He was short, with a big attitude. His presence was always known, good or bad. You try this out, and it certainly seems like great advice. More people are paying attention to you, more guys are approaching you, and you're definitely having a better time than you'd been having recently. But what do you know about yourself? Are you comfortable being the life of the party? When you go home, do you feel like you've had the time of your life, or are you a little embarrassed about what you might have done and the impression you might have made? Jump forward a month or six months or a year. Is this behavior going to feel good then, or is it going to turn you into someone you don't really want to be and surround you with people you don't really want to be with? If that's the case, your friend planted a bad seed. Maybe she didn't realize she was doing this--lots of times people who plant bad seeds don't intend to hurt you--but if she's trying to turn you into someone you're not or someone you don't want to be, she's not helping you grow and could in fact be killing your garden. So, when you're trying to distinguish between the good seeds and the bad seeds in your life, you need to think about all of this. Then, once you have your goal, you're ready to create a process that will ensure you achieve your goal. I have a number you can choose from. And all of them work. I said we were ready to stop talking and start doing. But there is one last thing about goals that we need to discuss. It's so important, so foundational, it deserves its own article. In the dictionary the word idea is categorized as a noun. But idea should really be a verb, because an idea does not actually exist until you turn your inspiration into action.

I should know. I've had plenty of ideas but acted on few of them. If the project is too much, too hard, or you don't have the resources, say so. That kind of honesty allows teams to work around the potential hurdles, and that kind of vulnerability captures hearts. If you don't agree with your partner's ideals, discuss them. It's the only way to come to a meeting of the minds, and hearts. Not doing the job, not being on time, not being faithful to ideals won't necessarily cause you to lose, but loss of credibility will definitely affect your ability to win. It is clear that no matter what you do, you do it better when there are trusting relationships. Credibility builds that trust. Credibility is the key to winning over hearts and minds, and that's in turn the key to winning our trials and our battles. Be careful what you say. If you can't PROVE IT, you may lose credibility, and then you've lost everything. John had a large personality and often had an audience of people surrounding him as he told one of his stories. He could imitate anyone and often brought many laughs to those around him. Growing up, our weekends were spent attending many soccer and baseball games. He was a stellar athlete, an all-star most of his life. Number 17 was proudly embroidered on all athletic uniforms. He was born on the 17th, and it was his favorite number. How ironic that he passed away in 2017. I have always believed that gratitude is the antidote to depression, anger, and grief.

I live my life with gratitude, but wondered if I could find it through grief. The answer revealed itself when we planned John's celebration of life. Ask yourself what this seed's growth is doing to your garden--not just today, but most important, in the future. If it's helping your garden grow, then keep it. But if it's choking off your garden--dig it up. Digging up bad seeds involves three key steps. The first step is to use the tool we developed in the last article and get some of the bad influences out of your life. The thing about bad seeds is that you can't just chop them off when they start to sprout. The sprout is just the top of the seed. What really matters is the root, and if a bad seed has taken root, it's going to keep growing no matter what you do at the surface level. For example, if someone is regularly making you feel awful about yourself, it isn't enough to take a break from being with that individual. If he or she is truly planting bad seeds in your life, you need to separate from that person completely. For example, when I was graduating from college, the fitness boom was still in its infancy. But hey, someday you will be too. Layer in aerobics classes and Easter-egg spandex combinations, and millions of people started to work out. I was in New York when I saw an early Nautilus demo. I remember thinking, Hmm, there's a real opportunity here. I should open a gym. I thought about it a lot, scouted locations, talked to manufacturers and lenders . Thirty years later, I still feel a twinge of regret whenever I go to Planet Fitness.

The same is true with computers. I owned one of the first Kaypro II portables. This isn't hyperbole. If you don't trust your partner, your clients, or your children, the relationship will not thrive. And if the jury doesn't trust me, I've lost. Proof is more often in the action than the words. When you make a promise, keep it. When you set an expectation, meet it. Take nothing on its looks; There's no better rule. What's your evidence? This is my go-to question. Over 200 people showed up to honor him. Each face that walked through the door represented different phases of John's journey. We were overwhelmed by the love that surrounded us, as people told their favorite memory of him. We realized how many lives John had touched. So many people loved number 17. The gratitude we felt was profound. The Grateful Soul: The Art And Practice Of Gratitude Friends soon attested how John had visited them in spirit. One mentioned they were woken at midnight to the sounds of water splashing in their pool, only to see no one present.

They knew it was John, showing his love. Another friend saw one of the ball-chains on her ceiling fan moving rhythmically for several minutes after saying his name. Otherwise, you might feel a little better for a short while by cutting off the sprout and taking a break from that relationship, but the root is still there, and the next time you see that person, it's going to sprout up again and keep sprouting until you do something more permanent. We've already talked about the pain and difficulty associated with cutting someone out of your life, but I think it bears repeating: while the temporary pain might be bad, it is much, much better than the ongoing pain you're going to keep feeling if you don't make a clean break from that individual. As important as this step is, there's another that's even more important: prioritizing facts over feelings. This is not the simplest of processes, but it's critical. Look, I get it. I know how easy it is to let my feelings influence me, so I'm definitely not blaming you if you do the same thing. Someone says something that hurts me, and I let it work its way inside of me. When my coach told me I was never going to be a success as a football player, I let that get into my head. After practices, I would tell myself that maybe I was never going to be good enough. If I made a mistake on the field, I would see that as confirmation that Coach was right and that I was just kidding myself about the whole football thing. I was far from a programmer, but I did know more about computers than many people, and when IBM-compatible computers started to hit the market, I thought seriously about opening a retail store. Though in retrospect the opportunity would have been relatively short-lived, for about ten years that business might have thrived . The list goes on. Years ago, a friend decided the home health-care industry was poised to take off. He asked me to go into business with him. I thought about it a lot, even helped him flesh out his financials and refine his start-up plan . Today he has locations in fifteen cities. The only connection I have with home health care is that I will someday be a customer.