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Living Wisely – Expectations

August 25th, 2016 No comments
Expectations – 
One of the biggest causes of frustration and disappointment in life is the unrealized expectations of what life should give you and doesn’t.  It never will give you everything you want when you want it, so relax. You can never be happy attached to the expectation or outcomes you have in life.
To manage your expectations means, that you understand that life is just what it is.  Yes, you can set goals, plan, work and hope but in the end although these would seem to make sense, often life just doesn’t cooperate. We are all learning every day, either by accident, design, or on purpose, but we are all learning what life wants us to learn now.  So why not just flow with what is and learn to accept it all as a part of your unique journey through life.  I don’t mean that you should become a vegetable but that fighting only adds to your frustration.
 
Live wisely this week, Tim

 

Ego – Is yours stealing your inner peace?

September 22nd, 2013 No comments

Ego – we all have one, the problem is it contributes to your stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, regret or contributes to your inner peace. What's the difference? Well when it's under control it helps us get through life with contentment, success and little stress. When it's out of control it is the cause of every negative emotion and most negative circumstances. Don't believe me? Read on.

There are a number of ego issues that impact our sense of inner peace and contentment. I will only discuss seven in this article. Not in the order of importance as each one can dominate a person's life even though they may not have any of the others they demonstrate in their life.

It's all about me –

Generally people with an out of control ego tend to be very self-absorbed. In other words their agendas, conversation, needs, wants and behavior is very 'about me'. Yes, many of these people can have compassion, understanding and interest in others, but if this is the case it is usually grounded in some form of selfishness or even narcissism. They can hide these attitudes or behaviors and come across as sensitive and empathetic but beware they are very good actors or actresses.

Control –

The ego does not like to feel out of control. It wants, no it needs to be in control of all things whether personal, relational or in your career or business. Yes, to be successful you need to have a secure and healthy ego but I can't tell you how many business leaders I have known over the years that put their own ego's control ahead of the success of their business or organization. When the ego in us feels out of control we tend to feel insecure, unsure and even emotionally unstable. In these situations we will make irrational decisions, sabotage relationships and increase our stress level.

Looking good –

The ego in us needs to look good and not how we define looking good but how others, society, clients, friends, peers and even family define looking good. Looking good means we are aware of all of the factors people use to judge others. The problem is you can never satisfy everyone's view or interpretation of what looks good and what doesn't but we keep trying; new cars, new homes, extravagant vacations, corporate airplanes, fancy offices etc.

Patience –

People with an out of control ego lack patience. They are always in a hurry and get upset, frustrated or even angry when things don't happen according to their schedule, expectations or agendas. I don't care if it's a traffic jam or someone is late for an appointment. If the waiter takes too long to bring the menu or someone doesn't respond to an email or phone call as quickly as you think they should. As a sidebar the biggest contributor to stress and therefore illness, broken relationships and even death is a lack of patience.

Validation –

The ego needs validation. It needs to be respected, appreciated, valued and often liked. There is no way that everyone you meet in life will like you and many people may not appreciate the things you do for them and demonstrate their appreciation. If you expect everyone in your life to value you, you are living in La La Land. When the ego doesn't get what it need or wants it will often get defensive or even angry. Many times these reactions are unnecessary given the circumstances and can often destroy a relationship.

I'm better, smarter etc. than you –

The ego thinks it is always the smartest person in the room regardless of the topic or nature of the conversation. I can't tell you how many times when I was in front of an audience that a person spouted off far too long trying to convince me or other members of the group that they knew it all. Knowledge is different than wisdom (as I have discussed in previous Boosters). Just because you think you know a lot doesn't mean you are wise or even intelligent. Yes, there are many smart people out there but my experience is that people with big egos need to be smart even about things they know nothing about.

Self-esteem –

Self-esteem is simply what and how you think about yourself. What you believe you are. The ego will tend to have an exaggerated view and opinion of itself therefore a rather phony high self-esteem. This level of self-esteem is not grounded in reality but pure fantasy and as a result it will often create circumstances where eventually the person will not be able to effectively hide this low self-esteem or a lack of emotional security.

 

Summary – any or all of these when a part of a person's behavior and/or out of control will impact their career, relationships, happiness and inner peace in a negative way. I am not suggesting any of these are good or bad, you can be the judge of that and how they are impacting the important areas of your life and their overall influence on you. But, I will say that when any or all of these are a major part of your personality and displayed consistently and overtly they will tend to contribute to higher stress, less life satisfaction and general displeasure.

"The man who fears suffering is already suffering
from what he fears."

De Montaigne

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

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

Seven ways to make 2013 a K… A.. year

December 26th, 2012 No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make it a great week, In His Service, Tim

Controlling life’s outcomes

September 27th, 2010 No comments

“Let us open up our natures, throw wide the doors of our hearts and let in the sunshine of good will and kindness.”
~ Marden

Sooner or later each of us has to deal with a life outcome that we didn’t anticipate, plan for or expect. Life is filled with surprises both negative and positive. It is interesting to note however how many of these so-called negative outcomes came from positive causes while some of the positive outcomes came from negative causes. If this is true how is anyone to understand the real meaning of life’s events over the long haul?

It usually comes down to your life philosophy and there are as many life philosophies as there are people reading this message. Life can be perceived as a wonderful adventure or a series of one negative life drama and trauma after another. So, who is to say which is better and why? Every life has its struggles with: growth, understanding, acceptance, tolerance, adversity, discouragement and too many more to list. Every life also has its share of: achievement, love, friendship, joy, blessings, success as well as many others.

In the end, life outcomes are the result of several factors. Here are just a few to think about:

  • Your life’s decisions and choices along the way
  • Divine providence
  • Luck, timing or synchronicity
  • Your personal perspective
  • Your working life philosophy or approach to circumstances, events and people.
  • Your goals, plans, dreams, hopes and desires
  • Your early environment and conditioning
  • Your self-esteem, self-acceptance and self-love
  • Your need to learn certain life lessons
  • Your work ethic
  • Your attitudes

No one can predict the future of a life. No one knows how his/her life will turn out next year or in 20 years. No one is privy in advance, to all of the events, circumstances, people and conditions that will cross his/her path as his/her life unfolds.

Our job is to take what we are given and build the best life we can with what we have at the time with gratitude, love, acceptance and joy. This does not mean we take negatives lying down. It does not mean we don’t try, hope, work, believe, plan and have desire. It does mean however that certain things are not always within our control and we often need to let go and surrender to the divine purpose of our life as it unfolds day by day, year by year.