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Archive for the tag “self-confidence”

It is not the critic who counts – just do the stuff you are meant to do


It is not the critic who counts – just do the stuff you are meant to do 

Someone whom I consider to be a good friend just shared the following quote from Teddy Roosevelt with me.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I read it once and made so much sense to me. I read it again right away as it pulled me right back in. I have tried homing in on the things that only I should be doing. I used to care a lot about what other people would say and I often tried appeasing them. It did not feel right not being all-inclusive with everyone. I had to learn a hard life lesson that I cannot always avoid folks not being happy with me. Do not misunderstand me here. I will always attempt first figuring out how I can make everyone better off with what I am doing. I will just no longer compromise on things when I know that there is a better possible outcome just because there are critics out there who will spend ample time pontificating about what could be done rather than starting to do something themselves. I am with President Roosevelt here. I would rather be the one whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. I need to be part of the solution and not the problem.

Are you with me?

Ralf

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

Your parents may be the dumbest people you will ever meet, and…


Your parents may be the dumbest people you will ever meet, and… 

Recently I went to an event that highlighted the workforce development crisis that has hit almost all industries in the region: Low unemployment rates that have been around for a while and the younger folks do not seem to be excited getting into the workforce early on. Manufacturing, Agriculture, Emergency providers, Hospitals, Trades, and even IT, etc are all dying at the vine for new team members. Among many issues one struck me as a new caveat: Millennials and younger adults are having issues finding and then connecting to future employers. How sad is this?

Assuming this is truth to this it would be sad indeed. One speaker then asserted the following, and I quote: “Your parents may be the dumbest people you will ever meet, and yet they are connected”. Going back to my youth I can totally identify with adolescents not wanting to have anything to do with their parents. On the other hand, they are indeed connected with so many people in many different circles. Why not make use of this invaluable resource. A parent should not get you the job, but they can certainly connect you with a person or place that may offer you a job. Make good use of this opportunity. Businesses do not hire people. People hire people and that requires connecting at a personal level.

There are so many open positions and exciting careers are waiting for suitable candidates. I am most excited about the many new opportunities that finally offer new career paths that allow starting a job and / or apprenticeship path that also embeds post-secondary education in it. This “yes and” pathway no longer lets students and parents dread having to make the choice between either going to college, or “just” joining the workforce. I am even more excited about more and more organizations paying attention to offering tuition re-imbursement, a career path, and a lot of support and structure helping team members get there.

All you need to do is allowing your parents to connect you with a person that just may listen to you – and it may lead to a new career path.

Ralf

There is no excuse for not going out to travel the world


There is no excuse for not going out to travel the world 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

Well, even if it is not the world that you want to see, at least get out of your state. Still not comfortable with that? Can you make this getting out of your home county? Pretty please? Traveling places and getting out of your comfort zone has so many mutual benefits. It helps you relax and see how other people do some of the same stuff you are doing – just differently. It helps benefit tolerance and back at home and work it creates a sense of appreciation of what you do.

Many a times I hear that people do not set their sails because they are afraid of not knowing how they should prepare for being on the road. In essence they are afraid that they are getting lost and that they would rather travel when they are much older so that they can take guided tours. Huh? What on Earth are they really afraid of?

I could perhaps understand when people are apprehensive of traveling overseas. Not being able to understand another language can be difficult, I give you that. One thing that we humans do well though is recognizing patterns and using visual and any or all of our senses. Here is a recent example of using the railroad in Germany. Even if you do not speak or read one word of German you can still figure out which train, car, and seat you have.

This first picture shows the reservation. It gives you the train number ICE842 (Inter City Express) and the time it is scheduled to depart at Berlin at 19.49 (that is 7.49pm for us). Gleis means track and here it is number 4. All it takes is asking someone from the helpful and countless railroad folks at the station and you will get to what you need to know. This also says something about a Reservierung. I had reserved two second class seats (the web site www,db.de also fully supports English). So 2 Pl are my 2 seats in Wg for wagon or car 22 and sitting in 25 and 27.

So once you reach track 4 you will see huge announcement boards like this one. You recognize the train number and departure time. Notice the letters A through G? Those are the zones in which the track is divided. You cannot miss the huge letter signs along the track. The little symbol below the letters represents the train and where it will come to a stop. The knife and fork symbol stands for the restaurant car and the 1s and 2s stand for first and second class cars. Now I know that I had better queue up in either zone F or G.

As the train pulls in each car features a sign on its side that shows the train number ICE842 and to its right is the car number. Here it is 23 and so I had to go back one more car. This also shows the place the train starts from, the stops it will make, and also the final destination.

 

 

Getting into the car now I start looking for the seat numbers right over top the seats near the luggage rack. That is kind of like getting on to a plane. The neat thing here is that you can tell if the seats are reserved when the signs like this photo show are lit up indicating starting and ending destination. Any seats not occupied are on a first come first taken basis. Once the conductor checks your tickets (Deutsche Bahn even has an awesome App for this) and you are getting close to the final destination the signs disappear magically.

There is even free Wifi on the train and most of the time you will be zooming through the super nice country side with more than 120mph. ICE trains make very few stops and with the proper discount cards renting and driving a car is not worth it from a time and monetary point of view. Sure, there are a few moments when I initially did not know exactly what to do. I will never forget the disbelieving look from a fellow travel when he had to explain how the seat reservation sign worked in the car. Those moments come and go. They can and should not prevent you from going on the road. There is not even a language barrier when you travel into another county or state (well, there may be another dialect). Look for the patterns that emerge and make sure you travel your heart out.

Ralf

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