Your Resolutions (Revisited)

17 01 2014

It is never too early or too late to take an Eye Cubed look at your focus…


Your Personal Strategic Plan: How Many Definitions of “Life Balance” Are There?

26 03 2013

It is no coincidence that conferences attracting executives, leaders and business owners worldwide have breakout sessions geared towards helping them find personal balance.  Whenever we finally spend the time to stop and think a bit, we often find ourselves considering a change.  I am certainly no exception to the rule.

How much time do you spend on the following common slices of life?  I mean this literally.  How much time in a 24 hour day, seven day week or 52 week year do you spend on each category of life’s focus below?

wellness pie

  • Your Mind
  • Your Body
  • Your Career
  • Your Spirituality
  • Your Family
  • Your Friendships
  • Your Community
  • Your Finances

Now that you know how you are spending your time, what happens if you wish to become “great” at any one of them?  What would happen to your allocation of time?  Is it possible to allocate time equitably or much at all while achieving greatness?

ali greatness

I think NOT!  Once the decision is made to truly excel, one’s definition of “balance” must change to allow success to be achieved.

Whenever I make a declaration, I tend to be “all in” in order to achieve extraordinary results. That is my personality.  I am an extremist who puts 100% into my endeavors.  When I am in the middle of an endeavor, that does not leave much room for equitable balance.

phelps greatest

  • When I train, I set major goals towards physical fitness.
  • When I present, I prepare and present with passion rarely seen by audiences.
  • When I diet, I set extreme standards that are nearly impossible to maintain.
  • When I implement innovation, nothing stands in my way to succeed.
  • When I love, I will do anything needed to support those whom I love.
  • When I give to the community, I extend beyond the comfort zone.

I know I am capable of doing ANYTHING.  As a successful Eye-Cubed Leader, so are you.  However, I struggle to do EVERYTHING.  I demand greatness in what I do and will not accept anything less.  And I recognize that greatness does not come unless one puts in an effort significantly beyond the norm.

When I was a teenager, a sports psychologist told me the key to success.  I wrote it on paper and stuck it all over my walls, in the bathroom and in my schoolbooks.  The declaration was:


While that sounds a bit cliché, I can tell you that it drives me to be who I am today.  But the key to the statement is the next line…a line that I was also told in my youth by my father, Stanley Sussman,  and reinforced by him throughout my life:


I recognize that if my focus shifts for any reason, I can no longer achieve the greatness I was seeking until the requisite  focus returns.  If I am in a position to self reflect, the decision to shift gears is a recognized sacrifice of which I am acutely aware.  However, reality is a bit different.  While “life” happens, I am not always aware that I have shifted gears and changed focus.  This typical phenomenon can derail anyone trying to achieve greatness.

Idea in chalkboard with yellow chalk

In the next Post, we will explore an exercise geared towards identifying our priorities and recognizing our weaknesses in our personal definition of “life’s balance”.  We need to take the time to decide our path, choose our results and pursue them with passion.

Are You In The Moment?

29 09 2012

It was a perfect day for a cross country event.  The temperature was 73 degrees and the sky was overcast.  The Invitational took place in Cheshire CT, one hour from our home.  The Varsity boys meet began at 3:30 pm.  We left with just enough time to get there and see the start.  We were excited.

We parked our car at 3:27 and had 1/2 mile to walk/run to get to the start/finish line.  I chose to run.  As I jogged, feeling appropriately out of shape, I heard the scream of the crowd.  I figured the girls must have been running and were finishing right about then.  When I saw a boy run in the distance, I was hoping it was the Junior Varsity.  Then I saw how fast they were running and I feared that I was missing the end of the Varsity event.  The event that I traveled for.  The event were I was hoping to see my son.  Unfortunately, the Invitational began one hour earlier than indicated online.  I missed the start of the boys Varsity race by 20 minutes.

Then, through the crowd lining the course,  I saw him.

He was 30 yards from the finish line, with the strain of 3.2 miles on his face.  He was sprinting, just in front of his closest competitor.  He pushed through the finish line and immediately collapsed with clear pride of having given it his all.  I saw three seconds of his race.  I had three seconds to take it all in.  I had no time to think, no time for drama, no time to waste.

I was in the moment.

How often are you in the moment during your work day?  How often do you miss something critical because you are stressed about a distracting issue or focused on something less important?  Even the Mayo Clinic urges that spending more time “in the moment” assists individuals with stress management.  Are you really giving 100% all the time?  What will you see if you are in the moment more often?  I can only imaging that your “vision” will be greatly improved.

For you and your company to be an I Cubed (Inspiration. Innovation. Implementation) company, you and your leaders need to be in the moment.  Great things happen when you are there.

  • Michael Jordan had to be in the moment when he hit the final shot as time ran out against the Utah Jazz in game six of the NBA Finals.
  • Michael Phelps had to be in the moment 19 times as he became the most decorated Olympian of all time.  Most of his events lasted less than 60 seconds.

Writers and motivational speakers often refer to this important quality and have been for hundreds of years.  Maya Angelou said it well when she said “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”

Are you in the moment right now?

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