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I chose persistence as one of my three key words for this year. I don’t like giving up. It’s not in my nature. But, there are times when walking away is a good idea.

How We Decide Matters

In reading the book “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, many times we don’t allow ourselves enough choices to make a good decision. We operate in the “Whether or Not” framework.  A good example is “I need to decide whether I should quit my job or not.” It’s a narrow option path.

To expand those options, perhaps looking for another job within the company might be a reasonable avenue. Or, maybe take part in a work project that isn’t normally within the scope of your existing job.

By expanding options, we can more clearly assess the situation.

When the End Is Now

Coming to the conclusion that a change is necessary is stressful, daunting, and emotionally unnerving. But that is what change does. It upsets the natural order of things to create a new model of order. The shaking-up drives the process for a measurement of a new status quo.

We don’t notice all the changes in our life until there is a large accumulation or an abrupt one. Most people really shun this. But others crave the new order.

Acceptance is a wise option.

One example of “being done” is a beautifully crafted post by Julie Kantor. She reflects on her role with two startups and a career transition. In a healthy way, Julie covers her journey and recognizes this moment is a transition. Just that. No regrets.

The Next

Life offers opportunities if we expand our options path. We can only experience our “purpose” when we are doing the work we must do. Doing the work we must do may only become real when we are looking for options. You don’t know your options until you are seeking your purpose. It’s recursive.

Is there a place in your life that is nearing the end, if not already? How can you create the options to escape a narrow “Whether or Not” situation? Are you clear on your purpose? Is acceptance part of your change equation?

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I just read a pithy email from Rob Hatch, COO of The Human Business Works. With access to so much information, what do you do with it all?

Good question.

It isn’t valuable unless you use it

I’m all for pondering but it’s true. Just knowing something doesn’t add value. It has to have some application to create value. And, the hardest part is actually doing it.

I am shining a spotlight on areas in my life and business that need … no demand change. With all the data available, it’s hard to pick and chose those ideas, steps, and activities that will best move the dial for the results I want.

I read and listen to a number of people but in the process I am pruning my digital advisers. By unsubscribing from a number of emails and channels, I am narrowing down my choices to only those people who resonate with me.

The selection process

I find that I have a handful of marketing, general business, and spiritual awareness writers who offer up the best of what I perceive as good, tight and trusted information. Some of those people cross all three of those categories.

Here’s a great post on pruning your inbox by Scott Stratten. With some examples of email brilliance, the lesson is be discriminating in your connections with people regardless of the method. Business is people to people stuff.

And, finally the guy who cuts across the marketing, business and spiritual categories, Chris Brogan. Here he is doing an interview with Dan Heath about Dan’s new book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (affiliate link).

The interview helped me decide that I wanted to order the book and trust that I will get my outcome of information that I can apply to my life decisions. Why? Because of the quality of the interview, the types of questions asked, and the length of time I have been following Chris on the internet.

There is a lot of data out there

You read a lot of stuff but you trust only those with whom you have come to value through time with quality posts and information. You decide who gets into the funnel for your decision-making criteria. Make those people the most trusted ones in your network.

Winter Woods

Slush. That combination of melting snow and water. Delightful. You say no?

This morning I took the dog out for a walk, a real walk despite the miserable weather. In fact, I selected this walk for today because it’s crappy out. I’m a summer soul and this time of year really weighs heavy on my endorphins. But I started reading Chris Brogan’s new book, It’s Not  About the Tights and something he wrote made my cortex light up (figuratively speaking although I am sure that my neurons were creating sparks).

It’s all about the actions you take. Sidelines don’t count. Why am I waiting for a better day?

So, here’s a sample of my manifesto in creation.

Work My Best Time

I am not a morning person. My circadian rhythm works best at night, in the dark. I will not force my natural being into a one size fits all pair of tights. Yeah, I am learning to write anywhere at any time but my best ideas percolate when my brain is fully firing. Work with your best body time. Period.

Tune Out the Noise

It’s time to disconnect the background noise and distractions. A fellow blogger, Grant Webster, wrote this post  and it encapsulated why so many people are not pushing their work … too many options for distraction. TED Talks is on a timeout for me.

I look at my daily email accounts, multiple platforms I check for “information”, connections I try to keep up. “Create production for every minute” is the message I get from all the folks who work their work.

I’ve got digital tools reminding me, timing me out, alerting me, emitting various tones, and oh, yeah, human interruptions.

I didn’t plan on the walk this morning. It wasn’t in my calendar. It took away moments from something else.

But smelling slush was my biggest “a ha” moment. I am the one who is in charge of my time. Always. Just say no. I am not a weak-willed person. Period.

Don’t Dwell in the Valley of the Shadow

It’s clear to me now that I need to retrench. I am spread too thin. I need to answer the question “What do I Want?” . I know this; I’m not sticking around in this morass of what I should do to trend better, open-rate best, rank higher, or increase my followers by 20K in ten days. Read Scott Stratten’s post on the best time to never send email.

Some of it is like chasing contrails. Give me slush.

I am consciously selecting my support system. Those folks and services that mesh with me and can help with my personal project. I don’t have bandwidth for more than one mission. Period.

Make My Mission Clear

Over the next few weeks, I am solidifying my project. It’s time for action.  I will continue to seek unplanned slush time. If I have to say goodbye to some people and activities, so be it. It might be for a while, or maybe a life time.

It’s not a harsh goodbye or a willful severing. It’s about doing what is important to me. Period.

The gauntlet has been thrown down.  Pick three books, read and reread them for an entire year. Chris Brogan has tossed the challenge out there for folks to commit by Nov 1. After that date, you get one week to change just one choice. The reason for the call out is too often we read books and fail to carry out changes based on what we have read. We race off to the next book for more clues and hints on how to gain change in our life. Concentrating on just three books gives the opportunity to ponder and implement over the course of one year. Are you game?

I selected one book that is brand new to me and two others that have languished on the shelf waiting for me.

And here are my #3BD selections:

The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

I am a devotee of Chris Brogan and his philosophy about business. This book is a bigger and broader work that details how your message can be crafted for various platforms and largest reach. It’s vastly more than social media. It’s business, marketing and relationship. Looking forward to reading this one almost immediately.

The Dreaming Universe by Dr. Fred Alan Wolf

I have been a fan of Dr. Wolf for some time. I think it’s that quirky combination of science and the mind. He had me with his Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Non-Scientists book. I get delight from reading his work and trying to understand quantum mechanics.

The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton M. Christensen

This book has been on the shelf and I am committing my undivided attention to what this great business thought leader has to say.

So, there’s my three. Are you in?

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