Category Archives for Motivation

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It’s white, it’s typically a rectangular shape and it motivates team members!

Here’s a great tip to help you boost morale in minutes!

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Do you know how kids fall down and need someone to kiss their booboos? It seems like the tears won’t stop and the pouts on their faces remain until they receive that magical kiss.

Well, a few months ago I was visiting my niece, Ashley. Let me tell you she’s a personality rich 3-year old. I was sitting on the back deck with a few family members while the kids were playing in front of us, around us, and sometimes on top of us. You know what I mean, right?

As they were playing, Ashley fell down and hurt her knee. I observed her from across the deck and noticed the corners of her mouth were beginning to veer down toward her chin. I thought for sure tears were coming with a frantic call for mom to kiss her knee and make it feel better.

But to my surprise she quickly looked around, noticed mom was not close by, and then bent over to kiss her own booboo. She looked up with a smile on her face and then took off running to play with the other kids. It was as if she thought: Hmmm, do I wait for someone to kiss it and make it better or do I kiss it myself so I can get on with playing and having fun? Yes, I’ll kiss it myself! Why wait?

I’ve reflected on this situation many times. Thinking about this little girl deciding to kiss her own booboo. Also thinking about how many times adults wait and wait and wait for someone to kiss their booboos. Yes, mostly their internal ones.

Perhaps it’s the feeling of not be appreciated or valued. You think your efforts are worth gold but it seems nobody notices. Or perhaps it’s the staff member who you bend over backward for but your efforts are hardly recognized. Or maybe it’s the team member who spreads rumors about you.

There’s one success strategy that I’ll share with you. It comes straight from a 3-year old child. Kiss your own booboo!

When you’re in a place where you think nobody appreciates you, appreciate yourself. On your way to work buy yourself your favorite flowers and proudly display them. Write yourself a thank you note for all the wonderful things you’ve done. Indulge in your favorite treat. Buy yourself something to celebrate. Bake yourself a cake. See one of your favorite movies in honor of yourself.

Sometimes you have to decide that it’s not worth the wait for someone else to recognize you or for a co-worker to stop her hurtful behaviors. Sometimes you have to kiss it and get on with it!

Pass It On You Make A Difference!

The other day I made a quick stop at the grocery store; and as most of you know, there’s really no such thing as a quick stop. Lines are long, there are too many people walking slowly in front of you, or there aren’t not enough check-out lines open. As I rushed around the store quickly trying to gather what I needed, I noticed a man in front of me. He was different from everyone else in the store. He had a smile on his face, a spring in his step, and he was singing. My attitude was changed instantly just from walking next to him. I couldn’t help but smile and feel good. He noticed me as I was checking out the Hostess shelf (I was stressed and I needed chocolate!). He said with a big smile on his face, “You don’t want to eat that stuff.” I tried to justify it with the fact that I was only going to purchase the low-fat products. I noticed that his cart was filled with fresh veggies and other unprocessed food. Enthusiastically, he told me that he’s preparing for an annual event that he calls “Fried Friday.” His family gets together on this annual event, and he spends the entire day cooking for them. “Everything from scratch,” he said. He asked me when the last time was that I ate homemade french fries. I told him that it’s been a while. He smiled and told me that I couldn’t come. I laughed and wished him the best.

My attitude was changed instantly because I caught what this gentleman was projecting! It’s powerful to instantly help change someone’s state of mind. I know that this gentleman is not aware of the difference he made in my life. He helped me to change my perspective and enjoy my day. Now when I get stressed, I think about him, and it puts a smile on my face.

Often we drift through life not knowing how many lives we’ve touched and made a positive life-long impact on. Think about the thousands of people you’ve come in contact with over your lifetime. How many of them have you offered a smile, a kind word, or a kind gesture to? It’s amazing how some of the smallest things that we do in our everyday life mean a great deal to others – sometimes helping them to change their lives.

Teachers are a great example of how kind words, a sympathetic ear, a caring glance, or a smile can help change a person’s life. I recently interviewed a group of eighth grade students and asked them who has inspired them to achieve more or feel good about themselves. Many of them stated that it was one teacher in their school. I asked them specifically what this one teacher has done for them. Their response – she says nice things and smiles. It makes us feel that she likes her job, likes being with us, and that she really believes in us. Some of the students recalled quotes such as seize the day that their teachers told them. The students stated that they’ll remember the quotes throughout their entire lives.

Robert Orr raised thousands of dollars to help find a cure for AIDS. Who did he pay tribute to for helping him help thousands of other people? A person whose words stills ring strongly in his years – a teacher who believed in him and gave him the opportunity to work on a school project when everyone else laughed at him. Robert said that teacher gave him the strength to turn his life away from drugs and build a successful business and life for himself.

Les Brown, author of Live Your Dreams, motivates millions of people around the world today, helping them to make positive changes and reach for their dreams in spite of their obstacles. Les speaks profoundly about the one person who made a difference in his life – Mr. Leroy Washington, his teacher. What did Mr. Washington do? In school Les was labeled educable mentally retarded. One day Mr. Washington asked Les to write something on the board. Les said: I can’t do that. I’m educable mentally retarded! Mr. Washington said: Never say that again! Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality!

It’s amazing to look at the chain reaction that happens when one person’s life is changed forever. Robert Orr’s life was changed by something very simple someone did for him, now many other lives have been changed because of Robert. Les Brown’s life was changed by a few words, now he helps millions of people to make positive changes in their lives. Where does the chain reaction of lives being changed stop? It doesn’t – the chain reaction carries on for generations!

I recently received a call from a school guidance counselor. He called to let me know how much he enjoyed my radio show and particularly a quote that I read on air. It was a quote by W. Mitchell – “It not what happens to us in life that matters, it’s what we do about what happens to us.” He said the day after my program he was speaking with a student who was going through some tough times. He shared the quote with the student, and it helped to change the student’s perspective.

One day while I was vacationing in Florida with a friend of mine, we were walking to a restaurant. There was a lady sitting alone in a booth. My friend smiled and waved at her through the restaurant window. She turned around to see if he was waving to someone else, and then smiled and waved back when she realized that she was the target of his kind gestures. I asked him why he waved at her. He said because she’s alone and now I probably made her day. He made a difference – and so do you.

There are many ways in our lives that we make a difference, whether it’s through the work we do or the love we give to our family, friends, or a stranger in need of a smile. I encourage you to think about the difference you make. Think about the older person you’ve held the door open for or the person you smiled at who was dining alone or the encouraging words you spoke to a child, parent or co-worker. Think about the chain reaction that carries on for generations when you offer a word of encouragement to a young child or a person who feels like a failure.

Realize that you make a difference, and let it fuel you to keep reaching for your dreams and soaring to new heights in your life!

Motivate The Motivator

During a recent seminar, I asked participants what their motivation was for getting out of bed in the morning. I was expecting some profound statements such as: “I love my job,” “I’m looking forward to meeting a friend today for lunch,” or “I have an exciting project I’m looking forward to accomplishing.” The actual responses I received amazed me! One participant who was sitting towards the back of the room clearly stated that his sole motivation for getting out of bed is to go to the bathroom!

After this workshop, I started to think about self-motivation and who motivates the motivator. The motivator is someone who motivates and inspires others. Does this describe you?

On my radio program I had the opportunity to interview “The Motivator” himself, Les Brown. Les is a celebrity speaker and author of Live Your Dreams (a dynamic motivational book). He’s been my mentor and inspiration for years. I asked Les “Who motivates the motivator?” He stated that a daily plan of action is required to stay motivated. Les includes reading, meditation and prayer in his daily plan of action.

What can you do to generate daily self-motivation? There are many great tools for generating self-motivation. The following paragraphs suggest some ideas you can incorporate into your own motivational plan of action.

Find a reason to wake up in the morning besides the bathroom! Take inventory of all your blessings. In the book Real Moments, the author, Barbara DeAngelis, asks you to think about everything you have right now. Think about your personal possessions, relationships and memories. If you were to lose everything, how much would you pay to get it all back? Would you pay one thousand dollars, one million dollars, or is everything you have priceless? What a great way to determine your wealth!

Be grateful for all the things you have, and cherish them like they’ll be gone tomorrow. What relationships can you work on? What people mean the most to you? Have you expressed your love towards them lately? It may be time to take action!

Keep a journal, and fill it daily with all the things you’re thankful for. Additionally, write down what you’re looking forward to doing the following day. Include these items in your daily prayers. Affirm yourself that you’re going to have a great day. This is important stuff to keep in the front of your mind. It’s easy to get lost in the drudgery of our daily routines and let stress overcome us. Keep focused on what really matters to you, and you’ll generate a wealth of self-motivation to help you deal with trying circumstances.

In Man’s Search for Meaning, the author, Viktor E. Frankl shares the unspeakable horror he experienced in the Nazi death camps. Suicide was common. People committed suicide by running into barb wire fences because they didn’t want to face another minute of life in the camps. What could have possibly motivated Viktor to endure the pain and make it to freedom? He stated that those prisoners with a vision beyond the torture had a mission to survive. Additionally, being thankful for the everyday things (the small portion of bread or soup that they were to receive that day) kept them motivated to make it through another day. Remember that the present is a priceless gift!

What are you looking forward to doing today?

Read an inspirational passage from one of your favorite books daily. Since our society overwhelms us with negative information, it’s essential to fill your mind with positive and motivating thoughts to generate daily self-motivation. I recommend reading The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. You’ll learn valuable techniques for staying positive.

If you’re feeling depressed or hopeless, read The God Memorandum or The Twelfth Angel, written by Og Mandino. They are two of my favorite inspirational books that will change the way you look at life.

Listen to motivational tapes daily. This is an invaluable tool for generating motivation, confidence and clarity.

Set challenging goals for yourself. Challenge yourself to grow in one new way each month. Success Motivation Institute has a wonderful program for setting goals and living a balanced life. It’s designed to help you generate self-motivation and become successful on an ongoing and consistent basis. It consists of tapes, reading materials, a personal plan of action and your very own success coach. It’s a true treasure!

Fill your life with people with whom you can communicate your goals and trust for positive support. Give them a call, or visit them when you feel down. One positive word from a friend can help you make it through another day.

Music is a powerful tool that can lift your spirits immediately. There are three songs that lift my spirits immediately, including Beautiful Life by Ace of Base. Find the music that will lift your spirits and keep a copy with you at all times. Play it in your car, at home or at work (especially if you work long and crazy hours).

Most of all – whatever strategy you decide to use – keep your focus on what you want out of your life. As Stephen Covey says: “Begin with the end in mind.” Keep your focus on your major goals. Write them down and look at them several times each day. This will help you to stay motivated, grow stronger and not give up because of the challenges you face.

I challenge you today to take one idea from this article and implement it into your daily plan of action. And to answer the question: “Who motivates the motivator?” You do!

Change Your World

Do you realize that you currently posses the power to change your world? This may not be new news to some of you, but to others it may come as a total shock.

I didn’t realize that I possessed this power until several years ago when I picked up a classic book – The Power of Positive Thinking, written by Norman Vincent Peale. I was amazed when I read “Change your thoughts and you can change your world.” I thought to myself – can it be that simple?

At this point in my life, I faced many personal and professional challenges which mentally and physically drained me. Have you ever felt totally drained – mentally and physically? The thoughts that ran through my mind were less than positive. In fact, you can say that they were often mean. I beat myself up emotionally for all of the things that I didn’t accomplish as opposed to appreciating and rewarding myself for my successes.

Throughout the remainder of the book were testimonies of people who had changed their thoughts and changed their world. I was even more amazed and thought that it would be dynamic if I could incorporate their techniques into my life.

Have you ever been presented with a solution to your problems – but you don’t take action and make changes? That’s what I did (or rather didn’t do). I didn’t take action even though there was a little voice deep inside of me crying let’s do something different.

Before I took action, I wanted to know more about the power of our thoughts. I learned that most leading psychologists believe that we have approximately 60,000 thoughts each day. Even more dynamic… 95% of the thoughts that we have today, are the same thoughts that we had yesterday.

What will your life be like in ten years if you keep thinking the same thoughts? I distinctly knew what my life would be like! I saw a clear picture and knew that I needed to change it quickly.

I began studying how others changed their thoughts and then changed their world. In Man’s Search For Meaning, written by Viktor Frankl, it states how important one’s thoughts are in determining one’s survival and ability to find peace and happiness in spite of one’s trying circumstances. There are many other stories that back up the same findings. I learned how Les Brown, motivational speaker and author, changed his world in spite of the fact that he was born on the cold floor of an abandoned building and labeled educable mentally retarded. W. Mitchell educates and inspires audiences all around the world that it’s not what happens to us in life that determines our circumstances, but what we do with what happens to us. Years ago, he was unrecognizably burned and then a few years later, paralyzed.

All of this reading and studying convinced me that I possess the power to change my world just as you have the power to change yours. Just as Christopher Reeve changed his world. In spite of the trying circumstances he faced after his horseback riding accident that left him paralyzed – he established the Christopher Reeve Foundation and continued to educate and inspire others through his books and movies. making public speaking appearances. Additionally, he’s written a book. He’s done so much!! Several months ago, I watched one of his television specials. I was amazed when he said: “I will be walking by the time I am 50 years old.” He didn’t say I hope to be walking or if no one gets in my way I’ll be walking – he said: “I will be walking.” There’s a powerful difference in the two types of thoughts. Christopher has taken control of his life with the thoughts that he has and the words that he uses to convey those thoughts to others.

Now you know, you possess the amazing power to change your world through changing your thoughts. Let’s define how we can transform our negative thoughts into positive thoughts and what we need to do to remain positive. Transforming our negative thoughts into positive thoughts is one part of the equation. The next and most important part is to take action. Back your positive thoughts with positive action, and get positive results in your life – the results you deserve.

Þ Fill your mind with as much positive information as possible. The more your mind is flooded with positive information, the more your mind will reject negative information. Read autobiographies of people who have triumphed over tragedy. Read the comics or self-help books on change and mind control. Listen to motivational tapes. Listen to uplifting music.

Þ Anytime you have a negative thought write it down. Next to your negative thought, write a positive thought that you’ll use to replace your negative thought. For example, my negative thought is: “Dummy, you should have known better.” My positive replacement thought is: “You always do your best.”

Þ Keep a list of positive affirmations with you wherever you go. Positive affirmations are positive messages that you say to yourself to reinforce your goals, plans, and dreams. When you have a negative thought, override it by saying a positive affirmation out loud (or say it to yourself if you’re not alone). For example: “I deserve success!” or “I’m worth it!”

Þ Seek positive, constructive support. Seek out someone who will help you find positive, constructive solutions to your obstacles, someone who will lift your spirits and help you to move forward with you life.

Once you truly open your mind to the positive possibilities that your life contains and start practicing the above techniques you will get results immediately. The key is to take positive and immediate action. Negative thoughts will still flow into your mind, but realize that you have the choice to dwell on those negative thoughts and let them overcome you or transform them into positive thoughts, inspiring you to take positive action.

You have the power to make it a great day. You have the power to accomplish your goals and achieve your dreams. You have the power to build positive, productive relationships. The choice is yours – change your thoughts, take positive action and change your world!

Failure Is Impossible

Failure Is Impossible, written by Lynn Sherr, illustrates how one person’s dedication to a single purpose can motivate and inspire others to get involved and make a difference in our world.

Sherr states – I realized that the brightest star of all was Susan B. Anthony. She not only helped create the first women’s movement in this country, she also led it, brilliantly, for more than fifty years. Indeed, it was her tireless dedication to The cause – the drive for the most crucial political right of all, the vote – and her astounding skill at organization that not only changed laws and attitudes, but also helped introduce the entire realm of equal rights to a very reluctant nation.

Neither the first nor the only woman to seek justice, she was by far the best known…She broke every rule that didn’t suit her, charmed almost every reporter who ever met her. And she was smart and funny, as well. Although she died in 1906, fourteen years before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, her last public words – “Failure is impossible” – reflected her unflagging optimism and became a battle cry that inspired the final push for the ballot…

Susan B. Anthony didn’t sit back and wait for people to take interest in what she has to say – she truly inspired them..

Would you like to know some strategies that Miss Anthony used to get cooperation from others to meet her goal?

Sherr writes – Her friend, the Reverend Anna Howard Shaw, revealed the creative approach to mailing out suffrage literature:

She does not wait to be asked for it. She just sends it out in every letter she posts. When she pays her grocer’s bill into the envelope go all the leaflets that one cent will carry. Uncle Sam never makes a fraction of a cent off of Miss Anthony. A letter of congratulations to a mother of a new baby has its freight of suffrage documents. Because if it is a boy, his education on the suffrage question should begin early; if a girl, she should know from the beginning just what she will have to contend with.

So what can we learn from Miss Anthony’s triumph?

  1. Dedicate yourself to your purpose.
  2. Carry an optimistic attitude.
  3. Educate others.
  4. Find creative ways to increase other’s awareness.
  5. Take risks.
  6. Remember the big picture – the end result that will transpire because of your dedication.

Living With Fewer Regrets

Often we fill our minds with thoughts of the things we should be doing. Our vocabulary contains words and phrases such as I should have, if only, and but.

Living with regrets is undoubtedly a clear path to sabotaging the success that we deserve to have in our lives.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ken Braswell, who knows first hand the power that living with fewer regrets creates in one’s life. Ken believes so strongly in the power of living life with fewer regrets that he’s developed a workshop to help people live with few regrets.

Ken has managed to live his live proactively with his priorities in mind at all times, and the payoff has been a true treasure. Ken left the corporate world years ago when the demands required him to travel and work more time than he was willing to spend away from his twelve-year-old son.

Ken decided to start his own business, Braswell & Company, so he could spend his time the way he wanted to – with his son.

Then something unexpected happened. Approximately seven years ago, Ken’s son was killed in an automobile accident. Ken misses his son; however, he doesn’t regret anything. Ken is thankful that he took action and kept his son a priority in his life. The only thing that they had talked about and didn’t get to do was take a trip to Alaska. But other than that, Ken has truly lived his life with few regrets. He feels blessed for the relationship that he was able to have with his son and doesn’t carry a suitcase filled with regrets around with him.

Ken helps others to proactively live their lives with fewer regrets. In his workshop, he asks participants to think about ten relationship categories. Listed below are the categories.

1. Spouse/significant other
2. Self
3. Self respect
4. Spiritual strength
5. Spiritual service
6. Children
7. Parents
8. Family
9. Friends
10. Other people

Next, Ken asks participants to rate each category on a scale from 1 – 10. 10 is when you’re the most satisfied with the relationship.

How do you rate each category? Is there any one you need to call or take out to lunch?

The key is to find out what you need to do, and then take action so you can live with fewer regrets.

Ken’s top priority is to call the people whom he loves often. Instead of ending conversations with good bye, he ends it by saying I love you. He wants to be sure that his loved ones know they are loved.

Ken encourages people to think about what they would do if they knew they only had one hour left to live. Not many people say I have to spend another hour at the office. Most responses that Ken has received deal with relationships.

Think about the action that you need to take in your life so that you live with fewer regrets. Identify your top priority, take action, and repeat the process. Empty your bucket of guilt and regrets. It’s a very rewarding way to live life!

A Positive Thought A Day…

Positive thoughts are a great tool to utilize to ensure that you’ll have a positive and productive day. Positive thoughts help you instantly change your mood and boost your confidence when you focus on them long enough so you feel their energy and emotionally succumb to their influence. They are a true treasure!!

I encourage you to read one of the positive thoughts listed below each day. If you’re having a tough day, read as many as you need to, or read one that really hits home with you several times. The following positive thoughts are meant to help you overcome your obstacles and inspire you to take control of your life.

“I know that life is challenging, but you must know that the joys of life are worth the struggle. The joy of fostering a loving relationship is worth it. The love of a child is worth it. The experience of a wonderful day is worth it. The reward of helping another is worth it. How can people walk away from these gifts of life? Why do they give up so easily, so soon?” Les Brown

“You are not a tree condemned to a small plot while the wind and world abuses you. You can stretch and run and dance and work…” Og Mandino

“It has been demonstrated countless times that difficulty leads people to the greatest things in life, that is, if they have the strength to stand up to difficulty.” Norman Vincent Peale

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.” Les Brown

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” George Bernard Shaw

“Misery may love company, but success throws a better party.” John Fuhrman

“There’s no danger of developing eyestrain from looking on the bright side.” Cher

“Every single person you meet has a sign hanging around his or her neck that says, “Make me feel important.” If you can do that, you’ll be a success not only in business, but in life as well.” Mary Kay Ash

“Nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them.”

“Help enough people get what they want, and you’ll get what you want.” Zig Ziglar

“You can do amazing things if you have strong faith, deep desire, and just hang in there.” Norman Vincent Peale

“Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” Napoleon Hill

“Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” Dr. Karl Menninger

“Everyday in every way I get better and better.” Og Mandino

“Hold your head up high!”

“Do what you know, what you live, what you believe. Doing overcomes fear every time!” Ed Forman

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.” Joseph Fort Newton

“The impossible just takes a little longer.” Art E. Berg

“As long as you can look up, you can get up!” Les Brown

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. It’s only empty heads and empty hearts that do.” Norman Vincent Peale

“The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon – but that we wait so long to begin it.” Richard L. Evans

Reject Me – I Love It

I had the opportunity to interview John Fuhrman, the international best selling author of Reject Me – I Love It!. Here’s a synopsis of our interview.

Julie: How many times can we expect to be rejected in our lifetime?

John: By the time people reach 18, they’ve already been rejected about 150,000 times. And – most 18 year olds survive!

Julie: Why do people fear rejection?

John: When people think over and over in their mind, about a question that they would like to ask someone – they anticipate rejection and build fear. Thoughts about the worst scenarios linger in our minds. We think to ourselves – they don’t like me, they’re not going to accept my proposal, etc. People let fear take over, and then they don’t follow through on their plans because of the fear that has evolved.

Julie: After we’ve been rejected what’s the first thing we should do?

John: First of all, take it for what it is. Realize that most often you’re not personally being rejected. Perhaps it’s your idea or proposal that’s been rejected. It’s important to remove yourself. If your idea or proposal is important to you, figure out what you need to do differently so that it might be accepted. Fine tune it. There aren’t many inventors who got things right the first time. Inventing is a process. Inventors keep going back to the drawing board until they come up with the right idea. If you’re looking for success, the negative responses that you receive along the way won’t stop you from achieving success unless you let them.

Julie: Can rejection contribute to one’s success?

John: Most of the time it does. It allows you see what you need to do differently to make things work.

Julie: Often people get or feel stuck once they’ve been rejected. How can we get unstuck and move on?

John: View rejection as an opportunity to make improvements or changes in your life.

Julie: How do we sabotage our own success?

John: We don’t give ourselves a chance. We sabotage ourselves by thinking negative thoughts and not being optimistic. We talk ourselves out of what we should do in order to become successful.

Julie: How do we find power in being rejected?

John: I think the first thing you have to do is know that you can control rejection. You can’t eliminate it – but you can control it. Review your rejections, and often you will find positive, constructive action you can take to become successful. Often when we’re rejected we receive advice about what we can change so our goal can be achieved. Some people don’t see the possibilities – the need for improvement – they only see the immediate rejection. I got turned down by nearly one hundred publishers until finally one said yes.

Julie: What kept you going when you received rejection after rejection?

John: I wanted to write a book. That was it – that was my goal. I focused on the fact that I only needed one yes to get my book published, so all of the no’s didn’t matter because I was searching for the yes.

Julie: What can we do to stay focused on that one goal day after day so that we don’t give up?

John: Focus on the small steps you need to take to accomplish your goals, and do what it takes to remain passionate.

Julie: Is accepting rejection the same as rejecting failure?

John: Absolutely not. When you accept rejection, you’ll actually begin to look for it because you’ll know the initial idea that you have is not going to be perfect. You’ll know that you need to go out and get some feedback even though it may be in the form of rejection.

When you accept failure, you start to settle. You say to yourself – Well, I guess this is as good as it’s going to get. I don’t want to rock the boat. You can’t fight city hall. It’s a mundane existence at best. There’s a huge difference between the two. Rejection will help you grow. Failure will make you stagnate.

I found out that most people who seek out rejection realize that it is going to help them grow or get to where they’re going. Additionally they know they’re going to get there faster by seeking rejection.