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Give before you get!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day Four in the Twelve Step program to a better life. Give before you get.

Always show people the benefit to them before you ask them to do something for you. If people perceive an activity as being beneficial to them they will leap at the opportunity to help you with your project This is especially helpful when dealing with children. Compare two simple statements by a parent. Statement One: "Clean up your room" Statement Two: "If you were to clean your room, I wouldn't have to do it and I would have time to take you to the playground". Which of these two statements do you think would be more likely to get the child to clean his room?

Oftentimes we observe a co-worker or subordinate doing a task in a manner which we recognize as not being the most effective way to get the job done. Compare these two approaches. Approach One: "You are doing that all wrong. The was I do that task is like this" Approach Two: "I'm sure that if there were a way you could get that task done quicker which would leave you more time to do whatever it is you would rather be doing, I am sure you would want to know what that method was wouldn't you?'

Approach Two is a double edged sword. First it shows the person that there is a benefit to him to do it in a different manner as you suggest. Additionally, the method of asking seeks agreement in a positive method. Rather than ask "do you want to know a different way to do it?" which invites a yes or a no, you set forth a positive statement "you would like to know the better method" and then ask for agreement "wouldn't you". This touches on neurolinguistic programming as espoused by Tony Robbins where you get the other party to identify with you and then seek their agreement and consent.

If you let the other person believe they have come up with the idea which promotes more productivity, they are more likely ti implement that method. Zig Ziglar often quotes Harry Truman in saying there is no limit to what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets credit for it.

Give before you get!


Think good thoughts!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Step Three - Think good thoughts! Ed Foreman's third habit of winners is "think Good Thoughts, about others and about yourself"

It seems that self help and self improvement is a circular concept. We keep coming back to the same points. Kahlil Gibron said "Nothing is but that thinking makes it so." This is a powerful concept. It parallels Henry Ford's observation that whether you think you or think you can't, you're probably right.

Maxwell Maltz in "Psycho-cybernetics" tells us that our mind cannot differentiate between something that really happens and something that is vividly imagined. Take this concept a bit father and see what the result of your thoughts about yourself is. If you think good things about yourself, your subconscious mind will accept them as true and the good things will happen to you. Harboring negative thoughts about yourself is what Zig Ziglar calls "stinkin thinkin". It does absolutely no good. When you harbor negative thoughts, no one is exposed to them except you and their venom remains within your body and your psyche to ferment and rot. Rid yourself of negative thoughts and fill your mind and your heart with positive affirmations.

Similarly, you should think positive thought and good things about other people, you are going to be disappointed some of the time but what is better for you, to have good expectations and be wrong some of the time or to have bad expectations and be right most of the time. If you think good thoughts about others and express them, they will get back to the object of your thoughts and they will begin thinking positive thoughts and having positive results.

A silly result of thinking good thoughts is the parking lot paradigm expressed by Wayne Dyer. He asks how many people do you know who, upon entering a crowded shopping center parking lot exclaim that the lot is crowded and there is no place to park. They then proceed to drive around the parking lot looking for no place to park and they usually find it. He says his wife knows that there is a parking space for her in the lot and that some nice person is saving it for her. Upon entering the lot, she announces "I am here. Whoever is saving my parking space can go ahead and leave now. " She then drives to a location near the door she wants to enter and sure enough, a large majority of the time, someone pulls out of a super convenient parking space. I have tried this, much to the consternation of my wife and children, it works a whole lot more times than not.

Like W. Clement Stone says, "If there is nothing to lose and everything to gain, by all means try!"

Think good thoughts!


Show gratitude

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Today we continue with step two in the twelve-step program I have appropriated from Ed Foreman's program "Laughing, Living and Loving Your Way to the Good Life" Show gratitude

It is important to be grateful for what you have. No matter how little you have or how bad things appear to be, it could be a lot worse. Remember that even though you might be in the lower socio-economic strata in the United States, you are better off and have more than nearly two-thirds of the world's population.

In kindergarten we are taught that "please" and "thank you" are magic words. In fact, fifty-seven years later, I realize Miss Hunter was right, they are magic words. (are you impressed I remember my kindergarten teacher's name?) Thank you has even more magic power than please. If you thank people whenever they do you a kindness, no matter how small, they will come to regard you as a person who appreciates them and if there comes a time when you have to ask them for a service or a favor, they will be more inclined to help you.

Saying "thank you" and showing gratitude is especially when dealing with people perceived as holding lower stations in life, doormen, taxi drivers, bus drivers, busboys, bellmen, waiters and similar service people. In one of his Perry Mason novels, Erle Stanley Garner relates an incident at a restaurant. When the meal was over, Perry Mason left a substantial tip and then called the waitress over and handing her the tip thanked her for the excellent service. paul Drake commented that the "thank you" was not necessary, after all Mason has left a big tip. Mason replied that without the "thank you", the tip was cold and without the tip, the "thank you" was cheap. It was only the combination of the two which accurately expressed his gratitude.

Remember, the two sweetest words a person can hers are their names. The second two sweetest words are "Thank You"

Show gratitude


Don't Complain, Condemn, or Criticize

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today we start on a twelve step plan to have a better life. I stole this from Ed Foreman. Mr. Foreman has the distinction of being the only man elected to the United States Congress from two different states.

Step One - Don't Complain, Condemn, or Criticize

This is an easy one. Complaining is a useless exercise. When you complain, you are pointing out to yourself something that is perceived as being wrong. You are reinforcing the negative message to yourself. As to the other people to whom you complain, they fall into several categories. They say that over 97.3% of statistics are made up on the spot. I have no basis for the percentages I am about to quote but they make the statement more authoritative. In reality, the percentages are probably about right. Of the people who hear your complaints, 46% don't really care, 46% are happy you are having difficulties, 4% are concerned but do not have the means to be of any assistance and a mere 4% care and have the ability to help you. SO, if you repeat your complaint to 100 people, only 4 of them will be able to help you but you will have heard the negative message 100 times. this is not a good return on your investment and accomplishes nothing but to reinforce negativism.

Condemning and criticizing are also negative endeavors. The big bucks and the big rewards do not go to the person who identifies the problem. The big rewards go to the person who devises the solution. While defining the problem is the first step toward finding the solution, it is a small step. It is the first step with which a journey of a thousand miles begins. Look for solutions. In step four we will address a method of implementing your ideas for solutions which will go a long way toward getting your goals accomplished and your opportunities fulfilled.

Assessing the blame also puts you in the spotlight unnecessarily. We tell our children that when you point a finger at someone else, you have three fingers pointed at yourself. Assessing blame and pointing fingers often draws an "oh yeah? Well you did this bad thing yourself" response. Again, nothing of value is to be gained. Seek solutions and properly implement them. Blame has no value, solutions have value.

Don't Complain, Condemn, or Criticize


You must become the change you want to see.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's topic is a quote from Ghandi but it is an idea espoused by many inspirational writers and speakers. The underlying current is that of "Act as if". As long as you act as if the change has happened, it will happen by the natural laws of attraction. One cannot decide on a change he would like to see and then sit back and wait for it to happen. That is like deciding it is cold and a fire is needed in the fireplace and then waiting for it to get warm. In order to become the change you seek, you have to contribute to the fire by bringing in the wood or setting the fire or lighting a match. only then will there be heat. Unless you have an extremely vivid imagination, standing in front of the empty fireplace will not work without some input.

Roget Ailes, president of Fox News tells speakers and newscasters "You are the message" How many times have you watched a newscast on television and the newscaster's body language or voice inflection did not match the content of the news. It is not just the words, it is also the delivery.

Whatever change you want to make in the world or in your personal life, you have to become involved and become the change in order to make it happen.

You must become the change you want to see.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZORAHGAIL 4/23/2009 5:12PM

    Wonderful reminder!

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