Do You Know Your Why?

winningThe question to ask yourself isn’t what you do – the question to ask yourself is why you do it. Once you know your why, then all you need to do is have the courage to create your life around it. What really turns your crank? In a perfect world what would you really love to be doing? What would it take for you to develop a career around it? What things need to fall into place for you to live a purposeful life – a life of purpose?

#Worth Remembering … You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose and do it courageously – Steve Maraboli

Not sure what you were meant to be – what you were meant to do? For the next two weeks I want you to write down what you are doing when you catch yourself smiling  for no particular reason. Every time you catch yourself smiling or whistling a song, write down what you where doing at that very moment. After your two weeks are up look over your list. Do you see a pattern? You should be able to connect the dots and see the common denominator. It will reveal what you are truly meant to be doing.

#Worth Remembering … The mystery of human existence lies in not just staying alive, but in finding something to live for – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I truly love what I do. I can’t see myself doing anything else. You have within you the ability to do the same thing. You just need to decide what it is – and then put a plan together to get there. I know I make it sound simple – but it really is. All you need to do is to get out of your own way by believing you can live the life you are intended to live. Wake up every morning with your goal in mind. Do one thing, no matter how small, that is going to move you forward to your goal. Be patient – slow and steady eventually will win the race.

Copyright (c) 2016. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission https://briansmithpld.com

What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

Optimistic 3My Mom had a great life – filled with much love – some sorrow – but mostly happiness. She was a devoted mother to her 7 children, 15 grand children and 11 great grand children. But most importantly she was best friend and loving wife to my Dad for over 66 years. She may have been small in stature, but don’t let her size fool you – she was one tough lady. She had to – to keep five boys in line. But she managed to do it in such a way that you always knew she loved you unconditionally, no matter how many times you messed up. And trust me – we messed up on more than a few occasions.

She was a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and an outspoken advocate for the fair treatment of veterans. My Mom and her poppy blanket where a big hit on National TV. She managed to get a front row seat on Remembrance Day in the Nations Capital, where she laid a wreath in my Dad’s honor. A memory our family will cherish forever.

Those who knew my Mom knew she never shied away from giving her opinion on a variety of topics. A trait that she passed on to her children. You always knew where you stood with her. She was a serial volunteer, serving on a number of committees in one capacity or another. Mom was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Red Hat Society and a Lady of the Knight. An honor bestowed upon her because my Dad was a Forth Degree Knights of Columbus.

Mom had a great sense of humor and loved to socialize with her many friends. Where ever, and when ever you saw my Mom you knew my Dad wouldn’t be too far behind – they were inseparable. They are now where they were always meant to be – together. “When you look to the heavens perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where are loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy” – author unknown but rather fitting. My parent’s spirit will live on through us and our children’s children. They will always be our guiding light and soft place to fall.

My parents taught us to be respectful towards others. To say please and thank you and pardon me – old fashion values that should never go out of style. They taught us to stand up for ourselves and each other. That family is important. They reminded us that nothing worthwhile comes without a great deal of hard work and sacrifice; and if it was worth doing – it was worth doing well. They reminded us that if you weren’t willing to go all in – then don’t waste your time and energy. What life lessons will you pass on? What legacy will you leave behind?

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaking who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.

Everyone You Meet is Somebody’s Somebody

secret 5Every Friday night is date night with my 5-year-old grandchild. It’s our time to hang out and do what ever she wants to do. We usually start out at her favorite eatery and end up at the local toy store. I cherish the time we get to spend together. We where enjoying a fun moment when she playfully grabbed my hat and put it on. “Hey Poppa” she said – “I’m you and you are Mr. No Buddy”. It came as a shock to me because I’d never heard her say that before. I knew she was just repeating what she had heard at school. She didn’t realize how hurtful that saying can be.

Children are sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. They are a reflection of the environment around them. Adults, especially parents, need to be mindful of the lessons they are teaching their children. Children aren’t born bullies. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born haters. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born racists. They learn that from others. You are the greatest influence in your child’s life. They take their lead from you.

What lessons are you teaching your child? Are you teaching them to be tolerant, compassionate and respectful of others?  Do they know what it means to be a good citizen, to be kind to others and lead by example? Do they know that everyone you meet is somebody’s somebody? You have a very important job to do. I hope you are up for the task. The next generation of parents are counting on you.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission.  Brian is available for key note speeches or conducting workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Some Have to Work at It – For Others it Comes Naturally

grumpy ladyHave you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Oh, yuck – What a dink? And I don’t mean double income no kids. You didn’t know why – you just knew there was something about them that you didn’t like. But, after you spent some face time with them, and you got to know them better, did you ever change your mind? Building relationships and establishing mutual respect with the people you work with and interact with, is crucial to your overall success. (Not to mention your sanity).

You have two choices; You can either learn to get along with them – or you can dis-associate yourself from them. If it is someone you have to work with. or interact with. then you’ll have no choice but to learn how to get along with them. You don’t have to socialize with them outside of official company functions and you don’t have to go to the local watering hole after work and buy them their favorite beverage, but you will need to learn how to coexist.

If it is someone in your social circles and it won’t impact your relationship with your other friends. then just walk away.  You get to pick and chose who you want to hang around with. There aren’t any rules that say you have to like everyone.

Three Steps To Establishing Those All Important Relationships

Step One: Establish Rapport – Find out something about them that they like. Do they have a hobby? What do they like to do in their spare time? You need to be able to carry on a conversation with them on a subject that they enjoy talking about. Once you get them talking about the things they like – you’ll learn everything you need to know about them to move on to the next step.

Step Two: Develop a Relationship. You can’t develop a relationship with anyone you haven’t established rapport with first. People like to hang around and work with people they like. The more that you interact with them, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to develop a relationship with them. Be patient. This step takes time. Keep at it. Trust me – they will eventually start to open up to you.

Step Three: Build Respect – No one respects anyone that they haven’t developed a relationship with first. Some people will move through this three-step process quicker than others, but it’s a process we all need to go through. If you have navigated the three-step process successfully you will have established mutual respect. They may not agree with everything you say or do but they will agree that you have the right to say it. Respect is reciprocal. You get what you give. If you treat someone with respect. eventually you will get it in return.

Try this 3-step process the next time you have to go along with someone to get along. Some have to work at it – for others it comes naturally.  Give it a go – Let me know how it works out.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can inform and entertain on a variety of soft-skills topics?  To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you, your people and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com – You’ll be glad you did.