I could be wrong

May 23, 2017

Business Handshake of unrecognized company

“The best words for resolving a disagreement are ‘I could be wrong.'” – Brian Tracy

Ah, the havoc we wreak in defense of our egos. Needing to be right is not only the primary impediment to resolving disagreement: it is the primary cause of disagreement.

Without getting terribly philosophical, the beginning of this condition is our belief that we are separate, unique, alone and vulnerable. If this is how we think, then our subconscious is tasked with the job of defending us against all who would make us wrong or harm us in any manner. This leads to what Stephen Covey calls a win/lose negotiation style. If the ego must triumph, then integral to winning is making sure the “other loses.

The cure for this condition is a shift in perspective. With a more global viewpoint, we see ourselves as part of a community of beings doing our best to live happy and productive lives. The desire for peace and harmony becomes more important than being right. We see and appreciate the benefits of all sides compromising so that none feel defeated or disenfranchised.

With this new, more productive perspective, we create less disagreement, easily and quickly resolve disagreements when they do arise and are in a position to learn. Being open to the ideas of others is how we grow. Defending our personal opinions leads to stagnation. To grow or stagnate – our choice to make each day. So, for me, today I choose to grow. I’ll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.


All Things are Created Twice

May 12, 2017

“All things are created twice,” is a quote by Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

cute-twin

The first creation is what Stephen Covey calls the vision we form of the thing we wish to create. The second creation is the physical manifestation of that vision. The second creation is a matter of choosing the behaviors, the actions that will lead to the manifestation of your vision. The true creation is the forming of your vision. This can be tricky. If we do not take responsibility and consciously create our first creation, we empower others to do it for us – parents, friends, teachers, or societal influences such as magazines, movies or T.V. commercials.

To truly fulfill your personal wants and needs, and to assure that your goals are congruent with your fundamental (core) values, it is critical that your vision is selected by you. History is filled with individuals who successfully manifested someone else’s dream at the expense of their personal values. Success in this circumstance is hollow, leading all too often to some form of self-destruction – drugs, alcohol or other risky behaviors – even suicide.

According to Covey, “Personal Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Personal Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” To assure that your ladder is in the right place, maintain an awareness of your fundamental values and make them the criteria by which you create your vision. That achieved, you can manage your second creation, choosing behaviors and actions that are congruent with your vision.


Expect the Unexpected

April 19, 2017

Banana

One of the traits I have observed in highly successful salespeople is their ability to anticipate change, adjust their work practices accordingly and continue to thrive. They do not waste time fighting change, wondering who is to blame, or feeling sorry for themselves that life seems to be battling against their goals.

If we can agree that the quick absorption of change is a positive, productive trait, what can we do to react in a more efficacious manner when things do not work out precisely as planned? It boils down to expectation. Change is difficult for those who expect reality to continuously match their vision. There is, I have found, a delicate balance between the power of visualization and the acceptance of results.

Visualizing what you want is an important step on the path to success. However, it is important to understand that our desired vision will not necessarily manifest exactly as we picture it in our mind’s eye. Acceptance comes when we realize that we are not alone on the planet. And, while some people may share our vision there are almost always those who do not. This mix of disparate desires and expectations act together to create a result – the result. Sometimes that result will be exactly what you wanted. At other times it may be a compromise version of your dreams or even the exact opposite of what you thought you wanted.

It is when results do not match expectations that successful people move ahead of the pack. They anticipate the unexpected, adapt quickly and continue to thrive in the new, changed environment, leaving those less skilled in the art of acceptance to struggle in confusion, anger and denial.

Please don’t see this as an indictment of visualization. It is your desires and expectations that drive your actions and move you “confidently in the direction of your dreams,” as Thoreau taught us. I am only suggesting that you adopt a more realistic expectation of results. See life as a process, not a destination. Enjoy when you take a step forward. But also expect to take some steps back, re-evaluate your strategies and then … take another step.


Dream a New Dream

December 29, 2013

Dream New

December is a great time to review what you accomplished during the current year and consider what you might accomplish in the year and years to come. Without this process, we tend to simply repeat history. That is, we continue with the same goals, the same actions and the same results.

Our discomfort with change can anesthetize us against thoughts of what we could accomplish if we just dreamt a new dream, set a new goal. We are all capable of amazing things, much more than we can possibly know while sufficiently anesthetized. So, the first step toward building an exciting, adventurous, prosperous and gratifying new life is to embrace change. But just talking about it is not enough. Becoming comfortable with change requires a plan. Don’t just wait for changes to happen and then remember to embrace them—make change a part of your daily life. Take a different route to the office each day, try foods you thought you’d never eat, change your wardrobe, your hair. Notice your unconscious habits and vary your actions. If you go to bed the same time each night, change it up. Shop at a new grocery store. Drive on the wrong side of the road (actually, forget that—bad idea). But you get the point. The more you begin to enjoy change the freer your mind will be to dream new dreams, to imagine a brighter, happier future. It is all within your grasp once you clear out the obstructions and open yourself to the world of possibilities.


Try Just One More Time

November 27, 2013

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”  Thomas A. Edison

Here’s some tough love for you: Who ever told you that life would be easy, that it would unfold exactly as you think it should be? The truth is, that rarely happens. Understanding that  will set you free!

Here is how it really works (in my experience): You set a goal. That goal leads to a set of actions. You take those actions while focusing on the achievement of your goal. You don’t worry about whether or not your goal will be realized or how soon it will materialize. You let go with faith that you HAVE achieved it. Now, at the same time there are a few billion other people in the world with their own goals some of which, by the way, may be in conflict with your goal. There are environmental issues of which you may not be aware that will alter the final nature of your goal.

In the end, the essence of your goal is achieved even though it may take a very different form than what you originally pictured in your mind.  Example: You decide that you will sell 50 houses this year by holding 20 open houses. Your first 19 open houses result in one small sale. But even though your plan is not unfolding as you imagined you stay the course. While holding your 20th open house you meet a woman who owns 50 rental properties and asks you to help her sell them all. In the end your plan did not unfold as you envisioned but your one new contact results in the achievement of your financial goal.

So, if your plans don’t seem to working out; if your action plan does not appear to be bringing you any closer to your goals, don’t give up. As long as you have a passionate belief in the ultimate achievement of your dreams and refuse to give up, your goal will find you. If you give up, if you stop taking action, all is lost. Keep your nose to the grindstone and one eye on the prize. With your other eye, keep a lookout for shortcuts, helpers, new information. A quicker, better way to the finish line can be revealed at any moment!


Time to Act!

July 30, 2011

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
William B. Sprague

This is not the time to listen to the news and worry about whether the economy is in recovery or not. Turn off your TV sets! Set down your newspaper!

It is time to stop wondering, worrying, discussing, analyzing, listening.

It is time to take action! Who cares how “the market” is doing? You are not the market. You are the only you to ever walk the planet, an individual with unique talents, skills, motivations, desires, feelings, abilities. You are special!

 The only question you should ever ask is, “How am I doing?” And the answer can only be found in your actions. Today, act as if you have no doubts, as if success were hiding right around the corner, so close that you can smell it. Take a leap of faith – dare to risk being called an optimist. Someone will have to be prepared to loan money to the pessimists.


Outstrip Yesterday by what you do Today

October 6, 2010

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves – to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”  – Stewart B. Johnson

 When I read this it seemed like an echo from the past – words appropriate to another time and place – weird. And sad. So many people have been beaten down by the length and depth of the recession that optimism has become increasingly difficult.

And therein lies our conundrum: the more we are beaten down, the more difficult it is to draw upon the very resources we need to bring us back up. Oh, we could wait for a serendipitous occurrence to turn life around – a big sale, a new relationship, a sudden, spontaneous improvement in the economy (right). But to do so puts our lives in the hands of chance. You certainly don’t want it in the hands of the government.

If you want your swagger back – NOW; if you want to feel good about life, optimistic, anxious for each day to begin, confident in your ability to achieve, it has to come from within. The question is: how do we reclaim our confidence when reality keeps slapping us in the face? I hate to quote Madison Avenue, but the short answer is: Just Do It!

Wayne Dyer uncovered a clever truth about the old saying “You’ll believe it when you see it.” Turns out that it is true in its original form and when you reverse the meaning, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” The difference is that the original version requires a serendipitous occurrence while the revised version requires only a change in beliefs.

Our power to choose and change our attitude comes from the simple truth taught by Emerson and many others, “You are what you think about all day long.” We don’t need to wait for life to turn around, we can take control, decide what we want and take the actions required to make it so. The key is in the simple quote above: what do you think about? If you focus on past failures, you pull them into your present and forward into the future. To break any destructive cycle, you must replace the old, destructive images with positive thoughts of achievement, prosperity, happiness, confidence, success. If you’re thinking that this is too difficult, stop thinking so much. Just do it, do it now. It might help to remember a time when you did feel powerful and confident. Focus on that time until you “get the feeling,” then hold on to it as much and as long as you can. Practice this every day and miraculous things will happen. Your external reality will evolve in the direction of your intentions, your belief in what you can accomplish, where you are going. Have a good trip.