081: One Secret To Overcoming Frustration [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

Have you ever had a frustration keep you from move ahead in life?  How do you overcome that frustration?  There is one secret that can help.

I had a call from my daughter, Maddie.

It was on a Saturday and she started by saying, “Dad, I need the motivation to do my math.”

I asked what was holding her back.  “I just don’t like it!”

She was frustrated.  

Frustration is that feeling of being annoyed or upset, especially when there’s a gap between what you want and the reality of your situation now.  It’s that nagging feeling not of all out anger but of just irritation.  

We all get frustrated at different times for different reasons…

Here is one secret that can help motivate you to push through your frustration and get on the other side.  This especially works when you’re facing a certain task that you don’t want to do and you’ve been putting them off.  

Here’s the secret:  

Envision what it would feel like to hit the goal.  

For Maddie, I asked, “What would it feel like if you finished your math homework?”  

She said, “It’d feel awesome.”  She also had a concert to go to that night and hang out with friends.

Then I pushed into what it would be like to NOT get the math done and go to the concert.  She said, “Like this burden was there.”   

So in doing that, I helped her feel both outcomes.  It gets to motivation and the pain and pleasure principle.  We are either motivated by pain or pleasure.  In asking both of those questions, I used both to motivate her to put in the hard work for an hour so she could be free from the burden of the loony math problems.  

You can use this in your own life.  Whenever you begin to feel those feelings of frustration, simply hit the pause button, envision and feel what it’d be like to have it done and then use that to motivate you to focus and complete the task. 


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080: This Is The Most Important Day Of Your Week! [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

Research shows that there is one day of the week that is the most important if you want to accomplish your goals and feel fulfilled in life.  Do you know what day that is?

On This Episode: (see links below)

What do you think is the most important day of your week?

Some of you would say Sunday.  For those of us who are spiritual type people, historically, at least in American Christianity, Sunday is considered a day of rest for worship and thanking God for his blessings.  

Maybe you said Saturday because it’s your day off, and you are part of the 87% of people who can’t stand their jobs.  Maybe you said Wednesday because the weekend is in sight!  

I have two answers.   

Today is the most important day.  John Maxwell’s book “Today Matters” is a must read!  

Actually, the most important day of your week is Monday!   

You might be thinking, “Monday?  I hate Mondays!”  You shouldn’t.  It’s the most important day of your week productivity wise because this is the day that actually can set the tone for the rest of your week!  Just like the first hour of your day sets the tone for the rest of the 18 hours you’re awake, Monday sets the tone for the week!   Metaphorically, Monday represents the first day of your work week.  So if you have Thursday, Fridays off, the Saturday is the first day of your work week.  So think of it that way. 

If we  can get  our Monday right,  somehow the  rest of the week  just follows.  The results will  speak for  them selves  when time  is taken  to plan  out Monday.  Whatever it  is that  we want  from the week,  it will  be so much easier  to keep  up the  good work  for the  rest of  the week  if the focus  is placed  on making  it happen  on  Monday. 

The benefit of setting up the perfect Monday has many effects.  Here are two of them

First, it creates a success plan for the week and second, it relieves stress and you get more done because you are intentionally setting up your goals for the week.

Getting  Monday right  is one  of the  most motivational  things you can do.    Make a  note of  the things  that you  would like  to do  and achieve each  Monday to  set yourself  up for  a  week of  success.   You might  like to  include diet,  exercise and  ‘me’  time as  well as professional goals  like specific  meetings or  reports that  you need  to complete.   Again,  make sure  that the plan  that you  have created  for your perfect  Monday is  achievable.     When you  are comfortable  with your  plan for  a  perfect  Monday, write it  down and  put it  somewhere where  you will  see it  regularly.   It might  be your  fridge, your diary, your bathroom mirror or all three. Make sure  you commit  to achieving  the goals  that you  have set for yourself  each  Monday  – if you  set yourself  up for  success at the beginning of  the week,  you will  find that  the rest  of the  week follows. 

I’m going to tell you how to set up your Monday which sets up your week tell you my Monday morning routine and then tell you about a cheat sheet that I use every week And actually every day!  

I use 3 apps throughout the day.



Notes app

I start with devotion, prayer writing etc.  

Then I look at my to-do list.  I’m okay if I didn’t get everything done from the week before.  

I organize what day I need to complete those and anything else I want to get done.  I have a whole process for that, just go to the show notes at toddstocker.com.  Download my free productivity cheat sheet.  



068: Goal Setting Using The 6 Human Needs [Podcast] – Todd Stocker.com

2017 is around the corner. Have you written down your new year’s goals yet? What if there was a better way to set goals based on who you are and not what you do? In this episode, learn the foundational structure of human needs from which your goals should flow.

On This Episode:

“Setting goals is the first step in turning invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

Over the years, I’ve done many goal setting systems.  The problem is that most focus only on what you want to DO.

What if 2017 was a year of focusing on who you want to BE not just DO?

According to psychologists, and other researchers, every person has 6 human needs.  The first 4 are needs of your personality.  The last 2 are considered needs of the spirit.

Needs of Personality:

  1. Certainty: Here you are striving to experience comfort and gain certainty in your life in order to minimize the stress of uncertainty.   
  2. Uncertainty: Here you are striving for a little variety and uncertainty in your life in order to relieve boredom, predictability, and stagnation.
  3. Significance: Here you are striving to gain a sense of significance and importance in the eyes of others. Your objective is to create a sense of identity.
  4. Connection/Love: Here you are striving to make deep connections with people. You have a need to love and be loved by others. You also have a need to belong.
  5. Growth: Here you are striving to learn, experience and grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually in a variety of ways throughout your life.
  6. Contribution: Here you are striving to contribute to something greater than yourself. This is all about adding value to other people’s lives.

So in each of these areas, ask the following question and it will give you a deeper insight into real goals that you may need to make for 2017.  

The key question to ask is:

“What would need to happen to make me feel more (insert one of the 6 needs) in (insert an area of your life that you want to make better).

For example, “What would need to happen to make me feel more certain in my relationship with my kids?”


Why Everyone Should See The New Cinderella Movie

Cinderella.001I took my 18-year-old daughter to see Disney’s latest rendition of the classic story, “Cinderella.”  Expecting the theater to be filled with little children and moms, I was surprised to see that most of the audience were adults, men and women alike.  There is a reason for that.  The movie is epic.  The piece is beautiful.  The messages are life changing. Yes, go see it if you haven’t!

Here is why you should see this movie and one of the reasons I’m in love with this latest adaptation.  There is a key phrase that Cinderella’s mother taught her as Cinderella grew up.  The phrase is “Have Courage — Always Be Kind.” [Tweet that.]

Courage is simply the ability to move forward even while facing obstacles and fear.  Most of us give up as a wall of struggle stands between our opportunities and goals.  Most of us are paralyzed when fear grips us and we don’t live the life of our dreams because of it. 

Kindness is the basic ability to respect and love others as ourselves and to treat them as highly valued creations of God.  Simple kindness dressed in the garment of a positive attitude is generally lost with many people.  We don’t see the raw heart of gentleness often enough. The onscreen Cinderella, however, is a perfect example.  

What would it look like if our society lived a life of Courage and Kindness? What if we lived as God would have us live with Courage and Kindness rather than Fear and Pettiness? 

Today, remind yourself that in the face of fear, have Courage.  In a moment of relational stress, be Kind. 



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What Might Be Happening When Your Leader Does Nothing

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 6.54.31 AMI was sitting at a stoplight waiting to turn right – 3rd in line.  The light turned green but the lead car didn’t move.  It just sat there. My brow furrow, thinking that the large SUV driver was on the phone or daydreaming or flipping radio stations.  However, I was more patient than the young man behind him, in front of me, who laid on the horn – first in short blasts, then in long drones.

Still the SUV didn’t move, green light and all.

As I watched and began to fume, from the front of the SUV, a young mom pushing a stroller that held a sleeping 2yr-old came into view, crossing past the SUV and onto the sidewalk.  The honking stopped.  All of us drivers exhaled and we realized that waiting was the smartest thing for the leader to do.  Had the leader charged ahead, tragedy would ensue.

If you’ve been in leadership, you know that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.  You can’t make a decision because you are needing to see what the market is going to do.  You have to wait on moving forward with an initiative because you don’t have the right people in place.  You hold back on saying ‘yes’ to one department because you know that it would decimate the goals of another.

Sometimes leaders have to wait.

The problem comes for those who are following – for those who don’t or can’t see the big picture.  We become upset with our leader and think that they are indecisive, lazy or afraid.  We ‘honk our horns’ in frustration and wonder why he or she won’t approve a spending request.  We become myopic in our quest to further that which has been entrusted to us.

If you’re in that situation, here are three questions to ask yourself if your leader seems to be doing nothing:

  1. Is there something that I’m not seeing that he is?  Maybe there is better option coming into view that I can’t see yet.
  2. If my leader moved forward right now, what other departments or people may be affected?  Maybe approving your venture would slow down or stop the off-shore team that is about to launch into a new area.
  3. What else can I do to cast vision about the importance of my initiative?  Maybe my leader doesn’t know what I need.

Of course there are leaders who are lazy or procrastinate unnecessarily, but unless there’s a pattern, always give them the benefit of the doubt.  In other words, lay off your horn.  

Add to the conversation by making a comment below … 



By the way, here is a video of what could have happened if the SUV when forward:  CLICK HERE.


I’m not sure if it’s my favorite app, but it is one that I use several times per day.  It’s called Wunderlist.  It’s free (of course) and it is a simple to-do list that syncs across all of my screens.  While it is a way for me to organize my day, I’ve found a greater benefit:  I accomplish more while working less.  Let me explain.

Before I started organizing my daily activities, I would gravitate toward accomplishing tasks that I liked to do – writing, researching, reading etc.  Some days this worked fine, ending my day with a small sense that I’ve finished what needed to be done.  Most days, the tyranny of the urgent decimated my hit-or-miss schedule and I’d end up stressed out and overworked.

Once I began thinking in “small-daily-action” terms and dedicated my tasks to Wunderlist, my productivity level skyrocketed as my stress level plummeted.

How do you use Wunderlist (or, another app – Evernote)?  Simply put everything on the list with a due date.  Write notes by each task if you need to but make sure that you create a global list for larger tasks and break them down into smaller chunks using due dates.  Then be diligent about completing the small, daily tasks by the end of the day.  Like me, when you reach the end of your day, you’ll find at least one or two tasks that weren’t all that important and thus, didn’t get accomplished.  Decide if you need to change their due date to tomorrow or take the due date out all together.  Take 5 min. at the beginning and end of your day to organize and you’re set to go!

As it says in Proverbs 6:6,

“Consider the ways of the ant and be wise.” 

Question:  How do you stay organized during your day?  Write a Reply below …


Makenzie’s Misunderstood Bible Verse – Jeremiah 29:11 – Part 2

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Truthfully, this translation is not the best for this verse (see part 1).  Even though millions have it as a life verse, have used it for comfort and have placed it on everything from bumper stickers to coffee mugs, it still doesn’t capture what God is saying.

It’s Makenzie’s life verse as well but there is so much more meaning to it if you dig into the context and the original language.  In context, God has exiled the Israelites to Babylon (which is a whole ‘nother theological discussion).  He tells them to hang out, do what needs to be done, get married, build a life etc.  But at the end of 70 years, He is going to bring them back to their homeland.

The Israelites are ticked, tired and tried.  They need to know that God hasn’t abandoned them or forgotten about them.  They need some encouragement from this God who, in His love, allowed desperate hardship to uproot their entire people group.  And in comes verse 11 of Jeremiah 29:11.  Through a word of encouragement, God says to this beat up nation, “Hey!  Don’t worry.  Hang in there.   For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

God doesn’t have an individual plan for you but more importantly, He has a larger purpose for you (again, see part 1).  And, as the original language points out, God thinks good thoughts about you.  For one, they are thoughts of peace.  It is possible to be in the worst life tragedy or the most frustrating situation and still have peace!  The peace that God gives!  He doesn’t think evil on you either.  Meaning, if you feel like God has allowed destruction in your life, behind the scenes, He is working it into something good (see Romans 8:28).  He also knows what the end of the story looks like in your life and, again, it is good.  It may not be what you expect, but it is good.

Our family is experiencing this good right now.  Coming next month, it will be 3 years since the Lord danced my oldest daughter, Makenzie, to heaven.  It has been extremely hard, much of the time.  It has been a journey that I wish upon no one.  But we are seeing how even in the midst of the struggle, we have had peace.  And it is good.

So go ahead and mark up the T-shirts with Jer. 29:11.  Claim it for your confirmation or life verse.  Tattoo it on your hand.  Whatever.  God has great thoughts and a purpose for your existence.  Live fully, Love God and Laugh from your gut.  Life is worthy of that!


Reading the Book on Alignment

One of the consistent struggles about which I hear leaders talk is alignment.  More specifically, “How do I get my organization to be on the same page and moving in the same direction?”

Greater experts have a gazillion seminars, trick and tips on how to do this, but one of the main keys is to set three goals.  Unfortunately, the strategies, objectives and tactics need to be surmised by you and your team, but here is a mental picture that has helped me.

1)  When I think of aligning the organization/church, my first thought goes to my staff (or those who report directly).  The goal here is to make sure they are all on the same page and moving forward.  Daily conversations, meetings, evaluations and encouragements that focus on the movement toward the vision are essential.

2)  The second goal is to encourage the organization/church’s leaders to be on the same chapter of the page in which your staff is operating.  Whether it’s your Board of Directors or the Church Council, operational updates, stories and reviews are examples of “chapter synergy” that you need to strive for to keep your leadership moving toward the realization of the vision.

3)  The third goal is the make sure the total organization/church is in the same book!  I know this sounds weird, but so many organization/church leaders think everyone knows why the organization/church exists but are surprised when they hear comments that don’t describe the organization/church at all!  As clear and often as you can, you need to communicate to the greater constituents/congregants who we are, what we are about and how we are moving toward the vision.

Remember – Staff on the same page, Leaders on the same chapter and the Global Organization/Church in the same book!


How to Beat Distractions

One of the greatest stories of leadership is in the Bible, the book of Nehemiah.  The story chronicles Nehemiah’s vision and mission of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Deluged with enemy attacks and coercion, Nehemiah had to trust his gut and his God and keep focused on the task at hand.

One distraction came when some of Nehemiah’s enemies found out how well he was doing and tried to get him to leave his mission to meet with them.  Nehemiah told them something that all of us who call ourselves leaders should repeat daily.  He said, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”

How many times a day do we get distracted and unfocused from that which we are called to do?  How many times do opportunities present themselves but they do not fit with your own personal or organizational mission?  Stay focused on that which you feel call to do and you’ll complete that for which you are wired.  When you feel distracted, remind yourself like Nehemiah did, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”


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(For a complete message on this topic go to “THIS ONE THING”)

Making the Impossible Possible

I can easily get overwhelmed with all of the ideas that pop into my head.  Without prioritizing and setting goals, accomplishing even a fraction of them would be impossible.

The habit of setting Goals is so important.  Earl Nightingale said, “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” Do you know where you’re going?  Are there projects or milestones that you’d like to conquer this new year?  Knowing how to set goals can help 2012 be one of the best years of your life.

To review from last weeks post, here is a seven step way to set goals:
1 – Decide what you want.
2 – Write it down.
3 – Set a deadline.
4 – Brainstorm a list of everything you can think of that you could do to accomplish this.
5 – Organize the list by sequence and priority.
6 – Do something.
7 – Do something everyday.

Now, list 10 goals for this year and ask yourself, “If I could only achieve one goal, which one would have the greatest impact on my life?”  Once you’ve answered that, focus on that one with high intensity.  You can still work on the other goals, but keep the number one the number one.

For me, I have goals in 7 areas of life:  FINANCE, HEALTH, PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, FAMILY, SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL, and CAREER. Not all of them are drastic.  Some of them are crucial.  Taking the above process, here’s how I’m working on one of my goals:

One of my important goals is to finish a long-awaited book project called, “Refined – Turning Pain into Purpose.” Using Brian Tracy’s 7 steps, here’s how it’s all working out:

1 – Decide what you want. – I want to complete “Refined – Turning Pain into Purpose.”
2 – Write it down. – I have a goal worksheet that I use on which this project is listed.
3 – Set a deadline. – Publishing date:  March 30.
4 – Brainstorm a list of everything you can think of that you could do to accomplish this. – Actually, I’ve brainstormed how to keep distractions at bay which frees me up to finish the project.
5 – Organize the list by sequence and priority. – I’m writing chapter by chapter and then editing.  Chapter completion dates: I have 5 chapters left to write so my dates are.  Jan 13, 20, 27, Feb 3, 10.  Editing process completed by Feb. 24. Pre-publishing completed by Mar. 24.
6 – Do something. – 5:30 – 7 am is my daily writing time with some late after noons if possible.
7 – Do something everyday.

Let me know if this is helpful!


(BTW, If you’d like me to email you when “Refined” is available, email me here.)

2012 – I Resolve to Set Goals

“This year’s going to be different.”  Famous last words of many a would be achiever, myself included.  Every January, I endeavor to set out resolutions that are, in theory, suppose to drive me achieve and better myself in some way.  However, I’m part of the statistics that show I’ll have failed in my resolution by the end of January.

This year is a bit different.  This year, I’m resolving to set goals.  Resolutions depend on willpower.  Goals are marked by steps.  Resolutions are all or nothing.  Goals ebb and flow with the rhythms of life.  Resolutions end up as another contribution to the trash basket of failure.  Goals end up changing your life one step at a time.  Brian Tracy said, “Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”

So how does one set goals and ultimately achieve them? The next blogs will lay out a simple way of setting and achieving goals.  So check back soon.