The Four Most Important Things I Have Ever Learned

One of the first blogs I started reading by a fellow speaker was John Spence. His March post with this same title was very thought–provoking and I determined right then and there to start a Lifepoint blog. It’s pretty hard to limit this list to 4 things, but here it is:

1. I don’t have to be right. Having the attitude of “I’m right and I’ll prove it” is definitely an obstacle in effective communication. Whether it’s dialogue with a co-worker or my spouse, when I am focused on being right, I don’t truly listen. I’m too busy thinking about my rebuttal to hear or respond well to them.
(Warning – your pride will take a beating if you apply this lesson. But your relationships will improve with more effective communication. Pride – as in inflated ego is overrated anyway.)

2. Be real and be willing to confront an issue.  Okay – I’ll admit it. I’m a pleaser. Like most characteristics, there are 2 sides to this. Indeed, I’m quite a diplomat and I excel at customer service. But as a leader, (“boss-lady”), there are times when direct confrontation is called for.  I have found that a problem left to fester only gets worse with time – not better. So the ostrich’s approach of sticking his head in the sand is a sorry tactic and simply doesn’t work in business. 

3. Take care of yourself – stress will eat you alive if you let it. None of us are indispensable – though we perceive ourselves to be. Rest, refuel, refresh and take time for family and friends.  

4. The 80/20 rule is as certain as the law of gravity.  Understanding the rule is critical. It prevents whining, resentment and bitterness.  You simply can’t change people. Be thankful when you have the passion, vision and energy to do what others are unwilling to do. (That means you’ll have things they only dream of having.)

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One Comment on “The Four Most Important Things I Have Ever Learned”

  1. John Spence Says:

    A wonderful list –and I am so glad you found the post on my blog to be of value. I wrote that post in response for a retreat I was asked to give for 44 men from an Episcopal group known as the Brothers of St. Andrew – a good friend is very involved with them. The retreat went great — the ages of the men ranged from a few college kids — to more than half the group at 70+. When we completed the weekend I took all of the workshops we did around this theme “the most important things I have ever learned” and compiled them into a booklet — with all of the men’s responses. If you — or anyone — would like a copy of that repot — just send me a note and ask for the Brother of St. Andrew (BOSA) booklet and I will be happy to send you a PDF. It has some very touching comments. It is heavily focused on religion, due to the nature of the group, yet also has a number of truly inspiring secular comments as well. My email is: Take good care — John

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