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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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If you do your best, what else is there?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

George Patton said "If a man does his best, what else is there?" I had to paraphrase it a little bit to make it fit on the huddle wall. I like using other people's quotations. Will Rogers said it was important to learn from the mistakes of others because you probably won';t live long enough to make them all yourself. It is the same with good thoughts and ideas. I probably won't live long enough to think of all of them myself. The important thing about citing other people's ideas is to give them credit for their ideas. the benefit of this is two fold. If someone in your audience knows the true source of "your" idea, he can embarrass you by pointing that out or a least you will be lowered in his estimation. The second benefit is that people give more credence to quoted material.

One of the self-help authors, I believe Wayne Dyer, quotes Kahlil Gibron that when the judgment day comes and you are called on to account for your life, you will be simply asked if you did all you could do with what you were given. In short, were you the best you you could have been?

Take stock of your life. Maybe you were not cut out to discover a cure for cancer, or to develop the next world-changing software program. Either Helen Keller or Anne Sullivan said that the important thing is to be the best of whatever it is you are even if it is only a char woman, then strive to be the best char woman there is.

Success in life is the progression, no matter how small, toward a worthwhile goal. Set your goals. If you are a biochemist then maybe a cure for cancer is on your horizon. If you are a baseball player, it may be a golden glove or an MVP award. Assess your tools and set your goals accordingly then go on to be the best that you can be.

If you do your best, what else is there?


Eat that frog!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dennis Waitley says that if you eat a frog the first thing in the morning, everything else is easy for the rest of the day. Mark Twain said that if you have to eat two frogs, eat the big one first.

Both of these quips refer to the same principle, do the big stuff first. Do the stuff that will make the biggest difference first. There is an e-mail circulating about a college professor who takes a beaker and fills it with rocks and asks the class if it is full. They respond that it is and he then takes some gravel and pours it into the beaker and again asks if the beaker is full. When the class again responds yes, he proceeds to pour sand into the beaker. Once again, the question and the answer, the beaker is full. The professor then produces a can of beer and pours half of it into the beaker and drinks the remainder. The professor explains that all of the material in the beaker can only be put into the beaker if the big rocks are put in first. If the order were reversed, only half of the large rocks would fit into the beaker. He says the lesson to be learned is to do the big projects first and proceed to the smaller ones and by the way, take time to stop and have a beer once in a while.

This parable is an example of the Pareto Principle which is what we all refer to as the 80-20 Rule. 80% of the work will be done by 20% of the people. 20% of your tasks will consume 80% of your time. 20% of your tasks will produce 80% of your results. The interesting thing about the Pareto Principle is that it is true three layers deep. Of the 80% of the work done by 20% of the people, the 80-20 rule applies so 64% of the work will be done by 4% of the people and 51.2% of the work will be done by .8% of the people.

The lesson to be learned is to prioritize your tasks. Prioritize them by time involved. Prioritize them by benefit to be gained. Prioritize them by cost to complete. Then arrange your tasks in descending order in each of these three categories. Identify the 20% in each category and then make up your to do list taking all of these factors into account. Perhaps you will only get one task accomplished in a day but it will be the most important task and the one which will produce the greatest benefit to you.

Eat that frog!


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