Selling and the four agreements

March 6th, 2013 No comments

Weekly TimBit – Selling and the four agreements

Before I get started, if you have never read the best-selling book, The Four Agreements by M. Ruiz, I urge you to buy it today and spend the next few days devouring his very wise counsel. To this day out of all of the books I have read this is still one of my favorites. So what do the four agreements have to do with selling? First the four agreements are;

-Be impeccable with your word.

-Make no assumptions.

-Take nothing personal.

-Always do your best.

Let's take a look at what these simple concepts (they may be simple but they can have a profound impact on the quality of your life) have to do with selling as a career.

-Be impeccable with your word. Essentially this agreement deals with the integrity of your word or what you say, how you say it and when you say it. When you lack this integrity you will tend to say what you feel is in the best interests of your ego or your need to succeed, look good to others or even be accepted by others. Selling is not about words but building and maintaining trust and when your words lack integrity or authenticity you will tend to send mixed and even wrong messages to others.

It is often difficult to always be impeccable with your word as we all have a variety of agendas, needs and desires we want satisfied or filled. But if you want to maintain relationships grounded in trust this agreement is at the foundation of all four.

-Make no assumptions. We all make assumptions. We make them to satisfy our own fears, needs, objectives or agendas. An assumption is nothing more than an expectation of what you feel will happen, is happening or happened from your own very personal and yes prejudiced perspectives.

When you make an assumption and you act accordingly you will set yourself up for frustration, disappointment and often regret and even failure.

When you assume your prospect likes your product or service because they said so and you don't follow-up with affirming questions you are making an assumption they are telling you the truth or the whole story. When you assume that someone is not interested in your product or service because they are difficult to get a hold of again you are assuming something that may be true but is not grounded in evidence but a guess on your part. If you assume a client is happy with their purchase because they don't tell you otherwise, this is a setup for disaster. Making assumptions in selling are a recipe for personal failure.

-Take nothing personal. We all have egos and we all have needs and expectations about how others should treat us, respond to us or communicate with us. It's common for someone to take a simple comment from another person in the wrong way or even be hurt by a comment that was not meant or given with a hurtful intention. We take things personal because we want, many people even crave, acceptance by others. As a result we tend to avoid people who we feel do not respect or honor us and our experience, knowledge or even our just being.

In sales taking things that others do, personally, will cause you to spend a great deal of personal time reflecting on your weaknesses, failures, problems or inadequacies. Everyone has a right to their own opinions but keep in mind just because they have them doesn't mean they are right or are a correct description of us. One of the major areas where this impacts salespeople is in the area of rejection. When you are rejected the general first response is to take it personal. This is a mistake. Yes, the person may be rejecting you but the point is, this rejection is coming from their frame of reference or their reality and not the reality. To take others actions or words personally is to give them power over you – who you are, what you believe, how you behave etc.  

-Always do your best. Doing your best is often a function of a variety of factors. If you are tired, stressed out, living in discouragement or are fearful of some situation – these mindset will influence your ability to do your best. If you feel insecure or you have low self-esteem you will tend to not do your best. If you have a need to please others more than please yourself – you will tend not to do your best. Doing your best doesn't mean perfection or even doing it right or according to someone's else's expectations, needs or agendas it means simply doing the best you can with what you have, know or believe. Doing your best today doesn't mean you won't do it better tomorrow and doing your best doesn't mean that what you do will please others but doing your best allows you to look in the mirror and smile and say to yourself – I did my best and mean it.

Doing your best in sales simply means that you always perform as well as you can regardless of how new you are to the profession, how much disappointment or previous failure you have experienced and always giving the best you can to every prospect and client.

Make it a great week and a tremendous year, In His service, Tim

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

The Seasons of Life

February 27th, 2013 No comments

I’m sure you are well aware that spring always follows winter and fall always precedes it.  Duh.  Not trying to insult you here just to make a simple point that has been true for thousands of years. Seasons come and go at their own pace and there is nothing we can do to slow them down or speed them up or influence their behaviors – they have their own agenda and schedule.

Having said this, you would be amazed at how many people try to rush the seasons of their lives and yes, each life has its four seasons and they come and go often with little regard for our plans, hopes, fears, dreams and desire to control them.

Before I continue let me clarify the quote at the end of this article.  Yes, time passes at its own pace and offers its unique lessons to each of us but, this doesn’t mean we should just sit idly by waiting for things to change or improve on their own as time does move from one minute and one day to the next.  OK, now that that is out of the way, let me get back to the basis of this message – the seasons of life.

Let me briefly describe each of them.

Winter – times of; despair, adversity, discouragement, pain, problems, challenges, uncertainty, regret, disappointment, resentment, endings and fear.

Spring – times of hope, dreams, new beginnings, plans, goals, desire, opportunity, optimism, belief, planting seeds and confidence.

Summer – times of relaxation, fun, enjoyment, wonderful memories, confidence, belief, effort, laughter, travel, vacations, easy days and pleasant nights.

Fall – times of harvesting, success, dreams realized, accomplishments, patience, rewards and contentment.

Yes, each of these seasons can have other – both positive and negative circumstances, emotions and outcomes, but each generally has a basic theme that generally defines this period of our lives.

Therefore there are three questions I would ask – what season are you currently in, in your life?  How are you handling or managing it and are you effectively preparing for the next season?

What season are you currently in?

The seasons of life come in no particular order unlike nature’s seasons.  You can be in winter as a young person as well as when you are a senior citizen.  You can experience the joy of summer during your retirement years or you can find this time filled with effort, challenges and relentless problems.  Keep in mind that each of us during our life can go through cycles of the four seasons where we move from winter to spring and back to winter.  In life, a season can last a few weeks or several years, depending on how we think, act and behave during each season.

Fail to learn the necessary life lessons during a particular season and rest assured, you will find yourself once again facing similar issues or problems again in the future.

The challenge for each of us regardless of the season we find ourselves in at any given moment is to behave in a mature, responsible and positive way.  Just because it’s fall and a time of harvesting previous decisions, actions or effort doesn’t mean you should just sit back and bask forever in the sunshine of blessings and success.  You might want to consider some actions or decisions that will help you get through the coming winter with less pain and struggle.

If you find yourself in a winter that just won’t seem to end, this might be a time for continuous reflection, introspection and self-evaluation.  Or, it could be a time of renewal as you prepare for the effort required during the coming spring and summer.

Regardless of the season you find yourself in at this time, it would be wise to maintain attitudes of growth, maturity, maintaining the right life outlook and recognizing that whatever season you are in is only temporary. This is the best approach you can bring to any current season.  Just keep thinking – this too shall prepare me (or as many people are fond of saying – this too shall pass).

How are you handling or managing it?

Each season of life requires different decisions, actions and behaviors.

When in spring periods (again – times of growth opportunity and planting seeds) you need discipline, effort, patience and belief.  This is a time of waiting and planning.  It’s a time for confidence, action and consistency.  When your actions and behaviors embrace these mindsets you are setting yourself up for future success in the coming seasons.  Without them you will fail to realize the hopes, dreams and results you desired.

When in the summer season (again – times of enjoyment, effort and confidence) it is vital that you maintain vigilance, balance of work and play and patience. Ignoring your spring efforts (of planting seeds etc.) will guarantee that your harvest in the fall will be less than expected or desired. This is a time of blended activities – enjoying the playful summer days and nights while not neglecting your efforts and goals.

When in the fall season (see above definition) it can be easy to just enjoy the fruits of your previous labors and just reap your harvest day after day.  But again caution is advised as winter is just around the corner and if you fail to harvest successfully which includes mental and physical preparation for what lies ahead, you may find your winter harder and longer than you can endure.  Fall is a time for enjoying as well as preparing for what is around the next corner.

When in the winter season (see above definition) this can be a time of despair, discouragement and a loss of faith and hope.  It can test your resolve, patience and self-belief and confidence.  During this season it is critical that you keep your mind and eye on what lies ahead (spring) and not get bogged down in the dark, long, cold and hard days and nights.  During winter it is easy to fall prey to what is happening in the moment, but I caution you – one of the best actions you can take during winter is to strengthen your resolve, understanding and patience for what you are going through knowing that it is just part of the ongoing life process and that before you know it spring will arrive.

Are you effectively preparing for the next season?

Here are a few things to consider regardless of the season you find yourself in at any given life period.

-Always be reading, learning and growing.

-Make no assumptions.

-Don’t take anything personally.

-Don’t let circumstances determine your behaviors and attitudes.

-Always do your best.

-Turn off outside negative influences.

-Surround yourself with the right people.

-Accept that failure and problems are normal.

-Learn to see failure, disappointment and adversity as learning tools.

-Don’t let others push your emotional buttons.

-Life isn’t about what’s happening but how you learn from what’s happening.

-Optimism is a better life approach than pessimism.

-Success and achievements do not define you.

-Life is about relationships and not stuff.

-Life isn’t about getting but giving.

-There is no such thing as future security – it’s an illusion.

-Fear is the number one negative influence that must be managed.

-Have fun and laugh a lot no matter what is going on.

-Stress isn’t what’s happening but how you react to what’s happening.

-Never stop dreaming.

-Age is just a number. We are all going to get old but we don’t have to grow old.

-Control what you can and let go of what you can’t control.

-What you believe defines you.

-Your thoughts become circumstances.

-The past is dead – let it go.  Stay in the present – it’s all you have.

-Manage your expectations – all disappointment is caused by unmanaged expectations.

-Trust God every minute of every day.

-Be filled with appreciation and gratitude every moment.

-Take full responsibility for your life.

-Do what you love with passion, enthusiasm and courage.

-You can’t push the river.  Relax.

Yes I could give you a lot more but I’m sure you other things to do today.

In summary;

Keep in mind that just because you survive one winter that this doesn’t prevent another possible winter in the future.  Just because you behave appropriately during any season is no guarantee that you will gain the desired benefits of that season.  Just because you work hard and plan during spring and summer don’t assume that you will have a successful harvest in the fall.  Life happens and it is our responsibility to learn to flow, strengthen our faith and continue to grow, learning from the circumstances life places on our plates. So, whatever season you are in as you read this why not just make the best of it regardless of what you are experiencing.  Have fun today.

“Wait for the wisest of all counselors, time.”

Pericles

 

Make it a great day, Tim

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

If not now . . . when?

February 20th, 2013 No comments

Do you know the biggest cause of procrastination?

It’s fear – fear of the unknown, what might happen in the future or some day or never, but nonetheless, millions of people put off what they can and should do today hoping that the task will get done or the situation they fear will just “disappear” on its own or some opportunity will still be there in the future when you are ready. Sorry folks – ain’t going to happen.

Those of you old enough to remember the old TV show Cochise might recall a line that has stuck with me for years.  Goes something like this;

Cochise’s braves were surrounded by the cavalry and were outnumbered 10 to 1.  One of the braves came to the chief and said, “What are we going to do?  We are all going to die.  We are surrounded.”  His response, “We are going to attack.”  “Attack, the brave screamed, we will be slaughtered.  Are you crazy?”  Cochise’s answer – “It’s better to take a dangerous chance than to wait safely for something worse.”  I love that response cause it’ so true.

Ever waited for something difficult to just go away on its own and while you waited it just got worse?  Or, have you ever hoped some dream on your bucket list would come true in the future? I know I have.  So what’s the answer?

Why do people put things off and I’m not talking here about cleaning the kitchen or washing the car.  I’m referring to relationship, career, personal, business or financial issues that plague many people’s every minute with worry, stress or anxiety wondering if they will ever be realized.  Again, the major cause is fear – fear of something – losing control, an unfavorable outcome or the need to find the courage to just dig in and deal with it.

If you think procrastination is just a short term challenge, how about those folks who put off – a trip of a lifetime that they have dreamed about for years – until the kids have grown and left home and then one of the partner’s dies before they can actually go.  How about that dream to own your own business and finally you find the courage to begin, but are suddenly confronted with health or financial circumstances that now stands in the way.

Or how about planning that special family celebration for your parent’s 50th anniversary when they suddenly are both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  I could go on with dozens of illustrations, but the common denominator is always the same – let’s wait until the time is right or circumstances are better or even perfect.

No one has a guaranteed future and that includes tomorrow, so if this is true, why do so many people wait to embrace many of life’s opportunities from; taking dancing lessons to asking your love to marry you.  From starting a new hobby to _________ (you can fill in the blank) or avoiding one of life’s many challenges.

Is it guilt?  Obligation? Regret? Fear? Resentment? Or one of many other and often justified emotional reasons?  I’ll bet if you have put something off in your life waiting for the best possible circumstances but with the passage of time you will one day look back with sadness wondering – why did I wait?

So, let me back up to the title – If not now – when?

“You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?

Robert Louis Stevenson

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

Leadership is NOT a title or position BUT . . .

February 13th, 2013 No comments

According to a number of sources there are over 350 definitions of leadership.  Before I begin – I want to make it clear that leadership is not a position 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 president 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

Are You Losing The Human Touch?

February 6th, 2013 No comments

I’ll wager that today you will send and receive more texts and emails than you have conversations with your – customers, employees, friends and/or loved ones!  Am I right?

OK, so I’ll accept that that’s one of the primary ways we communicate today and it’s one of the primary advantages of technology – sharing information.  But I ask you to consider.  The good life isn’t about exclusively the exchange of information, but developing trusting, compassionate and enduring human relationships grounded in understanding, thoughtfulness, appreciation and being present. Yes, you can tell me what you had for lunch on Face Book but I’d much rather hear from you now and then – in person.

I’m not talking here about that quick text or email from your IPad or IPhone that – “I’m on my way.” – “Your order has been shipped.”.  “The meeting has been cancelled.”  What I’m talking about here is – well here are a few recent statistics you might find interesting.

-The average couple spends less than 27 minutes a week in shared intimate (not sexual) conversation and on average over 36 hours per week individually scrolling/searching the internet.

-The average salesperson sends out over 50 emails/texts a day and talks with fewer than 10 customers/prospects during the same time frame. I’m not including here sales folks who are involved in tele-sales or tele-marking activities.

-The average parent spends less than 20 minutes a week talking to each of their children one-on-one in important child rearing conversations.

-The average manager sends more emails to employees in a week than they have conversations with them in a month.

Guilty of any of the above?  If so is it because you believe;

It’s easier, more convenient or gives you a paper trail?  It takes less time, avoids confrontation or allows you to send messages 24 hours a day? People are too busy today to talk?  People would rather use technology than have face to face or voice to voice conversations? My personal opinion regarding these and other excuses or rationales is – you’re wrong.

The one thing that separates humans from all other species on Earth is the ability

and need to share fears, desires, frustrations, feelings, hopes, worries, dreams and yes your opinions and information.  Humanity is about the ability to create enduring one-on-one and one-to-group relationships based on knowing the other person’s or group’s uniqueness and those special traits that make them human.

I am not against technology, but the evidence is overwhelming – we are losing the human touch with those in our lives both personal and career or business.  Don’t believe me! How many times have you gotten a “technology message” rather than a human when you have called any organization?  I know . . . that’s just the way it is today.  OK, so we agree that that’s the way it is, but I have to tell you last week it took me fifteen minutes and pushing multiple buttons on my phone before I could reach a live person. Frustrating?  Well, yes, and then the person I finally reached wasn’t the right person.  So, back to punching numbers on my phone and waiting and listening to their nine “telephone options” before I finally gave up and decided to no longer purchase from that organization, but find a new supplier.  Ever had this experience or am I the only one with this frustration? I seriously doubt it!

A question – do you think you might be losing business because of your overuse of technology?  Do you think one of your relationships might be in jeopardy because you are relying too heavily on technology?  Are you losing touch/connection with others in your life in a real and human way?

Don’t risk it.  The answer – use technology as a tool and not a crutch if you want to develop, build and maintain positive relationships with others in your life.  Disagree?  Go ahead and send me an email.  But only 15 people have my cell phone number so you can’t send me a text.

By the way if you think this issue is a problem with relationships today – stick around – it’s just getting worse.

"It's great to be great, but it's greater to be human."
Will Rogers

Make it a great week, In His Service, Tim

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

You can’t control the wind . . .

January 30th, 2013 No comments

As a sailor for many years I had to learn very early that my task was not to try and influence the wind in my sails, but to do the best I could to take advantage of its direction, force and speed so I could ensure a safe and successful journey regardless of my destination goal.

Whether it was off the coast of Rhode Island fighting the currents and strong winds in Narragansett Bay or slowly moving from one island in the Caribbean to the next as the trade winds blessed my journey, the story is always the same – you can’t push or control the wind- all you can do is use your skills, instincts and experience to maneuver safely through it keeping your destination in mind.

Kind of like life sometimes wouldn’t you agree?

How often in the past several days have you tried to push or control the wind (your life circumstances)? I’ll bet if you stopped to think about it for a minute you would be surprised. Waiting in line or a traffic backup, waiting on hold on your telephone, waiting for someone for lunch, waiting for a boring meeting to end or waiting for someone to return your call or respond to a request. I could go on and on, but if you will stop for a minute and ask yourself – “I wonder how many times I have tried to push and control life’s passage today with my desire to have things my way – now?” Well, if it’s at least ten to twenty times a day consider yourself normal as most people get upset, stressed, anxious or even angry when things don’t go their way or on their schedule. Why is this? Too many reasons for this article but consider the following five;

Ego needs– The ego says – I am better, smarter, more important and more successful than you. It believes that no matter who is in front of you in line that you should be able to cut in front of them. It believes that everyone should drop everything when you have made a request or a call. It acts like no matter who else is on the planet with you, you deserve to be first.

I can’t tell you how many people I have observed over the years who have worked themselves into a twit because their flight was going to be late. You know, when you fly at 30,000 feet at 600 miles an hour for several hours the important thing is to just land safely – late or on time – doesn’t matter. But, you’d be amazed how many people believe that the meeting they will miss because their flight is going to be late seems to be more important than landing in one piece.

Chill – there are only two ways you are going down – land or crash – which would you prefer? So, the line in front of you goes on seems like miles. Relax. I recall several years ago leavingLas Vegasfrom a speaking engagement and the security line took four hours to get through. Wanna bet there were also lot’s of stressed out people in that line?

Discomfort with uncertainty– You can’t change circumstances or challenges if you don’t confront them, however life often demands that we accept what is uncertain or lies ahead with a sense of faith, hope and trust. I know, not always easy, believe me. But, think about it – can you really control what waits around the corner when you don’t know what it is? Change is relentless and constant. Uncertainty is a normal part of every life regardless of your age, gender, race or any other circumstances.

The number one contributor to all illness is unmanaged stress. A major cause of all stress is our lack of acceptance of the worries that plague us and we amplify with continued attention and focus.

Self-absorbed mindsets– The world doesn’t revolve around you – I know – you think it should and believe it often does. Well – HELLO – it doesn’t and a major cause of anxiety and frustration in life is when you must confront the truth that you are not the center of the Universe. I have met my share of self-absorbed people during my life and global travels and I have to tell you most of them live with a great deal of fear, doubt, resentment and often regrets.

Until you can learn to accept that you are a part of the human family and as such regardless of your success, wisdom, experience or station in life you are no better than any others. Yes, there are a lot of bad, stupid, angry, evil and just crazy people out there in the world, but I will tell you that most of these folks have varying degrees of self-absorption that they just demonstrate in stupid or bad ways. I’m not implying that you if you have an issue with self-absorption are one of them, but often some of our selfish or self-seeking actions may hurt others in some way subtle or even obvious.

Impatience in general– Impatience is the need for life to happen on your schedule and in ways you require. Got news for you – this is seldom reality. Stuff happens that we can’t always predict, expect, control or even manage given our resources, experience or knowledge or wisdom. A lack of patience may bring to the surface the cause of different challenges you may face in other areas of your personality or life (see the above plus many others I won’t cover here). Sooner or later we all suffer from a lack of patience in a life area. From weddings to funerals. From travel to health issues. From careers to children. We all have our patience tested. The question is not the source or cause of impatience, but your reaction and response to these issues. Do you let them control you and your actions, behaviors and decisions or choices or do you maintain emotional control or maturity so you don’t have to look back with guilt, regret or even a request for forgiveness.

A dysfunctional need for control– Let me keep this one short. You either let life happen and do the best you can with what it gives you or you fight every step of the way in most circumstances. Guess which approach or attitude will contribute to good mental health and a happy and peaceful life?

So, if you had to rate yourself on a 1-10 scale – One is you take things as they come and just enjoy the process, journey or circumstances or 10 you fly into a rage when things don’t go your way or somewhere in between. Be honest now – this is just between you and you!

"The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly

gets all the publicity."

George Carlin

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

OK – it’s now or; tomorrow . . .

January 16th, 2013 No comments

I’ll bet you’ve heard it or read it at least a dozen times during your life – live in the present moment – now is all you have.  Am I right?  The question is – do you do it or just think it or say it?

I won’t belabor the concept or simple fact that the present moment is all you have as I have written numerous articles and even book chapters on this subject.  What I would like you to consider is the price you are paying or will pay as a result of not honoring this simple yet very beneficial mindset.

Think about it –  what have you not done, seen, learned or become yet in your life that is important to you?  I just read a great book called Five Wishes by Gay Hendricks (a great author by the way) and in it he focuses on a simple question – If you were asked on your deathbed – whenever that is in six months or fifty years from now – “was your life a success?”  How would you answer that question?

Seriously – consider this as vital when it comes to what you do with your remaining time here and how that will contribute to how you would answer this challenging question at that time.

Or to put it another way – what didn’t you do, see or become or what did you do during your life that contributed to your answer.  Keep in mind we are talking here about your life not just your career, relationships, spiritual development, financial circumstances etc.  How would you respond to this overall question either yes or no when you roll all of life’s actions, circumstances, decisions, choices and outcomes into your answer?

I know when I first read it, my answer was NO.  Yes, there have been some great times, accomplishments, happy moments, travel, career success etc. but overall the answer was a quick and honest NO. And I was not at all pleased with my honest answer.

In the quiet of your own mind can you be honest with your answer?  If you can – great then take the next step.  If you can’t don’t waste anymore time on this article.  You need to be honest with this first question to move on.

If your answer to the question is YES – I consider my life a success then ask yourself – why?  I’ll bet you might be in denial in some areas. I’m not suggesting that you didn’t live a successful life but Ill wager that very few people can honestly answer this with a quick and honest YES.

If your answer to the question was NO – it’s now time for some serious work so you can live the time you have left to change your answer when that end time comes for you.

For a moment consider that your answer was NO, so what’s the next few questions?  Here are a few to consider.

Why did you do, I mean really do, that you regret?

What didn’t you do and why not?

What would you change and why and how?

If you could start all over again what single choice, decision or action would you change or do differently?

There are a lot more questions but the key is to phrase your answers honestly and from a past perspective for example –

Question – What would you have done differently?

Answer – I would have spent more time honestly considering my choices and decisions and not just making them from the heart, mind, ego or a sense of urgency only.

OK – Follow-up to this – Why didn’t you do this or what drove your actual behavior at the time?  Spend some real honest consideration on this as your answer, if honest, will give you guidance on how you can, need to or desire to change your way of handling these types of issues going forward.

I’m sure you get my drift here so I won’t belabor this any further other than to say you have two choices –

1)Take the time to go through this process or not.

2)If you do – your honesty will determine its value.  If you don’t you have no right on your deathbed to complain, whine or feel any sense of regret – you had your chance but failed to embrace it.

 

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has

never tried anything new." 

Einstein

 

 

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

The Phoenix Process

January 8th, 2013 No comments

If you are struggling in any area of your life, career or business and have never seen the movie The Flight of The Phoenix, I suggest you watch it soon.

As I was recently watching it, the idea to write this article hit me between the eyes – not for you but for me.

Sooner or later we all struggle with one of life’s challenges or adversities or even failure and we have a choice – give in or rise again!

Someone once told me I could have written that movie based on my life story – well this won’t be my story – would be too long but to the point of this movie.

When we attempt anything of significance; a new business, a new career, a new relationship or any momentous life change that requires courage and strong self-belief, we will many times have to give in, surrender or go down in flames where the stirring of passion, will and desire can keep us from just giving up without a fight.  This is a testing time – testing your faith, your beliefs and your ability and willingness to begin again often from scratch without knowing whether you will one day rise again or just stay surrounded by the ashes of defeat forever.

Having risen again and again during my life and career I can tell you that the potential of finally one day winning is a far better personal philosophy than accepting the ruins of what disaster offers you should you decide that “I guess this was meant to be or all I can expect!”  It was meant to be if you choose that path.  But there is always another one you can take filled with opportunity, potential and success and yes – risk, uncertainty and unknowns that will plague your road ahead.

The key to the journey that lies ahead can be found either in your spirit that wants only the best for you and your future or your mind that can be filled with doubt, fear and non-stop negative thoughts, feelings and worries.

The Phoenix process is simple, but not easy and to rise again – it requires patience, trust, action and the ability to be surrounded with turmoil (the flames and ashes of disaster) and see beyond them to a better future.

I don’t care what the cause or circumstances of your current or past flames causing your present situations no matter how dire or discouraging – we all face them sooner or later – the question and the choice are the same – what are you going to do – rise again or accept what appears to be your destiny.  I would add – that to allow appearances to determine your actions and decisions is nothing more than delusion and fear ruling your life. Nothing of significance has ever been created or accomplished in the history of the world without a few Phoenixcrashes along the way.  Think about it – space travel, independence, a new business enterprise or a life long relationship – they all have their Phoenix moments or even years but in the end – these people and institutions rose again because they refused to accept the status quo or conventional wisdom.

If life is sailing along wonderfully for you right now – great – but beware – life always requires aPhoenix experience before greatness or even average success can be achieved.  If you are surrounded by flames without hope, faith or courage – accept what is and rise again.  If you can I will guarantee you that one day you will look back and say to yourself – that Phoenixexperience was necessary for me to be where I am now or to be who I have become.  It was a blessing but only if you embraced it, learned from it and rose again with dignity and positive anticipation from it.

Make it a great week, In His Service, Tim

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

12 words that can change your life

January 6th, 2013 No comments

Would you like 2013 to be one of your best years ever? I would ask you to consider the following simple yet powerful approach to creating permanent change and improvement in the area of your life you most desire.

Words can have a powerful influence on your life. We bring into our life what we focus and concentrate on so why not choose one of the following words and focus on it and LIVE it for 7 days as you go through a week. When you have completed all 12 words/actions begin the process again with the list and repeat this approach four times during the next twelve months. You will be amazed at how this simple exercise can impact your year for the better. I didn’t invent this simple technique; Ben Franklin did many years ago. My word choices are a bit different than his were at the time, but the process and outcome can be the same. The order in which you select your word each week is not important – what is – is that you let that word and all it implies have a positive and complete impact on your actions, attitudes, decisions and behavior during that week. Do this for 48 weeks and I will guarantee that 2013 will be one of your most productive, successful, happiest and peaceful years ever. By the way, I have given you a list of fifteen words to choose from – so just pick the twelve that most resonate with you.Try it, you have nothing to lose!

Passion– Passion isn’t about what you are doing, but who you are. Passion does not depend on experience, education, age, gender or any other external factor. It is an inner mindset that drives your actions, attitudes, beliefs, decisions and behavior. Without passion you are doomed to just pass through life one same day after another – with it you can achieve your dreams. Do not let others or circumstances determine your passion. Live it each day and watch as your desires and dreams become reality.

Faith– Faith is not just a spiritual belief, but a strong faith in yourself, your dreams, goals, ability and your future. Too often people or circumstances challenge our faith and we have a choice – give in to these outside influences or obstacles or maintain our faith in what we desire and are working toward and one day want to achieve or become. Faith is not always easy as circumstances can relentlessly challenge our ability to maintain our faith in the face of adversity or obstacles.

Wisdom– Wisdom is not intelligence. “Let your wisdom give you understanding”. We are constantly overwhelmed with information. Information is not power – wisdom is. Wisdom is knowing what to do and what not to do, when, why and why not, how and how not and for how long. Wisdom requires knowledge that is properly applied in the right way. Do not be misled. Information is not power – wisdom is and it will only come from learning, understanding and then application.

Effort– Nothing of any consequence was ever achieved without effort. In spite of what you may have heard – there is NO free lunch. On the surface it might sometimes appear that some people achieve their goals with little or no effort, but do not be deceived. Responsible effort is the common denominator for success and happiness – for the long term. The wrong effort will tend to give you the wrong results while the right effort will contribute to your walking into your future with achievement, success and satisfaction. Contrary to the popular beliefs of many there is only one way to achieve anything and that is with effort.

Hope– Every human wants to live with hope. Hope for something better, different or new. No one wants to live their life, especially when life throws them hurdles or curves without hope. It is in our DNA. No matter what is going on we want to live with hope. When we lose hope we lose life not only emotionally but often physically. Hope is simply believing that tomorrow will be better than today or yesterday in some way and it only requires that you hold on to it with every breath you take no matter how dire circumstances may appear.

Patience– A major cause of stress in life is a lack of patience. I want it now. I want it the way I want it and I refuse to accept anything less. Life works on its own schedule and timing and it often has no regard for your preferences, demands or expectations. Patience is the ability to accept life as it shows up. This does not mean you don’t try, work, plan and hope, but in the end the world functions on a simple cause and effect basis and there is often little we can do to control either the causes or the effects. What we can do is flow and not try and push the river as life adjusts, happens and appears from moment to moment.

Belief– What you believe – you will manifest. What you focus on you will tend to increase in your life. Having goals, affirmations and even action without belief is to fail to give yourself the potential for outcomes you say you desire. Belief is an imbedded strong conviction that fills your mind and heart with attitudes and intentions that will bring to pass what you believe whether negative or positive. It is like an alarm clock that keeps reminding you of how to think, what to feel and how to act. When your beliefs are noble, positive and consistent you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Optimism– It’s a medical fact that people who are optimistic and positive live longer and get sick less than people who are negative and pessimistic. Optimism isn’t about sticking your head in the sand and living in La La land where the glass is always half full. Both positive and negative people must deal with the same life challenges, adversity, failure and problems. The difference is focus. Optimists focus on finding a solution, alternative or a way around the obstacle while pessimists stay stuck in the problem. There is no guarantee that this year will not give you your share of challenges and problems, the question is how you choose to interpret them and then respond to them.

Gratitude– Have you ever considered that you get 80,000 heartbeats every day? I could go on with the many blessings each of us receives every minute of every day, but the question is – how often do you thank life and God for all of your special gifts? It’s been proven in the medical field that people who live with gratitude tend to have happier and healthier lives. Just stop every now and then every day and just say thank you.

Kindness– They are called random acts of kindness – to a friend, a co-worker, family member or even a total stranger. Showing kindness to others will tend to keep you out of self-absorption and focused on being of value or service to others. You never know – from where or when your acts of kindness will be returned. But fail to give them and I’ll wager that you will receive very few of them in return.

Now– Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for everyone. All you have is this moment as you are reading this short article. In five minutes whatever happened will be history. Let me repeat – thirty seconds ago is gone with all its pain, uncertainty and opportunity. The single best thing you can do to achieve success, happiness and inner peace is to learn to embrace each moment as it happens. Leaving behind yesterday with all its regrets, disappointments, achievements and memories. If you can learn to live each moment as it is given to you, you will discover the true value of life.

Courage– I’m not talking here about the courage to jump out of airplanes or take physical risks, but the willingness to address each of life’s challenges as they show up in life with the ability to take them head on and not hide from them hoping they will solve themselves or suddenly disappear. Courage is the ability to confront your fears and uncertainties with resolve and bravery. Hoping they will solve themselves is to live in denial and often defiance. The value in facing your fears is that with time you will learn to prevent them rather than having to overcome them.

Appreciation– The single best way to keep your mind out of its natural tendency to come at issues and uncertainties from a fear perspective is to learn to stay in a mindset of appreciation. Your mind has only two options when it comes to emotions – fear and love. All emotions are offshoots of these so to prevent or control – anger, jealousy, resentment, hate and so many others and their ability to rule your life is to learn to come at everything with the feeling or attitude of appreciation. Try it – for one week – learn to pay attention to everything in your life and I mean everything that crosses your path and just keep saying thank you. You will be amazed.

Compassion– No one in life escapes loss, grief or pain. Sooner or later we must all face the inevitable consequences of life. Death happens, illness happens, economic or natural crises hit many of us. And, disappointment is a routine part of life. I will guarantee that someone will cross your path today that needs compassion from you or others they encounter. Compassion is not sympathy but demonstrating understanding and a listening ear. Compassion is simply caring about others regardless of their relationship to you or their status in life. Ever needed or wanted compassion from others? If not, you are most likely living in denial.

Confidence– I’m not talking here about ego domination or conceit, but having belief and many of the topics above as a natural part of your mindsets or life philosophy. False confidence will show itself for what it is sooner or later – insecurity. We all have moments when we lose or lack self-confidence and these are normal depending on our circumstances or situations. The ability to maintain a healthy self-esteem will contribute greatly to your self-confidence as you confront unknowns, uncertainty and unfamiliar territory in life.

That’s it. I encourage you to follow the instructions at the beginning of this article for the next twelve months. If you do, at the end of 2013 as you look back on the previous year you will smile and say to yourself – what a great year this has been. Make it a great one. It’s in your hands!

Make it a great week, In His Service, Tim

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn
 

Seven ways to make 2013 a K… A.. year

December 26th, 2012 No comments

OK, a new year is just a few days away. Are you ready to take it on with gusto and optimism or are you going to let the disappointments, frustrations and challenges of last year plague you as you move into the months ahead? There are seven things I would ask you to consider if you want to ensure that 2013 is one of your best ever.

Manage your expectations– The number one contributor to disappointment, frustration, stress and anxiety in life – are unmanaged expectations. Life happens. People make promises they don’t keep. We can’t control everything. If you want to experience frustration and disappointment next year continue to let circumstances and people that that you can’t control –get to you. One way to reduce the impact of this issue is to simply accept the fact that life happens and not always the way you want it to, expect it to or even demand it to. I’m not suggesting that you not have expectations, but that you better manage your reactions to the outcomes of them.

Stay in the present– Yesterday, last month and ten minutes ago is gone. You can’t change any of it no matter how hard you try or want to – no matter what you did, said or thought. You would be amazed at how much time the average person spends mentally in the past or future. Actually statistics say that it’s over 90% of our waking time. Worried about the future, regretful of the past, concern for what might happen or just your dislike of uncertainty. The only thing that is certain about life is its continued uncertainty. You can’t control the future and you can’t change anything in the past – all you can do is spend time in the present doing your best to create a better future therefore a better past.

Improve your skills– If you are not getting better you are falling behind. The world is changing faster than at any time in recorded history and this requires that your keep your skills relevant and current. Regardless of your roles or responsibilities – sales, management, leadership, customer service, etc. there are numerous factors in play that are having a tremendous impact on how the world will look differently in the coming months and years. One sure way to ensure that you look back on 2013 with disappointment is to do nothing to improve who you are, what you do or how you do it. Why not invest a portion of your resources in – getting better and wiser in some way.

Control your mindsets– Fear is the number one contributor to illness, failure, discouragement and so many other negative outcomes in life. Your mindsets (attitudes/philosophy) are the single most influential factor in determining the quality of your life. Regardless of whether you are an optimist and have a positive life outlook, a pessimist with a negative one or somewhere in the middle – how you think every minute controls your actions, decisions, behaviors and yes your results or outcomes and circumstances. Stop blaming and spend this year working on improving how you think moment by moment.

Are your goals reality or fantasy based– Goals are about the direction you are travelling in life and not the end result. Ever had a goal that you didn’t reach? Ever achieved a result that was never a goal? Welcome to reality 101. The primary purpose of goals is not to achieve them but to use them as a roadmap or template towards an objective. Things happen that you can’t anticipate. Life changes in a heartbeat. Yesterday’s goal can get in the way of what is really important in your life today if you stick with it just because you set it when you were at a different time or place in your life. In other words just because you have set a goal for 2013 doesn’t mean that it can’t change. Be careful of letting your goals rule your life if they are not taking you in the direction you want to travel.

Lessons learned– If you are a good student in life – you learn the lessons it gives you and you move on. If you are not – it is guaranteed that you will once again have to deal with the same challenges or lessons again. Life is a relentless teacher and it has an agenda that there are certain things you need to learn in life before it gives you a passing grade allowing you to move on to the next lesson. Get it – the lessons just keep coming and you have a choice – stay stuck in the same lessons over and over again wasting valuable time and life or learn them the first time so you can one day graduate.

Inspect, evaluate & reinvent– You’ve heard it – expecting different results from repeated behavior is a form of insanity. Got a plan B for 2013? Don’t think you need one? Some things in life just work – can’t tell you why – they just do. Other things in life no matter how hard we try or want them to – just don’t work to our complete satisfaction. Been there? There now? So what’s the answer?Inspect– ask lot’s of self-introspection questions like; why, why not, how, when, what if etc.Evaluate– consider other options, alternatives, actions and potential consequences. Be honest asking yourself what’s not working and why isn’t it?Reinvent– Stop thinking outside the box – throw the box away.

That’s it. If you will seriously consider each of these areas and their impact on your life, career or business and make the necessary positive adjustments or changes I will guarantee that this year will be one of your best ever.

Make it a great week, In His Service, Tim

Tim Connor, CSP World renowned Speaker, Trainer and best selling author of over 80 titles. Box 397, Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA, 704-895-1230 (voice) tim@timconnor.com (email) - www.timconnor.com (Website) Why not connect with me on: FaceBook/LinkedIn