I am the Chief Energizing Officer for the Matchbox Group. We ignite. involve. inspire.
I am a keynote speaker, author and positive change consultant.
I energize people to improve their cultures.
I am the Chief Energizing Officer for the Matchbox Group. We ignite. involve. inspire.
I am a keynote speaker, author and positive change consultant.
I energize people to improve their cultures.
Many of us are already pages deep in never-to-be-fulfilled New Year’s resolutions—listing off myriad ways to improve ourselves in a variety of areas. My suggestion this year is to set just one goal for yourself. It is a simple yet important resolution that will make life much better. It can make your more fulfilled, and make you more interesting to be around too.
Let 2017 be the year that you let your Purpose guide you.
Positive Psychology has shown the value in having a purpose-driven life. Purpose is one of our major intrinsic motivators. According to Daniel Pink in his book Drive, it’s these three motivators—Purpose, Autonomy, and Mastery—that enable people to feel passionate about their lives, going above and beyond regularly.
To uncover your purpose, consider what fulfills you. What drives you to do good in the world? Then reflect on how you spend your time: What is the purpose of your organization? What is the purpose of your team? Then line these things up.
It’s OK if you can’t line them up perfectly. Not everyone can start a non-profit. Good thing there are countless ways to fulfill your purpose. The world needs people whose purpose is fulfilled through creating all kinds of goods, services and entertainment. And if you can increase the amount you live your purpose by just 5%, your life will be more meaningful!
One of the things I find purpose in is helping people with the way they look at the world and the way they view themselves. Thankfully, I get to live my purpose as a career. But I also spend extra time doing things that I’m not compensated for, such as writing, creating videos, and mentoring young people.
Recently I met a young man on the subway. Here was this tall, good-looking guy who at first glance looked privileged. But upon further examination, he was missing his shoelaces and pretty scattered. He didn’t have enough money for the train, so I bought him a ticket and asked him what was going on. As I learned more about his story, I discovered that this young man had had an abusive childhood that had led to arrests and a general distrust of authority. I could empathize. I told him that I had experienced a lot of violence as a child as well. I had once felt the way he felt, but that I had changed my thinking through the support of mentors, and that today I was an author, speaker and trainer. He asked the name of my book, and seemed to be energized by our conversation and the possibilities. I noticed that others on the train who were eavesdropping on our conversation seemed to be energized as well, as some were smiling at me as I got off the train.
Because I connect with people relatively easily, my wife and friends like to ask me who I befriended that day or what my stories were. When you live a purpose-driven life, it makes for great stories!
People get tired of hearing others vent about their job and about things they don’t like about their lives. Misery does love company, but company doesn’t like misery. If you want to be an inspiration to people talk more about your passion and your purpose. It’s not just the big things that you do; it’s all the little things you do that create a purpose-driven life.
Here are a couple ideas for finding your Purpose:
Complete the Best DNA instrument (for free!). It’s a great way to quickly clarify your passions and your purpose into a practical motto. If you’ve got 90 minutes and want life to be better, use this coupon code “CompanyDoesn’tLikeMisery” by the end of February.
Or Track it. Set a daily reminder to write down, “What did I get pleasantly lost in today?” Essentially that activity that you enjoyed doing, during which time didn’t matter, and afterwards you could have spent more time doing it. It could be tackling an interesting problem at your job or helping somebody with an issue. Or maybe working on some cool form of creative expression.
Note these activities for a couple of weeks, and then look for commonalities and discuss them with a friend. Many people are surprised at the things that come up again and again. The best ways to find out how to make life better are usually by looking at what is good already.
As a bonus, there is brain science showing that when you make a habit of looking for the things that are fulfilling in your life, you will not only find them you but you will also savor them!
And for more on savoring, check out this Highlights activity!
So, do you want more fun and self-esteem in your life? Live life on purpose!
Helping Others Live Into Their Best DNA
One of my Leadership University students once told me a personal story about her son, who had been struggling with depression. She and her husband were very worried about him, but she didn’t know what to do for him besides lecture him on what he should do differently to get his act together.
After working with me, she decided to hold a family meeting with her son and husband. They had a discussion about the things her son did that added value to the family and to their lives. She reported that the result was amazing: Her son began to see his own value, he started to help out more around the house without being nagged, and he made a plan for his life. This all happened because the family was focusing collectively on that small portion of his Best DNA. An added bonus was that it improved the relationship between her husband and her son.
Think about people you know who are struggling at work or home. Many times we see these people as low performers, but they might simply be struggling because they don’t see their own value.
It’s a common reaction to come down hard on people when they start to perform at subpar levels. It’s the fight-or-flight response part of our brain that makes us think that if we make people feel guilty or shameful that will teach them and they will work harder. There are some situations where this can be helpful, but generally it only makes things worse.
If you can help people work from a place of excitement versus fear and involvement versus punishment, they will start to become self-motivated instead of you having to harp on them to do their jobs.
If you want to be an energizing leader with a team (and even a family) of motivated people, try spending far more time focusing on their strengths and passions, and only focus on the weaknesses and challenges when it’s helpful, not just because your gut tells you to.
The first part of helping others live into their Best DNA is helping them figure out what their Best DNA is. Obviously having your team complete the Best DNA brainstorms is the most comprehensive way to help them discover their best, but one quick way to jumpstart the process is through the Value Add Activity.
This exercise is a great way to open people’s eyes to what others value. Not only does it feel great to have so many positive comments, it also helps team members feel better about one another!
Help your team get on the path to growth today! From now until the end of the year, we are drastically reducing the price of our Best DNA tool! For only $19 per person, you and your team can go through the steps to identify—and maximize—your Best DNA. Click here to take advantage of this amazing deal.
Check out this video for more information!
A Roadmap for Living Into Your Best DNA
Self-discovery can be a blast. There’s nothing like figuring out what you’re really good at to energize your day-to-day tasks, or to give you the boost you need to move to the next level.
Creating Your Best DNA Motto
Walk your talk. To live fully, use a motto to make the talk walkable.
If you’ve been working through your Best DNA over these last few posts, congrats! You’re getting ready to put it all together in your Best DNA Motto.
(If you haven’t yet completed the Best DNA brainstorm sessions, they are definitely worth checking out, and don’t take too long. Click here to check out the Passion, Strengths, Value Add, Principles and Purpose brainstorms.)
A Motto is a memorable phrase that makes it easier to guide your life by your Best DNA. The words that make up your Motto can help you figure out what kind of work you want to do, who you want to work with, and how you want to spend your free time. Once you determine your Motto, you can evaluate how everything in your life syncs up.
Some people live by their own personal mottos: “Down with the Establishment”, “Life’s Too Short to Deal With Jerks”, “You Only Live Once (YOLO)”, “Eat More Bacon”. But what you want is a Motto that doesn’t get you put in jail, fired from your job, kicked out by your spouse, or really high cholesterol.
Mottos may change over time. For example, my Motto about 30 years ago is far different than my Motto today. As a teenager, my motto may have been, “Whatever gets you through the night.” (Maybe that’s still your motto if you have obnoxious neighbors or a new baby. Hey, I’m not judging.)
The great news is that once you create your Best DNA Motto, you will find that you tend to do more activities—small and large—that will have a big role in building your ideal future.
I once worked with a leader named Wendy Schroeder, helping her discover her Best DNA and then she did the same process with her team. Afterward they all shared their Mottos with one another, and soon Wendy started to notice a shift in the culture. The members of her team began volunteering for activities that fit their mottos, and getting more enthusiastic about their work. Not only were they taking care of tasks without her having to tell them what to do, but they were also working on their weaknesses by getting help from their coworkers, based on each person’s Motto.
Our Best DNA is as unique as fingerprints, so our Mottos will be as well. And like anything else in this Best DNA Assessment, you can change it over time. I have. When I first created my personal motto I was 24 and reading a book on Purpose. I decided that my motto was “Guide positive change,” but as my career evolved I realized that I liked to energize it, not just guide it. Then I decided that transformation was more powerful than change to me. Today my Motto is, “Energizing positive transformation.” It thrills me to even say it. You will probably find something totally different equally compelling.
Let’s get started! (Follow these steps or get help using the coupon code at the end.)
Next month we’ll talk about how to use your Motto to live into your Best DNA. And I would love to hear your feedback on Mottos. Just comment below.
In the meantime, visit BestDNA.com to learn more. Use the coupon code “MOTTO” for 50% off a guided Best DNA Assessment for the month of September.
We’re all familiar with the archetypal midlife crisis that involves a sports car, some new clothes and maybe even a younger love interest. The truth is that the vast majority of midlife changes are not superficial, but instead are driven by people looking for more meaning in their lives.
Some people are lucky enough to find careers that fulfill their purpose early on, but for most people finding that dream job is usually through trial and error. People make transformations simply because they are looking for a deeper sense of purpose: the stock broker who opens a bakery, the executive who sells everything and moves to Asia, the wealthy entrepreneur who gives his money to charity.
For example Bill Gates, who at times has been the wealthiest person on the planet, has shifted his focus over the last several years to doing things that drive his core purpose of improving the quality of life for people around the world. He has done this through his foundation’s efforts to improve education, vaccinations and health, and agricultural development across the globe.
Two people I’ve had the pleasure to meet who live their Core Purpose are Dick and Barbara Couch, the owners of a company called Hypertherm. Their Purpose is serving the greater good of their employees and their town. Hypertherm has a no-layoff policy. Instead they have created a war chest, so that when the economy dips, they cross train employees instead of laying them off. It’s the most amazing thing. The Couches even held tight to their Purpose as they were transitioning toward retirement. As a privately held company, they could have sold the business and made well over $1 billion. But they knew that if they sold, American plants would be closed and jobs shipped oversees.
Instead they gradually sold their company, piece by piece to their employees at a bargain price, so it is now 100% employee owned. When I asked Barbara why she would sell her company that way when she could have had an extravagant retirement, she looked at me like I was crazy. She said, “I love my town. How could I look anybody in the eye if I sold out their company?” Their Purpose was clear. They can retire as fulfilled and happy millionaires.
We live in a culture where we are rewarded with the superficial by the superficial. Many people are taught that their purpose in life is outside of themselves, and because of this many people let popular opinion dictate what they should do, feel, want, or even say. Well-being research shows that most powerful way to live is in balance: being true to yourself while also contributing to the world.
This brings us to Core Purpose, which is what you feel you exist to do. It is a single phrase that defines what gives your life meaning. It comes from within, and it is not about what others expect you to do. Somewhere inside, you feel drawn to expressing certain strengths, or achieving certain outcomes. THAT’s your purpose.
Life is more meaningful when many of your hobbies, career responsibilities, and other life decisions align with your Core Purpose. Your purpose becomes your inspiration!
So let’s get to the Core Purpose Brainstorm!
Prioritizing them like this also gives you clarity about which parts of your DNA are your BEST DNA. When you take a look at these statements, everything should generate an image in your mind of the best of who you are, and who you can become more of.
Stay tuned next month, when we work on Best DNA Mottos!
Until then, check out BestDNA.com if you’d like to be guided through discovering your Best DNA and learn how to live into the best of who you are. Use the coupon code “purpose” for 50% off in August.
Uncovering Your Core Principles
Several years ago, I interviewed for a large strategic planning contract with a Fortune 100 company. I had a preliminary meeting with the steering committee that went great—I made them laugh throughout the meeting, and by the end we were carrying on like old friends. As I was walking out the door, they gave me one piece of advice. They told me that when I did my demo with the team the next day I should not use humor. My jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Me, Bob Faw, not use humor? Did I hear that right? I struggled to mask how stunned I was by this request. I explained to them the brain science behind the use of humor and how it helps people relax and be more productive, but they held fast—no jokes for the big guys.
That night I had a conundrum to work through. Would I stay true to my style or would I adapt their style to get this project? If I had won that contract, it could have doubled my income that year. But I had to decide if I wanted to spend that much time violating my core principles. In the end, I decided to be me. I did my demo to a room full of laughter and interaction, and … I did not get the project.
(Ironically the VP of HR pulled me into her office afterward and wanted me to do conflict management with her senior team. So humor is good for conflict but not for strategic planning? But that’s a story for another time …)
To be honest, I have never regretted that decision. I would much rather spend my time working with people who line up with my principles. It’s much easier to be your best authentic self when you feel like you’re living true to the best of you.
Just because something looks like “the life” from the outside doesn’t mean that it’s a really a good life. Trying to force yourself into a situation that doesn’t align with who you are hurts you on the inside and can lead to so many negative things over time. Take rock stars and movie stars for example. They are usually not the happiest people in the world, despite having plenty of money and adoring fans around them. This is because many are constantly trying to be what other people want them to be.
And this leads us right into the next email in the Best DNA series: Principles.
Principles are guidelines that help you make good career and life decisions. The goal here is to uncover the Core Principles that you just cannot live without. These are part of your identity: they shape your thinking and how you express yourself in the world.
Principles are usually qualities. For example, freedom, learning, growth, honesty, health, charity, etc. My own core principles are “learn, grow, and have fun.” They help guide me in determining the jobs and volunteer roles I take on, and even the kind of people I like to hang out with.
When you are conscious of these Principles, you hate violating them. And when you do violate them, it’s uncomfortable, or even devastating. That itself is a great indicator of what might be getting in the way of your fulfillment. One thing is for sure: If you violate your core principles for long enough, you will eventually burn out.
On the other hand, when you stay true to these principles you will feel a sense of integrity, higher self esteem, peace of mind, and more enjoyment in your career and life. Don’t get me wrong, survival and taking care of your family may force us to sometimes take work that violates our principles. However, whenever you have the choice, use these as your guide.
After doing this activity, I have seen many people have an “ah-ha” moment where they suddenly pinpoint the exact reason behind not liking a job, or why they end up arguing with that one person every time they speak, or why some groups feel so right to be part of.
So try it out!
(Why do we choose only our top 3? Because 3 is a magic number that makes it easy for your brain to remember. And the components of your Best DNA can only guide you if you remember them!)
Now you should have 3 words that give you both clarity and motivation. Everything here is meant to generate an image in your mind of the best of who you are, and who you can become more of—Your Best DNA!
Stay tuned next month as we explore Purpose! Until then, I would love to hear your feedback on Principles. Just comment below. And don’t forget to connect with me on social media!
If you have missed them, over the past few months we’ve completed the Passion Brainstorm, the Strengths Brainstorm, and the Value Add Brainstorm, which are all worth taking a few minutes to complete as you work toward discovering your Best DNA.
Check out BestDNA.com if you’d like to be guided through discovering your Best DNA and learn how to live into the best of who you are. Use the coupon code “principles” by the end of July for 50% off.
This tool is life-changing!
Make yourself and your family more resilient against depression, anxiety and the challenges of life.
Do you know the value you add? Really, do you? When you know the value you bring to the table, you can focus on making the most important contribution possible.
I call this your “Value Add.” This is how you best add value to projects, people, teams, systems, your family, and more. These are your contributions that people find valuable, admirable, and maybe even praiseworthy. Your Value Add is what you do that makes the most difference to others.
And it’s the next step in the Best DNA Series. We’ve worked our way through the Passion Brainstorm and the Strengths Brainstorm, which are both worth taking a few minutes to complete, if you haven’t already.
Some people tell you to “live your passion,” or “live your dream.” While other people say that the most important thing in life is to be useful. I say that both are right—bring them together! The best of value add is when you’re contributing to the world and enjoying yourself too. It doesn’t have to be just one or the other.
Ours lives are most meaningful when we contribute to other people’s lives. (Put on your lifejacket; it’s about to get deep.) And the more effective and helpful your contribution, the more meaningful your life will be! (Mic drop! Bob Faw exit stage left.)
But seriously, when your contributions align with your passions and strengths, you will also feel more fulfillment in your career and life. You may even figure out that you want to take on a different career path or hobbies that provide you with more opportunities to add value in a way that suits your passionate strengths.
When I do Best DNA with my clients, I do a fun teambuilding activity around Value Add. Try this in your life. I have each person on the team write down on index cards a way that each of his or her coworkers adds value and helps him or her do their job well. This can be a soft or hard skill, such as “Creates stellar presentations,” or “Helps calm people down.”
Then they give these cards to each other. It’s a bit like Valentine’s Day! When people review their cards, they usually see a lot of overlap and very quickly get a sense of their Value Add. Not only does this help you to see exactly what others value in you, but it also illuminates the needs of others on your team. Plus, when you help others see their value, you start to recognize what others add to your life instead of taking them and their actions for granted.
Value Adds are usually specific tasks, results, or behaviors that you bring to the table that make a difference or help others to achieve their goals. Value Adds can be tasks that you do, or they can be the WAYS that you do it. For example, many people can give useful advice, but maybe you are that one friend who many turn to when they need advice with emotional support.
Exchanging Value Add feedback can also be wonderful for couples and families. With our families we generally have so little time and so much to do. If you can focus on the activities that matter the most, time with your family will be more meaningful. For example, one of the things my wife really loves is when I cook her breakfast. It’s not a strength nor a passion of mine, but it is so easy to do. Plus, it has a great return on effort!
You may see that many of these Value Adds are different ways of describing your strengths. That’s common. If they aren’t, that’s OK too. The purpose is to receive more clarity on how we see ourselves versus how others see us.
Value Add Brainstorm
To discover your Value Add, try asking yourself the following questions.
Now choose your top five Value-Adds from your list. Choose the ones that either you really enjoy doing and/or add the most value to others. Don’t overanalyze or take too much time. Listen to your heart here. If it’s both that’s the best, but sometimes you have a mix. Then rank these in order to give you a crystal-clear sense of what your top priorities are.
Prioritizing them like this also gives you clarity about which parts of your DNA are your BEST DNA. When you do, it will give you a laser focus and make it easier to make choices that make you more fulfilled and successful! You can spend more time doing the things that matter most, and do them well.
Next month we will continue with Best BNA as we explore and discover your Principles. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your Value Add discoveries. Simply comment below. And connect with me on social media to get more great tips and ideas.
Visit BestDNA.com if you’d like to be guided through discovering your Best DNA and how you can live more into the best of who you are. If you use the coupon code “valueadd” you can do it for 50% off by the end of May.
Savoring the memory of a vacation can be as good as the vacation itself, sometimes better. There is a fascinating article describing how even anticipating a vacation can give one joy.
I met a wise young man recently that created a delightful, and (I think) scientifically sound method for helping people enjoyably savor their vacations even better–while still on them. I begged him to let me share his creation.
This graphic was created by Greg Sullivan of Sullivan Gang Graphics.
Sullivan Gang Graphics115 S Handley St Wichita, KS 67213Phone: 316-262-6242