6 Ways to Take Charge of Your Life

A couple weeks ago I smelled something funky in my car. I live in the woods, so I thought maybe a mouse had crawled up in there and died. I put up with it figuring it couldn’t last too long. But four days later when I took the car out again, the smell was horrendous! This time I went in search of the cause, looking under the seats, in the glove compartment and finally in the trunk. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Nope, it wasn’t eight tiny reindeer. It was five bags of garbage and some used kitty litter. Whoops. I had planned to take that to the dumpster.

5 Ways to Take Charge of Your Life

So I ask you, what are you carrying around that’s making your life unpleasant? Do you want things to get better? Want to take charge?

  1. Stop wishing that X would be different. Instead, decide what you can do today to wring the most good you can out of it. I don’t know of one person who isn’t grappling with circumstances that weren’t of their choosing. “This isn’t how I imagined my life would be” might have crossed your mind once or twice. Believe me, no one is exempt. Yes, you’re stuck for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find joy somewhere in there. Ask yourself, “If not for X what would I have missed out on?”
  2. Set a “horror floor” of how low you’ll go until you decide “enough is enough.” Too often we allow scope creep to transform our life into something we’d never have chosen. Boundaries get stretched. You agree to overlook it just this once. (But NEXT time, whoa baby, watch out!) So put some standards in place. And if you relax them in a moment of weakness, know that tomorrow you can give it another go. Just because you slipped off the horse once doesn’t mean it has to become a permanent state.
  3. Ask for what you want. It’s not being selfish to go after something that’s important to you. Too often, we feel we have to be satisfied with the leftovers. Of course, that means we have to take the time to figure out what we DO want. We have to be able to articulate it. And we have to think enough of ourselves to believe we deserve it. That’s what assertiveness looks like.
  4. Learn something new. It’ll engage your mind, increase confidence and maybe make you more marketable. It’ll open your world up to new opportunities. This year I learned how to shoot and edit video for client projects. At first I felt like a dummy. I couldn’t even figure out how to get the video file out of the camcorder and onto my Mac. (Oh, a card reader? Huh. How ‘bout that.) Here’s the key: it’s something you can do without permission from anyone else. It puts you in charge. You get to choose.
  5. Re-arrange the furniture. Do it at home or in your office. You will feel IN CONTROL! It’s a great way to start handling things. Feel what it’s like to make a positive change in your environment. Of course you’ll want to leave the light on at night for a while so you don’t stumble into anything in the dark. But then again, you might bump into something you haven’t noticed in a while. 
  6. Define what success looks like. But remember, you don’t have to go from zero to 100 in 60 seconds to be an achiever. There are a lot of points along the scale that would qualify. Is someone listening to you who never did before? Can you wake up at least one morning each week without fear or dread? Have you earned even 10% more than you did last year? Are you now able to call a spade a spade? Forward movement counts. And again, you get to decide where the bar is set.

Have you already tackled something on that list? How did it work out for you?

44 Reasons Why You Got Our Business (instead of that other guy)

You’ve used all the sales tips, marketing techniques and service strategies to land that contract or customer. Competition was stiff but you came out on top. Ever wonder why YOU got the business instead of that other guy? Here’s why. It’s because you…

Sales tips, marketing tips, customer service tips

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People Who Shine From Within Don’t Need the Spotlight

I recently heard a successful performer on a popular TV show preface the advice she planned to give by saying: “I’m just a girl, but…” I almost came out of my chair. Did I hear her correctly? Was this beautiful, accomplished woman trying to diminish herself in front of her peers? OR… 

People who shine from within don't seek the spotlight

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Benefits and Sacrifices of Being a Veteran

Military service is a mission and lifestyle embraced by less than one percent of U.S. citizens. On this Veterans Day, I’d like share a few of the benefits and sacrifices:

Thank You Veterans

  • The honor of folding the Flag for family members of deceased service members
  • Teaming up with strangers from all over the U.S. and from all walks of life
  • Camaraderie that forms when you know you’re all in it together
  • The quiet, humble demeanor of those who have sacrificed most
  • The sense of responsibility one feels when putting on the uniform
  • The courage of family members who say goodbye all too often
  • Learning that even a file clerk’s job contributes to the mission
  • Standing side-by-side with those who truly have your back
  • The importance of attention to detail
  • Creating home in a dorm room, a tent, an airplane hangar or a ship
  • Appreciating the faces and personal impact of national defense
  • Knowing that training seminars are held to keep you alive
  • That maturity grows through responsibility
  • That “earning your clothes” ties character to outward appearance
  • Watching the way military families look out for each other
  • Gaining the respect of fellow Veterans
  • Knowing that everyone is willing to clean a toilet
  • If one person needs to wear a sweater, we all wear a sweater
  • That sandbags don’t fill themselves
  • That the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful never fail to raise a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye

Many thanks to our Veterans. We respect you and honor you!


Podcast: How a House Fire and Burned Body Led to Profound Resilience

Don Keller and Betsy Keyes embody the definition of “resilience.” In 2010, a Denver house fire that destroyed their home also burned Don over 40 percent of his body. Working together, they came to a new understanding of resilience that transformed them and inspires others. This is their story.

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30 Tips I Wish I Had Known Before Starting a Small Business

When you come from a family of entrepreneurs, at some point the self-employment bug bites you too. Dad’s been a realtor and appraiser since I was born and four of my siblings run small businesses. It’s been a wild ride for every one of them! So, in 1997 I took the plunge! 

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How to Cope with Critical Co-workers

Got a critical co-worker in your life? Ever wonder what planet they came from? It’s possible they have been that way all their lives and you are just the latest casualty. I’m sure it’s not because you are overly sensitive. (Truly!)

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WOC 003: Facing Wildfires of Change with Dr. Sid Webb [Podcast]

Dr. Sid Webb knows from personal experience what it’s like to face catastrophe and change. His home was at “ground zero” in Colorado’s Black Forest Wildfire in June 2013 and he watched it burn on TV numerous times from the news station’s helicopter footage.
Sid Webbs House Black Forest Wildfire
He now shares lessons learned from that “adventure” with organizations facing significant change. Sid is an expert in board development and non-profit best practices. This is his story…



Dr. Sid Webb Colorado Springs

  • Everyone will face some kind of catastrophe in life
  • There will be blessings that come from tragedy, believe it or not
  • We operate on autopilot and focus on things that don’t matter
  • Information is at a premium in a crisis
  • How to avoid staying in a victim mindset
  • Focus on your priorities – what matters most
  • A short term strategy may be just to survive
  • Change is more than a single event
  • People prefer to have fewer choices
  • There is tremendous transition in the non-profit world
  • Change is the ability to step up and step out
  • Head your boat into the wind and move forward
  • The flip side of loss is a wide open opportunity for the future

Download Sid’s article: Keeping Your Leadership Edge During Catastrophe

Contact Dr. Sidney A. Webb at SharpenedFocus.com and follow him on Twitter @SharpenedFocus