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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Focus on What You Want

As the U.S. Presidential election draws near, there tends to be a lot of discussion and comments on the past and the present in relation to the future. And therein lays the problem in achieving our desired outcomes.

In order to move forward and create a better future, there must be more talk about the vision versus where we are.  By painting a picture in our minds of the vision that’s possible activates the Law of Attraction on a broader spectrum. Imagine not only just a few envisioning a brighter future but masses of people envisioning the same one?

Each time a positive thought enters your mind or a word in uttered about this vision, the masses start envisioning how it would look in their world. The wheels of imagination start spinning and soon actions start taking shape bring the vision into reality and WA...La, there you have it. That’s how it’s done. That’s how it’s always been done.

You first have a thought. You then start to build on it by creating in your mind how you could make it happen.  You ask around and get other people’s opinions and do some research. If it looks good you start gathering the materials or people necessary to make it happen.  At any point if it isn’t going as planned, a new thought arises to create an alternate scenario in which to still keep your ultimate vision intact.

It all starts with a thought that creates a vision.

As a country the people need a vision to focus on where they can visualize a brighter future.  They need to be able to paint the picture in their minds so that they can start to take action on it. They need the Law of Attraction to work for them.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What Makes a Good Leader?

As populations increase and cultures and people become more diverse, more issues and problems face us more than ever before. Many people assume these problems and important issues will be taken care of by government but this assumption is becoming less and less of a reality. Many of the critical issues and problems are the kind government is least equipped to handle. And some of the issues and problems are caused by government itself.

This is why the world needs strong, competent leaders now more than ever before. Progress can only happen when someone assumes a leadership role – when someone tackles these problems and takes action to solve the problem and correct the injustice.

There are plenty of managers out there but what propels someone to leadership status? What is it that a leader has that a manager or an authority person doesn’t have?

We tend to admire people who can lead-people who can capture our imaginations, turn us on to important ideas, and recruit our energies for great and noble purposes. Progress happens when someone decides that a better way exists and influences others to find that better way.

What is it that these great leaders had while many others try and fail?

There are leaders who are followed because they have authority, they have a formal title or rank and command respect and attention like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and George S Patton.  People follow them because they are the boss.  On the other spectrum there are people who are leaders who have earned their leaderships status without a title. They are respected and followed for what they stand for like Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi.

In all cases, these leaders were individuals who knew how to influence others. They understood people and they knew how to use the tools of authority. Of course the ideal way to influence is to have both formal authority and earned authority. Interestingly, it is common for a person with no formal authority and high earned authority to have greater influence over others than someone who has high formal authority but little or no earned authority. Just look at what MLK, Mother Teresa and Gandhi accomplished. They earned the respect, trust and allegiance of those who followed them. In retrospect, can you say the same thing about the bosses you’ve had, your government officials or even the Presidents of the U. S.?

Today leaders are being asked to provide a new kid of authority; service leadership. This viewpoint suggests that the role of a leader, no matter what type of authority is involved, is to lead by helping or enabling others, not by forcing them. It requires the capacity to lead both with a focus on service to those benefiting from the end result, and to those who do the work achieving the objectives. Such leadership requires working with a spirit and set of values that emphasize worthwhile contributions. Service leaders see their role as enabling or empowering others to accomplish something worthy. They are willing to place empowerment above personal power; contribution above their own ego satisfaction; and the needs of the team above their own needs for credit and acclaim.

With that said, how many people do you know who qualify as a leader? Are you a leader?

Source: Toastmaster International –High Performance Leadership

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – ENOUGH already!

Excuses keep you small. They keep you from having a fulfilling life, reaching your goals and ultimately achieving the happiness you so desperately deserve and crave.

Every excuse keeps you from becoming all you can be. It’s fear rearing its ugly head and stopping you in your tracks. It casts self-doubt in your abilities and knowledge. It really serves no purpose but to keep you staying small and comfortable in your current position.

Why! It’s easier to find an excuse than do what’s necessary to achieve your dreams. The problem is by not facing your excuse, thus fear, it can have a snowball effect.

If you don’t do your taxes on time because you know you might owe money you’ll end up owing even more money because you didn’t pay your taxes on time.

There is also a physical and emotional by product of making excuses. Deep down you know you should take action but the very prolonged in-action can cause anxiety, restlessness, depression and unexplained outbursts because you’re holding the disappointment of yourself inside. Fear exhibits itself in procrastination and indecision.

The best course of action is to confront the excuse and take action on it. Be it a job, weight, project or a relationship problem confront it by making a decision and taking action on it.

Another way to think about it is how would you feel if everything you’ve been meaning to do and be came true? How would that make you feel? How would you show up in the world?

Would you feel relaxed, free, like the weight of the world had been lifted off your shoulders? When you blame others as your excuse it gives them power over you. You’ve just given them the power to dictate your outcome whether you’re aware of it or not. You’re essentially saying that this agency, group of people, history and society is the cause of you not achieving your goals.  It keeps you from taking responsibility for your life and keeps you small.

You can remain small in your excuses or you can take control by taking responsibility for your own outcome. Only then will you truly be free.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mistakes, Missteps, Regrets – They’re Memories Made

There is something out the ordinary about experiencing major setbacks and disappointments in your life. It’s as if when you’re not paying attention the Universe will put something directly in your path that you can’t avoid.  You must deal with it. 

There are no coincidences so it must have been put there for a reason.  Some of the most time-consuming, annoying, and inconvenient setbacks have also been the most memorable because I learned something from them or because it allowed me to explore something new.

One of my most memorable setbacks was when I took a trip to California with my girlfriend. Our plan was to spend a week in San Francisco, hit the wine country, and on one of our last days to drive through Yosemite National Park on our way to Reno, spend a day there and then fly out the following day. It didn’t go as planned.

The drive into the heart of Yosemite takes two hours. When we got there we were just in awe of its beauty. The combination of trees, fresh water creeks and rock formations was breathtaking. It was then that I decided if I could live anywhere in the world, this would be it.

We walked and drove around the area but then needed to be on our way as the drive out of Yosemite also takes two hours and we had to make it to our hotel in Reno. I always did the planning of our trips and since we wanted to see as much as possible in two weeks our time frames were pretty tight. Part way out of Yosemite our rental car stalled on the mountain side. It took hours before anyone actually stopped to ask why two young women were parked along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Sure vehicles went by but they were far and few between. By the time were heard them through the dense forest they had already gone by. Usually it was when a vehicle honked that we were aware there was another motorist on the road. Eventually someone going into the park stopped. They said they’d let someone know about us. A few hours later a tow truck came to bring us back to the main area.

We now had two problems. It was almost 10 PM when we arrived back at the main area and they wouldn’t be able to work on our vehicle until the next day. The second problem is we were stuck there and had no place to stay. The driver found us a cabin with community restroom facilities to use. Whew!

Since we hadn’t eaten since lunch we were starving so the driver took us to a grocery store. We had ten minutes to find what we wanted before it closed.

In a cabin with two beds and two dressers we had the time of our lives. In our haste to acquire food we neglected to get some utensils. There we were with a fully cooked chicken and no way to eat it but with our hands. We had chips, chicken and a cocktail to drown our mishap. We DID remember cups for the alcohol. We sat on our respective beds while trying to eat bare handed and laughing at how barbaric we must appear. We reminiscing and laughed like crazy. Eventually we decided to find the community restroom in total darkness. That was a challenge and a whole other story.

The next day our vehicle was fixed by noon and the tow truck driver asked how our night was. We told him we had so much fun. He then asked if we went to a certain lodge. “There’s a lodge with music!” No, we didn’t go there. Well then he figured we must have gone to another lodge. We were a bit embarrassed to say we didn’t know any of those places he mentioned and that we instead had a blast hanging out together in our cabin. He was a bit shocked.

We never got to see Reno. When I look back I don’t think Reno would have been as much fun as the time we just had.

In the end it taught me to slow down and enjoy the ride. The vacation wasn’t just about getting from one tourist attraction to another but to enjoy the scenery and the company I was with. Mission accomplished.

This is just one story I have about inconvenient setbacks that I’ve experienced. The one thing that stands out in all of them is that they may have been annoying and inconvenient but I always gained something out of it.

How about you? Are your setbacks really a mask for something else to happen in your life?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Catch the Wave and Ripple

A ripple effect is just what you think it is it goes on and on. Like the ripple effect of a wave of water, it can be huge like in the ocean wave or smaller like when something is dropped in some water. I like the second description better because when that happens it spreads all out from around the point of entry and then keeps extending outward.

Think of the effect someone had on you by just saying "Hi" or "How's it going" with a smile. Or when someone you didn't know let you go in front of them in line. How about the times you've had a chance encounter with someone and in the course of that interaction you both got a chuckle out of something. Doesn't that change your mood? Suddenly the muck that was running around in your brain has disappeared. You're in a different place, mentally. All someone has to do is give me an unsolicited piece of chocolate and I'm in a good mood. It's so simple. Now I'm in a better mood which causes me to be friendlier with the people I come in contact with. I then put other people in a good mood and then it keeps on multiplying - the ripple effect- its random acts of kindness. It's what makes the world a better place