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Set a Boundary, Save a Relationship

One of the most crucial steps when beginning a partnership agreement, some scope of client services, even a marriage; is setting clear boundaries from the very beginning.

Unfortunately, setting boundaries is a step that’s all too often missed.
  • I thought we started this firm to sell sports cars, not sports coats
  • I thought you were going to deliver my widget on the 21st, not the 31st
  • I thought we were going to raise our kid as a Quaker
Setting boundaries lets everyone—you and the one(s) you’re dancing with—know the kind of dance you’ll be taking part in, the tempo, and when you’ll be finished.

It’s a terrible feeling to be expecting to waltz when your partner is expecting a tango. It’s even more disastrous and painful when you both start that dance and end up stepping all over each other’s feet and ankles.

Set boundaries at the beginning and then each time new information is thrown into the mix.

Some of these boundary conversations can be difficult but if you wait to have the conversation or don’t have one at all—the degree of difficulty for the road ahead becomes fraught with peril, hurt feelings, and broken relationships.

Dream Breakers vs Dream Makers

Dream Breaker Statement —> Dream Maker Statement
  • I can’t do this —> I’ll figure it out
  • I’m not enough —> I have everything inside of me
  • I’ll never figure it out —> I’ll ask the advice of someone who has “figured it out”
  • I’m no expert —> I’ll learn and create my own expertise
  • I’m sick and broken —> I am not my illness (and I will use this to help others)
  • I’m a little too young/old to do __ —> I’m exactly the age I should be to take on __
  • How could I make a difference? —> It takes a single spark to create an explosion
The dream breaker statements were taught to you by someone who had their own dreams broken by someone else or in part through an unfair system or chain of events. They don’t get a say in the fulfillment of your dreams any longer. %^* that. This is your time to shine.

It’ll take time to unlearn those dream breaker statements, but it can be done. It’s never too late and it’s never useful to look back at all the “wasted” time. The important thing is the future, moving forward, and making dream maker statements followed by action.

When A Story Changed the World

Charles Darwin
Helen of Troy
King Tutankhamun
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Marie Curie
King Henry VIII
Joan of Arc
Nelson Mandela
Mohandas Ghandi

The list of people above have all had a story that has impacted the landscape of humanity as we currently know it. They are all people who have done some extraordinary things, some good, some not so good—but it’s the story they decided to share and live that impacted the world.

Stories and storytelling can change lives, help someone in need, start a movement, and can even change someone’s world

I have fifty stories—they’re not my own, but come from fifty different people who have faced tremendous odds, found a way to overcome, and decided to use themselves as an example to help others create possibilities in their own world. These fifty stories will be compiled together in a new book The i’Mpossible Project: Reengaging With Life, Creating a New You

Me (Josh) and Skookum Hill Publishing are officially releasing this book and these fifty stories on January 13, 2016. You can pre-order on September 16, 2015 and get a whole bunch of free books and other stuff too.

Oh, and you’re the first people seeing the book cover (below) which was just finished 2 days ago. Many thanks and thanks for your story as well.

Making the Right Decision

Making big decisions are damn difficult: am I being a good parent or doing it right? Did I say the right thing to her? Am I mortgaging my future for instant gratification?

Dagnabbit. What’s a person to do?

On a personal note, I’ve been working on a big creative project, a book, for more than a year. As with any creative project I’ve put my heart, soul, and lots of emotion into the work.
Only recently have I been kicking the tires on selling the project to a publisher—and I’ve been getting nowhere fast but have been learning a great deal. I decided to get a little professional critique from a consultant to see if there’s another direction I should be going in with the art and the sales pitch. I paid a pretty penny and got good advice.
But because I put so much emotional labor into the piece, I nearly let myself get talked into letting this consultant take on additional work slicing and dicing up the book—for quadruple the original consulting fee.
It was tempting. The promise that my piece could be a bestseller if x, y, and z were done to my book. But I sought council, which took out the emotion, and I ended up deciding not to move further. I could do a bang up job doing the edits myself and test the piece out with beta readers… and I could use the money I saved to go on vacation (woot!)

Did I make the right decision? Only time will tell… but it got me thinking, reading about, and studying the art, yes art, of decision making.
  • Emotional decision: Usually not the best kind of decision to make. Take a second. Resist as best you can the decision to act on impulse. Breathe. Seek council with a person you respect and trust.
  • Rational decision: This is usually one where you’ve done some research, sought council, and thought things out pragmatically. Always a good idea for marriage, business partnerships, and a used car dealership. Buyer beware: taking time to make a rational decision can sometimes lead to paralysis. That means you #FOMOers
  • Quick decision: These are for choosing between brands of horseradish or whether or not to save $10 and go with the smaller screen television. Pick something and move on with your life. Spend less time on decision-making and more time on the things that mean something to you—a relationship, a vacation, or hand-knitting your famous holiday sweater collection.
  • Middle of the road decision (sometimes indecision): This can have grave consequences if done poorly and could have tremendous upside if done well. Making a wishy-washy decision could lead to a perilous tumble, like the hesitant trapeze artist. Stick with something and plow ahead full force. On the other hand, making a decision to be neutral between two arguing friends or rivals could prove beneficial. You waste no time tiring yourself out with arguments or war, the odds are more favorable that you won’t be on the losing side (hello Ottoman Empire in WWI), and you spend more time on the things that matter to you.
  • Smart decision: You only get to call a decision “smart” in hindsight. Every decision can be a smart one if you aim to learn something from each rather than only focusing on the outcome.
Whatever the decision you make—you have to make one that you can live with when you put your head down to sleep at night.

Why People Who Say, “We’ve Always Done it This Way” Should Get *Tasered

Okay—so I’m not advocating for actual tasering. I’m speaking in a sharply worded metaphor. I’m a lover, not a fighter… #free #noncreepyhugs

I’ve recently had a little discussion with a certain unnamed union with members who aren’t working as much as they’d like (myself included)—and when presenting a few ideas that could shake up part of the industry to the point where members would gain new income; I was met with the words “No‚ we’ve always done it this way.” And then my idea was squashed on the spot. Meanwhile, many of the union members, including some who squashed my idea, are losing their houses among other necessities of life.

The treatment of this issue reminded me of how the record companies dealt with Napster in the late 90’s (“No! We can never have streaming online music, legal or not! We’ve always done it this way). And then iTunes came in and blew the lid off the music industry and the record companies were left scrambling. A new means of consuming music was created (adapted somewhat from the Napster model), which the record companies could have adopted, in effect saving themselves. But many of the record companies lost revenue, contracted and folded, and lost an opportunity to keep the control they once owned almost exclusively. I’m not pro or anti record company here, I’m just merely pointing out a missed opportunity—one due to “We’ve always done it this way.”

What other opportunities are lost to “We’ve always done it this way?”
  • A new friendship
  • A business opportunity
  • A rekindled friendship
  • A great meal
  • The empowerment and civil rights of tens, hundreds, thousands, millions etc
Take a moment. Breathe. Change is going to happen with or without you. Better to be a part of efforts to create something better for yourself and those around you with: “We’re going to try it this way;” rather than being stuck in the stone age banging two rocks together, hoping to god for a little fire.