The only thing you can control is you…

Your Hump Day Success Edge Post #1

Today’s inspiration comes from Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO. During a presentation on Monday, he used this quote: “the only thing you can control is you, the only thing you cannot control is everything else”. When you reflect on this, you realize it’s common sense on one side, but really powerful when you’re interested in learning and growing. Do the Iowa results have an effect on what you do and think? If you’re in politics and your career depends on it, may be. Otherwise? Can you control what Cruz or Clinton will do? Probably not. Even Bill does not control Hillary! Joke aside, focusing on what you can control is the best, if not the only way, of creating a better you.

Of course, you can argue that you can control any kind of machinery, your car or your direct reports, for instance. However, think for a moment. What if something breaks in your machine or car, what if one of your direct reports is sick? Can you still control them? The only thing you can really control is you, you are in charge of your actions and your emotions, and it’s within your power and decision to take control of your actions and emotions. Once you let go what is around you that you have no effect on, you can concentrate on what matters really: becoming a better you, to serve better others!

Your Hump Day Success Edge

You open a newspaper, it’s all about politics, war, and horrors. Between lies from politicians, finance institutions ripping off your savings, and big corporation making billions, it seems the world is going down to the cellar. However, there are millions of individuals who have understood the underlying forces of success, who are living successful lives, and who seem to go through difficulties with ease. This is what I’m interested in. As a successful entrepreneur and professional, I’ve gone through tough days, weeks, months and years, gone through tremendous successes, and leveraged all my experience to continue to strive in whatever I start and do.

I created this blog after the financial crisis of 2008 (if you are still wondering what happened, go and watch The Big Short) because I was fed up of all the negativity that was floating around. Yes, the financial system is rotten. Yes, politicians are corrupted. Yes, we can see the world is killing itself. Or we can be optimistic while not delusional, we can build on positive thoughts and actions, we can put a brick in the wall of the new world. And this is what I want to help people with, through this blog and my new resolution for the year: the hump day success edge.

For non-English natives, hump day is Wednesday. Why hump day? From, hump day comes from “the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through a tough week”. Therefore, the hump day is the best day of the week, because the weekend gets closer. However, I see this has the pinnacle of the week, the day of hope, of maximum energy. And because I want ultimate success, this is the best day to stop for 15 minutes and reflect on our lives, loves and craft. So this year, I will, every Wednesday, write on what can make each of us more successful in every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Simple no non-sense ideas, easy to execute, and game-changing.

Get ready for the Hump Day Success Edge! Live February 3!

Le développement personnel, pour qui, pour quoi ?

yogaNous sommes tous plus ou moins à la recherche d’outils, de méthodes ou d’astuces pour se sentir mieux, être plus efficace ou développer ses capacités. Le terme “développement personnel” est devenu de ce fait un fourre-tout. Véritable industrie de nos jours, on y trouve autant de charlatans que de véritables professionnels.

Matthieu Ricard nous interpelle dans cet article intitulé le développement personnel, pour qui, pour quoi ? inspiré par le livre qu’il a co-écrit avec un philosophe, Alexandre Jollien , et un psychologue, Christophe André.

Il remet en perspective ce fameux “développement personnel”, dans la dimension de notre rapport aux autres et des efforts à entreprendre pour devenir un meilleur être humain. Un texte tout court, qui fait réfléchir par delà les religions, les philosophies ou techniques de développement personnel.

5 good reasons to step out of the herd

Day 702 In nature, most hunted animals live in herds: gnus, antelopes, buffalos, to name a few. Most hunting animals live in tribes: lions, hyena, or hippos. Some tribes are hunted too of course, but herds are rarely hunters. When it comes to the human animal, the herd and the tribe are generally metaphors. Any human may be part of the herd when it comes to politics, believing the biggest liar, and part of the small tribe that loves paragliding for instance. Admittedly, human herds and tribes are not about hunting, at least not as in life and death, however they are about behaviors, decision-making, and happiness. Some people love to conform and be part of the herd, however most, if not all, belong to one or more tribes they feel good with because it feels good. Politicians have always targeted herds, marketing used to and still is with less and less success, successful businesses are no longer taking care of herds but do their best to penetrate as many tribes as possible. Belonging to a herd gives a feeling of security, this is what society wants us to believe in. As Napoleon Bonaparte rightly said: “The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.” Some days ago I was writing on being different, being ourselves, not conforming to what society wants to us to conform. Here are 5 good reasons that came to my mind, why the herd mentality has to be avoided to become the true you.

  1. Man is a thinking animal and as such can form his or her own ideas. Use your brain to think and make decisions, do not let others, politicians, businesses, activists decide for you. You are your master!
  2. My needs are different from my neighbor’s. Maslow have defined human needs, and we may all have the same kind at the physiological, safety and love levels. However, when it comes to self-actualization and self-transcendence, their realization is different for each individual. It’s critical to find your path and your tribe.
  3. Success comes to the audacious not to the conformist. Look around you to famous and successful people, they have some characteristics in common, but are mostly weirdos and risk takers.
  4. Happiness is the result of achievement, and achievement does not come without risks. Do things nobody else does, do not listen to the naysayers, feel the thrill of having tested your limits.
  5. Herds are manipulated. Read the quote of Napoleon, it’s the basis of politics, and go back to point number 1.

Our modern world has reinforced both the herd and the tribe feeling. The herd goes shopping on the Black Friday or on the first day of sales, resulting in really stupid behaviors. Tribes are easily identified and built with social networks, crowdfunding and modern technology. It has never been easier to get rid of a herd and make our own decision. Tribes are becoming far more powerful than herds. Step out of the herd!

Le lâcher-prise est nécessaire pour une bonne santé mentale

Jour 701 J’ai entendu le terme lâcher-prise il y a de nombreuses années alors que je montais à cheval. Tout cavalier sait que pour monter à cheval correctement, il faut un savant mélange de décontraction pour faire corps avec l’animal et de détermination pour rester le maître à bord. C’est un art et une science subtiles, et donc découle d’énorme satisfaction quand vous sentez cette communion avec votre monture. Cet état n’est pas du détachement, un « je n’en ai rien à faire », c’est l’eau qui coule sur les plumes du canard sans y pénétrer et c’est un état nécessaire à qui veut vivre une vie harmonieuse et sans stress inutile.

J’ai appris le lâcher-prise avec mon ami Bernard Alexandre, avec qui je montais à cheval, et continue à l’entretenir au quotidien au travers de la méditation. Mais vous allez me dire, ça permet quoi ? Pêle-mêle : de ne pas s’énerver, de ne pas se laisser imprégner par les émotions négatives, de comprendre l’autre, d’améliorer son écoute, de vivre le présent sans le poids du passé et l’incertitude du futur, tout simplement de vivre en étant soi-même sans que les événements négatifs n’aient un trop grand impact sur sa vie.

Maintenant, il convient d’être à la fois simple et réaliste. Simple, le lâcher-prise ne l’est pas. On ne décide pas de lâcher-prise en claquant des doigts. Cela demande du temps et de l’entrainement (oui, je sais, il va falloir encore travailler dur), et chacun trouve son chemin : yoga, méditation, tai-chi, respiration, etc. Réaliste, cent fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage. Il faut entretenir sa technique tous les jours. Elle est évanescente et ne demande qu’à être entretenue pour pouvoir être disponible quand vous en avez le plus besoin. Voici un petit test à réaliser pour voir où vous en êtes, et un article pour une perspective psychologique. Essayez et accrochez-vous, trouvez le bon équilibre sans tomber dans la nonchalance, vous verrez, cela vaut vraiment le coup !

Dare to be different

Day 694. I particularly appreciate two quotes of Oscar Wilde :

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”

They both tell the same truth: only original matters, copies are just copies! Those two quotes came to my mind when this morning I read this post from Gary Ryan Blair: Dare to be different. I wrote other posts on this, but as I approach my next birthday (more on this soon), some questions come to mind (hey, we all have questions, the older I get the less answers I receive). So it’s always good to be reminded sometimes that we are who we are. As I was sharing in this post from last year, it’s the original painting that costs the most. A copy costs nothing.

Society does everything it can to make all of us to conform to the original it has imagined. Get rid of this, free yourself and be who you are deep inside. It’s frightening for most of us, but the only way to live a full life! It may not please others, it may be make you like an ugly duck, a weirdo or an original, and this is exactly what we should aim being, an original! Be yourself, everyone else is taken! Have a wonderful day!

Keep asking questions

Day 689. Questions are power! Answers are everywhere and can be found easily, everybody can give them. However, asking insightful, meaningful, and precise questions are a wonderful tool to think and solve issues. I love the parallel between a question and a step. You have a path to walk, you can only do this one step at a time. When you have a problem to solve, you can better find the solution by asking one question at a time. Sometimes, it’s just asking yourself a question, not even talking to somebody else. The sole fact of asking questions makes you think deeper.

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions. – Claude Levi-Strauss

Questions open thinking and constructive discussion. Answers ends thinking. This is why it’s so critical to think more about questions than thinking. For each problem you face, take some time to write down questions and prioritize them. While noting down the questions, you can even take some out to keep only the more insightful ones. As for many things in life, more is never better.

Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. – Voltaire

Look around you, use your experience. The most interesting persons are generally those who ask questions rather than provide answers and show their knowledge. Two questions for you for today:

  1. What did you learn today?
  2. Did you plan and reached your three goals today?

Have a great one!

Les apparences sont souvent trompeuses

Jour 688. Nous avons parfois tendances à comparer, à nous « faire des films », à imaginer… L’imagination n’a pas de limites, mais l’histoire montre que les apparences sont souvent trompeuses, que nos films sont loin de la vérité et qu’au final, notre imagination nous a fait faire fausse route. Certes chacun voit midi à sa porte et est libre d’imaginer tout ce qui est possible ou pas. Cependant le pire qui puisse nous arriver est de nous comparer à autrui, à nous imaginer inférieur ou supérieur, à nous projeter dans une réalité qui n’existe pas.

Chacun a ses qualités et ses défauts. Certains ont plus de chance ou « osent » plus. D’autres sont plus introvertis qu’extravertis. En résumé, chacun est unique et chacun a droit de cité. Cultiver son être unique est non seulement une liberté qui nous échoit, mais un devoir. Comme je me plais à répéter, c’est la diversité qui fait la beauté du monde. En étant soi-même et en ne se fiant absolument pas aux apparences, nous faisons le pari ultime du bonheur. Je suis comme je suis, vous êtes comme vous êtes et nous nous acceptons comme nous sommes. Non pas dans l’opposition qui nous sépare, mais dans la différence qui nous rejoint.

La recette du bonheur est donc de vivre en étant soi, sans imaginer ce que l’autre va penser, mais en restant fidèle à ses propres valeurs. Pas simple de nos jours où l’apparence prend le pas sur l’être, mais essentiel ! Revenir à l’essentiel c’est accepter qu’autrui ne soit pas d’accord, c’est accepter les différences et la réjection, et c’est au final ne pas trop se prendre au sérieux. Simple, pas toujours facile !

Plan only three goals and act!

J 687Day 687. Are you busy? Are you in busyness? Most of us want to achieve great things in life, however, when we reflect back, we sometimes do not see much! Do you know why? Just because we are busy and not focused. A busy person never has time to sit and focus. A busy person is running around creating the impression that he or she is important. But the important thing to do is to create results, whatever the result. It could be playing a wonderful piano piece, or reaching a sales quota, or just spending time with a person you love and care about.

I challenge therefore the busyness inside each of us. For the next 30 days, I challenge you to do the following everyday: sit in the morning at the time you want, grab a cuppa and plan three goals that you want to achieve in the day. Just three. They may require 10 minutes or 12 hours, I do not care. The important piece to respect is the rule of three! Three is the number. Remember Monty Python and the Holy Grail? The scene of the holy hand grenade from Antioch? This is the quote: “Shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.”

So make three your number, plan those three goals to reach during your day and act. The next morning, reflect on what you achieved and start again. After 30 days, you will have reached 90 goals, more than any average person does in one year. And if you continue after the 30 days, you will have reached over a thousand goals for the year. Simple, powerful. My goals for today:

  1. Write this post
  2. Put my calendar in order for next week
  3. Update the status of my goals for 2015

I will do more than this, but if I do those three important things at this time of my year, I will have had a good day. What will you be doing today ?

L’inspiration vient … en se reposant !

Jour 686. 6 heures du mat, le jetlag frappe à la porte de ma chambre à Seattle. Réveillé depuis deux bonnes heures maintenant, il est temps de se remettre au travail. Temps ? Pourquoi ? Parce que je le veux bien. Bientôt un mois que je me suis mis au repos de tout travail d’écriture, à part un post suite au billet sur les All-Blacks de Bruno Millot. Un mois pendant lequel j’ai pu d’un côté laissé mon cerveau tourner en roue libre, d’un autre me focaliser sur quelques points critiques de mon activité professionnelle. Le résultat ? Des idées, des idées et encore des idées, et surtout une envie d’action !

Pas d’une action inconsidérée ou frénétique, mais réfléchie et concentrée. Agir moins et mieux. Travailler moins pour gagner plus, pour aller à l’inverse de la frénésie qui semble gagner de plus en plus de gens. Pourquoi ? Parce que je le vaux bien, dirait la pub ! Simpliste ? Oui ! L’efficacité est dans la simplicité. Alors, je m’y remets, accrochez-vous ça risque de secouer.

PS. Je viens de m’apercevoir que mon précédent billet commençait par les mêmes mots : “l’inspiration vient…” et ne se terminait pas du tout pareil. On pourrait croire à un hasard, mais comme je ne crois pas au hasard, j’y vois le doigt de mon cerveau malicieux (si tant est que mon cerveau ait un doigt) qui va me faire écrire des trucs étonnants dans les jours à venir. A voir.

PPS. Evidemment, je ne peux ignorer l’actualité et son horreur. C’est ce que veulent ces personnes obscurantistes qui sont à l’origine de ces monstrueux attentats, que nous ne les ignorons pas. Et pourtant, c’est ce que je vais faire, les ignorer. Car ce sont des pauvres âmes perdues dans les limbes de l’ignorance. On ne peut pas répondre à cette violence par une autre violence, mais par encore plus de liberté et de démocratie. La crise ? Quelle crise ?