Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

If you want to lead, you have to master self-leadership

September 29th, 2016 No comments

I am amazed at how many people in positions of leadership can’t even lead themselves effectively, consistently or with integrity.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s your local church, school, the government or a small or large business.  In the end if you want to lead others regardless of your position, roles or responsibilities it is necessary that you are effective at self-leadership.

What exactly is self leadership?

There are dozens of traits, attitudes or skills when it comes to leadership, but I believe that there are four vital ones that when they are a part of a person’s makeup they will lead with success.

But first – There are over 450 definitions of leadership here is just one – the position of being the leader or being in charge of an organization, country, etc.  But I believe this definition is limited and only views leadership as a position.  I feel strongly that leadership is a mindset and not a title. Anyone – a parent, teacher, nurse, administrative assistance or laborer can have a leadership mindset even though they might not lead anyone – yes they might influence them – for better or worse – but in the end we all lead in some way in an area in our life.

For over ten years I have been a volunteer greeter at my church.  I don’t lead anyone but I can choose to interpret my role as just someone who says good morning to everyone or I can see my role in a far more important way; I can contribute to whether visitors ever return.  I can make people feel welcome or not and I can create a relationship that is grounded in respect or not.  Here are the four traits.

Consistency – When we vacillate we create confusion.   When we hesitate we contribute to a lack of trust.  When we fail to decide we lose the respect of others.  When we fail to admit mistakes we send the message that we are perfect or insecure.  Leaders want agreement but not at the expense of their values, beliefs and personal philosophy.  They are not afraid of conflict or confrontation.  Yes, they want others to buy in to their actions and decisions but not at the cost of a loss of self-esteem. They are not driven by political correctness but respect for others.

When they decide or act – they follow-through and stick with a plan or action until it is successful or has proven to be inferior or it lacks long term value. Their messages are always the same and don’t depend on their audience – whether a customer, employee, member of a board or anyone else.

Integrity – Integrity and trust go hand in hand as a quality for self-leadership.  The question we must ask ourselves when we consider doing what is NOT right vs. what IS right, is – can I handle getting caught?  Is the price worth it?  How will I react to getting caught?  Wouldn’t it just be easier to deal in truth?  All the time?  The answer is yes, so why do people misrepresent, lie, tell little innocent fibs etc.?  I don’t know.  We are all guilty – at least one time in our lives and most of us many times – of shading the truth with what we feel is a justifiable cause. Is this wrong?  I am not a moralist. But I do believe that character and integrity are related and that anyone who hopes to lead must have integrity.


Passion – Passion is the great equalizer.  It can make up for a lack of experience and knowledge.  I am not suggesting that you not develop your knowledge or experience – only that until you do, your passion will be questioned by others as a weak belief in yourself, your mission and/or your purpose.

Passion is different from enthusiasm.  The old outworn cliché says “Act enthusiastic and you will become enthusiastic.”  I have never subscribed to this philosophy.  The reason is that if enthusiasm is an act which you use when things are going well, how do you behave when your life is falling apart? Are you just as enthusiastic about failure, more problems than you deserve and any number of disappointments, frustrations and adversities?

Passion is not an act.  It is a way of believing.  It is woven into your cellular structure just as much as you’re DNA

Resolve – What is resolve?  Is it persistence, commitment, dogged determination or just plain old self-motivation?  Don’t have an answer to that, folks.  I do know, however, that it costs more to fail than to keep on keeping on.  There is a point in every relationship, career, project or goal where our resolve to go on is tested. 


Leaders realize that they have to break through this barrier before they can enjoy the real fruits of their labor.  Quitters, on the other hand, give up at the first sign of resistance or adversity. ##

Tim Connor

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The Question should be – why not me rather than – why me!

July 25th, 2016 No comments

Have you ever said “why me”? Come on – be honest here – sooner or later everyone feels like some area of life has not been fair to them and their usual response is “why me or why now.”

Why not look at these life situations or circumstances a little differently with a “why not me”. Let me explain.

Think about it – no matter what has happened or how bad something seems consider that there could possibly be someone in the world who has it a lot worse. I could give your dozens of global statistics when it comes to poverty, sickness, death, the shortness of life, poor income etc. but I’m sure you are familiar with some of them unless you are totally immersed in yourself without a care in the world for anyone other than yourself. I’ll give you one – over 795,000,000 people in the world suffer from hunger without enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle. That’s about one in nine people. Are you one of them? I doubt it.

I’m sure you may have an idea where this article is going – if not – when you consider all of the disease, poverty, hunger etc. in the world I’ll bet you don’t face any of these every day so back to the title the question should be – why not me rather than why me in difficult circumstances?

I will focus on just three areas although there are many – careers and or business, general happiness and health.

Careers or business – The average income globally for individuals is $795/year. Are you making more than that? Thousands of people die every day due to hunger and disease. So, why are you whining? We spend over one third of our life working in our jobs or careers so if you do not have peace in your career – well – it’s simple – one third of your life will be unfulfilling. I’ll bet you know dozens of people who have been terminated or just lost their jobs due to circumstances they couldn’t control – are you one of them? If you are reading this – probably not.

Over 1500 businesses fail every day in the US – is yours one of them?

It’s not complicated – I’ll bet if you ask yourself a simple question – why not me rather than why me I’ll wager that you will come to realize the many blessings you have in life every day. Over 40,000 people die in their sleep every night – are you one of them? Doubt it.

I have failed numerous times during my life but my response was always – OK what can I learn from this and what can I do now – not, poor me, life isn’t fair, I don’t deserve this or some other lame negative reaction. Ever failed at anything – what was your response – point the finger, get all stressed out or just have a pity party or did you just move on – smarter and wiser?

General happiness – Research indicates that only one in three Americans are happy and less than 75% of the population are happy in their careers or jobs. Happiness is not nor will ever be what you have, do or enjoy but the ability to be happy regardless of what life brings into your days and years. Happiness is a mindset and this is not who you are or what you have but your life philosophy.

If you want to be happy it won’t happen with a bigger house, more money, nicer car or more toys or travel. Research over the years has proven time and time again – money, wealth, power, fame or stuff doesn’t make people happy. Sure all of these are great but if you are doing them for greater happiness – you will be disappointed. Do you think someone who is starving in the world gives a rip about having a nicer car or even a car?

Health – There are numerous studies over the years that have validated that the number one contributor to sickness and death is stress and do you know the major cause of stress? It’s a lack of patience or control. So, why not ask yourself – is a roof over my head enough? Are three meals a day enough, is having health insurance enough or do you whine about what’s missing?

So let me close with a quick question – are your issues, challenges, concerns, worries or fears even close to the general negative global statistics when it comes to these areas? If not – get over it and just be OK with what you have and stop complaining about what you don’t have. ##

Tim Connor, CSP

Pain can be your friend

July 19th, 2016 No comments

If you have never experienced emotional pain – you just landed here from another planet. In this article I am only going to discuss emotional pain and not physical pain. Let me say at the outset that you may find it hard to accept some of my rationale, I know writing it, no, as believing it has not always been easy for me either.

But first a definition – Pain – severe emotional or mental distress. Now mine – A negative emotional feeling that fills your heart, mind and gut that impacts you’re every thought, action and/or decision.

Ever been there? I’m sure your answer is yes. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, an unexpected negative experience that takes over your entire being, and an event that causes you to lose hope, faith or trust – this list could go on for pages.

I have experienced emotional pain many times during my life and on each occasion, until I finally grew up – my first reaction was always – blame, guilt, anger, resentment or some other negative reaction. In every case this response did not help me deal with the pain or its cause in a constructive way. I almost always felt like a victim and I do not have a victim mentality but this pain took me out of what I knew was a better way to handle the situation. I had to change my mindset about pain.

The journey of redefining pain in my life has not been an easy one as I still now and then fall prey to the implications and outcomes of a pain circumstance but I am making progress and thought I would share with you some of what I have learned.

There are degrees of pain depending on our attachment to a situation, expectation or person. These degrees can be from mild to totally devastating – causing us to lose much of who we really are.

Pain is a teacher but we have to be willing students and we have to do the necessary inner work if we are to come through this pain emotionally, mentally and even physically whole or in one piece.

If you have experienced any emotional pain I don’t need to remind you of the feelings that you experienced or the difficulty of dealing with the circumstances that caused the pain but I would like to share a few things you can consider to help manage or even eliminate the pain. Having said this, nothing, absolutely nothing I can say or anyone else can say for that matter can cause the pain to leave until you are ready to let it go.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be memories of the person or event, that there won’t be some lingering effects of the pain, only that you are able to go about your life with this cloud no longer hanging over your every minute and causing you stress, to lose sleep and not be able to find inner peace with what happened.

I believe that most emotional pain is caused by disappointment, expectations not realized, people who behave in difficult ways or circumstances that bring you to your knees.

Pain is a normal part of life as we all experience it sooner or later due to some situation or circumstance we couldn’t control. The key to using it in a positive way is determined by what you do and how and when it strikes.

All emotions are created in the brain and then transmitted to your cells and organs via your neural system. So to deal with emotional pain that manifests in various parts of your body; your heart, stomach, lower back or other places you must first address it in your mind as this is where it begins and continues to impact you until you redirect your thoughts and therefore your actions and better manage this pain.

There are a number of things to consider;

1) There are some things in life you can control and some you can’t – the trick is to know and accept the difference and then control the things you can and let go of the things you can’t.

2) There are many ways to interpret events and people. No two people will see an event, person or situation the same. The key is to be willing to accept that there are other ways you can interpret what is happening and why.

3) Don’t let old baggage or history rule your present moments.

4) Regrets weigh tons and there is nothing you can do to change past events or circumstances but you can learn from them and then act accordingly in the future.

5) Feel the pain, admit the pain, experience the pain, get in touch with the pain and then let it go.

6) Life is short – you can live it filled with remorse, grief, guilt or you can admit mistakes, accept circumstances and move on.

7) Create some mental anchors/distractions to keep you focused on other circumstances.

8) Count your blessings – no matter what you are losing or have lost you still have more than you lost – I guarantee it.

9) Never let go of faith, hope and the will to live life to the fullest no matter what.

10) Get busy. Start a new activity, make some new friends, get

involved with a new group, take a trip, pray more, meditate,

volunteer, start to journal, start a new hobby, read inspiring

books – something.

This is just a short list of ways to deal with your pain. One way I have found that helps me a great deal is to read more and routine grateful prayer.

In the end emotional pain can be the only way to finally get in touch with who you are, what you want, what’s important and who you want to become, what needs to change and how you want to live your life. Let it teach you. Be a willing student.

By Tim Connor

Are you learning or stuck in knowing

June 21st, 2016 No comments

Know a “know it all”?

There is a difference between knowing and learning.  The problem is that many people or should I say “most” people feel they know something and then act according to what they believe they know as truth.

Let me give you a quick example.  For centuries people believed (knew from what they had heard) that the world was flat and they let this knowing impact their beliefs and attitudes.  Then we discovered otherwise – so did everyone change their view or remain stuck in their knowing that was not true?  I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but what I do know is that truth is truth and regardless of our denial of it or being unaware of it, but it doesn’t change the facts or truth.

Years ago scientists believed that the atom was the smallest particle and guess what – with time this was proven that it was not true.  I could go on but over time several subsequent discoveries of the smallest particles proved to still not be true.

Did everyone embrace the new truths as they emerged?  Some yes and some no.  And why?  Well without personal experience or evidence all we have is what other people tell us, but how do we know that what they know is the truth?  We don’t – so we have a choice believe or question.

Flip a switch in your kitchen and the lights come on.  Truth?  Can you see the source or cause – no but you accept what you see as truth – your personal evidence.

This same approach is used by many when it comes to scripture and God.  They have a choice – believe they know it based on what is written or question it – and keep learning and growing.

I could give you thousands of examples to prove that there is more to life than we say we know, but the question remains – do we let our perceived knowing get in the way of our continued learning?

Learning is more than exposure to new information.  It involves a willingness to let go of previous opinions, judgments and mindsets. Just because you read a book or attend a seminar is no guarantee that you will really learn anything, yes you receive new information but generally speaking people resist what is not consistent with their current beliefs, values or knowledge. (By the way the retention of a new idea, concept, approach or philosophy etc. is less than 3% after 2 weeks. (Just thought I would throw that one in for organizations who hire speakers/trainers to do an all day seminar and expect behavior or attitudes to change permanently or even at all.)

As a trainer I have observed thousands of people in my audiences take notes, listen, participate and then change nothing.  Not being critical here – just sharing what I believe is a common challenge to learning and the challenge is – being willing to accept that which you have believed, no matter how vested you are in it, is no longer true, valid or appropriate for how you live your life.

Let me ask you – have you changed any opinion about anything in the past five years – in other words something you believed in the past is no longer relevant or appropriate for how you work, play or just live?  If you answer is no – you are in denial.  We all learn – whether we are actively searching for new knowledge or not – by accident or on purpose.  Life often forces us to learn regardless of whether we are ready or open to new concepts, ideas etc.  Life is a teacher and it teaches us using – failure, problems, adversity, obstacles, disappointment and uncertainty and yes change.

We always have a choice – we can learn what life is trying to teach us, actively search for new knowledge or we can resist life’s lessons as they show up.  But I guarantee that if you don’t learn when you have the option – sooner or later a similar lesson or opportunity to learn will appear.

For example – if you have never learned the lesson of disappointment I will guarantee that something or someone will continue to disappoint you until you finally get it – we all face disappointment in life and we can learn to accept it and learn to manage it or continue to live with frustration, anxiety, fear etc. due to life’s disappointing circumstances.

Let me close with a simple concept – you are either an active life learner continually searching for new knowledge/wisdpm and willing to embrace the new and let go of the old or you are stuck blaming, whining, complaining because life isn’t fair, good or it doesn’t behave according to your agendas, expectations or schedule.

Welcome to life 101 folks – learn or stay stuck in your knowing or what you believe or think is true. ##

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Living Wisely

May 18th, 2016 No comments
Wisdom – the blending of – information, knowledge, experience, truth, reality,
maturity – to achieve dreams, goals, life purpose,
inner peace and happiness.
A Weekly Wisdom Tip for a better life. Each week I share a simple truth that can help you live with faith, courage, integrity, peace, purpose and success.
This week’s topic –  Resolve?
Is it persistence, commitment, dogged determination or just plain old self-motivation?  Don’t have an answer to that, folks.  I do know, however, that it costs more to fail than to keep on keeping on.  There is a point in every relationship, career, project or goal where our resolve to go on is tested.

Winners realize that they have to break through this barrier before they can enjoy the real fruits of their labor.  Quitters, on the other hand, give up at the first sign of resistance or adversity.

Live wisely this week, Tim
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Love and fear

April 27th, 2016 No comments
There are two fundamental emotions – love and fear.  All other emotions such as anger, lust, blame, resentment, guilt, shame, adoration, jealousy or joy, gratitude, inner peace, bliss, trust, faith etc. are just derivatives of these two. When you choose to experience and share love you build yourself and others up.  When you choose fear you tear yourself and others down. It is impossible to experience both love and fear simultaneously so at any given moment in your life you must choose which will dominate your thoughts, actions and behavior.  Choosing love regardless of how it is demonstrated or experienced will ensure that you will have inner peace as your motives are noble, caring and compassionate.  Choosing fear no matter how you exhibit it or experience it will guarantee that you will feel stress, frustration and anxiety.
Live wisely this week, Tim
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Loneliness vs. solitude

March 14th, 2016 No comments

Millions of people today suffer from loneliness.  It could be someone in a unhappy marriage or someone who has lost a loved one who has passed away.  It could be someone who is suddenly alone after a relationship break-up or just someone who is unhappy with their state in life.

No one is immune to the sting of loneliness which seems to amplify feelings of regret, fear, resentment, disappointment or even anger.  The problem with staying stuck in these negative emotions, feelings or mindsets is that they will tend to increase unless a person can learn the benefits of being alone.  I can hear some of you now – “and what exactly would those benefits be – Tim?”

Keep in mind that you can be surrounded by people and still feel alone. You can be spending time in your favorite activity and still feel alone.

But, first let’s discuss the three stages of being alone whether for an hour, a few weeks or even years.

First there is loneliness.  This state of mind is filled with all of the negative emotions I just mentioned above.  People in this emotional state will tend to feel sorry for themselves, abandoned or without hope that their situation will ever change for the better in the future.  They tend to focus on what is missing in their life or what they miss – what used to be when – in the past.

These folks feel stuck without options and seldom take positive action to change or improve their circumstances.   This tends to be the lowest mental state in the – I am alone – position.

Moving up a notch we have – aloneness.  This is where people are generally ok with being alone, but if they had a preference they wouldn’t be.  They don’t suffer from the all of the same negative emotions, but they do tend to feel somewhat out of control.  This is a more positive mental state or position to be in than loneliness, but it still can bring with it feelings of fear, frustration or remorse.  These tend not to be their dominant feelings, but they can surface at any time depending on circumstances.

The highest level in these positions is – solitude.  Solitude is a positive emotional state in which people look forward to this alone time and use it positively or constructively.  They see this quiet time as beneficial in many ways.  They will use it for introspection, self-evaluation or meditation.  They will feel blessed that they have this time alone and actually look forward to it for personal reasons.

I’m not talking about a person telling you – I need my space.  That is something totally different and generally not even related to this subject.  A person who has suddenly found themselves alone permanently or for long stretches of time due to a relationship break-up or the death of someone will find creative ways to use this time.

They will take up a new hobby or interest.  They will get more active in their career, community or church.  They will go back to school, read more or just spend more time contemplating life.

The thing to keep in mind is that all of these positions or mental states have nothing to do with being alone, but how a person chooses to interpret being alone and what they do about it – in the end it’s a choice.

Being single for the past several years and self-employed for many years I have a great deal of alone time.  So – I write a lot, read a lot, think a lot about life’s situations and how I can help others with my writing and speaking – thus this article.

Sure, I love company and going out on the town and sometimes I’d rather go to a concert or hiking with someone as opposed to being alone, but I am OK doing these alone as I like my own company and this is one of the keys to how a person will handle this subject.

Do you need constant validation and attention from others or can you give those to yourself? Do you get bored easily?  Do you need a great deal of external stimulation or can you just be with you and that’s ok?

If you are alone whether for just a few weeks or several years regardless of why you are alone as a result of a choice you made or some unforeseen circumstances the real question is – are you living your life or just waiting – or something to happen? Imagine how much of life is wasted – waiting!   

Sales Boot Camp – Charlotte Soft Sell Book –  The only sales book ever published now in 25 languages with sales over 1,000,000 copies. 


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Impossible is just a word.

February 22nd, 2016 No comments

Let me ask you, do you think Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Billy Graham, Carl Sandberg, Jesus, Henry Ford, Bill Gates (this list is endless) had the word impossible in their DNA? I seriously doubt it. Far too many people let their definition of impossible rule their present and future with doubt, fear, the need for approval and numerous negative emotions, feelings and mindsets that keep them stuck in ordinary, normal or what many refer to as “It is what it is.”

Impossible is just a word, but for millions of people it is a lifestyle. In no way do I want to include myself in the list of very famous people who significantly influenced the world in a positive way, but let me share one quick example.

I received over 250 rejection letters on my first book Soft Sell. Thirty years later it is in 25 languages and with sales over one million copies. When I first wrote it I was just another aspiring author. Today I am still an aspiring author with one trait that has not changed – I refuse to accept the idea of impossible.

What about you? Are you letting this word or your interpretation of it negatively influence your decisions, choices, actions, beliefs, attitudes or what could be in your life? I’m not suggesting that all of us can invent or discover significant things that can dramatically influence society or the world at large in a positive way, but consider – maybe you can influence or touch just one life in some way due to your courage, faith, belief and creativity.

Why do we let the idea of impossible influence our decisions and behavior in a negative way?

Well, over the years studying hundreds of great influencers I have narrowed the list down to what I believe are the three primary reasons why people live ordinary lives when they could live extraordinary lives.

1)Fear. Fear of something, fear of everything or fear of anything. Fear is a creativity killer. It gets in the way of everything that one day could be. It destroys confidence, self-belief, faith, courage and belief.

2)The need for approval from others. Having been in front of over a million people in 26 countries during my career as a speaker, I will guarantee there have been thousands of people who didn’t like me or my message, my approach or even how I was dressed. In the end there are only two things we need in my opinion to achieve greatness (however you choose to define it) self-acceptance/approval and the approval of God. And I might add that both are a given if you will just open up to them. We don’t need to live our lives seeking the approval of spouses, friends, customers, bosses, parents or even total strangers and yet this seems to be the mantra of millions of people (especially given the influence of political correctness – but don’t get me started on that or we will be here all day).

3)The willingness and courage to fail. Without failure we learn nothing so if you haven’t ever failed I will guess you haven’t tried. I don’t care if it’s a new recipe, a new product, a new approach or a new anything . . . Failure is an absolute necessity to achieve success.

Well, I will leave this discussion with a simple question – how do you define impossible?##

-By Tim Connor

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Living Wisely – Fun

February 10th, 2016 No comments

Wisdom – the blending of – information, knowledge, experience, truth, reality, maturity -to achieve dreams, goals, life purpose, inner peace and happiness.

Each week I share a simple truth that can help you live with faith, courage, integrity, peace, purpose and success.

This week’s topic – Fun

In a high stress – fast paced – technology driven world – most people today tend to take life far too seriously.  We are not guaranteed another day let alone another year so why not turn off your mobile device, disconnect your TV, play hooky and just do something you have been putting off for weeks maybe even years.  Have some fun today.  It doesn’t matter how you define fun.  Just have some.  You will be better able to face the struggles, problems, challenges and trials that life throws your way.   While you are at it, why not brighten someone else’s day as well.  Do something to bring a smile to their face, make them laugh or help them have some fun.  You both will feel better.  

Live wisely this week, 

Tim ##

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Passion, Decisions and Closure

December 26th, 2015 No comments

Passion – For success and happiness education is important. Effort is necessary. Desire is a must. But passion – that’s the critical ingredient in all success. It is an inner driving force that leads, prods or even requires you to keep on keeping on and never quit, give up or let circumstances beyond your control cause you to relent or retreat. It is in your DNA. It touches everything you touch and it is simply a way of life. Yes, at times in life it can fade or seem to be absent, but it is always there lying beneath the surface waiting for you to act. No matter how discouraging situations might seem it will not let you let go of the need to move forward. It is not attached to specific outcomes or achievements but it is relentless keeping you moving one step at a time into the future no matter how difficult those steps might seem. It overcomes despair, failure, uncertainty, hopelessness and even fear.

Decisions – Every day we all make decisions – some are life changing while others are just routine and easy or even small or insignificant. But, keep in mind whether a decision is a small one or a huge one they all have consequences. The question is – do you have a decision strategy or process when it comes to deciding – anything or do you just leave it all up to how you feel that day, the weather, chance or just luck and whatever will be -will be?

What exactly is a decision process or strategy? Without giving you more information that you want, let me just repeat that making decisions is the easy part especially if you have a history of not following through on decisions. So the real challenge is not the decision but the will, courage and confidence to take action.

A simple decision process is; consider all alternatives and their potential consequences (you can’t guarantee any of these), stay in reality and not fantasy, deal in truth and not just personal perception as perceptions are often based on many false premises, decide, develop a plan to implement your decision and make sure it includes dealing with possible obstacles, opportunities and the potential for failure, write down the plan, give it a timeline for results or outcomes, keep inspecting your actions and adjust as necessary, if you find that you don’t have passion, courage or confidence in the actions then re-visit the decision.

Closure – Sooner or later everything in life ends. A career, a business, a relationship, a hobby or life. In his great book, Transitions, William Bridges talks a great deal about closure and its impact on our future. Native Americans have a closure ceremony and scripture says that “this too shall pass.” When something ends most people want to quickly fill the void with something new – a new relationship, a new job or a new – something. People generally dislike vacuums in their life. If they give up golf they will replace it with tennis. If they don’t like their current church they will search for another one etc. A great quote by Pogo states, “Wherever you go, there you are” in other words we always take who we are – attitudes, likes, prejudices, expectations, needs, desires, mindsets etc. into every new situation. So, if what caused you to need a change was something outside yourself – first ask yourself – could it be me?

Closure is letting go of what was. It is not taking regret, past memories or disappointments or unrealized expectations in what was into the next stage or circumstances of life. Closure is declaring an ending and moving on with faith, courage, belief and confidence.

Live wisely this week,
Tim Connor

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