Category

Wisdom

Your Source of Energy

By | Attitude, Motivational, Uncategorized, Wisdom | No Comments

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I woke up today thinking about the amount of energy required for sustainable success. If you think about it, we all have the ability to create energy in our own unique way. There are some common activities we can pursue that will bring us energy from a physical and mental perspective:

  1. Physical exercise produces physical energy and mental clarity.
  2. Reading, meditation, and visualization will produce mental energy.

Secret Recipe

I am speaking of something unique to you and you alone. I believe we all have our own energy formula, our own energy drink or juice so to speak. The ingredients are known only to us. It’s like the well-guarded family recipe no one ever shares.

However, a recipe is only good when you prepare the meal. The same is true about the secret recipe of your “juice” that energizes your soul.

Your Sockets

Another way to think about the source of your energy is electricity. What sockets are you plugging into in order to draw inspiration and gain energy? I have been inspired by many things over the course of my life, and I believe what inspires you also energizes you. For me, staying plugged into my sources of inspiration allow me to stay plugged into my source of energy. The choices you make about what you decide to plug into daily is 100% within your control. For me, there are numerous sockets and ingredients in my secret recipe. Here’s my list:

  • Preparing and sharing meals with family
  • Painting a new canvas
  • Recording a new education series
  • Writing daily
  • Live musical performances
  • Theatrical performances
  • Working with youth
  • All things LSU football
  • Any time on the water
  • Every second with my parents
  • Every second with my kids and grandkids
  • Festivals in Louisiana
  • Interior design
  • Fishing anytime
  • Any sunrise
  • Travel
  • How about you?

Make the time to make your list just like the one above. Think through your list and make certain each ingredient inspires and energizes you in some way. Once you have your list completed, the big task is ahead of you. Get out your planner or diary for the last 90 days and calculate how much time you actually spent doing things on your list.

You will be surprised either pleasantly or not so much. The good news is there is an easy fix because you have the ability to control how many times and in how many ways you plug into your power sources for inspiration and energy. I hope you will make your list and take action today and every day. There is nothing better than mixing up your own special “juice” concoction and getting high on the amazing and powerful after-effects of leading an energized life of intention and purpose.

Make a difference today. 

Get Intoxicated by Wisdom

By | Uncategorized, Wisdom | No Comments

At a picnic table in Conway, Arkansas, my grandfather, George W. Cummings, Sr. (PawPaw to me) and I sat having a conversation as we often did. He brought up one of his favorite subjects – reading. Even as a boy, I noticed his bookshelves were lined with books, overflowing with all types of literature.

Incoming Knowledge

This wise man was my greatest teacher early in life, and to say I appreciated and deeply valued my time with him is an understatement. He was an inspired and highly principled person who taught through the example he set for his family.

As the conversation turned to reading, he spoke with antidotes and engaging stories, the way he did when he began to share something he wanted me to remember.

His real life examples would stick with you long after the conversation ended. He used vivid word pictures and memorable stories to make his points and share his insights.

“Son, you need to drink from the pages of great books until you are intoxicated by wisdom.” ~ George W. Cummings, Sr.

Thought Provoking

Over the years, I wrote all of these simple lessons down. What a gift he gave me by taking time to share his wisdom. When he passed away at the age of 94, I knew I could not be selfish and keep all he taught me to myself. I made a commitment to share what I learned with others and consequently published three books through Random House detailing these lessons:

Lessons at the Fence Post – Volumes 1 & 2
Principles of Dynamic Leadership

My Learning Library

His simple statement led me to become a lifelong learner – a true addict to the consumption of all things knowledge-based. This gift has been passed on to my five children who are also knowledge junkies and prolific readers in their own right. Oh what I have learned over the years because of this simple decision.

The Theory of CANI

Are you committed to Constant And Never-ending Improvement? Do you take the time out of your busy day to read and consume new and powerful information? My PawPaw taught me books are one of the greatest investments you can ever make. I can still hear him saying:

Son, books are money well spent, and reading is time well invested.”

Think about it. A man or woman spends his or her entire life learning something specific. These lessons and strategies are then shared through the written word. For less than $40 in most cases, we can access a lifetime of knowledge in a few days, or even a few hours. How can you not view that as a bargain?

Here’s the application: go buy a book today!Carve time out of your busy day to drink the knowledge from those pages. Keep a journal, and write down your thoughts and feelings about what you read.
I hope this story will lead you to adopt this practice. If so, I’m confident it will impact your life as it has mine.

From Lessons at the Fence Post:

“A person unwilling to invest in themselves has no right to expect others to make an investment they are unwilling to make.”

~ George W. Cummings, Sr.

Have a great knowledge-building day, and make a difference today.

Find out about Paul Cummings University demos here.

Don’t Tell Anybody Okay?

By | Leadership, Reputation, Uncategorized, Wisdom | No Comments

Have you ever been approached by someone in your work environment that opened the conversation with these words, “Hey, I need to tell you something but don’t tell anybody okay?” This should be a immediate warning sign to you that someone is trying to drag you into the rumor mill and gossip group of negativity. Stay away from these types of conversation. Why?

It Will Be Repeated

Years ago, a senior executive shared some advice with me about communication. “Never say anything to anyone that you don’t want repeated.” This is great advice for anyone in business. You put yourself at risk the very minute you participate in the “hush toned” conversations in your work place.Why? People will always repeat what was said, who it was said by, and I promise you that as conversations are recycled they always change.

Reputation

Protect your reputation by never being part of the problem. Don’t invite or accept an invitation to participate in the loop of the loser. Complaining, griping, and criticizing the company and your peers will never help you grow within an organization. Winners simply don’t have time for this destructive practice as they are too busy pursing their goals and dreams. Forge relationships, don’t tear them down.

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”               ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Trust

When you talk about others behind their back you will destroy trust. Trust building and likability are two of the competencies you must master to win at the highest level. Do not associate with anyone who wants to infect your mind with negativity. Build trust by being a team builder and promoter of others good attributes.

“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”

Make a difference today.

Copyright 2016: Paul Cummings Enterprises.

Who’s Bringing the Donuts?

By | Productivity, Uncategorized, Wisdom | No Comments

See if this sounds familiar. A team member has an idea and floats it to one other person. Look out! A meeting is about to be called. A team begins to gather in a conference room. The markers are out, the white board is in use somewhere else, and six valuable team members are out of the office. All over the world, this phenomenon takes place without hardly a second thought.

No One Speaks Up

As the meeting drags on and valuable time is wasted, people are shifting in their chairs. No one ever speaks up and asks, “Why are we in here?” No one dares to say, “We need to get back to work.” This is a meeting, and it must continue.

The Scenario Is Far Too Common

This scenario is actually more common than you can imagine and plays itself out thousands of times a day in offices all over the globe. It’s not segregated to any one group or particular size of organization. It is not specific to an industry or sector.

Hidden Activity-Based Cost

It has migrated into business culture and has become deeply rooted in far too many cultures. The financial ramifications of this hidden activity-based cost are astronomical. They drain resources and in many instances, delay people from completing important mission-critical items and actions.

Donuts and More Donuts

Hey, look at the bright side. Someone usually does bring the donuts; and there’s always an interesting story or two and maybe even a joke worth remembering. Does any of this justify the meeting? Does any of this justify the brain drain and time waste that this phenomena creates? The answer is: no, it does not!

Let’s Explore More

You may say, “This idea and subsequent meeting are on the verge of becoming a project!” Yes, a long project-based thinking session and collaborative idea gathering. Think of the infinite possibilities: more time away from the real work, more hours invested in an idea that may not in any way support our true purpose, more hours expended and more intellectual capacity wasted as another brain drain is put on the calendar.

Stop the Madness

Am I saying all meetings are bad and a waste of time? No, but far too many meetings fall into this category. It’s a senseless approach to our goals in a world that only gives each of us so much time and yet demands more and more from us with tighter timelines and heightened expectations attached. We can find a better solution. We can stop driving people crazy and let them accomplish things.

Create a Process by Asking the Hard Questions:

  • How do meetings currently get scheduled?
  • Are there any timelines set on meeting times?
  • Who decides who attends?
  • Is the meeting purpose clarified before the meeting occurs?
  • Are the meetings pre-planned so preparation can take place to improve meeting efficiency and results?
  • Has anyone verified that the idea has potential and will in some way fit into our organization’s mission and vision?
  • Is this a meeting called just for “meeting’s sake”?

Discuss these questions among senior leaders, and examine your current meeting process. Ask the hard questions you haven’t asked. Face the truth those answers provide, and stop this drain of your people’s valuable time.

And for goodness sake, bring the donuts! Make sure they’re fresh because we need something positive to come out of the meeting about the meetings.

Facts to Ponder:

  • An estimated $37 billion is wasted annually on nonproductive meetings.
  • There are 25 million meetings held daily just in the United States.
  • An estimated 18% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings.
  • 10% of middle managers’ time is spent preparing for weekly staff meetings.
  • Middle and upper management spends between 33% and 50% of their time in meetings.
  • 67% of all meetings have been deemed as nonproductive.

I hope I have reached inside your brain in some way and shaken you up enough to shift your thinking about meetings within your organization.

Make a difference today.

Find out about Paul Cummings University demos here.

Copyright 2016: Paul Cummings Enterprises.