The secrets to a successful life? Wow. I'm hesitant to put myself anywhere near the top of that list. But since Pete Reilly tagged me, I'll share a few things that seem to be working pretty well for me right now...

  1. Persistence. Over time, water, ice, and wind created the Grand Canyon. I try to be that persistent on matters that matter.
  2. Patience. Of course persistence requires patience and the ability to hold a long-term goal in my head for, well, a long term. I also work very hard to remain calm when life, people, and other bumps in the road occur. It's a lot less stressful when I can say, "Let it flow over you. Be patient. It will all be fine in the end."
  3. Finding something I care about. Once I've identified something I care about deeply, I try not to let anything or anyone stop me from doing it. If it requires ignoring people, taking a new job, moving to a new place, so be it. Excellence requires passion.
  4. Listening. Genuine listening - truly being in the moment with people and hearing what they have to tell you - is extremely powerful.
  5. Good cheer. I'm an optimist. I'm happy. I try to have a smile on my face as much as possible. People like happy people. I like being a happy person. I strongly believe in the power of personal choice. It's not the situation; it's how we respond to the situation that dictates our happiness.
  6. Joy in little things. Children's giggles. A crisp sunny winter morning. A positive blog comment. The twinkle in my wife's eye. I make it a point to find the joy in little things. The accumulation of a multitude of little delights sustains me when more challenging times arise.
  7. Spending time around little children. I'm a huge advocate of spending as much time around 2– to 9–year-olds as possible. Their laughter is infectious, their joy de vivre is catching. Preschools and elementary schools are happy places. Soak in the joy.
  8. Technology helps. Spreadsheets, a shared online calendar with my wife, mail merge, the ability to type fast, etc. I wouldn't be nearly as productive without my mastery of some basic technology skills. I am both more effective and efficient because of digital technologies.
  9. Keep it simple. Simplicity helps bring clarity. For example, we have only two family rules for our kids: be nice and be safe. So far we haven't come across anything that doesn't fall under one of those two.

Thanks for the invite, Pete. I hope this is what you were looking for. Although I typically don't forward these kind of things along, in this instance I'll tag a few folks to hear what they might have to say. FYI, this meme started here.