Your Choices Define Who You Are

ChoicesWorth Remembering … “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound; rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your goal” – Napoleon Hill. I was not my sons favorite person when his mother and I were going through our divorce. I had a choice to make. The divorce could become adversarial or not. I could be confrontational and drag out the proceedings or I could choose to be open and receptive and negotiate a settlement that we both could live with.

Having a relationship with me son was, and still is, very important to me. My ex-wife will always be my sons mother and my grandchild’s Nanna whether we were married or not. Nothing I do will ever change that. I knew if I wanted a good relationship with my son – I needed to have a good relationship with my ex-wife. So I decided to negotiate a settlement that we both could agree on. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m happy to say that my son and I have a great relationship and I consider my ex-wife one of my closest friends. I know I can turn to her for help when ever I need it and she knows she can count on me to be there for her.

Every decision you make is a matter of choice. You may not like your choices – but it is a choice. You can choose to do nothing and see what happens, or you can choose to do something and hopefully end up with what you want. You always have a choice. Your choices define who you are. I know I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. Think about what it is you want and then choose to act in a way that will help you get there.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be copied without permission. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Call me – Let’s talk

Change Starts Here

Trust 2The definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result. You can’t argue with Einstein’s logic on that one. Nothing changes until you do. The question you need to ask yourself is; Are you better off where you are – or – will you be better off when you make those changes and end up where you’d rather be? Yes – Change is scary. Most of us would rather turn around and back into the future. Change can make you feel like you’re walking a tightrope without a net. After all, you’re venturing into uncharted waters, not fulling understanding what obstacles lay ahead. That’s totally understandable. We all feel that way when trying to do something for the very first time.

Worth Remembering … “We have to go for what we think we’re fully capable of, not limit ourselves by what we’ve been in the past” – Vivek Paul 

What’s getting in the way of you making a change besides the fear of the unknown? Sit down and put a list together of all those things that are holding you back from doing what you’d rather be doing. Get it out of your head and down on paper. Now take a look at your list. Stroke off  all of those things that you have no control over. Trying to change something that you have no control over is a total waste of time. Your time is better spent changing those things that you can.

Worth Remembering … “Change what you can, influence what you will, and give up on all of those things that you cannot control. ” – Brian Smith 

Change starts here. Here’s where the real work begins. You need to put a plan together to change those things that you acknowledge are within your control. What do you need to do to accomplish each one? Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t do all the easy ones first. It’s OK to do a few easy ones to gain some momentum but I suggest you tackle the one that will give you the greatest return on your investment. Start with the one that will challenge you the most while you’re still motivated to take on all comers. Start with the gorilla in the room. Once you’ve removed your greatest obstacle changing the others will feel like a walk in the park.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith-Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking and delivering workshops on a variety of topics. He specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Contact Brian today – He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization.

Death is Fatal But Never Final

optimisticMy Dad passed away on November 17 – 2012. Just six days after we celebrated Remembrance Day in his hospital room. My Dad, like so many others of his generation, was a veteran of the Second World War. He taught me the value of hard work and applying yourself. He always made the best with what he had, always striving for something more. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I know his spirit lives on. He’s watching over me and helping to guide me. I like to think that we’ll meet again some day when my time comes. I don’t know that for certain, no one really does, but I’m hopeful just-the-same.

We all have someone in our lives who have passed away all to soon. I was reminded of that the other day when I got the news that a very close and dear friend of mine has stage two lung cancer. She’s beat cancer twice now – and I’m optimistic that she’ll beat it for a third time. Unfortunately the odds aren’t in her favor. She’s getting on in years now and each fight gets more difficult for her to win. Her Doctor feels that surgery will be too evasive and suggested radiation and chemotherapy. She’s leaning towards taking the treatment, but  hasn’t decided yet what she’s going to do.

She’s earned the right to do what ever she thinks is right for her. I believe we all should have that right. The right to leave on our own terms. I know my Dad left on his. Whatever she decides to do I wanted her to know that I’m thinking of her. That I love her – That she made a difference in my life. Her spirit will live on through me and others she has touched. She will never be forgotten. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? What would you like people to say about you when you pass on? Death is fatal, but never final. Make your life memorable.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Management expert, author and speaker specializing in soft-skills training and leadership development. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or seminar? Call me – let’s talk. http://briansmithpld.com

Heart Trumps Talent Every Time

heart 2The will to win is often more powerful than the talent or skill to win. The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is that successful people never, ever give up. In spite of all the odds against them they persist in following their dream. They understand that every time they failed it moved them one step closer to achieving their goal. They understand that no one achieves anything great by staying where they are. You have to stretch yourself in order to grow. Think it, act it, eventually you’ll become it. No one is born knowing all they need to know to accomplish what they want to accomplish in life. Success and being successful is a learned behaviour. Once you decide on the “what” – the “How” will reveal itself.

Worth Remembering … “The depths and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of customary conditions of life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves” – Leon Trotsky 

Attitude isn’t something – attitude is everything! Henry Ford knew all to well that if you think you can – you can. If you think you can’t – you’re right. Attitude is a choice. It’s 100% in your control. Only you get to decide how you want to react to every situation. You can decide to quit or not. It’s your choice. Only you get to decide if you want to put in the effort to achieve your goals or not. It’s your choice. No one can make you give up on your dreams but you. How bad do you want it? What are you willing to do to achieve your goals? There will be sacrifices. What are you willing to give up to move yourself closer to living your dream? Heart – your heart – trumps talent every time. It’s the difference maker.

Worth Remembering … “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedeness or skill. It will make or break a company … church … a  home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is your attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … We are in charge of our Attitudes.” – Charles Swindell 

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or someone to deliver a workshop on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com – or email: brian@briansmithpld.com