Where we challenge what you won't say or you don't know…yet

Posts tagged ‘learning’

Play With a Full Deck

New Year’s resolutions…forget about them!
Instead we are here to help make this next year aces! There are 52 weeks in the year and 52 cards in a playing deck. Our goal is to make sure we are all playing with a full deck.

full deck

Often we start the year thinking about how to improve our business or how to improve our relationships or how to improve other external things. Our list gets long and overwhelming and we don’t accomplish what we set out to achieve. All of these things can be improved if we all start from the inside out.

Our goal has and always will be to help our readers grow. Thank you for being one of those readers and subscribers to this blog.

Each of our blogs ends with a Chadalyst, a thing that precipitates an event or change from Chad, and this blog is filled with them.

Let’s get to the challengeThere are 52 things on this list. We assigned a playing card to each one, randomly draw a card from a deck once a week and start working on the matching item. Challenge yourself to achieve as many of these as possible in the next year. These are in no specific order. heart

Hearts

Ace of Hearts Run a 5K
A short 3 mile run is something you can get up to speed for quickly. This isn’t a race, it is an experience. Donate some money to a good cause, get some great exercise and feel good inside and out.

2 of HeartsClean your closet
There are so many things in your closet that you don’t wear anymore and probably never will again. If you didn’t wear something over the past 12 months, clean it out of the closet and donate it. You will feel good inside and be able to get some new clothes to look good on the outside.

3 of Hearts Take a yoga class
Get your brain centered, get your body doing things you never thought possible. Yoga will help you get in shape and will help you find peace.

4 of Hearts Unplug for a weekend
We have become dependent upon technology. For a weekend, leave your phone behind. Don’t check in, don’t post, and don’t tweet. You deserve a weekend without the beeps and tweets.

5 of Hearts Help at a homeless shelter
There are others in need. Taking some time to donate time and help those less fortunate will help us all appreciate what we have and what we take for granted

6 of Hearts Read a self-help book
We all think we have it together and no matter how great things are, there are always other ways to look at anything. Take a moment and find a book to help us communicate better, help us understand each other better or whatever challenge you face.

7 of Hearts Read a fiction book and escape
Another way to unplug is to pick up a book and escape. There is nothing as powerful as our imagination and reading a fiction book lets us use that imagination. Who knows what new ideas you might find in a crime novel, a journey through time or a trip to another planet.

8 of Hearts Call someone
There is someone who you have wanted to talk to. There is someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while. There is someone you should pick up the phone and call.

9 of Hearts Send a hand written card
Emails and Facebook messages are great ways to stay in touch with people without much effort. Take a moment and show someone that they are important enough for you to hand write them a note or letter. Plus, isn’t it nice to get something in the mail other than a bill?

10 of Hearts Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru
We often go through the drive thru to start our day, on a busy lunch or to bring home dinner at the end of a long day with no time to cook. That means the person behind us is probably in the same boat. Start someone’s day on a high note, help someone else in a rush or make someone’s evening a little bit better.

Jack of Hearts Eat something new
Don’t ask what it is, just taste something that you have never eaten before. Open your mind and heart and in this case, your palate. You may never know what you enjoy once you get over what it is you are eating.

Queen of Hearts Attend a dance class
Even for those that are rhythmically challenged, this is a great way to connect with your life dance partner and have some laughs.

King of Hearts Learn a language
It is a challenge and will take more than a week to get this one done. Get started on something you have always wanted to do (we all do) and think of how it will make you a better person.

clubClubs

Ace of ClubsTry a new recipe
We all get set in our ways and make the same 5-10 meals with very little change. Having broccoli instead of green beans is not a different meal. Grab a cookbook, ask a friend or even Google it. Find something new to make and surprise yourself.

2 of ClubsTake a 3 day weekend with someone important
One of the most valuable things you can give to someone is time. It is one of the things that we are limited on having and we never know when we have run out. Take a break and take a spouse, a family member or a friend and get out-of-town together.

3 of ClubsTake a nap
Who doesn’t want one of these? We all go go go and feel that a nap is something we don’t have the time for. Take the time and take a nap.

4 of ClubsBuild something
This could be something small like a(an) ______ all the way up to a new deck on the back of your home. Enjoy the feeling of creation and being able to appreciate your work for years to come.

5 of ClubsNo desserts
For some this is simple and for others a challenge. Go a week and have no desserts. That means no cookies at the office and no samples at the store. This might not be the best item to attempt to check off the list during the holiday season.

6 of ClubsReach 10,000 steps
Looking to improve your health in one of the easiest ways, walk 10,000 steps in a day. Pace back and forth while you are on the phone. Stretch your legs when you have a moment. Take a walk around the block. Reach 10,000 steps on a regular basis and your body will thank you.

7 of ClubsClean your garage
The first thing most people see when they get home is the garage. If you are not seeing yours, it is a good bet that it is too full and too much of a mess for you to use it. Start with one box at a time and after a box a day you will start to see changes in your garage and reclaim an area of your home.

8 of ClubsJournal
Clear your mind at the end of the day. Capture your thoughts, feelings and experiences in a private place for you or in a place that you can one day pass to someone else to know what it was that you were going through. Journaling will capture it all and help you sleep better.

9 of ClubsNo TV
Turn off the tube! Pull out a book (see items #__ and #___) play a board game, go for a walk. Whatever you do if you turn off the television you will quickly reclaim many hours of your week

10 of ClubsBe a kid again
Jump on a skate board. Go play in an arcade. Do something that reminds you of when you were a kid and having happy times. We all have our inner child waiting to come out and play.

Jack of ClubsSave an animal
Want to take a big leap on this one, go adopt an animal. You will wonder if you saved it or if it saved you. If you are not ready to take on the additional responsibility, take some time and volunteer at the local animal shelter. You will feel wonderful at the end of the day.

Queen of ClubsPlant a tree
A tree might be a little big for your space. If you can’t plant a tree, bring something green to your home and pot some flowers. Help nature grow and watch how it makes you feel better

King of ClubsNew hairstyle
Be daring. Got long hair, go cut it short. If you have always have had short hair, grow it out. Losing your hair (we know of what we speak) just take the plunge and shave it off.

diamondDiamonds

Ace of DiamondsGet extreme
Jump from a plane (with a parachute please) Go Scuba diving. Compete in a marathon. Do something this next year that reminds you the thrill that life can share when you push yourself to something extreme.

2 of DiamondsInterview a role model
Want to grow in many ways this year? Take a moment and interview a role model. Find someone doing something that you want to do. Someone that will be happy to share with you what they know. Remember that you are also a role model to others and be ready to continue to share that information

3 of DiamondsTake a hike
Get outside and breathe in some fresh air while exploring nature and getting some exercise. Sounds like a perfect way to clear your head for a day

4 of DiamondsPerform a random act of kindness
Hopefully you do this often. Hold a door open, help someone with full hands from a store, and shovel a driveway of a neighbor. Whatever it is you do, be intentional about finding someone to help

5 of DiamondsShop local
Support your local stores. Big box stores might have larger selections and it is our local stores that add culture to our towns. Get your coffee someplace local. Buy your next book from a local bookstore. Shop local and help your town.

6 of DiamondsAttend a live sporting event
Support your local team in any professional sport or even at the college level. Get out there, unwind and take in competition at its finest.

7 of DiamondsTake the stairs and skip all elevators/escalators
Use an extra moment and climb the stairs and get your blood pumping that little bit extra. You never know, you might start a trend.

8 of DiamondsDiscover a new band
Get out of your comfort zone of listening to the same groups again and again. Ask friends for suggestions, check out what Pandora shows as similar or dive into iTunes and find something different and push your mind.

9 of DiamondsSubscribe to a magazine for someone
Magazines are great learning tools. They bring information right to your mailbox monthly. Find a magazine you think someone would enjoy and send a subscription to them. They will think of you monthly.

10 of DiamondsTake a vacation
You’ve earned it. OK, maybe you haven’t and you should still take one. Just before a vacation we get focused and busy at work and then on a vacation we can unplug, unwind and create a memory that we otherwise would have missed

Jack of DiamondsLeave a huge tip
Ever work in the service industry? If you have you know that you can change someone’s day with an unexpectedly large tip. Never worked in the service industry, you should and then you would understand.

Queen of DiamondsMake friends with someone new
Meet your children’s friend’s parents. Meet someone you see at the coffee shop each morning. Make a new friend and see what doors open for both of you.

King of DiamondsSay thank you
You do this all the time as second nature (we hope) Be intentional about saying thank you to someone (or a group of some ones) that have impacted your life. Gratitude goes a long way

spadeSpades

Ace of SpadesSing karaoke
You might not be able to sing. You might have stage fright. Don’t worry most of the people who are there can’t sing either. Relax and enjoy a night of getting uncomfortable.

2 of SpadesSupport the arts
Every town has a local theatre. Take in a dance performance or a play that is going on. Encourage those that invest their time and talents and experience something magical

3 of SpadesCreate a work of art
Pull out those paints. Get some pencils and start sketching. You don’t have to make something to frame, just create and find amazing new answers to questions you have been stuck on.

4 of SpadesSpend a day with a child
Take your child for a day of just the two of you. Don’t have a child, borrow a niece or nephew. Children need role models and relationships. Take a day and work on developing yours.

5 of SpadesDownload a new app
Who knows what app. Open up the app store on your phone and download the top suggested or top free or go looking for an app that can help solve a problem you have. Technology is everywhere so embrace it.

6 of SpadesTake a friend out to dinner
Everyone eats. Take a friend and spend a meal together. Catch up, talk about life, and eat great food. You will be happy you did.

7 of SpadesGo on a road trip
Everywhere in the country has someplace close enough to make for a fun road trip. Jump in the car and off you go to create a memory and experience an adventure.

8 of SpadesLearn more about something you are interested in
With the growth of Google there is nothing out of reach anymore. Want to know more about Greek Mythology, Google it. Want to learn more about bridges, Google it. There is something you have wanted to know so take a moment and Google it.

9 of SpadesRepaint a room
Nothing will change a day more than a new color. Paint that bathroom, bedroom or office that you have been thinking about doing. It will give you a new lease on creativity.

10 of SpadesGive a gift to someone for no reason
We all feel better when we can make others feel better (believe it or not) Next time you see something that you know someone you know would enjoy, send it to them!

Jack of SpadesDrink water
Looking to improve your health and eat better, the first place to start is drinking those 8 cups of water a day. Get a bottle that holds 64oz and fill it. Drink it all before the day ends.

Queen of SpadesVisit an art gallery
Savor a moment surrounded by beautiful works of art and explore an art gallery. New thoughts will fill your mind and new solutions found

King of SpadesGo on a picnic
Nature is there for you to embrace and too often we enjoy nature out the window of our car or office. Grab your meal and grab a seat on the grass and enjoy a little time with Mother Nature. When was the last time you visited her?

Just draw one card from your deck a week and it will make for a wonderful year of growth and change. At the end of that year you will never be the same!

This challenge can be started at any time and does not have to start with a new year. Start today and good luck.

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Chadalyst Draw a card and get to it already!

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You Do Judge a Book by its Cover

Don’t judge a book by its cover is a very well-known idiom. We all understand that is means we should not prejudge something (or someone) by outward appearance. There is the challenge that comes with this statement…we all prejudge. We our a society of people who make up their minds before hand.

old book

We decide things like:

  • if a meal will be good based on how it looks
  • if a movie is worth seeing based on the trailer
  • if a person is worth working with based on their appearance
  • and if a book is worth reading based on the cover

The challenge isn’t to stop prejudging, as that could be the thing that keeps you out of harm and dangerous situations at times. The challenge is what do you do next?

Once you have prejudged do you close your mind to other options? Do you stop listening to the opinion of others? Are you set in stone on your judgement and do you refuse to move forward and look at other possible results?

David had no chance to beat Goliath and still walked away with a famous victory.

The 1980 USA Hockey team was not only prejudged not to win a gold medal, they weren’t figured to win any medal at the event.

There are many examples of prejudging that has come back to be proven wrong again and again.

Someone was too short, too tall, too thin, too large, not attractive enough, not dressed well enough. This list could go on and on. You have probably prejudged someone or something already today.

Remember that sometimes people hope to distract you with a beautiful cover to their book. Driving a luxury car, living in a large home or dressed to the latest fashions. These things also don’t tell you the full story.

Keep an open mind everywhere and with everyone. Remember to take a moment and at least read a few pages before deciding what the “book” is about

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Chadalyst the next time you prejudge (probably some time very soon) stop and think about it. Why are you prejudging and could there be another outcome?

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6 Warning Signs That You Are Using Social Media Wrong

We have heard from many “gurus” “experts” and even “ninjas” about making sure we develop relationships on social media. Do any of them really help us figure out how to use Social Media correctly or do they just come up with cool sounding titles for themselves?

Where else can you post to 1 billion users? How many other places are there that you can tweet to millions of people? Are there other places to connect with that many other professionals without even getting out of bed?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so many other platforms have come onto the scene and every company is looking to social media to solve all of their challenges.

Here is a list of 6 warning signs that you are using social media wrong AND tips to help you with each of them so you can move in the right direction.

1) Your profile is not up to date
The first thing that people learn about you is what you have in your profile. If you are not up to date, then you are doing it wrong! Check to be sure you have the important jobs showing up and not all of the odd jobs you have had.
What about your contact info? If you are hoping to have people reach out and contact you make sure you are openly sharing your correct contact information. Get over the issue of someone might spam you!

Now let’s take a look at some of the things that you are posting, tweeting, and sharing on the different social media platforms and the warning signs that you are using social media wrong…

2)It is all about you
Take a look at your recent postings. Are they all about the wonderful things you are doing? Then you are doing it wrong. Make sure you are helping others solve problems. Make sure you are you sharing with others something you learned, read or saw. Make sure you remember that success on social media comes from listening, not talking

3)You post and run
When you do post something of value and people comment or retweet your posting do you return to engage with them? If you aren’t then you are doing it wrong. Take a moment to say thank you, to answer the follow-up question, to stay part of the conversation.
4)You are in it for the Klout perks
The point of a posting or a tweet is to share and engage, not get 500 people to like something so your Klout score can climb. If that is why you are posting, then you are doing it wrong! It is better to have 5 people comment and engage with you fully then 500 people comment and not really care. Care about Klout, then get Klout Klarity
5)You tag everyone for no reason
Are you are the person posting a photo, making a comment or writing a tweet and tagging or mentioning everyone possible for no reason other than you hope they will engage with you? You are doing it wrong! Tag people in photos with you. Tag someone who you are talking about. Mention someone who you are engaging with. Do not just tag hoping people pay attention to you.
6)You are extremely negative
Everyone has a bad day. If you are having a bad life and sharing it all the time, you are doing it wrong! Be transparent on social media and don’t post about some perfect life you aren’t really living. Don’t be the person that never has anything positive to say and wants to complain and bring everyone else down.

You can do it right and these 6 Warning Signs That You Are Using Social Media Wrong should help you make steps in the right direction.

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Chadalyst Make a commitment to watch for your warning signs and take steps in the right direction so you can DO IT RIGHT!

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Change – Are you ready for it?

Woody Allen is known for many things and credited as being the person that first said…If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans.

Ever plan a trip? What happens just before you leave? You get busy!
Ever plan a big event? What happens? The weather gets in the way or you find yourself under the weather.
Ever think you have it all set and ready to go? If I may be so bold as to quote God “HA HA that’s what you think”

This isn’t all bad and usually finds us in a place that we should have been instead of where we thought we were going.

Have a goal. Have a target. Have a plan. Just be ready for changes to come your way.

These changes, these challenges and these moments are what develop our character and help us to find out who we really are.

Are you the person that is calm under pressure or the one that breaks down and ends up in the corner not sure what to do? Are you on that thrives on the unexpected or one that needs things to go as planned? Are you someone who can be truly counted on by those that would need you?

Are you ready for your plans to be changed at a moments notice? Here are a few things you can do to be as ready as possible…
1) Take a moment to tell those in your life that are important to you how you feel. This way you will never regret if something is taken from you
2) Forget about your Bucket List – that is a list of things you will do “one of these days” Instead look at your list and figure out your Carousel Rings on that list and grab them! Not sure what your carousel rings are just check out this past posting

3) Journal all of it! Your thoughts, your feelings, your memories. Capture them someplace that you will have them forever and be able to share them with those closest to you.

Do these things and when your plans are changed be it a little thing or a big thing you will be able to deal with it better!

Chadalyst – Be ready for change – if it can happen, it will happen when you are least ready for it. How will you prepare?

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8 Things You Should Think Twice About Before Doing on Social Media

It is amazing the things we learn in school and how they can help us in our business life as we grow.

This is a challenging time for many adults as social media was not around as we were in high school and college. There was an article the other day about the 12 Things Students Should Never Do On Social Media and it was interesting how many of those things could apply as lessons in life that adults should learn as well. Future employers and future clients will want to know who they are working with and as of now social media is the place they can quickly check on you.

We have taken the 8 from the student’s list that you should keep in mind. The other 4 can stay in school.

1)Post Illegal Activity
You would think this would be a given and we see many people posting things that could get them in trouble one day. Maybe it is that photo of your speedometer as you attempt to break speed records in a school zone or maybe it is something else that you should think twice about.

2)Bash Your Boss
Just don’t do it! If you are working somewhere why would you bash the person that can make or break your life in the office? If you just lost your job and think who cares anymore, your next boss cares, that’s who.

3)Bullying
This is a concern in the adolescent world right now and the problem doesn’t end there. You might think you are posting generically and all that time people know whom you are posting about and bullying. Think twice.

4)Post Confidential Information
Ever see some of the things that people are posting today? Photos of their driver’s licence, photos of other forms of id and photos of things that they should think twice about. People are posting their confidential information such as their Social Security Number without thinking about it. Pay attention!

5)Lie
Everyone makes their life sound amazing on social media and the challenge is that you can’t keep up the lies. Remember that many of the people you work with, spend time with are also probably your social media friends and followers. Play sick and then post from the golf course…not a good idea!

6)Ignore Company Policy
Depending on where you work you might have a company policy that you should be aware of. Topics you cannot post about, images you cannot share and other restrictions. Learn these!

7)Don’t Trust the Privacy Settings
About 4% of the social media world understand privacy settings properly and even those people can get in trouble. Post an image or a comment to a group that you believe you are safe posting to and see what happens when one of those people downloads, saves or accidentally openly shares your image or posting? If you don’t want your parents, spouse, children or boss to ever see it, don’t post it! Be safe.

8)Post While Emotional
This is the worst mess we can all create. When you are worked up about something many people now turn to social media to vent…once it is on social media it is always on social media so take that moment and breathe…think about it…rethink it…then post if you are still sure.

Follow these 8 simple rules and when you do post you can feel confident that you have learned your lesson without having to go back to school.

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Chadalyst – Figure out which of the 8 things you are challenged with and focus on changing your habits.

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QR Codes. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

People love to use the “new thing” as much as possible. One of the trends that is still considered new, even though it has been around for a while, are QR codes.

QR stands for Quick Response and click if you want to learn more about the history of QR codes, otherwise stay here and learn how to use them and more importantly how NOT to use them!

Let’s look at this technology out-of-order and start with the BAD. There are many ways to use QR Codes incorrectly and it seems that everyone has those figured out. Some of these misuses are seen in all industries and some can get specific.

1) The first mistake is that people use QR Codes on a screen. We have posted one here to show you what a QR Code looks like. How many of you decided to pick up your phone and scan the screen? If you already have people on your website, in an email or in general on the computer, just give them the link they need!

2)The second place we see people using QR Codes when they shouldn’t is on your Facebook profile image. This is a similar to the first mistake and it is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Facebook . Your profile image should be of you, not of a bar code that you hope people will want to scan to end up learning about you. Where is the logic in that?

3)Some professions, such as real estate, think that a QR Code is a great capture tool to collect information of potential clients. The problem is there is no information capture to a QR Code. All it will do is send people to your website and you hope that they submit information once they are there. Until a QR Code can capture information it is a gimmick

The UGLY of a QR Code.

Nothing is uglier than when you use a QR Code to send people to your website, and your website is not optimized for mobile devices!

With all of the bad and ugly there are still good uses for QR Codes and here are 3 ways they could be used for good…

1)On a Driver’s License. Imagine having a QR Code on your driver’s license that leads to a website with important information about you such as allergies, emergency contacts and medical history. People almost always carry their driver’s license and if something were to happen to you, this would be a great way for an EMT, a police officer or even nurses to act appropriately.

2)On belongings. Depending on your age and some of your life experiences you might remember your parent writing your name inside every article of clothing you owned. Imagine being able to print a QR Code on all of these items. Lost and found would be a thing of the past as through the QR Code they could learn who an item belong to and even have a way to contact the owner. While you might not want that t-shirt back that badly, maybe you add your QR Code to your pet’s collar or your suitcase. Maybe one day we are even adding these QR Codes directly to our kids.

3)This is the best use we have ever seen for a QR Code. It was etched onto a tombstone. This is a QR Code that will survive for decades and will always be there for future generations to scan the code and be linked to a place like YouTube to view a tribute to the person. The QR Code can be redirected at any time. The videos and photos can always be updated. This creates a history that can always be shared.

QR Codes can be excellent for consumers to gather information. As for the businesses using them, use them properly and don’t plan on them bringing you any more business than you already have!

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Chadalyst Figure out if you need a QR Code before you start using one and make sure you understand the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

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NO is a Four Letter Word

No No No No No No No No No No. How do you feel now? Are you bleeding from anywhere? Is anything broken? Should we get you to a doctor right away?

No cannot hurt you. It is just a simple word that most of us are trained to say since a young age. Think back, and no is the word you probably heard the most often in your life.

No don’t touch that
No don’t open that
No don’t eat that!

Many of the sentences that our parents and teachers and even friends used started with the word no.

Think about anytime recently that someone asked you something or challenged you on something. Was the first word out of your mouth a no?

It is time to stop looking at no as a negative word and think of it as the four letter word it should be – good

If you never heard the word no you would never challenge yourself to learn more and to grow. Everything would be a yes and life would be simple and you would be comfortable with whatever you had and stop there. A no pushes you and that is good!

If you never heard the word no everyone would be succeeding the same. A no stops some people and allows others to find the next step needed. As we know you are a success already, you want to continue to stand out from others right? When you have heard a no you have used that to find the next yes and that is good and what helps set you apart.

If you have ever heard the word no then you have had to made a decision in your life. A decision to grow or a decision to accept the no and go on a different path. Whichever you have chosen it is good!

A no is a good thing to hear. Make it a goal to get at least 10 no’s in a day. If you can get those 10 no’s the yes that you earn will be worth it!

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Chadalyst Get out there and find those 10 no’s today!

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