Hello Dad – It’s Me

137r2v8t0hcp5mae.D.0.Happy-Father--s-Day-QuotesMy Dad passed away in November of 2012. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I still haven’t deleted him from my Skype contact list. (We Skyped each other on Sunday afternoons). I’m reminded every Fathers Day of how much I’ve lost, but also how much I gained. I have my memories to comfort me. I’m glad I was able to kiss him on the forehead and tell him how much I loved him as I left his hospital room. The last words I heard him say was that he loved me too. If your father is still alive don’t miss the opportunity to let him know how much he means to you.

The truth is we don’t get to pick our Dad. I lucked out. I got a Dad who loved me unconditionally no matter how many times I screwed up – no matter how many times I might have disappointed him. I know I could always count on him to be my soft place to fall. I could call on him for advice – to give me guidance – to be a strong disciplinarian when I needed it, but also loving and caring and empathetic when the situation warranted it. I knew he’d always be in my corner.

Fatherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You learn in bits and pieces as you go along. Experience is a great teacher. You learn what to do – but more importantly – you learn what not to do. I’m thankful my Dad was around to teach me how to be a father. I didn’t learn all of the lessons as well as I could have – or should have – but I did the best I could. Hindsight is always 20-20. Did I make mistakes? – Absolutely. Did I learn from them? – You bet. My son is proof positive that things worked out in a good way. He’s a great Dad to his daughter. The legacy passed down from my Dad to me and from me to my son will live on. Thanks Dad. Thank you for everything. I know you are still there looking over me – guiding me – and pointing the way. I love you. Happy Fathers Day.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission.

How Much Are You Worth?

New BeginningHow much are you worth? I posted that question on my Facebook page as a challenge to the majority of women out there who don’t put themselves at the top of their to-do list. Are you worth blocking off one day a week for “Me” time? One day a week to do what ever you want to do for “You”? One day a week to do what ever you want to do for “You” without feeling guilty? Are you disciplined enough to say “No” to family and friends who want to rob you of “Your” time? Based on the responses I got the majority agreed that they aren’t spending enough time, if any, on themselves. That needs to change.

Worth Remembering … “Be selfish with your time. learn to say no to things you do not have an interest in. You are not serving anyone when you spread yourself too thin. Your first obligation should be to yourself. You cannot be any good to for someone else unless you are first good to yourself” – Larry Winget

If I asked you to write down the three most important things in your life – what would you write down? Chances are pretty good that you did not put yourself on that list. Why not? What are you currently doing to cope with the daily stressors in your life? Many doctors estimate that 70 to 80% of the patients they see are exhibiting negative health symptoms either brought on or significantly aggravated by stress. Nine out of ten headaches are due to tension-caused muscle contractions in the neck and shoulders that radiate to the head. Stress can cause forgetfulness, indecisiveness, and an inability to concentrate. Stress is a fact of life. We all have stress in our lives, specially in today’s fast paced, ever-changing world we live in.

Worth Remembering … “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another” – William James

Stress is not always bad. Stress can be a very positive and motivating influence in our lives. A moderate amount of stress can help you to be more creative, energetic, focused and productive. If is only when stress increases beyond our ability to easily cope with it that we begin to feel the negative effects – both physical and emotional. To accomplish more with our lives and achieve a greater feeling of personal satisfaction, we must reduce or eliminate unproductive stressors when possible and improve our ability to cope with stressors we cannot eliminate. What is causing stress in your life? For those stressors you can change, the key is to develop a specific action plan for creating the change you want, then follow through with that plan. For those stressors you cannot change, the key is to change your response to those stressors. Blocking off one day a week for “Me” time is a good place to start.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can deliver an informative and entertaining presentation on a variety of soft-skill topics? Give Brian a call. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. http://briansmithpld.com

What I’ve Come To Know So Far

I spent Sunday morning reflecting on my past and what I have come to know so far? These appear here in no particular order.

I have come to know that:

  • The Rolling Stones are right – “You can’t always get what you want”.
  • Shit happens and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.
  • There is no such thing as “Common Sense”. They should call it “Life Sense”. It just seems the older you get the smarter you get.
  • There are slow learners and it may not be their fault.
  • Life is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so.
  • Getting married won’t complete you.
  • Without having both a physical and emotional attraction with your significant other you stand very little chance of having a long-term relationship.
  • There is smart – and then there is smart.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know until you know that you don’t know it.
  • Golf is a whole lot harder than they make it look on TV.
  • Your “Sole Mate” is out there somewhere. Don’t settle – keep looking.
  • Some people are surprised that I got this far. Other people aren’t
  • Age is just a number. Of course that depends on what type of medication you’re taking.
  • When you fall in love – your rational brain stops working.
  • Life is not perfect but it beats the heck out of the alternative.
  • When I was growing up I wanted to be an artist or a truck driver. I became a College Professor and Published Author instead.
  • Never ever give up. Keep at it because you’ll eventually get there.
  • You can never go home again is true because nothing stays the same.
  • Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes – so learn to forgive but never forget.
  • You can’t have it all
  • There is no such thing as a balanced lifestyle
  • I have a lot more to learn about everything
  • Life isn’t fair – get over it and move on.
  • I have a lot more things I want to accomplish, but time is not on my side.
  • You can’t make time – but you sure can waste it.
  • They say money can’t buy you happiness but I’d like to give it a try
  • The “Beatles” are the greatest band – ever
  • You don’t have to know everything but you need to know who does.
  • Your Mother is always right.
  • Respect your elders. They know more stuff then you do because they have lived longer.
  • Being married is not a life sentence. If you aren’t getting what you want out of that relationship it’s time you moved on. Life is too short to settle.

Now it’s your turn. What have you come to know so far?

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain as well as inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. http://briansmithpld.com

Pushing Through The Glass Ceiling

shattered glassSuccess and being successful has nothing to do with gender, colour or social status. Success and being successful has everything to do with committment, hard work and a can-do-it-attitude. It’s nice to see that women all over the world are starting to push through the glass ceiling to take their rightful place managing and leading Fortune 500 Companies. Women are now out pacing men in starting small businesses. According to research  conducted by The Centre for Women’s Business – well over 10.1 Million firms in the USA are owned by women – employing more than 13 Million people.

“It may be the Cock that crows, but make no mistake that it’s the Hen who decides when and where to lay the egg” – Margaret Thatcher

Dee Dee Myers – author of “Why Women Should Rule The World” believes that women are more successful at running small businesses because women can make people accountable for their actions but, they can also be there to support them. “Females have that trait, where maybe most men do not”. What women seem to come by naturally is empathy – the ability to see things from another person’s point of view. An important 21st Century skill. Unfortunately most men still have to learn it. Mary Matalin, former counselor to President George W. Bush was quoted as saying – “Women around the World are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without mans permission”. It’s easy to argue that men haven’t been doing such a great job of managing things lately.

“Be selfish with your time. Learn to say no to things you do not have an interest in. You are not serving anyone when you spread yourself too thin. Your first obligation should be to yourself. You cannot be any good for someone else unless you are first good to yourself.” – Larry Winget

A very dear and close personal friend of mine likes to remind me now and again that she doesn’t need a man in her life to “complete” her. She’s capable enough to do that all on her own. After all – she’s be operating her own very successful small business now for over 30 years. She knows who she is and she’s not afraid to speak up and ask for what she wants. That’s one of the many qualities I love and admire about her. Men who feel threatened by that are neanderthals, still living in the past. They need to get over themselves and wake up to the realities of a new order of things where women have a seat at the table. It’s great to see that more and more women feel the same way. We are all going to be better for it.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for workshops or keynote speeches on a variety of soft-skills topics. He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find our more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com