Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘Success’

Words Make a Difference!

In goal setting we learn that thoughts trigger emotion which then triggers behavior. So if you want to change your behavior you need to start with the thought (words) you attach to it. That sounds clear enough until we begin to examine the complexity behind the words we choose to use. They originate from our background and experiences and can either help or hinder our progress forward. How often do we really listen to the choice of words we use or stop to observe their impact. Does it sound like that would take too much time that you don’t have? If so, you might want to think again. When organizations were surveyed regarding prospective employees the item of greatest importance to them was communication skills. Further, in countless surveys on the topic of happiness people responded that the most important thing in a relationship was, once again, the ability to communicate. So whether we are talking about work, family or friends the most important thing we can bring to the setting is solid communication skills.

Sometimes we are so busy speaking that we forget to pause and ‘check for understanding’ to be sure the words we chose are fully understood by others. Sound silly? Actually it’s not. If you ask 5 people to tell you what any word mean such as comfortable, happiness or improvement you would get 5 different definitions. Why? Remember … the understanding we bring to the words we use are defined by our background and emotional experiences and are as unique to us as our fingerprints. It is up to the speaker to verify they are understood. Few listeners have the confidence to say they do not understand so they just continue looking as if they are listening while they are repeating over and over in their mind what was said that they did not understand. That makes refining our communication skills even more important as we strive for a life of greater happiness and success.

Choosing the right words invites others in or creates barriers to understanding. Think of the words that are a natural part of your vocabulary. Are they energy affirming or energy depleting. Check the faces of those you are talking to … are they engaged in what you are saying? Do they ask clarifying questions to be sure they get your meaning or intention behind the words? If not maybe it’s time to reevaluate the word choices you are using.

There is a computer term, GIGO. It simply means garbage in – garbage out. When we think about a computer being neutral it makes sense. It responds to what is fed into it. Likewise, the Universe can be looked upon as neutral for this purpose. Words are a form of energy (negative or positive) and when sent out into the Universe the same type of energy is sent back to us. Without realizing it we can be drawing negative energy to us simply from the word choices we habitual use.

To Improve our communication skills we must start by recognizing the difference between word choices. Let’s look at a few examples: PROBLEM or OPPORTUNITY – HAVE TO or CHOOSE TO – DEMAND or REQUEST – UNACCEPTABLE or NEEDS IMPROVEMENT. In each pairing did you notice or feel an energy difference between the two words? The first was demeaning or defeating – basically negative energy in action and the second word word choice offers hope, expectation and belief and resonates positive energy. Are your word choices helping or restricting you?

Developing the habit of the mindful use of words can transform your communication skills from ordinary to extraordinary. In business and family life you will see a change in the way people listen …really listen to you. They will want to follow you, support your efforts and make you proud of what they can contribute because you were able to get their attention through the use of your positive word choices.

As Buddha said, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”

Life is a challenge for all of us. When we find something that makes the journey a bit easier it is important to pass the idea on to others. Try giving your word choices greater attention in the future. Your thoughts, words and actions will benefit. It will make you and others feel a whole lot better!

Have a great few days!

Celebrate You!

Can you take just a moment today and truly appreciate the uniqueness of you? Just think about it. Your talents, abilities, attitude and interests combined with the knowledge you have gained from your unique life lessons cannot be replicated by anyone. You are the only living person on earth with this rare combination! You are unique unto yourself- that’s something to recognize and celebrate.

When you smile, it is from the heart … when you laugh your energy is infectious … when you speak it is with the calm honesty of truth. You can create enthusiasm in people merely from your presence. When you listen you absorb and reflect rather than merely respond. You engage your whole self in the process of interacting at this moment in time realizing there will never be another opportunity exactly like this one. Your unique ability to understand and empathize with others makes the world a better place – one person at a time.

You can see possibilities in others even when they are blind to them. When you encourage someone to believe in their own inherent ability to handle a situation – sometimes beyond their wildest belief in themselves – you become an agent of the Universe as you help them fully manifest their own strength and capability. Your encouragement is perfectly timed and comes from an intuitive sense of knowing that this person or this place was the place to go for now.

No one on earth can make things happen like you. When you realize something isn’t working you summon from your deep reservoir of strength a knowing – a direction – that is needed for positive change and you work to make it a reality.

You are a one-of-a- kind genuine article. No where can you find the exact same things going on it anyone’s mind, soul and spirit as are going on in yours right now. A million puzzle pieces have combined to make you unique and the mold was used only once…

Like an extremely rare gem you have such inherent value and power that it cannot be codified, qualified or even counted by others. But it can be recognized by yourself as a mighty force that allows you to do or become whatever you can dream. You seem to have a magic genie in your pocket that brings to you whatever is foremost in your thinking.

When you begin to see yourself as the unique being you are, you recognize the importance of learning to love yourself.You now see yourself as so much more than the mere outside shell. You recognize a presence – a loving spirit – inside you that is all powerful. It was a special gift from the Universe – given to you the day you were born. Today you have chosen to unwrap it! When you truly love yourself it becomes the most powerful tool you will ever need in life. It enables you to overcome against all odds and directs you to your own true North.

Tomorrow is a new day with both opportunities and challenges. You will face them with a deeper sense of strength knowing that your unique self is exactly what is needed at this moment in time – 99 and 9/10 percent guaranteed!

Have a great few days!

Developing Self Confidence

Is it hard for you to let go and let others figure out a solution to their latest crisis or drama? If you answered YES! to this question you are not alone. For instance, the number of adult children in their 20’s, 30’s even 40’s still living with their parents or being supported by them is both surprising and sad. We can’t simply blame it on the economic times but we can see it for what it is, a feeling of entitlement, low self esteem and the development of a new norm of expectation. Entitlement can run deep in many relationships. I have had the chance to talk with people recently about the entitlement mentality and I thought it important to share their collective thoughts. Although they remain hopeful that ‘tomorrow will be better’ deep down they feel both burdened and resentful that there always seems to be a new crisis that they are called upon to fix. One person offered an analogy that describes it quite well. “At first I saw them limping and offered what I thought was a temporary crutch but now they seem to be permanently on crutches and expecting me to fix their latest issue. They have a permanent limp!”

Look closely at the human dynamics of your situation. If you notice an entitlement behavioral pattern that has developed in someone you have a choice, to feed into it and fix their latest crisis once again or say, ‘I can’t rescue any longer.’ It takes all the courage you have to change your own enabling behavior but my question to you is, ‘Are THEY worth it?’ By continually rescuing others it lowers their own self worth and becomes emotionally crippling to them. They lose confidence over time and begin to slide into the ‘poor me’ mentality. Consequently, they don’t accept responsibility for the result of their own choices but are quick to say someone or something else caused the latest crisis in their lives. The truly sad part is that continuing this mentality causes them to experience even more challenges because they are not learning their own life lessons that are continually being presented to them. We know that at first the Universe whispers, then talks and eventually shouts – repeatedly – to them through ever increasing challenges in their lives until the day they decide, ‘If it’s going to be it’s up to me.’

The good news is that they can and will step up to the plate if and when you remove yourself as the perpetual ‘Rescuer in Charge’ of their latest crisis. Even if there is a generational pattern of dependency, positive change over time can happen for them when they are forced to deal with each challenge that they create. The first step is a big one but over time it gets easier.

The issue is about so much more than money. With the 24/7 news coverage we experience we often see the children and family members of the incredibly rich demonstrate this rescuer/dependency cycle. Just look at the research on the lottery winners. One year after winning large sums they are no happier than before. Why? Because their self confidence and self esteem wasn’t increased – only their bank account. They didn’t put in the effort and self discipline to learn their life lessons and achieve something, they simply won money, not self esteem, and it is an empty win.

Success is experienced when a person faces life head on, accepts responsibility for their latest challenge and figures out a way to handle it ….without you. Is it hard to stand by and watch them struggle – absolutely! Do you have enough faith and love for them to let them figure out their own solutions? Unless you want to see them at 60 years old still struggling to learn independence you must be strong, even fearless when the next crisis happens and allow them the human dignity to figure it out on their own.

In my next blog I will be talking more about this topic. It takes time to internalize our own lessons and change our enabling behavior. Just remember saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean you don’t love them but that you love them too much not to say it.

Have a great few days!

A Difference of 1 Degree!

Sometimes seemingly small things we do can make all the difference. There was a book published a few years ago entitled, ‘212 the extra degree,’ by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson which emphasized the importance of just going the extra mile to achieve outstanding, life transforming results.

They used the analogy of water. At 211 degrees it is hot. At 212 degrees water will boil and cause steam. The steam, ultimately can power a locomotive or serve as energy for other needs. If that one extra degree can transform an element such as water, what could it do for us? The example they used was simple, the message unbelievably powerful. It’s about adding a bit more commitment to the game, a little more effort to things we do that can change the composition, the product and ultimately, the end result.

In school we are often pushed to do our best. What happens when traditional school is over and the rest of our life begins? Do we remember that what served us well in school will also serve us well in life? Do we do our best and commit that little extra surge of energy, even when tired, to make a difference?

When I used to hear Wednesdays referred to as ‘over the hump days,’ I would question the mindset. I visualized someone with a downtrodden outlook thinking …’just two days left ’till the weekend’ rather than thinking ‘I have so much I want and need to do and ONLY have two days left in which to complete the tasks.’ The amount of work is the same but the path to getting there and the final product can be light years apart. The mindset in the first example robs us of energy and being all we can be while the second actually energizes us to be more …that one degree more that can make all the difference.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, …life is no brief candle to me but a brilliant torch that I’ve got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn brighter…

The choice is ours in life, either we choose to simply show up or bring our A game to be fully PRESENT in what we do. No one can make us happier or more successful in life, only we have the power to do that through the attitude we choose to manifest. If you were giving yourself a letter grade in life what would it be up to this point?

The next time you think about your job or the tasks before you consider adding that one extra degree of effort – you’ll be glad you did.

Have a great few days!

Choose to Refuse

Malcolm Gladwell has written three books which are studies of human behavior. His book, Blink explained that the way we processing information makes a major difference in our lives. In Tipping Point he studied the way change happens in people and society. His next book, Outliers offered a unique perspective on what makes people successful. In this last book, he stated that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. That caused me to think about the different areas in which we have become experts in our lives.

When you take this number and think about it on more personal terms, each of us has easily spent over 10,000 hours in study, careers, supporting families, helping others, developing hobbies and, most importantly, creating our own unique perspectives in life. Sometimes the lenses we used to filter our life experiences were clear, giving us an accurate view of our environment and sometimes they were cloudy, effected by events that took our breath away with angst, fear or uncertainty.

Gladwell points out that circumstances surrounding our upbringing make a significant difference in how well we do in this world. I agree but would be quick to add that we all know people who, despite all odds, have become successful, happy, loving human beings. They may have dealt with challenges in life that seemed impossible to overcome, and yet they persevered. They may be a bit battered and weary but refused to give up or become negative or angry. These are the people that when given lemons in life they make lemonade. We know what causes these people to succeed in life while others struggle. It is their strength, courage and optimism that allows them to know that they can handle whatever life throws at them – and they do.

Information is a powerful thing. Once we realize that although our early upbringing, or other life events may have caused us to become ‘experts’ at seeing the glass as half empty we can do something about it. We can CHOOSE to REFUSE to use the excuses, ‘that’s the way I was raised,’ or ‘I can’t do anything about it because…’ and decide to live life fully rather than engage in a life of justifying why we are unhappy. Jim Carrey starred in a movie entitled, Yes Man in 2009 that exemplifies this point. It is worth watching.

We can become experts at living, loving and becoming the person we want to be or experts at regret, anger and fear. It’s a matter of our perspective and the amount of time we are willing to devote to the process. When we hear ourselves thinking negatively we need to consciously redirect our thinking. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice. We could say that we don’t have 10,000 hours of time to practice becoming an ‘expert’ at positive thinking. However, the amount of time left in our life will elapse regardless. The question is how we choose to spend it. What manifests in our lives develops from our thinking. Change our thinking and we change our lives.

Can you just imagine what our world would be like if each of us decided to become experts at making ourselves and our world a happier place? I’ll sign up how about you? Maybe you can pass this blog along to a friend and get them on board. The more people who are engage in the process the quicker the world will change. Let’s make it happen!

Have a great few days!

Success Is Change!

Success in our lives can be defined by asking three questions. What is truly important to us – what makes our blood pump a little faster? What do we find most difficult to handle (the things that make us anxious or our stomachs churn)? And what do we hold sacred in our hearts – the most important things without which we would not want to be here? These are big questions to think about and even bigger to answer. The closer you can get to the truth of who you really are and what you want your life to stand for the closer you are to achieving your own true success. That is all the Universe asks of us, to be true to ourselves and our prebirth agreement.

As we start the new year, I have found it helpful to reflect on these questions and honestly determine accomplishments, lessons learned and even more importantly, lessons yet to be learned. Doing so is both exciting and humbling. It seems like there is never a shortage of lessons. Ultimately, it all boils down to working on the personal challenges involved in accepting the changes we are faced with in life.

When we look at the challenge of the ultimate change in our life involving loss, there was something we needed to learn from it. As hard as the loss was it enabled us to learn important lessons. It may seem impossible, at first, to reach a deeper understanding. It is there, I promise you, just be brave and continue to search. What do you now place greater value on since experiencing the loss?

Loss comes in many forms. A death, of course, is the biggest challenge, the real show stopper. However, any change we experience in life brings, at first, a feeling of loss. My last blog was on the steps we go through when we experience change and loss. You might want to go back to the archive section on this website and review those steps, maybe even print them.

As part of the human race we are much more alike than different in our human emotions. We all experience insecurity, denial, anger, fear, acceptance and love. That’s why these steps are so predictable, the length of time we spend in each step is the human variable. We can find reassurance in knowing the emotions we experience are normal. When we are immersed in tears, we are not ‘losing it,’ but expressing our honest feelings involved in the loss – the change in our lives. Since nothing remains the same for long, being aware of these steps and being able to emotionally apply them gives us greater confidence and security in facing tomorrow.

Soul searching is not for the faint of heart but as Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The truth will set you free.” It is good to take stock of what you have accomplished this year and what you still find most difficult to handle, what gives you pause. Once you decide to work on those feelings and situations you will be able to master them. Mastery brings a feeling of greater confidence and peace. Next year when you take stock of your life you will smile and think to yourself, ‘worked on that one and getter better every day!’

Have a great few days!