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Posts Tagged ‘disappointment’

Pain can be your friend

July 19th, 2016 No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are a number of things to consider;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

books – something.

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

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

By Tim Connor

Resilience

November 25th, 2015 No comments

One of the critical skills for ongoing success is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Sooner or later in life everyone experiences failure, disappointment, setbacks or the loss of desire to keep – keeping on.

Over the years I have had more than my share of failures as well as successes. Just because you have failed, doesn’t mean you are a failure. Just because you have achieved success doesn’t make you a success. Many people have hit bottom, only to climb out and achieve greatness and many people have done great things only to end up broke, alone and without any lasting feeling of accomplishment.

Success and failure are neutral concepts. What makes either of them positive or negative in your life is not the event, circumstance or situation, but what you do with it along the path of life. No one that I have ever met in my world travels has had a life filled with nothing but failure or only one success after another. Resilience is your ability to keep coming back, again and again and again. No matter how many times life throws you a curve or brings you to your knees – you try again – you try something new, something different, or something old in a new way. You refuse to give in or up. Here are a few ideas to consider when you feel like quitting.

1. Failure/adversity/problems are temporary – this too shall pass.

2. You need it so you could learn a valuable lesson.

3. You need to be softened by life.

4. You need it to give your life more integrity or character.

5. You need it so you could be an example for others.

6. You need to rid yourself of some ego, arrogance or ignorance.

7. You need it to grow in some area of your life.

8. You need it so you could learn to laugh at yourself.

9. You need it so you can learn to live in the present.

10. You need it so you can learn to take life less seriously.

If I can accomplish what I have in my career these past 35 years (not bragging) having been brought to my knees again and again, with failure, disappointment, more problems than any one person deserves – then you too – regardless of your current station in life or circumstances can rise again wiser, stronger and better . All you have to do is reach inside and find the courage, strength, stamina, attitudes, self-belief, self-confidence and rekindle your desire for what you believe you can do and will do.

Hang on to your dream, no matter how big or impossible it might seem to you based on current circumstances. And, don’t let others convince you that you can’t do it, won’t do it or shouldn’t do it. Be true to yourself and your destiny. You have everything you need, right now, inside of you to carry on. And don’t forget – God is in your corner. All you have to do is do it.

A few questions:

1)What is your first reaction/response to adversity/failure?

2)Do you tend to let circumstances determine your life?

3)Is resilience easy or hard for you?

4)What is resilience trying to teach you today?

In His Service, Tim

The “Hurry” Syndrome Got it bad?

September 4th, 2013 No comments

OK, you are going the speed limit and someone whizzes by you like there is no tomorrow – ever happened? Or have you put your life in jeopardy by weaving from one lane to the other in a hurry to get somewhere to then just sit in front of the TV chilling?

There are millions of ways people hurry through their life and I won't bore you with any other examples, but I will ask you in all seriousness – do you have a bad case of "Hurry Syndrome".

Well Tim, how can I answer that if I don't know what you are talking about?

The Hurry Syndrome – when you lose touch with the present moment because you are obsessed with the next one. Clear enough?

Why do people feel the need to hurry everything or everywhere? Don't they know what they are missing now? Yes there are some occasions when we need to rush but my guess is the reason we have to is directly related to some lifestyle issue. There five areas I am asking you to consider when it comes to this hurry issue;

Tomorrow is not guaranteed – 48,000 people in the US died in their sleep last night. Were you one of them? Thousands of people die every day for a variety of reasons – were you one of them? If you knew today was your last day how would you spend it? You see here is the issue – today is the last day for thousands of people but they just don't know it. The only thing we do know is that we are alive now and when you really think about it that's all that is really important. So – how are you living today – as if you have hundreds or even thousands of tomorrows or like all of us you really don't know?

Expectations can ruin your day – The number one cause of disappointment is unrealized expectations. A major contributor to stress is disappointment. Stress is the number one contributor to illness. Get it – expectations shorten your life and why? You can't manage all of them or even some of them; they are in the hands of the Universe, life, God or others. So why do you set yourself up for constant disappointment by life or others when you have little or no control over them? Is it ego? Is it selfishness? Is it self-absorption? Or is it the lack of patience with yourself, others or life in general?

What are you missing – Got any regrets? Someone you didn't call because you were too busy and then for some reason they are gone and you can no longer talk to them, see them or be with them? Your kids are now heading off to college and you think back of all those special times you missed because you were too busy or in too much of a rush to just stop and be with them while you still could? I don't know about you but life is just flying by. I look back on 40 or 50 years and think – where did they all go? What did I miss? If I could rewind the clock and calendar would I do things differently? Not that old yet? Hopefully you will be one day and all you will have is your memories, the question is will they bring a smile to your face or tears?

The past is gone – When I say the past is gone I'm not implying that it was bad or good, filled with failure or achievements or wonderful memories or memories that make your hair stand on end. My only point is that the past is dead. Let me explain.

Last week you had a wonderful time with your kids. Last month you got a promotion. Last year you moved into your dream house. Ten years ago you married your soul mate. These were wonderful times. Or – yesterday your car had a major mechanical issue, last month a dear friend passed away or five years ago you lost your job. What's the difference between all of these events? Well, yes, some of them give you positive memories while others cause nothing but pain or regret.

But in the end they are all in the past – gone – yes you can relive them but here's the problem – while you relive them you are in the past. Whatever happened – happened – it's gone – history regardless of whether your interpretation of it was positive or negative.

Why are you here – This is one of life's fundamental questions that millions of people have been asking themselves for thousands of years. Have you ever asked it of yourself? If yes, have you figured out the answer yet? If not why haven't you asked it? I know – if I will never come up with an answer what's the point of asking the question? Sometimes the thoughts we generate with questions even though we don't get answers is a very valuable exercise. Try it.

The gift of life is about four simple (no they are not really simple but this isn't a book) ideas; living life to the fullest, giving and receiving love, bringing glory to God and service to others. How are you doing?

In summary – Each moment life gives you is a gift. Each breath you take is a gift. Each heartbeat is a gift. These gifts are to be enjoyed now not tomorrow "Do not worry about tomorrow – what you will eat or wear. Today is enough." Recognize this?

All hurrying does is cause you to need to hurry to the next thing after you have hurried to the last one. Stop for a minute or an hour and just say thank you for what you have and stop worrying about what you don't have or won't get to do in the future. Because one day it's all going back in the box.

If you have an issue with patience, hurrying or the stress related to them I would suggest you purchase my book, Peace Of Mind – it can help yo better manage these challenges.

"Everywhere I go, there I am."

Pogo

In His Service, Tim

Why me . . . Why now?

August 21st, 2013 No comments

Why me . . . why now . . . Why is it that people only tend to say this when things go bad? Ever heard anyone say "why me or why now" when life was going great? I haven't. Have you?

Life happens. No one can predict what lies around the next bend in the road but we can do now what we can to learn, grow and prepare ourselves for both opportunities and challenges in the future. I would like to focus on both and not just the negatives when people say – why me. . . why now!

Let's take a brief look at just a few of the areas that contribute to today's challenges and opportunities and why they are showing up in your life now and how you react to them or can change how you react to them.

Your history –

Every choice and decision has a consequence. Some are negative and some are positive, some happen short term while others can take months or years to manifest. The history of your choices, decisions and actions could be a major factor in what is in your life now. Maybe it took years for these to mature or maybe a simple action yesterday contributed to today's circumstances but it doesn't matter – you can't escape the consequences of previous decisions and actions. Their results will show up sooner or later- like it or not. Think for a moment – how has your history contributed to what is going on in your life now? What previous decisions or actions have had an impact on today's events? Did you see them coming? Did you make some poor choices in the past that have contributed to them? Did you adequately prepare yourself for what is showing up now? Keep going ask yourself some other introspective questions.

Your attitudes –

There are a variety of attitudes you can have when it comes to adversity, problems or challenges. You can choose to see yourself as a victim and not responsible for your circumstances. You can see adversity as a necessary step for personal growth. You can feel you don't deserve the opportunities that have crossed your path. Or you can stay stuck in the middle not sure how you feel or what you can or should do. In the end your attitudes will tend to be a major driver in how you handle both negative and positive circumstances.

 

Your experience –

Experience can be a great teacher but it can also cause us to default back to previous responses to similar situations. The difference in your approach – to look at a circumstance with fresh eyes or clouded by events of the past will depend entirely on your ability to stay focused in the present, bring emotional maturity to the challenge and leave old emotional baggage in the past. None of these will happen automatically and are not always easy given our human nature however if we want to learn from what is happening we must be willing to try and keep trying. A victim mentality never contributes to effectively handling problems, failure or challenges.

Your mindsets –

In many of my articles and books I discuss the concept of mindsets. Let me just say here that they are the primary motivator of all actions, choices, decisions and behavior. If your life is not as you would like in any way or for any reason I would urge you to spend whatever time necessary examining your; mindsets and their origin, power and influence over your thoughts, attitudes and ultimate consequences. A mindset is simply a consistent way of thinking about something whether positive or negative, good or bad or driven by love or fear.

Your expectations –

The number one cause of all disappointment is unrealized expectations. An expectation is a desire, need, want, goal or a way of looking at a person or experience. Fail to manage your expectations in a mature and realistic way and you will always set yourself up for frustration, stress, anxiety and disappointment. The key to managing expectations is to simply let go of what you can't control. I know this is not an easy task but it is necessary if you want to eliminate disappointment from your life.

Your spiritual development –

I will admit that for the past two years I have been on an accelerated spiritual journey – reading, praying, thinking, meditating and just listening for God's guidance. Sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn't, well from my human perspective it doesn't but that's not to say that He isn't trying to get my attention in some way, through some circumstance or some person.

We are human, we are stubborn and we all want to have a peaceful and happy life without drama, tribulations or troubles of some kind but that's not real life. Real life has its share of failure and disappointment and triumph and victory. We all need to grasp that even in trouble there can be victory and that in victory there can always be trouble.

I have been fond of saying for years that, "God never gives you anything you can't handle." Well I have been wrong, He always gives us stuff we can't handle but he never gives us stuff He can't handle. The secret is letting go and trusting Him that all is working out in this life for His purpose. Some of you may not be there yet. Some of you may be far beyond my learning but regardless of where you are the fact remains that sooner or later we will need to learn to surrender.

"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

In His service,
Tim Connor

Whose schedule are you on?

August 14th, 2013 No comments

We are all on a schedule, the question is – whose schedule are you on?

I’m not trying to confuse you with this question so let me explain. We are all on a schedule in terms of priorities, actions, decisions and expectations.

This schedule could be a; spouses, employers, driven by your personal or career goals or God’s.  Whoa there Tim, I thought these boosters were supposed to be self-help and motivationally grounded.  They are – I’m just asking you to consider whether you are driven by human agendas or spirit ones.  So, let me dig a bit deeper – stick with me if you are interested or curious.

Schedule defined – an outline description of the things somebody is to do and the times at which they are to be done.  My definition – the inner and outer guidance system that determines your life direction and what its priorities are – moment by moment, day by day and year by year.

OK, so the concept of a schedule; its agenda, motivators, expectations, mindsets and outcomes.

Its agenda –

When driven by human schedules we often lose our direction because of wants, needs, desires and or what we believe we have earned or deserve.  Ever been disappointed by the outcomes of your schedule? If you haven’t you are living in a cave. An agenda is simply a combination of expectations and how you plan or want to achieve them.  We work, we plan, we hope but in the end things don’t always work out according to our agenda.  This is life folks as I’m sure you have come to realize.  I’m not implying that you shouldn’t have an agenda for life only that you need to be careful of attaching too much of yourself to it.  Things change, people change, circumstances change and any or all of these can have a dramatic impact on your schedule/agenda.

Its motivators –

We all want something we don’t have. Some of these desires are noble while others can be very self-serving or selfish for any number of reasons but in the end all of our desires will one way or another express themselves through our behavior, choices and decisions.  These are all motivated by something – the question is – are the motivators rational, mature or misguided in some way.

All motivation is inside-out caused by varied outside-in factors such as fear, envy, a service mindset, selfishness or a desire to have something or achieve something.  I won’t bore you with the thousands of motivators but reduce them to two – a desire to serve or be served.  Only you know what fills your heart when it comes to what motivates you to achieve, work, dream or want but in the end these motivators will drive most if not all of your attitudes and behavior,

Its expectations –

The number one cause of disappointment is unrealized expectations.  Expectations are impartial, they don’t care how realistic they are, how valid they are or whether they actually come to pass. They are created by you based on a desire, need or want.  When an expectation in an agenda is not grounded in a certain degree of reality or under your control you often have no right to actually expect what you expect.  If this is true why do so many people set themselves up for these disappointments?  Simple – they let their wants, needs, desires and expectations rule their inner mental world.

Not smart if you don’t want to continue to live with ongoing disappointment.  Another factor is patience or should I say the lack of it.  A lack of patience is a major contributor to stress and when your impatience takes over your world – beware – you are setting yourself up for just more disappointment.

Its mindsets –

A mindset is nothing more than a way of continuing to think about something or behave as a result of this thinking. Worry is a good example. Regret is another.  Or, how about discouragement, despair or even anger.  Or, how about bliss, joy, happiness, inner peace or contentment?  All are just mindsets.  So if your mindset is that you are in control of your agenda or schedule no matter what – guess what?  You guessed it – more disappointment etc.

Its outcomes –

We all want favorable outcomes, results and circumstances but I’ll bet there isn’t one person reading this that has never experienced disappoint in some way either minor or big-time.  We can’t always control outcomes but we can control activity.  And yet even if we control our activities there is no guarantee that they will lead to our desired or expected outcomes.  Been there?  I have many times and I have finally come to realize that letting my schedule set me up of continued frustration and disappointment is no longer worth the energy, time or ego control.

My conclusion – I decided several months ago, took me a long time to finally realize that I am in control of so little in my life.  Yes, I can control what I eat, how I work, how I play and how I treat others and many other areas but I am not in control of most things.  Who is?  Well for me I finally turned my schedule over to God.  This doesn’t mean I sit around all day and pray, and wish and hope.  The Quakers have a saying, “Pray but move your feet.”

Life is twofold. I take the steps He determines where they are headed and when and how I will get there and what many of the lessons will be along the way.  You there yet? No problem, some day you will come to the same conclusion I have or you will continue to live with frustration, anxiety, stress and disappointment.  Let me repeat – I don’t sit around all day and just ask Him for whatever and wait, but I do, do my best to observe signals from Him – some obvious and many not so obvious – some come as opportunities and some with a great deal of pain attached to them but in the end I decided His schedule was far better than mine.

We have what we seek. It is there all the time and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.”

Thomas Merton

 

In His Service, Tim

Stress is a performance – killer

May 15th, 2013 No comments

Let me be clear from the onset Unmanaged stress contributes to more mistakes, poor decisions, mistrust, inconsistent morale and poor employee performance in general.

There are any number of issues that contribute to this stress issue a few of the major ones are;

-Ongoing change
-Uncertainty
-A lack of appreciation, recognition and validation
-Work overload
-Constant deadlines
-Poor organization communication
-Inadequate employee development
-Fear of what’s next
-Poor top-down and/or inconsistent management

Every activity (other than sitting on the beach reading your favorite novel) causes stress.Yes, everything. Winning the lotto, playing with your favorite pet, a wedding, a divorce, hiking your favorite trail, taking dance lessons, losing a job, starting a new one etc. etc. In essence there are good and bad stressors, but in the end they all have the same impact on your health and mental circumstances. And why? Because the mind doesn’t judge it treats all stressors the same as stress.

What is stress it is what is happening outside of you circumstances, situations, people you meet, what you are doing etc. and how you interpret what is happening and how you choose to respond internally to these.In other words – stress is your inside-out reactions and responses to outside-in circumstances, people and events.

Now that we have this out of the way let’s discuss three areas why and how is everything a stressor, what is the impact of poorly managed stress, what can we do to better control our stressors so they don’t kill us.

– Why and how is everything a stressor . . .

The mind is a sponge it takes in everything the stuff you want (the good stuff) and the stuff you don’t want bad stuff (yes there are some people who have learned how to filter out the bad stuff but sooner or later some of this junk gets into everyone’s mind like it or not.

What’s the bad stuff? Negative emotions and feelings caused by others, invalidating statements by many and just disappointment due to unrealized or hoped for expectations or desires. Why is this bad stuff?It really isn’t bad stuff, it’s just stuff, what makes it bad is our interpretation of it and reaction to it.

So you are thinking, “I just lost my job, my relationship is in a shambles and I have a serious health challenge – how is this just stuff?Come on get real here.”

I don’t have the time or energy to give you all of the research, evidence and reasons to support my theory – so here’s just one.

You lost a job, yes but I’ll bet a new door will open (if you will let it) that can be even a better job.Does this always happen? Of course not, but it can if you will let it and bring the right mindset to what is happening now.

You can choose to stay stuck in ‘victimhood’ or blame or any other negative attitude or you can learn, grow and move on with dignity, responsibility, courage and faith as a result of this situation.Here’s the problem if you choose to stay stuck in the negatives you will tend to increase your stressors over time and the outcome as I have previously said can be life threatening.Life happens.Period.We do the best we can with what it gives us or we can complain, whine or point our finger everywhere except at ourselves.Simple choice.

So to answer the question – everything that comes at us is a potential stressor a bad driver behind us, a poor waiter or waitress, bad weather on your day off I could go on for pages with this stuff but I’m sure you have better things to do (potential stressors waiting in the wings).

– What is the impact of poorly managed stress. . .

Let me just give you a simple list here;

– Poor health
– More worry
– Increased fear of the future
– Negative impact on all relationships
– Less productivity
– Wasted time
– Poorer or less open and honest communication
– Greater chance of an auto accident
– Increased medical costs
– More anxiety and frustration
– Less financial security

Not a pretty picture, I know but it is what it is.Under stress not everyone faces the same outcomes some people develop negative health issues while others may just ruin a relationship but the outcome is the same things get worse rather than better.

 

– What can we do to better control our stressors . . .

I’m sure you are running out of time or patience so I’ll leave you with a list.

-Eat more healthy foods.
-Exercise at least 20 minutes a day 3 X per week.
-Laugh more.
-Have more fun.
-Better manage your relationships with toxic or negative people.
-Spend more time with optimistic positive people.
-Let go of old emotional baggage.
-Don’t let other people’s garbage become yours.
-Get more sleep.
-Work on your patience.
-Control what you can and let go of what you can’t control.
-Don’t focus on the negatives in life.
-Stay focused on what’s really important.
-Use visualization, affirmations or meditation.And yes, prayer.
-Better manage your expectations.
-Stay in the present moment.
-Use psychological anchors.Not sure what these are? Check my article Archives.
-The world doesn’t revolve around you.Get over it.
-And finally Life is very short and passes by quickly so feel gratitude every day for all of the gifts God and Life gives you.

If stress is an issue for your employees, members or distributors/franchisees give me a call I have a three hour program that will help them reduce the negative impact of the stressors that are impacting their attitudes, mindsets and behavior in general.

“In times of stress be bold and valiant.”

Horace

In His Service, Tim

Tomorrow is Yesterday Before You Know it.

April 24th, 2013 No comments

Let me begin with my favorite quote from my mentor Mark Twain. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do.”

I love this quote as it is so profound and yet so simple and true. In fact I have it framed on my desk as a constant reminder.

Yesterday – a distant memory.  Tomorrow filled with promise, opportunity and whatever you choose to bring to it.  Yes, we create each of our tomorrows and as a result all of our yesterdays regardless of whether they are filled with wonderful happy memories or grief, sorrow and any other negative emotion.

I will guarantee that you have read something somewhere that stresses the importance and the gift of cherishing all of your present moments.  But, here’s the problem – most people know that’s all they have and will ever have, but research  indicates that the average person spends over 90% of their waking time focused and thinking about the past and/or the future.

Why is this?  For years I have studied brain function and emotions and there are physiological reasons for this behavior, but I won’t bore you with years of brain research other than to say that we can change these patterns of thought, but we must want to and know how to and then act.

Let me just say that there are billions of neural connections in the human brain and trillions of chemical reactions that take place every minute in your head and you don’t have to be consciously aware of any of them.  They happen automatically.  Just think you have over 80,000 heartbeats every day and do you spend one second in awareness of them?  No, but you become vividly aware when they stop.

We all have formed numerous mental habits of thinking over the years and these habits drive our thinking, actions, decisions and behavior.  So, if you are a worrier it’s simply because you have formed the habit of focusing on worry.  If you are a dreamer you have done the same but in a different way or direction.  One is negative and one is positive but they both focus on the future.

If you are filled with regret, grief or disappointment you are stuck in the past.

If you have an issue with patience –you are stuck in the future.  Almost every emotion or feeling is focused on what lies ahead or what is gone – the past.

And, let me tell you – all of this mental energy is wasted.  You can’t change or relive the past and you can’t control or manipulate the future no matter how hard you work, how much you plan and no matter how many goals you have. Yes, goals and plans are important but have you considered how much you have accomplished in life with having these be goals or how many goals you have had that have not come to pass? Goals set direction – that’s it. And why? Because no one knows what lies ahead from moment to moment.  All we can do is live those moments.

Life is lived one moment at a time and at some point these moments for all of us will end and at that point all of the worry, plans, stress, anxiety, goals, dreams, hopes, regret, anger, sadness and disappointment will no longer matter. Our time here is finished.

Let me leave you with a question – are you spending most of your waking time focused on the future, the past or now?

“You can never ride on the wave that came in

and went out yesterday.”

Wanamaker

Goals, Dreams or just Wishing?

April 3rd, 2013 No comments

Have you ever had to let go of a dream? If so, was it due to someone else’s feedback or did you just outgrow or lose interest in it? Or, does it still linger deep in your consciousness or soul waiting for you to finally take some positive action?

Are you working towards some goals that you just are not making progress towards as quickly as you had planned or hoped?

Got some special wishes buried deep in your heart that you would love to experience but just are not sure if they are possible?

Don’t ever give up.  We create what we secretly desire only when we take consistent, positive and right actions.  But, there is a common denominator in the above three areas and that is – If you want something you can have it or achieve it as long as you believe strongly in your mind and heart and never let go of the passion and desire to accomplish it.

Yes, contrary to conventional wisdom you can accomplish anything in your life you want – you just can’t accomplish everything – there isn’t enough time (that is unless you have set the bar really low).  You have to focus on what is important and why and never give in or up to outside negative influence or allow inside negative messages cause you to let go of hopes, plans or desires.

If you start with this premise then the rest is simple but it will never be easy.  Achievement requires effort, patience, courage, persistence and action.  If you really want to achieve your dreams, whatever they are, if you only dream – that’s all they will ever be – dreams.  But, if you move steadily in the direction of your dreams with courage and behaviors that help you achieve the desire you say you want – one day you will look back and say to yourself – I knew I could do this.

So, if all of this is true why do so many people let go of goals, dreams or desires?

Is it fear or insecurity?  Could it be that you want to avoid the rejection of others? Or, is it simply you just don’t know how to begin?  Could be all of these so what CAN you do?

S T A R T and let go of what the end will look like.  You might think this is contrary to much of the inspirational and motivational teaching of the day – well it is.  No one and I mean no one can predict the future or know exactly what tomorrow will bring – be it achievement or disappointment, success or failure or stress or inner peace.  All we can do is just keep taking one step at a time with the end in sight but without attachment to it.

We all have goals, dreams, plans and desires whether written in stone or they are just wandering aimlessly around in our consciousness.  We all want something better or more whether in our spiritual, financial, physical life or our relationships.  But wanting will never be enough – you have to create a “white heat” of passion and desire and then turn off the inner and outer negative messages that can often be the only cause of our failure to begin. I might add that developing the necessary skills will always be a critical part of any successful journey into the future. So the choice is yours – keep getting better and smarter or accept staying stuck where you are!

You don’t know what you can do or is possible until you try. But, you have to be willing to turn of the naysayers in your life and all of the mental baggage that may stand in your way.  Easy?  Never.  Necessary? Always.  So just go for it and let the chips fall where they may.  You have nothing to lose by trying and everything to lose by not trying.

“Dreams are the touchstones of our characters.”

Thoreau

In His Service, Tim

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

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