Quote I’ve Been Pondering This Week

4 min read

Quote I’ve Been Pondering This Week: “People overestimate what they can get done in a year and underestimate what they can get done in five years.”

There’s an enormous amount of truth to this statement, the most profound of which may be that it lays bare the reason so many people get bogged down in their personal or professional journey.

Here’s a Leland Conway original quote: “The key to long-term success is measurable accomplishment.” That means that in order to stay motivated, most people, nearly all people actually, have to see at least some substantial progress toward their ultimate goals. When that progress is nonexistent or too small to measure, discouragement sets in and the process of giving up begins. Even the most stubborn and strong-willed of us cannot withstand the overwhelming gravitational pull of stagnation.

The problem begins with realism. I’ve always believed that with a combination of hard work, will power, a little luck and willingness to take risks, practically anything can be accomplished by practically anyone. But the key to this equation is to lay the foundation of your goals in realism rather than outlandish dreams.

When we decide that we want something so bad that we’re willing to take a risk and make the effort to obtain it, we often bite off more than we can chew at the outset, while simultaneously failing to see how far we can go toward accomplishing our goal over a longer period of time than we initially set for ourselves if we can be realistic about things and can see measurable accomplishment along the way.

The truth is, only 8 percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because resolutions tend to either be based on grandiose, unrealistic ideals or something that is too difficult to measure off in smaller chunks. Weight loss is a perfect example.  When I go to the gym in early December it’s a ghost town. When I go on January 3rd, it will be a mad house. Same next year. Rinse, repeat. Losing weight is hard, and it requires much more than just a visit or two to the treadmill hell at the gym.  It requires a total lifestyle change. Many people underestimate how long it took them to gain the weight and overestimate their ability to quickly remove it.  This principle applies for career growth, and other popular life goals people set for themselves.

Look at it this way. Our goals should line up with who we are and what we prioritize. Let’s look at our goal of weight loss from this perspective. Approaching it as a lifestyle change rather than just a number on a scale gives you more metrics to measure than just your weight. I lost a half pound this week, but how do I feel? Am I eating healthy? Do my meals make me feel satisfied and healthy? In other words, your goal should be to change yourself, not just your weight. The weight will come off automatically.  Instead of looking in the mirror and saying “I weigh xxx pounds,” you look in the mirror and say “I am a healthy person.”  This approach leads to measurable accomplishment rather than just waiting around for pounds to fall off after suffering through a spin class. Again, weight loss is just one example. The same principle applies to wealth accumulation, career changes or career growth and working on our relationships with others.

So, let’s change the paradigm.

Sit down and assess what your priorities are for the next five years. If there’s a big, grand change or accomplishment on your radar, break it into smaller achievable chunks. Drive toward the accomplishment of those smaller goals, while constantly assessing your progress. This helps you take risks more often while being able to correct your path before you get too far off track.

Here are four ways to prioritize and achieve your goals:

Prioritize God. I am a Christian, and for me, all goals should run through his will. This is the way I view the world and it’s non-negotiable. Prayer time is vital to clearing the mind, keeping us honest, and making sure that our goals are not based purely on self interests. The things we accomplish in our lives that don’t lift others up will mean absolutely zero after your gone.

Prioritize change. This is one reason I stopped doing New Year’s resolutions. I came to the conclusion that, if you see something in your life, goals, or plans that needs to be changed, why wait? Change it now. Instead of specific resolutions at the end of a year, I tend to assess or reassess my standing life’s goals. “Where do I want to be in one year? Three years? Five years?” If I can see that I’ve made measurable strides toward those short, medium and long term goals, I’m satisfied. If I’m not making those strides, I re-evaluate. “Is this really that important to me right now?” “Are there other areas of exploration and accomplishment that would be more valuable to me?”

Prioritize people. Go through all of your personal and professional relationships. Are the people in your life helping you or harming you? Do they edify you? Do they challenge you? Do they hold you accountable? Do they encourage you? If the answer is no, drop them. If the answer is yes, seek ways that you can reciprocate and strengthen those relationships. Trust me, this may be the best investment you make toward overall lifetime achievement. As mom always said, “we are who we hang with.”

Finally, prioritize your time. This statement is a cliche for a reason. Time is like money. Successful people control it, it doesn’t control them. When working toward a large goal, constantly be vigilant of your time. Assess all of your commitments. Do they help or hinder your progress? That doesn’t mean you don’t do things that have nothing to do with your goals. In fact, taking time away from your normal pursuits allows you to clear your mind, see the problems you face from a different perspective and generally refreshes your ambition when you get back to the task at hand. But you want to be sure that whatever you do fits into this paradigm of helping, not hindering towards your goals.

Prioritize this way and I’m confident you won’t overestimate what you can do in a year and you’ll be surprised how far you’ve come in five!

Catfishing: Don’t Let Someone Steal Your Online Identity

It’s a terrifying scenario. You get an email or text from a friend notifying you that someone is out there on social media impersonating you, they’ve taken all of your personal pics from your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts and now they’re out there, pretending to be you. But it gets worse. The next show drops when they come to you directly and try to blackmail you with what they’ve obtained.  Demanding money, information or compromising pictures of yourself. (Yes, this happens)

You may not think you are a target, most people don’t. That’s why it’s so easy for criminals to pull this off. No one expects it to happen to them, until it does.

As a society, we’ve failed miserably in protecting our online privacy. We’ve traded personal privacy and eroded liberty in exchange for convenience and expediency. The cat is already out of the bag. We’ll probably never reverse this trend. Someone is watching you.  Everywhere. All. The. Time.

Maybe it’s the government, maybe its criminals, or maybe it’s corporate America. Maybe it’s a combination of all of them.  Whoever it is, there’s one thing they all have in common, they do not have your best interests at heart.

Recently, I had my friend and legal expert, criminal defense attorney Loretta Powers on my radio show on 840WHAS to talk about the terrifying possibilities of having to put the pieces back together after someone compromises your online identity and exploits it. Listen here:

Listen to “Working Overtime Episode 2 – Catfishing” on Spreaker.

From The Department Of The Obvious: Fewer Toys Helps Kids Imagination

Having fewer toys is actually good for your kids. This statement seems obvious, yet I’m not sure it really is to most parents these days. This article in the Daily Mail caught my eye, mainly because I’m super interested in how generations are raised differently from each other.

Researchers gave 16 toys to one group of children and 4 toys to another group. They found that the kids with fewer toys developed better skills and were more engaged and less distracted.

I had toys, but they also tended to be more low-tech and the kind of toys that fit in with made up gaming scenarios like my toy guns for playing army, or my legos for building my own creations.  I also spent an enormous amount of time outside, something that is missing for a lot of kids today.

For me, outside time wasn’t just available, it was mandatory. We roamed the neighborhood on our bikes, skate boards and by hitching rides from one far flung part of town to the other. Often with little to no serious adult supervision. Especially in summer, my neighborhood friends and I were often left entirely to our own devices for hours at a time.

This freedom to roam occasionally led to trouble, but the kind you learn from. More importantly, it fostered creativity, independence and toughness. If you wrecked your bike on the far side of town, mommy wasn’t there to patch you up. You’d have to limp home. Deal with it, suck it up. Half the time, we just played on.

I’m fairly certain that this early independence led to the fact that the concept of “failure to launch” was almost unheard of in my generation. When the time came for flying the coop, we flew.

I also remember that there were important independence benchmarks along the way.  I couldn’t wait to get my first bike because it meant I got to roam farther from home.  I couldn’t wait for my driver’s license because it meant more time away from my parents with my friends. I couldn’t wait to get to college because it meant independence.
Contrast this readiness to take on the world with the current numbers of young adults living with parents into their 30’s (over 30% of 18-34 year olds still live with their mom and dad) and the Millennial generation’s now famous aversion to risk and you begin to wonder what caused this shift and what the consequences might be down the road.


Anecdotally, I see so many children with an electronic babysitter and parents who are there but not really present. Not that the children are alone per se, but rather that the parents are not engaging them and the kids themselves are lost in a digital world, attention completely absorbed by a mini screen attached to their hips.

What used to be occasions for interaction with the world around us are now routine opportunities to get lost in another round of video games or YouTube videos.  I remember when a trip to the grocery store meant exposure to the various stimulants of the outside world, leading to curiosity, discovery and human interaction. Now, it seems such excursions are merely robotic motions for a lot of families.

Could it be that the technology that makes our lives so convenient is actually making us less able to function in a brutal and uncaring world? Could it be that our drive for “likes” on social media is driving us apart as human beings? Could it be that our immersion in a digital world is obscuring our view of the real world?

What do toys and technology have to do with one another? For one thing, they’re becoming one and the same. As toys become more technologically advanced, less creativity is required for our children when at play. This will ultimately lead to less ability to think critically and independently. This has direct implications for everything from independence and liberty to personal and societal safety.  The more dependent we are on tech, the less dependent we are on ourselves and each other.  The more exposed we are to pre-written, software driven scenarios, colorful digital displays and push button or finger swipe functions, the less adaptable we become to our natural universe, the less we’re able to make adjustments to new and changing circumstances and most importantly, the less accustomed we are to overcoming obstacles.

I love technology. As a media personality, it’s crucial to growing, and interacting with my audience. I’m not arguing against technology or toys. I’m simply cautioning that too much of a good thing can make a good thing bad.

It may be hard to believe that one can infer all of these outcomes simply from how many toys a child has, but ignore this at society’s peril.  We are all born with distinct personalities but make no mistake, our traits, skills, and individuality are all at least partially honed by our environments.  Science knows that keeping our brains elastic by staying engaged, present and challenged will help stave off cognitive decline in old age. Why wouldn’t we assume that the same principle applies from birth?

Enterprise Advocate Episode 2, Bill Cloyd and Keith Hollifeild from Newton’s Attic

Ever wish you could be a giant cannonball and shoot yourself out into a lake on a hot summer day?  That actually happened to the founder of Newton’s Attic.  Now he puts childhood memories along with his years of engineering and design experience to work helping kids innovate and build robots of all kinds.  It’s an all around engineering camp experience and the kids learn amazing skills.

In Episode 2, we talk to founder Bill Cloyd and instructor Keith Hollified about the trials and tribulations of not only getting venture like this started, but making it flourish.  You’ll love hearing about this innovative project and it just may prompt you to look for ways to get out of your ruts and experience something new!


Enterprise Advocate – Episode 1, Dave Moisan from NBC’s “The Voice!”

Dave talks with us about transitioning from that thing you do every day to that thing you do that is driving your passion!  You’ll love hearing him tell the story of how you get into places you aren’t allowed by acting like you are supposed to be there.  We’ll also discuss overcoming your fear of failure and opening your “imagination box.”  You’ll love his passion as much as you love his talent.


Coming Soon: My new Podcast – Enterprise Advocate!

Coming next week, the first episode of my brand new podcast “Enterprise Advocate!”  We’ll be exploring the crucial and powerful habits and processes of daring and amazingly successful individuals.  I’m super excited about our first guest – he’s a guy who’s made the transition from medical device salesman to follow his dream on the stage.  I can’t wait for you to hear my conversation with Dave Moisan from “The Voice!”  Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day – On Circumstances and Freedom and Perseverance

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”  – Viktor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor

Why Are Schools Ending Valedictorian Title?

It’s happening all across America:

CLICK HERE to watch the story on our local WHAS11 ABC affiliate.

Looking for a more “inclusive system” the schools are using the excuse that kids are supposedly gravitating to easier classes in order to get better grades.

Well, duh?  The solution to this is to change the way you grade certain classes.  Don’t count the easy electives like PE or even entry level classes toward the overall grade.  Instead of being more “inclusive,” if this is such a problem, they should make it harder.  Make the top spots in the class even harder to achieve.

In this local case, the schools are planning to recognize the “top 10% of the class.”  As if our kids don’t already receive enough recognition.  They get ribbons and trophies for just successfully breathing these days, if this system of inclusiveness and coddeling that’s been around for the last two decades hasn’t started working by now, I doubt this final step to the homogenization of student achievement is actually going to spare any feelings or promote any higher levels of readiness for our students.

Life is hard.  Achievement gets rewarded.  Failure has consequences.  Not everyone can be “above average.”  It’s time for our schools to return to teaching kids that great old underrated lesson:  “Suck it up buttercup.”