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Assertions That Transform

Step Into "What's Next" with Integrity and Intention

Let's Stop Calling It "Tough Love"

personal development Dec 20, 2017

It's Time to Get Real

“For all that I do, whether on my own or assisted by another, should be directed to this single end, the common benefit and harmony.” - Marcus Aurelius

You care. And, of course, you've done your best. You've been understanding and kind. You've loaned advice and offered help. But none of it has worked. So now, all that's left, is to play your trump card...,

tough love.

Check Yourself!

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor Frankl

Whoa! Before you get all self-righteous, draw your line in the sand, and launch the "good" fight, maybe take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself a few tough questions.  

Did you do your best, or only what was expedient? Was it understanding and kindness on offer or perhaps just enabling? Was it advice and help on loan, or simply lip service? Was it their well-being...

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The Day I Met Seth Godin (And How He Made Cry…)!

If you have a minute, I’d like to tell you a quick story.

If you check out Creative On Purpose on Amazon, you’ll probably take note of this 5-star review.

“Scott will open your eyes to a different way of doing work that matters. His generous, persistent, consistent belief in our ability to level up and contribute comes through. This is time well spent.” Seth Godin

Yes, that review came from the Seth Godin. Seth is the best-selling author of Purple Cow and 17 other books, the creator of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, and the longest-running and most read blogger I know.

He’s also one of my heroes.

“How Did You Get Seth Godin to Review Your Handbook?”

I get this question a lot!

The truth is, I didn’t “get” Seth to do anything! I never even asked him to look at my Handbook!

A Bit of Back Story

I am an altMBA6 graduate and was invited by Seth to participate in the first run of The Marketing Seminar in the summer of 2017....

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Generosity Should Not Be Confused With Promiscuity

personal development Sep 19, 2017

“We can proudly use price as a signal to tell people what we think about what we sell.” Seth Godin, The Marketing Seminar

What’s It For?

That thing you’re making. That service you provide. That idea you have. What’s it for? What’s your motivation for sharing it? Who’s it for? What’s your intended impact?

Here are some considerations. Do you want people to appreciate it or value it?Are you looking for engagement or enrollment? Are you seeking their interest or their investment?

Free Vs. Paid

Free attracts appreciation, engagement, and interest, but rarely leads to perceived value, active enrollment, or meaningful investment. Free attracts browsers, not buyers. If what you create has value, works better when users are engaged, and is enhanced through the investment made by users, then giving it away is doing far more harm than good. It’s confusing both you, the producer, and you prospective consumer.

If it’s valuable, why are...

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Taking the Leap into Leveling Up

"What if?"

What if you did great work? What if you performed at a higher level? What if you served the right people? What if you worked with and learned directly from those who inspire you?

These are the questions I ask myself. I feel guilty asking them. I do, after all, already do work I love as a professional guitarist and teacher. It's meaningful work and I enjoy the people I work with. Why challenge what’s clearly working well enough?

People Like Us Do Things Like This

That's it. If you believe in achieving excellence in any endeavor, including being the best human being you can possibly be, what you've already achieved is never enough. You're always asking yourself, "What else?" or "What's next?"

You think about it. You talk about it. You try things. Eventually "what else" or "what's next" starts to come into focus. And suddenly you find yourself doing that. 

For me, it was writing The Stoic Creative Handbook. A work dedicated to helping struggling Creatives become...

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Simplification Is the Ultimate Expression of Sophistication

Doing Better Work By Doing Less

Yes, I know you’re terribly busy. So much to do and so little time. There are not enough hours in the day.

Are you buying this BS?

Time is not the issue. It’s taste. Where and how are you spending your most valuable resource? What are you spending time on and with whom?

Is it the important stuff like developing your craft? Creating connection? Sharing value with those who need you to show up and deliver the goods?

Take a minute and reflect on what is important to you and what your good at. Who shares your values and needs your talents? What is the one thing you could do or make that would impact these people?

Go. Do or make that. Do it now.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It shouldn’t be big and complicated. It mustn’t require a long explanation.

Keep it simple. Try it out. Watch the reaction. Listen to the response. Think it over. Iterate. Then try again.

It’s simple. But simple isn’t easy. 

...

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What Are You Waiting For?

 Now Is the Time. The Time Is Now.

What Are You Waiting For?

  • Getting your ducks in a row?
  • Your ship to come in?
  • The planets to align?
  • The “right” time?


The ducks will align themselves. You don’t even own a ship. And, when was the last time you took the time to check on the planets?

Time is everyone’s most valuable resource. You’re never going to have more of it than you do right now. Why are you wasting it? 

In every moment of every day, you are in the act of dying. You're dying right now!

The time is now. Now is the time.

Marcus’ reminder says it all:

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.”

So, which will you do next; transmit light or create your own darkness?

Choose well. If you don’t, the choice will be made for you.

 
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Who Are You? Your Character Is Your Fate

"Actions Speak Louder Than Words"

At least that's what my mama always told me. But over the years I've decided that this is not such great advice. Sure, we should walk the walk and not just talk the talk, but what are we talking and walking for in the first place?!

"A Man's Character Is His Fate."

These are the translated words of the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus. He's long been a go-to dispenser-of-wisdom on how to live well. Heraclitus was a major influence on another source of timeless wisdom; the last of the late great Stoic philosophers, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Heraclitus and Marcus both have much to say on human nature and how to navigate the messy milieu that is human interaction. Both came to the conclusion that neither what we say nor what we do is of much significance. What really matters is who we are. In other words (Martin Luther King Jr.'s for instance), what is the "content of our character?" Or as the Stoics would say, our Virtue....

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Amor Fati

Embracing Stoic Determinism 

I was hung up on it for years. I’ve heard popular Stoic advocates like Ryan Holiday express the same reservation. Many who embrace the principles and practices of Modern Stoicism just can’t, or rather won’t, accept that their life is fated.

“Luck is not something you can mention in the presence of self-made men.” ― E.B. White

We come to the idea of being above fate honestly. If you’re American, it’s part of your cultural birthright. An inherent tenet of the “American Dream” is the idea of “the self-made man.” Of course, your mileage may vary, but if you were born white, male, and even of modest privilege in the good ol’ USA you’ve likely never questioned the idea that you determine your destiny.

But do you…?

Historically, the image of the self-made man or woman involved “pluck,” or the summoning up of courage or boldness. Pluck was required because if...

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You Were Born to Die

How the Ancient Practice of Contemplating Your Death Can Help You Live Well Now!

“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly” — Marcus Aurelius

“You should remember, that you were born to die… ” — Blind Willie McTell

Are You Ready to Die?

How you answer that question depends on more than your age, condition, or situation. Your answer reflects your attitude and position on what it means to live a good life.

“Life is just a pilgrimage from the womb to the tomb.” — Cornel West

Ben Franklin famously stated, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” However, it is quite possible, even easy, to cheat or even avoid taxation. We can not say the same of death. Upon our exit from the womb, as Cornel West has more eloquently spoken, the only outcome that is assured is that our corpse will become worm food.

The ancient Greeks...

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From Wrong to Right - The 4 Rs of an Intentional, Healing, & Meaningful Apology

personal development Dec 18, 2016

None of us are beyond making a mistake, an unintended slight, a misstep, or a moment of cluelessness that causes injury. Don't dig in, make excuses, whitewash, or feign ignorance. The art of apology can turn things around when done well.

Recognize That You Did Something Wrong

You did it. You know you did it and so does the person to whom you’ve done wrong. Denying, rationalizing, justifying, or otherwise running away or hiding from it is making a tough situation worse and a burdensome obligation harder.

State clearly and concisely what you did to whom you did it.

Take Responsibility for What You Did

There, you did the hard part first. Now it’s time to own it. You did it and you know it was wrong. Congratulations, you’re not a psychopath.

Express Sincere Regret

Don’t do this half-way, don’t hold back, don’t worry about having it accepted. Time to say “I’m sorry,” in the most authentic and compelling way you are capable.

...

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