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This week’s 3 Tips – Closed doors, Open doors, No doors

October 7th, 2015 No comments

This week’s 3 Tips – Closed doors, Open doors, No doors

Closed doors – Recently had a door closed in your life or career you were not expecting? What are closed doors? And I’m not referring here to closing the bathroom door for some privacy. Closed doors are when we want something, need something, don’t want to lose something etc. and the door slams in our face subtly or overtly saying to us: Not now, not ever, you don’t deserve this, you really don’t want this, if you knew how it would turn out if the door was open and you went through it you would regret the action. Why do doors close and what can we do when they do and it doesn’t matter if it’s a career door, business door, relationship door, financial door – got it?

They close because the universal flow of life is beyond our comprehension and our role is to often accept what comes to us and yes, just flow. This doesn’t mean you should just sit idly by watching life progress and taking a passive role, but to accept the fact that there are reasons doors close that we may never know the why’s, when’s or where’s. The simple truth is that when a door closes we can fight back, trudge on, keep trying to open the door or we can learn from the process accepting that it wasn’t meant to be for whatever reason. Again I’m not suggesting this – kay surah, surah life approach but the willingness to ask what am I supposed to learn and then move on waiting for the next door to open. Easy? Never. Necessary? Yes.

Open doors – There are times when we go through an open door just because it’s there. The problem is – just because a door opens doesn’t mean we have to go through it. I can’t tell you how many open doors I have gone through in my life – when in hindsight looking back at how a situation or relationship turned out, if I had known in advance the consequences I would have not gone through it. Why do we go through open doors? You’ve heard the saying – “When a door closes a new door opens.” This doesn’t mean we should jump at every opportunity.

Usually when a door opens that we want, we tend to fail to pay attention to others that are open for us and choose to go through a certain one based on our needs, desires, fears, hopes or goals that are grounded in the short term rather than the long term. How do you know if you should go through a particular open door? Listen to your inner voice and it will guide you in the right direction- I promise you, but if you only use ego, the need for control, fear, attachment to outcomes or failure to try and see the long term you will go through the wrong open door. But when you do choose to go through an open door do it with faith, courage, wisdom, maturity and commitment.

No doors – So, we have covered the basics regarding closed and open doors. Either of these topics could be a 200 page book but I have kept them as short as possible and to the point as this is the format for these tips. Now let’s take a brief look at – no doors. You might ask – how can there be no doors – they are either open or closed? No doors doesn’t mean there are no closed or open doors – it means that you can’t or won’t recognize them or acknowledge them for any number of reasons. Yes, they are always there but there are many factors that can prevent you from seeing them. Here are a few. You are stuck in a current mindset, attitude or opinion about something. You are afraid to admit that you are unwilling to go through an open door or you are in a negative mental position to accept a closed door to trust what is right or best for you now or you’re future. How many people do you think go through their day, career, relationships or life failing to recognize doors as open or closed – they are blind to what lies in front of them? You might be surprised at the percentage of people who are just living life in a limbo state unwilling to risk something new or different and embrace the uncertainty of the future and how it might impact the quality of the rest of their life.

Live wisely this week, Tim

Information . . . Knowledge . . . Wisdom Which serves you best in your life?

July 24th, 2013 No comments

How do I keep an article on information and knowledge brief when during the past twenty years there has been a daily relentless explosion of new information, research and inventions and ideas that invade our lives on a moment by moment basis?  OK, so I will stick to four basics;

1)What is the difference between information, knowledge and wisdom?

2)How does information impact knowledge?

3)How does knowledge impact wisdom?

4)How does wisdom impact life?

But first a definition of each.

Information – Words and more words.  Simple huh? Well think about it – do an internet search on any topic and what do you get – millions of words. Information can be valuable or of no value to you at all but in the end it’s just more and more words. Now here’s the dictionary definition – the collected facts and data about a specific subject.

Knowledge – Specific information about a topic of interest. Learned skills from practical study, research and/or practice. Now here’s the dictionary definition – general awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles.

Wisdom –  The ability to use specific appropriate knowledge and information in a situation where you want or need a specific result or outcome. The ability to blend information, knowledge and experience in a practical and useful way to aid in a better outcome.    Now here’s the dictionary definition – good sense shown in a way of thinking, judgment or action.

What is the difference between information, knowledge and wisdom?

I don’t have to tell you what information is – if you have a computer, IPad or IPhone I’ll wager you spend a minimum of one – two hours a day searching for something, somewhere. Just look at any page on any device and it is filled with words (information).  What makes all of this stuff useful or not, is its ultimate value on a topic or subject of interest to you, otherwise it’s just gibberish. If you spent every minute of every day of every year of your life from now on you would not even scratch the surface of the available new information available each day.

Knowledge is gained by learning or becoming aware of appropriate information that you feel will add value in some way to your career, relationships or life in general.  Knowledge can be gained from specific information regarding something you value in your life – whether a financial, medical, family, hobby or interest or career or business issue. Knowledge is deciding what information is valuable to you.  For example if this article does not interest you, you will most likely stop reading and move on to some other area or topic of interest. If it does you will keep reading.  Here’s a major point to consider – you get 24 hours a day to use as you see fit.  When you spend time on any topic or area you eliminate the ability to spend that same time on every other subject.

In a great book (now out of print) by Marvin Cetron (a leading futurist and business guru) 25 years ago he stated that we are currently doubling man’s accumulated knowledge every 7-9 years and he predicted that by 2025 we will be doubling it every 5-7 days – scary huh?

Wisdom is a choice – of whatever information you have available and how you can apply it and then the ability to use this knowledge in an effective and appropriate way.  Some would call it common sense.  But it’s much more than that as my mentor Mark Twain was fond of saying, “We have to stop calling it common sense as this implies everyone has it.  We need to start calling it uncommon sense since so few people have it.”

How does information impact knowledge?

If you are overwhelmed by information, mostly by choice, you will find it very challenging to wade through it all in a respectful period of time to determine which facts and material are relevant to your current or future needs or desires when it comes to what you need to know and why or when. Here’s one of the problems – we are turning over our search for and use of information to technology and losing many of the basic skills like thinking, creating, writing and evaluating. I ask you – how many 15 year olds do you think can spell, do basic math or even write a complete grammatically correct sentence?  I would guess very few can do all of these.

When you are overwhelmed with facts, figures, or resources it will tend to limit your ability to find the best information for you to make wise choices.  Just do a simple Google search on any topic and I’ll bet at least a million choices appear for you to evaluate and consider.  The main issue here is time.  While you are searching through many of these choices to find the best answer (knowledge) you may miss the best ones or even the right ones due to your lack of patience or available time.

How does knowledge impact wisdom?

Think of knowledge as a tool box.  You have purchased a tool, added it to your box and it is now available when the need arises.  If you have a challenge in life and you don’t have the proper tool (knowledge) in your tool box you will tend to default to an alternative tool (approach, decision or reaction/response).  In some cases this alternate might work or even be an effective approach, but wouldn’t it be better to use the best or right tool?

Here’s the problem – if you don’t have the tool you may not make the best decision or take the best action.  So wouldn’t it make sense to keep adding new tools (new knowledge) to your box that you feel you might need in the future rather than wait for a crisis or challenge and then hope the right tools show up?  I’ll let you decide.  But in the end if you have the tools you are better equipped to act responsibly, maturely and from a position of wisdom.

How does wisdom impact life?

We all face unique and sometimes repeat challenges in our life.  The key to resolving these in a timely, appropriate and effective way is by using a combination of wisdom, common sense and the lessons from your personal history.  Yes, some people have more common sense and experience than others given their maturity, age or willingness to learn, grow and change but in the end we all can bring a greater degree of wisdom to any situation.  The key is to be willing to learn and then apply this learning to situations as they arise.

Without this applied wisdom we are all doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again until we finally “get it”.

Wisdom can save time, stress, fear, anxiety, frustration, disappointment and failure although failure can be a valuable tool if it leads to greater wisdom. Wisdom can increase the chance of success, improve relationships and enhance happiness, contentment and inner peace.

The best part of our knowledge is that which teaches us where knowledge leaves off and
ignorance begins. With this understanding we can create wisdom.”
O.W. Holmes

In His Service, Tim

Struggling with anything today?

April 16th, 2013 No comments

Struggling with something now?  Had more than you share of struggle? Had a struggle-free life (I seriously doubt it)?

Why is it that all of us sooner or later struggle in life with; our careers, our relationships, finances, health or a myriad of other life circumstances?  Cause it’s normal, yes struggle comes with life and I can personally attest that as one who has spent his life learning, growing and living with optimism and hope that we can never avoid struggle of one kind or another sooner or later – I know I have not been able to avoid it.

So, if struggle is a normal part of life why do so many people wish they had fewer struggles?  Cause struggle is a pain in the A___, that’s why.

Is there a reason for struggle? YES!

OK Tim, I don’t buy it, but for now I will listen so tell me why the struggles I have faced are good or good for me?

First of all some of us face more struggles in life than others and we all face different ones.  Some may struggle with money while others have more of it that they could ever spend but they struggle with some other life circumstance.  Money, luck, hard work, optimism or good genes will never eliminate struggle from your life.

Struggle like any other life situation gives us two simple choices – whine, complain, blame, feel like a victim or let whatever is happening cause anger, resentment or guilt.  OR, we can; grow, learn, say thank you or accept what is happening that we can’t control and make the best of it.

Notice I just said – control?  There are some things in life we can’t control and there are many things we can.  We can work hard and save money but there is no guarantee these skills or traits will give us immunity to those things we can’t control like; stupid drivers who slam into our trunk, weather that ruins an outdoor wedding or millions of other negative life circumstances.  But we can control our attitudes, life outlook, what we consume, what we do with our time and how we react to things we can’t control.

Simply put – struggle is a teacher.  We can learn from it or not.  If we do, there is a good chance we can avoid similar struggles again in the future. If we don’t, rest assured you will face another similar struggle again at some point in your future.

Yes, good habits, mindsets, values and behavior can help us avoid some of life’s struggles but not all of them.  And why not?  We are human, we make mistakes, we make bad decisions and choices and in life there are always consequences.  Save and spend wisely and you will most likely have a comfortable retirement.  Spend all you earn as you earn it and you will most likely have to work your butt of till the day you die.

Eat too many of the wrong foods and when you break the scale as you check your weight yep – you’ll have to go buy another scale.

Treat your body as a temple and you might live a long and healthy life – note I said MAY?  Lifespan is based on two things and two things only – genetic makeup and lifestyle choices. 

You can control only one of these so you have a 50/50 chance of a long life no matter how you live each day.

Struggle is never easy but consider – where you are, how far you have come, who you are now because of the struggles you have faced and how you dealt with them.

You either have a victim mentality and no sense of personal responsibility or you can look in the mirror and smile as you say to yourself, “I am better, wiser and smarter today because of the way I have handled my previous struggles.

Before I wrap this up, I need to say one more thing about struggle – if you are not struggling now or never have, I’ll bet it’s cause you have never tried anything new, stretched yourself or wandered into unchartered territory in life, you just have an apathetic life attitude or you just love staying in ‘blame or whine mode’.

I’ll leave you with a question – which is your life approach – to learn as you go and keep using what you learn to create a better future or to fail to take mature responsibility for what life puts on your plate? Guess which group tends to be the happiest, have the most inner peace and yes, has greater and enduring success?  Your turn . . .

“The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

Pierre de Coubertin

Is your communication grounded in honesty – no matter what?

April 10th, 2013 No comments

My latest book, Blah. . . Blah . . . Blah – Don’t Tell Me – Show Me will be coming off the press in a few weeks so I thought I would give you a brief excerpt. If integrity based and honest communication is important to you in any or all of your relationships I encourage you to buy this book. At the end of the excerpt I will give you a special pre-publication sales offer.

Excerpt from chapter one –

Words are more than words, they are the way we communicate feelings, attitudes, beliefs, fears, hopes, dreams and so on, so if you keep telling the world you are going to do whatever it takes to accomplish something and the first time you hit a snag, you give in or up, well what were your real intentions? What gives words their integrity when it comes to interpretation is both your intent and the ability or willingness of the other person to grasp what your meaning is.

It’s simple, if you say one thing (stated intention) I’m going to lose weight and you don’t, well what do you think your real intention was?  You guessed it, to not lose weight.  So what’s the problem here?  Nothing unless you’re stated intentions don’t impact me.

Animals don’t get disappointed and why?  It’s simple – they don’t talk.  Yes they communicate but they don’t use words they use behavior and non-verbal methods of communication.  Yes there are a few exceptions, Those African Grey Parrots that talk. I’ve actually had a conversation with one of these, but I have to wonder was this just mimicking or thoughtful expression?

Can dogs smile?  No, but can they send you messages that they are happy? Yes.  Do cat’s laugh?  No, but they can send the message that they are in a playful state of mind.

Humans are the only known specie that communicates with reasoning or thought on two levels – verbal, non-verbal,

And here’s where the trouble begins, when there is an inconsistency between the verbal or spoken message and the non-verbal message.

Ever had a person tell you they loved you with words but their actions were totally inconsistent with these words?

Ever had someone say “I’ll call you” and they never did?

Ever heard, “I’ll get that done this week” and it didn’t happen?

Told someone that you would meet them at noon for lunch and they were late due to some last minute piddling?

Billions of statements like this are made every day.  Yes, sometimes legitimate things can get in the way of your promises or commitments but the question is – generally speaking – are you always true to your word? Are others in your life always true to theirs?  If not – how do you think it impacts your relationships with over time?  Think about it.

“The first ingredient in communication is truth, the next good sense, the third good humor and the fourth wit.”

Sir W. Temple

 

In His Service,

Tim

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

Leadership is NOT a title or position BUT . . .

February 13th, 2013 No comments

According to a number of sources there are over 350 definitions of leadership.  Before I begin – I want to make it clear that leadership is not a position but a mindset.  The receptionist can have a leadership mindset about his or her roles and responsibilities or they can just wait to be told what to do and when and how.  The president can have a leadership mindset or stay in a reactionary mode waiting for things to change or get better.  Leadership is about leading not waiting.  Yes, leadership can have management responsibilities, but real leadership is about a personal vision to excel regardless of roles or responsibilities. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to leading as a function of your position – whatever it is;

Purpose – The purpose of any organization is to serve others.  Yes, if it’s a corporation or business it needs to be profitable, but if in the end it doesn’t effectively serve its members, customers or partners it will eventually fail.  The purpose of every employee is to; in some way contribute to this ultimate and higher purpose.  If employees put the agendas or motives of their department or themselves above this higher purpose they are doing the organization and the people or organizations it serves a disservice.

Responsibility – You are responsible to people not for them. This simple concept applies to all relationships – customers, employees, friends and family.  Essentially it means that you are responsible to offer or give – kindness, understanding, compassion, love, friendship, support, direction, guidance etc., however you are not responsible for what people do, how they react or their decisions or behavior.  In a leadership role, again regardless of your position or title, you are responsible for bringing your opinions, suggestions, guidance etc. to the other person, but it is their responsibility to either use or accept these or not.  You are not responsible for the actions, behaviors or attitudes of others or the consequences of these.

Cooperation – A cooperative mindset does not mean that you should forfeit your values, beliefs or philosophy, keeping in mind that yours are not better or worse than someone else’s (they are just different) just to create an environment of cooperation, however it does imply that you are willing and open to change or the acceptance of new or different ideas or approaches.  Conflict generally occurs when people are stuck in their views or opinions with the irrational belief that they are right and others are wrong. 

Connection – Humanity is about relationships.  I have previously written about the pitfalls of overuse of technology in other Boosters so I won’t belabor that point again.  But, keep in mind that when a human connection is not established and maintained that is grounded in mutual goals, desires, needs and understanding eventually they will fail to meet the expectations of one or all of the participants leading to conflict, disappointment and often failure. When employees in an organization fail to maintain positive connections with the people they work closely with or even people that they are only involved with periodically results will tend to suffer.

Vision – Life is about vision – for oneself, a relationship, a higher purpose or an organization.  If people fail to see beyond their present challenges, circumstances, successes or even failures they will tend to remain stuck in mindsets that will limit what can me manifested and developed in the future.  The role of every employee is to bring vision to their roles and responsibilities from the Janitor to the CEO.

Compassion – No one is immune in life to troubles, adversity, challenges or failure.  Sooner or later we must all face the realities of life with all its successes, achievements and yes disappointments and frustrations.  Whether you are the President or the Mail Clerk you have or will have to deal with different circumstances that you don’t like or even wish would not enter your life.  What everyone needs during times of adversity or challenge is a caring attitude from others whether people they work with side by side every day or only interact with from time to time.  I’m not suggesting that we should all air our dirty linen and personal situations with others, but from time to time just a listening ear would go a long way when someone is in pain or struggle.

Integrity – Words are words and actions are actions.  The question in every relationship is always “Can I trust your words?”  One of the major issues when it comes to integrity, regardless of the relationship is trust and truth.  If either or both are missing in any relationship sooner or later someone is going to be set up.  If employees for whatever reason are unable or unwilling to always come from a position of truth and/or trust (not necessarily their opinion or interpretation of an event or circumstance) sooner or later an employee, customer or member will be misled, disappointed or at a minimum frustrated. It is the responsibility of every employee to always come from a position of truth no matter how it might be perceived or heard from people either higher or lower on the food chain.

Communication – Communication is the common denominator that connects all humans regardless of their connections, length or the purpose or parameters of their relationship.  Communication is not about sharing information, but in sharing understanding.  When we believe that effective communication is when you have given all of the facts or details that another person needs, we are kidding ourselves when it comes to the purpose of real communication. Communication is a complicated issue when it comes to human behavior as there are so many factors that contribute to the integrity of shared messages or information, but in the end it is a two way process.  If only one person in an exchange ‘gets it’ then communication has not taken place.

Yes, there are many others, but if you practice these in a timely, effective, consistent and appropriate way, you will be amazed at the results you can achieve when it comes to the relationship between you and your roles and your relationships with others.

If your organization is dealing with current or future potential leadership challenges, give me a call and we can discuss how I can tailor a presentation that will help you address these in a proactive and effective way.

''Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person by person.''

Mother Teresa

Are You Losing The Human Touch?

February 6th, 2013 No comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make it a great week, In His Service, Tim

Rituals

December 15th, 2012 No comments

There is something to be said for having certain routines or rituals in your life, career and relationships.

Let’s look at all three.

Rituals in your career. These can be reading at a certain time of the day or night, (and for a certain length of time) relaxation time at certain times of the day or week, introspection time, study time, planning time, certain times of the day or week to call people, write notes or letters.

They can be special times for creative endeavors. I like to write between 5AM and 9AM when I am in town. I find I create some of my best work during these times. Routines do not steal from your creativity or spontaneous approach to life, they free up your other time for these productive activities.

Rituals in your relationships. Having a date night, a special time of the week or day for heart to heart discussions, special quarterly getaways, evening walks to catch up on the day, sending flowers – yes Virginia you can send a man flowers. I love receiving flowers although I don’t get many. Having special alone times for relationship building, improving communication, dealing with relationship problems. (Better to have a special time to deal with them than pretend they don’t exist and go to the movies. That’s a great way to avoid serious discussions.)

Rituals in your life. Getting up at a certain time every day. Going to bed at certain times. Only sleeping when you are tired rather than hitting the sheets every night at 11 whether you are tired or not. Working for a full 24 hours without sleep. Working for 2 weeks without a day off.

Get creative here, there are a thousand ways to develop rituals that can save you time and help you avoid added stress in your life. I run errands, when I am in town every day around noon. I can do that since I am in business for myself. I often find going to the cleaners is just as important as making another telephone call, especially if the suit I want to wear at my next speech is not in my closet.

Rituals. They are little things or major ones. They are important to you and need not be justified to anyone else. They help you feel more productive and in control. Try a few if you don’t have any, you might find you get more done in less time, have more fun and less stress.

Selling and the four agreements

September 19th, 2012 No comments

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.

Read the book.

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

What’s Really Important in Life

June 20th, 2012 No comments
 Weekly TimBit – Life's vital ingredients

Think about it – what's really important in life to feel content, peaceful, fulfilled, happy and valued?

I believe there are just seven vital things everyone needs and wants to achieve the above. Yes there are many others and I'm sure some of you would expand on my list but I ask you to consider for just a moment how important these are for you. And these are not in any special order;

Love
Happiness
Fun
Freedom
Relationships
Achievements
Acceptance

I'm confident many of you would include; money, success, a career or satisfying work, health, pleasure and oh so many more and wonder why I didn't include them, but when you are on your deathbed what do you think will really matter to you? Let's take a brief look at these seven.

Love

Survey after survey indicates that the number one thing people want in life is to feel love and or to be able to share love with someone special or others. Happiness is always near the top but consider – generally how happy are you when you are alone and feel disconnected? I'm not referring here to romantic love, but it is or can be included in this need. Why is love so important to each of us whether it's family or friends? Quite simple really – when we truly feel loved unconditionally we feel complete, whole and valued. When we show or express our love to others this also gives us many of the same feelings or benefits.

Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy; the problem is everyone defines happiness uniquely depending on the various aspects of their life. To some – happiness is financial freedom and to others it's being in love. Some people feel happy when they are having fun while others are happiest when they are accepted by others. Many people define happiness as just being free to control their life and its circumstances.
And many people feel extreme happiness when they are doing good, achieving or are successful. Note that happiness for most people always depends on something
else? True happiness is nothing external, but when it is enduring and not a short term feeling, it must be from internal; values, beliefs, self-acceptance, self-love and self-respect.

Fun

Fun and pleasure are two different things. Fun is when you can laugh, play, and enjoy whatever you are doing. Yes, work can be fun. Gardening can be fun and even washing the car can be fun. The problem is most people define fun as when they are doing something that is generally defined as – fun. Watching your favorite team on television, dancing the night away, being on vacation etc. Here's the problem – Many people do not have enough fun on vacation for any number of reasons. Many people watching their favorite team lose isn't fun and dancing the night away with your significant other when he or she would rather be doing something else most likely won't be fun. Get my drift? Fun isn't want you are doing it's the mindset you bring to what you are doing.

Freedom

In America we enjoy the freedoms that were given to us by our founders and the sacrifices of many people since then. The problem is that the bigger government becomes – more and more of our simple freedoms seem to be being taken from us. This is not meant to be a criticism of any individual or group but on each of us for allowing this trend to continue. Freedom is simply the right to choose. What we eat, where we live, what we do and how we behave as long as our decisions and actions do not have a negative impact on others. Freedom is vital for happiness – yes the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. The freedom to destroy ourselves with bad behaviors and the freedom to treat our mind, body and spirit with respect and love.

Relationships

Each of us has a variety of relationships with family, friends, customers, neighbor's even total strangers that cross our path briefly. Each relationship is unique and defined by the mutual feelings of both people. When I speak in front of an audience of 500 people I have a unique relationship with each of them – some I get to know – others just introduce themselves to me when I am finished speaking. You have many relationships with many different people. Yes some of them are more important, needed and more fulfilling than others but without these relationships consider what your life would be like?

Achievements

Achievements whatever they are from – building a work shed in your back yard to becoming famous by developing your talent and desires. Achievement is simply doing something that makes us feel good about ourselves. Achievements whether raising good children or volunteering at the local soup kitchen can be considered acts of services for others. The shed in your yard is seen as valuable by your spouse. Volunteering makes you feel valuable to those less fortunate. But in the end any achievement is not about fame, wealth, success or power but in the service of others.

Acceptance

Acceptance of others – for many – equals the ability to accept themselves first. When other's acceptance is needed or sought after – is usually due to your lack of inner security, low self-esteem or negative mindsets. Before other's acceptance of you will have any true meaning, you must first learn to accept yourself for who you were, are and are becoming. This is not an easy task for many people due to their early negative conditioning and upbringing. It can take years to confront and overcome many of the emotional wounds that were inflicted on us by caregivers, teachers, religious leaders etc. So search we do for others to accept us for our flaws, failures and often dysfunctional personality.

Make it a tremendous year,
Tim Connor
Business Development
MHProNews.com
MHMSM.com
And the new MHLivingNews.com
704-895-1230

tim@mhmsm.com