Sunday, December 21, 2008

Channel 3 Focus

I was listening to the audio form of the book Succeed on Your Own Terms by Herb Greenberg. The book consist of different stories of people who have succeeded despite great obstacles. One of the examples the book uses is of Tyrone "Mugsey" Bogues who was the shortest player ever to play in the NBA. Mugsey was 5'3" and I remember watching him play on TV when I was in middle school.

While interviewing Mugsey, he said something that I thought everyone could use in their life. When they asked him how he was able to overcome people always telling him that he was too short to play basketball, he said that all he did was to focus on basketball. Mugsey grew up in a very rough neighborhood and could have easily been caught up in the negative environment that surrounded him. He made the decision that he wanted to play basketball and there was nothing that was going to stop him from doing that.

"You know how in order for your VCR to have a clear reception it has to be on channel 3? I was like a VCR and I had to stay on the basketball channel. If I switched channels, things would get blurry." Bogues said.

This during this time of year, people often set goals of how they would like to be and what they would like to do in the New Year. Most people set those goals because they feel as though they have to. Others are very serious about accomplishing what they've resolved to do. The majority of people, however, never see their resolutions come to pass. The problem that they seem to have is the lack of focus or they are focusing on the obstacles instead of the goals. Instead of staying focus on their financial goals or their goal to get in shape, they focus on how bad the economy is or how difficult it is to eat right when there is so much temptation available. So they change their channel from 3 to 4 or even 5.

I myself tend to loose focus when I attempt to accomplish to many things at once. Doing this divides my focus and makes it harder for me to accomplish everything I set out to do or I just end up doing the smaller, less important things. I have already made my New Year's resolutions and have been working on them since November. But thinking about that interview has made me realize that my list should be revised and made so that I am able to put the most important goals on channel 3. I am planning specific steps that will make it possible to reach those big goals. I know they will be easier to accomplish once I fix my mind to stay focus on the goals and accomplishing them.

Do you have a goal that you would like to accomplish but somehow cannot stay focused on what you need to do you accomplish it? How can you set that goal on channel 3 and keep it there?

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Extended Assertivness

Send a Clear Message
Ambiguity is a mistake that many people make when they want to deliver a message. Being straightforward and sending a clear message solidifies what you want. Over 50% of what an average person says is misinterpreted during a conversation. Be aware of what you are saying and how you are saying it so that your intention is clear.

Alter Body Language
Your body speaks a powerful language. People will read into whatever you are saying by your facial expressions and body language. If a smile is genuine and warm, then someone saying how nice it is to you will be better received. In the same way, when you are asserting yourself, your body and face should go right along with what you are saying. Use direct eye contact and establish a presence.

Stand Firm
In one section of my article I mentioned how important it is to be right when you are asserting yourself. In most cases there is plenty of room for negotiation and compromise. In some cases, however, compromise is not an option. When dealing with integrity and something you know is detrimental to a person or situation, you should stand by your convictions. Many times the right thing to do is not always the most popular or the easiest, but that doesn't mean that it should not be done.

Standing firm and holding your ground means that you've asserted your ideas and voiced your view on the opinion and will not back down. The most difficult thing to do is not to succumb to pressure and outside influences. Christian Nestell Bovee said, "Justice, not majority should rule". This means that the right thing to do should be on the forefront not what everyone else is doing.

This is a follow up on my article Assert Yourself Effectively posted on my
Personal Development Site

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Connecting daily activities to work-life goals

Everything these days is marketed to keep you moving. The Drive-thru, text messaging society we live in revolves around time saving, convenience so that you have more time to live your life. So why does it seem like we have less time for the important things in life? Even though we have responsibilities like work and family, personal development and goals are an equally important part of life. So how does someone handle work life-goals and daily activities?

Prioritize what is important
At different times throughout your day, you should be asking yourself if what you are working on is a priority. Most people will spend too much time on activities that aren’t as important as they may seem. Find out what are the major priorities for your day and handle them first. The devices and systems that are in place so that we have more time may actually work if we don’t waste the extra time we’ve saved.

Map your life goals
The morning DJs on a local radio station in my city asked people who were about 28 or 29 years of age to call in and tell them what they thought they would be doing 10 years out of high school. A lady called in and said, “when I was in high school I wanted to be an actress and I’m still pursuing that dream.” When the DJs asked how she intended on “making it big” she replied, “I’m looking for an agent but I’m not sure what else to do.”
Knowing your life goals is one thing, but understanding how to get there is another. It is amazing how many people know what their goals are in life but have no idea how to get there. When you map out how you intend on accomplishing your goals, you eliminate the possibility of taking a wrong turn. Know where you are going before you try to get there.

Delegate task
CEOs understand that they can’t do it all. That is why they have people under them to complete the task that they don’t have time to complete. Begin to incorporate the help of others into your life goals. Share your goals and passions with others and you will be amazed by how many other people have the same dream or know of someone who does.
Successful people are usually eager to help other people who want to succeed. Have you ever wanted to lose weight? If you told your goal to lose weight to someone who has lost weight, they usually jump at the chance to tell you how they did it and give suggestions on what you could do to accomplish your target weight. Use the knowledge, skills, and experiences of people around you.

Enjoy both life and work
Taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life can be an enormous boost. My father once told me “wherever you are, be there”. When you are working, be there. When you are with your family, be there. There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a nice dinner with the ones you love, while thinking about the horrible day you had at work. Learn how to separate the two so that the negative aspects of the different parts of your life do not ruin the positive aspects.
With a clear vision, a good plan, and some help, you can reach your life goals without sacrificing life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Confidence Challenge

Confidence is a transferrable characteristic. Having self-confidence is a great feeling. That is why so many people want it. It gives you a sense that you can do it all without fail. The projection of confidence comes with an added side effect. It causes others to increase the confidence they have in you.

A friend asked me recently if I could give a presentation for a group of high school students. The person she originally asked to do it cancelled last minute and she was stuck. I told her I’d move some things around so I could be free. The problem was the talk was a day away and she neglected to tell me what I was suppose to be presenting to these students.

The morning of the presentation I met her in the parking lot of the school and she laid out for me the program and the topic of the day’s events. I said to here, “I don’t have a speech prepared but I know a little about this so I should be able to fill 45 minutes.”
She said, “Oh I know you will. You’re so confident. They are going to love you.”

Just because I projected confidence in my ability to speak spur of the moment, she became confident in my ability to speak spur of the moment.

That made me ponder confidence and it’s power. The thing is, even if a person isn’t confident, they could reap the benefits of confidence if they project it.

My Challenge to you
This month increase you confidence projection. Find something that you do well and increase your confidence in it so that others around you will have confidence in you.

Advance challenge
So you already project confidence huh? Well, this month find something that you are not so good at and project confidences in that until people believe in your ability to do it.
Post your results here

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Doing What You Love

I was watching the press conference of Brett Farve who recently announced his retirement from the National Football League after 17 years of playing the game. Like most great athletes who decide to hang it up, Farve began to cry during his announcement as he realized he was leaving behind a successful career that brought him great fulfillment and joy.

Watching this made me wonder about the future. Most people have a job or a career in which they put in hour after hour of work all the while longing for retirement. Why is quitting your career and retirement such a great thing in the work force? Why is that the goal of working? The answer is the lack of love for the job. When an athlete is in the height of their career, nobody wants to even think of the possibility of them quitting. But we make retirement the ultimate goal.

Are you doing what you love? At the end of your career when you begin to reflect on how hard you worked, will you get emotional at the thought of never doing again what you've done for years? Why not?

What is the one thing that you love to do? What is that one thing that is so important to you that the thought of walking away from it makes you teary eyed? Why should fear, doubt, discouragement, age, background or anything else stop us from doing the one thing we love? I think the bulk of the unhappiness that people experience in their lives is a lack of purpose and an absence of doing a job that they love. Why not begin to think about the possibility of looking at retirement as something to delay because of love as opposed to something to look forward to because of the lack of love.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Starting meaningful conversations Q & A

I've been getting emails about one of my articles called Start Meaningful Conversations. I've posted the email and my response.

"I understand that we are supposed to meet people in the middle with our comments and converstions. But what if I am talking to a person, and given the topic of the coversation, I oppose everything they say. For example I feel that child pornography is a morally reprehensible act and should be punnishable by death. The Iraq war is unnecessary, the global warming crisis isn't all that much of a crisis. So in a conversation pertaining to those things, how would I meet the person in the middle if my views are too polar?

How do I convey a sense of my moral values to the other person, without much negativity being induced into the conversation? This is only if I strongly disagree with the person I am talking to. I have thought about this question alot myself. Only way I seem to handle it is to agree with everything they say all the time.

Also if a conversation is about a subject that I do not know much about, say soccer, home improvement, computers, gardening, I find my friends knowing much more about a it, than i do. How do I converse with them meaningfully without having them think I am a total neophyte in that subject? I would love to have your opinion on that question to geared toward friends I already have and say some stranger who I start talking to.

If there is a subject that comes up in a converstion, such as death of a close relative, that I am uncomfortale talking about how do I answer it?

If i meet a person that is usually shy, and reserved, how do I spark a meaningful conversation with them? What are examples of things I could say? I am not talking about killing the spontaniety by preparing in advance, yet sometimes examples convey a sense of thinking that you could have. I have been told that obeservations around you, such as, "this room is too cold", or , "thats a nice dress" are examples, but when I do those things it seems too much like I am trying to converse with them, which turns them away from me.

Thank you for your time,"

I am a strong believer that a person should stick by their convictions. When meeting someone new, you are essentially trying to learn more about that person while you slowly reveal things about yourself to that person. Such extreme topics such as child porn shouldn't really be a topic of conversation for two reasons. One, it is a negative topic that evokes negative emotions. Two, if you don't know that person well enough, you may strike a nerve. The way I stick by my convictions when someone opposes them is to find a way to tell them you disagree. Then, in a few words, tell them why. Most people will bring up another point. That’s when I decide whether it is worth getting into a debate or not. Ultimately, a debate is what will eventually happen if the situation is not handled correctly.

My decisions are based upon where I am and who I am conversing with. Once you become accustomed to dealing with different types of people, you will begin to understand how better appeal to a person's sense of logic or how to appeal to their emotions. Depending on who that person is, you can direct your response to appeal to what you have learned about them through your conversation. I tend to stay away from disagreement when I first meet a person. I state my point and then move on to something else. If that person persist and is determined pick a "fight", then it is time to find someone else to talk to and here is why.

If a person is trying to push all of these serious issues down your throat, then they are not interested in building a relationship or friendship, they are interested in being right. If I strongly disagree with someone I usually preface my statement with some information about myself so they can understand where I am coming from and add some credibility to my point. If you stand by your conviction, then they are not going to change your mind and you are not going to change their mind. I've been in this situation plenty of times so I've learned to pick my battles. Sometimes you make a friend that respects your opinion and other times you will end up wasting 30mins because nothing gets resolved by the debate. But I almost never agree with someone if I really disagree with them. But I’ve known people who prefer to make a point rather than make a friend. I make friends first then express my viewpoints because I think they are more likely to listen to the viewpoints of a friend as opposed to a stranger they just met.
When you are talking to someone about a topic that you know nothing about, then this is a perfect time to learn. If you are talking one on one with someone then ask questions about the topic so that you can learn about it. If you are in a group, then listen to the conversation and try to pick up as much as you can. I am not a baseball fan at all but I can hold a decent conversation about what is currently going on because I have friends that talk about baseball and I listen. Then I bring what I've heard to other conversations and I usually ask other people what their opinions are on what I've learned from my friends. If you have friends that like soccer and you know nothing about it, then glance at the sports section or and read a little short piece on what is going on in the soccer world. It shouldn't take more than ten minutes but it is amazing what it can do.

As far as what to say, I've found that people will talk to you if you talk to them. Observations are best but how genuine they are and how they are presented may affect the person's reaction. What I mean is if you mention that it is cold, what do you follow it up with if the person says ' yeah a little'? The same thing is true if you say someone has a nice dress. Do you really like her dress? If so your follow-up will come naturally. If not you’re stuck. If you observe things that you truly are interested about or interested in talking about then you have your openers. Open-ended questions are also a great way to start conversing while learning more about the other person.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions let me know and I will try my best to answer them.