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Paper Napkin Wisdom - Podcast and Blog for Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Difference-Makers

I've asked 1000s of the worlds top Entrepreneurs, Leaders, and Difference-Makers to share with me their most important pearl of wisdom on a simple paper napkin. Then I ask them to have a conversation about why they shared that Paper Napkin Wisdom with me and what it meant to them and for them in their life. Visit http://www.papernapkinwisdom.com for full show notes and archives. Learn their exceptional Stories of Drive, Impact, Balance and Leadership shared by CEOs, founders, authors, speakers, mentors, and teachers. They share successes and failures alike, paying forward their learning experiences to all of us.
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May 24, 2015

Warren Rustand - Paper Napkin WisdomWarren Rustand has created, led and grown many successful private, public and not-for-profit entities. He is currently the CEO of Providence Service Corp and has a long and distinguished career serving a Chief Executive or in senior-level leadership positions with numerous other organizations. Warren is a frequent speaker on leadership, business, families, and personal development, and contributes to Paper Napkin Wisdom with the following: "One's success in life is relevant only to one's own capacity."

In Warren's experience, it is human nature - and certainly the nature of the entrepreneur - to measure one's self against others. On the contrary, true success can only really be defined through our own capability, potential, and skills (those that have been given to us and those we have developed over time). The only success that is relevant, therefore, is that which can be measured against this personal capacity or potential.

Supplemental to this idea of personal capacity is the notion that rather than comparing ourselves to others who might have more of something or be better at something, we should look to those who may be less fortunate. Not only does this allow us to recognize how fortunate we actually are, but it also enables us to mentor, support, and assist others on their own path of personal development.

Warren's experience has taught him that the greatest journey in life is self-mastery: the idea that we can control our appetites, passions, desires, and abilities and channel them in constructive ways. Rather than getting caught up in ancillary activities, we can concentrate on true progress through the following five steps:

·         1. Commit to a higher level of personal discipline

·         2. Have a purpose every day

·         3. Make intentional decisions

·         4. Make conscious choices

·         5. Answer the call to serve

Warren teaches that if we make progress with these steps each day, we become closer and closer to self mastery, which can ultimately lead to greater individual freedom. These steps are integrated and should be worked on together (rather than one at a time); they also require a significant level of proactivity, rather than simply reacting to everything around us. 

This means recognizing the three areas in which we have control every single day: our mind, our energy, and our time. By Warren's estimation, if we can manage those three consistently well, we will come close to finding success measured against our personal capacity. Warren's own personal habit is to ask himself "Why am I alive today?" Such a simple question allows him not only to discover his purpose(s) for the day, but also to schedule around that purpose in a proactive, highly defined way.

Another exercise that Warren employs is a daily, 30-minute reflection to focus the mind, split into three ten minute segments: 1) think great, positive thoughts, 2) read great, positive thoughts (i.e. not the newspaper!), and 3) write in a personal journal about the positive aspects of your life. As with great athletes and other competitors, never allow a negative thought to enter your mind as you prepare to master your personal energy. This will ultimately allow you to be the best entrepreneur, parent, sibling, etc, you can be, measured against your own personal capacity. 

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