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

Pick Your Battles – Some Just Aren’t Worth Winning 2

Conflict Resolution 2Are you the type of person that has to be right all the time? The need to always be right must be sooooo exhausting. I’ve been there, done that, and have the tee-shirt to prove it. Trust me, I’m a recovering “Control Freak” so I know how tiring it can be. Perhaps it comes with age or experience, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a total waste of my time and energy to try to convince someone else that I’m right and they’re wrong. In most situations I chose not to go there now. Creative problem solving and conflict resolution starts and ends with you. You can decide if you want to be right or agree to disagree and move on.

Here are five things you can do to try to resolve conflict:

1 – Provide as much information as you can to make discussions productive rather than contentious. Lack of information, or not enough of the right information, could be the reason behind the conflict. If others understand the “why” they are more likely to agree with your decision.

2 – Ask for solutions. I never let anyone bring me a problem without offering a solution. If their solution sounds plausible – go with it and see what happens. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just plausible. Always try to create a win-win. You won because you got the end result you where looking for and they won because they got to do it their way.

3 – A sense of humor is a great way to defuse a difficult situation and get people to step back for a moment and realize – in the big scheme of things – it’s not worth getting upset over it.

4 – Do not force a consensus. If the plan fails you’ll be to blame. Get them involved in the planning. If they have a personal state in the process they are more likely to make it work. Remember – it doesn’t have to be just your way. All you should be concerned about are the end result.

5 – Be prepared to make a decision that you can live with. Realize that not everyone is going to agree with the decision you make. But don’t let that stop you from making a decision. Leadership is about making tough decisions  for the good of everyone involved. If leading was easy everyone would want to do it.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. May not be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics including communication, team building or dealing with difficult people and challenging situations better? Contact Brian. He will work with you to insure your event is a success. http://briansmithpld.com

The Best Juggler Wins – The Tale of Six Rocks 1

images (18)Forget about living a balanced lifestyle. I don’t believe there is such a thing. But you can keep your life in balance by learning to juggle. Pretend for a moment that you are juggling six rocks; health, wealth, relationships, volunteerism, brain and hobby. Each rock is important, some rocks may be more important than others at times,  but the secret to creating a balance in your life is to make sure you spend some of your time nurturing each rock. The key is not to spend too much time on one rock, at the expense of ignoring another, because that may put you out of balance. Sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing. We all have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more or no less. Your challenge is to schedule your time effectively and efficiently so that you spend some of your time on each rock. You don’t need to spend an equal amount of time on each, but you need to spread it around.

Worth Remembering … “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton 

The best juggler wins a life that is in balance and as close to perfect as you can get.

Health: You need to take care of yourself. You need to eat right, exercise right and sleep right. If you aren’t right – then what’s the point.
Wealth: Yes your career is important – it affords you the money you need to be able to live the kind of life you envisioned for yourself and your family. But don’t sacrifice one for the other. When the time comes to reap the benefits of your hard work, you’ll want someone to share it with.
Relationships: We are emotional beings. We need to “connect” with others. Reach out – when you show an interest in others, others will show and interest in you. People like to work with and do business with people they like.
Volunteerism: Give back. Paying it forward is a great way to  build up your self-esteem and self-esteem in others. It’s the law of attraction. You get back what you give out.
Brain: Never stop learning. The moment you think you have nothing else to learn is the moment you fall behind. Your brain is a muscle. It needs exercise.
Hobby: You need to schedule “Me” time. You need to be able to step back from your day-to-day activities and recharge your batteries. Find something you enjoy doing other than the work that you do, and spend some of your time doing it. Lighten up – have some fun.

Worth Remembering … “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday – some.” – Robert Fulgham 

How you manage your time is how you manage your life. Learn to juggle because the best juggler wins.

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

Things Won’t Get Better Until You Do 6

Delegate 2We all feel overwhelmed at times. We all feel tired and can’t seem to find the willpower to carry on. We all have self-doubt, feel unappreciated and wonder why we keep doing what we do. But what separates each and every one of us – is the strength we find within ourselves to get up off the floor and get back in this game we call life. Mind you some are better at it than others. And some decide to give it up all together and walk away. And that’s OK. It just means they haven’t figured out yet what they want to do with the opportunities they’ve been given. They are still searching for meaning in their lives. I believe we all have the capacity within ourselves to lead the kind of life we envisioned for ourselves. We all have the ability to change – to develop the kind of skills we need to be better at what we do.

Worth Remembering … “When you’re up to your neck in alligators it’s easy to forget that the initial objective was to drain the swamp”  – Unknown

The question is – Are you willing to make the kinds of changes you’ll need to be more effective at what you are doing? Are you willing to make the kind of changes needed to learn how to communicate and listen more effectively, get along with others, manage your time or cope with stress?  I believe we are all born a certain style which subconsciously dictates the way we act and react to what’s going on around us. We need to learn to react in a way that is going to get us what we want.  How does a good communicator and listener act? What changes will you need to make to manage your time more effectively, to get along with others or cope with stress?

Worth Remembering … “Between stimulus and response is our greatest power – the freedom to choose.”  – Stephen R. Covey 

There are two things I know for certain about people. Motivation is inside out never outside in. People are motivated to change if they believe there is a payoff. They are motivated to make a change in their lives if they believe it is worth while. It’s what I call a WIIFM. (What’s in it for me). And the second thing I know for certain about people is that they get to decide how they want to react to any given situation. It’s a choice only they get to choose 100% of the time. No one else has the power over them to make them do something they don’t want to do. Now it’s true that we may not like the choices we have to choose from – but it’s a choice none the less.

Worth Remembering … “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not – you’ll find an excuse” – Unknown 

If you are feeling overwhelmed what changes do you need to make? Do you need to have a shorter to do list? Do you need to learn how to prioritize and manage your time more effectively? If you are feeling tired what changes do you need to make? Do you need to take more “Me” time to recharge your batteries to cope with the stress in your life? Do you need to learn how to say “No” to others so you can say “Yes” to yourself? If you have self-doubts, feel unappreciated and wonder why you keep doing what you’re doing what changes do you need to make? We are adults and adults can change. We can stop doing one thing and start doing another. And if we do it often enough it becomes us. When you change the habit you change the result. You can learn to act in a way that will get you what you want. You just have to decide what that is. Things won’t get better until you do.

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaker? Planning a leadership development session or workshop on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. http://briansmithpld.com