders or discover some words you might have missed.

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Life is a Choice Between Faith and Fear

Faith: a firm belief in a yet-to-be-proved, positive outcome.
Fear: a painful emotion excited by an impending negative outcome.

More often than not, life is a choice between faith and fear. At any point in time, our thoughts and actions reflect either our fears or our goals.

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Destiny Is More Uncovered Than Discovered

Success Strategy #40: Destiny is more uncovered than discovered.

 

We all have a destiny.  And it’s none of our business. The most important part of the plan of our life isn’t our destiny, but our greatest human gift – our free will. Every choice we make informs our path and builds to our ultimate destiny.

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Priorities Help You Reach Goals

So maybe from the title you think I am stating the obvious. Without setting priorities, your life can  quickly become a series of tasks that distract from reaching your goals. But you might be surprised by how many people let this simple truth get in the way of their success and happiness.

Joe Caruso on Priorities

Let’s break this down a bit, so you can stay on track to reach your goals.

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Big Decisions: Limit Input From These Inadequate Advisors

Do you tend to base your major life decisions on the pretext that anything is possible? Or, are you like the vast majority of people who immediately rule out a great number of possibilities based on what they think the outcome will be?

The fact of the matter is that most of us limit our options considerably base on these three inadequate advisors:

  • fears
  • insecurities
  • emotional baggage

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