Trust Me – If I Can Do it – Anyone Can

secret 4When you change the habit – you change the result. I know sometimes that’s  a lot easier said then done, but it can be done. You just need to want it bad enough to motivate yourself to make those changes. Trust me – if I can do it – anyone can. You are the only one who can change you. No one else can make you do something that you don’t really want to do.

Worth Remembering … “Once the “what” has been decided – the “how” will reveal itself”

What needs to change for you to reach your goals? For you to realize your full potential? Do you need to change what and when you eat so you can lose weight? Commit to an exercise routine so you feel better and look better? Do you need to open up a separate savings account and religiously deposit as little as 5% of your weekly pay cheque so you can afford to take the next big step and start your own small business? What’s your WIIFM?

Worth Remembering … “It is only when a person has their own generator that we can talk about motivation. He needs no outside stimulation. He wants to do it” – Frederick Herzberg

People are motivated to act a certain way to get a certain result. Needs plus goal directed behavior equals your payoff – your WIIFM. (What’s in it for me). If I have to do this to get that – and that is important to me – then I will do this to get that. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. You need to be convinced that there is a WIIFM in it for you or you won’t bother to make the effort.

Worth Remembering … “Think it, Act it, Become it. When you change the habit you change the result”

One of my goals for this year is to play better golf. I’m smart enough to know that I won’t get better by myself. The only way I’m going to get better is to work with someone who is better at it then me – to work with a coach. I signed up for winter golf school. So far I’ve changed my grip, stance and swing pattern. Has it been easy? Not a chance. Changing the way you do things to get a better result takes patience, committment and hard work. I know that things won’t get better until I do. I know I need to change the habit to change the result. What’s your WIIFM? What are you willing to change to get a better result? Trust me – if I can do it anyone can.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you – or someone you know – looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is a overwelming success. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Change is Easier Said Then Done – But it Can Be Done

bigstockphoto_Change_Ahead_5993268Have you ever thought about why you do – what you do – when you do it? William James, an American Philosopher and Psychologist, believes that most of the decisions we make are because of the habits we create. Habits control how we act and react in most situations. Researchers at Duke University believe that 40% of the actions people perform each day aren’t made by conscious decisions – but by habits. Habits, good or bad,have become ingrained in us and we routinely do them without thinking about them. What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up? I’ll bet you do the same thing – in the same order – every morning. And if you break from routine it can throw off your whole day. When do you put on your seat belt? Do you put your seat belt on before or after you start your vehicle? If we are anything at all we are creatures of habit.

Worth Remembering … “Our habits may control our destiny, but we control our habits. Before we change our habits we must change our thinking.” – Author Unknown 

When you change the habit – you change the result. If you could exchange one habit for another, which habit would give you the best return on your time investment? Psychologists refer to that as a keystone habit. Think of it as cause and effect. If you change your eating habits chances are you’ll have more energy, sleep better, and you’ll start to look better and feel better about yourself. New Year Resolutions fail because we failed to replace one habit with another. A good habit gets you a good result – just as a bad habit gets you a bad result – it’s just that simple. We are adults and we can develop new habits. Behaviorists believe that if you do something 21 times in a row you’ll develop a new habit. All you have to do is stop doing one thing and start doing another and if you do it often enough, it will become you. However, we all know change is easier said then done – but it can be done. You just need to want it bad enough. You just need to develop a new routine.

Worth Remembering … “We are what we repeatedly do – therefore excellence is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle.  

If you want to improve how you manage your time what one new habit will you have to develop? If you want to communicate more effectively with others, cope with stress or deal with difficult people and challenging situations better what one new habit will you need to develop? Think routine – think reward. The easiest way I found to develop a new habit was to change my routine. And once you start a new routine stick with it. Remember you need to do something 21 times in a row before you start doing it without thinking about it. Tiger Woods has a pre-shot routine that he does every time he prepares to hit a golf ball. If you aren’t getting the reward you want then you need to change your routine. As Les Brown says “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result”.

Worth Remembering … “Failure is only postponed as long as courage coaches ambition. The habit of persistence is the habit of victory” – Herbert Kaufman

I need to start exercising but I just don’t seem to have enough time in the day to do it. By the end of the day I’m too tired to bother. All I want to do when I get home is pour a glass of wine and then sit on my couch and do absolutely nothing. I enjoy that time so for me – the best time to exercise will be in the morning. I need to change my morning routine to include 15 minutes of stretching, squats, planks and push ups. I’m an early riser so getting up 15 minutes earlier won’t be a problem for me.  The benefits of having a daily exercise routine far out weigh me having to change my morning schedule. That’s the key – the reward has to be greater than the effort it will take to accomplish it. I know that the more I do it – the more it will become me. I will have accomplished what I set out to do. What new routine will you have to create to accomplish what’s most important to you? Anytime is a good time to start a new beginning so you might as well start right now.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speeches and facilitating workshops of 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 more visit http://briansmithpld.com

Nature or Nurture – Are You The Boss of You? 1

images (5)Are we born who we are – or do we have the ability to change into someone else? Jerome Kagan, who has devoted his career to studying the emotional and cognitive development of children believes it’s a little of both. His research suggests that introversion – extraversion is only 40 to 50 percent heritable. “To ask whether it’s nature or nurture is like asking is a blizzard caused by temperature or humidity – it’s the intricate interaction between the two that makes us who we are”. After reading Malcolm Gladwell’s take on the 10,000 hour rule I don’t think we are naturally born to do anything. I think you can accomplish what ever you set out to do. You can rewire your brain. I believe you are the boss of you. You and you alone get to decide your fate in life. Only you and you alone get to decide where you end up.

Dr. Carl Schwartz, director of the Developmental Neuroimaging and Psychopathology Research Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, is convinced that we can stretch our personalities, but only up to a point. “Our inborn temperaments influence us, regardless of the lives we lead. Part of who we are is ordained at birth by our genes, by our brains and nervous systems”. However, he also believes that because we have “free will” – the power to choose – we can use it to shape our personalities. Susan Cain – author of “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” refers to this as “the rubber band” theory of personality. Picture yourself as a rubber band at rest. Just like that rubber band you are elastic and can stretch yourself. You can rewire your brain. You are capable of developing different habits to get a different result.

Do you marvel at how some people have the ability to motivate others, inspire people to take action and influence the top decision makers and wished you could do the same? You can learn to do that as well. You can learn to be more patient, empathetic, flexible, open-minded or a good listener? You can learn how to communicate and interact more effectively with others? The question is – Are you willing to put in the time and effort to make the kinds of changes you’ll need to make to realize your full potential? One of the best ways to learn a new skill is to observe someone doing it the way you would like to do it and copy them. Think of someone you admire. What is it about the way they act that you identify with?  Do they remain calm in stressful situations? When they speak – do others listen? Are they really good at making new friends? Do they lead by example? When they walk into a room do others take notice? Are they compassionate towards those less fortunate? You and you alone get to decide your fate in life. Only you and you alone get to decide where you end up. Only you and you alone get to decide the kind of person you want to be. Think it, act it, become it …  You are the boss of you. 🙂

(C) Copyright 2013. Brian Smith-PLD. May not be reproduced without permission. Brian Smith works with people who want to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively; and who want to discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. He is available for speaking engagements, seminars and workshops. Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.