March 15, 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of the first “dot-com” registration on the Internet.With over 100 million domain registrations and counting, we’ve witnessed an explosion of communication, commerce, idea-sharing, and human connectivity unlike anything else in human history. This truly marks a revolutionary and transformational shift in the way we live, gather information, do commerce, and connect with each other. No domain is unaffected. From societies, governments, communities, businesses to individuals and families, we have all been profoundly impacted by the massive migration to the Internet.
The impact on societies across the globe cannot be understated as the Internet has provided a democratization tool for people to access information in real time across all boundaries. Still, there are some countries battling the policy of free access to the Internet as evidenced recently by China’s confrontation with Google. However, people find a way to get what they thirst for and eventually get around firewalls in ingenious ways.
Who can forget the Twitter-revolution in Iran last year as thousands and thousands of Iranians took to the streets to give voice to their aspirations for legitimacy in their election outcomes? The human voice is deep and relentless. It cannot be suppressed. Our new Internet technology literally gives voice to countless people of all ages, ethnicities, race, gender, religions, political persuasions, rich or poor.People who were previously disenfranchised are now empowered and equipped to express their voice!
Recently, with the cataclysmic disaster in Haiti, donations poured instantly as people used their social networks and texting to pour their generous funds to the people of Haiti. It’s never been easier to click your way to making an instant impact in the lives of people in one’s own neighborhood or to far away neighbors across the globe.
What Do You Predict for the Future of the Internet?
At the 25th Anniversay of .Com Policy Impact Forum in WashingtonDC on March 16, many prominent leaders from different fields discussed the impact of the dot-com sensation. These leaders shared their excitement along with their concerns for a free-wielding Internet/ technology. They looked through their “crystal ball” to predict what the future would hold with this powerful but challenging medium.
So what are your thoughts? What do you predict is the future of the Internet? Are you better off today being connected 24/7? Are you feeling overwhelmed or do you feel more in charge of your life? Has your productivity increased or decreased? How do you discern the credibility or truth behind all the countless messages, ideas or agendas online? How are you using the Internet to find solutions to your pressing problems? How has the Internet brought you new opportunities or brought you closer to your family, friends, or loved ones?
I encourage you to ask yourself: Where do I need to connect more? Where do I need to simply disconnect to gain better balance and control in my life? I know my grandchildren are already natives to the Internet. I am not. They face many great opportunities if they choose to anchor themselves on guiding principles that will help them determine what is good and what is not, and what is simply distracting or negative on the Internet. Without that anchor they are at risk of being enslaved by forces that will pull them in conflicting directions, leaving them without a principle-centered compass to help them take charge of their own lives.
This is an exciting time with great opportunities for good. I look forward to the future and the promise of people all around the world and their desire for greatness. The Internet can be a powerful tool to fulfill that greatness!
The start of a New Year is always special. There is a feeling of renewal as we look to a new year, a new beginning and there is a sense of excitement for making changes or adopting new habits. However, do you ever find yourself making New Year’s resolutions only to abandon them? If you do, you are not alone.
I want you to be successful at one goal, only one goal this year—and that is accomplishing one small goal you know you can accomplish. I say start small so you can build the confidence and strength to do more. It’s all about taking what I call “baby steps.” Start small, keep at it, and stay consistent until you’re ready pick up the pace.
I also suggest that you work on your goal on a weekly basis. For instance, if you are setting a goal to reduce your sugar intake, set a goal to reduce the number of sugar-rich drinks you consume during the week. If you are in the habit of drinking soda pop everyday or several times a week, decide at the beginning of the week how many drinks you will reduce in your diet. If you go too fast and eliminate all your drinks, you may just fail at it because you are not emotionally, mentally or physically prepared to do so. So start small. Make a promise and keep it…make a promise and keep it. And soon you will enlarge your strength, confidence and capabilities to discipline yourself to achieve other goals.
Many years ago, I went on a sugar fast with a group of students. You can’t believe how difficult it was at first but as we achieved small victories, our will power and passion for achieving our goal became stronger and stronger. We actually found strength in saying “no” to sugar because we felt an inner strength, a strength that inspired us to grow our confidence and abilities to grow our character, our sense of who we wanted to be.
As you set your small goal, you may want to enlist the help of someone close to you. It’s important to have some support, encouragement and a system of accountability. You might even invite this person to set a small goal that you can encourage them on. Work together and create synergy to help each other.
I wish you well on your journey in 2010. You have the potential for greatness in you! Go for it! Start small. Make a promise and keep it.
Successful people often share similar characteristics. But I have come to believe that the single thing they have most in common is that they find success on the far side of failure.
What do I mean by that? I find that almost all successful people have experienced significant failures in life or in their work, but they have learned from their failures.
On the other hand, people who don’t recognize their failures or don’t seek learning from them, are often the ones failing again and again. Why? Because they haven’t learned the lessons from the failure—they haven’t gained self-awareness or understanding; they haven’t understood others or their marketplace; they haven’t developed the maturity for humility and integrity—and they find themselves repeating their mistakes again and again.
Think about the failures or mistakes you have made. How did you respond to them? What outcomes did you get? How have they helped you today? How have they not helped you—do you have something still to learn from your failures?
If you want to make significant progress in your life, don’t forget to find success on the far side of failure!
In the U.S., unemployment is reaching close to 10%. Many people and families are feeling devastated as they lose their jobs. Others who have jobs feel the fear of losing their jobs or becoming irrelevant at work.
In response to this employment challenge, I am conducting a career webinar series.
If you or someone you know is concerned about job security or career advancement, I invite you to join my webinars. In these webinars you will learn the mind-set and skill-set necessary to not only survive but thrive in today’s turbulent times.
The first webinar on August 4 will focus on Employability: How to Keep Your Job, Secure Your Future, and Become Indispensable at Work. The key to achieving this is becoming a solution to your organization where you proactively find ways to create value and become a problem-solver rather than just an employee. This requires a new way of thinking and approaching your job.
I would like to hear from you…what are you doing to secure your job?
If you would like more information about the webinar on August 4 CLICK HERE
In my book, The 8th Habit—From Effectiveness to Greatness, I wrote about some of the seismic shifts we’ve seen in our world—changes that have created a fast evolving world. These new realities define our new Knowledge Worker Age and the challenges and opportunities that face people and organizations all over the world.
Today, we are seeing such a seismic shift unfolding before us with Twitter social media and technology. If you weren’t familiar with what Twitter is, I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now. Iran is undergoing a movement that has the potential of revolutionizing their state and society as people take to the streets protesting recent election results. Through this innovative tool, the people’s voices in Iran are being heard loud and clear throughout the world.
I wrote in the 8th Habit that the crucial challenge of our world today is this: to find our voice and inspire others to find theirs. On page 104 I specifically wrote about the effects of the internet in the democratization (finding voice) of our world. Here is the excerpt:
The Democratization of Information/Expectations
No one manages the internet. It is a sea change of global proportion. For the first time in history the pure voice of the human spirit rings out in millions of unedited conversations unfettered by borders. Real-time information drives expectations and social will, which ultimately drive the political will that impacts every person.
What are your thoughts? How are social networking applications changing your life, giving you voice and shaping the world we live in?
As I think of the struggles many people go through, I am reminded of a powerful quote by Albert E. N. Gray:
The successful person has the habit of doing things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.
If you are someone who has to make important changes in your life, you may want to ponder on this idea. What are the things you know you have to do but are avoiding? If you were to discipline yourself and create a plan for doing those things, would you find positive, even breakthrough rewards?
In my case, I know when I’m trying to avoid doing something, I eventually see that I’ve paid an even higher price by avoidance. For example, when I’ve neglect my health by not eating right, exercising, or getting enough sleep because I find it hard to stick to a disciplined regiment, I have found myself feeling sluggish and not doing my best work. When I finally subordinate my dislikes to the strength of my purpose, things turn around.
Identify something you are avoiding and make a promise that you will do it. Make a promise and keep it. Subordinate the things you dislike doing to your greater purpose. The more you do this, the more strength you will build—and the more success you will find.
The beginning of a new year is an exciting time—it’s a time for reflection and a time for looking forward. As many of you are making New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share some thoughts for how you can best succeed with achieving them. Far too many of us know that it’s easy making resolutions but it’s far more challenging not breaking them.
My first advice is to start small. Choose something small you can start doing now that will help you achieve a bigger goal or resolution. For example, if your goal is to get healthy or lose weight think of some thing you can promise to keep. You can decide to wake up a little earlier to organize your day to allow some exercise or decide to drink more water during the day and cut out unhealthy drinks. The main thing is to make a promise to yourself and keep it. When you make a promise and keep it you will find yourself grow in self-assurance and confidence. The more successful you are with making and keeping promises to yourself, the more you will be able to make and keep promises to others.
Again, start small and create a private victory. You can build on this with other small promises and enlarge your victory until you establish healthy habits for your life. Make a promise and keep it.
am now 76 years old and could easily retire. But I’m not retired and I don’t plan to retire. I don’t believe in retirement. Why people ask me? Simply, I have a life motto. It is: Live life in crescendo!
Living life in crescendo to me means that my most important work is always ahead of me, never behind me. I believe that “where much is given, much is required.” I have a sacred stewardship to contribute and not to retire to leisure. Also, the greatest way to serve my 50 grandkids is not just to love them and tend to their interests and needs, but to be an example of someone who is constantly making a difference in the world.
Start living your life in crescendo–and remember your most important work is ahead of you, not behind you! There is so much more to do, to learn and contribute.
This holiday season is a great time to reflect on our lives and particularly on our families. As a husband, father and grandfather, I am so thrilled with my family. They are my greatest blessing and my greatest joy.
I’ve wondered over the years what mistakes I have made in my role as a father. There are mistakes along the way; the important thing is to get back on track. I think one of the things I would differently as a parent is spending more time developing informal win-win agreements with each of my children. Doing this consistently and over time, covering the different phases of their lives would have been beneficial.
Because I traveled a lot I felt that I often indulged them and went for lose-win too often. Instead I would have liked to pay the price to take the time to build relationships through win-win agreements.
Think about your own relationships with your children. What can you do to create more win-win? Would you like to try creating win-win agreements with them to involve them more in decision-making, problem-solving and being accountable? Find a problem or issue you want to work on. Talk to your child about their needs or desires (their win). Explain what is a win for you. Then come up with ideas for meeting your child’s needs in a way that will also meet your needs. Set up specific expectations, to-dos and outcomes. You even can put this down on paper and you both will sign it so you can always go back to it in case of questions. This also creates accountability.
The more you create win-win with your children, the more trust you will build with them—and you’ll model and teach them one of the most important skills they need to have to thrive in their relationships not only in the family but in all their relationships, now and in the future.
I am often asked if there is one habit out of the 7 Habits that is more important than the others. Of course, all the habits are important and they form an inter-connected whole or a continuum. For maximum effectiveness, you have to build from one to the other and apply them consistently. From that perspective, Habit 1: Be Proactive provides the foundation for all the other habits. Habit 1 is, undoubtedly, the foundation for leadership at home or at work because it begins with the mindset “I am responsible for me, and I can choose.”All the other habits are dependent upon being proactive and choosing to master and practicing principle-centered living.
The key to being proactive is remembering that between stimulus and response there is a space. That space represents our choice— how we will choose to respond to any given situation, person, thought or event. Imagine a pause button between stimulus and response—a button you can engage to pause and think about what is the principle-based response to your given situation. Listen to what your conscience tells you. Listen for what is wise and the principle-based thing to do, and then act.
Being proactive (Habit 1) becomes much more powerful when connected and related to the other habits. The key to the habits is the power of their combined synergy and meaningful purpose. Leaving one habit out is like having a four-legged chair—when you remove one leg the chair is out of balance.