The impact of worry

November 15th, 2014 No comments

Let me start with the results of numerous surveys over the years. Over 90% of the things people worry about never happen. OK, so why do people let worry dominate their life? Or, better still what are the consequences of worry when it comes to health, relationships and life in general?

The major issue with worry is its contribution to stress and stress is a killer so does worry kill people? Yes. Oh, maybe not directly, but indirectly.

What do people worry about? In no particular order they worry about; health issues, careers, relationships, the weather, getting a flat tire, missing a plane, whether people will accept or like them – get it? People who worry, worry about everything, but they tend to worry about some things more than others. But, the common denominator in the things people worry about are the things they want to control or even influence but fail to realize that some things in life just can’t be controlled;

-The behavior of others.

-Yes, the weather.

-The economy.

-The consequences of decisions made by others.

This list is far too long for this article, but let me ask you – are you a worrier? If so what do you tend to worry most about? And how is this life approach working for you?

Why do people worry? I eluded it to it in the above paragraph – they want control and when they have it they worry about losing it and when they don’t have it they worry about what will happen because they can’t control the things they need or want to control.

People also worry about stupid or trivial stuff. Stuff that in the grand scheme of life don’t really matter, but they have chosen to make them big deals instead of just letting this trivial stuff go and moving on accepting that which they can’t control.

They worry about their future. They worry about things they did or didn’t do in the past and their impact on their lives in the present and even the future. They worry about money, security, opinions of others, being misunderstood, potential conflict – again I could go on and on with this stuff, but I’m sure you don’t need more examples.

They worry because they just have to worry – their rational is simple – this is who I am – I am a worrier. Come on – yes, you may have had that mindset in the past, but the only reason it dominates your life now is because you are comfortable with worry and see no longer worrying as a casual way of living life and more or less – appearing as not caring about stuff or that if you don’t worry you are not serious or mature or more realistic etc.

What are the consequences of worry? As I said earlier worry contributes to stress and stress is a major contributor of illness and illness is a major contributor to death.

In brief – worry keeps people stuck in negative mindsets or attitudes and these will impact the quality of all relationships, effectiveness, creativity, problem solving, decision making and every aspect of your daily life.

Worry is nothing more than a mental habit and these mindsets can be changed, but a person often needs to be confronted in a significant way with the short and/or long term impact of any attitude, belief or behavior before they will consider changing it, releasing it or improving it.

Worry causes people to make rash immature decisions, take foolish actions and fail to consider the real consequences of these. So- they worry, act, decide and inherit the consequences of their thoughts and then justify the consequences they get as unavoidable. They go into denial, justification and often fail to accept the personal reality they caused as their responsibility.

What can we do to better manage worries? I am not a psychologist or a medical doctor and I am not suggesting that people need medication or therapy to better handle life’s issues in a more positive or proactive way but let me share a few things to consider – if you are a worrier;

1)Start keeping a journal of all the things you worry about. Write them all down and then track them to see what the actual outcomes were over time. Then ask yourself – was my worry about this warranted or even justified?

2)   Spend dedicated time each day (from a few minutes to even an hour and just worry – have a list of things you want to worry about and just go through the list one item at a time). Once this time is over don’t allow yourself any time during the rest of your day for worry.

3)   Learn to focus on the now – not tomorrow, not yesterday or not next week.

4)   Pay attention to your thoughts whenever you worry and ask yourself – is worry about this worth my time or energy?

5)   Use mental anchors – whenever you start to worry about anything – replace those thoughts with positive ones – anything that distracts you from the negative and helps you focus on the positives.

6)   Create a – count your blessings list and whenever you start to worry about anything – pull your list out and review the items one at a time.

7)   Start exposing yourself to more positive mental inputs – books, CD’s, people – anything that helps you realize how special each day is.

8)   Start trusting God and improving your faith in tomorrow accepting what is and what you can’t control.

 

“Bacteria and other microorganisms find it easier to infect people who worry and fret.”

Leo Rangell

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
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Life’s 7 Vital P’s

November 8th, 2014 No comments

It’s not too late – I still have 4 open seats in my November 3rd. Sales Boot Camp in Charlotte – Sales Boot Camp.

This article is not intended to simplify what it takes to achieve success, but to give you a simple and straightforward approach that when consistently implemented can go a very long way to helping you accomplish your dreams, find happiness and inner peace and use your skills and experience for the benefit of others.

What are the seven? And yes there are many more traits, attitudes and mindsets that are required, but after careful consideration I’ll bet you could list all of them under one of the seven.

Purpose, Passion, Preparation, Practice, Persistence, Performance and Patience.

Let’s take a brief look at each.

Purpose – Without a defining purpose whether personal, business or career it is unlikely that anyone will consistently pursue a dream, desire or goal if they have a haphazard or wily nily approach to their activities, decisions and actions. Purpose should be the underlying philosophy or strategy if you want to have any hope of ultimate success or achievement. Purpose helps us overcome obstacles, failure and disappointment as we pursue our objectives or mission. Clear and focused purpose needs to be well defined and integrated into each belief, mindset, action and decision. Purpose must be grounded in belief and commitment if any goal is to be accomplished or achieved regardless of its time frame.

Passion – Passion can make up for a lack of education, experience and knowledge. Yes, these can be helpful, but how many people do you think embarked on a mission with all of the skills and knowledge they needed to achieve success and failed to achieve their dreams, desires or goals? My research over the years tells me that most people who have achieved greatness whether inventors, entrepreneurs, entertainers or sports figures or anyone who has accomplished great things, didn’t have all they needed when they began, but they all had a driving passion.

Preparation – It doesn’t matter whether you are an Olympic athlete or are preparing for a vacation – preparation when done in a timely and effective way will go a long way in ensuring a successful outcome. Yes, there will always be surprises and uncertain things that can cause challenges as you make your journey forward, but in the end, preparation can serve as an excellent way to ensure that these will be minor or they won’t disrupt the major objective or your goal. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t live without a sense of adventure or spontaneity, but proper planning will often contribute to a better outcome. Planning consists of thinking through the journey in advance with all of its goals, potential problems and uncertainties and how you will handle them should they arrive or in other words having a Plan B or even a Plan C.

Practice – Without practice whether you are an actor, salesperson, athlete or business leader you are guaranteed to fail to achieve your desired results. Over the years I have observed numerous salespeople “winging it” hoping that their casual style would end in success. I have watched many athletes depend on “natural ability” hoping that they would achieve greatness. Doesn’t happen folks. The best of the best always practice whether on their own or with a mentor, coach or anyone interested in helping them achieve success. Perfection is impossible, but practice can ensure that you always do your best.

Persistence – I’ll keep this one short – without persistence you will never achieve your goals, dreams or plans. Yes, sometimes our plans or goals need to be refined or abandoned, but in the end if it is worthy of your talent, skill, and effort, don’t expect things to always turn out according to your schedule or time table. Stick with it if it has meaning in your life and accept wherever the path leads with faith, confidence and courage.

Performance – Performance is simply the result of many factors – attitudes, effort, knowledge, skill, wisdom, desire and discipline. It doesn’t matter whether it’s preparing a fancy meal, building a house or working on a project or hobby – when complete or how it looks along the way and when it is finished will be a direct result of the performance you brought to each step along the way. This article for example is not just 800 words, but my attempt to share in a coherent and brief way some facts, truths or opinions about this topic. Do I rewrite? Yes. Do I evaluate the outcome and then process each step of the way? Yes. Do I add stuff or delete stuff or change stuff on second and third readings? Yes. Is it perfect? No. Could it always be better? Yes. Will it ever be perfect? No. Will everyone like it? No. Performance is a measure of the relationship to your goals, plans or objectives and their outcomes.

Patience – The number one contributor to stress is a lack of patience. When we feel we should be in control of everything in life; it’s outcomes, timing, responses etc. we are just setting ourselves up for disappointment, frustration, anxiety and even anger. Not a pretty picture when you consider that a lack of patience is directly related to our lack of trust, acceptance and the need to be in charge of life. Not going to happen – sorry. Life happens every day to each of us – things we didn’t expect, things we don’t want, and people that for whatever reason disappoint us in some way. Patience is simply the ability to flow with life as it appears one minute at a time.

Someone didn’t respond to your email or text as quickly as you wanted?

Someone is late for an appointment? Traffic jam?

I could go on for pages with all of this stuff, but in the end we have a choice – accept what is (and I don’t mean to imply that we should be passive bystanders, but that we should learn when to act and when to wait) or do what we can do while we wait. Too many people die early simply because they let the power of impatience destroy their health, happiness and inner peace. There is only one thing in life we can control and that is simply – how we behave, react and respond.

If you are having communication breakdowns with anyone or someone’s behavior is disappointing you or you would like to improve a relationship with anyone I urge you to order a copy of my latest book. . . Blah, Blah, Blah – see the special offer that follows;

Special Offer – order two copies of Blah, Blah, Blah – my latest book before (10/31/14) and I will send you a third copy FREE. Click here to order.

 “Self-trust is the first secret of success.”

Emerson

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
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Life’s 12 truths

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

Life is complicated – or many people would have us believe.

It doesn’t matter your age, gender, race, religion, education or nationality, yes life can be complicated, but only if that is what you choose it to be. Let me explain.

I believe there are twelve life truths that when we live them with integrity, consistency and purpose the rest of life’s “stuff” will take care of itself and not become our major focus or burdens as we pass from year to year and yes, life will be less complicated, challenging and even difficult. I could list hundreds of attitudes, behaviors, opinions, strategies etc. but in the end most of these can be successfully managed if we will but follow the following twelve. They are in no particular order of importance, but yes, some can have a greater impact on our life success, happiness and inner peace than others.

Life is short – As each day passes we all have fewer years ahead of us and the question remains – what are you doing with the days you are given? Wasting them with worry, regret, discouragement, stress, envy or even anger or embracing them with joy, effort, charity, happiness, creativity, acceptance and compassion.

Life is about now – The past is gone. The future is unknown and uncertain, but what we do have is now. All memories are created in the now. All of our futures are created in our now moments and what we do with them. To live in yesterday’s regrets and tomorrow’s worries is to waste life.

Life is grounded in integrity – The essence of a life without stress, anxiety and success is grounded in truth. When we stray from integrity we set ourselves up for disappointment, uncertain relationships and often disaster. Truth – when it is the foundation of all life – contributes to inner peace, happiness and ultimate success.

Life is who you are – Life is not what you do, your roles, your responsibilities, your achievements, your failures or how you choose to define yourself. Life is who you are and the ability to remain true to this regardless of your roles, responsibilities or relationships. When you let circumstances and people influence who you are – you lose who you are.

Life is about gratitude – There are two types of people in the world – those who feel they deserve what they get, want and have and want even more and those who feel gratitude for what they have. Yes, they may want more or better, but regardless of what life gives them they always count their blessings for the gifts they are given. I am an ammature on scripture, but I believe it says, I’m paraphrasing here, “Be happy with what you have and manage it well and you will get more. Treat what you have with disrespect and as an Idol and you will lose what you have.”

Life is bigger than us – regardless of your spiritual values or beliefs – whether you are an atheist or committed Christian or somewhere in the middle you can’t deny that life is bigger than each and all of us. Robert Laidlaw said it best over 100 years ago in his famous book, The Reason Why, “Wherever and whenever you see perfect design, there is always a designer.” If you think the human body with all of its minute by minute millions of miracles is the result of chance or that the Universe with its complexity and vastness is the result of pure chance, in my opinion you are living in a fantasy world.

Life is about love – There are two fundamental emotions that drive all behavior and these are fear and love. When actions, decisions and behavior are grounded in fear things tend to get worse as regret, jealousy, discouragement, anger and hatred are all offshoots of fear. And when the above are rooted in love things will tend to improve. This is not always the case, but as evidence has shown over the years – positive approaches (grounded in love) to challenges and problems tend to be more effective than negative ones (grounded in fear).

Life is about legacy – What will you leave behind when you leave here? A positive, negative or neutral impact on the world and the people you interacted with while you lived your many years? Legacy is not created during your final days, but each day as you share your knowledge, experiences, wisdom, compassion and understanding with others. If you want a clue as to the legacy you will leave behind, just take a peek at some of your relationships, activities and accomplishments that you are living or experiencing now. These can be accurate indications as to how or whether  you will even be remembered and the influence you had while alive.

Life is about growing – If you are not growing you are dying. Period. If you are not learning you are stuck. Period. If you are unwilling to embrace the positives related to change you are in denial. Period. If you are refusing to let go of outdated and inappropriate opinions, values, beliefs and attitudes you will remain a prisoner of your own mind and you are guaranteed to enjoy life less and accomplish little with the time you have left. Period.

Life is about wisdom – Wisdom is not knowledge. Wisdom is the combination of experience and knowledge. Knowledge is not access to information, but knowing what information is needed to improve some aspect of your life. Beware of the increased paradigm that information is power. It is not. Only wisdom is. Wisdom makes life easier, more rewarding and more enjoyable. Knowledge only improves your ability to discuss topics or subjects in a more relevant way.

Life is about community – We are all connected whether it is your neighbor, a distant relative or a stranger that lives thousands of miles away. Each of us creates our own world by how we connect with others in relationship. A rewarding life is about positive relationships grounded in respect, acceptance, compassion and understanding. When we lose these, we lose our ability to contribute to the lives of others. When we let political correctness and our narrow perspectives determine who we relate to and how, we will limit our ability to have a positive influence on the world and its occupants as well as the people who cross our path.

Life is about responsibility – I fear that many people today don’t grasp the simple concept of responsibility and spend more time and energy in denial, blame or finger pointing that tend to rule their lives. Many years ago responsibility was the dominant attitude of most people. They better understood the consequences of choices, behavior and decisions than many people do today. Responsibility, ultimately, is the outcome we will all face as our life comes to a close. Did you accept outcomes with maturity, courage and action or did you spend (waste) your years focused on a failure to accept the consequences you created or experienced during your life as a result of your actions, behavior and decisions? We will all one day have to look in the mirror as we contemplate our existence and how we lived our time here. What will be your conclusions as you take your final breath?

There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Gandhi

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
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Some great books with insightful learning potential.

October 15th, 2014 No comments

During the past few years I have been on an accelerated spiritual journey and have read dozens of wonderful books. I would like to share my recommended reading list of my favorite books over the years.

The following books are some of the best I have ever read and I recommend all of them to you as possible resources regardless of where you are on life’s path. Why not make it your personal mission to read one great book every month that can change your life for the better in some way.

They are in no order of importance – they are all great in some way that have a message that can aid your life journey.

-Setting Your Heart on Fire – Cushnir

-Life is Tremendous – Jones

-In The Flow of Life – Butterworth

-The Land Between, Manion

-The Gift of Years, Chittister

-Waking Up In Time – Russell

-Prosperity – Fillmore

-Live Before You Die, Kolenda

-Psycho-Cybernetics, Maltz

-The Thunder of Silence, Goldsmith

-The Reason Why, Laidlaw

-The Way of The Peaceful Warrior, Millman

-Space, Time & Medicine, Dossey

-The Four Agreements, Ruiz

-The Richest Man in Babylon, Clason

-Think and Grow Rich – Hill

-When the Worst That Can Happen Already Has, Wholey

-The Eternal Now, Tillich

-My Utmost For His Highest, Chambers

-Fully Human, Fully Alive, Powel

-Unconditional Love, Powell

-Why am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Am, Powell

-Transitions, Bridges

-Acres of Diamonds, Conwell

-The Prophet, Gibran

-Mans Search For Meaning, Frankle

-Everything Happens For a Reason, Kirshenbaum

-The Power of Patience, Ryan

-Broken Open, Lesser

-Wake-up Calls, Allenbaugh

-After You Die, Santora

-What Happy People Know, Baker

-The Choice, Mandino

-In the Flow of Life, Butterworth

-Spirit, Soul and Body, Wommack

-The Voice of Knowledge, Ruiz

-9 Things You Must Do in Life, Matte

-A Gentle Thunder, Lucado

-Not a Fan, Idleman

-Five Wishes, Hendricks

-Wishes Fulfilled, Dyer

-Brain Rules, Medina

-The Seasons of God, Blackaby

-Walking Wisely, Stanley

-As A Man Thinketh, Allen

-Victory Over Darkness, Anderson

-Don’t Waste Your Life, Piper

-Lost Virtues of Happiness, Moreland

-You Matter to God, Prince

-When The Enemy Strikes, Stanley

-If God, Why Evil, Geisler

-The Power of Humility, Kendall

-Moving Forward, Worthington

-God is in Control, Stanley

– Why God, Why, Jensen

-The Journey, Graham

-The Search For Significance, McGee

-The Hurt and the Healer, Millard

-God Speaks, Comfort

-In a Pit With a Lion, Batterson

-Grace Walk, McVey

-How God Changes Your Brain, Newberg

-God Will Carry You Through, Lucado

-How to Listen to God, Stanley

-Walking With God, Eldredge

-New Testament Words, Wiersbe

-A Grace Disguised, Sittser

-Hear Me When I Call, Swindoll

-Enemies of The Heart, Stanley

-A Grief Observed, Lewis

-Mind Monsters, Gerald

-Nasty People, Carter

-The Mercy Prayer, Gelinas

-My One Word, Ashcraft

-Your Divine Fingerprint, Craft

-The Transparent Self, Jourard

-Living on The Edge, Ingram

 And the best – The Bible

Should you decide to read any of the above – I hope you find the peace, contentment, happiness and success you are searching for as you travel life’s highways.

 

My Favorites – are in blue

“Five years from today you will be the same as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.”

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

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
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Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

October 15th, 2014 No comments

We all face obstacles in life – in business, careers, relationships, finances and health. I believe that it is the obstacles we face and how we handle or overcome them that define our lives and success and happiness. An obstacle for one person can be an opportunity for growth for someone else.

So, what’s the difference – is it the obstacle that defines us or is it the plan, discipline, courage and actions that we take that makes the difference? In all obstacles there are opportunities hidden beneath the surface.

Obstacles are a normal part of everyday life but it’s how we respond to them that determines the outcomes. There are several ways we can react to an obstacle;

-Denial, Regret, Anxiety, Confusion, Stress, Uncertainty, Disappointment, Anger, Fear, or; Action, Courage, Confidence, Focus, Calm and Caution.

What determines which approach a person will take?

There are numerous contributors but a few of the more common ones are; a victim or in control mindset, a history of how we have dealt with similar obstacles in the past and their respective outcomes, our self-esteem, our perception of how these obstacles can be handled or not handled and our general life approach as it relates to how we manage life’s circumstances.

Today you will experience an obstacle that you don’t want or didn’t see coming, but in the end they just keep on coming. The key to sustained success regardless of your roles, responsibilities or position is to creatively turn obstacles into opportunities learning how to see them coming, manage them more positively and developing strategies and approaches to reduce or eliminate their return.

Here are a few steps or strategies for dealing with obstacles.

-Planning – Most people live day to day just taking stuff as it shows up. Yes, sometimes we plan a vacation, activity or some other major action but in general our day to day stuff just happens and we respond. I’m not suggesting you plan every minute of every day but that when there are similar or repeat obstacles in your life that you consider preparing for them in advance and then developing an action plan to deal with them.

-Stay present – Most obstacles force us into the future – what might happen. The thing to keep in mind is that how you act now will have an impact on what happens tomorrow. The trick is to not let whatever is happening lure you into the future.

-Focus on reality – It is what it is and a great deal of what is, is due to our previous actions, attitudes, decisions or behavior. The past contributes to our now and then the future. Reality is what is and not what we want it to be.

-Carefully evaluate your options – We always have choices. However, we may not like some of them. Prior to making any decision it is necessary to carefully evaluate our options considering future potential outcomes or consequences of them.

-Manage your emotions – Fear is the number one issue when it comes to obstacles. No one likes uncertainty or the issues that can contribute to it or the outcomes that we feel we can’t control or solve. The single best thing you can do when it comes to dealing with obstacles is to let go of your fear and believe that one way or another things will turn out ok.

-Revisit your strengths – You are stronger than you are sometimes aware of or even believe. You have been through challenging times in the past and you have survived. Learn to count on your lessons learned and the strengths you have gained from past experiences.

-Manage your expectations – The single biggest contributor to disappointment and frustration are your personal expectations about the way things should be or how they should turn out. We can only control what we can control so learn to let go of what you can’t control.

-Accept that obstacles are normal – Life happens and not always the way we want it to – that’s life. Obstacles are nothing more than temporary detours to your destination. But even detours will get you where you are heading but you just have to trust the signs.

 Use them to grow – The events in our lives are never just about the event. There is always a deeper meaning or lesson that we can learn if we are open and receptive to the learning. Growth never happens smoothly it always comes with sacrifice, pain, failure or challenges but in the end there is always something we can learn if we are willing.

-Have patience – Patience is an issue for many people today given our fast paced world. We want it to happen now. We want it solved now. We want it over now. We want . . . now. It would be nice if life always operated on our personal schedule but this just isn’t the way life works. A lack of patience is the single biggest contributor to stress. So chill, relax and know that in the end this too shall pass or why not – this too shall prepare me.

-Act with confidence – There are two ways to deal with challenges and obstacles – with confidence and belief or with a mindset of a victim. Which in the end do you think will carry you through?

-Trust God – I’ll leave it with this.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Sir Winston Churchill

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
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Don’t say goodbye – say thank you

October 8th, 2014 No comments

We all say goodbye every day – to friends, loved ones and even strangers but let me ask you – have you ever felt sadness in your heart when you uttered these words to someone? I know I have.

Goodbye sounds so final sometimes even when we know we will see our loved ones again at the end of the day. Or, maybe we won’t – you never know. Not being morbid here, but many people say a quick and simple goodbye to friends and loved ones and as they came to learn in the future – that would be the last time they were ever able to say goodbye to them again due to their passing – whether due to a tragedy or unexpected life event. Ever had that experience? I have and it taught me, after a great deal of sadness and pain, to always say thank you and not just goodbye – you never know!

What does goodbye really mean? Is it just a casual comment we make without thinking or is it sometimes our conscious last words to someone due to a job transfer or the end of a friendship or a relationship etc?

We never know. I have said goodbye to high school friends and seen them again many years later. I have said goodbye to clients and worked with them again and again and I have said goodbye to loved ones hoping that I would see them again. And I have said goodbye to special people at their funerals.

Goodbye – sounds so final. Here’s the dictionary definition – used when people part or end a telephone conversation. My definition – our final words uttered in any situation that has an unknown future.

How about a different approach – rather than goodbye why not a simple thank you. Seem silly? Try it.

Rather than a goodbye a simple thank you creates a different attitude, one that doesn’t imply that we will or won’t ever see or talk to each other again.

Thank you for what? This could be a really long list, but here are a few to consider.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your understanding.

Thank you for your compassion.

Thank you for your love.

Thank you for your kindness.

Thank you for listening.

 Need more?

Thank you for your interest.

Thank you for your business.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for just being you.

Thank you for your wisdom.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you for your confidence.

You might ask – do I just end the conversation or time together with thank you or both thank you and then goodbye?

Consider the other person when you end something rather than your own feelings. For me, saying thank you says it all and I don’t need to follow with a goodbye. Why? Whatever or however the relationship, conversation or time ends – it ends with appreciation and appreciation is what we all want in life. I’ll guarantee there is someone in your life that would love to hear a simple thank you more often, especially from the heart. We all sooner or later take someone for granted when all they really want and often need from us is a simple heartfelt and sincere – thank you.

What gets in the way of the willingness to say thank you?

Self-centeredness

Arrogance

Ego

Insecurity

Insensitivity

Ignorance

Emotional immaturity

In the end, how you leave a conversation or relationship will have an impact on the next conversation or relationship, maybe not directly, but certainly indirectly. We all take our history into our next actions, behavior and decisions so why not develop a positive rather than negative or even neutral approach to each ending.

PS: I am considering starting a virtual book club.  We would read one book a month (based on the recommendations of the participants) and we would have a monthly call to discuss lessons, opinions, ideas etc.  There would be a small fee for membership to cover the costs of the monthly call.  I would be interested in your feedback whether you think this is a good idea and if you would consider joining.  Send me an email with your thoughts, Thanks.   

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”

Wordsworth

In His Service,

Tim Connor

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
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Are you missing something in your life?

September 17th, 2014 No comments

What you pay attention to every minute of each day determines the quality of your life. Whether it is words, the actions of others, the simple things, the negatives or the positives – they influence your beliefs, attitudes, decisions and behavior.

 

Last month I read a great book by, Mario Puig called Reinventing Yourself. (By the way I urge you to read it.) He covers a wide variety of mental issues that impact performance, health, attitudes and ultimate behavior. I won't cover them all (impossible in this article) but I would like to share two of his key points regarding attention and awareness and their influence on our lives. (FYI – he is a well respected neurosurgeon and author at the Harvard Medical School.)

 

Attention – Have you ever considered how much happens during your typical day that you just don't notice or pay attention to? Whether it's the simple things like – a smile from a stranger to a near miss auto incident because you are so focused on your daily tasks, worries or personal needs or agendas. Or, it could even be major issues like signals that your mind or body are sending you that are trying to tell you to pay attention as these can be valuable observations that can prevent serious future consequences.

 

Why don't we pay closer attention to the signals that life is sending us? Is it our need for control, ego, pride, arrogance or just total ignorance or some combination of these? Yes.

 

Life continuously sends us messages about all of life. How we are being received by others, what we need to learn, what really matters in life and how to live with increased success, happiness and contentment. But, if we fail to notice and honor many of these signals we are setting ourselves up for future negative consequences as one of life's goals is to help us achieve and find inner peace and a sense of personal value.

 

Normally people only pay attention to life's events or happenings when they are in crisis mode or the situation resonates with them due to their current worries, challenges or fears.

 

Ever made a bad decision? Ever made what you realized later was a mistake? Ever wished you could change something about your past? Come on – we have all done these but – could we have avoided some of the pain and struggle associated with them by paying better attention to the signals life was giving us? Yes. Maybe we would have still decided or acted the way we did, but at least we would have done it with a greater degree of knowledge about what we could be bringing into our life.

 

Attention is not that difficult to maintain. All that is involved is that we let go of our concern and worry about the future and attachment to the past. You might think this is difficult to do and yes it can be for many people but, if we can learn to just stay tuned in to what is happening now – around us and within us you would be amazed at how you can alter your present and future for the better.

 

Awareness – There are two types of awareness – what I refer to as casual awareness and focused awareness. Casual awareness is when something has caught your attention, but it for whatever reason does not seem to be of concern to you either as something you need to learn or something that could be a threat to you; emotionally, physically or mentally. It crosses your mind; you notice it, but dismiss it for whatever reason. On the other hand there is focused awareness and this is where the real value of this life approach can help you either in the present or the future.

 

Focused awareness can be a tremendous learning tool to improve some aspect of your life and circumstances. Let me give you a quick example.

 

You are reading a self help book and a sentence grabs your attention. Here's one I caught last night. "Don't let other people's baggage become your destiny." As I considered this simple sentence I began to think about all of the times in my life when I turned over my behavior to other people, even total strangers. I stopped reading and spent more time thinking about this phrase and my past, present and future. Every time I let other people's behavior contribute to or even determine my behavior I experienced more stress. I thought about numerous examples.

 

My point is that this phrase caught my attention and I made a conscious choice to give it my full awareness. As a result this became an epiphany moment for me when I would make a serious change in my life. Ever had one of those moments? If not it may because you are not moving from attention to focused awareness. Just imagine what you could be missing in your life.

"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count.

It's the life in your years."

Abe Lincoln

 

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
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The blame game

September 10th, 2014 No comments

Ever blamed someone for something? Every blamed an organization or circumstance for something? If you haven't you may want to consider a therapy group or some serious self-introspection.

Blame – to consider somebody to be responsible for something wrong or unfortunate that has happened. My definition – failing to take responsibility for results or outcomes that you feel you don't deserve or want.

Where does blame originate and why do people blame? Well, it's complicated, but let me see if I can simplify it.

Where does blame originate?

Sooner or later we all fall victim to blame whether something insignificant or something major, but the source is always the same – insecurity, a need for control, low self-esteem or just out of touch with life's reality.

Blame is a mindset and the source of all mindsets are the beliefs and values that a person has developed during life. Many of our beliefs started very early in life while others developed over the years as we tested our beliefs against current situations, circumstances or the people who crossed our life path.

These influences, regardless of their source, have caused us to develop approaches to life that reinforce our beliefs so that we can feel comfortable with our actions or behaviors regardless of their current or future impact on our success, happiness of contentment. No one likes inner conflict. We want to resolve our internal mental challenges quickly and hopefully successfully, but often when we attempt to accomplish these, we fail to realize or accept the simple fact that we are responsible for many of our life circumstances.

It is unfortunate however, that when we fail to take responsibility for our own actions, behavior and decisions we often fail to learn the necessary lessons that are important to grasp and prevent us from repeating similar occurrences in the future.

Early in life I tried using blame as a strategy, but thankfully I learned to no longer use this approach before this mindset was entrenched in my beliefs and therefore was able to start looking in the mirror rather than pointing my finger.

As I have said in many previous articles, our beliefs are responsible for all of our reactions to life and therefore the majority of our circumstances. If you find yourself in a blame mode ask yourself a simple question – what do you hope to gain by this behavior? Your answer will tell you a great deal about the why, when and how you use blame as a response to disappointment, challenges, problems and even failure.

Why do people blame?

Blaming is pointing their finger at others or just staying in denial when it comes to consequences.

In a way we believe blame relieves us of the responsibility for our mistakes, failures, poor decisions and inappropriate behavior. This philosophy however tends to keep us stuck in the past and repeating the same mistakes over and over again and experiencing repeated pain, suffering, regret or even despair or discouragement.

So, what's the answer?

It's both easy and hard. Start taking responsibility for everything in your life where you have control and have contributed to results or outcomes because of your attitudes, thoughts, decisions, actions, values, beliefs and self-esteem.

There is no other way to grow past this life approach especially if you have people in your life who continue to enable you and your blame behavior.

Start surrounding yourself with people who hold you accountable, yes in a respectful way, but still not allowing you to reach out to find scapegoats, excuses and rationales that permit you remain trapped.

This week's special offer –

Order – Emerging From Life's Valleys and receive a free copy of my bestseller – Life is Short.

"Do not blame anybody for your mistakes or failures."

Baruch

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
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Growing old vs. getting old

September 3rd, 2014 No comments

It doesn't matter if you are 25 going on 26 or 80 going on 81, every day we are all getting older chronologically, but how we age is more a factor of our mindsets and attitudes than the years that pass quickly by.

 

Most of my heroes and mentors lived well into their eighties or nineties and were more spry, alert and engaging in their later years than many people are in their youth and middle age. A few come to mind; Mark Twain, George Burns, Bob Hope, Will Rogers, Og Mandino and Norman Vincent Peale. Each of them left a wonderful legacy that wasn't really established until their later years or as some would say – Old age.

 

One of my favorite quotes by Mr. Twain when he was asked by a reporter, "How old are you Mr. Twain?" His response, "My age is none of my business." Classic.

 

I can't tell you how many people I have met around the world that in their early years acted like they were ready for the grave and how many folks I have met who were in their later years that had the enthusiasm, passion and sense of adventure of someone in their teens.

 

Why the difference? Why do so many people let their age determine their actions, behavior and goals? Why do so many people give up on life as they approach their final years with a senses of apathy, loss of excitement or finality? Why do so many people fail to realize that every day is a gift regardless of their age? Questions you might want to ponder regardless of your age (the number).

 

I have never wanted to be judged by my age both as a teen and someone in their twenties or thirties and especially now as I am heading to my mid seventies.

 

OK, so what's the difference between growing old and getting old? My dear friend and mentor, Charlie Tremendous Jones who passed away a couple of years ago once said to me during one of our quarterly visits where we shared our experience, wisdom and lessons learned, "We are all going to get old but we don't have to grow old." He was a true testimony to living with a vibrant spirit even as his years came to an end due to an illness.

 

Getting old – the years pass one by one and the older you get the faster they seem to pass.

 

Growing old – leaving behind the exhilaration, passion, optimism, adventure, excitement and zeal that you once lived in your earlier years.

 

Let me ask you – is there a certain age where we suddenly put ourselves in the "old" category? Is 50? 60? 90? You've heard it – 50 is the new 40. 60 is the new 50 and yes 30 is the new 20. Give me a break, there is nothing wrong with admitting and living each year regardless of how many years you have been here with a relentless sense of gratitude, joy and contentment.

 

I have met many people who are embarrassed by their age and the physical changes that have taken place with their body as they age. Millions of people spend billions of dollars every year for a variety of treatments to hang on to their youth (their physical youth) but spend very little time doing what they can to maintain their inner beauty and youth.

 

Let's face it, we are all going to be old one day even though depending on your age – you might not be concerned about it or ever think about it, but trust me – some day you will look back and say, "Where did all the years go?"

 

Youth in my opinion is not an age group but a mindset. Passion is not only for the young but for each of us to live each day to the fullest regardless of our station in life, career or lack of it or personal situations.

 

In a former career, I had to visit nursing homes on a regular basis and I have to tell you – nothing saddened my heart more than to see people sitting in wheelchairs along long corridors just waiting to die.

 

Yes, I know that illness often steals our youthful spirit but I have met numerous people who were given a short time to live and they didn't let this time restriction or awareness that their time here was coming to a rapid end have a negative influence on their ability and willingness to live while they were still alive.

 

How about you? Letting your age (the number) determine how you feel, think, behave or act? Or, are you (again regardless of your age) living each moment grasping every ounce of life you can from the life you have left?

Have an issue with age – read my book – Above Ground.  It's one of my favorites. 

 

"You don't stop laughing because you grow old;

you grow old because you stop laughing."

Michael Pritchard

In His Service, 

Tim Connor

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
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What you resist – persists

August 27th, 2014 No comments

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

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

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

Here are my thoughts.

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have control over your response or reaction?

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

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

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

How do we do this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Ward

 

In His Service, Tim

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
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