Have You Gone Off the Rails?

This is the end of the line for most folks. This is where the cart goes off the track.

Despite the most heartfelt resolutions, despite whatever the best intentions might have been, most folks give up on their New Year’s promises to themselves… right about now.Screenshot 2016-02-09 14.41.24

Not because they didn’t mean what they said.

Not because they didn’t want to change… because they did.

Not because they don’t have dreams for a better life… because they do.

But because life gets in the way.

I know. I was a single dad for a dozen years raising three young boys. I would get up (too late) in the morning, run around getting dressed, getting the kids up, finding the lost socks, and the lost homework, making the lunches, packing the lunches, unpacking and re-packing the back-packs, running the kids to school, tearing off to my office, arriving (too) late to gather up my files, speeding off to court, tying my tie in the rearview mirror and balancing the coffee in my lap (and spilling it), getting the call from daycare to come back because the kid had a 103º fever or head lice or both, scheduling parent-teacher meetings in between client calls, rushing off to soccer practice, making dinner, mitigating the fights, helping with the homework, returning emails and phone calls, and falling into bed exhausted and depleted… only to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

I know.

But change can happen. (I know this too.) What you really, really want in your heart matters. Your hopes and dreams and aspirations matter. They are the call of your Spirit, the Divine within you, to live your best life; to share those gifts that are yours and yours alone to share with the world in the most perfect way possible.

And it’s not too late. (It’s never too late.) Yes, January may be over. And nearly half of February. But the canvas of this New Year still awaits you.

Here’s what’s true: All you need to do is apply a very basic success principle, one of the easiest of all success principles. Take tiny, tiny steps.

  • At just 1 pound a week, you’ll still lose more than 40 pounds this year
  • At just 1 page a day, you’ll have well over 300 pages for your book
  • At just 1 watercolor a week, you could mount an entire show
  • One job application a day is 30 in a month
  • One extra sales conversation every single day might double your sales

Take that tiny step today. Just for today. And then do it again. And again the next day. Small steps magnified by time leading to magnificent results.

But today, just think about this day. And take just one tiny step forward.

Remember, races are run one stride at a time; businesses built one product at a time, one customer at a time, one sale at a time; mountains are climbed one step at a time; novels written one sentence at a time; symphonies written one measure at a time; and cathedrals built over generations one stone at a time.

Go back to the beginning of the year, and remember why it was that you wanted to set out on your path. Reclaim that grand vision of that perfect life that is yours.

In every moment of danger, there is also opportunity.

Opportunity still waits for you.


The handsome Walt HamptonAbout the author:

Walt Hampton is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, success coach, and bestselling author of “Journeys on the Edge: Living a Life That Matters.”

He delivers high-impact, multimedia keynotes at high schools, on college campuses, at corporate events and at gatherings of professional associations.

To find out more about Walt, click here to visit his website.

Exploring LinkedIn’s 2017 Desktop Changes

LinkedIn has recently made some big changes to its platform. In summary, it is now easier to display your profile information, engage or interact with your connections, and publish LinkedIn posts.

The new LinkedIn design has a more app-like appearance. Additionally, a new messaging experience and updated search features are also there to be explored.

However, as with every platform, a redesigned website experience may be overwhelming and daunting for some. Don’t worry. In this post, we take a look at all the major changes LinkedIn made, and how you can navigate through the redesigned website with ease and efficiency.


Exploring the Home Page

When you log into LinkedIn, the first thing you see is the redesigned — and sleeker — LinkedIn homepage. As you will notice, the menu bar and all the icons in it are same as you see in the LinkedIn mobile app.

However, the most important and interesting thing on the homepage is the new ‘Me’ section — a snapshot of your profile. The ‘Me’ section contains the following information:

  • Your profile picture
  • Title
  • Total profile views
  • Total article views

The second big change on the homepage is the content sharing section.

You can use this section in multiple ways:

  • Share an article
  • Share a photo
  • Write a status

And last, but not least, you can directly write and publish a new article by clicking the ‘Publish an Article’ link.


Exploring the ‘Me’ Section

As you can notice, in the new redesigned LinkedIn website, the ‘Me’ section is of significant importance. Some pretty big action happens in this section.

By using the ‘Me’ tab from the top menu, you can do the following things:

  • View profile
  • Change your first name
  • Change your last name
  • Change your current position
  • Change education
  • Make changes to your country, zip code, industry, etc.
  • Change the professional headline
  • Upgrade to LinkedIn Premium

Note: You can also edit the background photo; its design, however, has changed. The recommended size is now 1536 x 768 pixels. So it would be a good idea to create a new background image with the right settings.


Explaining ‘Accomplishments’

LinkedIn has also recently added a new section in profiles, known as ‘Accomplishments’. This is a great new addition to showcase certifications, courses, projects, etc.

Following are a few things you might want to include in the ‘Accomplishment’ section.

  • Certifications
  • Courses
  • Honors and Awards
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Test Scores


Changes in LinkedIn Search

The search feature in LinkedIn perhaps got the biggest change this time. And to be honest, we didn’t like it a lot. The previous search function was better and more detailed in comparison with the new one.

For starters, the biggest change in LinkedIn Search is that there are no advanced search options anymore. It means that users cannot filter with keywords, names, titles, or zip codes. In our opinion, that’s a big blow.

You can now filter a search by level of connections, locations, companies, language, industry, and schools.

Furthermore, saved searches and tagging are no longer available to LinkedIn Free users. They are now only available to LinkedIn Premium users.


Exploring the ‘More’ Section

The ‘More’ section in the top-right corner of the LinkedIn desktop version now has many important direct links. By clicking the ‘More’ section, you can access:

  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Post a Job
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • ProFinder
  • LookUp
  • SlideShare

You can also create a company page from the ‘More’ section.



All in all, LinkedIn has made some very smart changes in their newly redesigned desktop version. The website experience is now very similar to the LinkedIn mobile app experience — which is a step in the right direction. Also, the new experience is now much more simplified and fun to use.

Having said that, there are some negatives as well. The biggest issue is the demotion of the LinkedIn Search feature. Earlier, it used to have some great options to filter your search. Now some of those features are available only to LinkedIn Premium users, while others are simply gone. That is definitely going to impact LinkedIn power users and HR departments all over the world.

Other than that, there are some features that didn’t get any change whatsoever. Messaging, Jobs, Ads, etc. didn’t see any changes, at least in this iteration.


Final Words

The recent changes have made some people very happy, as they can now enjoy a more “fun” experience at LinkedIn with an active News Feed and easier navigation. However, there are also some who didn’t like these changes — especially what LinkedIn has done with its search functionality.

How do you like the new changes introduced by LinkedIn? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Also, if there is any question, feel free to ask.

No Excuse, Sir!

One of the very first things I learned as a brand-new Air Force Academy cadet, on day 1, to be precise, was that in basic training, I was expected to spend more time listening than talking.  I couldn’t talk to my fellow basic cadets at all unless we happened to be in one of a handful of places in which talking was specifically allowed.  When addressing a superior, a member of the cadet cadre, unless otherwise asked or directed, I was to use one of the seven basic responses: 

  1. Yes, sir! (or Ma’am, of course)
  2. No, sir!
  3. Sir, may I ask a question!?
  4. Sir, may I make a statement!?
  5. Sir, I do not know!
  6. Sir, I do not understand!
  7. No excuse, sir!

Out of all of the basic responses, “No excuse, Sir” presented the most opportunities for failure.  The other six were completely straightforward.  If someone asked me a question to which I didn’t know the answer, I said, “Sir, I do not know.”  If someone asked me a question and I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, I said, “Sir, I do not understand.”  And so on.  

“No excuse, Sir,” on the other hand, was only to be used as a reply to a question that began with the word “why.”  It was tough to remember to use it because the natural inclination when someone asks a question is to provide an answer.

A typical exchange might sound like this:

Cadre: Orr, why do your boots look as though you polished them with a chocolate bar?

Me: Sir, I didn’t have time to…

Cadre: [cutting off my reply] I SAID WHY!

Me: NO EXCUSE, SIR! (more…)

There’s No School Like the Old School

Yesterday, I read an article written by a gentleman named L. Todd Wood.  One of my US Air Force Academy’s Class of ’92 (True Blue!) classmates had posted it on the class’s Facebook group.  The gist of the article (which you can read here), was that the Air Force Academy focused on training young men and women to be warriors when he was there in the mid-80s, but now thanks to PC culture the wheels have come off the place.  Sometime during the past 30 years, the cadets became undisciplined layabouts with no respect for authority and with [gasp] access to Dunkin Donuts.

Comments on the article roughly fell into two camps.  About half bemoaned the perceived loss of the warrior ethos at their beloved alma mater.  The other half pointed out that the article was mostly it-was-harder-back-in-my-day hogwash.  The comment I found most interesting was from my classmate Dana Teagarden who said “I would be more concerned if I showed up after 30 years and nothing had changed.”

Because, seriously, you may not have noticed, but the world has changed!

Millennials entering the workforce today have never known a time in which they didn’t have access to the sum total of human knowledge through a small device in their pocket.  500 years ago, the people in a city on the other side of the mountain range from yours might have a medical cure or a new tool people in your city might never hear about in their lifetimes.  250 years ago, something could happen in Europe and people in North America wouldn’t know about it for weeks assuming the ship with the message didn’t sink en route.  When I was in high school in the 80s, once I drove off in my car, I might as well have been on Mars for how difficult it was to get hold of me.   (more…)

Starting Out Matters Most

Starting out, even when things aren’t perfect, even when conditions aren’t quite right, is one of the most important of all success strategies. Because, the truth is, that for most endeavors, conditions are never really quite right.

I thought about this success principle as I stood high above the trees looking out on one of the most magnificent vistas imaginable.

The day hadn’t started out suggesting that such a moment might be possible.

Indeed, long before the alarm would go off, I could hear the rain beating against the roof of the motel: a cold, heavy February rain in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire.

I pulled the blankets up and rolled over in the darkness, sure that it was way too snotty to even consider venturing out.

Two hours later, we sat at the Dunkin Donuts. Our climbing packs were packed; the gear was ready. And the rain continued to pour… just freezing as it hit the surface. Nothing suggested even remotely that it was a good idea to strap on snowshoes or crampons and disappear for a day into a range that routinely and indiscriminately likes to kill its visitors.Screenshot 2014-02-25 17.57.31

A half mile from the trailhead, the rain tapered to a light mist. The temperatures were mild. The wind light. And, before the day was out, the sun poked through the clouds. It was a glorious fun-filled satisfying day on one of my very favorite mountains in the world.

It would have been easy to stay in bed.

Now I am not suggesting that you should be reckless; or act without thinking; or start out unprepared; or not consider contingencies.

But that’s not the challenge that most people face.

Most folks when they’re thinking about starting out on a project – a new career or business, a book, a fitness program, a product launch, a new relationship – want to wait until everything is in place, until conditions are perfect, the set-up ideal. Life is not like that (in case you haven’t noticed). Conditions are never ideal; all of the pieces are never in place.

You’ve gotta start out… and see what happens.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Imperfect action is still action; imperfect progress is still progress. And sometimes when you start out – in fact more often than not – conditions turn in your favor. It’s as if the Universe recognizes your boldness and says, “Ah ha, she’s serious;” “Hmm, I guess he means it this time.”

You are rewarded for your audacity, for your courage; and for your faith: Faith in the abundance of a benevolent Universe; faith in the knowing that you will always find the path; faith in the power of your own inner strength.

Brené Brown writes, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” “Be brave with your life,” she says, “so that others can be brave with theirs.”

You have gifts that the world needs desperately. Conditions will never feel ‘right’ to venture out with them.

You need to start anyway.


The handsome Walt HamptonAbout the author:

Walt Hampton is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, success coach, and bestselling author of “Journeys on the Edge: Living a Life That Matters.”

He delivers high-impact, multimedia keynotes at high schools, on college campuses, at corporate events and at gatherings of professional associations.

To find out more about Walt, click here to visit his website.

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