Archive

Author Archive

What you resist – persists

August 27th, 2014 No comments

I'm sure you've heard this phrase – what you resists persists. Exactly what does this mean and how does it impact the quality of our future and life in general?

Resistance – something that is a source of opposition to the flow of energy. In psychology – the process by which the ego keeps repressed thoughts and feelings from the conscious mind.

My definition – when we oppose, confront, struggle with or are in denial of what is – truth or reality.

Here are my thoughts.

The mind is in control of our life. It is filled with myths, misrepresentations, old inappropriate information, lies and yes truth, experience and reality.

But the question remains, when confronted with circumstances, people or events that you are uncomfortable with, don't like, disagree with or are afraid of how do you react? What are your emotional responses? What do you think? What do you do? This is the real issue – what does your mind default to in these situations – courage, confidence, hope, acceptance, trust, faith or action or fear, anger, doubt, resentment, worry, stress and anxiety?

Another question is – do you have any control over which reaction you have? Let's take the first one first – what does your mind default to?

First of all, we tend to resist what we are uncomfortable with, can't control, are unaware of or disagree with. And why? For starters our mind can have two reactions to everything in life – come from a fear position – flight, fight or flee perspective or from a love position – joy, peace, confidence, belief, hope and faith. Due to our biological historical makeup and human evolutionary history the average person initially always comes from the fear perspective first. This is our tendency and our heritage.

What you believe determines how you perceive people and circumstances. How you perceive these, determines your actions, decisions and behavior. These actions contribute to your consequences and outcomes.

Do you have control over your response or reaction?

Emotions are the primary contributors to our reactions and responses. We can choose to respond with fear emotions (and there are many) or with love (not romantic love) emotions. These we have control over but the ability to control emotions requires a number of factors such as; discipline, confidence, acceptance, courage and self-control. When we let our emotions drive our responses we are literally turning the control of our life over to these outside circumstances. I know that most people have what they feel are legitimate excuses for their behavior but in the end even these excuses are grounded in our emotional body.

Until we learn to let our desires, dreams, hopes and experience determine our responses to circumstances we will always tend to make things worse due to our lack of perceived control.

So, the answer to this question above is – Yes, but it takes consistent conscious awareness and presence to accomplish this.

How do we do this?

There are many ways to accomplish the above but keep in mind that it takes; patience, persistence, awareness, the desire to change, the willingness to change and mature actions. Here are a few things to consider to accomplish your desired changes.

Anchors and triggers – An anchor or trigger can be any approach you use as a reminder to think or act in a certain way. It can be an affirmation- verbal or illustration; it can be a sentence you repeat when something happens.

For example one of mine is – whenever I drop something I have trained myself to use that as a trigger to repeat one of my affirmations. It can be anything that keeps you focused on how you want to feel or act no matter what is going on around you.

Evaluation – A careful and honest self-evaluation is essential if you want to change anything. You need to ask yourself questions like; why am I here? How did I get here? Why do I always act this way? Is this the way I want to act? Why do I let others behavior influence me? Etc.

Meditation – Mediation is simply quieting the mind for short periods of time and just listening – to your inner voice, your spirit, your experience etc. This is also an excellent way to manage stress.

Prayer – I won't go into detail on this as there are numerous books available on why pray, how to pray, when to pray etc. I suggest you read a few of them – regardless of your spiritual inclinations.

Therapy – This can be an excellent way to get in touch with some or all of the causes of thoughts, mindsets, attitudes, behaviors and feelings. A word of caution however, if you are not willing to be honest during this process – don't waste your time or money.

Focus – Focus is the single best way to create a moment by moment personal environment that is productive, peaceful and leaves you with few regrets and disappointment. Focus isn't easy as we live in a very distracting world but in the end if you can learn to keep your focus on what really matters you will be amazed at how much more effective you will be and how little what is going on around you controls you.

Learning – Keep learning. Keep reading. Keep growing. Keep adapting. Use change as a positive motivator but don't let it change you in negative ways.

There are many more approaches, I have just shared a few of the more common ones but any one of them can move you in the right direction if you do them consistently and routinely.

"Four steps to achievement: plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently."

William Ward

 

In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Detour Ahead

August 23rd, 2014 No comments

You're headed to an important meeting and running a bit late and up ahead you see a sign that says – DETOUR AHEAD. You're first thought is Oh crap; I am going to be late. Ever been in that situation or something similar? We all have at one time or another – maybe not a meeting, but something important that we need to be on time for or accomplish on schedule. What are the options?

 

Drive right on through the detour hoping that the road doesn't end badly causing us to have to turn around and go back towards our original starting point – wasting even more time.

 

Follow the detour hoping it won't add too much more time to our trip causing us to be late.

 

Just sit there wondering what to do.

 

Forget it; I didn't want to take this trip anyway. They can run this meeting without me . . .

 

What are the consequences of all four and what should our decision be? But first – what does this have to do with life in general and how we move from day to day through the uncertainty, disappointment, failure and fears that plague so many people every minute of every day and have a negative impact on their success, happiness and circumstances?

 

Think about it for a moment – facing a detour now in your life? If so, welcome to Life 101. Every day we all face detours whether – career, business, relationships, financial, health or just living from day to day. But, in the end our options are the same as the four above.

 

Option one: Drive right on through the detour hoping that the road doesn't end badly causing us to have to turn around and go back towards our original starting point.

 

Ever done this? Hoping that all would end well? I know I have, letting my impatience or need for control to just ignore the warning sign. Ever charged ahead through a situation in life where the warning signs were clear and evident hoping you could master or overcome the ruts or blocks you faced because of your will, talent, experience or courage?  

 

And the consequences were???

 

Wasted time? Stress? Frustration? Disappointment? Anger? Regret? See the analogy here? No? OK, here's an example.

 

Ever decided to start a new career position or new business, but the signs were very clear to not take the next step or hold on patiently waiting for something better, but you took it anyway – timing isn't right, not in your best interests, it's just a temporary desire, I have no other better choices, it doesn't feel right, I'm getting, pain in my gut, council from others you trust is against taking the step etc.

 

And the outcome was; continued pain and struggle, more disappointment etc. I'm sure you are getting this so I won't belabor the point further.

 

Option Two: Take the detour hoping it won't add more time to the trip causing us to be late.

 

OK, so you are not a rule breaker and followed the sign's instruction and direction. But, you kept stressing about whether it would cause you to be late taking your focus off your driving and suddenly you recognize that you are lost. Need an example?

 

You are in a stressful relationship (work or personal) that's getting worse each day and you decide that you have to follow the rules and do what you are told and all the while gradually losing your self-esteem, confidence and inner peace while you keep wondering and waiting – filled with stress – should I stay in the relationship or leave?  

 

You decide to stick with it because that's what the signs tell you to do – follow the detour and hope.

 

How is that working? Stress going away? Disappointment getting less? Feeling good about yourself?

 

Option Three: just sit there wondering what to do.

 

Waiting and hoping it all gets better without any positive or disciplined action or effort. Ever done that? I have and every time I did, looking back, I always asked myself – why, why didn't I do something, anything. Waiting without some form of strategy, action plan or simple behavior change is not the best way to handle any uncertainty, adversity or challenge. Yes, you want to take the right action and/or do the best you can, but doing nothing until things improve or change for the better, isn't a wise or mature approach

 

Option Four: Forget it; I didn't want to take this trip anyway.

 

Well, all righty-then, just give up and throw in the towel. Sounds like an effective way to live life, wouldn't you say? Life isn't easy and never will be. It is and always will be filled with adversity, problems, challenges, failure and any number of negative or fearful; emotions but the answer in my opinion should never be to quit without adequate evaluation, planning, effort and patience – regardless of the circumstances or challenges or possible outcomes . . . you never know!!!  However this doesn't mean that from time to time it may be time to declare an ending and move on – can often be a tough choice. 

 

So what's the right approach or answer?

 

Next time you face a detour (challenge, problem, adversity) in life – just consider your options and their potential consequences and then act in a mature, timely and confident way. What other choice to do you have? Well, you can default back to options one through three above.

 

"I know we will continue to make strides.

Call this a detour, if you will."

Wolverton

 

 In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The best way to save time and resources and achieve success faster

August 15th, 2014 No comments

If you could achieve success faster and easier would you be interested?

When I have asked this question of my audiences I get a variety of answers;

It depends. What will it cost? How much time will it take. Etc. Etc.

So let me ask you – If you could achieve success faster and easier would you be interested?

What’s your answer?

Over the years I have belonged to several MasterMind groups and I have to tell you after reading over 100 books a year for years, attending numerous self-help seminars and paying a number of personal coaches that the single best use of my time and resources to accelerate my success journey was belonging to a MasterMind Group.

And why?

You get to learn from other people’s experience (OPE). Learning from other people who have arrived where you are heading can save you time, mistakes and wasted effort and yes a lot of money. You can learn from people who have done what you want to do and you can do all of this with very little time and few resources.

Anyone who I have ever met in my global speaking travels that was successful and satisfied with their success have all said the same the same thing to me – “the best investment I have ever made in both time and money was belonging to a MasterMind Group.”

Having served a few hundred clients in the MH Housing industry for over 20 years I decided that there is a great deal of expertise and experience in this industry that is being wasted that others could benefit from. Why keep banging your head against the wall trying to increase sales? Why stay stuck in management techniques that just are not working? Why struggle when you could be learning from other industry pros?\

ani-tim-connor-mh-mastermind-group

Hundreds of companies in this industry have failed during the past ten years and the sad fact is that they didn’t need to. The reason, they failed to learn from OPE.

If you want faster success, market share, increased sales growth and benefit from proven management and leadership experienced folks – we urge you to join the MH Inner Circle. Learn more at this link here. ##

In His Service,
Tim Connor

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Walk Don’t Run

July 23rd, 2014 No comments

If you are over fifty years old I'm sure you are familiar with that old song, Walk Don't Run. If not, no problem just keep reading.

Far too many people are rushing through life and heading nowhere. Whether it's behind the wheel, rushing through meetings or the lack of patience when it comes to life's everyday circumstances.

If you are a walker and not a jogger you get it – It's not where you are headed, but the value of getting exercise as well as enjoying the trip. No disrespect intended to joggers – it's just that when we are only focused on or concerned about the destination we often lose the value of the present moments and all they have to offer us.

I am not really concerned here whether you walk or jog, but how are you going through life – walking or running!!!

Let me give you an example that you might relate to.

I'm reminded of one of my all time favorite songs, Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin. Again if you are under fifty you might not be aware of these poignant lyrics. Every time I listen to the words, tears flood my eyes as memories of long ago come rushing back into my mind.

We are each given a certain number of days and years to live and no one knows how many they will get so in the end all we can do is live each of them to the best of our ability. This doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy our memories or have plans and goals for the future, but in the end, memories are just that – something that happened in the past that we can't relive, re-experience or change and there are no guarantees that our future plans will ever be realized.

Walking simply means slowing down your pace regardless of the activity; a family vacation, the pursuit of an education or new career or in my case writing this article. To rush things (this article in particular) would tend to reduce its value or meaning for you (that could be your interpretation no matter how long or how quickly I write it). But over the years I have learned that often a slower pace improves the outcomes or the results as I bring more contemplation and patience to the process whether writing a new book, a short article, speaking in front of an audience or just enjoying another day.

Why do we run rather than walk through life? Is it the desire for more, better, shorter, faster or some other emotional or intellectual reasons?

Why do we sacrifice the blessings of our now moments hoping that in the end if we run rather than walk we will get to experience more?

The answers could be and most likely are complicated and will depend on each person's lifestyle, age, circumstances and goals, but in the end losing the joy of our present moments no matter what we are doing – working, playing, relaxing or even praying is a sacrifice we will one day regret.

Let's look back on the time that has passed already during this year regardless of number of days or weeks that have passed.

Did you miss spending quality time with loved ones?

Did you lose focus on an important task due to your "rush" mindset?

Do you have any regrets at all – minor or major?

When you think about yesterday (or yesterdays) do you smile or feel stress, disappointment or sadness?

Have you spent the right amount of time on your plans or goals for the future?

Do you wish your days were longer or didn't pass so quickly?

I could go on and on with these questions, but I'll leave you with one;

When you evaluate or contemplate your life to date are you satisfied and content or is something missing? Or, are you running rather than walking through life hoping to achieve rather than live?

"Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains."
W. Penn

In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Leadership is NOT a title or position BUT . . .

July 9th, 2014 No comments

As we in America just celebrated our 237th birthday I thought I would share my thoughts on leadership. 

According to a variety of resources there are over 350 definitions of leadership. Before I begin – I want to state what I feel should be obvious but often isn't – that leadership is not a position or title but a mindset. The receptionist can have a leadership mindset about his or her roles and responsibilities or they can just wait to be told what to do and when and how. The CEO can have a leadership mindset or stay in a reactionary mode waiting for things to change or get better. Leadership is about leading not waiting. Yes, leadership can have management responsibilities, but real leadership is about a personal vision to excel regardless of roles or responsibilities. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to leading as a function of your position – whatever it is;

Purpose - The purpose of any organization is to serve others. Yes, if it's a corporation or business it needs to be profitable, but if in the end it doesn't positively and effectively serve its members, customers or partners it will eventually fail. The purpose of every employee is to in some way contribute to this ultimate and higher purpose. If employees put the agendas or motives of their department or themselves above this higher purpose they are doing the organization and the people or organizations it serves a disservice.

Responsibility - You are responsible to people not for them. This simple concept applies to all relationships – customers, employees, friends and family. Essentially it means that you are responsible to offer or give – kindness, understanding, compassion, love, friendship, support, direction, guidance etc., however you are not responsible for what people do, how they react or their decisions or behavior. In a leadership role, again regardless of your position or title, you are responsible for bringing your opinions, suggestions, guidance etc. to the other person, but it is their responsibility to either use or accept these or not. You are not responsible for the actions, behaviors or attitudes of others or the consequences of these.

Cooperation - A cooperative mindset does not mean that you should forfeit your values, beliefs or philosophy, keeping in mind that yours are not necessarily better or worse than someone else's (they are just different) just to create an environment of cooperation, however it does imply that you are willing and open to change or the acceptance of new or different ideas or approaches. Conflict generally occurs when people are stuck in their personal views or opinions with the irrational belief that they are right and others are wrong.

Connection - Humanity is about relationships. I have previously written about the pitfalls of overuse of technology in other Boosters so I won't belabor that point again. But, keep in mind that when a human connection is not established and maintained that is grounded in mutual goals, desires, needs and understanding eventually they will fail to meet the expectations of one or all of the participants leading to conflict, disappointment and often failure. When employees in an organization fail to maintain positive connections with the people they work closely with or even people that they are only involved with periodically – results will tend to suffer.

Vision - Life is about vision – for oneself, a relationship, a higher purpose or an organization. If people fail to see beyond their present challenges, circumstances, successes or even failures they will tend to remain stuck in mindsets that will limit what can me manifested and developed in the future. The role of every employee is to bring vision to their roles and responsibilities from the Janitor to the CEO.

Compassion - No one is immune in life to troubles, adversity, challenges or failure. Sooner or later we must all face the realities of life with all its successes, achievements and yes disappointments and frustrations. Whether you are the President or the Mail Clerk you have or will have to deal with different circumstances that you don't like or even wish would not enter your life. What everyone needs during times of adversity or challenge is a caring attitude from others whether people they work with side by side every day or only interact with from time to time. I'm not suggesting that we should all air our dirty linen and personal situations with others, but from time to time just a listening ear would go a long way when someone is in pain or struggle.

Integrity - Words are words and actions are actions. The question in every relationship is always "Can I trust your words?" One of the major issues when it comes to communication  integrity, regardless of the relationship is trust and truth. If either or both are missing in any relationship sooner or later someone is going to be set up. If employees for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to always come from a position of personal truth and/or trust (not necessarily their opinion or interpretation of an event or circumstance) sooner or later an employee, customer or member will be misled, disappointed or at a minimum frustrated. It is the responsibility of every employee to always come from a position of truth no matter how it might be perceived or heard from people either higher or lower on the organization food chain.

Communication - Communication is the common denominator that connects all humans regardless of their connections, length or the purpose or parameters of their relationship. Communication is not about sharing information, but in sharing understanding. When we believe that effective communication is when you have given all of the facts or details that another person needs, we are kidding ourselves when it comes to the purpose of real communication. Communication is a complicated issue when it comes to human behavior as there are so many factors that contribute to the integrity of shared messages or information, but in the end it is a two way process. If only one person in an exchange 'gets it' then positive communication has not taken place.

Yes, there are many others, but if you practice these in a timely, effective, consistent and appropriate way, you will be amazed at the results you can achieve when it comes to the relationship between you and your roles and your relationships with others.

If your organization is dealing with current or future potential leadership challenges, give me a call and we can discuss how I can tailor a presentation that will help you address these in a proactive and effective way.

"Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person by person. "
Mother Teresa

In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The benefits of quiet time

June 20th, 2014 No comments

We live in a stressful and rapidly changing world, one we do our best to keep up with, but with the increasing pace of technology, continued future uncertainty and an exploding global marketplace it is critical that we find time to de-stress, relax and just slow our pace down even if  for only a few minutes each day. If we fail to achieve the ability to step back away from the chaos from time to time we will only add greater stress to our life with increased negative mental and often physical consequences.

Why is it that everyone rushes through their days – even weekends or time off from their career or business? Why do so many drivers speed toward their destination when all they do is then speed through their next activity and the next and the next?

I can't tell you how many people pass me on the highway (and I'm going five miles per hour over the speed limit) or cut me off every day just to get somewhere they are going five minutes earlier or faster and for what? 

I can't tell you how many people get annoyed when they have to wait in line for a few minutes or on hold on the telephone or when someone doesn't respond to their text or email immediately.

Is everyone so obsessed with their own importance, own schedule or the apparent lack of respect or compassion for others as they too are just trying to get through their day with as little drama or disruptions as they can?

I watch people; leave church on Sunday morning in a hurry, people who rush through a family dining out meal or getting upset because life is not happening according to their agenda or schedule or expectations.

I watch as couples spend a great deal of time on their cell phones while out for an apparent romantic dinner or lunch together.

I could go on with dozens of examples like this, but back to the main point of this article. Do you have time or take time for quiet time during your day or even your week?

I'll wager that the answer for most of you is – NO.

The mind and body need down time and I'm not talking about sleeping time, but just time to chill, relax (no TV, No cell phone, No I Pad etc) and slow down the rapid pace of life.

Here's a thought for you – no matter how fast you move or how much you do – there will always be something more to do and in the end when you die there will be more stuff in your in-basket or on your plate or bucket list that will never get done or accomplished.

In contrast – with some routine quiet time you may find that you ultimately enjoy your life and present moments more while not constantly focused on the future or the past. We are all going to die. And none of us are going to do everything we wanted to do while we were here. There will always be; words left unsaid, regrets, goals not achieved or any number of actions not taken.

Quiet time – turning life off for a brief time each day can do wonders for your inner peace and ultimate joy and happiness and your health. No worry, no stress, no thoughts about tomorrow and no concerns about yesterday. Just shutting the outside world off and letting your active mind, spirit and body feel calm and serene.

I know people who have tried this relaxing down time or quiet times and even rush through this activity – so they can check this off their daily to do list as fast as possible. Guilty? I know I have been in the past.

Quiet time can give you better; solutions to your challenges, a more creative way to accomplish tasks and just give your inner self time to re-group.

Even if it's only a few minutes each and every day is better than nothing. But, I can guarantee that if you will form the habit of taking ten to twenty minutes a minimum of once a day to chill, relax and be still you will be amazed at the energy you will create for when it's time to – get back into the fray.

"Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace,  
like a clock during a thunderstorm."

Robert L Stephenson

In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Brain clutter

June 13th, 2014 No comments

The human brain is the most miraculous organ in the history of living things on the earth. I won't go into great detail other than to say that yours works non-stop every second of every day and its feats and tasks are truly miracles. It works for us constantly – however having said this it also can be our biggest enemy when it comes to trying to achieve success, happiness and inner peace. As you read on, please keep in mind that the brain does not judge, decide what should be stored, what should be let go of or selectively remembered or forgotten. Throughout your entire life history it has stored every emotion, thought, action, memory, behavior, decision etc. in its billions of brain cells.

In other words when you start thinking negative thoughts like fear, worry, regrets etc. it doesn't prevent you from letting these thoughts determine the quality of your life. The brain's function is simply to store, remember, react and control all of your bodily functions without your intervention or concern.

So, if something stresses you out – the brain will send appropriate messages to your various organs instructing them to respond accordingly. You don't have to give your brain moment by moment guidance, however you can control some of what gets stored in your brain based on what and who you are exposed to.

I call this stuff "brain clutter'. Let me explain.

Every second in the brain there are hundreds of millions of brain cell interactions and communications and all of these are automatic. Ever been thinking about something and suddenly a new thought enters your active consciousness? Ever been driving to work and thinking about the day ahead and your thoughts change to something that happened yesterday or you hope will or won't happen later during the day? Of course you have, it happens thousands of times a day. Your mental attention is taken temporarily away from what you were thinking about to something else – either positive or negative.

This is brain clutter – you are trying to focus – during prayer, attending a meeting, relaxing, watching your favorite TV show or movie or a thousand other activities and your attention changes to something else. What causes this and why now and why on this particular topic?

I could go into a very long description of this process, but I'm sure you would be bored before I finished, so let me keep it brief. Think of this process as similar to downloading emails or information into your computer.

As the download begins you begin some other task on your computer. This doesn't affect the download process, it just continues without your conscious attention. Suddenly your computer alerts you that one of the emails has a virus and stops working or alerts you with a popup message. You now have to give the download your active attention to take some action. Or, you can just let the download continue as you work on your other task.

You are thinking about a happy memory and suddenly a fearful thought fills your mind. Or, you hear a song, smell a fragrance or see a picture from the past or it could be someone who resembles someone from your past. Your mind searches for the similar conditions and then brings whatever was the situation in the past into the present – impacting your focus.

I am sure you have met someone who resembled someone from your past. This simple observation will trigger thoughts, whether positive, negative, happy or fearful from the past and bring them into the present. It doesn't matter if this person was in your life days ago or if the event happened over thirty years ago. The mind remembers everything and constantly searches in its storage facility (over three billion cells) for anything that might be relevant to your current situation.

If you have ever had an automobile accident in the past and someone cuts you off on the highway today and almost causes a wreck, your mind will tend to relive those past fears from the previous situation and bring them into the present moment as if they happened just a few seconds ago.

OK, enough of the explanation. What can we do to control our brain clutter and its impact on our present thoughts? By the way if you want to read a great book about this very topic I highly recommend Michael Singer's book, The Untethered Soul.

Avoiding or controlling brain clutter takes, time, effort, discipline and often courage, but in the end if you can master this brain process or control – you will be amazed at how your present moments will change and you will live with greater peace, calm, joy and happiness.

Here are a few things you can do to address this challenge.

1) Surround yourself with the right people – that encourage, validate,

support you or believe in you.

2)Develop and repeat phrases like – let the future and the past go.

3)Learn to keep your focus on only what is happening now.

4)See your world – all of it – now – pay attention to your surroundings.

5)Let go of regrets.

6)Live as if each day was your last day on earth.

7)Constantly say thank you for everything in your life.

8)Don't let other people or circumstances determine your joy, peace or happiness.

9)Don't let other people's baggage become your destiny.

There is so much more – Read Dan Baker's book, What Happy People Know. or Ryan's book – The Power of Patience. If you want a copy of my recommended reading list shoot me an email.

Let the inner work begin!

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
Mark Twain

In His Service,
Tim Connor

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Is it the journey or the destination?

June 4th, 2014 No comments

As we travel through life we all follow many paths – some lead to success, happiness, health and enduring relationships while others can lead to ruin, pain, regret, grief and disappointment. We all take the paths that our inner guidance system, experience and circumstances nudge us along as we take this very personal journey.

Too often as we travel day by day many of us fail to admit or are even aware of the consequences, outcomes and the potential destination of each path.

Like you, I have traveled many routes; some have led to success while others, as I look back have ended badly. I am not suggesting that these negative paths don't bring with them the potential for growth, learning and maturity, but the bigger question remains – could we have achieved these same benefits if we had traveled more productive or wiser paths rather than the ones that often led to destruction whether short or long term?

I would like to share with you what I believe are twelve of the important things to consider as you travel on your paths into the future so you can look back with satisfaction, peace, joy and a sense of fulfillment.

1)Be honest with yourself – We are all flawed in some way – we are human. Some of these are insignificant issues that don't have a serious negative impact on our life while others can send us down a path of self-destruction. I have known many people during my life who were unable or unwilling to admit or confront some of their traits or behaviors that were contributing to increased stress, anxiety and often regret. Why is this? Why are we unable to see ourselves clearly – acknowledging traits or tendencies that do not add to the quality of our life, but steal valuable years or joy and happiness?

Being honest with yourself takes courage, maturity, honesty and often humility, but in the end if we can come to grips with things that are hurting our present or future that need to change and then change them – we will – in the end, gain self-love, confidence and inner peace. We will always be flawed in some way, we are not perfect humans, but this doesn't mean we can't take actions to move in the right direction in life – in other words follow the right or best path rather than the wrong or worst one.

2)Be honest with others – Integrity – one hundred percent of the time -regardless of a person's circumstances for many people is impossible and for most of us variable. Truth often hurts, but in my experience the pain of truth is nothing compared to the pain of delayed truth with lies, misrepresentation or misleading actions. The pain of living with untruth will always be more costly than the pain of being honest. I know that this is not always possible given various circumstances and the behavior of others, but in the end we have a choice – are we going to let others potential reactions to us or potential circumstances determine our integrity or are we going to find the courage and compassion to always tell our truth? Notice I said OUR truth.

Our truth is dependent on our views, mindsets, attitudes, beliefs and circumstances, but THE truth is not a variable. What we often do is adjust our version of truth to avoid conflict, hurting others feelings or avoiding present pain or stress.

In the end, being honest with others is always the best policy, a principle that is losing ground in today's political correctness way of life.

3)Keep asking – If you want better outcomes and answers you have to keep asking yourself better questions. If you are unwilling to confront your inner weaknesses with clarity and integrity it's doubtful you will ever make the changes necessary to achieve better or different results.

4)Know your passion – Too many people settle in life driven by temporary and unsatisfying activities. They are asleep. For whatever reason they are afraid to follow their dreams or passions whether a hobby, career, relationship or business venture. When we lack true inner passion to accomplish something, anything – we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and regrets. If there is something inside you that yearns for you to do, what are you waiting for? Excuses in the long term will leave you feeling empty and discontented.

5)Trust God – Many people say they trust God and have faith in His actions; possible miracles and responses to prayer, but most of these folks are only spouting words hoping to satisfy their need to feel that they are doing enough. Real trust equals faith and real faith equals trust. Without living both moment by moment you will always feel let down as things didn't turn out the way you wanted. You may blame, point your finger or even scream – God – why me, why now, why not etc. but in the end we are all on God's schedule and the sooner we live day by day with this faith and trust we will never find inner peace and joy.

6)Keep learning and growing – I'll keep this one short – Are you learning and growing every day? Reading, studying or some other form of self-development? If not, you have no right to expect better outcomes in the future. Period.

7)Confront your fears – The single biggest issue and challenge when it comes to following the right path in life is learning to overcome or at least manage your inner fears that can prevent you from finding the confidence, courage or ability to achieve your dreams. Too many people let their fears get in the way of their happiness, success and joy. When fear masters or controls your life and its decisions, actions and beliefs – this is a recipe for self-destruction in either major or minor ways. There should be no loss of self-respect when you fail unless you have attached your value as a person to your success and achievements or the opinions of others.

The only way to avoid failure and mistakes is to do nothing. Whenever we try; something new, something different or something better we will always have to deal with potential disappointment, unrealized expectations or downright disaster, but we don't have to let these outcomes define us.

8)Pay attention to your thoughts – Everything that happens in your life are the results of your thoughts. I'm not saying that things you can't control like the weather or other people's actions, but feelings, decisions, actions and behavior are ultimately the result of your thoughts or thought patterns or what I call your mind map. If you want to change anything – you have to change your thoughts first. If you feel afraid – ask yourself why? If you have lost your confidence, passion or belief in something ask yourself, why? If you are feeling a negative emotion, ask yourself, why? If you have lost trust in yourself or others, ask yourself, why?

9)Be willing to change – Change is constant and relentless. Everything changes sooner or later. People who refuse to accept change as a normal part of everyday life live with constant fear, frustration and stress. We can't stop change. We can't slow change down. We can't accelerate change. All we can do is make it our life partner or resist it to our peril.

10) Leave a positive legacy – Your legacy is built every day of your life – it is not something that is suddenly created during you last years or even days. You can leave a legacy of love or fear and your choice will determine how you are remembered. Leaving a positive legacy requires a few simple attitudes; the desire to serve others, the ability to contribute to people's lives in a compassionate, understanding and loving way, the ability to let go of arrogance and self-importance and living a life that you will look back in the end and say – I did my best, I put others needs ahead of my own and I fought the good fight with integrity and love in my heart.

11) Learn to love – Love is the foundation for all positive relationships whether with your family, friends, customers, fellow employees and even total strangers. I'm not talking here about romantic love, but the simple concepts of respect, compassion and empathy. If you are not living your life from a love perspective then you are living it from a fear orientation with emotions or attitudes like; envy, greed, selfishness, jealousy, anger, hatred, distrust etc. You can't have it both ways – it's living one way or the other.

12) Say thank you often – Gratitude and appreciation are the foundation for all of life's continued blessings. Just learn to say thank you no matter what comes into your life. I know this is not always easy, but again we have a choice – feel gratitude or resentment and appreciation or disapproval.

As we travel our very personal paths through life – where they lead is totally in our hands. You can blame others, circumstances, God or even yourself, but in the end our decisions, beliefs, behaviors, choices, actions and values determine where the paths will lead and how they will end.

"We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand
disguises on the path of life."

Carl Jung

In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Rock the boat

May 28th, 2014 No comments

You don't have to be a sailor or even like the water to get my analogy here, I just love the concept.

One of the major contributors to organizations not achieving their full growth and profit agendas is simply because many employees just continue to go along with policies, procedures, products and services that have lost their relevance in today's world or for some reason they are no longer working.  

Having been an employee for many years prior to launching my speaking career I can tell you there were times when I wanted to scream at management "you just don't get it", but I held back for fear of losing my job while I was raising three kids.

So from the beginning I get it – play it safe and as long as you don't rock the boat your career or position is safe. Well, maybe yes and maybe no!

If an organization and I don't care what type; a corporation, small business, association, government agency, church or school system is out of touch with reality sooner or later they will fail if it doesn't take appropriate corrective action(s). This doesn't always have to come from senior management staff. During my speaking career having worked with hundreds of organizations around the globe I can tell you that more often than not there is more wisdom at the lower levels of the organization than at the top.  

Yes, there are exceptions, but the question is – is your organization's future in jeopardy because it is causing employees to keep quiet when they have better or more creative ideas or solutions or just better common sense when it comes to organizational performance and effectiveness?

If you are an employee reading this I am confident you are nodding – right-on – and if you are in senior management – if you are dismissing the rest of this article it may be because you are in denial and unwilling to face the simple fact that your management style or corporate culture may be counterproductive and directly or indirectly contributing to your current circumstances that are in some way contributing to the lack of growth or profitability.

Rock the boat – can have many meanings or applications and I would like to share just a few of the ways to do this, but I caution you – there may be times you might want to hold off depending on your particular circumstances and/or relationships. One of my favorite phrases that in many ways have been a guiding principle of my career (that sometimes worked and other times contributed to some increased career challenges) is - sometimes it's better to apologize than ask permission.

Rock the boat simply means (from my perspective) deciding to go against conventional wisdom from time to time. Think about it – almost all discoveries or inventions were by people who refused to accept conventional wisdom – they didn't just think outside the box – they kept using new boxes – they did not let what was believed based on previous knowledge or circumstances – prevent their trying something new, better, creative, unique or different.

Look at some of the most successful companies today and those that have endured for many years regardless of the industry or business model – I'll wager that most of them had employees or a management philosophy that says – create, invent, question, challenge, be unique, be different, don't settle etc. I don't have to mention any of these organizations, you know who they are, but the question remains – is your management style or your behavior as an employee consistent with a rock the boat strategy or do you always play it safe protecting your image, career, personality, others opinions of you or how you are perceived by people you work with or for?

As a speaker and trainer I always ask my clients and audiences to consider the consequences of settling and failing to risk the disapproval of others by always playing it safe. As an author many of my books ask my readers to ask themselves very probing and thought provoking questions that may seem uncomfortable, but in the end are necessary if we want to grow and manage our lives in a successful way.

Do you rock the boat?

Do you have the courage, confidence and self-esteem to bring real issues that your supervisor, board, fellow employees, suppliers, customers or your organization in general faces to the surface or out in the open?

Or, do you keep them hidden inside hoping things will just move along smoothly, get better with time or just miraculously disappear and you will still be employed?

"Wise men talk because they have something to say;
fools talk because they have to say something."
- Plato

In His Service, 
Tim Connor

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

The most dangerous word

May 23rd, 2014 No comments

What's the most dangerous word in the English language? Care to guess? OK, I'll give a few clues; everyone uses it from once a day to several times, it contributes to disappointment, stress and it's harmful for relationships and careers, it's a cause of distraction and a lack of focus, it negatively impacts success and happiness. Got a clue yet? One more clue – when people use it they seldom consider its consequences. There yet?

The word is – tomorrow. Surprised? Disagree? Don't care? Well whatever your response – let me explain.

Tomorrow can mean within the next 24 hours depending on the current time or beyond that considering what motive a person has when they use it.

Rather than pick the word apart let me dig into the rationales, attitudes, interpretations or application of the meaning of the word that impact life.

It's clear that when we use the word "tomorrow' this implies that we will delay actions or decisions until some point in the future (and not always tomorrow). In many ways it's wise to take time to consider, evaluate or postpone some of life's actions until we have stewed on them or done more research or evaluations, but unfortunately many people use this approach for everything that they feel will cause some current pain or difficulty when doing it now. I am not talking here about procrastination as this is an entirely different topic, but the inability to do now what in the long run will create better outcomes than waiting for things to change, evolve or get better from our perspective.

A couple of quick questions -

Why do we wait -

There are numerous reasons why we put things off till tomorrow, but the most frequent ones are; fear associated with our inability to know or control the future, the excuse that we have too much to do today, the hope that whatever needs attention will suddenly disappear or get better on its own if we don't act, the lack of confidence that if we act now things will turn out the way we desire and laziness – we just don't care. None of these are valid reasons or rationales for failure to take action in my opinion.

Yes, as I have said, there are times when we need to chill, wait and contemplate, but I'm not referring to major life, career or relationship issues when I talk about doing – whatever tomorrow. I am only suggesting that many of the simple, routine or normal tasks that we face each day deserve our attention and action when they show up.

I'll give you a quick example that I recently dealt with.

I had a client who hired me to do a two day custom in-house training session for their management team. I sent an invoice and waited over 30 days prior to considering what I should do (as all of my invoices are always paid within 10-15 days). I sent the client several emails regarding pre-program requests and the status of my invoice. I had no responses. As the time was closely approaching for me to travel to the engagement on the west coast I pondered what should I do. Call the client in a week or so as not to appear desperate or call today.

I decided to call today and the client said they never received the invoice or emails. Was it technology or an excuse – don't really know, but they told me they would get a check out FedX that day. My point – I wasted a great deal of time wondering, considering, evaluating is this program cancelled, but they just hadn't told me – time that could have been better spent and ultimately the worry was useless as what I was fearing never happened. Been there? Did you wait or just take action?

What are the pitfalls of waiting -

As I said above waiting can waste time, increase stress, add to the disappointment of not knowing, impact other actions or decisions that you are currently considering as well as a direct or indirect impact on your relationships.

I am not by any means suggesting that whenever things don't go your way you should pull the trigger immediately as some things require time to distill, but the question is – which things deserve or require action and which ones will be better served by waiting? These are situation by situation considerations, but ask yourself – how do you determine this distinction?

What are the benefits of not waiting -

I think I have already covered this in the previous segment, but let me add, that while waiting some things will resolve themselves and some things needing more consideration time will produce better, more creative or favorable outcomes. So – it depends!

"If you are not ready today you will be even less so tomorrow."
Ovid

In His Service, Tim

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: