Who Said Your Life Would Be Perfect?

PerfectRepeat after me – “There is no such thing as perfect – there is no such thing as perfect – there is no such thing as perfect”. Besides, perfect is over rated anyhow. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be good enough. The most important person in your life is you. Don’t worry about trying to please anyone else. If it’s good enough for you – it’s good enough. If it’s good enough for you – then you don’t need to change a thing. However, if you aren’t living the life you envisioned for yourself, then you need to stop talking, quit complaining and do something about it. You either have to change it – or change the way you are thinking about it. You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your own happiness. In the words of Larry Winget, “The Pit-bull of Personal Development” , your life is your own damn fault.

Worth Remembering … The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow is the `Buts`you use today.

Take out a blank piece of paper and write a description of what a perfect life would look like to you. After you have done that – what things would have to happen for you to be able to live that life? Don’t generalize, be specific. To live the prefect life I would have to: Earn X amount of money per year, move to a  warmer climate, get married and have two children. What ever would have to happen for you to live your perfect life, take a moment and write it down. Now I know the list looks daunting, and you might be thinking that there is no way you can accomplish all of that. But trust me, you would be wrong. You would be selling yourself way to  short. If it’s worth dreaming about it – then it’s worth doing something about it. Wishing and hoping won`t make it so. Life – your life – is a planned event. So get busy! Put a plan together and start working that plan.

Worth Remembering … Once the what has been decided – the how will surely follow.  

I know I’m making it sound pretty simple. But, it really is about writing down your goals and then accomplishing them, one goal at a time. Remember.  a journey of a 1000 miles starts with the first step. You took the first step when you wrote down what your perfect life would look like. You took the first step when you listed all the things that would have to happen for you to live your perfect life. You took the first step when you wrote out your plan. Now it’s time for you to take the next step and start to work your plan. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be good enough. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for speaking engagements, lunch-n-learns and seminars. Contact Brian today. He will work with you to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Email: briansmithpld@gmail.com. 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.

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 🙂

Staff Disengagement – Top Trends and Remedies to Re-energize Your Workforce 2

Do you feel at times that your staff have tuned-out or have turned-off? Absenteeism on the rise? Is it getting more difficult to motivate others? Are you finding it more challenging to retain talent? Well you are not alone. Results of a survey conducted by Towers Perrin revealed that the number of staff who reported being highly engaged at work was only 17%. Fifty-Nine percent of those surveyed indicated that they were moderately engaged at best; and 24% said they were actively disengaged. And worse yet – those disengaged employees were busy acting out their unhappiness, undermining what the engaged co-workers were trying to accomplish.

What can you do to reverse this trend? 

What can managers and business leaders do to engage the hearts and minds of their employees? According to Dr. David Vik – author of, “The Culture Secret” it starts at the top. Every organization has an identity – a culture – that is best defined as the values, beliefs and attitudes that are shared by all members of the organization. Think of your organizations culture as the rudder that keeps the ship on course. Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos believes “If you get the culture right, then a lot of really amazing things happen on their own”. Without a solid foundation you stand little chance of retaining or attracting new talent.  Your mission or value statements should be more than a catchy phrase or sound bite. Every decision you make should be a reflection of those values or you shouldn’t do it. All too often there is a disconnect between what we say we are going to do – and what we actually do. All too often we send out mixed messages and lose sight of why we do what we do and for whom.

Have you given them enough reasons to want to stay?   

Everyone is competing for the same talent. Why would they want to work for your company instead of your competitors? What can you offer them that your competition can’t offer? How much fun are you to be around? If you want to attract new talent or more importantly – keep the talent you have – you need to give them a reason to want to stay. And trust me – it’s rarely about how much money you pay them. Yes – money is important – but it sits at about number four or five on the list of what motivates people. Based on the results of exit interviews conducted by the Saratoga Institute workers left because they felt devalued and unrecognized – there was a loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders – there was too little feedback and coaching or there was too few growth and advancement opportunities. Promote from within based on merit not seniority.

What are you prepared to do about it? 

“The real impediment to producing a higher quality product more efficiently aren’t the workers, union or non-union, it’s management” ( Kenneth Iverson). Change comes from the top down – never the bottom up. Nothing happens by chance. It takes a concerted effort on your part to insure everyone on your team is successful.  If you are looking to re-energize your workforce and attract new talent –  then it’s time to get FOCUSED(C) on what matters most – your people.

F – Friendly: Smile – build collaborative teams. Make everyone feel important.   

O – Observant: Reach out to those in need and teach them what they need to know. But, resist the urge to micro-manage.

C – Consistent: Treat everyone the same. Company policy and procedures are for everyone – specially your super stars.

U – Understanding: Be empathetic – See it from their point of view.

S – Sincere: If you truly want others to be successful it will show in the way that you treat them.

E – Energized: Be enthusiastic – lead by example. Be your team’s biggest cheerleader

D – Dependable: What ever you say you’re going to do – do it. They must be able to trust you.  Your word must be your bond.

Copyright 2013 – Brian Smith. May not be reproduced without permission.  Questions or comments? Please contact Brian directly. 🙂