Convey Confidence in the Craziness

Mike Lipkin’s 6-point Guide to making 2019 your best year ever:

Wow! 2019 has exploded out of the gates. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, you realize yesterday’s crazy is today’s cakewalk. This year, I can promise you a whole new kind of crazy.

Crazy means both wildly irrational and extremely enthusiastic. It signifies acts of apparent insanity and extraordinary brilliance. It’s a reason to be both scared and inspired. It’s a cautionary tale and a call to action. Being called crazy is an expression of both dismay and admiration.

When people call something crazy, they shake their heads at the same time. Sudden swings in sentiment are the new stable. Massive breakthroughs in technology and science are now expected. Shocks and surprises are no longer shocking and surprising. Tolerance for change is a survival skill. Maintaining equilibrium in the face of chaos is table stakes. Finding your inner balance when things go haywire is mandatory. I call this personal earthing – it enables you to tap into your surrounding energy without being shocked.

Consider the “word of the year” for 2018. The Oxford Dictionary declared it as “Toxic.” The Miriam Webster Dictionary declared it as “Justice.” Both are based on the number of lookups and increase versus prior year. The two words are diametrically opposed but totally complementary. In the context of one, the other one is vital.

If you’re out to do something great this year, get ready to encounter crushing rejections and devastating defeats. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, 2493 athletes competed for 222 gold medals. There was a near certainty that loss would plague even the best competitors. Winning is sweet but losing is inevitable. There is a big difference between being disappointed and being destroyed. When you’re ambitious and passionate, every setback feels bigger than it is. That’s the upside and downside of being crazy about your cause. You’ve got to roll with your emotions while you move relentlessly forward. If you can handle the depths, you can rise to the heights. You can’t have one without the other. Remember that when you want to quit or throw up your arms in despair.

I know what I’m talking about. I have my Ph.D. in Crazy, both good and bad. I’ve spoken to a million people in 72 countries over the past 26 years. I work with the best companies and people in the world. I’ve achieved a success that amazes me. But I can also dip into deep depression and self-abasement in a moment. That’s one of the main reasons why I do what I do: I need to convey confidence in the craziness so I can be crazy confident. It never gets easier, but I get better with every dip.

So here’s Mike Lipkin’s 6-point Guide to making 2019 your best year ever. It’s the result of both meticulous research and personal experience. This is the talk that I will be walking this year. I invite you to join me but create your guide at the same time. You’ve got to discover it for yourself. It’s like reading about Ischia, a magical island off the coast of Naples, Italy and visiting it. That’s what I did in December 2018. Reading about it conjured up the fantasy. But going there made the fantasy real.

  1. Declare your identity to the world. Our identity is what grounds us and gives our lives meaning. It’s our driving force and moral compass. It’s what we stand for and what we won’t stand for. It’s also our brand that pulls others to us or pushes them away. So who are you really? What do you stand for? What won’t you stand for? What makes you so valuable to others? Here’s my declaration: “I am the go-to person for people that want to achieve big things. I stand for optimism, joy and living the dream. I won’t stand for pessimism, prejudice or persecution. I magnify other’s powers so they can succeed on their terms. That’s who I am.” Now, share yours with me.
  2. Declare the Three Crazy Prizes that pull you towards them. What do you crave to achieve in 2019? What outcomes will make 2019 your best year ever? Make them audacious but achievable. Go for the stretch but not the strain. Here are mine:

I will publish a new book by December 1, 2019.

I will deliver 100 seminars, workshops and keynotes

I will be in the best physical shape of my life

  1. Become the authority on your environment. Study the trendlines, not the headlines. Do the work. Read, listen, share, write, talk, blog. The data has been democratized. Access it. Package your insights in a way that guides others towards their desired outcomes. There is no shortcut. You need to find the time if you want to find the breakthroughs. Billionaires like Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban spend 3-6 hours a day reading the relevant literature. I now listen to as many books as I read. In a world of fake news, I’m a detective of authentic information. That’s the new kind of private investigator for which clients are willing to pay a lot of money. By the way, join and let them help you curate your listening material.
  2. Formulate your personal strategy for success. A strategy is a method for achieving a consistent result. It defines your approach to everything you do. This is such a simple step, but it’s so important. It’s the rudder that guides your actions. Without it, you subject yourself to other’s whims and speculations. A will without a way will just hit a wall of frustration. Here’s my personal strategy statement: “I enable others to win by inspiring them to play at their best.” Everything I do is aimed at empowering myself to deliver on that strategy. It’s the filter through which I process my world. What’s your personal strategy statement? Have some fun with it. Experiment. Get feedback. Then get going.
  3. Magnetize people that make a difference. Nothing happens until you attract the right people into your space. The first four steps make the fifth one possible. Your reputation is your ticket to the show. It’s up to you to reach out to others, but it’s up to them to accept your invitation. Earn the right to their company. Call them with the confidence that you may not always feel. Make every conversation count. Be so valuable and useful to them that they cannot ignore you. Use all the social media you can, but always follow through with a personal touch. Ask yourself this one question: if I were the people that I want to hang with, why would I hang with me?” My answer is that you’ll be more than you could without me. What’s yours? Share it with me.
  4. Be crazy disciplined in the way you live, work and play. In a world that gets crazier by the day, you need to create your own order and predictability. Stability is an inside job, irrespective of circumstances. You need to control what you can, but you can control a lot. Build your everyday rituals that bring meaning and rhythm to your life. Feed your mind, heart, body, and soul. So I am rigorous about my diet, exercise, sleep, reading and listening habits. I take every vacation I can. I grab every opportunity to talk with smart people. I post a new video every other day. What do you do?

That’s all I’ve got. I hope I’ve given you the confidence to make 2019 your best year ever. Until the next time – CIAO.
That means Chaos Is An Opportunity. Seize it.


4 thoughts on “Convey Confidence in the Craziness

  1. Linda Starr

    Mike, you always inspire me! From the first time I met you (around 2005) when you were presenting at the HRPA Conference to the number of amazing and motivating presentations you did at EY. Thank you! Happy New Year and cheers to a fulfilling and crazy 2019!

  2. Roz Usheroff

    Mike, I am in awe of your wisdom and cannot thank you enough for your inspirational messages. I quote you all the time and admire your unique insights that inspire me daily. I appreciate your comment about not being able to control it all, but that doesn’t mean we need to be a victim to circumstances. After all, didn’t you coin the following that “happiness is an inside job”? Wising you continued success and significance!

  3. Tess Klachefsky

    Love this Mike! On a cold and dreary January day, I needed this reading to jumpstart my passion for working hard and achieving results.


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