Starting with me

http://www.anysonglyrics.com/lyrics/j/Jake-Owen/Starting-With-Me-Lyrics.htm

I’m sure that most of us can relate to the lyrics behind many of our favorite songs. I can find a connection to a lot of music that I listen to (probably why I listen to it) and like to expand my reach across all types of musical genre when I throwing some jams on the radio, well in today’s tech world Pandora or Spotify on the IPhone. It can be anything from a little classical while studying or thinking, to rap music on a weekend (sometimes weeknights too) when I’m about to head out on the town with my friends for some good times, or some classic rock while on the treadmill or throwing around some weights at the gym. Music & the lyrics that are behind the sound, have the ability to cheer us up, make us laugh, trigger tears over a break-up or lost loved one, and make for some great times w/ friends especially at a mid-summer concert with a cold beverage in your hand!

I grew up in the country, parents listened to country music and my first concert was one and only Garth Brooks. From what I recall as a little one new to the concert scene, this was an incredible show! Anyone can just run out and walk around the stage, but who other than him would fly out of the rafters at the Pontiac Silver-dome near Detroit and sell-out numerous shows in a weekend requiring that they add another one just to meet the demand!

All the fun and memories aside, music also provides us a point for reflection as well. I was cruising down the road, listing to Jake Owen’s song “Starting with me” the other day and took some time to think about what it meant to me.

Lessons learned:

Regret – We all have regrets in our lives and we all make mistakes. That’s part of the learning process that we go through to become better individuals. From a toddler learning their first steps, to missing that final shot to win the basketball championship, failing to get into our favorite college or messing up that interview for what you think is the perfect job because you stayed out the night before partying in college (yes I did do this). Our mistakes only have the ability to make us better when we reflect on them and take action to avoid making the same mistake twice. Publish your own lyrics to the world, I’m sure someone out there would love to learn from your missteps.

Love – Where to begin on this one?? In the course of dating over the years, I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes in this category. Some of them, I’d rather not discuss in a forum such as this. But one thing I do know, is that having a great grasp on who we are as a person and what we are looking for in a spouse to complement us takes a great deal of reflection. In my case, not having the perspective of what I wanted to achieve in life and how a partner would fit into that equation caused me to learn many things from my dating life along with make many mistakes. If your single, embrace the opportunity to learn the most you can about yourself along with meet as many people as possible. You my never again have this much freedom to do what you want, when you want with who you want. If your going through a break-up, throw on some favorite tunes and reflect about why it didn’t work out, what you want in life and learn how you can better prepare for the next dating opportunity. And lastly, if your in a great long term relationship, you should be sharing your advice with the world and myself!

Family – Family is a complicated one many times. Everyone of us has either done, will do or said something that we regret to our family members over the years. Whether its pawning your grandpas guitar (like Jake says) or crashing your dad’s tractor into a tree while doing work around the house then lying about it when he got home from work. The reality is, that our family members are some of the most forgiving and understanding people in our lives. Take a moment today to be blessing, encourage a family member and take responsibility for any wrongs you’ve committed. While it may feel uncomfortable to do so, the freedom that accompanies this will lift a weight off your shoulders and set the stage for a stronger relationship with your family members.

Embrace lessons from your peers, business associates, mentors, favorite musicians, family or friends. Take accountability for your actions in life by starting the focus on yourself when reflecting on mistakes that you make in life. In the end, we all end up benefiting when you start with you.

Creative Thinking

“Your Job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can be influenced by” –Austin Kleon author of Steal Like an Artist

Another mentor of mine Jim Rohn would also say, “be a constant collector of good ideas”.

I have found that by surrounding yourself with people who are more creative you are, the process by which good ideas come to you is dramatically increased.  I had the chance to experience an event at a co-working space in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past weekend where there were so many incredibly bright and talented hackers, hustlers, entrepreneurs, leaders, investors and just ambitious people that were looking to come together and leverage each persons ability to bring great ideas to the table to solve problems.  We all have unique talents and experiences that through which we are able to leverage and compound on an incredible scale when put in an environment that promotes open, creative and collaborative thinking.  I challenge everyone this week, to expose themselves to experiences through which they would normally not be a part of and look to leverage those opportunities for developing habits through which great ideas can form.  You’ll be amazed with the process and the outcomes that accompany small changes in your surrounding environment and daily activities.