Archive for the ‘Habit’ Category

Commitment – 2nd (of 7) “Super Words”


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Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, is a monumental granite sculpture that represents the first 150 years of the history of the United States of America with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of former United States presidents (left to right): George Washington (1732–1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).

When thinking of an image that could portray our “Super Word” for this post “Commitment,” I looked at numerous pictures, but chose this one. Anyone who has read about these four men, would likely agree that commitment was one of their best virtues.

I now shift to a more modern time, and a different genre, for quotes about commitment:

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” Mario Andretti (Italian born American Race driver. b.1940)

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” Vince Lombardi quotes (American Football Coach, national symbol of single-minded determination to win.1913-1970)

Webster defines “Commitment” as:
a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future

b : something pledged

c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>

My purpose in looking at these “Super Words” is to learn how to change habits effectively. I have failed many times to make changes, even after setting goals to do so. Planning is important, and setting goals is important, but commitment is the path to action. Someone once said when eating a ham and egg breakfast, “The chicken was involved, but the pig was committed.”

As I work on my plan to change a key habit, to improve, I know it is necessary to implement the changes for at least 30 days before a new habit will replace the old one. Getting up earlier, and having a “Quiet Time” as well as more family time to start the day are important habits I want to form. Becoming committed right now to that result is, I think, the best thing I can do to reach my goal.

I’ll keep you informed of my progress (or lack thereof). Would you share your comments with me?

Next week’s post will examine “Discipline.”



Super Words! – Introduction


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As I try to build new habits, to follow a more effective path in my life, I continue to “crash” into obstacles, distractions, and fall back to the old habits.  I read the books of many successful persons who share how to follow the plan which led them to their particular desired result (great job, new business, better health, wealth, fame, great relationships, or professional achievement, etc.).  I can read most of the words and understand them.  It’s those “Super Words” with which I have trouble. 

  • Character
  • Commitment
  • Discipline
  • Goals
  • Motivation
  • Persistence
  • Balance

I call these “Super Words” because they are so extremely important.  And to achieve changes in life that are positive, productive, and helpful to others requires understanding some of these “super” words, and internalizing  them.  I must make these a part of my thoughts if they are to become part of my actions.

In the coming weeks, each of these words will in turn be the focus of one of seven successive weekly posts of this blog, beginning with “Character.”   This will insure that I examine each of these “Super Words,” and increase my understanding of the critical concepts these timeless words embrace.

Will you join me on this 7-week journey.  What we share could help us Learn to Change Habits as we seek to improve.

I encourage your comments to add to the discussion for all of us.

Photo Credit: Thanks to

Courteous and Respectful Communication…


On one of my LinkedIn groups, I commented on this question posed by another member:

As a people-skills coach, I often hear that technology has ruined interpersonal skills and contact. Let’s hear it, what do you think?  How has technology helped and/or hurt?

My response:

Technology sometimes provides us an excuse for careless habits.

I remember, in the 90’s, discussions on “Will email ruin our interpersonal skills and contact skills?”  This was well before “texts” and “tweets”.

And I still encounter people composing emails with:

  • no capitals at all
  • Dismissive responses (one-word or short responses) that do not address the elements of the email to which the response is being sent.
  • Poor grammar
  • Reactive responses or new emails that appear to have no thought applied beforehand.

I think these are examples of lazy, expedient, or shortcut habits sometimes driven by “I have a ton of emails and must get rid of them” or similar attitude. But the bottom line is, these are communications which need to be clear, concise and delivered with appropriate courtesy and respect. When that is the goal, email, tweets, text messages, IM’s, blogs, etc. take on a different look and feel, and achieve a better result.

A couple of years ago,  I built a habit to — right before hitting the “Send” button for emails, to change the recipient’s name at the start of the email to bold type and to increase it one font size.   It doesn’t take much additional effort.  Mentally, I try to “say” — Courtesy and Respect, as a reminder that the foundation of all my communications should begin with “Courtesy and Respect”.  It has helped change my communication style.

What do you think?

1 Way to Make a Difference. And then some…


Today, I want to share information provided by in an email — an excerpt from their book,

Charging the Human Battery 

“When we have done our best, we can await the results in peace.”
— Author Unknown

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Committing to excellence is not an act, it’s an attitude. It’s an attitude that is captured in this short thought titled: And Then Some… 

And then some…
These three little words are the secret to success.
They are the difference between average people and top
people in most companies.
The top people always do what is expected…
and then some.
They are thoughtful of others; they are considerate
and kind…
and then some.
They meet their responsibilities fairly and squarely…
and then some.
They are good friends and helpful neighbors…
and then some.
They can be counted on in an emergency…
and then some.
I am thankful for people like this, for they make
the world a better place. Their spirit of service is
summed up in these three little words…
And then some.”

This is from one of 50 short chapters in Charging the Human Battery…50 Ways to Motivate Yourself. We all have doubts, fears and disappointments in our lives and occasionally need a “shot of inspiration.” That’s what this little book is all about…ideas to inspire, encourage and motivate when you need it most!   —Mac Anderson (


I find the offerings at to be compelling stories emphasizing profound truths.  Beautifully designed and illustrated, clear and concise, they make great business and personal gifts.   Tremendous value of content at a reasonable price.

Gary Duke