Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “synchronicity”

Great relationships with your kids do take a bit of time and work


Great relationships with your kids do take a bit of time and work 

Just this last week I went to a public event at school and my daughter gave me a big hug. One of the school’s administrators saw this and commented that he would give money for his daughter to do this with him in high school and that this may not happen. Public display of affection is just not all that cool when you are in school – definitely not for high school folks.

I commend my daughter for not caring enough about her peer’s opinions. Yet great relationships with your kids do not come easy and they are not the norm (perhaps they have never been the norm?). Once the teenage years come around hormones set in, parents are no longer cool. It will not take much longer and they are out of the house and they want to spend less and less time with you.

Some of this is totally natural. You need to provide the solid roots for them to have a good footing in life. On the other hand, you also should want to let them grow wings such that they can fly away eventually. Finding yourself in today’s world is tough and I am glad that I do not have to do that again.

You hope that you have a solid relationship with them that they feel they can come back anytime – eventually. They should of course not feel like that they are being shamed into seeing you regularly. Wouldn’t it feel great if they felt compelled to ask you for advice later in life?

You put the odds in your favor by always maintaining a great relationship. There are some really quick and simple ways how to initiate for this to happen.

  1. Start early. Children are like batteries – you charge them up early in life and they will not run out of power for quite some time. Make sure to teach them great habits from the day they are born. Some say it starts as early as when babies are still in the womb. I have seen this so many times that parents imposing rules when children are 3 to 4 years old. Guess what: the train has left the station.

 

  1. See the world through their eyes. Literally and figuratively get down to their level. See the world through their eyes.

 

  1. Spend time not money: The best and most expensive baubles, trinkets, clothes, shows, etc never make for long term sustainable relationships. They get to know whom they can pump for the money and what they need to do or say in order to get it. All it takes is to ask them what they want to do. Be amazed how little it takes for them to be totally happy spending time with you.

 

  1. Instill intrinsic motivation. Punishment and rewards for tasks performed do not work well when they leave the house. I call it the sugar and whip routine. Intrinsic motivation comes from within your child; it cannot be forced from the external world. Your short ones look for your approval, and genuine appreciation. Share with them – often – why you are happy about what they do and who they are.

 

  1. Let them fail. Hover over them all you want, ultimately you will not be around forever. Let them fail, otherwise they will not know what to do when you are not around to save them. Easier said then done, I know. It is heartbreaking to watch too. It is the circle of life. Suck it up, or get used to the idea of the mental picture of you becoming the crutches that hold up your kids.

 

  1. Do not be too critical. Yell often and you will no longer be afforded the truth. Period. If you are berating them for every little bit, then what is the point for telling the truth anyway? They would get yelled at either way. Telling you a half-truth is their way to get yelled at less. Pick your battles wisely.

 

  1. Provide responsibility with With any responsibility there is always also authority. Be prepared to get inundated with the question “what do you want me to do now?, if you only provide rules, but no wiggle room for how your little critters will make it happen.

 

  1. Foster spirituality. Be a role model here. In the evening say a prayer with them appreciating the great things that happened. Reflect on the lessons learned. Pray for people in need. In the event you can coax them out of bed early enough, say a prayer with them in the morning. Appreciate what you have and be thankful for it. When they are ready, ask what God means to them (prepare for shedding tears of laughter and deep emotions).

Life is tricky a friend recently shared with me. She is definitely correct about the relationship part with your kids. Good news is that you have it in your hand as to what kind of a relationship you will have. Choose wisely.

Ralf

8 things helping enrich your life and that of the people in your life


8 things helping enrich your life and that of the people in your life 

We are blessed beyond measure with all the different people who come into our life. Keeping your talents to yourself is not only selfish, but you are wasting your life’s potential away. Even if you consider yourself to be an introvert, you still cannot ignore the fact that we humans are a very social bunch who managed to survive a lot better as a community. Singling yourself out is all but unnatural and most certainly will limit what life has got to offer for everyone of us. Here are 8 examples of how you can turn this situation around.

  • Be prudent with the time you spend at work. Have you ever seen a gravestone engraved with a sentence like this: “I wished I could have spent another hour at the office”? Try achieving a healthy work / family / social activity balance. Who needs you the most?
  • Go to your kid’s activities. Do not lead a life of regret. Kids grow up so fast that you will lose track of time in a heartbeat and before you know it they will be out of the house. Spend as much time with them and do not miss any of their school and leisure time activities. This time will never come back.
  • Travel as much as your budget and time will allow. The world is out there for us to experience. People and places are different from where you currently live and you only need to go a few miles for starters checking out a different county or state. Comparing and contrasting your life and environment add to the spice of life. You will see that we people are really not much different as far as our basic needs and aspirations are concerned. All the while nature, architecture, culture, food, work, etc can be dramatically different. Getting to know that there are more than one way to look at things helps build a mutual understanding and thus our tolerance for others goes up as well.
  • Volunteer your time and talents. Give without expecting anything back in return and you will be given and provided for beyond measure. Your gratitude and servitude will make others better off and you will feel great about yourself. Topping this list off is that you never know whom you will bump into who just may change your life forever.
  • Pay it forward and carry out random acts of kindness. Is it not sad if at the end of each day you have to admit to yourself that you have not been able to one kind thing for another person? Change this as fast as you can. You will feel great and you are giving someone reason for renewed hope. Don’t you like it when others recognize your existence?
  • Share your best skill or expertise with others. There is no excuse for you not to share your talents with others. Social media allow for you to do this with little to no cost. Local business associations, interest groups, Scouts, etc always look for people who can present on a relevant topic. Here is a chance for you to make provide information and training to others, you also raise your net worth with your employer. You brush up on presentation skills and at the same time people will always seek more of your advice.
  • Limit your time spent watching TV, computer, cell phone, etc. Much like the above comment about work here are just some of the many activities that your mind and life go into full blast inactive mode. They are a total waste of time. Read a book, take a walk, but for heaven’s sake do not let your life go into idle mode.
  • Be physically active. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Physically, there is a similar issue. We sit and rest way too much. Get up and get going, join a gym, participate in physical activity opportunities at work. Getting the bad juices out your system by exercising is a terrific stress and depression buster.

We are blessed beyond measure living in a country full of helpful people and organizations. You have no one but yourself in your way to grow socially and professionally. Here is my call to action for you to live to your full potential – all you have to do is to give your talents to others.

Ralf

Work on your business and not in it


Work on your business and not in it 

Are you in busyness or business? To do lists will survive us. Your purpose and enthusiasm for your business may not. Seriously, your own and your company’s why is the only reason you exist. Unfortunately, our day-to-day hustle-bustle activities very often prevent us looking up and actually be working on ourselves and our organizations.

In the event we do not make time for connecting with our purpose, it will catch up with us. On a personal level we may experience burn out or perhaps even a midlife crisis. Organizations may grow in spite of themselves but employee turnover may increase and the overall morale may deteriorate so much that customers start leaving eventually.

This craziness can be stopped. First you need to stop yourself from constantly putting out the “fires” around you. Some folks have gotten so good at that that they resort to creating their own fires that they then must put out. Are you sick and tired of constantly making decisions for even the most mundane tasks? It is time to make room in your calendar for pondering the following questions:

  • What would happen to me and my organization if nothing changes during the next 12 months?
  • What will the consequences be?
  • Where would I like my organization (department, etc) and myself to be in 12 to 36 months?
  • What will keep me from getting there?
  • What gives me energy?

Now compare and contrast your answers. The toughest part – the start of your new journey – has been done. Following up with the resulting tasks consistently and frequently is your next big priority.

Do you think you do not have time to plan? Realize that you get what you tolerate and you spend 80% of your valuable time in fire fighting mode based on only 20% of the problems that exist in your organization instead of putting all your oomph into proactively mapping out your future. It’s all about prioritizing everything you do. Do you still think that you do not have time for this? Imagine that you hurt yourself and need to see a doctor really quick. You did not plan for this and yet you are finding the time anyway. You will make time for taking care of your health, right? Elevate your why and a plan how to get to fulfill it to that kind of a priority and watch tremendous growth start right before your eyes.

Ralf

Life’s challenges are the pathway to greatness


Life’s challenges are the pathway to greatness pablo-2

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Last night I attended the graduation of close to 40 youth from the City of Coatesville area who participated in the work outplacement program by the Coatesville Youth Initiative. It was amazing to see so many young people apply for this summer job and rising to so many challenges. It was humbling to see how much they grew throughout their 8-week journey ranging from helping with community service projects to carrying out their at times rigid work routine. Most of all I will remember their smiles – they mustered their challenges and they did it with a smile.

Their happiness was so contagious and that made me wonder about the really happy adult folks. Do you catch yourself envying perpetually happy and content folks? They seem to have it totally together no matter what happens to them. They are engaged, motivated, and optimistic even under the most difficult conditions. How can this be?

Success like this leaves traces and all you have to do is following it. Make the investment and take a look the list below and also study people who already seem to have earned their black belt in unwarranted optimism.

  1. Optimism is a choice. Yeah, I know. Many self-help gurus preach and teach about that and each one typically offers a solution that can be bought at a nominal amount, of course. Here it is simply pondering what options there are and then to simply engaging in it.
  2. No one has the power to take that choice away from you. That should make you feel better already. NO ONE owns your choices and only you know what you know.
  3. It’s not a failure; it’s a success that has not happened yet. Mental reframing of the challenges ahead of you is key to staying optimistic. This is not some hokey advice, but the open invitation to shy away from seeing problems rather than opportunities right from the get go.
  4. It’s not whom you know, it’s who knows you. It helps when you have friends who know you, what you are all about, and what you aspire to become. A small yet very important difference. People who know you and your goals can create predictable miracles for you and you need not do a thing. Cool stuff!
  5. A smile and a little laughter will carry you and others through the day. Pay attention to when you make the effort of smiling when you interact with people. Don’t they appear to be much friendlier too and are they not much more leaning toward helping you?
  6. No matter how bad things are for you, they can be worse. Don’t believe me here? Go to e.g. a children’s hospital like CHOP in Philly and meet with kids who have cancer. If you have not seen optimism and hope in action, this should do it.
  7. Never fight with issues on your own. Seek community. Shared sorrow is half the sorrow. You are never really alone and this is not the time or place to become a martyr for your cause.
  8. Most human issues have been around forever. There have got to be solutions around. Ask friends and acquaintances, as well as engaging the Internet to look for suitable help.
  9. Answer the following question: will I still be thinking about the issue I am facing now in 2 years? Do not take yourself too seriously, period. A balanced life is so much more important than losing your hair and sleep over it. Do not be complacent either though; retain your sense of urgency and integrity and act on the future as it emerges.
  10. If it was easy, someone else would do it. The only people who usually do not believe you are managers with a low self-awareness and sense of being your quarterback first.
  11. Most issues are related to lack or inaccurate communication. That is something you can affect. Be the one who makes the effort to ask for clarity first.
  12. The vast majority of issues go away the faster you address them at the root. Speed rules in fighting issues. Ounces worth of prevention reap tons of rewards later in time, nerves / morale saved, and of course, money.

Make the effort looking into the mirror every day and making the commitment to really liking what you see when you stare at yourself. Be amazed how much this practice can change your outlook in life. Then fire off one or more of the dozen tips from above and see what happens.

Ralf

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