Are You a Box or a Funnel?

3 metal funnelsHarmonize, don’t just clash and resist.

By Bill Reeb

A college professor I know has had a difficult time harmonizing as his approach always escalated to clashing and resisting. And no, this isn’t a story about Michaelle in disguise, but someone else I had the pleasure of getting to know.

MORE: Tension Impacts Performance | Your Perception Will Shape Your Experiences | For CPAs: The Road to Wisdom Is Paved with Failure | Fear Stifles You in Every Way | Change the Way You Think | Let Go to Get Unstuck | Investing in Loss | You Might Be Your Biggest Obstacle | What to Stop May Be More Important Than What to Do
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

He had a definite approach to teaching and was good at it. He believed in setting very high standards for his students and passing only those who achieved a specific level of excellence.
READ MORE →

How a Strength Can Become a Weakness

Rely, but not too much.

By Bill Reeb

While there are many lessons in martial arts that repeat themselves, the idea that a strength can also become a weakness is a commonly recurring one.

MORE: Tension Impacts Performance | Tenacity and Persistence: Friends or Foes? | Don’t Let Worry Consume You | Guilt vs. Duty | Being Judgmental Is Self-Destructive | 3 ‘Letting Go’ Actions to Help You Get Unstuck | Get Better, Work Better, Right Now | How ‘Take What’s Given’ Works in Business | Learn to Work ‘Better’ Instead of ‘Harder’
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But it doesn’t make sense – how could a strength ever be bad? Well,  here are a couple of examples.
READ MORE →

Shrink the Gap between Strengths and Weaknesses

Young Asian woman lifting dumbbellsBONUS: Increase your odds of success.

By Bill Reeb

There are many self-development books and advisors that proclaim that you should focus on your strengths, develop your strengths and don’t worry about your weaknesses.

MORE: Tension Impacts Performance | Tenacity and Persistence: Friends or Foes? | Don’t Let Worry Consume You | Guilt vs. Duty | Being Judgmental Is Self-Destructive | 3 ‘Letting Go’ Actions to Help You Get Unstuck | Get Better, Work Better, Right Now
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

This is a great story to tell because it is one everyone wants to hear. Who wants to be told that they should work on what they feel inadequate about in themselves or their abilities? In other words, it is easy to get people pumped up about spending time concentrating on what they do well and discard what they do poorly and leave it for someone else.
READ MORE →

Tension Impacts Performance

Calm balanced businessman sitting outdoors on bench in Yoga lotus pose meditating, with office building and blue sky in backgroundMake it work for you, not against you.

By Bill Reeb

Your best comes through, especially when you are calling upon fine motor skills, when you are relaxed. Too much tension can quickly impact your mental, physical and emotional acuity.

MORE: Tenacity and Persistence: Friends or Foes? | Be Ready to Forgive Yourself | Time Passes Anyway | Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome | You Are Right Where You Are Supposed to Be | Become Your Mind’s Lead Programmer
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

What I am referring to is finding the right level of tension to support performance at a heightened level. The problem is that there is a fine line between tension that pumps you up and tension that starts to drag you down.
READ MORE →

Tenacity and Persistence: Friends or Foes?

Man with head down on desk, sticky note with "HELP" writte on it on baseball capLearn when to cut your losses.

By Bill Reeb

You are now at the final leg of the Process. To be here, you had to kick out of the Try (Work)-Evaluate loop because you were either feeling unsuccessful or unhappy about your progress or priorities. This negative evaluation occurs as you are either starting to get stuck or you are already stuck.

MORE: Be Ready to Forgive Yourself | Your Perception Will Shape Your Experiences | For CPAs: The Road to Wisdom Is Paved with Failure | Fear Stifles You in Every Way | Change the Way You Think | Let Go to Get Unstuck | Investing in Loss
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Because you have already worked through the techniques of “What You Are Thinking,” it’s time for us to walk through the other side of this evaluation, which is “What You Are Doing.” These techniques should help you find ways to get unstuck from what you are doing so that you can once again start regaining momentum toward whatever goal you are trying to accomplish.
READ MORE →

Be Ready to Forgive Yourself

Young man steering a wooden ship

The sooner you see yourself heading off course, the sooner you can correct.

By Bill Reeb

We need self-acceptance that as human beings we are emotional, have faults, are regularly scared, will make mistakes, are very self-critical, expect more from ourselves at times than is reasonable, and more.

MORE: Your Perception Will Shape Your Experiences | Don’t Let Worry Consume You | Guilt vs. Duty | Being Judgmental Is Self-Destructive | 3 ‘Letting Go’ Actions to Help You Get Unstuck | Get Better, Work Better, Right Now | Constantly Build on the Basics | From Martial Arts to Business: 5 Steps of Evolution | Expect and Embrace Failure Anytime You Do New Work
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

We need to accept the fact that we will commonly sabotage or undermine our own efforts, sometimes consciously, often subconsciously. When we find our psychological and physiological energy heading down one of these destructive paths, rather than pile on and beat ourselves up even more, we need to accept that these detours are both expected and predictable so that we can quickly refocus on more constructive responses.
READ MORE →

How Perception Shapes Experience

Boy hugging ponyIt's okay to enjoy success.

By Bill Reeb

Your perception of what you expect will actually shape what you experience. Let’s consider a few common perspective variations like “scarcity versus abundance,” “one right answer versus many right answers,” “opportunity versus threats,” “easy versus struggle,” “success versus failure,” “happiness versus sadness” just to name a few.

MORE: Don’t Let Worry Consume You | Time Passes Anyway | Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome | You Are Right Where You Are Supposed to Be | Become Your Mind’s Lead Programmer | Stay in the Present | How ‘Take What’s Given’ Works in Business | Learn to Work ‘Better’ Instead of ‘Harder’
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

With each of these, there is a continuum between one extreme and the other, and depending on where your outlook falls on that continuum, your perspective – that filter – will shape the way you interpret every experience.
READ MORE →

Don’t Let Worry Consume You

Chinese man looking worried outside on benchInstead, make it work for you.

By Bill Reeb

Worry is an instinctive response that is meant to surface an issue or problem that needs attention. It is an internal alarm system saying, “Danger, danger, Will Robinson, danger” (okay, you got me ... a quote from “Lost in Space,” a mid-’60s TV series).

MORE: Time Passes Anyway | For CPAs: The Road to Wisdom Is Paved with Failure | Fear Stifles You in Every Way | Change the Way You Think | Let Go to Get Unstuck | Investing in Loss | You Might Be Your Biggest Obstacle | What to Stop May Be More Important Than What to Do | Stop Wishing Your Life Away
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Like so many of our psychological and physiological responses, too much or too little of this emotion can be equally negative. If you don’t ever worry, then you might get caught off guard regarding something you could have easily prepared for. On the other hand, too much worry is like too much adrenalin: Your body will just wear itself out by constantly processing it.
READ MORE →

Do It Now: Key to CPA Success

Businessman running after clock in silhouetteWhy spend days or years doing things you don't want to do?

By Bill Reeb

“Time passes anyway” is a phrase commonly tossed around at my mentor John’s martial arts school. It is the reminder that change comes from doing the work and therefore we need to make every workout count.

MORE: For CPAs: The Road to Wisdom Is Paved with Failure | Guilt vs. Duty | Being Judgmental Is Self-Destructive | 3 ‘Letting Go’ Actions to Help You Get Unstuck | Get Better, Work Better, Right Now | Constantly Build on the Basics | From Martial Arts to Business: 5 Steps of Evolution | Expect and Embrace Failure Anytime You Do New Work | Determining Your Desires Should Be an Active Process
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Days will pass – 30, 60, 90 – in what feels like the blink of an eye, and when you make every day count, before you know it, you will be a lot better. Whether you use your days well or simply throw them away, know that time passes anyway and that time can never be reclaimed!
READ MORE →

For CPAs: The Road to Wisdom Is Paved with Failure

Man with head down on laptop keyboard... but we need it to grow.

By Bill Reeb

Besides guilt, overachievers seem to have a real problem with the idea of failure, which is why it comes up in so many different forms throughout my book.

MORE: Guilt vs. Duty | Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome | You Are Right Where You Are Supposed to Be | Become Your Mind’s Lead Programmer | Stay in the Present | You Might Be Your Biggest Obstacle | What to Stop May Be More Important Than What to Do | Stop Wishing Your Life Away | Don’t Let Inertia Determine Your Direction
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

How does this attitude toward failure manifest itself? Well, in business, as with life, we are taught by society that to be considered a worthy and successful human being, we must “grab for the brass ring” or buy into the idea that “winning is everything.” And clichés like “anything other than first doesn’t count” are used to motivate people into obtaining “the right perspective.” This has created some self-destructive and dysfunctional attitudes toward winning.
READ MORE →

CPA Careers Driven by Duty, Sabotaged by Guilt

Businessmen miserable over errorGuilt is one of the most damaging emotional obstacles you throw in front of yourself.

By Bill Reeb, CPA

When I talk about guilt and duty, the examples I share can sound similar. However, the distinction to me is that duty is what you feel before you make a decision or take an action, and guilt is what you feel afterward.

MORE: Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome | Fear Stifles You in Every Way | Change the Way You Think | Let Go to Get Unstuck | Investing in Loss | You Might Be Your Biggest Obstacle | What to Stop May Be More Important Than What to Do | Stop Wishing Your Life Away | Don’t Let Inertia Determine Your Direction
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

For example, I feel a sense of duty to protect my daughter, and I would feel guilty if she were hurt badly because I would imagine everything I should have done to better protect her (even if what I imagined would be unreasonable to expect).
READ MORE →

Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome

Businessman crossing finish line after leaping hurdlesOnce again, you may be your own biggest obstacle.

By Bill Reeb

In my opinion, most people are rarely driven by just their own desires. Rather, they are influenced heavily by the desires and expectations of those around them as well as by the roles they fill.

MORE: Fear Stifles You in Every Way | Being Judgmental Is Self-Destructive | 3 ‘Letting Go’ Actions to Help You Get Unstuck | Get Better, Work Better, Right Now | Constantly Build on the Basics | From Martial Arts to Business: 5 Steps of Evolution | Expect and Embrace Failure Anytime You Do New Work
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Duty is synonymous with words like responsibility and obligation – and the thesaurus offers the phrase “what you have to do.” Duty has intellectual and emotional ties to your value systems, too. Therefore, to defy one’s duty is to default on one’s values.
READ MORE →

Fear Stifles You in Every Way

Young businessman standing on edge of rock mountain and looking across"It is as though fear is a virus, constantly coursing through our veins and waiting for the first sign of weakness so that it can instantly activate and take over."

By Bill Reeb

Fear is an important topic to me. I believe fear is often one of the greatest offenders interfering with behavior, skill development, success, satisfaction with yourself, and happiness in your life.

MORE: Being Judgmental Is Self-Destructive | You Are Right Where You Are Supposed to Be | Become Your Mind’s Lead Programmer | Stay in the Present | How ‘Take What’s Given’ Works in Business | Learn to Work ‘Better’ Instead of ‘Harder’ | Be Realistic Regarding Expectations
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I am not just talking about fear as it would manifest in feelings of terror, but rather the entire range of fear, from being afraid of dying on one extreme through a simple negative thought wafting through your brain on the other.
READ MORE →