Author Archives: Daniel

A new home for &!

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to let you all know that I’ve been moving everything over from over to Blogger! The move has been exhausting, with lots of next actions!  The good news is though it is almost complete.  Why the move? There’s so much to love about the new Blogger, and there’s more opportunity for me to get my message out there! I won’t go into lots of detail (unless you want to know!), but I’m able to design it better, I have more flexibility, and obviously, the Google integration is fantastic!  I’m all about keeping things as simple and clean as possible!

So, what is your next action item?  No need to update your bookmarks, but please sign-up and subscribe so that you are notified as to new posts that come out!  You’ll find the subscribe widgets about mid-way down on the right hand side.  I really hope you love the new home to &!  Please let me know your thoughts and comments!



Announcement: The 1st update to my Evernote eBook is coming soon!

The Art of Getting to Done: How failure is transformed into your greatest success.

Listen to this blog post here!
There’s probably no one better to hear these words from than the man who literally had everything that he knew to be certain in life, taken away from him in a not so subtle way before a global audience.

What does this have to do with the Art of Getting to Done?  Because we are all looking to accomplish a big project. If you keep a list of your 50,000′ foot goals in life – it’s right below having a healthy family and being a good partner or spouse or parent.  We all have a goal that we’d like to get done, but we’re afraid to take the big step toward getting it done.

But sitting down and writing a mind map, or putting together a list of next actions in Evernote, is only part of the process.  We actually have to be confident enough in our skills, sincere in our convictions, and stubborn in our passion to make it a reality.  Failing is one step in the right direction toward succeeding.

How is that possible?  I’ll share a story with you. My 5 year old and I agreed it was time for her to learn how to ride her bicycle without training wheels.  This is an incredibly scary initiative for both of us.  She was afraid of even getting on the bicycle and trying because of her fear of failing.  She was afraid to fall down.  Afraid to get hurt.  Afraid she wouldn’t have balance.  And afraid or her own disappointment and her misplaced thoughts of me being disappointed in her.  I reminded her in a way that a 5-year old could understand that the only way for her to succeed is to fall down a couple of times amd know that it’s not the end of the world.  Rather, by getting back on the bicycle seat, it will only give her more confidence that she can do it … and she did.

I’m reminded of this story every time I look at my own list.  I’ll then ask myself: what is behind my fear?  What is really stopping me?  Conan O’Brien was right in that it is only through true disappointment that you can gain clarity … and with clarity there comes conviction and true originality.  At the end of his speech he said, “Work hard. Be kind. And amazing things will happen.” And he’s right.

Your Next Action: Find some time to think about what your big project is that you’d like to accomplish?  What do you really want to do?  What’s stopping you? Maybe you are already there!  If so, we would all love to hear your stories below.

Getting to “real”. How to become more authentic.

New! Now you can listen to this post or download the mp3!

Human beings are not intrinsically selfish, which isolates us from others. We are essentially social animals who depend on others to meet our needs. We achieve happiness, prosperity and progress through social interaction. Therefore, having a kind and helpful attitude contributes to our own and others’ happiness.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in a post on Google+, 11/2/11

It seems like I have been having more and more conversations lately with people who are all striving every day of their lives to “find their genuine” as my friend (and lately, my inspiration) Tara Rodden Robinson, the Productivity Maven says.  It’s bizarre too. In one week, 4 different conversations about this very topic. And I get it, too.

With so many social streams and information coming at you, quite literally, every moment – how do you distinguish the noise from what’s real? I’ll admit I’m guilty of promoting my eBook on Twitter in big spurts. In fact, during this same week, I received a tweet from a fellow, Mike Garvey, who asked me to bring back some more meaningful links and thoughts on my feed and a bit less of the eBook sales.  I’m not embarrassed at all to share it with all of you:

I have to tell you that I so much appreciated his comments and told him as much!  Why? Because I want to continue to grow. And, what’s more – he really enjoyed my thoughtful response! I want to know that I’m engaging in real, meaningful conversations on a daily basis.

Deep down, we all want to be better people.  What’s more, the way you respond to comments like Mike’s is what makes a big difference as well!  Be open to wonderful teachable moments like these.  When presented well, there’s an opportunity for growth.  The way you receive it will make you stronger and will encourage the person who said it, to continue to offer up similar comments to others – because that person is being authentic! It will help each of us be better people. Better parents. Better spouses. Better partners. Better friends. And, even better business people! It doesn’t make us “weak” – it makes us much stronger!

We talked about this in my last post as well, where if we strive to offer up sincere critiques but are lavish with our praise and approbation, our message will be well received.  Why?  Because all of us are searching  for authenticity.  I like to change up my blog with more posts like these. Because … this … is me.

How do you become more “real”? More authentic? You don’t need to bare your soul to the barista at Starbucks or tell your life story to the person you meet in an elevator. But, be you. Or, at least be “the you” that you want to become.  Look to answer “the unanswered question”.

When I was in college, I was a religious studies major and when we learned about Buddhism and the Dalia Lama, it had a very profound impact on me. Reading his books, as well as others by Thich Naht Hahn, made me realize that we really do put layers and layers of coats over Our Genuine. We hide it because we think we’re supposed to hide our real selves in business. But, in fact, the people who genuinely listen, are empathetic, and as the Dalai Lama says, those who have a “kind and helpful attitude” can help contribute to not only our own but other people’s happiness as well.

In fact, it’s not much different than the marvelous Peter Pan story.  Toward the end of the book, we discover that Wendy’s father was in fact once a Lost Boy. But, he decided he wanted to grow up and so he left Neverland. He forgot what it was like to be a Lost Boy – to be himself. It was at the end, when Wendy returned with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell that he remembered. He remembered what it was like to be a kid, but more importantly, to be real. He had spent so many years hiding his real self, that he forgot who he really was deep inside. As a result, it made him a better parent, and for sure, it probably means he’d be a better business person as well.

So, here’s an exercise for all of us: find some quiet time (mine is 5:30 am), play some Enya or whatever you need, daydreaming is wonderfully helpful, and just write. Write about who you think the “real you” is, envision what it means for you to be more authentic.  Then, create daily tasks for yourself that allow you to achieve this goal. The more you dedicate each day to this task – the more it becomes a habit.

In the meantime, let me know what you do to be more real and more authentic. Cheers!

Screencast: How to Integrate FollowUpThen with your Evernote & GTD setup for productivity bliss!

I’m really excited about showing off my first screencast to all of you! I’ll admit, this was a bit challenging at first! I received about 100 recommendations on different services, and some not so good. But, between PowerPoint, SnagIt, and YouTube editor – I got it done! So, your feedback will be quite helpful!

In this screencast, I highlight a very small and yet very powerful add-on to my Evernote & GTD setup I talk about in my eBook.  It’ll cover two things: first, showing off how I use Evernote’s copy note linking to really ramp up your productivity; and second, leveraging the power of to help you remind yourself on a given day and/or time about a note you have in Evernote. It’s super easy and the best part – there’s no interface to “hack”.  Take a look and let me know what you think!

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