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Archive for the tag “focus”

Using this Easter holiday to reflect and be grateful – plan your life using two great books


Using this Easter holiday to reflect and be grateful – plan your life using two great books 

Today’s post is about two books that will help you put your life in high gear. Use the Easter Holiday for some downtime and deep reflection.

The first book is by friend Alvin Brown. He is a personal trainer for top notch athletes who are determined to achieve excellence in whatever field they are in. 

Alvin wrote and released his first book “Journey to Personal Greatness: Mind, Body, & Soul: A Blueprint for Life Balance & Self-Mastery” (Discover more of the book here). It is based on his personal journey that took him and his family from Jamaica to Eastern Canada. His mom could make barely ends meet and he was living in the poorest conditions. Yet one decisive day he refused to live a mediocre life any more. He choose nothing but greatness and along the long way to success he managed to work himself up to where he is today: I consider him one of the most inspiring personal trainers and coaches I know.

I am glad that he took what he learned and placed it into a powerful book that invites you to also invite greatness into your life (that in itself is a sign of him being a great coach). Please make it a point to read his book – you will not regret it.

The second book is by friend May Lore. It is called Managing Thought. Stop letting people who do so little for you, control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions. Easier said than done, right? The problem is actually not with the person you are having an issue with. It is your own thoughts that make your life miserable. 

Mary Lore @ManagingThought is a battle hardened thought leader on this subject. I am totally with her assertion that you are not your thoughts. A thought is only a thought and we can learn how to shape our thoughts so they work better for us.

The process is surprisingly simple. If you are older then you may remember the Viewmaster kids toy that featured all sorts of discs with neat pictures on them. You inserted them into the main red body of the device. Then you pulled a lever to advance to the next picture while viewing them through the lenses while holding the whole thing facing a bright light source. The significance lies in likening the discs to your thoughts. When a thought does not work for you, take that mental disc out and put another one in that works better. This mental re-framing works really well. It rests on the premise that you actively choose whether or not you allow someone to have control over your thoughts and how you feel about this.

NO ONE has power over you – power is granted. When someone is making you mad or sad realize that they are not doing that, but you are. Next time you feel getting angry etc make sure to take a deep breath and take that bad mental Viewmaster disc right out and substitute it with one that works better for you.

 

Ralf

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5 ways to dislodge the thumbtack in your mind


5 ways to dislodge the thumbtack in your mind 

A thumbtack stuck in your mind driving you crazy goes something like this: “If I only had….” It’s wishful thinking. It’s the things that you did not do or say. Worst part is that you know the point where you could have done it. That is the tipping point where you could have significantly impacted your life and you did not do it. Yet, your inner voice was there with you all the way swinging back and forth between “do it!” and “don’t do it!” And now you are facing regret. Potentially life long regret.

There are a few strategies that can keep you from the thorn in your mind stabbing your mind for the rest of your life. Here are the questions that go with each strategy:

  • What am I afraid of? Fear is powerful and our brains want to protect us from harm. Identify what you are afraid of and then you can evaluate how real the threat is.
  • Do I really know enough about this topic? Most regrets later in life stem from not having had enough information about the issue in the first place. Get as much information as you can.
  • What am I going to miss and how much will I regret this later? You’ll be amazed how many people cannot even get beyond question one just move on not doing anything. This is one of the most important questions that you can ask yourself. If you have the slightest doubt about what you should do, go to the next question first.
  • How could I prototype what I am all torn about? A really powerful tool yanking out the thorn in your mind is to start prototyping what you would like to do, but are afraid doing it. Get ready for some positive surprises. There is a 50/50 chance that you either get to know that your stuff was a pipe dream, or you discover merit in your idea.
  • With whom can I share my dilemma? So you think you are alone in facing your issues. While true to the extent that our problems have a very personal element to them, there are so many people around who are facing very similar issues. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Shared issues are half the issues.

Life is full of distractions and clutter. A thorn in your mind just adds to it. Unfortunately, it actually does more. Because it’s a personal decision you did or didn’t make, it is more distracting. That is the last thing you need. Do not lead a life with regrets and make sure you keep asking yourself the above mentioned questions. Got more of them to share? Please leave them in the comment section below or reply in the FB or Twitter feed.

Ralf

12 ways of how to avoid death by meeting


12 ways of how to avoid death by meeting 

Meetings. Sometimes I think I the conference room is my office. How often do you feel that way, or have you been in more meetings than the workweek has hours?

Seriously, many meetings just keep on running on and on with little to nothing show for at the end of it in terms of getting tangible results. When folks get an even fuzzier picture at the end of the meeting than what they went in with, you will have some very unhappy campers to deal with sooner or later.

It does not need to be this way. Preparation is the key word in making a difference. Have you ever painted anything like a room or piece of furniture? If so, you may appreciate when I say that +75% of the total work going into this is the prep work leading up to it. The actual painting job takes a fraction of time. This is no different with meeting prep work. Properly executed this can save you many a nerves and of course time, money and frustration. Please also see the meeting planner free for you to use in the download area.

  1. Sit on a mental rock and ponder why you need to have a meeting in the first place. If you can avoid it, do not have it. Have personal conversations instead and make good use of your capability walking the four corners of your business.
  2. Clarify what kind of a communication you want to have. Is it a communication for interpretation? Communication for clarity? Communication for action? Communication for exploration?
  3. Identify the goal of the meeting. What is the desired outcome?
  4. Define location, attendees, time scheduled to start and stop. Make sure to book your rooms well in advance and all the props that you need.
  5. Who should attend? Err on the minimalistic side. More than five people at a time make for really slow meetings. Pay attention who of your people are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Make sure everyone is being considered.
  6. When you start the meeting make sure to start on time and end on time. Neat trick starting on time is to make the last person to arrive at the meeting the scribe. You will have some hilarious antics going on when you do this, but it has proven extremely effective.
  7. Define the roles of facilitator, scribe, and time keeper. Time keeper, no time to tread lightly on this; make certain that the time limits are kept.
  8. Plan out the topics that will be discussed. Upon starting the meetings give every team member a chance adding topics, or of course eliminating any.
  9. Sometimes it may be necessary having side bar meetings leading up the meeting that you are planning. When the topic is too vague, scope creep set in, or there are too many people in the main meeting, prevent major headaches this way.
  10. Scribe: Keep copious notes. For the technical savvy folks amongst you, use a version of the Meeting Planner on the Download page in your MS One Note folder and share it with the team members.
  11. At the end of the meeting go over the captured action items. Make absolutely, positively certain to doing this. Identify the responsible person to deliver results and by when.
  12. End on time. If you have a pattern of going over all the time, have a few meetings standing up. Trust me it helps keeping a fast pace and not to start rambling through the meeting agenda. If you must go over one hour time then plan on a 90 max meeting time before walking around, and get a bit of fresh air.

Nothing is worse than having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. If need be, speak with you supervisor and take a break at no more than 90 minutes max meeting time.

Ralf

2 ways how to be a better relationship builder and friend


2 ways how to be a better relationship builder and friend 

Have you ever wondered how some folks seem to be making people connections with ease while you struggled your way through with it? Some of us are truly born with this trait and are blessed in life with their relationship building talents. For anyone who struggles with this there is hope, because once you realize that you are in need of help there is a way how to get much better at it.

Some time ago I was interviewing a group of senior citizens on behalf of a church-visioning group. That is when the two simple ingredients to relationship building hit me like a freight train. My interviewees not only told me what they thought builds a sense of community, but here I was an almost total stranger who when he left, left as a new friend. This was due to the two main ingredients:

  • You need to spend some time with people. When you want a better relationship, you need to first invest in it. Start by you willing to spend some time with the folks you want to have a better relationship with. Here you may start with an e-mail or phone call. Ultimately, you are better off making time for a face-to-face interaction. Communication is a full body experience. Seeing and hearing the other person provides a much better opportunity to mutually understand each other at a deeper level.
  • You need to genuinely care. Can it be this simple? The concept is simple, but the execution thereof is much tougher because caring is something that you cannot fake. Caring comes in a few dimensions. You need to be willing and capable of demonstrating empathy and compassion.

Relationships are not owed to you – they are earned. They are earned one by one. Think of the folks that you end up with as your tribe. This is your own little microcosm that is often described with the over- and abused term “community”. A true community cares about others and certainly will bring the time it takes helping one another. Now it is your turn to make your contribution. Spend the time and care about others and they will start caring about you.

Ralf

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