Be Your Best

Archive for April, 2016

Is it About Achieving Your Goal or your “Chase” to Achieve It?

by on Apr.29, 2016, under Blog Posts

Todd Gifford, President of DEE, with Wayne Carrini of Hit TV Classic Car Show "Chasing Classic Cars"

Todd Gifford, President of DEE, with Wayne Carrini of Hit TV Classic Car Show “Chasing Classic Cars”

I recently had the good fortune of meeting and speaking with someone that I watch on TV nearly every week – Wayne Carini, of “Chasing Classic Cars” on the Velocity Channel.  I love classic cars, and always have been extremely passionate about being around and studying classic cars of all types.

Chasing Classic Cars is based on the concept that ‘it is all about the chase’.  Wayne is a long-time classic car and collector car dealer in Portland, Connecticut, who has had the TV show for a number of years.  It is probably one of the most popular, if not the most popular classic car shows on television.  As he has done in his business for many years, Wayne finds classic cars, buys them, and sells them.  It is typical for Carini to work hard to find or discover a particular car, buy it, and say ‘this one is a keeper and I have always wanted one of these’, implying that he will hang on to it for a long time.  But, ultimately he is in the business to make money and usually sells the car in the same episode or several episodes later.

In the process, it would appear that the greatest thrill of buying incredibly rare, unique, and special collector cars is after they are purchased and owning them and enjoying the cars.  But the reality is that the real ‘juice’ or thrill is in the process of chasing them.  The process of discovering that a particular highly sought after or rare car exists, and the pursuit of the possibility of owning this rare car — the chase — this is best part of it all.  Shortly after the purchase that ultimate great feeling starts to diminish.  You can see this happen in the show.

And really, this is a metaphor for just about everything in life.  It is a constant irony — what you think is the thing that makes you happiest generally is not really the thing that makes you happiest.  It usually turns out it is the ‘experience before achieving the thing that you thought was the thing that would make you happy’ that is the true joy and happiness producer.  This seems to apply to just about everything in my life and, as I speak with others, just about everything in their life to.

Take someone who likes to bake.  In theory, the result of the process of baking (the cake, the cookies, etc…) would seemingly be the thing that makes them happy.  But it is the baking process that really makes them happy.  How about pursuing a certification or degree of some type?  If you asked most people at the beginning of this pursuit what will make them happiest, they would say “to earn my certification or receive my degree”.  But speak to them once they have achieved that goal and they will tell you, 98 times out of 100, “I enjoyed and was happiest in the process of earning and achieving it compared to now actually having the degree/certification I was seeking.“  I reflect on my own experiences of seeking to achieve something specific.  For example, completing a half Iron Man Triathlon event was something I wanted to do.  I felt that once I had completed that goal, I would be very happy.  However, now that I have completed that goal, when I assess how I feel now vs. how I felt during the process of training for that event —- it’s no comparison that my happiness factor was higher/highest during the preparation and training up to and before completing that goal.

Does This Make Sense?

No….and Yes.  On the one hand, we are very goal-oriented, and we are conditioned and coached to set goals and work to achieve them.  I have to say that I am very much this way, and I am a big proponent of setting and writing down goals, both short term and long term.  The most successful people I interact

with are very goal-oriented as well.  It would appear that attaining or accomplishing goals creates significant satisfaction and happiness.  And I believe it does.  I think setting your sights on goals and going after them to attain them is very important.  Targeting something you want, deciding to pursue it, and achieving it set a very good course to follow in life.  But the moment we have achieved that targeted outcome, or fairly shortly after, happiness and satisfaction quickly drops or declines.  This phenomena points to the “chase” as the most important aspect of how we feel over the long term.  The point or moment of achievement only lasts minutes, maybe hours, and rarely for days — whereas the process of chasing that dream or goal or targeted outcome may last many days, months, even years — and for some pursuits, an entire lifetime.

How Many Simultaneous ‘Chases’ is Enough?

How many chases going on is enough?  This is an interesting question to think about.  If it is ‘all about the chase’ and it appears to be largely that, then wouldn’t we want to have as many chases going on at any given time as we can?  I think the basic answer is YES.  And this comes back to goal-setting in my opinion.  I believe it is a smart idea to set a lot of goals for yourself, big and small, short term and long term, and be doing this almost constantly.  Identify goals or targets for yourself, no matter how small or insignificant they might be, writing them down whenever possible.  These become ‘chases’ and some chases may last just minutes, some hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.

Does Achieving a Goal Do Anything?

If the conclusion is that it is all about the chase, and not the achievement itself, what is the value of actually achieving the goal or outcome?  I think it is extremely important to reach milestones or end points with respect to goals, even though there will tend to be a letdown feeling afterword.  The process of closing out a goal achieved (or even partially achieved) is critical to make room for and stimulate new chases to be created, and significant growth occurs.  Find a lot of things to ‘chase after’ and really enjoy the ride of your life!

Be Your Best,
Todd D. Gifford

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5 Powerful Things That Have a Massive Positive Impact

by on Apr.25, 2016, under Blog Posts

Todd Gifford - Success Coach

Todd Gifford – Success Coach

I read a book recently that I thought was very inspiring and included many things that could be put to use by anyone.  Easy and quick read because the chapters/topics are all about 1-2 pages.  The book is called “Up Thoughts for Down Times—Encouraging Words For Getting Through Life” by Les Brown.  The title of the book caught my attention because at this time of year, and particularly with some of the recent tragic events in the news, it is easy to get a little ‘down’.  I like to think about the difference or impact that I made during the past 12 months, 24 months, so far in my life?.  What all did I accomplish?  Did I make other peoples’ lives better?  Did I make a difference?  What can or should I do different in the next year?

All in all, Les Brown talks about 106 ‘up’ thoughts and topics in the book.  I will pick out just a handful of my favorites to share with you.  If you like what you see here, pick up the book.

A Positive Start

Much of the time, the biggest hurdle in reaching any type of a goal or target is just getting started in the right direction.  This applies to the start of our day, and we all have a very special opportunity to reset and begin fresh each morning.  This is the perfect time to concentrate on positive thoughts and focus on your goals, both work and personal.  Are you constantly distracted in the morning by negative news stories or negative thoughts?  Consider making changes to keep your attention squarely on positive thoughts.  Whatever you think about long enough and intently enough with eventually become a reality for you in your life.

Getting It Done

They say there are 3 types of people:  those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those that ask what the heck happened.  Which one are you?  It is easy to watch or ask what happened, but challenging to make things happen.  Making things happen, trying, and taking action puts you more in control of life and makes life more interesting and exciting.  Sure you will fail some times with more swings of the bat, but that is just learning to apply to future swings of the bat.

Brave Questions, Brave Answers

The best times in life come when brave questions are asked and answered.  And the most critical questions are those that you ask yourself.  When was the last time you asked yourself a brave question and provided a brave answer?  To live life to the fullest, you must be able to ask and answer the tough questions — to yourself and those around you.  Here is a brave question to ask: “What do I really want out of life?” and “Do I think I have what it takes to get it?”.  Do you sometimes avoid asking the brave questions because the answer may be difficult to handle?  It takes a courageous person to be truthful in those defining moments.  You have to be fearless and accepting of whatever the truth is.  The reward for doing this is big!

Take Care of Yourself

When was the last time you did something just for yourself.  Not something major, but just a walk in the park or a little shopping excursion for something fun for yourself.  Does this sound selfish?  I always think about what they say when you are about to take off in an airplane: “first put on your oxygen mask, and then assist your child with theirs”.  We need to remember in order for us to take care of others, we must first take the very best possible care of ourselves.  Taking care of yourself does not mean you have to turn your back to others.  In fact, when you take the time to lift yourself, the result is extremely positive for others around you.  I see this first hand in my family.  My wife and girls are happiest when I am happy and healthy.  Time with them is higher quality when I have taken the time and effort to invest in myself.  Do something each day to take care of yourself.

Travel in Good Company

Misery loves company, but so does success.  Be aware of the company you keep.  There is an old saying “even if you have an ocean of pure milk, it can be turned into poison with just a few grams of sour curds.”  Just like what you think about intently long enough comes true, you also ‘become’ who you spend time around.  Work hard at spending time around positive and successful (your definition  of success) people, read about successful people, and watch programs about people with qualities you admire.  Those qualities will transfer to you.

Be Your Best,

Todd D. Gifford

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