Mothers Are The Ultimate Control Freaks

IMG_20140511_145439A “BIG” high-five to all the Mothers out there. Without your love, guidance and dedication most of us would not be here. I hope everyone got the chance to be with their Mom or at least talk with her on her special day. I’m one of the lucky ones because I got to spend Mothers Day with my Mom. Having my four brothers and sister there was a bonus. It’s been more than 50 years since all of us where together on Mothers Day. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s was an interesting time. Perhaps not as challenging as it is now – but with eight of us living under the same roof, it had its moments. And through it all my Mother was able to maneuver the ship through the occasional rough sea and stay the course without ending up on the rocks and sinking.  Mothers are the ultimate control freaks but they control in a very special way.

Mothers are Teachers: My Mom taught me the difference between right and wrong.  To be respectful of others. To be kind. To help those in need. She taught me how to be a man. And more importantly she taught me how to be a parent.

Mothers are Referees: In spite of growing up with four competitive brothers and one sister in the house my Mom still managed to keep the peace. She’d have to intervene once in a while and make us go to neutral corners and take a much deserved time out. My Mom walked quietly but carried a big stick. She just had to give you that certain look and you understood.

Mothers are Guidance Councilors:  My Mom was the voice of reason. She guided me with a soft-hand and a gentle push. I could always count on her to be my soft-place to fall so I was never afraid to venture out on my own and take chances.

Thank you Mom. I love you. I am forever in your debt.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or workshop facilitator who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics including: powerful communication strategies, time management and personal effectiveness or how to deal with difficult people and challenging situations better? Visit http://briansmithpld.com

Failure is a Detour – Never a Dead End Street

Pot of Gold“Failure is a detour – never a dead-end street”. I love that quote by Zig Zigler. No one – and I mean no one is perfect! We have all experienced failure at one time or another. In spite of all the pre-planning we do, nothing seems to go off without a hitch.  Getting knocked down has never been an issue for me. I get knocked down all the time. But not getting back up is. I look at the mistakes I’ve made – and trust me I’ve made plenty – as simply an opportunity to learn from them, make the necessary adjustments so I don’t make the same mistake too many times, and then begin again.

Worth Remembering … “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have discovered 10,000 ways that do not work.” – Thomas Edison.

How you look at failure – your failures and the failures of others, makes all the difference in the world. Attitude – your attitude and how you choose to react to any given situation, is a choice that only you get to make. You can beat yourself up over them – or you can choose to learn from them. No one can force you to react a certain way. When you get knocked down I want you to react in a way that is going to get you what you want. When you think about your failures – think of them as opportunities to grow.

Worth Remembering … “Your attitude determines your altitude.” – Covey

I can’t help but get inspired watching the Olympic’s.  The hard work and dedication that each athlete has put into preparing themselves over the last four years for this moment, is incredible. All they can do now, is do their best. All they can do is walk away from that experience knowing that they gave it their all. Winning a medal is a bonus. Discovering who you are and what you are capable of doing when you put your heart and soul into something, is the real prize. Believing in yourself – knowing that there is nothing that you can’t overcome – makes it all worthwhile. Always remember that failure is a detour – never a dead-end street.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and delivering seminars on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, team building, coping with stress, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit http://briansmithpld.com

 

We Have a Voice – It’s Time We Started Using It

images (11)I participated in a weekend twitter chat hosted by @Kate Nasser – The People-Skills Coach, that reminded me that we have a voice, a very loud voice. And we need to speak up because politicians and company executives are listening. The silent majority needs to speak up against bullying, rape, violence against women and powerful companies like Monsanto who are counting on you and I to say nothing at all. We can’t make a difference you say. No one cares you say. And no one is listening. Tell that to Lululemon’s Founder and Chairman Chip Wilson who was forced to resign and step away from the company he started, a month after he made controversial comments that angered their customer base and sales took a nosedive. And tell that to the fast food industry who were swayed by public pressure to put nutritional values on their packages and menus so that consumers could make an informed decision about the foods they eat.

Worth Remembering … “It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela 

Monsanto: Protestors in over 40 Countries around the World participated in a march against Monsanto and Genetically Modified Foods (Referred to as GMO’s). What started as a whimper is now beginning to sound more like a roar. A number of American States have passed laws requiring any GMO food or seeds to be labelled as such and prohibits any food containing GMO’s to be labelled “Natural”. A number of Countries including Canada are drafting and passing similar legislation. 

Bullying: Do a Google Search on “bullying” and you’ll get 24,600,000 results in 0.67 seconds. The cry against bullying is more than a flavor of the month – it’s a revolution. Bullying is a learned behavior. But community groups, school boards and governments working to eliminate bullying is not enough – Parents need to step up and teach their children that bullying is not cool – it’s not OK. Is there a connection between bullying and suicide among young people? According to a report published in 2006 by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) there is. They believe that suicide is rarely a spur of the moment decision. There have been a number of highly publicized suicides among young people recently that supports their findings and law makers are beginning to take note.

Workplace Violence and Harassment:  Bullying of the Adult Kind. Provincial Governments in Canada are taking a stand against workplace violence and harassment by enacting legislation that prohibits violence or harassment of any kind and if employers or employees are found guilty of an offence, and on conviction, are liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 per offense, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months, or both. Workers have a legal right to a safe workplace and employers must do everything reasonable under the circumstance to insure their health and safety.

Worth Remembering … “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” – Martin Luther King Jr. 

We have a voice. We can make a difference. Yes progress is slow, change seems to take forever and the deck is stacked against us,  but that shouldn’t detour us from doing what we know is right. Social media and the internet have given us a platform. It’s up to each and every one of us to step up to the podium and be heard.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and delivering workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, time management, coping with stress, dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better and developing the leader in you. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit http://briansmithpld.com

 

Stop The Madness – You Are Producing a Generation of Wimps 9

Stop the MadnessStop the madness!!! You are producing a generation of wimps. Too much of a good thing – is not a good thing. In the “real” world not everyone gets to make the team, regardless of their skill level. In the “real” world they won’t be praised or promoted for being just good enough. And in the “real” world they may not get a second chance to make the wrong thing right, without paying the price for being wrong in the first place. In the “real” world there are consequences.

You are doing this newest generation a dis-service by not preparing them for life “outside” of the nest. The world can be a cruel place for someone who hasn’t been taught the skills needed to take on life’s challenges. The world can be a cruel place for someone who hasn’t been knocked down because they never learn how to get back up. The world can be a cruel place for someone who rarely heard the word “NO” while growing up.

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 their life, for only then do they have to fall back of their reserves.” – Leon Trotsky

Tough love, applied at the right time – for the right reasons – is not a bad thing.  Tough love teaches you that life is not always fair. That you don’t get everything that you ask for. That bad things can happen to good people. Tough love teaches you to stand up on your own two feet and compete for what you want. Tough love teaches you that “You aren’t in Kansas anymore”. Tough love builds character, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Worth Remembering … “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people.” – Thomas Jefferson

You can still be someones soft place to fall – just don’t make it too comfortable. When you eliminate honor rolls or deans list in schools because you don’t want to make those who just want to skate by feel inferior – you take away the incentive for the achievers who want to excel. You can’t build up someones self-worth by taking away someone else’s. When you no longer keep score because you don’t want the other team to “feel” discouraged – you take away a persons competitive spirit. If you don’t teach them the value of money, what it means to be independent and the feeling they’ll get from making it on their own – you are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Stop the madness!!! You are producing a generation of wimps.

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker? Planing a lunch-n-learn or training seminar? Contact Brian. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you, your organization and your people visit http://briansmithpld.com