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Category Archives: Success Strategies

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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Time for a Change? What To Do When You Veer Off Course

Time for a Change? What To Do When You Veer Off Course

It’s always a good time to revisit your goals for the year. Accept, adjust, advance.

The New Year marks time on the calendar; this turning of the page often sparks a visceral drive within us amidst a cultural atmosphere around us to get a fresh start in our personal or professional lives. Most of our resolutions, or goals for the year, fall under one of three categories: improving physical health, emotional health and relationships (including your relationship to yourself), or career prospects. Within these categories, we tend to decide to change a habit that doesn’t serve us, or a acquire a new habit that does serve us.

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Getting to the Root of the Problem

In my previous blog on How You Define the Problem is Part of the Solution, we used the example of weight loss to examine why some people are successful and others aren’t at solving a problem. Now let’s look at another example: those who blame their job or career for their unhappiness.

 

To put that concept in another context, let’s say that what you define as your problem is your career. Is it bringing you a sense of fulfillment? Does it make you feel good about yourself? Do you like getting up to go to work every day or do you dread the sound of the alarm?

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How You Define the Problem is Part of the Solution

Letting go is really no more than an approach to a problem. Since, by definition, we are active participants in creating our own reality, the number of solutions we’ll see to any problem is limited by the way we define the problem in the first place. I like to tell my clients, “the way we define the problem determines the solutions we won’t consider.”

“The way we define a problem determines all of the solutions our minds can’t possibly consider.”  – Joe Caruso

If you went to see a chiropractor because your feet hurt, she’d probably find a problem with your spine; a surgeon would, more often than not, find a surgical solution; a dietician would tell you to change your eating habits; and an orthopedist might suggest that you need orthotics. Before we consider the solution to a problem, we have to consider how we’ve defined it, because that will determine the kinds of solutions we allow ourselves to see. That is, in effect, the law of congruency.

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Do You Focus on Achievement or Success?

We have created an achievement-oriented society. Achievements are important. They serve as goals and benchmarks, mile-markers and victories. But think about it: If your goal is to achieve a successful life, how will you know when you’ve succeeded?

Success Strategy # 33 – “Realize that achievement is not success.” — Joe Caruso

You see, success is not a destination. In order for us to see ourselves as successful human beings and to strive to create success, we have to stop framing everything we do as an achievement. Read more »

Understand Acceptance vs Resignation

Joe uncovers Success Strategy #23 – Understand the difference between acceptance and resignation.

Acceptance literally means taking things as they come. It implies that one has the understanding and perspective that what happens or is happening is acceptable to them.

In my development work with leaders and organizations on managing change and transition, I teach that acceptance is the first step to overcoming any adversity. One who accepts is one who is firmly grounded in reality, while one who refuses to accept is one who is flirting with insanity. To refuse to accept is to invite crippling and debilitating feelings such as frustration, futility and hopelessness.

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Overheard: Joe Caruso’s Success Strategies

One measure of effective leadership? When you hear your words and contexts coming from the mouths of others.”  — @JosephACaruso

More of Joe’s Success Strategies Overhead in Mainstream Dialogue 

For those familiar with Joe Caruso’s books, success strategies, philosophies and aphorisms, it may come as no surprise that the concepts that Joe has been teaching for the past twenty years are coming through in mainstream dialogue.

Here are just a few examples that clients and friends have brought to Joe’s attention of late.

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Bias, an Abundance of Data, and Who We Are

How we use data to validate our stories and draw bad conclusions.

Today, our every move and whim has the potential to be tracked and analyzed through technology we carry with us, or through security cameras. (See blog on the trade-offs of ‘big data’) That means that anyone with something to market or sell has never been in a more powerful position to influence others’ opinions, actions, and decisions.

But as we know, data can be manipulated. The manipulation of data is not inherently a bad thing. At the core, it simply means organizing data in a way that is more meaningful or easier to understand. For example, alphabetizing data is an example of data manipulation. However, data manipulation can often carry a negative connotation, whereby someone knowingly alters the data or results to fit his study, his story, or the conclusion he hypothesized.  This might seem relatively harmless when a 6th-grader alters her science fair data to match her hypothesis. But in the science of medical research, data manipulation can have devastating effects. We see this in the recent measles outbreak. A now discredited study linking vaccinations to autism is arguably partially to blame for creating enough fear, uncertainty and doubt among parents with no medical training to decide to skip the vaccinations for their children.  And now we are faced with the resurgence of a disease we thought was largely eradicated in 2000.

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When the Perfect Dress Finds You: The Trade-Offs of Big Data

Shopping for the Perfect Dress

Years ago, shopping for the perfect dress may have meant grabbing a few girlfriends, going to your favorite stores, and with the help of a sales associate, modeling different styles as your friends weigh in with their impressions. The Internet, of course, changed all that. You can now browse for different styles and comparison-shop for the best price without leaving your desk or couch. Sites like Zappos offer free shipping and such a convenient return process that they make it easy for you to order two sizes, try on both as soon as the next day, and return the one that doesn’t fit (or both if they don’t look like they did on the model in the picture).

Many of the most successful retailers, like Zappos and Nordstrom, have made it all about us to make sure we benefit from the conveniences they offer. This leaves many of us consumers blissfully (and sometimes willfully) unaware of the fact that our browsing and shopping habits leave a data trail, one which marketers salivate over to devise products, pitches, and promotions designed specifically to appeal to our personal tastes and proclivities. They not only track our online activities, but also our offline ones, like how long we linger in which departments of certain stores.

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