#ActLikeaSuccess Book Notes and Reader Commentary (part 4)

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Who knew that Hans and Franz from SNL fame would make a comeback? Their TV ad roles played by alum Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey are seen getting Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumped-up for the NFL season. Harvey’s also using the airwaves to pump-up careers and dreams for getting paid.

His professional travels have taken him to comedy clubs, TV/radio studios and the White House. The first thought of what he might do for a living came in elementary school. The teacher asked the class to share what they wanted to do as a career. Harvey said he wanted to be on TV. His teacher wasn’t buying it.

There’re different jobs that people have on TV or any other career field. Some are behind the scenes while others out front. Some are in management while others are regular workers. Where we are in our careers is likely built around some professional training. It’s related to skills, talents and ‘gifting’ intellect.

At times we get visions of our professional paths in different ways. Most of us as kids have big ideas and lofty dreams. Harvey has seen his vision evolve and expand over time. He explains in a tweet that he’s come to learn that your career is what you’re paid for but your calling is what you’re made for.

Sometimes a calling comes across as being only for certain people. But one way to move beyond that limiting view is to consider our purpose. In one sense our calling is how we make the Creator look good. Our purpose is how we serve some earthly good. Our career turns passion into us being damn good.

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Harvey has taken his career from insurance salesman to talk show anchorman. With all the money-making roles he’s had over the years he reminds us that success is also about having our professional life be complemented by purpose. This way each day becomes more than just bringing home the bacon.

Moreover, where we are in making a contribution is not limited to the workplace. How we maximize our cred goes beyond the paycheck to the payback. It’s even in matters of public service. Harvey’s foundation provides mentoring opportunities to boys because he sees this as a way of serving the community.

OK, so the NFL season is about halfway thru. Some teams will likely not make the playoffs. The calendar year is almost done and maybe some people are looking ahead. Harvey’s take on getting pumped-up for going to the next level might mean doing a ‘double check’ on where we are and where we hope to be.

Footnote: If purpose is why we’re here then career can help get us there. This way getting paid is more than just filling in the blanks day after day and year after year.

#ActLikeaSuccess Book Notes and Reader Commentary (part 3)

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What does your last name say about your roots? In some cases it could be about your heritage or it could be about your celebrity appeal. There’re times it reflects cultural history while other times it’s about current glory. Well Steve Harvey built the case and pushed the limit, getting his name to a top notch level.

Harvey remembers the time of having his first open mic gig. He visited the club to check things out, knowing he wasn’t on the schedule for another week or two. Then he found out that the comedian on tap for the evening cancelled last minute. So his friend pushed him to do his routine on the spot that night.

At different times in life most of us have to shake self-doubt. Maybe that was one of his moments. We have to step-up in situations that give us second thoughts. The thing we find is that what’s already inside of us is good enough to save the day. But we will only find out if we not let self-doubt get in the way.

This could mean having to reduce outside interference. Think about how cell phones work. When you make a call, a signal is sent via cell towers to the receiving end. Your call goes from tower to tower with the signal repeated and its power boosted so that it’s not affected by noise interference or is dropped.

Shaking self-doubt and reducing noise interference in life works a lot like that. We have to find ways to repeat the signals for keeping us focused and on track. We also have to find ways to empower the signal so that the message is not affected by factors that could come from haters or other life challenges.

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While we’re training the voice within to keep us on point, we’ll also have to upgrade our skill appeal. It’s like the HGTV show Curb Appeal. There’s some visible transformation work, at work. Sometimes it’s a new landscaping design or front porch redesign. The ‘before and after’ pictures speak for themselves.

Getting to the next level personally or professionally brings an upgrade in market appeal. One place this is found is our résumé of accomplishments. It shows how we built the case, pushing beyond our comfort zone to top notch caliber. Harvey might agree that it also takes catching a few breaks along the way.

He tells how his first Kings of Comedy routine bombed. He knew it and people said it. So for the second show he was nervous as hell. Harvey caught a break just before his turn when the curtain briefly got stuck. That gave him the time to shake any self-doubt, reduce interference and upgrade his stage appeal.

Footnote: ‘Gifts unleashed’ are a reminder to ‘gifts unsung’ of what’s possible when your service bell gets rung.

‘Act Like a Success’ Book Notes and Reader Commentary (part 2)

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Steve Harvey Rewinds His Fame and Replays His Dream From a “Common Man’s” View

How do mega-stars see their Hollywood rise? Well, for some it might be “1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 for the setbacks and 4 to grow.” They, including Harvey, might point to their struggles personally and professionally. In his book, Harvey rewinds his fame and replays his dream from a “common man’s” view.

The book talks about catching “dream transfers.” It’s like getting off the bus and using the transfer stub for the next bus. The full dream trip is not always on the same vehicle you got started. It can be direct, have detours, transfers or zig-zags. Harvey faced his fears going from stand-up to sitcom, to radio, to TV host.

The experts say most of our fears are learned. In moving beyond the fears Harvey says take bold actions. This begins by getting past any nervousness even if we have to confess them. Bold doesn’t necessarily mean brash. We can be bold about our dreams without having to tear down another person’s dream.

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Harvey was bold in leaving his job for the comedy circuit. He shares advice on how someone might make a move today. Taking the next step towards our dreams requires bravery. But we need not be blind. A free-fall jump from a plane is brave. A free-fall jump without a parachute is blind (or even worse).

During vacation a few years ago I did the parachute ride on the beach. My family was surprised I had the courage to do it. Taking this ride was a bucket-list-stretch in my book. But for others a stretch might be doing a parachute jump from a plane. Both situations involve some amount of bravery and excitement.

When the going got tough Harvey focused on the grind. If the bills are due but the opportunities are few it comes down to the bottom-line. In one sense that means putting more dough in our cashflow. But in another sense it might mean putting more hustle in our game or else we just might bottom-out.

Harvey talks about the wake-up moment when he felt “sick and tired” of himself. Whether it’s because of excuses we make or feeling like we’re not handling our business, we have a choice to make. We have to take action on change. The challenge is to not dwell in the moment but to rise above the moment.

So someone asks, what are your dreams? The heights our dreams take us are not about comparison. It’s really about personal growth and fulfillment. The benefits and rewards are great (who wouldn’t want to enjoy the finer things in life). Plus the bonus memories will be etched in our own hall-of-fame timeline.

Footnote: Let our gifting do the lifting just as helium keeps a balloon rising.

Steve Harvey’s Story Shows How to Keep Your Dream Alive by Any Means Necessary

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Remember the game ‘Simon Says’ we played as kids? We listened and responded to instructions that began with those words. Let’s imagine that Steve Harvey’s new book ‘Act Like a Success’ represents Simon’s voice. Then Harvey’s story shows how to keep your dream alive by any means necessary.

He makes clear that we show-up in life with a gift and related talents. In computer lingo, our gift is similar to a computer chip. It’s like our ‘intel inside.’ It’s our unique intellect or God-given success factor. That gift allows us to go from nothing to something or from zero to sixty in whatever area we focus our passion.

The book reminds us that the gift is freely given and cannot be bought, sold or stolen. It represents something we do almost effortlessly that can bring lasting value. When we put our gift to work like Oprah, Steve Jobs and Harvey, at home, in the marketplace or community, it leaves a ‘gift mark’ as our legacy.

It’s one thing to discover our gifts but we also have to develop our goals. This becomes the vehicle for getting from here to there in our dreams or career. Harvey talks about S.M.A.R.T. goals that take us out of our comfort zone but not cause us undue harm. It’s a way to stretch towards the horizon of our dreams.

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Goals guide our growth personally and professionally. So if folks had a choice which would be preferred, a half-baked potato or a twice-baked one with all the fixings? Based on Harvey’s success we should consider the same thing. Would we prefer a half-baked life or a twice-baked one with all the blessings?

Life has a way of taking us down roads we didn’t see coming. Sometimes we have a choice of taking the road less travelled. Keeping the dream alive by any means necessary involves driving confidently towards our greatness. We have to let the onboard navigation get us there using the gift as our GPS for success.

The GPS in our cars works by having a chip in the device that sends/receives signals with the satellite. This way we can get to our destination because the device can handle east, west, north and south at the same time. When we use our gift as GPS for success it moves us in the direction of our greatness.

Our human greatness varies from person to person just as the houses on a block aren’t the same. They might have different colors or windows or sizes. In living up to our full potential or keeping our dream alive we’re not distracted if we remain committed to the gift and goals for getting to our ultimate destination.

Footnote: If life is a song worth singing then our God-given gift brings out the best ever in us.