Get FOCUSED – 7 Key Steps to Becoming The Person You’d Rather Be 4

Everything we choose to do alters our brain and it fundamentally changes who we are, a process that continues until we die. Dr. Richard Restak – clinical professor of neurology at George Washington’s University Medical Center and author of “Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot: Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential” – believes that the human brain has the ability to reprogram itself. All the new research on the brain suggests that no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to change your brain for the better. Adults can learn new things given the right set of circumstance and in an environment that is conducive to learning. The point I’m trying to make here is that if you aren’t happy with your lot in life – if you aren’t happy with the cards you’ve been dealt – you have the power within you to pick up your chips and sit in on a whole new game. How bad do you want it? How willing are you to change? Motivation is inside out – never outside in. Are you ready to get FOCUSED?

 The Seven Key Steps to Becoming The Person You’d Rather Be.

Friendly: How likable are you? How much fun are you to be around? If you get invited to a house party or social event do you approach people you’ve never met – introduce yourself and strike up a conversation or do you huddle in a corner hoping someone will notice you and venture over to say hello? You don’t need to be the centre of attention but you do need to mingle and become part of the conversation. Success in any under taking is more about who you know – not what you know that matters most. Someone knows someone who knows someone who is looking to hire someone with your talents. You need to learn to be an effective networker and network like crazy. Join a service club – volunteer – and expand your circle of influence. We all like to be liked – it’s a basic human need.

Organized: Time management is life management. How you manage your time is how you manage your life. You have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more – or no less. Your time is not a renewable resource. You can’t make time – you can only learn how to spend your time more wisely. Take the time to make sure you are allocating your time to those things that are most important to you. Your life is a planned event. Where would you rather be in 12, 18 or 24 months from now? What new skills will you have to learn to get there? What pieces of the puzzle still need to fall into place for you to accomplish your goal?

Confident: What you think of yourself and say to yourself on the inside is reflected in the way you act and are seen by others on the outside. If you don’t believe in yourself – then others won’t either. We all feel insecure and unsure of ourselves from time to time. We all have self-doubt – especially if we are doing something for the very first time. You are whoever you think you are – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you can or can’t – you’re right. If you are physically and mentally capable of becoming the person you’d rather be – then the only person who is getting in your way – is you. You need to get out of your own way. There are a number of great books on how to develop your self-esteem. It starts with your internal dialogue. One of my favorites is “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem’ by Nathaniel Branden PhD.

Understanding: Empathy – the ability to see something from another person’s point of view. It is to emotionally put yourself in the place of another. Empathy, understanding and compassion are closely related to one another. Daniel Goleman in his ground breaking book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” suggests that EQ – the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others which is often referred to as soft-skills – is more important than IQ. For the most part and for most careers – intelligence is highly overrated. You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room to be the most successful person in the room. What you do need is the ability to connect with people on an emotional level. Some people are better at it then others – but it can be learned.

Sincere: It’s not what you say that matters most – it’s how you go about doing it that others will remember. If you treat others with the very best of intentions – then it will come through in the way that you treat them.  If you were to sit down and write your personal code of conduct what kinds of things would you put on that list? What set of values do you hold to be true and you aren’t willing to compromise them no matter the situation – no matter the consequences? Always be true to yourself.

Energized: What are you really passionate about? What really turns your crank? If you could pick the ideal career for you – the one that most suites your talents – what would it be? Do you love to sing – write – work with the less fortunate – play sports – dance – sell products or provide a service? Play to your strengths – do what makes you happy – do what you were meant to do. If you do what you love to do – all the other things like food, a home, money, family and friends – will fall in line.

Determined: Think Big – Dream Bigger. Attitude – your attitude is 100% in your control. Only you get to decide how you want to react in any given situation. There will be missteps along the way. You will make mistakes – there will be barriers to go around and you’ll need to navigate the odd detour along the way. But, keep moving forward – one step at a time. And never, ever give up on your dream. The words coulda, shoulda, woulda should not be part of your vocabulary.

Copyright (C) 2012. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced or copied without written permission. Exerts of this article were taken from Brian Smith’s soon-to-be-published book – “Get-A-Grip – Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make it Happen

Building Bridges Across The Generational Divide

Our increasingly diverse society is reflected in our growing workforce. For the first time in our lifetime we have the potential of working with four different generations in the same workplace. Each generation communicates, interacts with others and is motivated by a different set of values. As this dramatic shift continues, organizations large and small must continue to strive to help all employees embrace and capitalize on their differences. They need to view diversity as an organizational strength not a weakness.

“Building Bridges Across The Generational Divide – How to Develop a Collaborative & Cohesive Diverse Team” – November 21 – Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce. In this session – led by behaviorist Brian Smith – a leading authority on soft-skills training and leadership development – you will explore ideas and innovation to help tackle those differences, and create healthy and productive interactions in the workplace. This presentation provides valuable insight into how to build a collaborative and cohesive diverse team.

If you or members of your team are wanting to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively with others, resolve conflict , solve problems and deal with difficult people and challenging situations – then this workshop is for you. Contact Lorraine MacKenzie, CSP to register for this event. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. UOV Chamber 613.732.1492 – Email: manager@uovchamber.com – I hope to see you there 🙂

Get-A-Grip – Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make it Happen

The life you imagine for yourself is a planned event. Wishing and hoping won’t make it happen. Like the title of my soon to-be-published book suggests – nothing worth hanging around for ever happens by chance. You’ve got to put one foot in front of the other and make it happen. You’ve got to learn how to get out of your own way by pushing self-doubt aside and stay focused on what’s important to you. Be patient – there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes dedication, hard work and a never-give-up attitude to end up where you want to go.

Worth Remembering … “A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it makes you stretch” – Mary Kay Ash

There will be detours and road blocks along the way. Others will try to talk you out of pursuing your dream. (Don’t let them)  They’ll tell you they are doing it for your own good. (Don’t believe them) Believe in yourself instead. Believe – truly believe – that you have what it takes  to achieve any goal you set for yourself. If you truly believe it – than nothing will distract you or get in your way from accomplishing it.

A journey of a 1000 miles begins with that first step. Others have taken that first step and have come to realize their dream. If they can do it – why not you? What is stopping you? Will it be scary? Yes – Will you get lost now and again? Yes – Will there be times that you question your own sanity? Yes – Will there be times that you feel like giving up? Yes – A thousand unanswered questions – and a thousand yeses. But so what. Why let that stop you from doing what you really want to do. Why let that stop you from becoming who you are really meant to be.

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

Know for certain that you have at least one person in your corner. One person who wants you to be successful. One person who believes you have what it takes to do what ever you set out to do. That person is “YOU”. Listen to that voice inside your head. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. Listen to that voice inside your head and keep pressing on. Keep in touch. Let me know how it’s going. I’m in your corner too. – Cheers. 🙂

Suck it up Butter Cup and Get Back in the Game

It is what it is – either change it or change the way you’re thinking about it because you’re letting it hold you back. As Larry Winget  would say “Shut up – Stop Whining – And Get a Life“. Stop complaining about it. Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy. Use that energy to put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Your future is not in your past – so don’t live there. Stop playing the victim of circumstance. Reality is – bad things happen to good people – so suck it up butter cup and get back in the game.

Take a moment and try this exercise. Grab a blank sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to think outside the box for a moment. In a perfect world what would you love to do? What would you rather be doing then what you are doing right now? Don’t set your sights too low. I want you to think big and dream bigger. What would be your ideal career? Think about that question for moment and then write it down.  Now list all the things that need to happen for you to land your dream job. What new skills will you need to learn? What clubs, associations or networking groups should you join? Do a “Google” search and find out who is already doing what you want to do. I want you to contact at least five people and interview them to find out how they did it. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to know who to go to and ask.

Congratulations. You’ve taken the most important step towards your future. You’ve taken the “First” step. The first step is sometimes the hardest step to take . Nothing happens by chance. You’ve now put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Now go out and start working your plan. Have faith in yourself. You are capable of doing anything that you truly believe you can do. There is nothing getting in your way of doing what you truly want to do – but YOU. All you need to do is learn how to get out of your own way.

I want you to take that “To-Do” list and post it on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, on your desk – post it where you’ll see it everyday. “To-Do” lists are great because they give us a sense of direction. They help us focus on what’s important. They are a constant reminder of where we’ve been – but more importantly – where we are going.  You’ll love the feeling you’ll get when you complete one of the tasks on your list and you get to cross it off .  It will motivate you to keep going.  There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment to spur us on to do more. It’s like licking a 9 volt battery. If you love that feeling – you’ll do it again.

Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning. Anytime is a great time to write that book, record that CD, sign up for those art lessons and paint that landscape. Anytime is a great time to get into business for yourself, to go back to school or become a conisour of fine wines. You are never, ever too old. The brain has the capacity to learn new things – to get rewired – to take you to where you want to go. Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning so you might as well start now. Think BIG – Dream BIGGER – 🙂