In my first blog I explained connection . Now it is time to explore the disconnect, because a disconnect may result in loss of relationships, both business and personal. Understanding the disconnect is vital before attempting to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Yes, vital, but not simple by any means. There are four concepts I feel come into play when disconnection occurs.
First, the difficulty in repairing connection is directly proportional to the amount of time that has passed since the disconnect. The longer you have been lost, the harder it is to find your way back.
Second, the desire to reconnect is inversely proportional to the amount of time that has passed since the disconnect. If you have been disconnected too long, the desire to reconnect fades.
Third, and maybe most important, is the amount of effort required to reconnect is greater than the amount of gain received from the reconnection. It just doesn’t seem worth the effort. I have observed many marriages over the years where it is so obvious when they have reached the final realization, “It’s just not worth fixing.” The same is true in business.
Fourth, the amount of time that elapses before you react and attempt a reconnect is a direct indicator to the other person about how much you value the relationship.
Let me give you an example:
You and the customer have had a great relationship in the past and he always seems glad to see you during your regular calls at his location. This time his assistant says he is really busy and can’t see you. Next month you become really busy yourself and don’t get by his building to update him on the project progress.
The month after, you find yourself sitting in the waiting room while he meets with someone else. After what seems like forever, the assistant sends you in. You sit down and decision maker immediately looks at his watch and says he only has a few minutes. You say you understand and most of what you wanted to say can wait until next month.
Next, when you ask to see the manager, you are greeted by the purchaser who informs you that your contract is not being extended and the remainder of the project is being bid out. When you get back to your car you ask yourself, “How long ago did I first feel the relationship changing? Why didn’t I react?”
The amount of time that was allowed to pass has a direct effect on your desire to reconnect.
A disconnect ignored for too long is a connection forever broken.
Life’s like an elevator. Sometimes you go up; sometimes you go down; sometimes you get stuck between floors. Wisdom can be found in many places. I learned many things in school, but now I have a new seat of learning. The elevator.
I tried this opportunity for learning a few years ago and have continued it to this day. When I get in an elevator and there is only one other person on board, I say this: “May I ask you a question?” They almost always say yes or even certainly. So I ask, “What’s the most important thing you have to do today?” At first, they seem a little surprised that a perfect stranger is talking to them and maybe even startled that this stranger would ask such a question. But they always answer and the answers often will surprise you. Let me share a few of these responses.
I was in an elevator in Sydney, Australia and a young man stepped in. He was dressed in a blue suit with a red tie. He was nice looking and well groomed. I asked him the question and he responded, “I have a job interview in an hour and I’m going for a walk to prepare my responses to their most likely questions.” I asked, “Are you ready?” “Yes,” he said. “I’ve really been preparing for this job interview. When I’m prepared, I am confident.”
What did I learn? Confidence comes with preparation
A few days later at an office building in Sydney a young lady stepped into the elevator. I was with a fellow manager at my company and he knew what I was about to ask. I must admit he looked a little embarrassed, but I asked the question anyway,”What’s the most important thing you have to do today?” She looked at me and said, “My job.” But then she thought for a second or two and said, “Love my job.” That comment was so powerful that I think of it almost every day.
What did I learn? Love your job. To be happy in your job you must find a way to love what you do.
I love what Kahlil Gibran said “If you cannot work with joy in your heart, sit at the gates of the temple and take alms from those that can.” Love your job.
I was in a city back in the U.S. and found myself alone in an elevator with a very pretty woman about 30. She was dressed in very smart and fashionable attire. She glared at the elevator doors as they closed.
I hesitated to ask my question, but just couldn’t stop myself. “What’s the most important thing you have to do today?” She looked straight at me and said, “Attend my divorce hearing.” “Sorry.” I said. “Thank you,” she said “but it’s time to move on. Some things end and others begin.”
What did I learn? Life is full of endings but also full of beginnings. It’s the natural cycle of life. For every ending there’s a beginning, and hope springs eternal.
Many things in life come in threes and so I will share a third one with you. I stepped into the elevator dressed in my blue jeans and a sweatshirt, looking a little unkempt. The doors opened on the 10th floor and a woman stepped inside. Her hair was a little out of place and her face a little red. But I asked my question anyway. “What’s the most important thing you have to do today?” She looked at me, surprised by my question but answered anyway. “My husband and I just had a disagreement and I need to cool down and think before I say something I’ll regret.” “I hope you and your husband can work this out.” “We will,” she said. “I just need to put my emotions aside and try to see the problem through his eyes. He says I can be stubborn. He’s probably right.”
What did I learn? Think before you speak. Take a time out if necessary. Try to see the problem through other eyes.
Now, I won’t tell you that every response I received was a jewel of wisdom. Some were just pebbles. Some people didn’t answer at all and some pretended not to hear the question. But most answered with honesty and openness.
Elevator Wisdom is like life. Whether you’re going up or down, you’re always going somewhere and learning something new. Enjoy the ride.
What if you could see the world through someone else’s glasses; walk in their shoes; drink their water; know their stresses; feel their joy and understand their pain? Would your own view of things change? I propose to you that it would. We often believe that what we see is what everyone else sees. We are sadly mistaken.
A hungry child walking to school may only hear the sound of his empty stomach and not the sound of opportunity. Another kid’s biggest fear may be getting to school without being bullied, not whether he can pass his math test.
The single mother who is raising 3 children and working 2 jobs has a completely different view of life than a corporate executive who just cashed in his stock options.
How can we hope to understand anything if we cannot view that thing through the eyes of those who are most affected. We can have sympathy, but not empathy. I believe sympathy says “I understand” while empathy says “I will help.”
How are we supposed to help if we don’t understand? How can we have a great marriage if we cannot see the marriage through the eyes of our spouse? Our actions will be what we believe is important to make her happy, but might miss the mark completely. If we saw the marriage through her eyes, would our actions be different? I believe they would.
What about business? If we could see the customer’s business through the customer’s eyes we would be more effective in applying resources in the right place to solve the right problem. Too often, we don’t really know the customer’s real concerns, so we apply our effort to solve what ends up to be a minor issue and we miss the major one. We just have the wrong view of things.
What about new business? If you were preparing a proposal for a significant piece of new business, would you benefit if you knew what was most important to that prospect? What if there were concerns the prospect held, but didn’t feel comfortable sharing with you? Could that keep you from getting the account? Of course. But what if you could see those concerns through the eyes of your prospect. Would your success increase? Absolutely.
I hope I’ve effectively made the case that having 20/20 vision and seeing the world through someone else’s eyes, is a powerful tool in all aspects of life. But how do you acquire this skill?
I can help with that, but first let’s understand why it’s so difficult to develop. I want you to imagine you are looking at a sporting event. Maybe a European football match (soccer for us North Americans). You see one team in red shirts and black shorts and the other team in black shirts and black shorts. There are also referees in striped shirts and black shorts.The game looks exciting and both teams seem evenly matched. Now, put a filter in front of your eyes. With this filter you do not see red. In fact, you now see red as black. How does the game look now? You’re right. There’s only one team on the field and they’re all dressed in black. However, they all seem to be fighting over the ball. It must be an inner squad game, otherwise why would only one team take the field? Do you see how your filter has changed the game?
We all have filters that distort our view of the world. The filter is built piece by piece until it’s so thick that we rarely see what is really there. How did that happen? The filter starts when we are young and we take on the views of our parents, our community and our friends. The filter may form our view of other races or people, those that don’t share our religion or it might form our view of gender or age. But I assure you, the filter is there. The frightening fact is that we get so used to seeing through the filter, that we forget it’s there. But it is seeing life through a glass darkly distorting our view and creating our perception. This perception is distorted by our ignorance, closed mindedness, prejudice and bias and creates our own subjective lens.
So how can we change? The first step is to recognize the problem. Understand that what you see is not the truth. The truth is something else.
The second step is your desire to change. Change takes time and might even be painful. As you see the world differently, you may lose friends or even alienate family. Because, as you remove your subjective lens, they may wish to keep theirs.
Third, you must start your travel by looking inward and seeing yourself. See yourself the way others see you. You, from another viewpoint.
Fourth, employ the tactic of tuning in. Life’s background noise makes it hard to hear what’s really important. Sometimes it feels like our life is a radio that is just slightly off the station. Static confuses the message. When we tune in we remove the background noise. We focus on what’s really there.
Only after tuning in to our own thoughts and perceptions can we began to tune in to the things around us. Tuning in may not require words, just hearing what is not spoken. It is understanding what is not said.
Fifth, develop true empathy. The one thing we all search for is connection. This is something I’ve talked about in many of my blogs. Why do we want to see clearly? We want to connect. Our subjective lens keeps us from connecting. It limits and distorts our view and separates us from the truth. Real empathy means not only do I understand, but I want to help.
By following these steps you will come to see the world the way it really is. And only then, can you take actions that will make a real difference.
So, what will you see when you see 20/20? A world of opportunity.
Intention is the ultimate power that can lead to success. The power of intention comes from the force of focus. We have all that we need. We are the perfect invention but made imperfect by our own distractions. We are the grand design. But if we are the grand design then why do so many of us fail to reach our full potential? I believe, in many cases, it is our own doing, our own making and maybe, just maybe, our own plan. A plan to fail. Seems unthinkable doesn’t it? Maybe not.
The Power of Intention means that we will create whatever we think about most. I want you to think of the human mind as an airplane with two pilots. The first is our conscious pilot. Hands on the controls, eyes on the screens, mind focused on the path and thinking through each course change. The other is our subconscious pilot. The flight plan has been programmed, the controls are out of our hands and the direction is largely unknown to us. The conscious pilot is in the Captain’s seat maybe 10% of the trip. So, only 10% of the time are we really in control of the trip. A trip through life where we don’t know what or why or even how. We sit in our seat and try to enjoy the ride but we never see behind the locked door to the cockpit. The trip’s over before we know it and the destination is still unknown. If I can be blunt, it’s not a trip I wish to take. I want to control of the flight plan. So how can I get more control of the plane?
First, it’s the Power to Understand. We have the power to make thoughts into words and words into ideas and finally ideas into pictures. Pictures in our mind begin the process of understanding.
Next, we link these pictures together with other pictures born of our experience. Then we link our understanding with that of others and close the circle. But there’s even more. We can take our understanding of one thing and compare it to our questions about another but similar thing and better understand them both. Our ability to understand is limitless, unless we limit it ourselves. Think of what man understands today that was a mystery just a short time ago. But without our focus on understanding and our power of intention to uncover what is hidden, there is no new knowledge. There is only the status quo. Our desire to focus on understanding puts the conscious pilot in the seat for just a little more of our flight.
Next of our powers that comes from Intention is the Power to Create. But not just to create the standard or the average, which can easily be created by the subconscious pilot but to create the innovative and unique. These can only be created when our conscious hands are on the controls. To make something from nothing and build where the space was empty. We are able to see the whole by only seeing the parts and by assembling them, create more than anyone could imagine. But we imagined it. We saw it as we opened up our mind to the possibilities and the conscious pilot took over. The Power of Focus. The Power of Intention.
The next of our powers is the Power to Build. To understand the concept, create the innovation and assemble the pieces into towers of accomplishment. To build we must master putting piece after piece together in a way to withstand the winds of time and the storms of change. You cannot build what your mind’s eye cannot eye. Open your eyes. If we are distracted by the static around us and our detractors that doubt our ability, we will lose sight of what we came to build. The subconscious pilot will take over and the destination is again out of our hands. Remember, our intention is to build and our focus cannot stray.
Next is the power to solve problems. Problems are a natural part of life and a necessary part of growth. In fact, without problems, there is no growth. Uncovering the solution to a problem requires using your Power of Understanding to define the problem. Your power of creation to innovate an approach and your power to build to put the pieces together. The solutions to great problems will take concentration, focus and the power of Intention.
A critical part of the Power of Intention is the Power to Overcome. Every great journey is met with obstacles. In the world I live in, chemical sales, objections are a way of life. I read a study once that made the impact of objections very clear. When trying to reach our goal we meet the first objection and less than 60% of the individuals overcome that objection and are even around to see if there’s another objection that follows. For the talented group that successfully handle the first objection, only 30% will handle the second objection and be there to challenge the third obstacle. So only 10% of the original group is still in the game. If you make it here, you’re better than 9 out of 10, better than 90 out of 100. So how does this elite few overcome so much to accomplish such great things? The Power of Intention!
The last power we should discuss is the power to succeed. You know how to unleash this power but let me remind you. We work hard to understand the world around us so we may create, innovate and build a solution to the problem. We do not give up but overcome the obstacles that are always part of any great adventure and by overcoming we succeed.
We are the Perfect Invention, capable of almost anything. We need just to focus the Power of Intention and BE what we were meant to BE.
Take control of your life and pilot it to great adventures!
The whole concept of just a little more applies across many areas of our personal lives as well as in business and government. Many of the world’s greatest accomplishments as well as the worst atrocities were powered by the desire for just a little more.
My earlier blogs include Just a little more money, Just a little more health, Just a little more success and Just a little more love. But today’s topic supersedes them all. It’s what most of us want more than money, health, success or even love. Just a little more time.
Many years ago I was a partner in a deep sea fishing charter boat. After 10 hours on the boat, in the hot sun, with lots of fish in the cooler, the fishermen always asked, “Can’t we have just a little more time?”Then there was my neighbor, being three months behind on his car payment, who begged the repo man, “Please, I need just a little more time.”
In the new Wonder Woman movie, pilot Steve Trevor sacrifices his life to save others. He and Wonder Woman have become very close and as he leaves her for his appointment with death he says, “I wish we had more time.”
I spent an evening with a friend whose father had terminal cancer. He said, “As my dad lay on his deathbed, he whispered in my ear, I wish I had more time.”
We can always earn more money or exercise to get healthier. We can even work smarter and create more success. Maybe we can become a better lover. But how do we create more time? The sands pour through the hourglass and stop for nothing.
A depressing thought, isn’t it? But wait a minute. Would you be interested if I could show you how to get just a little more time? We usually talk about the time in our life being seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. Instead, maybe we should be talking about the life in our time and not the time in our life.
If that’s a good approach then let’s make sure we agree on the definition of life. There is a little life and there is a big life. A little life might be doing the same thing every day without knowing why. A little life might be never understanding your real purpose on this planet and therefore not knowing what actions to take to realize your destiny.
What about a life lived so well that it made a positive difference in the lives of others? That would be a big life. What about a life lived in forward gear and not in neutral? That would also be a big life. What about a life spent breathing in everything? Now that would surely be a big life.
To have a big life we must make our life more impactful. We can’t reach that goal and make a difference if we don’t pay attention. We must focus on what’s important. Instead of counting all the time we spend, let’s divide that time into time spent in gear and time spent in neutral. Time driving toward your destiny and time spent coasting. If real living is having a big life and a life in gear, then more time isn’t really the answer. The real goal is just a little more life.
To get just a little more life you need to realize that 80% percent of the time we go through life with our subconscious guiding what we do and where we go. You might even call it autopilot.
When we are in autopilot the world goes by without us noticing, without our conscious control. Only 20% of the time do we take control of the stick and experience the exhilaration that comes from piloting our own life. Conscious control gives us freedom, freedom to have a big life, a life full of purpose and meaning. When I talk about this to friends they always tell me, “I want more of that life.”
How do we get the freedom that comes from being involved, in gear and at the controls? Let’s look at the math again. If 80% of the time we are in autopilot and 20% we are in control, a small difference could have a big impact.
Let’s look further at the math. If we sleep 8 hours a day that equals 480 minutes. Our awake time would then be 960 minutes. In that 960 minutes, we are in autopilot 768 minutes and at the controls just 192 minutes. What if we could make a small shift in time? Let’s imagine that out of every hour we took back control of 5 extra minutes. Five minutes when we are fully aware and involved. That would give us 80 minutes a day more life time. This increase in your life time is 42%. The big life, not just coasting.
Research says that our thoughts wander to four areas.
The first is the past. The past has but one purpose, to teach us. Dwelling on the past brings little value and wastes precious time. The second is the future. If you are always hoping the future will be better, you are focusing on something you do not control. The third is what some writers have called elsewhere. Our thoughts wander from here to there without much meaning or value. The fourth, and the most important, is the present. The key to living in the present is PMA. Present Moment Awareness is the time when we take charge of our thoughts and actions. It’s living life right now. Living in the present and even in the moment allows us to experience life real time.
Life real time. What a concept. To live life real time you must be alert. Turn on all your senses. Experience the sounds and the colors of life bustling all around you. Life presents itself to us constantly, but we don’t listen and we don’t see. Listen to the song and experience the melody of life. Close your eyes for just a second and hear what was unheard. Now, open your eyes and really see. Everything around us is saying, “Look at me. See how wondrous I am.” We are surrounded by miracles. All we need do is see. By really seeing and listening we take control of those moments and they become ours. Really ours. No more autopilot.
The next step is to become involved. In many cases, the difference between a little life and a big life comes down to playing instead of watching. Get off the bench and get in the game. There must be a strategy prepared to play the game, but in the end, the game is won on the field. As Trevor said to Wonder Woman, “I’ve tried doing nothing and that didn’t work, so I’ve decided to do something.”
You want to have a big life? Do something for others who can’t do it for themselves. You can’t do that in autopilot. Decide to live in the present just 5 minutes more per hour and you will expand your conscious life by 40%. When you get involved and your conscious pilot takes over, you live life real time.
Can you take just a little more time to get just a little more life? Yes! Can you do something to make your life a big life? Absolutely!
Get started today!
Once you’ve felt the magic of love, it is something you’ll always remember.The rush of the touch. A kiss that never ends. The fever. Even the fear. It is the connection that only love can bring. Each partner giving all, but receiving more. Every time feeling like the first time. Running to the same place together and sharing the destination. Dying, but being born again. Swimming in a sea of soft words that only lovers know. Falling asleep in that wet tangle of bodies and waking with all the rough edges of the world polished smooth. It’s what we want, but often times we don’t find it and we don’t know why.
Sounds great doesn’t it. As the words I just wrote left my mind and flowed through my fingers to the page they were so real I had to stop typing and walk away just to cool off. If that kind of passion is intoxicating, I want to be drunk with it all the time.
If this is the drug we all want, the rush we crave, then what the hell happens? To understand the end we must go back to the beginning. Dating is a word from my generation. Today I think they call it hanging out. What do you do when you’re dating or hanging out? You find someone who has the same interests. Someone who likes the same things. Someone who is pleasing to look at and fun to talk to.
It might start as friendship or maybe lust, but it starts. How do you keep it going and growing? You feed the fire. You tell her how great she looked when you picked her up. But you just didn’t say ‘you look great.’ That’s not enough. You wanted her to know how special she is so you said this instead, “You look so great, I’m not sure I want to go to the movies tonight. I don’t want to share you with anyone else.”
Too much, maybe, but you get the point. If she really cares about you then she wants to be beautiful in your eyes. If he really cares about you, he wants to be strong and capable in your eyes. If your words and actions tell her she’s beautiful and desirable, then she will be. If your words and actions tell him he’s a giant in your eyes, he will be.
But if her beauty is defined by how the world sees her, then she’s the wrong partner and you will never be the center of her world.
We know the world can be very cruel. When worldly beauty fades, the eyes of those strangers will turn away and search for beauty in someone else. The same is true for his confidence and self worth.
Relationships are like clay. We mold them by our touch and define them by our words. Then we live with what we have created. Does she get tired of hearing how pretty she is or how much you want her touch? I don’t think so. Ladies, am I wrong? Men, you better listen. If you stop telling her that she’s beautiful and desirable will you lose her? Maybe not, but you will lose the magic and it’s the magic that makes it all work.
What happened? You stopped dating. When you were dating, did you surprise her with little gifts? Probably. Flowers, candy or even better, something unique that she could not have guessed. How about tickets to the concert she thought was sold out.
It might even have been her favorite band and not yours. Now that’s a real selfless gift. But was it really selfless? I don’t think so. What did you get in return? You kept the magic alive.
Remember when you left notes stuck under the wipers on her car, or you dropped clues to where that night’s date would be? You were deliciously unpredictable and that was part of your charm. Ladies, when was the last time you wrote I Love You with lipstick on the bathroom mirror?
If I told you what my wife secretly put in my suitcase, for me to find when I was out of town, it would make you blush. Or would it make you envious? Keep fanning the flame and the fire will never go out.
If the flames have gone out in your relationship, do you know what happened?
You stopped dating. In an earlier blog I wrote about fidelity. The magic may temporarily lost, but if the fidelity is not broken, then even the coldest embers can be reignited. A friend of mine once said, “Even the sex in my marriage has lost its magic.” I think sex is the destination of a wonderful journey and is a precious gift that lovers give each other. When it becomes less than that, it’s because we’ve focused on the destination instead of the journey. Don’t let that happen to your relationship. Don’t stop dating.
When you realized that she was the girl, you thought about how you could win her. What did that look like? You probably kept looking your best and did the things that made her smile. You said the right words and followed up with the right actions. But more than words, you were a good listener. One of the biggest reasons women have girlfriends is that girlfriends know how to listen. When did you stop listening? Was it about the same time that the magic began to fade? Then it’s time to start doing the things that helped convince her to make that commitment to you. Never stop winning her. Never stop dating.
What about her friends and your friends?
Never allow these so-called friends to criticize her in your presence. If they don’t support your relationship they are not real friends anyway. Let them go.
The passion that comes with real love can make your life amazing. But, it will not flourish without attention. Keep the magic alive. Never stop dating!
How can I hope to explain, in only a few words, what might be the most powerful force in world? It’s a huge topic. In many ways you might say it’s the Holy Grail of subjects. It’s what we all search for, love and passion. But maybe the real issue isn’t love but passion. Are they the same? I don’t think so. Love seems selfless and has a giving nature while passion is often selfish and all about taking. But without passion is real love even possible? Maybe not. But let’s deal with these one at a time.
Psychology Today talks about the different types of love. The first is Eros or passionate love. You can also think of this as romantic love. It’s a madness that comes over us and carries us away, but can also cause need and dependency.
The second is Philia, commonly called brotherly love; a relationship based on trust, dependability, and friendship. Psychology Today mentions that Philia, born from Eros, in turn feeds back to Eros, strengthening each. Friends are able to live fuller lives by teaching and supporting each other.
It’s been proven that most relationships start with physical attraction.
First, a glance, then some words and next a touch. But we often mistake this Eros love for the kind that lasts. I believe without Philia love, Eros will fade and might not come back. So we chase it from partner to partner.
We light the fire, it warms that part inside that yearns for someone to fill our emptiness. The flames are so bright that we’re sure it’s eternal, but alas, it’s not. Is it our fault or maybe our partner’s fault? We’re not sure who’s to blame, but we know it’s gone. Physical love is only temporary, but maybe it can be made permanent if you understand the secret. If I tell you the secret, it won’t be a secret, now will it? But I guess it could be our secret. So if you promise not to tell, I’ll share it with just you.
Erotic or physical love burns so hot that no fuel can keep it burning at such intensity. It bursts into flame, has its moment and then dies back to embers. In fact, if that intensity continued we would all be devoured by the fire, left as ash to be swept away by time. So how can this magic, that is so temporary, be rekindled? Although the flame may die down but the glow from the embers can last forever, if fanned from time to time. To have the opportunity to rekindle the flame, love based on friendship must reside.
Let’s talk about friendship and why it’s the glue that holds the relationship together and allows the fire to burn again. Friendship is all about trust. Trust creates the foundation from which embers can again become an inferno.
If friendship requires trust, then building and maintaining trust is necessary for passion to return. Trust is built as promises are made and kept, not just big promises but ALL promises. Each promise made, and kept, goes in the trust bank account and as the bank account builds, trust deepens and the friendship is built. But remember, trust is not given, it’s earned. Something that is given can come quickly, but that which is earned is built over time.
A relationship built slowly one brick at a time, one promise at a time, can withstand the storms that will surely come. A relationship built too quickly may not weather even the first winds that life can deliver. A relationship built on trust and fashioned over time into a solid foundation becomes the platform on which to build a lifetime of passion.
Passionate love is like walking on the high wire; exhilarating but frightening at the same time. There is danger but there’s also an amazing rush; a pounding of your heart and a quickening of your breathing but don’t fear, your friendship is your safety net.
Lovers that aren’t friends are like leafs on a tree. For most trees, they’re only temporary. They look beautiful but when the season is done, they are gone.
Think of it this way. The flames burn bright but die to a glowing ember. Trust allows you to protect the ember and gives you the foundation to fan the flame again. In great relationships this happens again and again and again. Passionate love is temporary but returns again as trust is rewarded with passion. A lasting relationship needs to be built on a foundation of trust and friendship.
Lovers are usually focused on their own satisfaction but the explosion that comes with passionate love is something we all want and desire. On the other hand, true friends are focused on the needs and wants of their friend. It would seem to be a perfect combination. A loving couple who can combine the fire that comes from passion with the caring, giving nature of their friendship has the magic. They provide a safe place from which to experience passionate love. A place where each person is focused on the pleasure of the other. A tight wire with a safety net.
That’s why I am absolutely convinced that lovers who have and keep the magic also have a strong friendship as their foundation.
In my last blog I promised the next one would deal with Just a little more Passion. I started it but then I erased it. Several times. I must be honest, there is nothing more important in my life than to live every day with passion, but putting down my feelings on paper was difficult. More difficult than I had imagined.
I believe life without passion is a chocolate chip cookie without the chips, an Oreo cookie without the filling or Simon without Garfunkel. Life without passion just leaves you hungry. So, if you will allow me, I’ll deal with my addiction to passion in a future blog. I’ll talk about how to find passion or even how to rekindle it when you think the flame is out. That topic is coming, I promise, but not this time and not this blog. I’ll save that for later. So for now I want to talk to you about happiness. Just a little more Happiness.
After reading past blogs on Just a little More, you have learned how to achieve greater success both personally and professionally. You know that eating right and implementing an exercise program can improve your health. Now that you have the knowledge to be wealthier, healthier and more successful, shouldn’t that mean happiness is easier to find? Maybe not.
If you are wealthy but aren’t happy, your money brings you no joy and with it you do no good for yourself or anyone else.
If you are successful but not happy, your success brings you no pride or pleasure.
If you are healthy but have no joy, your health is wasted, as you take no advantage to build a wonderful life.
But if you have discovered the secret to happiness, then even the smallest accomplishment brings joy and that joy lifts the lives of those around you.
I attended an interesting seminar a few years ago that focused on happiness. The professor, Dr. Crum, listed some things she felt were critical to achieving happiness. Here are a few and I’ve added my own:
🚩Live in the present
🚩Live with a purpose
🚩 Live with passion
I will delve into each of these topics in a separate blog. When thinking about the first objective, we really only have three distinct possibilities:
♦️Live in the Present
♦️ Live in the Past
♦️ Live in the Future
Being in the present means focusing on what is happening right now. It means appreciating the opportunities you are offered every day. But, it also means accomplishing those tasks that are in front of you, today.
What can keep you from focusing on the important tasks that must be done today?
Distractions . There are so many distractions that it’s a wonder we ever get anything done. You have to tune out the distractions and focus.
Remember, trying to find your favorite station on the radio you had as a child? When you were not quite on the station what did you get? Static! It was constant noise until you found the perfect frequency and then and only then did the voice come through loud and clear. Learn to tune out the noise in your life.
Other distractions include: Toxic people, tune them out. Negative people, tune them out. Complaining people, tune them out. Whining people, tune them out. You can only focus on the present if you tune out the distractions.
Some people spend their whole life lamenting times gone by. They carry the mark of their past mistakes like a scarlet letter. They’re regrets hang like a weight around their neck that makes lifting their head so difficult they rarely see what’s right in front of them.
Some would refer to this as The Ghosts of the Past. Ghosts that haunt us, follow us and influence how we see the world. However, the past can have a positive effect, if we allow it. The past is there to teach us and I believe that it’s the only real purpose. I believe guilt is only there to remind us of what we have learned, so we don’t go that way again. Living in the past is a waste of the gift of the present. You can never be truly happy living in the past. What has been, has been. Let it go! Move on. Let the Ghosts haunt someone else.
The other possibility is to live only in the Future. Living for what might be. Thinking that happiness is just around the corner. Waiting for your share of the prize or your share of the punishment, both are life lost. What might be, might be. That’s true. But hoping to be happy or worrying about being sad has very little value in a life that is short anyway. Some would call this The Goblins of the Future. The future is largely unknown to us and worrying about what might happen only punishes us twice. Worrying about the future and regretting the past can cause us to overlook The Gift of the Present. We have to learn to be. You create your own present by what you give your attention to today.
Here’s another of looking at how to be HAPPY. We create whatever we think about most. This is at the core of how I live my life. It is our gift and our curse.
Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Years ago I heard an old Indian legend about two wolves. You may remember it from the movie Tomorrowland. There are two wolves that are always fighting.
One is darkness and despair.
The other is light and hope.
Which wolf wins?
The one you feed. Feed the right wolf and focus your energy and positive thoughts on the gift of today, the present.
In my next blog I will focus on the happiness that comes from living life with a purpose.
Learn the secrets to achieving Just a little more Success in your life.
I had a friend once that told me he felt stuck. He had been in his current job for 5 years and his performance had never been more than average. That could also be said for his compensation. When he joined the company the sales job looked really exciting and the compensation seemed unlimited. Others around him were progressing nicely in both title and money, but not my friend. He wasn’t the type to judge his success by his pay, but it would sure be nice if he could earn Just a little more Wealth. He thought he might be more successful if his manager spent a little more time with him or if the products were a little more unique, or if the customers were a little more accepting. Before achieving success he needed to take responsibility and quit blaming others for his mediocre results. One day I was in his office, peering over his shoulder as he examined a spreadsheet. After a few minutes, I asked, “What are you looking at?”
“Another month of average sales numbers.”
“Are you happy with those results?”
“What do you want?”
He thought for a moment and said, “I want to be more successful. I want to feel like I’m getting somewhere. I need help, how can I achieve Just a little more Success?”
Since my friend was willing and ready to learn, I began talking to him about how to achieve his goal. Setting goals is a good first step in achieving success. But make sure goals are really goals, and not merely wishes. Let me tell you what my mother told me when I was a kid. “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” At my young age, I’m not sure I really understood the significance of what that meant. Now I realize that setting a realistic goal is the cornerstone of success.
The other thing she often said was a little more confusing. “If frogs carried guns they wouldn’t be afraid of snakes.” I’m a lot older now, and I hope much wiser, but I’m still unsure about the frogs and the snakes saying!
The goal of being more successful isn’t specific enough to be a good objective. Your goals should focus on the most important things. Having too many goals dilutes your attention. Divided attention means divided success. A goal needs to be stated clearly, and be achievable. A clear goal that is measurable and has a time limit is a good start toward achieving positive results. Make sure you understand the goal and then measure your progress by keeping score. Comparing last year’s new accounts or commissions to the current year’s numbers does measures progress, but it is not enough. There are critical behaviors that are the building blocks of your desired outcome. Focus on those critical behaviors and keep score of your improvement. If you do more of the right things, you will get more of the right results. I’ve found the thing most people fear is the unknown. We know a lot about the past. The past is the past and it has one purpose: to learn from. It can be a heavy weight to carry, but can be valuable if we learn from our past mistakes. The next step is to let go of the past. Learn and then move on. We know a little about the present. The present is the moment in which we are living. Cherish every moment for we don’t pass this way again. But what do we know about the future? The future is right around the corner and just over the hill. We can’t control it and we don’t know what it holds. We fear that which is unseen.
If you want some control of the future, you need to have a plan. The plan should contain your goal, the strategy to achieve that goal and the actions to be implemented. Each action should move you closer to your goal. Think of it like steps on a stairway that lead to the top.
Maybe if the frog had a plan, he wouldn’t have needed a gun to defend himself against the snakes!
What would you do today if you knew you couldn’t fail? That is a challenging thought that most people don’t consider. For those that do start with a plan but fail, it’s because their plan is never fully executed. A plan without the actions necessary to support the strategy always fails.
Success takes goal setting, planning and implementation, but it also takes one more thing. Attitude. A true American success story, Zig Ziglar often said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, controls your altitude.” Before others will believe in you, you have to believe in yourself. If you want to be more successful, act like someone who has achieved success. People like winners.
How to achieve Just a little more Success:
Take responsibility for your actions and their outcomes. Making an excuse gives you a free ticket to fail. It is the drug of underachievers.
Control the future by making a plan that focuses on the important things.
Set goals that are reasonable, achievable, and time sensitive.
Implement the plan and execute the actions that support the strategy.
Keep score to measure progress.
Believe to achieve. Find out how winners act and do just that. In other words, be the hero your dog thinks you are.
Next week I will focus on how to have Just a little more Passion. Don’t miss it!
Epilogue: The first component, taking responsibility for your actions, will be thoroughly discussed in a future blog called No Excuses.