DO WHAT MATTERS MOST

Do what matters most. I once wrote a book with that title. It took me more than 600 pages to wade through some extreme complexity to get to the profound simplicity of the four things that do matter most—Family, friends, fun and work. In this spirit, I am thinking my way back to the middle of complexity and simplicity to offer a baker’s dozen of the most important things to do in life with family, friends, fun and work:

  1. Our thinking follows the same creative process that goes on in the universe, which involves a constant movement back and forth between the opposite yang and yins of life. We explore one opposite until we realize it is only half the picture. Then we move from this half-truth to its opposite for a while. Then of course, we end up back somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. Earlier Philosophers called this the golden mean, or the best way to living a good life. This is the process we use to find the truth but must at some point realize that most truth is tentative and relative to the time and place you discover it, as just a “theory.”.
  2. Life seems to involve two main stages. The first is us trying to survive the main conflicts in life—us vs. life, us vs. them, and us vs. ourselves. The second stage is learning how to go from merely surviving to thriving into the prosperity zone, or land of good and plenty. The key here is that you must first to master the hard art of surviving before you get to the even harder part of thriving, as the last 10-degrees of improvement is always the hardest to accomplish. You must walk before your run and there is no way around that reality.
  3. Time appears to be shrinking these days due to the information overload that the Information Age is bringing us. There is too much to learn, know and apply and too little time to do this all. The only possible solution to such a fierce dilemma is to become an expert time manager to keep the tail from wagging the dog. The most effective way to maneuver through the information age is to look for important principles that help you learn how to successfully survive the challenges of life and then eventually thrive into abundance. Principles are a true short-cut to success but finding them isn’t.
  4. We are all born to fulfill a unique purpose in life and are given valuable gifts to carry out this purpose. The earlier on in life we figure out what our personal mission is, the more we can do and the more we enjoy doing it. Along the way, it is helpful to identify the few important values that nurture this purpose and live your life around those values.
  5. At the end of each day, we are becoming who we hang out with and what we read. It is important to choose your friends and reading carefully to support your personal mission and values. Everything else is a dead-end detour to avoid.
  6. The most important way to be is mindful—more aware of what you are doing right now and less aware of all the past memories that flood your mind, or the future worries or expectations, that can never really be experienced as imagined. Being mindful helps you do what matters most. This is using your hard-wiring (IQ) and software skills (emotional intelligence) to find and live your purpose through the surviving and thriving stages of life.
  7. Here is a good quote for summarizing this seventh principle of doing what matters most: “Never let hard lessons harden your heart; the hard lessons of life are meant to make you better, not bitter.” ~Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart. It is the difficult conflicts which confront us continually and constant challenges to survive adversity, which build the kind of character necessary to get to the thriving stage of life and eventually to the finish line. All the bruises, broken bones and bleeding eventually become worth it.
  8. The best way to manage complexity and simplicity extremes is to adopt this mantra: Control the few controllables and let go of the rest. Finding those few controllables, is mostly a matter of realizing how unmindful we can be in thinking we always have complete free will in the choices of what we say or do or not say and not do. The best available truth is that social conditioning and unconscious motivations account for the lion’s share of the uncontrollables. Control the few controllables and let go of the rest.
  9. Sooner or later we finally realize that there is nothing wrong with reality exactly the way it is. Instead, the problem is our incorrect and incomplete perceptions of it, which may be the only thing that needs changing. Here again, the only way to get to this important realization is to be more mindful of the present moment, which in turn will lead us to focus on controlling the few controllables we have power over and let go of the rest, not worth sweating over.
  10. Some earlier research I did with 95-year old people in a retirement home led me to this tenth point. I asked but one question: “What do you regret most in life?” Two answers were most common: (a) Not contemplating life enough, and (b) Not taking enough chances. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end up in my rocking chair on my back porch looking at the river and being sad that I had those regrets.
  11. It may be that the Information Age is taking us all into unfamiliar waters without a map. The two most valuable skills to master surviving the unknown and being able to thrive in these new waters, are collaboration and compromise. Resisting learning these skills is futile and senseless. Again, control the controllables and let go of the rest.
  12. Always give your mind adequate airtime but follow your heart. It might not always be right, but it will usually be smart. Actually, the best advice is to develop your intuition, which is somewhere in between your mind and heart. Only close and careful listening can catch the silent intuitive insights, because of all the competing louder noises going on in our minds and hearts.
  13. I do not believe in any unluckiness attached to the number thirteen because I was born on Friday the 13th and have more than my fair share of good luck. But being a person still trying to get to the “golden mean,” I lean towards being optimistic and hopeful, but always have a plan b or c in my back pocket, just in case Murphy’s Law turns out to be truer than not. So, the 13th most important thing belongs to your imagination!

 

Practice 1-2 of these principles and you will improve your survival skills; practice 3-5 and you will become a master of surviving; and practice 6 or more and you will be positioning yourself to start thriving. This is your very own 13th principle in doing what matters most.

 

“Imagining yourself at your own funeral allows you to look back at your life while you still have the chance to make some important changes.” ~Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.


William Cottringer, Ph.D., Certified Homeland Security (CHS) level III, is Executive Vice-president for   Employee   Relations   for   Cascade Security Corporation in Bellevue, Washington,   sport psychologist, and adjunct professor in criminal justice at Northwest University. He is author of several business and self-development books, including You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, ‘P’ Point Management, Reality Repair, Reality Repair RX, Thoughts on Happiness, Pearls of Wisdom: A Smart Dog’s Tale. He can be reached at 425-652-8067 or ckuretdoc@comcast.net

21 Peculiar Human Tendencies

“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” ~Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code.

We humans can be very peculiar doing odd things at times. Consider the following nonsense that most people have been caught doing at one time or another:

1. We insist on claiming multi-tasking abilities even though we know from experience that you can’t get very far carrying two watermelons with one hand, usually gracing the ground with both.

2. We pay college professors much more than kindergarten teachers, even though kindergarten teachers have much more influence in developing the critical skills in in life to help children succeed when they get to college, like building good character, following necessary rules and getting along with others.

3. We think dessert is the best part of a meal, so we eat it last when we are the least hungry?

4. We struggle to get more money each year during our advancing careers, ending up with the most at the end, when we need the most at the beginning to get started and need the least towards the end, when we are getting rid of all the stuff that the money bought.

5. We are quick to support a popular truth, only to find it is but a half-truth which we then have to explore its other half, to get to the whole truth. We usually get lost somewhere in between.

6. We fight wars over political and religious beliefs, which we really don’t understand that well and hide the confusion under a different disguise we don’t understand either.

7. We justify harsher punishment for convicted criminals, thinking that doing wrong intentionally is worse, even when accidental crime results in the same harmful consequences. Put another way, if a person shoots someone and is a good marksman, he gets the maximum prison sentence whereas if someone has the same intent but happens to be a poor shot, he gets off with a few years. The myth of free will is hard to swallow, but it is the only way to finally realize what freedom you really have.

8. It is common knowledge that the best opportunities in life come around twice, but most people don’t even notice the first one until after the second has already come and gone.

9. We waste the most valuable time in the present moment remembering the past or anticipating the future, even though they are not really available to experience and then wonder why we are not where we want to be.

10. We know there are no true short-cuts in life or any free lunches, but that never stops us from looking and trying, even by doing the same thing over and over again and boldly expecting different results.

11. Big dreaming combined with hard work is the only path to genuine success, but too many people dream little dreams and put forth the same level of effort, always wondering what is wrong. In other words, what starts wrong usually doesn’t end right.

12. We spend thousands of dollars on feel-good drugs and get-better therapy and quibble about over-paying $300 for a new puppy, when we know darn well 30 seconds of puppy breath does more good than a year’s worth of therapy and drugs.

13. During the first half of life we spend a great deal of our time taking things apart to analyze and understand them better, only to realize that it is probably better to put them back together where they belong, during the second half of life. Is this really progress?

14. When we do something wrong, we want to get the same punishment that others get, no matter the circumstances, but when we do something right, we want a better reward  for ourselves compared to what others are getting, even for similar good deeds.

15. A person can learn more clues how to be more successful in studying a failure than having a success, so why do we try so hard to avoid failing?

16. We claim that one half of life is better than the other half, but how would you know that without a comparison between both halves?

17. We think we know what we want from life, but we know deep down that life knows what we really need, but who do we listen to most, at least until we don’t get the results we want?

18. Life really is simple—control the few things you can control in the here and now and let go of the rest. We make it more difficult in our attempt to control more than we can, while ignoring the things we can control, over-focusing on the un-controllables and losing track along the way.

19. Instant need gratification rules today, even though we can be assured it arrives in an empty package, because it is the anticipation that provides the decoration, making it full.

20. It is smart to lean towards being positive, optimistic and hopeful. But it is also smart to have a plan b and c in your back pocket just in case. There are usually too many empty back pockets at the wrong time.

21. Reality is just fine the way it is. The only thing about reality that needs repairing is our faulty and incomplete perceptions of it, but that realization usually comes after too many wasted repair efforts.

Maybe all this nonsense happens for a reason and I am sure we will find one sooner or later.

 

“Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive.” ~Margaret Mead


William Cottringer, Ph.D., Certified Homeland Security (CHS) level III, is Executive Vice-president for   Employee   Relations   for   Cascade Security Corporation in Bellevue,   Washington,   sport psychologist, and adjunct professor in criminal justice at Northwest University. He is author of several business and self-development books, including You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, ‘P’ Point Management, Reality Repair, Reality Repair RX, Thoughts on Happiness, Pearls of Wisdom: A Smart Dog’s Tale. He can be reached at 425-652-8067 or ckuretdoc@comcast.net.

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK’S FOREWARD

As the author of more than twenty books, I know the importance of a good foreword. The book’s foreword offers introductory remarks about the book’s subject and/or scope of a book, something about the author, and why the foreword’s contributor thinks the book is important or useful. The foreword preceds the body of the text and the introduction, and should rarely exceed two full pages. Afterall, the reader wants to read the book, not the thoughts of someone they may think was paid for their praise (as is the case in some instances). Typically written by someone other than the author of the work, the foreword reveals something about the relationship between the writer of the foreword and the author. When appropriate, the foreword may reveal some inside information about the author, his or her life, accomplishments, or some other appropriate insight. Later editions of a book sometimes have a new foreword prepended (appearing before an older foreword if there was one), which might explain how the new edition differs from previous one(s).

When written by the author, the foreword may cover the story of how the book came into being or how the idea for the book was developed, and may include a thank you and an acknowledgment to those who were helpful to the author during his/her writing. Unlike a preface, a foreword always identifies who wrote it and the date of its writing beneath the name of the person who wrote the foreword. Being asked to write the foreword is considered a privilege, and depending on the reputation of the book’s author, it might even rate as an honor.

If asked to write a forward, consider these basic guidelines:

  1. Share how you met the author or how you know them. This establishes the connection between you and the author and helps establish the author’s credibility;
  2. If appropriate, offer a sense how the book helps to solve a problem. As such, it is perfectly acceptable to use statistics and research to support the assertion or employ personal experience and anecdotes if applicable;
  3. Note some specific credentials of the author, his or her important contribution to the field or topic of which the book is about;
  4. Share how the author has helped others achieve success or recognition;
  5. Give examples of what readers might find in the book and how it might transform their lives or professional path; and
  6. Conclude with a pleasant thank you to the author.

Want add a little flare, try one of these ideas:

  1. Offer a brief story about the author which provides a titillating hook;
  2. Establish your own credibility around that of the book by including any leadership roles you have played or something about a book you have written;
  3. Reveal something interesting that few people know about the author; and
  4. Make it fun. Tastefully, tell a funny story about yourself, your relationship with the author, or the book’s topic.

The pages containing the foreword and preface (and other front matter) are typically not numbered as part of the main work, which usually uses Arabic numerals. If the front matter is paginated, it uses lowercase Roman numerals. If there is both a foreword and a preface, the foreword appears first and both appear before the introduction, which may be paginated either with the front matter or the main text. And most importantly, remember a book’s forward is correctly spelled, foreword!

 

OUR MEMORIAL DAY

From Gen. John A. Logan’s General Order No. 11, establishing Memorial Day, May 5, 1868

The 30th day of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land….

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.”  What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes?  Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms.  We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.  All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders.  Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds.  Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners.  Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify…that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided republic…

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the nation’s gratitude—the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

ASIS INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES 2018 COMMISSION ON STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES

ASIS International, the world’s largest association of security management professionals, is pleased to announce its 2018 Commission on Standards and Guidelines. The 28-member commission ensures the standards and guidelines development process is voluntary, nonproprietary, and consensus-based, utilizing the knowledge, experience, and expertise of ASIS members and the global security community.

“This past year, the Commission took purposeful steps to broaden its membership composition and to chart a path forward that aligns with new organizational goals and strategies, as well as addressing the needs of security professionals worldwide,” said Sue Carioti, ASIS International Vice President, Certifications, Standards & Guidelines. “We are pleased to welcome 20 new members to the 2018 Commission. These individuals bring diverse perspectives, fresh ideas and a wealth of global experience to their roles.”

The commission, which doubled in size in 2018 and now includes representatives from eleven countries, will be led by Bernard Greenawalt, CPP, vice president, Securitas Security Services USA. Eugene Ferraro, CPP, PCI, chief executive, ForensicPathways, Inc., will serve as vice chair.

Top priorities include continuation of work on standards in the areas of security awareness, private security officer selection and training, and workplace violence prevention and intervention. The Commission will also review existing standards and guidelines with an emphasis on relevancy and gap analysis, consider the restructure of standards and guidelines programs, and increase integration in ASIS knowledge and learning programs.

ASIS International 2018 Commission on Standards and Guidelines

​Bernard Greenawalt, CPP, Securitas Security Services USA, Chair

Eugene Ferraro, CPP, PCI, ForensicPathways, Inc., Vice Chair

Charles Baley, Farmers Group, Inc.

Bruce Braes, CPP, Jacobs

Darryl Branham, CPP, Avnet

Herbert Calderon, CPP, PCI, PSP, CCM2L

Robert Carotenuto, CPP, PCI, PSP, New York Botanical Garden

Werner Cooreman, CPP, PSP, Solvay

Michael Crane, CPP, Securisks

Michael Cummings, CPP, Cummings Security Consulting, LLC

William Daly, Control Risks

David Dodge, CPP, PCI, David Dodge & Associates

Lisa DuBrock, Radian Compliance

Tommy Hansen, CPP, Stavanger

Glen Kitteringham, CPP, Kitteringham Security Group

Ronald Lander, CPP, Ultrasafe Security Solutions

Bryan Leadbetter, CPP, Arconic

Ronald Martin, CPP, Open Security Exchange

Juan Munoz, CPP, Associated Projects International

Angela Osborne, PCI, Guidepost Solutions

Werner Preining, CPP, Interpool Security

Malcolm Reid, CPP, Brison

Jeffrey Slotnick, CPP, PSP, Setracon Enterprise Security Risk Management Services

J Kelly Stewart, Newcastle Consulting

Timothy Sutton, CPP, GHG Management, LLC

John Villines, CPP, PCI, PSP, John C Villines

Roger Warwick, CPP, Pyramid Temi Group

Allan Wick, CPP, PCI, PSP, Tri State Generation & Transmission ​

 

For more information on current initiatives or to learn how to get involved, visit www.Asisonline.org/standards. The work of preparing ASIS Standards and Gu​idelines is carried out through the ASIS International Standards and Guidelines Commission and its committees. ASIS International is an ANSI accredited Standards Development Organization and actively participates in the International Organization for Standardization, developing standards and guidelines within a voluntary, nonproprietary and consensus-based process, utilizing the knowledge, experience and expertise of ASIS membership, security professionals and the global security industry.  View a complete list of all ASIS Standards currently under development.