Goals and Resolutions: Plugged in and charging

Green Charging symbolAre you charging or “plugged in”? It’s about imagination, enthusiasm and consistency.

The other day somebody asked me if their laptop was charging and I told them it wasn’t. They unplugged the cord, the icon changed that’s when I realized that I had been looking for the wrong icon. I wanted the drama of the lightning bolt telling me that the laptop was “CHARGING!” the two prong plug symbol just let me know we were “merely” plugged in. After a while, I came to realize that not only do we need both, but being “plugged in” to our dreams and goals is a powerful motivator. Nothing “merely” about it. And just like a laptop or cellphone, your dreams and goals need to be fully charged to get the most out of them.

CHARGINGcharged up

As we take any journey towards a goal, we need to have a power source. That source, for most great deeds and accomplishments is “the dream”. Building your dream can be thought of as “charging”. It needs to be big! It needs to be “Larger than life” (as you know it at this point). It needs to be deeply satisfying to you! You need to enjoy the very idea of it to the point that the thought of fulfilling your dream will carry you through the tough times. You need to exercise your imagination, experience it so you know what it looks like, feels like and smells like when you close your eyes.

That being said, you need to know what you’re up against. What will you need to do better? What will you need to change in your life? Who has already done something like you want to do? What obstacles did they encounter? How would they overcome those obstacles if they knew then what they know now?

PLUGGED IN

3d image, conceptual people energized
3d image, conceptual people energized

Being “plugged in” is what happens if your dreams are big and real enough to you. You will build enthusiasm; fueling your actions, inspiring you to overcome obstacles, knowing you will treasure the accomplishment as you take strides towards your goal. Like the laptop plugged into the outlet. Your efforts towards your goals will be powered by the strong emotions you built in the charging process.

CONSISTENCY

The final Piece of this puzzle is consistency. Do something every day towards the accomplishment of your goals. If it helps you take a step towards the next milestone, it counts! Some days will be better than others. There will be big steps and little steps. There will be days when there can only be one step. But there will be periods of walks, jogs and marathon efforts. The consistency comes into play by doing something every day, and not obsessing on one section of your journey, neglecting other parts of your life that you need.

What fuels your dreams? How do you build or charge your dreams? Please leave a comment below!

Resolutions and Integrity. Goals and Whys

resolution excitement
resolution excitement

Why are resolutions broken? Is it because we didn’t do what we said we were going to do? Are we that weak and non-focused that we can’t hold our resolve for a short period of time?

I think it’s about goals and whys. You have to use your imagination actively to set goals that stick. Top performing executives and sales professionals borrow from top performing athletes the ability to “Pump themselves up” to achieve greatness.

We usually don’t think about how that plugs into their goal, their resolution, their dream of what success looks and feels like to them.

They have a dream of what success looks and feels and smells like. They have accepted here there signhow crashing through obstacles (this play, this series, this game, this season) with all the preparation and pain involved gets them one step closer to achieving that dream and what makes it worth it. When you see a professional athlete or a top performer in business do or buy something extravagant, pause to think what it represents. Many people look at them as “status symbols”. Try thinking of them as mile markers along a very long and difficult road. Try imagining what that mile marker represents to them.

Do your mile markers need to look like theirs? Of course not! But they need to be things or experiences that you treasure. You need to be able to look with satisfaction at the mile markers you have built behind you to remember what you had to do to get past that point. OLD-OAK-TREE-SOUTHWEST-2014You must also have a clear vision of where you want to end up and what it will take to get there. You also have to plan your next mile post and how you will build it.

Integrity is recognizing the right path and taking it…no matter what. There are lots of paths to get where you want to go. How will you experience your journey? Are your resolutions Goals or Milestones? How will it feel to build the milestones you can use to complete that particular journey?

We will talk more about that in the next post.

What milestones are you building? How do you choose them? Please feel free to share with a comment!

How Can I help You? Customer Service Re-Visited

Recently, my Wife and I returned for lunch to a local restaurant we had been away from ttss_cinnamon_crumble_apple_pie_hfor  a while and we had a totally non related conversation with a good friend of ours that runs a successful financial Planning/advice service.

My conversation with our friend was awesome, the dining experience… not so much.

But both ran together to form an idea here. The real Gem I picked up from my friend was “Why did you stop doing the things you used to do when you first started your business?…Because they WORKED.”confusing_signs5

At the restaurant, we encountered “communications issues” There was no language barrier, the problem was the content.We weren’t asked the things we expected to be asked. The actual content and intent for great service was there, but we didn’t recognize that we had missed some opportunities until we heard another server for another table prompt the diners at the adjoining table in familiar terms.

After I stopped feeling like a moron, I started to think about how we train our customers.

Times change, needs shift, technology and time constraints constantly change the way we as customers get our wants and desires addressed.

When I first started running my own business, I was constantly in a mode of self evaluation, What else can I do for you? Is there anything else I can provide to make this a better experience? How does the place smell? (really important where people pay to sweat a lot). It worked, I had happy clients, and my business grew. More importantly, it has survived

Over the course of years, I felt like I “knew what my customers wanted” I didn’t realize I had stopped asking them those questions. So now, my challenge is to get back in that “beginner mindset” to see how my client’s expectations have evolved with changing times and economies.

Without the input from clients, it is exponentially more difficult to keep a business in the front of their minds. How do can we improve our presentation across the board to provide the best information for our clients?

How do you get better information from (and to) your clients? How do you provide a high standard of communication? Please feel free to share a comment!

3 Tips for the Holidays

We hope everyone has Safe and Happy holidays!

Regardless of your political or religious positions, you will most likely be out and about at some time in the midst of holiday festivities.

As Martial Arts instructors, one of our main areas of emphasis is personal safety. So here goes…Keyboard Warrior

Online:

 Remember networking and the 6 degrees of separation. That basically means that within your group of friends, you’re 6 layers of contacts from just about anyone else. While that means you might be only six conversations away from getting in touch with your favorite celebrity, it also unfortunately means that your high school “frenemy” may only be a couple of layers away from a shady someone who might want to visit your house while you’re away visiting relatives out of state. It’s great to share your photos of holiday festivities on Social Media, but it’s a better idea to share them after you’re back home.Be safe out there

At Home:

 Don’t advertise what you got for Christmas on Trash day! Break down boxes, turn them inside out and place them in bags and bins instead of proudly displaying the box your new 96” 4k HDTV came in.

An even better idea might be to make arrangements with a local store to accept your broken-down boxes for them to recycle. (Many Grocery stores and big box stores like Walmart usually have a deal with a local recycler.)Holiday safe driving

On the Road:

 Look out for the other guy! Aside from wearing seatbelts and avoiding “chemically enhanced” driving; being aware of what is going on around you is crucial. Because let’s face it, Not everyone is as great a driver as you are. Watch for erratic/aggressive driving, poor spacing or jerky motions. Give those folks lots of room! Give your phone to your Co-Pilot so you won’t have to read or respond to texts, or set an auto response indicating that you will get back to them as soon as you can.

Regardless of any presents you may give or receive, the Gifts of the holidays is your presence with family and loved ones, sharing your lives throughout the year; but especially in special times like this

Integrity: Taking the Right Path

“Wisdom is knowing the right path. Integrity is taking it.” M.H. McKee
“Wisdom is knowing the right path.
Integrity is taking it.”
M.H. McKee

 

 

Many times people think integrity is doing what they said they were going to do no matter what.

A lot of times what it boils down to is doing the right thing even if admitting you were wrong before might be the right thing to do.

“Back in the day”, people used to think about what they were going to say before they actually said it. That was one of the things that characterized Shakespearean speeches. Flowery language was actually used and it was a creative process to speak to someone. Letter writing and book writing was a manual process. There were no quick deletes or spell checks. Making an error meant starting a new page.
Many times today we speak or text or email automatically without considering the impact of what we’re saying. Texting and emails and phone calls have the same problems. It’s very quick and easy to send or delete or change the communication with someone between phone calls and emails and texts. We need to take a moment to think things through before we commit to something. But more importantly, if we realize that what we have committed to is the wrong thing to do, or is based on inaccurate information, we need to talk to the people we committed to so we can get everybody on board to do the right thing.

When people are depending on us we need to go ahead and do what we are supposed to do and that, sometimes, is inconvenient. That’s one of the main points of integrity: Doing the right thing even when it’s uncomfortable, inconvenient or maybe even a little embarrassing.

A motto we always used when we were learning to scuba dive was stop, think, act. IBM was world-famous for its single word motto that appeared in all of its offices and that word was THINK.
Today we need to pause, to think, to take a breath before doing something, doing anything, before we do everything. But when you know it’s the right thing, do it.

Great water safety, Drowning Prevention Post

T_Water_Safety_header1

 

 

I was a “water baby”. Loved to be in the pool, lake, ocean, whatever. My mom was a strong swimmer, but my dad felt he was only able to survive in the water; not having any desire to be immersed in a body of water other than a bathtub.

So I got a lot of safety training, as well as more advanced water skills training. That being said, I’ve been in trouble in the water enough times to (hopefully) not get complacent while Water safety Key Pointsenjoying the lake, pool or ocean and occasional river. Things do happen unexpectedly. The old stand-byes of the buddy system and getting approval from parents as to where I was going, who I would be with, and when I would be back ran deep.

Several Years ago, There was a great article by Mario Vittone entitled “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning” Its a great read and I strongly encourage you to follow the link to get to it. Please read his article, click here

I did a quick fact check and discovered that drowning is still considered by many  to be one of the top 10 causes of death in children under the age of 15.

The best advice he has in the article, but by no means the only gem is “children playing in the water make noise, When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.”

Remember that distances are hard to guess over water. Swimming across the cove is usually not a good idea unless the swimmer is very strong.

As with any personal safety or protection scenario, keeping an eye out on your surroundings is cool at the pool!Safety First

 

 

Holiday Travel Tips

As we approach the holiday weekend, I first want to wish everyone a safe and happy time Holiday safe drivingwith friends, family and loved ones!

Part of our job is proactive personal safety, so time for a few thoughts before we go to our favorite holiday events.

According to a recent NBC News story, traffic deaths plummeted 40% between 1972 and 2013, but preliminary data gathered and reported by the National Safety Council in May (2015) that highway fatalities jumped 8% between Oct.1 2014 and March 31, 2015. That’s a big jump in deaths over a relatively short period of time!

The 4th of July is on a Saturday this year, and statistically, more cars will be on the road, so confusing_signs5an extra dose of vigilance would be appropriate.

Remember The Basics:

Proper use of seatbelts and car seats save hundreds of lives each year and yet many people still “forget to use them” …Please use them!

Speed limits: Traditionally more speeding related deaths occur during the summer months, invest a few seconds to make sure you arrive safely even if you’re “running behind schedule”.

Impaired driving…Oddly enough this is still the “single largest cause of motor vehicle fatalities”. Be vigilant and encourage others around you (especially our kids) to avoid riding with anyone who might possibly be”acting weird” or “under the influence”. There really is not much excuse not to call if someone needs a ride, right?

Distracted Driving is rapidly becoming the largest source of single car crashes. Whether texting, calling, emailing, checking yourself in the mirror, “rubbernecking at roadside 3KindsOfDistractedDrivingincidents” reaching back to get something, (or someone) in the back seat. Take a few seconds to pull over and then deal with whatever it is. Just think about this for a minute, even if you are the best at texting, calling, whatever…That makes everyone else worse at it than you; and you can’t look out for the numbskulls if you’re looking at something else even for a second.

Finally, whenever we do a talk about Personal Safety and protecting yourself, we talk about being aware of what is going on around you. In this case, the old idea of “Defensive Driving” or “watching out for the other guy” would be the golden rule.

With improved automotive safety features and increased technological capabilities, we sometimes forget that there are others outside of our cars that can literally make a tremendous impact on our lives and the lives all families involved. Be on the lookout for those threats.

Have great Holiday!

NYPD Blue: "Be safe out there!"
NYPD Blue:
“Be safe out there!”

Who wants Pie?

During the holidays, I start to remember how much I used to like pie. Don’t get me wrong, Pie is tasty and scrumptious, but I just don’t eat it very often anymore.

This past Thanksgiving I started to realize how much “truth” is like Pie. Most people have a favorite flavor, and really enjoy a slice. They want to share theirs with the ones they love. When they have too much to keep to themselves, they start trying to give it away to complete strangers too.

If they still have a lot to give away, they start to get jealous of others who are trying to do the same thing with other flavors. Oddly enough, most to the attention at that point is given to the bad stuff in the opposition’s servings. The fact of the matter is that there is usually a mix of wholesome and “other stuff” in any flavor you choose.

The crazy thing is the fact that the particular flavor it takes its name from usually isn’t the main ingredient in the packaged product. Sometimes the wholesome stuff is in the crust, and sometimes in the filling. Sometimes the tastiest stuff isn’t the wholesome stuff either. (and we all know if we take too much of it in, bad things start to happen.)

To be honest, we’d probably all be better off if we just stuck to consuming the main ingredient and leaving out the other elements but it probably wouldn’t be as popular.

And don’t even get me started on Cake! Angel’s food, Devil’s food, Red Velvet…C’mon None of that stuff’s really in there!

What are you in the mood for?

I saw a great article on getting beyond your mood to attain your goals by Jennifer Louden.

Click here for the article.

As a martial arts instructor and business owner, I see this on a daily basis. Not just in my students, suppliers and co-workers, but I have come to recognize it in myself as well.

Boredom is an emotion, lack of motivation is an emotion, being annoyed at such traits is an emotion; the list goes on and on.

The lesson here is that we need to recognize and go beyond the feelings and into what we want to do. The emotions and our attachment to them are what hold us back.

Learning to “release” our thoughts takes practice. I feel we naturally cherish our own thoughts and feelings. (I have good friend who likes to say “I have the best ideas in the world because they are mine”)

Try observing your thoughts as you work on your most important thing to do today. If they move you towards something on your to do list, make a note of it (literally) and return to the task at hand. BUT…if it is a reaction to anything else (fire alarms and the like excluded) other thoughts or memories that are reactions to reactions, recognize it as distracting and dismiss it; returning again to your task at hand.

Now get back to work 🙂

From the mouths of bab..chil…young adults

Saw this earlier and as a father of two beautiful daughters, it hit me right in the chest.

from Tanveer Naseer’s post: An Inspiring Example Of The Power Of Our Words

Don’t Change by Alya Naseer

Who told you?

Who told you that you have to call me mother or mom

And not mommy like you used to when you were little?

Who told you you weren’t perfect just the way you are?

Who told you that you weren’t skinny enough?

Who told you that you weren’t pretty and that you should use beauty products?

Who told you those things?!

Who told you to get rid of your favourite stuffed animals?

Who told you the music you were listening to was lame?

Who told you the clothes you were wearing weren’t cool?

Who told you that you have to act a certain way?

Who told you that you were a nothing?!

Who told you nobody loved you?!!!

Who told you to be someone who you are not?!

My sunshine, tell me

Please tell me who told you those nasty things

For I will take their heart and crumple it, beat it, crush it, throw it, step on it

Since that is what they did to your precious little heart

You are perfect the way you are my darling!

Don’t change!

You are my sun that gives me warmth through out the day

You are my angel for you bring kindness to this world

You are my heart for you are the one that keeps it beating

You are my kitten for you are adorable, cute and pretty, the perfect combination

You are my sugar pie for everyone loves sugar and everybody loves you

You are my bumblebee for they bring sweet honey and you are just that sweet

You are my gem, my diamond for you are precious and no one wants to lose you

You are the beautiful, green trees for you change the world

You are the air that keeps everyone alive

You are my breath for I would die without you

You are my soul for without you . . . I am nothing

You are as peaceful as a still pond in the middle of the path

You are as pretty as a rainbow in a bright blue sky

You are as delicate as a drop of water held by a single rose petal

You are as beautiful as the rays of sunlight

Passing through the holes between the leaves of a magnificent tree

You are as sweet as delicious candy you get from a candy store

You are everything a person loves

You see,

You are not what these people say!

You don’t need to listen to these horrible people!

Everyone loves it when you call me Mommy, and so do I

You are perfect just the way you are my sweet pea

You don’t have to be skinny for people to love you

You will always be pretty no matter what people say

For you are pretty on the inside and that is what counts the most

Keep those stuffed animals you love for that is who you are and people should accept that

Don’t let the other mean people around you change who you are!

Wear the clothes you want!

Listen to the music you want!

You are NOT a nothing!

Don’t believe what those cruel people say about you

For they said no one loves you yet that’s not true . . .

So if that’s not true, everything else is just to make you feel

Angry

Sad

But in reality

They are the ones who call their mothers mommy

And they are the ones who think they are not perfect

And they are also the ones who are jealous of your beauty

They keep all their stuffed animals

They are the ones who think they listen to lame music

And they think you wear the cool clothes

They think they are nothings

And they think nobody cares about them or loves them

Don’t you see now?

You are the one everybody loves

So don’t change

Not

one

bit.