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Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/BillionPhotos.com

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/BillionPhotos.com

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

John D. Rockefeller

Keep Email Out of Your Inbox

Four Tips to Make It Easier to Get to Inbox Zero

Email is a tool for communication, not a task list. When you receive a message, turn it into what it is and get it out of your inbox.

Staying on top of your inbox can feel a bit like shoveling the sidewalk while it’s still snowing. Messages keep flooding in, faster than you can process them. Each one requires a decision, chipping away at your willpower for the day. The more time you spend dealing with email, the less time you have for other work—for most of us, the real work—and the less energy you have to do it.

Fortunately, you can fight back. You can start taming your inbox before you ever check your mail. It’s a four-part approach called SNOW.

Photo courtesy of ©Adobe Stock/agneskantaruk

Photo courtesy of ©Adobe Stock/agneskantaruk

If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

How to Keep Pride from Becoming Your Weakness

Five Proven Strategies to Strengthen Your Relationships

Pride can be a good thing. A very good thing. It’s satisfaction in a job well done. It’s confidence, built on past experiences, that you’re capable of doing something great. It’s joy in being part of a community.

When you see your children learn and grow and develop the character traits you’ve fumbled so hard to instill in them, you’re proud of them. You’re happy for what they’re achiveing. You want to encourage them, support them, and help them be even more.

There there are those that take pride too far. They replace confidence with arrogance. Collaboration with competition. Their joy is swallowed up in jealousy.

What starts out as a strength—a tool to develop our self-esteem—can become a weapon to tear down every relationship we have. Here are five ways to keep pride from becoming a weakness.

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock/olly

Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock/olly

Lyrics: My Way

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way

Yes, it was my way

Frank Sinatra, “My Way”, 1969

Buy Back Some Margin

A Few Bucks a Month Can Go a Long Way

The first time I heard the expression “time is money”, it was used to convey a sense of urgency. You need to hustle. The early bird gets the worm.

Then I remember hearing it used almost exclusively with the time value of money—the earlier you start investing, the more time your money will have to grow, so that extra time translates into extra money.

Recently, I’ve started hearing it differently. Time and money are interchangeable. At various times in our life, we may have an abundance of one and the other is stretched thin. I’ve been in both places. Each has its constraints. They both have their advantages.

If you’re feeling pressed for time, you may be able to buy yourself some margin, and it may cost you less than you think.

Photo courtesy of ©Adobe Stock/BillionPhotos.com

Photo courtesy of ©Adobe Stock/BillionPhotos.com

Planning is good. Blindly sticking to a plan is bad.

Scrum (Crown Business, 2014)

Make Choices that Create Choices

You’ll Be Glad You Kept Your Options Open

My parents taught my sisters and me to play chess. We had two chess sets. The really nice set had pieces made from hand-carved white onyx. (We had to be very careful when playing with that set.) We’d play our parents, each other, and even got a few friends in on the action. Eventually, we got to the point where we could solve some of the simpler chess puzzles the newspaper printed on the page before the comics.

Winning at chess comes down to keeping your options open. You capture your opponent’s pieces and restrict their movement to limit their options. When you sacrifice a piece, you make sure you’re getting a higher-value piece in return, or at least a positional advantage. Then there’s the meta-game—bluffing, misdirection, and distraction.

The game is won when you have eliminated your opponent’s options, and there is no action they can take to protect their king.

If you want to be successful in life, learn to keep your options open. Make choices that give you more choices instead of taking them away.

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock/BillionPhotos.com

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock/BillionPhotos.com

Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.

Jack London