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The Simple Truth of Creating a Lasting Legacy

legacy

Legacy is not the result of how much you accomplish; it is the result of how many you serve. 

At the end of the day people don’t care much about what you accomplish for yourself, but they feel permanently indebted to those who help them be successful.

Service then, rather than personal success, is what makes us valuable and memorable.

And while service may not be a popular pursuit for many people in the world today, it is one of the consistent commonalities in the world’s greatest legends.

We remember those who served. 

We remember those who lifted us up.  

We remember those who looked after us. 

And it is ironic that no prerequisites are required to serve.  

You don’t have to have a degree, or any experience, or any credentials. 

You can just serve. 

It is perhaps the highest pursuit of all and yet there is nothing and no one who prevents you or blocks you from doing it. 

Anyone can serve. 

Starting now.  

You can find people who need help, and you can support them. 

In that way, you will be adding value to the world, you will be building your memory, and you will be defining your legacy. 

The Misunderstood Truth About Conflict Resolution

conflict

We spend too much time trying to convince people that we are right and not enough time just caring for the people we are talking to.

No one cares if you were right or wrong.

No one cares if you were accurate or inaccurate.

No one cares if you did say that specifically verbatim or you didn’t.

Because as Maya Angelou so eloquently articulated, “people don’t remember what you said, all they remember is how you made them feel.”

So it doesn’t really matter if you did someone wrong or you didn’t – if they feel like you did then you did.

It doesn’t really matter if you lied or didn’t – if someone feels like you were dishonest then you were.

It doesn’t really matter if you were mean or you weren’t – if they feel like you disrespected them then you did.

We spend too much time splitting hairs over the actual semantics that were used or the specific minute details of what happened – and none of it matters.

What matters is how you make people feel.

Do you make them feel cared for?

Do you make them feel appreciated?

Do you make them feel loved?

Do you make them feel heard?

Do you make them feel sincerely apologized to?

Or do you make people feel manipulated?

Do you make people feel intimidated?

Do you make people feel unimportant?

Do you make people feel like they’re the one who is always wrong?

And although you can’t ultimately control other people’s feelings, it’s still a worthwhile use of your intention to focus on for two reasons:

 1. It helps you focus on what is productive with others and it keeps you from being distracted with the trivial details of disputes

2. It causes you to do the right things

Why?

Because there is only one sustainable way to make people feel a certain way…

It is to actually feel that way about them!

People have an uncanny sense of distinguishing between how someone says they feel and how they really feel.

Which means you have to do the work of actually caring for them.

You have to do the work of actually looking after them.

You have to do the work of actually loving them.

And that is often difficult, disciplined, but worthwhile work.

It’s difficult and it requires discipline because it requires us to get outside of ourselves.

It requires us to let go of what we want, our need to feel validated, and our desire to be proven right.

And we instead trade that in for a chance to serve.

A chance to listen.

And a chance to look after someone else.

So the question is not about what you did or didn’t do.

The only question that matters is “how did you leave them feeling?”

What Do You Really Believe?

believe

It doesn’t much matter what we say we believe, our real beliefs are revealed by how we act.

We can lie with our words but we cannot lie with our actions. 

You don’t even have to tell people what you believe, because you can show them. 

And people watch what we do much more than they listen to what we say. 

So what do your actions tell people about who you are and what you believe?

And how congruent are the things you say you believe in alignment with the things you actually do?

It is a moment of truth, a sobering reality check, and a sometimes uneasy accountability when we are asked to reconcile what we say and what we do. 

In fact, my pastor once told me that if you want to know what someone really believes in, don’t even bother asking them. 

All you have to do is look at their calendar and their checkbook, because what we spend our time and our money on is what we believe in the most.

How to Change Your Life

how to change your life

We like to think that all of the things we believe in our minds are factually true, but they often are not.

Because our brains don’t delineate between true and false. The brain doesn’t inherently know what is accurate and what is false.

So, instead we simply believe whatever we tell ourselves most often.

Whatever we hear or assume over and over again is what we accept as truth.

The human brain is much like a computer. It just enacts whatever programming has been put into it.

Like a computer, it also doesn’t delineate between good and evil, positive or negative, right or wrong.

Your brain simply does whatever you tell it to do.

And it believes whatever you tell it to believe.

Which is why self-talk matters.

And it matters gravely.

Because what you tell yourself about yourself is what eventually becomes true for you.

And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t even monitor the things you say about your own life.

Or if you do, you might think the whole concept of self talk is hokey- but it is not.

You are the author of your own life.

You dictate who you become by allowing certain thoughts to reprocess over and over and by disallowing others.

Your beliefs are not based on what is fact as much as they are based on repetition.

Just ask anyone who found out later in life that they were adopted, or discovered that a family legend never really happened. Or ask anyone of the millions of people who use to believe the world was flat, the sun revolved around the earth or that air travel was impossible.

They all had things in their mind that they “knew” for sure were true.

Until one day they found out they weren’t.

Similarly, you have beliefs about your own life that you accept as truth that aren’t really true or unchangeable. You have beliefs about what your capable of, what is possible for you, what you’re good at, and who you’re destined to be.

And whatever those thoughts are will determine your limits.

They will determine your happiness.

And they will determine your path.

So choose the words you use to describe yourself carefully.

You can’t call yourself fat and think it’s going to help you get in shape.

You can’t say you’re terrible at something and think it’s going to make you better.

You can’t tell your mind that you don’t deserve something and think it’s going to ever show up for you.

Because your brain will believe whatever you tell it to believe. And it will lead you to arrange your life in a way to allow for those beliefs to take shape as your reality.

So retire your self-limiting beliefs.

Destroy your old boundaries.

Let go of the negative things you were yesterday.

And rewrite your future.

Reinvent your possibilities.

And redefine the person you are becoming.

Do that now and never stop.

Are You a Cop Out?

Cop Out Truth Lies

You say, “I’ve just never been disciplined with _________”

You say, “I’ve just always been a procrastinator when it comes to ___________”

You say, “I’ve just never been good at ________”

What a cop out.

That is so weak and sad and frustrating to me.

Because you say those things as if they’re hard wired into your destiny. You say them as if you don’t have a choice to change them. You say them as if they’re predetermined guarantees that you just have to deal with as a victim for the rest of your life.

And you’ve said them so many times and for so long that you actually believe them to be true.

The reality is none of that is true.

The truth is that you get a huge payoff from telling yourself and other people those lies.

The payoff is that you don’t have to do the work to change it. The payoff is that you get to have a justifiable excuse that you can feel comfortable with for why you continue to make the poor choices you make.

The payoff is that you get to quit.

You quit trying.

You quit caring.

You quit working.

And although there is that payoff for you, there is also a great cost.

The cost is that you never get to see what you’re actually capable of.

You never get to know what really could’ve been possible for your life.

And you never get to feel the electric thrill of victory pumping through your veins on the day when you finally overcome it all.

You’ll never get to stand on that proverbial pedestal and know the satisfying pride that comes from having fought a hard battle and from having sacrificed to change your life.

You will never get the deep-rooted personal confidence of knowing that you can do anything because you just blew up and destroyed the oldest negative habit in your life.

You will never get to feel what it’s like when you obliterate that 1 limiting belief that you’ve carried your entire life as truth about yourself.

But hey at least you get to sit back and relax and keep telling yourself the same old crap you always have been.

Good luck with that.

Who is Right vs What is Right

In our Southwestern Consulting Partners Pact, we reference something that was popularized by the late Peter Drucker. He said: “Great leaders are more interested in finding what is right then worrying about who is right.”

The search for who is right is typically based in emotion, ego, and propaganda.

The search for what is right is rooted in a discovery of facts, details, and a set of guiding principles.

When somebody is making a case for who is right it will sound often like the decision has already been made.

When somebody is making a case for what is right it will be inquisitive, curious, and considerate of multiple ideas from multiple vantage points that will shape the ultimate decision.

Someone who is focused on who is right will often get emotional feeling like their character is being challenged if other people disagree with them.

Someone who is focused on what is right does not take things personally because they know it is simply the integrity of the ideas and facts that are being explored and that if their personal ideas don’t end up being excepted it is not a strike against them.

Someone who is focused on who is right is typically evaluating a decision through the short term lens of how it will affect them.

Someone who is focused on what is right will always consider the decision from a long-term perspective of how it will affect others.

When there is a battle of who is right you will feel engulfed with anxiety, pressure, fear, and aggression.

When there is an exploration for what is right you will have peace, partnership, and simply an objective search for truth.