Monthly Archives: January 2019

10 Important Tips to Improve Communication

Category : Life Tips , Success

Good Communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Who doesn’t enjoy a good hearty conversation with family and friends? These can be enjoyable and memorable times to sustain us and build us up. Heart to heart conversations with friends and family are the glue in our life. But not all conversations, discussions or “talks” are memorable in the positive sense.

Sometimes we need to have ‘crucial conversations’ with people around us, both personal and professional. Sometimes things need to be discussed and wrinkles need to be ironed out in order to move on. Depending on the relationship and the intensity or importance of the subject, without effective communication skills, these kinds of  “intense fellowships” can get heated fairly quickly. Sometimes they can turn into downright shouting matches with both parties launching missiles at the other and neither feels that he or she is getting anywhere.

The essentials of effective communication are really quite simple, but, in their simplicity, they may seem difficult. They require such steps as slowing down, listening, being present and being attentive. In essence, they require a different mindset and way of viewing other people.

I hope that you find this post both inspiring and challenging in your quest to be the Best You.

10 Important Tips to Improve Communication

 If you hesitate before you criticise, complain or quarrel, you are a better communicator
― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

  1. Pause Before Responding

Pausing before responding gives you time to reflect on what was said and gives the added benefit of showing the other person that you are considering their words. It gives you an opportunity to understand what you heard. In highly charged emotional exchanges, pausing will be even more beneficial because it will bring down the temperature during a heated discussion.

It may seem counterintuitive to pause before responding especially in today’s fast-paced world. Some people might wonder what is wrong with you or question if you actually heard them. Generally, people need quick responses and they often respond before the other person has finished speaking, let alone hear what was said. Pausing before responding will certainly take people by surprise because it is so uncommon.

The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him – Henry L. Stimson

2. Be a Trustworthy and Honest Person

Trust and honesty are two qualities that are increasingly difficult to find today. Too often it is easier to compromise both to avoid difficult situations or problems or just to “save face”. Unfortunately, giving into what is uncomfortable, even though it is the right thing erodes our reputation as someone who can be counted on and trusted.

If we are consistently known as someone whose word and actions can be trusted, it is far easier to have fruitful communication with others. They know, from our track record that we are not out to deceive them or hurt them in any way and they will be far more likely to open up to us and not withhold necessary (even personal) information that may be useful to the conversation. They will be more likely to trust us with their feelings as well.  So trustworthiness and honesty are crucial for effective communication.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place – George Bernard Shaw

3. Take the Time to Communicate

There is no need to hurry communication. It is said that communication is an art and that seems to be very true. It is not to be rushed and will bring about better results when we invest the time to communicate in a meaningful way. Too often we have agendas of what we want to say without necessarily wanting to know the perspective of others; our focus is on our ideas, which need to be said as quickly as possible so that we can get on with our day.

The more technology we have at our disposal, it seems the less we engage in meaningful conversation. It is easier to send text messages even between two people sitting beside one another. Somehow, we believe that a text message is faster and more effective. Text messages may seem speedy and easy, but is real communication actually taking place?

Like meals lovingly prepared at home, artful and meaningful communication shows the other person that you care and that you want to share a part of you with them and that you are interested in the relationship. Fast food is quickly obtained and quickly consumed without too many memories of the moment, whereas slow food carries with it memories. Likewise, taking the time to share and talk leaves us with satisfying memeories.

Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know – Jim Rohn

4. Tailor Your Ideas to Others

It is hard to have meaningful communication with others when we haven’t taken the time to know where they are coming from. To communicate effectively, we need to have a good understanding of what the other person understands. having this foundation helps us to eliminate misunderstandings and prevents us from jumping to conclusions.

We may be on opposite sides of the table or the room but in our conversation we can try to get on their side of the table, so to speak. Why not try to see the issue from the same side and through a similar pair of glasses?  We may have to overcome some obstacles such as generational differences, cultural understandings, positional differences (ex. between a boss and employee), male and female differences in seeing the world etc.). Usually, in most situations, asking questions and taking the time to listen will help us to overcome differences.

Two monologues do not make a dialogue – Jeff Daly

5. Be Present

We humans can so easily be distracted, can”t we? At any given moment we are probably thinking of at least 10 other things that have nothing to do with the present moment. It is so hard for us to stay focused on what someone else is saying. We are usually trying to figure out what our response will be rather than what the other person is actually saying.

Get in touch with the way the other person feels. Feelings are 55% body language, 38% tone and 7% words.

6. Be Attentive to Non-Verbal Language

According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Message, 55% of our communication is actually non-verbal. We call this body language. I think it would be fair to say that many of us are somewhat illiterate in this language and fail to pick up the cues. Then we wonder why we end up in misunderstandings and conflict. We also need to pay attention to our own body language and what messages we are sending to others.

Understanding body language cues (facial expressions, gestures, and body movements) help us to better perceive the message of the other person and give them a better understanding of what we are saying. It is actually more reliable than the words we use. Through non-verbal cues, we communicate emotions which are highly useful in helping us deliver a complete message. Knowing this, it is easy to see how just communicating in written form (such as emails and texts) can easily contort our message or completely change it.

The art of communication is the language of leadership – James Humes

7. Seek to Understand

We should try to understand the whole picture and the other’s point of view – how they understand things. Maybe there is information that we are missing that we might need in order to communicate with them better. Is there a back story? Are the events that have happened or is there information that the person may have received that may affect how they are feeling? Perhaps there may be cultural differences that need to be understood.

Communication is complex in the best of times. We can never assume that we understand everything in the context of communication. In fact, we would do better to go into a discussion (or potential argument) with the attitude that we really don’t know much at all but are willing to listen and learn. In using this approach our chances of being listened to and having a fruitful discussion are greater than if we just saw discussion as an opportunity to give our opinion only.

The less people know, the more they yell – Seth Godin

8. Be Open minded and Patient

Everyone has an opinion on everything. We are human, after all. But often times our opinions become entrenched so solidly (as in concrete) that nothing and no one can change our minds. We close our minds to the possibility that we may have been wrong or misunderstood. Our pride gets in the way, so we stick in our feet and refuse to budge on our position. We see ourselves as right and the other person as wrong or misguided (or worse).

But effective communication hinges on our ability to be open to other possibilities and perspectives.  If we remain rooted in our self-righteousness on a matter, we can not move forward and we can not learn and grow. Patience comes from a humble spirit. It is the willingness to take the time to listen, to learn and accept that the other person has important things to say. Patience is really an attitude and a choice.

People can’t hear what you don’t say. Thinking isn’t communicating.”
Frank Sonnenberg, Soul Food: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

9. Restate and Confirm

What a compliment it is to the person who is speaking to you if you take the time to restate what they said in order to clarify your understanding. It is refreshing in a world where everyone is on overdrive and rarely listens if at all, to have someone actually listen to what we are saying and be interested. So, when we take the time and make the effort to confirm by way of repeating what was said, we are really showing respect to the person we are speaking with.

Of course, in order to do this, we will need to turn off all the other information channels running through our mind. We will need to focus not only on hearing the words but also intently on understanding what is being said. Most of us use the time someone else is speaking to plan what we will say next, but this definitely not what we should be doing if we want to communicate effectively.

There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback – Anant Agarwi

10. Seek Feedback

As uncomfortable as it may be, getting feedback on what we have said can be very educational and help us to change and grow. No one enjoys hearing negative feedback about themselves. No one likes to know (or admit) that they have character weaknesses. Most of us would just rather assume that we are good people, we communicate well and many times we are just plain right and others are misinformed.

But have the courage and the humility to ask for the other person’s perspective. We can’t look at ourselves through an objective lens, but others can see things about ourselves that we may be blinded to. If we don’t want to keep making the same mistakes and butting ourselves against the same wall, then certainly it is a good idea to seek others feedback – how they see us. We all need a mirror to see how we are doing.

I hope that these tips have been helpful to you. It has been said that our biggest relational problems happen with other people. Since we live in a world with other people and have to communicate with them, maybe it is a good idea to learn how to be the best communicators we can be.

Have a great day!

Related Posts

5 Ways We Sabotage Ourselves – The Solutions

The Power of Our Words Part II

7 Effective Ways to Resolve Conflicts

How to Be the Person Everyone Likes

Why Attitude Really Is Everything

Has this post been helpful to you? Please leave a comment in the comment section below.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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Why Boundaries Matter and How to Set Them

Category : Life Tips

No is a complete sentence – Anne Lamont

Probably one of the most important reasons behind conflicts, fatigue at work or at home, dysfunctional relationships and even stress-related disease is lack of clear boundaries. So many emotions (guilt, anger, fear, sadness, discouragement) are tied to our feelings of somehow feeling betrayed, abused, controlled, overworked and misunderstood. Lack of clear boundaries can cause dysfunction in the relationships at home and conflict or absenteeism in the workplace. Friendships are also destroyed and lost because limits were not established and communicated.

This blog post is based off a book that I am currently reading called: Boundaries: When to Say Yes When to Say No To Take Control of Your Life, by authors; Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

You get what you tolerate – Henry Cloud

So What Is a Boundary?

The authors compare a boundary to having a property line around your house property. What is on your property is yours and what is not on it is not yours. You are legally responsible for what happens on your property.  A boundary can be in the form of a fence, a wall or any other physical boundary. In the same way, we can establish boundaries around us to protect our number one asset: us.

In human relationships, the boundary is defined as “what is Me” and “what is not Me”. I am only responsible for what is Me and not for what is not Me. Furthermore, the authors write, we are responsible to (as opposed to for) others and their actions but are responsible for ourselves (our actions, choices etc.). It is important to make this distinction because this is where the lines get blurred. We are responsible for “carrying our load”, but we also have a responsibility towards others in order to help them with any burdens or things that they cannot do alone or that they may need help with.

In a practical application, this would mean that at work, for example, everyone should have a role ( a job to do) to play in achieving the company’s objectives. One person can not do it alone. It requires teamwork. In a family situation, it might mean being there to support family members, but not doing for them what they should be doing for themselves.

When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. ― Brené Brown

Blurred Boundaries Cause Problems

Problems arise when someone fails to assume responsibility for his own load ( and ask or expect others to do it) or when a person decides to carry a burden alone (refusing to ask for help from others). Both scenarios can result in resentful feelings, disgruntlement, stress, frustration and much more. In both cases, there is no clear delineation between “what is mine” and “what is not mine”

Sometimes the boundary is a huge concrete wall that has been set up – a fortress that no one can enter. Perhaps due to abuses or conflict in the past, the person has decided that nothing and no one is coming in. So, like a fortress, everything stays locked up inside – all the negative emotions, the trauma and no one and nothing can get in, good or bad. This person closes himself off from any help or anything that could be positive since the wall he has erected is impermeable.

Sometimes, on the other extreme, there is absolutely no property line at all – what’s mine is also yours. It is negligence of sorts since anything is allowed and tolerated often leading to the point where one person finds himself trapped in a pattern of being expected to allow trespassing and begins to feel resentful with no way of escape. It is like allowing someone to come into your yard or your live at your house any time but never asking them to help out or take on any responsibility.

Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do – Rachel Wolchin

Some Examples of Boundaries

  1. Words
  2. Time and Space
  3. Emotional Distance

Our Word Is Sufficient

The most basic boundary setting word is NO. This simple word is confrontational and makes people uncomfortable because it sets limits. It is one of the first words used by toddlers to affirm their independence

But how many people have difficulty with this simple word? We are conditioned, as a society, to be people-pleasing, conciliatory and nonconfrontational. We struggle between our need to affirm our limits and our fear of endangering the relationship and because we fear compromising our relationship, we say YES when we want to say NO. We give in for the sake of peace at a price: control of our decisions, our self-esteem, our time, our energy and our peace of mind.

We can say NO and our NO is sufficient. We do not need to explain, justify or in any way placate to support our decision. Our NO defines our boundary. For sure people will get their britches in a knot and call us selfish or uncooperative, but that belongs to them not us.

Our Time and Space Belong to Us

Our time and our space are ours and we are within our rights to draw a line in the sand concerning the use of our time and who can be in our space. Time is probably the area where boundaries are overstepped the most. We see it in the work environment when employees are asked to put in extra time, take the company computer home and continue to work there. There are often last minute “must-be-done-yesterday” emergencies. Everything is urgent and employees are asked to drop what they are doing to take on the crisis.

We are not obliged to let anyone into our space just because they decide they want to. We do not have to tolerate unannounced “friendly” visits to our home by family or friends. We are also free to not answer our phone if we don’t want to. It is up to us to set up the boundaries to what we will accept and not accept, but if we want to avoid problems, we should be clear about communicating them.

Emotional Distance For Our Protection

Protecting our sanity and our emotional health should come far ahead of pleasing other people and fitting ourselves into their agenda. If our dignity, our psychological, our emotional or our physical well being have been abused or attacked, we can and should distance ourselves from the source of such abuse. This is a hot button topic since it gets at the core of dysfunctional relationships.

Keeping an emotional distance from situations or people is a temporary boundary we can set up to protect ourselves, but should not be considered a permanent solution. Safety is of primary concern here and it is inadvisable to be quick to jump back into an abusive situation without seeing a true change in the situation or person involved.

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappinting others – Brené Brown

What Belongs to Me? Responsibilities

  1. Feelings
  2. Attitudes
  3. Behaviors
  4. Choices
  5. Values
  6. Limits

My Feelings, Not Yours!

We should both own them and be fully aware of them. As simple as that appears, most of us have difficulty doing both. Our feelings get blurred to the point where we have difficulty even identifying or explaining what and how we are feeling, much less expect others to understand. But, at the end of the day, we are responsible for our feelings, dealing with them and assuming any consequences which result from them.

It’s In the Attitude

I have written a blog post already on this subject here

Since we are discussing boundaries and responsibilities, we can say that our attitudes towards responsibility (ours and that of other people) and whether or not we should hold ourselves and others accountable will determine the kinds of boundaries we set.

Behave Yourself

We reap what we sow.

We have all heard this saying many times, but how true it is. We alone are responsible for our actions, no matter how much we try to shift the blame onto other people, circumstances or anything else. There are no excuses; we act and others react. Why is this so? Because behavior is a choice and it begins with us.

Choices and More Choices

And, speaking of choices, our choices also belong to us. No matter what we feel, no matter how we are treated, no matter what someone says to us or does to us, we are 100% in control of our choices. There is no room for things like “She made me…(No, she didn’t!)” or I had no choice… (Yes, you did!)” These excuses are delusional and frankly, completely untrue and, more importantly, they render us powerless. We become victims rather than in charge. We make choices and we must live with the consequences.

Values and Convictions

Too often we are inconsistent with what we value and seeking people’s approval. sometimes it is downright frightening to stick to our values (convictions) when there is a price to pay and when it goes against what others want us to do. How often are we untrue to ourselves and end up compromising our values just to please other people (our boss, our friends, or others)?  we need to draw a clear line in the sand regarding our values and convictions (and stick by them) or someone will be quick to tread all over them and our integrity.

Limits

In the book, the authors refer to internal and external limits. Internal limits referring to what we can actually control. Establishing internal limits empowers us to exercise self-control in all situations. It also means setting limits within ourselves to be able to say NO to ourselves regarding what we want to do or have.

External limits refer to limiting our exposure to situations or people that would be destructive in some way. Since we can not control people or what they do, the only limits we can set are the point to which we allow them to have influence in our life.

Don’t Let Them Walk All Over You

Having clearly communicated boundaries concerning what we will accept (tolerate) or not accept is crucial to regaining control over our life (our time, our space, our dignity and ourselves). If we don’t establish clear boundaries and stick by them, it is just about guaranteed that people will begin to walk all over us, making demands, controlling us, making us feel guilty and basically imprisoning us to the point where we don’t feel in control of our own life.

Be a leader! When people see that you are strong and that you stand by your rules and don’t budge just to be a people pleaser, they will eventually begin to respect you. Just this example of integrity will influence them in a positive way. You will free and empowered and others will see your strength and want to be like you. Not having boundaries is a destructive weakness, but having clearly defended boundaries is a strength.

Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them, too. ― Gina Greenlee

Have a great day!

Related Posts

Why attitude Is Really Everything

Are You Attending Your Life?

How To Fix a Toxic Work Environment

We Don’t Have all the Time in the World

Overcoming Fear and Leaving the Comfort Zone

I hope this post has been helpful to you. Please leave a comment in the comment section below.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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How Belief Will Open Doors

Category : Life Tips , Success

We have heard it said many, many times – just believe. We know it’s true, but often it seems like going out with a raincoat and rubber boots on a sunny, cloudless day because we believe it will rain. We peer out into thin air and see no possible indication that what we want to pursue or think we can do makes any logical sense at all. What’s worse, often those around us may not even share our belief; they may even think we are crazy. sometimes they tell us to come down off the cloud we are on.

Then we may replay all the old movies of the times we failed or when people discouraged us, criticized us or basically told us that we should just stick to what we are able to do and not dream about doing anything else. Belief is not easy. In fact, belief may be one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing, we will ever do in our life. Belief means fighting an uphill battle against an invisible adversary named apathy.

In spite of everything, belief is a wonderful thing. Belief is behind all the inventions we use today. Belief is behind all the accomplishments mankind has accomplished over the years. Without belief, nothing would be created or done. It takes belief to get out of bed and trust that the floor will hold us up. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can be achieved without first having the belief it is possible.

It All Begins In Our Mind

Everything begins in our imagination. It starts with an idea. Just a little seed of an idea can grow and blossom in our mind like a delicate flower. Belief is that little seed. It is potential that when given nourishment, sunlight, and rain, will grow into something beautiful. It is also fragile like the flower; strong adverse winds and rain can uproot the fragile flower. In the same way, belief is susceptible to negative or discouraging talk, even what we think or tell ourselves.

The mind (the imagination) is a fertile garden, both for negative thoughts and positive thoughts, and we have to guard what goes in there and comes out with vigilance. We need to be the gatekeeper of our mind. Our thoughts (our belief system) are really the only thing we have absolute control over, but we need to maintain that control and guard against anything that would cause us to doubt or think negatively in any way.

How To Harness Belief

Yes, we can actually harness belief, rein it in and shape it.  We can feed it, shape it, grow it and increase it. Here are a few quotes on belief:

Man is what he believes – Anton chekhov

You will only rise to the level of your belief – Catrice M. Jackson

One person with a belief is equal to ninety-nine who have only interests – John Stuart Mill

Belief is wonderful, but it comes at a price. It takes time, it takes perseverance, it takes humility and much more. Here are 5 principles to help you with “growing your belief”

  1. Inform your mind
  2. Don’t set limits
  3. Find your Elephant Buzz
  4. Reinforce your mind
  5. Talk to Yourself
  6. Be willing to go

Inform Your Mind

“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20-21).

So, it is possible to believe and “move mountains”,  We have to believe in our mind and believe in our heart it can and will be done. And we have to inform our mind that it will be done. Let your mind know that all other bridges are going to be burned and that “moving mountains” is the agenda. If we allow for any other alternatives, a  plan B or a cop-out plan, then “moving the mountain” is not going to happen.

So now that “moving a mountain” is the plan, you need to get your ant and your elephant aligned. “My ant and my elephant?” you ask  “What do you mean by that”? In his book called The Ant and the Elephant: Leadership For the Self, author Vince Pscente, recounts a fable involving an ant (our conscious mind) and an elephant (our subconscious mind) where both need to work together to get to the desired destination.

So, informing your mind, in the context of the ant and the elephant means that your “ant” needs to let your “elephant” know what the plan is. Once your “elephant” is made aware of the plan, he can muster his 40 billion or so neurons into order and work with the Ant. In other words, the elephant needs to believe this is going to happen. Feelings have no role to play here.

Don’t Set Limits

Moving a mountain is a colossal task, but you are up to it. It is your goal. If you just concentrate on small stones while not believing that the mountain can be moved, you are limiting your belief (your faith). Remember, it is not about what you can do, humanly speaking, but what your belief or your faith can do. Faith knows no limits. In the quote above, it says “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed.. “, so your faith will move the mountain. The quote continues.. “and nothing will be impossible for you”. So, faith has no limits.

Don’t hang on to your press clippings, good or bad. Past achievements are not a guarantee of future achievements and past failures do not, by any means, suggest that you will not have success. Press clippings can lead to apathy and unbelief.

Find Your “Elephant Buzz”

In the book The Ant and the Elephant, the narrator talks about the “elephant buzz” – that “.je ne sais quoi,” that passion, that spark that fired up the elephant. The main difficulty the ant had in trying to get the elephant going in the direction he wanted him to go was that the elephant had no idea why he should go there. The elephant was not fired up and so he just wandered around where he was.

That “Buzz” is what our subconscious mind needs to get going. It is our reason why. It is our hot button, our passion. It is that key that will cause us to jump out of bed ready to begin and keep us from even wanting to sleep.  If you can find that which will fire you up and put you into “the zone”, your belief (whatever it is that you want to do) will begin to skyrocket and you will come alive.

Find what lights you on fire. It may be a cause that you want to be a part of. it may be something you have always wanted to do. It doesn’t,t necessarily have to be big at first, but it can go big if it is really your passion. Belief (or faith)  makes us come alive and gives us the energy to pursue that which we were truly born to pursue.

Reinforce Your Mind

In the book The Ant and the Elephant, the ant had a fairly tough time trying to get the elephant to cooperate. The ant knew where they were supposed to be going. but the elephant, being an elephant, was not concerned with details. communication was difficult, to say the least, and for a while, they were not working in sync.

Our mind needs to be fed good information. It needs to reminded of what it can do. Read books that will help you to sustain belief, that will encourage you and help you to change negative thought patterns. Good information from books, audios can help you to “pattern-interrupt” these negative thought patterns. Your mind needs to know why and how to change direction, just as the elephant needed to understand why it needed to go along a different path to get to the destination.

New, encouraging and inspiring associations can help shape our ideas. If we want to go somewhere, we should probably get around people who are going there too. Associations impact us for good or for bad. Consider:

If you hang around bank robbers, you might not be the guy with the ski mask and the gun, but you are for sure driving the getaway car – Author and speaker Claude Hamilton

Talk to Yourself

If you don’t talk to yourself, who is going to? Someone will, for sure. If you are listening to yourself and all the “negative news” in your head, you just may end up believing yourself. So maybe it is time for a few heart – to- heart chats with yourself to tell yourself that from now on the negative talk is going into the trash. It is going to be thrown out.

From now on, no garbage talk is allowed on the premises. No more talk about how you can’t do it, you shouldn’t do it, it’s impossible, you’re not able or whatever other lies you have been believing. A new director of the imagination is moving in with a new way of doing things. All the noisy voices ( the media, the naysayers, the busyness and excuses) will try to grab our attention, but now it is time to ignore the noise in your head start telling yourself what is possible.

Be Willing to Go

Belief requires action and often it means going beyond what we are normally comfortable doing. Often there may be no indication, no sign that what we are believing in has any substance or will ever pan out. We need to take the action steps anyway in the direction we have chosen to go. Belief without action remains only a wish.  Action + belief are both necessary to turn an idea, a wish into a reality. If you believe it is possible for you to be an Olympic athlete, you need to put in the time and the effort to get there.

The example of Colonel Sanders is a beautiful example of belief put into action. Colonel (Harland David) Sanders found himself penniless at the age of 65 on retiring from being a restaurant owner. He received his first social security check for $105.00. He decided to launch out and sell his fried chicken recipe and went literally door to door trying to get some interest for his recipe. It is said that he was turned down 1009 times before finally getting a “yes”.  Even at the age when many people are settling into retirement, Colonel Sanders was willing to go after a dream.

Dream

We all have dreams. We were born with dreams in our hearts. Children are some of the biggest dreamers there are.  Life has a way of squashing and burying our dreams, but they don’t have to remain buried or squashed. They are still there underneath the pile of baggage we have carried through life. they are there underneath all the negativity, discouragement, and apathy that we have picked up along the way. They are still there, a buried treasure waiting to be unearthed and dusted off.

Give It Your Best Shot

We may tell ourselves all the usual things – I’m too old, I have too many responsibilities now, I don’t have the time or energy for dreams, dreams are a waste of time or I have too many problems right now to be chasing dreams.  Well, let me just say that life will pass by anyway, no matter what we do. We are not going to have more time or fewer responsibilities later. And, at the end of our life, won’t we want to say that we “gave ourselves a shot at our dreams?” Won’t we want to say “I was here for a reason and I gave it my best?”

Have a great day!

Related Posts

Why Attitude Really Is Everything

We Don’t Have All the Time in the World

Overcoming Fear and Leaving the Comfort Zone

5 Ways We Block Our Success

The Seeds of Possibility

Have you enjoyed this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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Why Attitude Really Is Everything

Category : Life Tips , Success

The only disability in life is a bad attitude – Scott Hamilton

The title of this post: Why Attitude Is Everything sounds cliché, but it is actually very true. Our attitude is really the only thing we have control over in our life. In a world where so many things happen to us and around us, it is sometimes hard to see clearly and get on top of the circumstances. Many, many people feel disempowered or powerless in the face of adversity, imagining that circumstances determine their fate.

I can understand how easy it is to fall into this trap of helplessness – we have all been there. The circumstances, the events can sometimes be overpowering and the solutions or the outcome are not always clear. Things happen. Life happens. One day does not resemble the day before or the day after. We wonder why things happen and why they happen to us. It is often hard to see the big picture when you are driving through the mud.

I’d like to start with a few quotes on attitude, if I may. The first one is from Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who lost parents and siblings during WWII:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor E. Frankl

Winston Churchill, who led England into it’s ‘finest hour’ said:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Author and Leadership speaker, John C Maxwell said:

Your attitude towards failure determines your attitude after failure.

So there it is three not so different thoughts on attitude. But why the title: Attitude Really Is Everything? Well, an attitude is really a choice, a response to what happens to us and around us and really the only absolute choice we have. Our attitude is more important than our situation, it is more important than our relationships, it is more important than our job or lack thereof, it is more important than our work, it is more important than our problems and it is more important than our financial troubles. Everything that happens is filtered through our attitude.

Our attitude really does make us or break us in any situation or set of circumstances. Charles Swindoll, the author of the book Attitude, said:

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

Our only limitation in life is how we think about life. Events may happen once, but we can make them continue on over and over or we can stop them in their tracks by how we think.

Washing the Window and Reframing

In his book Attitude Is Everything, author  Jeff Keller writes that our attitude is our window to the world. He references George Bernard Shaw who (paraphrasing) said that we are the window through which we view the world. Jeff Keller writes that we all begin with a more or less clean window, but then life starts throwing dirt at our windows (criticism, ridicule, rejection, disappointments, and doubts. The dirt accumulates and we don’t wash it off.

So that’s it! We need to get the grime off our window to see clearly. When our “window to the world” (our attitude) is wiped clean, we can begin to have confidence and see the world differently. As Jeff Keller says, our attitude affects the way we see everything in life.

The analogy of a car windshield is interesting. When our windshield is dusty or smeared it is hard to anticipate obstacles. How much easier is it to see the road and to drive when our windshield is clear? With a clean windshield, it is easier to drive proactively.

After we get the grime off the “window” or “windshield”, we can reframe or stare out at life with a new frame of reference. We don’t have to allow all the grime to boggle us down and control how we live. Reframing also means taking control of our attitude. It means deciding to make decisions and respond to life situations and events from a new perspective.

How to Handle Adversity: Coach John Wooden

Well-known and respected UCLA basketball coach gave his players two sets of three rules to live by. The second set of rules (for handling adversity) are:

  1. Never Whine
  2. Never Complain
  3. Never Make Excuses

Whining is the first step in having a bad attitude. It is the first clue that a bad attitude is starting up. We could say it is akin to the common cold noticeable by the nasal way of speaking. It might be a good idea to nip it in the bud at this juncture before it gets worse or turns into a habit. Whining begins with our thoughts and is the initial stage of the process of becoming a victim.

Never complain. Complaining is akin to the cold turning into pneumonia. It may have begun with a bit of whining, but now it has gotten more annoying. Complaining points a finger at circumstances or people indicating that they are the reason for our troubles.  This behavior disempowers us by taking us out of the solution finding process. Complaining never has and never will help us find a solution.

Never Make Excuses. Like complaining, making excuses doesn’t fix the problem and often makes the problem worse. By the time we are at the point of making excuses, we are at the end of the process. We have given up the ball, so to speak. Many people give excuses for why they didn’t try: it was too hard, I didn’t have time, I was too busy, I forgot etc.

In his book The Magic of Thinking Big, author David Schwartz talks about 4 excuse categories in the chapter called Excusitis: The Failure Disease 

  • Health excuses
  • Intelligence (or lack of)
  • Age (too old or too young)
  • Luck (or lack of)

The excuses we tell ourselves are our pathway to failure on all counts. They hinder us from even trying anything.

But as Yoda in Star Wars says:

There is no try, only do.

There is no room for excuses, only for effort and results.

Change the Programming

This does not happen overnight; it is a process. Once we have started to clean off the window (change our attitude) we need to keep it clean. So we have to keep off the dirt regularly and clean it with soap. Maybe in the past, we have allowed people to speak negatively into our lives. Now it is time to fill our mind with good information.

As we continue to weed out the negativity and bring in the good information we need, our perspective towards life circumstances will begin to change. It is empowering to realize that we can be in control of how we view life events, situations (good or bad) and in control of how we respond to them.

Jeff Keller, in his book, has a chapter called Change Your Problems into Opportunities. What a wonderful way to see things. Like the wine glass that is either half empty or half full, it really depends on how we choose to look at a problem. it may be that a problem is hiding a lesson that we need to learn. What may have begun as a disappointment or “bad luck” might actually turn out to be a “golden opportunity” as he calls it.

Adversity Is a Good Thing

Jeff Keller says in this chapter on problems that adversity can give us perspective. Difficult challenges can train us to not worry about the little things (or annoyances) in life and to focus on the more important things. Adversity also helps us to be thankful. When we have gone through loss or deprivation of some kind, we develop a deeper appreciation for what we have and for those around us.

Adversity, Jeff Keller says, can help us to discover hidden potential or abilities we may not have known we had. We come out of adversity emotionally stronger. It may also encourage us to make new decisions, try new things or get back on track if we have somehow lost our way. Adversity can open new doors and close those that need to be closed. And finally, but not least, adversity builds up our confidence and belief in ourselves.  As Napoleon Hill said:

Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.

Stop Complaining!

Another chapter in the book Attitude is everything is Stop Complaining! As coach John Wooden’s stated in his rules for the players, Jeff Keller also communicates that complaining gets you nowhere. The more we complain, the worse the situation becomes as Lady Holland says:

Troubles, like babies, grow larger by nursing.

By complaining, the author is not referring to people discussing a situation in an attempt to resolve a problem or to the times when we share our life experiences. What he is referring to are the complaints (the ongoing, annoying complaints) that have no solution and the person is just wanting to hear himself talk. Two examples of chronic complaining he gives are:

  1. Complaining about illness (or” aches and pains”)
  2. Complaining about the weather

Complaining about our ‘aches and pains’ can quickly turn into a tennis match of sorts where we take turns trying to outdo one another with how bad we have it or how ‘awful’ we are feeling. There really is no solution. The complaining doesn’t make us feel any better and the other person can’t help us, so why do it?  And, honestly, who really wants to hear all the graphic details of how sick someone is feeling?

The weather is also a favorite subject to complain about (especially here in Canada – just saying). Bad weather makes a bad day according to some. the weather is a favorite thing to complain about because most everyone will agree with us on that point. But the weather has nothing to do with it being a bad day and we can’t do anything about the weather anyway. Whether it rains or snows, the day is still going to go on.

There are many situations where it would be quite legitimate to complain: war, poverty, abuse, to name a few. So many go through circumstances far more serious than we may ever go through. Sure they could complain about these terrible situations, but in the end, it is finding the solutions that is most important. It is the pressing through, being courageous and perseverant that will bring about change. Attitude is a state of the mind and a way of living regardless of circumstances.

The Takeaway

Attitude is everything! Our attitude is the rudder of our ship keeping it on course or steering it way off course. We are the captain and we hold the wheel. It’s all about choice, not circumstances. It is about decisions and outcomes as well because our attitude will determine how our future will go. No matter what happens to us, we can decide at any point to steer our lives in a positive direction or a negative one.

Have a great day!

Has this post been helpful to you? Please leave a comment below.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are You Attending Your Life?

Category : Life Tips

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” -Stephen Covey

We attend weddings and funerals. We attend meetings and family reunions. In fact, we attend all kinds of events in our life. Our calendars are filled with appointments and meetups, with invitations and events. Friends, acquaintances,  family, dentists, doctors, teachers, and bosses all seem to decide how our calendar will shape up and how our days will be filled.

All this scheduled activity may give us the impression that others are “driving our car” in life instead of us. Have you ever noticed how fast the weeks zip by and that our calendar month seems like a day rather than 30 or 31 days? Maybe you might feel like shouting out (to nowhere and no one in particular) “Hey! Hold Up! I’m in charge here”.

The following information is based off a talk called: Attend Your Life, by Terri Brady, a leadership speaker.

Is Your Car In Neutral?

There are four positions a car can be in – park, drive, neutral and reverse. If you want to go anywhere, drive position is the position to be in. You have a destination and putting your car into drive will help you to get you where you want to go. If your car is in neutral, chances are, you won’t get very far. you won’t get very far in park position or reverse either, for that matter.

To use the car analogy, a life in drive position is much better than a life lived in neutral, park or reverse. We want to move forward with purpose and direction. And, in life, it is fair to say, we much prefer to be in charge of our time, our schedules, and our calendar than have someone else be in charge. We want to have a say in our lives, not just do what we think we are supposed to according to others. Being in the driver’s seat of our life is much more empowering and satisfying than being in the passenger’s seat.

Are You Attending Your Life?

There are different ways we “attend our life” and by attending I mean being an active participant and influencing the outcome of our life.  It is easy and comfortable to coast through life and let what will be, be. The storms hit and the waves toss us and we don’t feel that we have any control over what is happening to us. “That’s life,” we tell ourselves. But “attending” our life or being an active influencer in our life is different. Terri Brady gives the following ways we can “attend our life”.

Attending Our Moral Values

Do we have a compass and a True North? What is guiding our decisions, our beliefs, and our actions?  Having a foundation, a moral compass keeps us grounded and less likely to be tossed about by the winds of change  (social, political, relational or other). We are less likely to be influenced by what is going on around us and more likely to make decisions that keep us on course. Our “car” will drive in the path we have set and not veer off into dead ends and detours.

Attending the Media We Ingest

There is nothing neutral about the media (blogs, magazines, newspapers, youtube or whatever).  We are taking in information when we tune into media, but what kind of information are we taking in? All media has a filter, a bias of some sort. Is it really information we are ingesting or someone’s opinion? In an age where facts can be manipulated and even become irrelevant, how much more important is it to control what we see and hear?

Terri Brady gives the example of her favorite ketchup (Heinz). As long as there is Heinz ketchup in the bottle, what you squeeze out, will be Heinz ketchup. But what happens when the bottle (an opaque red bottle) is filled with mustard and not ketchup? We expect to squeeze out ketchup, but mustard comes out instead.

She uses this analogy to explain that what we ingest in terms of what we watch, see and listen to eventually will be squeezed out when life hits us. So if we have been ingesting negative media, then that is our frame of reference. We can only expect to get out what we have put in. To use a computer analogy: garbage in, garbage out.

Wag the Dog

Terri Brady gives another example of media influence with the 1997 film” Wag the Dog”, which was a movie about using the media to create a fictitious war in order to cover up some “goings on” involving the president. The media (in the movie) successfully convinced the population that there was actually a real war (distraction) and that the president managed to deal with the war successfully.  It was a brilliant example of how the media can influence entire populations to believe what is not true.

This example begs the question: Is the tail wagging the dog or is the dog wagging the tail? Are we living our life intentionally or are we allowing the media to take a prominent position in our mind and in our life? It also reinforces the need to have a true North, a moral compass to keep our lives on course.

Attending Our Finances

Are our finances driving us or are we driving our finances? Who is in control – us or our money? We need to be calling the shots when it comes to our finances; we need to be overseeing our money – what is coming in, what is going out and where it is going. We also need to check how we think about money and our expectations regarding money.

Do we have a growth mindset or a defeatest mindset towards money? Are we always worried about not having enough and making decisions that reinforce this mindset? What about debt and “easy cash”? Do we use credit card debt to finance our purchases or do we practice delayed gratification and wait patiently until we can purchase what we need?

Are we caught up in the mindset of “needing to have” whatever is new on the block: the latest i-phone, or whatever seems to be “the thing to have”? It is easy to do, isn’t it? But we need to take a step back are decide who is in charge.

It is interesting to note that the vast majority of millionaires (+) come from a lower to a middle-class background, have had to deal with poverty and financial struggles. Most of them do not drive about in the fanciest cars or live in overly extravagant lives. Most live modestly and humbly.

Attending Our Thoughts

What is our thought life like? Are we living our present based on what we lived in the past? Are we still carrying around suitcases of criticisms, rejections, failures, and humiliations from our past? Do we still believe the lies that people spoke about us or to us? Do we still believe that we are not smart enough, capable enough, or valuable enough?

Attending our thoughts means being the guardian of our thoughts, protecting them from the lies. We need to be vigilant about what we allow ourselves to believe about ourselves. And, we should probably stop listening to ourselves and start talking to ourselves about what is true. It is time to begin a new movie about our lives, about who we are and what we can do.

One trap we all fall into is the “if only ______ (fill in the blank) then I would be _____ (fill in the blank)” trap. We blame our misery, our failure and our “bad luck” on outside factors. We shift the responsibility away from ourselves rather than getting to the real reason, which is largely within our control. When we do this, we are letting someone else or something else “drive our car

Attending Our Relationships

Who is driving our relationship car? Who decides how much time we can spend with our loved ones? Is it the overbooked calendar? Is it our work obligations or our sports activities? Maybe the media (movies, the internet, and cellphones) determine how much time we spend with loved ones.

Can our loved ones tell by our calendar and our activities if they are a priority in our life? When we are present with our loved ones, are we really present or just in body only? Are we just putting in the time, but not the quality? Are we quick to spend time with people outside our family (friends, colleagues) and reluctant to spend quality time with those closest to us? What excuses do we tell ourselves?

Time with our loved ones is precious and they know when we are “really there” with them. No amount of “makeup” time can replace and ongoing dedication to the ones we love. They will see through our excuses. They will see where our priorities really lie. We need to be driving our relationship car intentionally and with purpose. Certainly, none of us wants to get to the point where we realize how much time has passed and that we placed our priorities on things (work, our own pursuits) rather than on those closest to us.

Are We Attending Necessary Confrontation?

Is there smoke in the kitchen? Are we going to do something about it before it turns into a full-fledged house fire? Or are we just going to say “oh well” and bring out the marshmallows to toast over the fire?

Confrontation, as uncomfortable as it can be, is sometimes necessary in order to clear up misunderstandings or brewing resentment. It will be uncomfortable, but only for a bit and it will be a lot more comfortable than letting a problem fester. Having the courage to confront shows that we have respect for the person or people we are confronting. We are showing them that we care and are interested in correcting a certain situation for the benefit of all. So, we should confront where and when necessary with the goal of helping.

Are We Attending Forgiveness?

If we want our drive in life to be relatively straight, it is important to forgive and let go. Otherwise, we may be carrying extra baggage in our trunk that will slow us down. Bitterness will fester up inside of us and breed a whole brood of unpleasantness in our life. It has been said that:

“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

It is a natural tendency of humans to hold on to hurts, to nurse them and grow them until they take root in our lives and sometimes take over our lives. It somehow feels good to be angry and resentful. But, left unchecked, unforgiveness can bleed all over. It can destroy us and our relationships. In our quest to be confirmed in being wronged, we involve other people, pitting them against one another.

So, if we want to drive smoothly, we will need to throw out the excess baggage of unforgiveness. Decide to forgive and move on.

So, Are We Attending Our Life?

Are we spectators or active participants? Can we say that we are living our lives with intentionality? How would those around us answer this question about us? Would they say that we live out our values and that we “walk our talk”?  Would they say that we are not easily swayed by what everyone else is doing and by circumstances of life? Would they say that we have our priorities firmly in place? Would they say that we are responsible and solid? Would they say that we are “wagging our tail” or would they say that our “tail is wagging us”?

Just some things to think about. We are all on a journey and are travelers together. None of us can say we have arrived. All of these areas to attend are areas I have both failed at and succeeded at to varying degrees. We can all learn from one another and I hope that these points have been helpful to you. I encourage you to consider them as they relate to your own life and hopefully, they will be useful.

Have a great day!

Read Also

The Power of Our Words Part II

We Don’t Have All the Time in the World

12 Simple Daily Habits to Change Your Life

Overcoming Money Problems

The Seeds of Possibility

Have you enjoyed this post? Please leave a comment below.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Category : Success

Most of us have a morbid fear of speaking in public.  In fact, speaking in public is rated as the number one fear even ahead of the fear of death. Just considering the idea of having to stand in front of people, whether it be in front of a class or in front of our colleagues (or superiors or clients), can cause our knees to knock and our throats to become dry. We are deathly afraid of looking like a fool in front of others and being branded as incompetent.

What is it that makes us tremble at the thought of having to speak in front of others and how can we overcome this fear? Is it even rational? Probably not, but we get so caught up with the overactive imagination in our head that we envision all kinds of scenarios that may never even play out. We think that people will laugh behind our backs, fall asleep or criticize our performance.  Logically, we know this is probably not going to happen, but we allow ourselves to get worked up into a fear frenzy.

The good news is that we can actually use tools to overcome this fear. We can develop the confidence and the skills we need to go from a knee-knocking fearful speaker to a powerful and effective speaker. We are not doomed to being the public speaker that no one wants to listen to.  So why do we clam up and how we can overcome this fear to become an effective speaker?

One of the reasons we clam up and get all knock-kneed about speaking in front of others is because of all the unknowns. We might not know what exactly it is we are getting ourselves into. Maybe we don’t know who we will be speaking to. Maybe we do not have a context or framework to guide us. We might feel that our speech does not fit anywhere. Perhaps we are not fully aware of the expectations of our listeners or of those who asked us to speak. There are a number of reasons we freeze when it comes to speaking in front of a group.

Preparation Is Key

Preparation sets the context and puts the speaker in firmly in control of the context. We need to remember that whatever the reason we have been asked to speak, we are still in charge of what we will say and how we will say it (content and vehicle). When a speaker prepares his talk, be it in a corporate or academic setting, the preparation will determine the outcome (or at the very least, influence it). So, the first key to overcoming fear is to prepare well for the presentation.

Instinctively, we all know that it is important to prepare, but, still, many of us do not take this important step. Perhaps it is because we don’t realize how important it is or perhaps we feel it requires too much time and hard work. However, formulating our ideas and organizing them is crucial to effective communication. We also need to be careful about the information we provide. Too much information given in the wrong way might mean that the listeners get buried in the details.

We all want our presentations to be memorable and worthwhile.  Preparing well will help us to achieve our objectives. However, in order to prepare well, we also need to think well.

Good Communication Begins with Good Thinking

All public speaking begins with good communication and good communication starts with good thinking. Good thinking takes work. Henry Ford famously said:

Thinking is the hardest work there is; that’s why so few people engage in it.

So we need to have an idea of what we want to say, how we are going to say it, why we are going to say it and to whom. We need to be clear in our objectives if we are going to be clear in how we prepare our thoughts.

Essentially we need to step out of our shoes and step into the shoes of our listeners. What is it that they want or are expecting to hear. Our presentations shouldn’t really be about us at all but should be focused on the listeners. Just this information alone should be encouraging because we can take the focus off ourselves and our fear and focus on helping our listeners and what they would like to hear.

Good communication should be:

  • Interesting
  • Memorable
  • Valuable
  • Clear
  • Motivating

The information we convey should be acutely relevant to the people we are speaking to. It should garner their undivided attention. We certainly don’t want them drifting off to sleep or fiddling with their cell phones rather than listening to what we are saying. After all, they came to hear something, didn’t they?

Our delivery needs to be something they will remember. Certainly, they will not remember much of all the details, but at least they will remember that it was interesting.

Valuable content is very important. We need to know what we are talking about. People can easily spot a phony. They will quickly pick up on whether or not we “know our stuff”.  Remember, they are there to learn, not waste their time.

Clarity is also very important. Our presentation needs direction and purpose. If we can not connect with or if we lose connection with our audience because they have difficulty following our ideas, we can forget about delivering our message effectively; it will be lost on them.

Our speech or presentation needs to be motivating. We are giving it for a reason, aren’t we? What action or decisions do we want to stimulate? What changes in thinking do we want to encourage? Motivation gets right to the heart, to the emotions and this is where transformation occurs. Our words need to go from forming images in the mind to activating emotions.

Most Communication Is Not Received

It’s true! We will only retain a very small percentage of what we hear, if at all. A lot of what we hear only stays in our memory for a very short time. We retain slightly more of what we see, so visuals are good to include. But when we experience something or do something ourselves, we are more likely to retain the information.

So here is another encouraging thought for those who are terrified of speaking: most people will never remember what you said. Sometimes they are thinking of other things like what time they need to pick up the kids and whether or not they should stop off at the grocery store on the way home. They really are not concentrating on your words.

The Best Communication Is Experiential

If we want to leave a mark and give an impactful presentation, we need to think more in terms of pictures and experiences. And, we need to drive home the main point. People don’t have time for or interest in complicated or complex information. They just want to know what the takeaway is and what action they should take. They didn’t sit there and listen to us to learn how much we know.

So, it is in our best interest to make the main point clear and paint it in pictures. We need to make it clear and make it stick. People will retain more and listen more when we show them rather than tell them. No one wants to be told anything. Remember: it is better to make one point very well than to make several points poorly.

Some speakers (hoping this is not you) present by stating, telling, stating, giving information, using logic, stating and telling… While the information may be sound, the speaker is probably not connecting with the listeners. No matter what the context of the presentation, we need to capture the imaginations of the listeners.

How to Capture Interest

Everyone loves a story. Stories capture our imagination and spark our interest.  If we want to get an important message across and motivate new actions or ways of thinking, illustrations and stories are our best weapon. A story doesn’t necessarily have to be something we tell, though. It can be done through a short pertinent video clip, through a cartoon diagram, through a movie scene or through giving examples of people (such as sports heroes).

People also love humor. Including humorous but pertinent videos or cartoon pictures can break up the seriousness and drive home a point. Maybe we don’t consider ourselves to be a funny person or good at coming up with funny illustrations. We can use third-party resources to bring in humor. Our listeners might well remember our talk just because of the funny examples we used.

Other methods to capture our listeners’ interest would be to include one-liners, something true and punchy that they can put in their back pocket and take home with them. Or we might want to include reversal statements such as:

It’s not how much love you get out of life; it’s how much love you put into life that counts.

Using famous quotes is also an effective tool to get a point across. For example (Lee Iaccoca):

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.

The point is that it is a good idea to mix up (spice up) our talk with a variety of elements to keep our listeners engaged. And when our listeners are engaged, it is easier to have confidence in our speaking.  So, preparation which includes important information and different communication vehicles to illustrate will give us a winning and engaging presentation.

Getting Ready For the Actual Talk

Now that the preparation is done, what do we do? What do we put in our presentation notes? Some people like to have everything written down to the very last detail, but may I suggest that this approach will keep us locked into our notes with little wiggle room for changes or spur of the moment ideas. The whole point is to communicate and it is very hard to do this if we are totally dependant on notes.

It is helpful to organize presentation notes in the form of bullet points and sub-bullet points. And, I would suggest staying away from teleprompters – these just make the speaker look disconnected. We don’t have to be married to our notes. We don’t even have to use our notes at all if we don’t feel like it. The very fact that we have ultra prepared will give the confidence needed to stray from our notes, to go “on-the-fly” a bit.

Lastly, remember that most everyone has this fear of speaking in front of a group. Very few enjoy having to perform in the limelight. We feel vulnerable and judged. However, this is where all the preparation will be helpful. The preparation is a toolbox. Take your toolbox with you. You have researched, planned and organized which is far better than going in cold with nothing to say. And your listeners will most certainly appreciate the work you have done.

The Takeaway

The thoughts and experience of public speaking, as scary as they may seem, can be tamed when we take the time to prepare well. Fear is really just a function of our imagination and can be tamed with facts and action. By preparing well, organizing our thoughts and then going into action, we can rid ourselves of this fear. What keeps us in the fear zone is inaction and overactive thoughts. And, finally, we really shouldn’t think too much about what people think of us because chances are they are not.

Have a great day!

Has this post been helpful to you?  Please leave a comment below.

Read Also

Why Natural Talent Is Overrated

Do These 5 Things for a Successful Interview

Overcoming Fear and Leaving the Comfort Zone

5 Ways We Block Our Success

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

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Why Natural Talent Is Overrated

Category : Lifestyle , Success

Have you ever wondered how it is that some people seem to have natural talent (in whatever activity: sports, music, academics, professions). In school, It was a constant source of puzzlement to me how some kids could just open a math book and understand everything in there so easily. I often wondered what was different in their brain from mine. For others, music genius comes naturally. We see those “geniuses” pop up on facebook every once in a while. You know, the 11-year old that is playing first string in a symphonic orchestra.

It always looks like things come easily to them. It can be frustrating, really, how some just seem to soak up talent by osmosis. The rest of us sit on the sidelines wondering why we did not win the genetic lottery or receive the “golden trophy” of potential talent as we left the maternity ward. What is it, we may wonder, that these talented people have that we somehow missed out on?

Is It Always About Natural Talent?

It can be discouraging in school or university, where everyone is measured according to performance and rewarded with academic “money” (grades), to see the same  people getting recognized, over and over, for their high achievements Some of them don’t even have to put in that much effort; they are just “naturally” smart.  Then there are the ones who are a “natural on every court, field, rink or wherever they play sports. They shoot right in and become Joe-Pro from the get-go. In the business world, there are those for whom everything comes so easily – they get the clients, they get the promotions while the rest of us sit and wonder what is wrong with us.

The Starting Point Really Doesn’t Matter

Everybody starts in different places  We may start from awkward beginnings, seemingly without out much talent that stands out at all.  However, over time, whether we improve is really entirely up to us.  The starting point doesn’t much matter. The natural talents that we have, begin to take a back seat over the course of time. Really, it depends on what we do with these talents through our own efforts that will make the difference.

Everything we do in has a beginning. While it is true that some people have a natural leaning toward certain skills or abilities, talent is much, much more than that. Even the 11-year-old music prodigy still has to practice over and over. Micheal Jordan was not born knowing how to play basketball and Micheal Phelps had to first learn how to swim. Some of the talents that go unseen are those within us such as determination, refusal to quit, perseverance and willingness to fail. Without these very important qualities, no amount of “natural talent” will get us very far.

So, we all have a starting point and a potential. It is just that our starting point and our potential may differ from someone else’s and it may be in a very different area of skill. Comparing apples and oranges does not make the apples or the oranges taste any different.

Most of Us Really Are Just Average

Most of us are just Joe-average, not overly talented nor underly talented.  We like to think that we (or our children) are above average (like in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone community),  We tend to overestimate our abilities even though we may not have all that much working ability.  We like to think that just by watching others (who make things look so simple) we are just as good.

When we consider all the possible skills that human beings can have, we really just come out average. We can’t be good at everything and, overall, we are really just people gifted with potential. But untapped and undeveloped potential remains just potential and nothing more. What makes us come out of the “average”  and into the “talented arena” is really a result of our choice to dream, to persevere, to plug away, to fail, and to not ever be defeated.

But They Make it Look So Easy

Martial artists (for example) make a punch look so smooth, easy and, of course, natural. What we (the spectators) don’t factor in are all the hours of practice the martial artist has put in to master this skill and others like it.  To master this skill, the martial artist has to learn to stand in a correct stable position and twist his body to transfer the energy from his torso into the punching arm. He must clench his fist at a specific angle to avoid injury to the fingers or wrist. This skill, one of many skills in martial arts, can take many hours and failures to perfect.

I have done martial arts (9 years) and I can tell you that to be a master of any skill in the martial arts (karate in my case), it requires repetition after repetition to develop muscle memory and automatic movements. Yes, it may look easy, done by a master, but that master has had to work hard at hand-eye coordination, strategy, developing rapid responses, and anticipating the moves of opponents (sometimes several moves).  The result looks smooth and expert, but it is the result and not the practice.

The Bottom Line: We Need to Do the Time

The bottom denominator is time. Whatever we hope to accomplish and do well will require a sustained effort (and focus) over a significant amount of time. Most things are harder than they seem at the beginning; the pros just make it look easy.

The more effort we put into something over time and the longer we continue doing this, the better the results we will eventually get. The catch: most people will not try that hard. Statistically, the majority of people will eventually find that it is either too hard or takes too much effort or too much time and they eventually give up.

So if we decide to stick with it, trying hard, giving it (whatever the activity is) our best, keeping at it over time, we will eventually outdistance than those who began with more natural talent than we had.  The opportunities are there, success is available, but are we willing to try hard enough, consistently enough and long enough to improve and narrow the gap?

The Tortoise and the Hare

The hare in the story had everything going for him. Winning this race was a done deal. In fact, it was laughable racing against a tortoise – how could a slow-in-the-mud tortoise even think he had a chance?  So the hare slacked off, had some burritos under a tree and settled down for a snooze But the tortoise just kept plodding along, slow and steady.

Maybe the hare had natural skill. Maybe he was Joe-Pro strutting around.  He didn’t even need to try -he was just fast. But what he failed to realize was that the compounding effect of consistent effort over time applied by the tortoise was gaining ground. At one point his bank account of talent was not enough. The tortoise may not have had natural ability, but he certainly had perseverance -that “stickability” and that was all he needed to win.

Don’t Be Like the Hare

For those who had an easy time, there is a danger of depending on or counting on these abilities to get you through. At one point, life will catch up and this “bank account” of talent will run out. If we don’t buckle down and adopt a regular discipline, if we just sit on our laurels and think we are good enough,  those other ones (the less talented, but hard-working ones) will eventually run right past us and leave us in the dust. But, if we are one of those “gifted ones” and choose to adopt a solid work ethic, we will soar right past everyone.

 Take charge

Taking charge of ourselves is a key component to success; a major player in determining what we will be able to accomplish in the course of our life, how much of an impact we will have on people around us (families and communities) and, ultimately how happy we feel as we go through life.

Seeing ourselves as an asset, something valuable that can bring enormous personal, social and monetary returns, means we are more likely to protect and grow that asset.  We need to take charge of making good choices and decisions in order to protect this asset. One of the best keys to managing ourselves well is to realize that there is a “scoreboard of life.” Everything we do will have either a positive or negative impact short and long-term, so keeping an eye on the scoreboard (how we are doing at what we are doing) is a good way to keep track of our progress and see where we can improve.

Get In and Get Wet

Going from being a spectator in life’s bleachers to actually buckling down and learning to master the skills we need to move forward can easily overwhelm us.  We begin to realize that there is a lot more to success than we imagined.   We may begin to question ourselves regarding our goals: “will we ever be able to get where we want to go?” ” Will we ever be able to succeed at it?”  “What about all those people who are already so good, will I ever be able to catch up?” “There is just too much to learn,”

Sometimes we need a jumpstart to pull us out of this “deep freeze.”  Sometimes we need to stop behaving like a deer staring at the headlights of a car, locked in panic. Sometimes we need to shake ourselves up a bit and dive in. The water will only be cold for a bit. After that, we will be on our way. We can get mad enough at ourselves to start telling ourselves a new story; we are just as able as anyone else.

Yes, We Do Need to Change

At one point we realize that we need to change some things, starting with how we think. As the saying goes:

If you want to change some things in your life, you need to change some things in your life

Of course, nothing happens overnight. Whatever skills we are trying to master, whatever business we are trying to grow may require hundred if not thousands of hours of focus and practice. It may require hundreds of failures (big and small). Naturally, It will always require perseverance and hard work. All this focus and practice, all this work will eventually make it look so easy to do in the eyes of the bleacher crowd simply because we have practiced so much, in the right way,  for enough time that we have achieved mastery.

And, We Will Be Amazed

When we have finally come through the total immersion and come out on the other side with mastered skills, we can look at the process with amazement. First off, we may be amazed that we got through it all and survived. We may be amazed by our strength, our perseverance, and our staying power. We may be amazed at all the steps we had to pass through, at all the failures and all the times we had to pick ourselves back up again and move forward. We may be amazed at the complexity of everything we had to learn to get good at what we do.

Was this post helpful to you? Let me know in a comment below and feel free to share with others,

Read Also

The 10 “Must Do” Things for Success

The Seeds of Possibility

Overcoming Fear and Leaving the Comfort Zone

5 Essential Factors for Success

Your Success Lies in What You Do Daily

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

 

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How To Fix A Toxic Work Environment

Category : Life Tips

We don’t choose our neighbors and we don’t choose our colleagues (usually),  but we do need to try to get along with them and, in the case of colleagues, work with them. There are bosses who are awesome to work for and there are bosses who (“seem to”) make every day a burden. We click with some of our colleagues and with others, we can never see eye to eye. But, at the end of the day, there is a job to be done and we all need to work together to accomplish it.

Peter Drucker has said that:

60% of all management (work-related problems) are the result of poor communication problems.

So, if we can get the communication factor fixed up, maybe the workplace can begin to be more pleasant and stimulating to work in. Maybe, by communicating in a way that works for everyone (colleagues and, bosses), misunderstandings can be corrected and even avoided. Egos can be salvaged and attenuated.

Main Causes Of Workplace Dissatisfaction

In surveys conducted by J.C Staehle with employees of different organizations, the following were found to be the main causes of dissatisfaction with supervisors and the workplace:

  • Failure to give credit for suggestions
  • Failure to correct grievances
  • Failure to encourage
  • Criticizing employees in front of other people
  • Failure to ask employers their opinions
  • Failure to inform employees of their progress
  • Favoritism and cliques

Failure to Give Credit for Suggestions

Here is one area that is actually quite easy to resolve if the right perpective and attitude are present. If we go with the optic that all people desire to be accepted, approved and appreciated, then it goes without saying that where credit is due, credit should be given. Of course, in the workplace it is not so cut and dry. There are many, and often complex, dynamics involved. There are egos, there are professional situations and much more at play. To give credit where it is do means we have to let go of our own desires and our pride and be generous about passing the limelight to someone else. .

Failure to Correct Grievances

In a medium to large scale organization, this kind of situation is dealt with in the Human Ressources department. Grievances can involve workload, hours and compensation, among other things. In smaller businesses grievances can be more personal and handled as best as the parties involved know how. But what causes grievances in the first place?  Often these are caused by a lack of effective communication of  objectives, expectations and limits.

When expectations are not clear or when policies and rules keep changing, this lack of clarity can cause disgruntlement among employees and frictions between employer-employees or among employees. Without clear ongoing communication concerning such things as wages, hours, job definitions and expectations, it is highly likely that grievances will come up.

Failure to Encourage

Encouragement is such an important element in any organization and, yet, it is often noticebly conspicuous by its absence. Once again, it really comes down to the fact that all people have a need to feel accepted, approved and appreciated.  They want to feel that the are making a noticeable contribution to the organization and they want their efforts to be noticed.  The failure to encourage stems from focusing more on performance, tasks and profits over focusing on building up the team members and the team as a whole.  As a result, people begin to feel that they are only valued for their performance and not for the person they are.

Criticizing Employees In Front of Other People

Who has ever been to a restaurant or a store and witnessed an employee being given a lecture on some aspect of his job – in front of customers?  This situation happens a lot and is absolutely humiliating and degrading to the employee who is subjected to such treatment. Furthermore, customers witnessing such a scene are highly likely to take their business elsewhere and probably lodge a complaint. That is not good for business!

You can be sure that if this kind of situation is commonplace in your work environment, things are going to go downhill fast. Turnover will be rampant and the finances and productivity of the organization will feel the brunt. This situation of publicly shaming an employee is an ego problem that needs to be dealt with quickly. Clear communication of expectations and effective attitude training need to be a part of the solution.

Failure to Ask Employees Their Opinion

Once again, this is a very frequent situation in workplaces of all kinds. Leaving employees out of the decision making process or anything involving the organization leaves employees feeling that their input is not needed or appreciated. It is also a source of disgruntlement and powerlessness felt among employees since they are left on the receiving end of any decisions and changes.

And yet, when business organizations understand the true power of harnessing the brain (as well as the braun) of their employees and involve them in important decisions that concern them, dynamics change for ther better and these positive changes reflect all opver the organization including increased productivity and profits. Everyone benefits when everyone feels involved and appreciated.

Failure To Inform Employees of Their Progress

We all want to know how we are doing with respect to our skills. It is important for us to know that we are doing a good job and that our work and our improvements are noticed.  We need a scoreboard of sorts to help us measure where we have been and we are now. Most people are sincerely interested in improving and learning. So, when there is a working environment that fails to highlight progress, employees may question whether or not they are working to expectations and whether or not they are improving.

When employers give regular feedback to their employees in a constructive manner, it gives the employees an opportunity to adjust and correct any erors or weaknesses. The failure to inform employees of their progress is simply a failure to value the importance of good interpersonal communication and a failure to view employees as team members rather than just workers. Everyone needs feedback on how they are doing.

Favoritism and Cliques

We all hated favoritism ansd cliques in school and we certainly don’t have a liking for it in our professional life any more. And yet, these behaviours are prevailant in the workplace as well. We naturally have affinities towards some people as opposed to others and we like to have our “friends” around us. But there is no professional reason for these negative aspects to take root and fester in the workplace environment.We really just need to grow up and leave these behaviours behind. No one gains from them.

Behaviours such as these need to be confronted and speedily adressed. There should be zero tolerance for this kind of toxic environment. The organization needs  strong leadership that is willing to confront the people involved and communicate clear expectations for the working environment. By allowing these attitudes to fester, everyone loses. The workplace is a team sport and everyone has a role to play.

So, How Can We Improve Work Relations?

It all begins with and is all about how we relate with one another. Author and speaker, John Maxwell says that our success and happiness depend on our ability to serve others (even those that we have difficulty relating to). It really is that simple. When we have an attitude of service towards others, no matter who they are or how much the make our life difficult, relations will improve and the toxic environment will begin to dissipate.

Where to Begin?

It all begins with what we think inside our head and with our attitude towards others. No matter what has happened in the past, eacxh workday is a new day. Attitude is always a choice and we are in control of our attitude. In fact, our attitude is really the only thing we are in charge of. Good workplace relations begin with good workplace attitudes, so that is where we need to start if we want to be instrumental in fixing a toxic environment.

Even if others in our work environment are difficult or making our workday difficult, we do not have to follow along with that program. We can lead by example and show them what valuing others really looks like. We can choose to find  something we like about those “diificult people” and take the lead in bringing positive changes.

Here are some questions we can ask ourselves to see how we are doing in being the best colleague or employee we can be. Let’s see how we do.

  1. Are we quick to see and respond to other’s needs or do we tend to wait around for others to serve us?
  2. Do we see what needs to be done and straight away take initiative to do it, or do we tend to wait for others to take initiative?
  3. Do we try and find ways to fix problems and confront them or do we run from problems or wait for the problem to be fixed by someone else?
  4. Do we assume responsibility for our mistakes, and do we take ownership of mistakes or problems even if we are not responsible? Or, do we hide behind excuses and expect others to “fess up”?
  5. Do we give other people the benefit of the doubt and do we tend to look for the best in people? Do we give others the opportunity to give their side of the story?
  6. Do we try to put ourselves in the other person’s place or do we try to put them in their place?

Top Things That All People Are Looking For

  • We want to be encouraged in what we do. We want to know that others are by our side cheering us on.
  • We want to be appreciated for who we are and what we contribute. We want to know that what we do matters and counts for something.
  • We want to be forgiven and to be able to move on from our mistakes and failures. And we want to feel safe to be able to learn from our mistakes.
  • We want to feel that we are being heard. We want to know that we have a voice and that what we say is understood.

It’s A Relationship

Work relations, like any relationship, really are a matter of effective communication and focusing on others and their needs. We may have people who are difficult to work with. They may come across as domineering, lazy, indifferent, bossy or any other combination. Maybe they talk too much and never listen to what we say. But, at the end of the day, getting along will be a win-win for everyone.

We can choose to be that person who is attractive to others in the way we treat people. We can choose to try to “walk a mile in the other person’s shoes”. Who knows, we may discover that they have a lot to offer and are not as ornery or difficult as we thought.  We can choose to listen and hear what they are saying to us. We can choose to give them a little grace and space. We can be that person that makes everyone want to work as a team. Change begins with us and not with what we think others need to change.

The Takeaway

Workplace problems are, more often than not, communication problems. More people are fired or quit their jobs due to communication issues than they do because of competency issues. People are hired for their competence and often fired for relational problems. So, really, the key to improving the workplace environment is to create an environment where communication is encouraged and where people feel valued and actively value one another.

Have a great day!

Read Also

5 Surprising Things that Cause Conflict

7 Effective Ways to Resolving Conflict

How to Be the Person Everyone Likes

Do these 5 Things for a Successful Interview

The 10 ‘”Must Do” Things for Sucess

The Power of Our Words Part II

Has this post been helpful to you? Let me know in a comment.

Click and share below.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

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The 10 “Must Do” Things For Success

Category : Success

The following post is based on a  youtube video entitled ” Warren Buffet’s 10 Rules for Success” The video is a compilation of interviews with Warren Buffet highlighting these 10 solid principles. Warren Buffet is well known for his no-nonsense pragmatic and systematic approach to finances and one could easily say he is one of the world’s most knowledgeable people on the subject of success principles.

Success, of course, is not just about business or monetary success. Far from it. These principles can be applied in all areas of our life from personal to professional.

Find Your Passion

We have all heard this advice more than once, but what exactly does it mean? Sometimes our “passion” just seems so elusive and somewhere in the future where we may get around to discovering it when we have free time. It can be hard to “find our passion” and for some, it is easier than for others. Some people just seem ready to jump and throw caution to the wind, so to speak, in following their passions. Most of us tend to live on the pragmatic side of life and prefer to stay in the “safe and familiar” lane. Following our passion can seem just a little too scary for many of us.

So we decide to go one way or the other but usually, we put our dreams in the back pocket and do what is practical, For many of us, our parents (and other important people in our life) gave one (or maybe both) of these two types of advice.  (1) Follow your heart and chase your dreams, or (2) Find something to do that is practical and that will pay the bills. The first option seems romantic and whimsical. But then our practical side tells us that while it might be good to enjoy what we are doing, it doesn’t always “bring in the bacon”   This is “safe’ advice, but working only for the sake of money is not enjoyable.

I believe Warren Buffet is saying to combine what you love to do and get paid to do it. If we truly enjoy what we are do9ng in life. if we wake up each day practically skipping out of bed with lots of ideas and projects, then it won’t be long before the income follows our passion.

Hire Well

Hire well? This advice can certainly be applied to a business context, but really, when you think about it, we are always hiring people. We are choosing who we take advice from, who we are learning from and who we allow to influence us. For better or for worse the people we allow to influence us and our families will have an impact on many aspects of our lives. Think about it- if the people who give us advice or influence us in any way were charging for this “service”, how much would their advice be worth or how much would you be willing to pay them for their advice or influence?

So, clearly, it makes sense to choose where we get our information from, who we choose to take advice from or influence us. But, we need to “hire smart“. We need to surround ourselves with people who will influence (and inspire) us in a positive way. It is in our best interest to get around people who “walk the talk”, who have integrity and character. There is a saying which says that our results are the average of the 5 people we associate the most closely. If that is the case, wouldn’t it make sense to associate with people who are doing what you want to do and exhibit character traits that you desire to acquire? Become smart (people smart, money smart, goals smart) by associating with like-minded people.

Don’t Care What Others Think

This is a big one. We know that it makes sense, but it is so much easier to preach than to do, isn’t it? Sometimes we are far too concerned what everyone thinks. We want to look like we have it together (even when we are feeling miserable). We want the boss and our colleagues to notice our work and approve of our ideas. Parents want their kids to be liked by other kids and they want to fit in with and be liked by the other “soccer parents” (or whatever sport the kids are playing). We want our inlaws to approve of our parenting skills.  And we cringe at the thought of criticism and imagine conversations happening behind our backs.

Actually, when we care about what other people are thinking, we are shooting ourselves in the foot and hindering our progress. The fact of the matter is, what other people think is none of our business. Of course, we can take not caring what people think to an extreme. Two of the biggest mistakes we make in life are:

  • listening to everyone (and caring what they think of us)
  • listening to no one (and not benefitting from possible valuable feedback or advice)

Obviously, we need to have some discernment as to who we listen to or take advice from. Not everyone is qualified to give us advice (even if we are close to them, sometimes even family members). Let’s not be influenced by everyone’s opinions. We need to have the courage to stand on our convictions and our ability to discern good advice from bad advice. We also shouldn’t go it alone. There are people whom we can listen to because they have earned our respect. There are people who can give us solid mentoring and wise counsel based on their own experience.

In the end, we shouldn’t worry too much about what is happening in the peanut gallery, but we should take advice from those who are actually in the game. Advice can be cheap (not worth much) and cost us dearly, or it can be precious and worth the time.

Read, Read, Read

Reading is not just a past time. It is a weapon in your arsenal to succeed. It is an intentional way to make yourself better in many ways. Reading allows us to learn from people in other places and times (from their failings, mistakes, and successes). The fact is, people who go far in life are big readers. And they don’t read just for entertainment (also this can be included), they read good, instructional and inspiring books. They read widely and deeply and this practice allows them to be more relatable to a wider range of people.

There really is no substitute for reading for the huge benefits it can offer in opening up the world to us. Reading opens up all kinds of doors of opportunity.

Have a Margin of Safety

Put everything into perspective and weigh the risks with their longterm outcome and value. Of course, this advice applies to finance, but it can also apply to everyday life. We need to evaluate the negative and positive outcomes of our life choices. How will these decisions affect us in the long term? We certainly don’t to play it safe with our life (and life is inherently risky), but we do need to evaluate and be prepared. We need to have control over the risks of our decisions and not be controlled by them. Get good information and apply it to life.

Life can be like walking a tightrope. We walk along it, trying to balance and not fall off. But how safe would we feel walking a tightrope with no safety net below us to catch the fall?  It is important to evaluate risk and outcome when making decisions in life and it is important to have a safety net in case things do not go well. That having been said, staying in the “safe lane” just because it is safe is not much fun or satisfying. Living a little “on the edge” can make life exciting.

Have a Competitive Edge

Warren Buffet talks about having a moat around us (referring to the water barrier around medieval Castles). In the financial world, this is called a “hedge of protection” (Hedge Funds). You can build up your skill sets (hedge of protection) to be able to do what others can not compete with. What can you bring to the table that will outshine others? Sometimes it may be simply that you are willing to outwork everyone and not willing to ever give up or give in. Get around people who. by their experience and counsel, can give you a competitive edge.

A competitive edge takes time to build. It can be the skill sets we develop^over time or it can simply be our undaunted perseverance and refusal to give up when the gut shots of life hit us. Whatever we have that others simply can not outdo us at is our competitive edge. Once again, this competitive edge does not just apply to obvious categories like sports or business. It can also be found in how we deal with adversity, illness, financial struggles or anything that could potentially bring us down. The competitive edge is that quality that we have to beat the odds, to strive for what we believe in or for what we cherish.

Schedule For Your Personality

Some people are morning birds, up before the crack of dawn. They work better when they can get a headstart on the day (this is me). Others are night owls and are at their most creative and productive working into the wee hours of the night. Some people thrive on being busy all the time and running a tight schedule and ship. Others (Warren Buffet) do far better when they have time and space to breathe. These people are more productive and creative when they have large amounts of unscheduled time to think. Knowing the schedule that best suits your personality can make you thrive and “come alive”.

Always Be Competing

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should always be on a racetrack. Your toughest competitor should be yourself. We are always growing, so why not grow upwards? In fact, competing against ourselves just means striving to become a better version of ourselves. It also keeps us young and vibrant. Our worst enemy is complacency. Complacency (apathy indifference) will steal our vibrant spirit away and replace it with a bored, apathetic spirit. Staying in the comfort zone or the leisure zone will cause us to stagnate (emotionally, intellectually, financially and in our relationships). When we are chasing something, competing, we become fully alive.

No matter where we are in life, no matter what the struggle or what pour goals are, we will always bring out the best of who we are when we compete against ourselves or the obstacles that we face. Competition really does lift our spirits.

Model Success

Find people you can learn from, who have “fruit on the tree“, so to speak. Read what they read and do what they do. It’s that simple. The shortest path to success is to learn from those who are where you want to be in life. Learn from their failures and their successes. Study them and apply what they have done to be where they are now. This advice applies not only to finance or business but also to relationships (family, parenting, friendships, workplace relationships).  Why waste time and energy learning from our own hard knocks (although this is good too) when we can take the shortcut and learn from others?

Whether we realize it or not, we are a model for someone else. Children are looking to their parents for inspiration and direction. When we are working, we are setting examples for others. Our attitudes, our work ethic, and our character are observed by others. Wherever we go, we are influencing others and being a model for them. The way we approach adversity, failure or obstacles is re

Give Unconditional Love

Yes, financial tycoon, Warren Buffet said: “Give unconditional love.” Wow! that is probably the most important of the 10 rules for success. Leave a trail of love behind you and love others unconditionally. Let them know that they count and matter to you. What business or relationship can thrive without this most important ingredient?  So, really, if you want to be successful at anything in life, this is the very first place to start.

Nothing of any lasting importance can happen without an attitude of love. Love goes out and comes back in multiples – in a greater measure than what was given. So, it makes sense then, that love is really a key player in success.

Have a great day!

Related Posts

Do These 5 Things For A Successful Interview

We Don’t Have All The Time In The World

Overcoming Fear And Leaving The Comfort Zone

12 Simple Daily Habits To Change Your Life

5 Ways We Block Our Success

What We Can Learn from the Wealthy

Has this post been helpful to you? Please leave a comment.

Click to share below.

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

 

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