Mission Possible? You Can Turn Your Ship Around 9

Change-GraphicYou are the captain of your own ship. If you don’t like the direction you’re going, then you have the power to turn your ship around. If you don’t like the direction you’re headed, then you have the power to plot a new course and take action. Because chances are if you keep sailing in the wrong direction, you’ll either end up on the rocks, stranded on a sand bar, or float aimlessly like a vessel without a rudder. Change can be difficult. Change means getting out of your comfort zone. But without change, you can’t move forward. Without change, you most likely can’t even stay where you are because everything around you is changing. And if you don’t keep pace with that change, you will get left behind.

Worth Remembering …  “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” – Andy Warhol

You can change, but you will only change if the will to change is greater than the will to stay where you are. An early model of change developed by Kurt Lewin, universally recognized as the founder of modern social psychology, described change as a three stage process.

  1. Unfreeze: Stop what you are doing and decide what needs to change. Decide what is getting in your way of you making a change? As Dr. Phil says “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge”.
  2. Change: Stop doing one thing and start doing another. When you change the behavior you change the result. What you need to do is replace one habit with another. Adults can change if they believe the change will help them accomplish their goals.
  3. Re-Freeze: Once you have made the change keep doing what you are doing. If you do it long enough it will become part of you. Successful people keep doing what made them successful. Successful people do what others won’t do so be patient, stay focused, and keep on course.

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

You can only do what you can do. You can only change you. You’ll have to navigate your ship around the odd rock formation and sail through choppy waters and rough seas. And there will be times when you think you aren’t moving at all, but that’s ok. Keep sailing your ship on the course you’ve set for yourself. That’s what good captains do. Mission possible? Absolutely! You can turn your ship around. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking and presentations on a number of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

Life Lessons – How to Get The Life You Want 10

1475825_10202358184503139_292663748_nI’d like you to take out a blank piece of paper and write down the first thing that comes to mind. “In a perfect world, your world, what would you rather be doing then what you are doing right now?” Don’t over think it – just write down the first thing that popped into your head. Now I know there is no such thing as a perfect world – nothing is perfect – but I think we can get close to it by doing those things that we are meant to do. And we are meant to do those things that make us happy. What is getting in the way of you doing what you’d rather be doing? Life – your life, is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so.

If you aren’t excited about what you are doing – excited to the point that you can hardly wait to get up in the morning and get at it  – then it’s time for you to choose an alternative career. If you aren’t excited about what you are doing then it’s time you gave some serious thought to how you are going to get to where you’d rather be. It’s time you gave some serious thought to what you need to do to get the life you want.

Worth Remembering … “A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with the first step” – Lao-tzu

First things first. Take a moment and list all the things that need to fall into place for you to accomplish what you are wanting to do. What pieces of the puzzle need to fit together so that you can accomplish your goals? Look over your list and prioritize what needs to happen and when. (I must do A, then B and move on to C, etc.) Congratulations! You now have a game plan.  You now know what you need to do to get the life you want. The only thing left for you to do is to start working your plan. I know it sounds simple – and some times it’s easier said then done. But if you have the strength of your convictions and believe in yourself – you will succeed. The only thing getting in your way is you.

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

Always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect plan. Trust me – there will be road blocks, detours and traffic jams along the way. We all experience those. However, DO NOT let that stop you. Stay focused, stay committed to completing the journey you’ve started. If you have to adjust your plan or tweak it here and there along the way – so be it.  Stay strong. You will succeed. You will realize your full potential. YOU WILL cross the finish line. And most importantly, you will have the life you want. Now get to work. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking or for delivering a seminar on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com

When One Door Closes – Another One Opens 5

13251_10153060318710301_12548721_n“When one door closes another door opens”. I was reminded of that famous Alexander Graham Bell quote on more than one occasion this past week. I got the chance to meet up with  two very special and gifted musical  friends of mine, that I haven’t seen in over 30 years. I’m the one in the middle. I had a full head of curly brown hair back then. Bob Dylan would have been proud of my afro. Once we started reminiscing about the “good-old-days”, the years and the distances between us quickly vanished, and it was 1972 all over again. You can just imagine the three of us enjoying a meal together and adding bits and pieces to each others stories, trying to connect the dots.

The years have been kind to us, not so kind to some of our friends. The truth of the matter is you just never know what’s waiting for you around the corner. Some things are predictable, while other things just seem to happen. Hindsight is always 20 / 20. The one thing I have come to know for certain is that life truly is a journey, not a destination. It’s organic – it evolves. Everyone’s crystal ball is a little fuzzy. You just never know where you’re going to end up. There is no way that I would ever have predicted I’d be a published author, professional speaker and college professor. Chances are my friends and family wouldn’t have predicted it either. Back in 72 I thought I was destined to end up on the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

If you find yourself in a situation where  the door has closed, don’t waste too much time regretting the past. That chapter of your life’s story is behind you. If you spend too much time looking back, you may miss the door that is about to open in front of you. Walk through it with confidence. Take a leap of faith, believing that an infinite number of opportunities are waiting for you on the other side. I believe that everything in life happens to us for a reason. It’ may not be obvious at the time we are going thought it, but there is usually a pretty good reason for it. Your past is not a predictor of your future if you are prepared to change the here and now. Take the time to reflect on your past misses, learn the lessons, and move forward.  And above all other things, enjoy the journey. 🙂

This article is dedicated to John Wiebe, Dan Unger and Cheryl Harnett Hynes. Copyright 2013 (C) Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission. http://briansmithpld.com 

If I Knew Then What I Know Now Would Things Be Different

If someone had told me 30 years ago that I would own my own business someday  – get married – have a son – and then lose my first business – get divorced – almost lose a relationship with my son – become a college professor – start another business – be a published author – and speak and write for a living – I would have thought they where crazy – or at least delusional at best. Hind sight is 20/20 – as Steve Jobs suggests – it’s much easier to connect the dots looking back then it is looking forward. Would it have made a difference if I knew then what I know now? Not sure. However, I do know that I wouldn’t be the same person I am today because I wouldn’t have had the same life experiences. Experience is the best teacher. Having been there – done that – you learn what to do – and most importantly – what not to do the next time.

Worth Remembering … `Your present circumstances don`t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start`- Nibo Qubein

Failing builds character.  If you aren’t failing you aren’t trying hard enough. If you aren’t failing you aren’t stretching – growing or moving forward. If you aren’t failing you’re robbing yourself of your opportunity to become the person you were meant to be. To become the person you want to be. One thing I know for certain is that you get to write your own script. Only you get to decide where you want to end up. Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future if you are determined to change the here and now. You get to write your books final chapter.

If you are feeling stuck – then get unstuck. Decide what you want out of life and then put a plan together to achieve it. Life – your life – is a planned event – wishing and hoping won’t make it so. I know I’m making it sound pretty simple. But most things are simple – we just make them complicated. Self-doubt can do that. Self-doubt can paralyze you. Self-doubt can make you settle for less than what you are entitled to. If you don’t believe in yourself – then no one else will. You just need to learn how to get out of your own way.

Worth Remembering … `Life isn`t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself`- George Bernard Shaw

Take George`s advice and continue to press on. Getting knocked down isn`t the problem – not getting back up is. Shoulda, woulda, coulda – should not be part of your vocabulary. Take a leap of faith. Go where the path wants to lead you. Listen to your gut. I`m a great believer in fate. Everything in life that happens to you happens for a reason. You  may not know why at the time you are going through it – but none the less – it`s a lesson you needed to learn – so you might as well accept it – learn from it – and continue to move forward.  Life – your life – really is what you make of it. Enjoy the adventure. You never know what life has in store for you until you give it a go. – Cheers 🙂