This past weekend, we went out with a few friends to one of our favorite watering holes. We really enjoy the atmosphere, staff, and their martinis. Our server was a very energetic young man who clearly loved what he did. He made us laugh, was very prompt, and helped create a wonderful memory. (Note: If you work in the hospitality industry, you are not in the business of food or beverage, you are in the business of creating an experience)
At the end of the evening, we were talking about how much we really enjoyed our server. As he was presenting us with the tab, he said, "I have a few jokes for you..." No problem. We love good jokes and I'm anything but thin skinned. He then proceeded to launch into 3 or 4 VERY inappropriate jokes. We left with a completely different attitude than we had just minutes prior.
Here are a few things to keep in mind: 1. If you are in an industry where you deal with the public, your opinions are fine to share. Just have some discretion. 2. Not every client shares your view of the world/politics/religion, etc. Stay away from it. 3. Know your audience! I remember a story of a famous speaker addressing a group of GM workers talking about how great his Lexus was. He wasn't invited back. Use your head.
Keep in mind that it takes a long time to create a great impression and milliseconds to shatter one.
We had a wonderful weekend filled with kid's ball games. Some were won and others were lost, but a total of 7 ball games in a 3 day span is a great thing. Branson's team had a game that started at 9pm on Saturday evening. The team was down by 1 point in the last inning and Bran was up to bat. 2 outs, full count. Needless to say, there was just a little pressure.
He smacks the ball well into the outfield and causes 2 RBIs for the win! The entire attitude of the team was lifted and they had a great amount of renewed energy (despite the fact it was 11:15pm) What a comeback!
That got me thinkin'...What rules do you have for you to feel good about a comeback?
Do you set impossibly high standards for yourself so you are always discouraged, or do you set milestones and rewards? Have you had temporary challenges in your life and view those as a sentence for failure?
In my live programs, I have my audience administer an "attitude check" on themselves. We have hundreds (or thousands) of people screaming, "SOME WILL, SOME WON'T, SO WHAT!!!" What I mean by that is that some people will support you, some things may go your way, some feelings will come naturally. Some stuff won't go your way; and SO WHAT! You can't live in the world of "If only..." You must live in the world of what IS...
I realize that you have never heard or said that phrase, EVER! (OK, guys, stop rolling your eyes. There is no right answer, I know) I excel at quite a few things. I'm pretty self motivated, enjoy fitness, great cook, great dad, great fiancee, on and on. Not to get carried away with tooting my own horn, but I also realize my "areas of improvement". Not the least of which is my fairly obvious inability to dress myself.
I have gotten quite a bit better, thanks to the advice of my fashion maven daughter, Molly. She (and her mom) have taught me that well, crazy loud shirts only belong at Jimmy Buffet concerts, running shoes should NEVER be worn with shorts unless you are running, and my all time favorite, don't EVER wear dark socks while mowing the lawn in shorts. (I actually knew that, but had to get in a plug for Joe Soucherey and everyone at Garage Logic).
That got me thinking about the importance of expert advice. Would you go to a mechanic to ask him about your appendix? How about asking the paperboy about changes in tax code? Of course not. As I study success, it is very clear to me that successful people surround themselves with experts. Being an expert doesn't necessarily require the right combination of alphabet soup after your name that was bestowed upon you by some instructor, (except MD, DC, and CPA!) It has to do with results.
Looking for a personal trainer? Take a look at the person wanting to train you. If they are fat and have no energy, but have taken every class under the sun it tells me one thing...they are good at taking classes. Are you looking for a great ad writer? Don't rip open the ads or even a phone book (does anyone use those anymore?) Take a look at ads that catch your attention. Tear them out and create a swipe file!
My hope is that you realize that great ideas don't care where they come from, the just need to be acted upon. Take some ACTION and make something happen on this beautiful day! Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find some argyle socks to complement my running shorts.
So I'm walking the dog the other night. It is a beautiful June evening on the Mississippi river, I can see the lights of Iowa cascading across the still waters of the river. Pelicans are floating, frogs are well, doing whatever the heck frogs do, and life is good. At that moment I realized that this evening was a postcard worthy event.
When people travel, they typically pick up souvenirs to remember a specific event. Pictures are the same way. What a great way to remember a fun trip or journey! However, what is life other than a journey? Here are a few postcards that I have lived in the last few days:
1. The smile on Alex's face when he struck a kid out.
2. The look on someone's face when I paid them a genuine compliment.
3. The "yipee" factor of closing a big deal.
4. The rush I felt when Shelly said "Yes" when I asked her to marry me.
5. The serenity of listening to nature.
6. Hearing people close to me tell me that I'm loved.
This represents just a few that came to mind. What are your rules for postcards? Are you setting yourself up for failure by setting impossible standards, or are you rewarding every step along the way?
If you don't like your lifestyle, look at your results.
If you don't like your results, look at your actions.
If you don't like your actions, look at your attitude.
If you don't like your attitude, look at your philosophy.
If you think about it, the above quote screams a few things at me.
1. Self reliance. Notice that he didn't say, "If everyone at work and home are cheery and supportive, I can succeed." YOU are the only one who can create success for you.
2. Focus on the solution. Don't listen to the water cooler whiners who are focused on the problems or talk about how unfair things are. Focus on the solution!
3. Understand that direction and belief are the genesis of greatness. Figuring out why you are committed to something is more important than the action steps at the beginning of something. A lot of times people like to be "busy" doing something without having the "big picture" of what they are going toward. Take some time and focus on the why!
We have many obstacles in our world. Some we can control, and others show up at the most in-opportune times. One of the things that I have found a great aid in achieving what you want in your business, life, relationships, and health is to remove the littlest of obstacles.
There is a drug for a blood thinning drug running on television. It shows a strong good looking man with a hard hat walking around a construction site. "Joe is a strong 200 lb man, but a blood clot the size of a pencil tip nearly brought him down..." The idea is that this little clot in the wrong place can kill you.
I began to think about how in our minds we come up with many big things that can sabotage our goals or directions. Here are a few:
"I'd love to start exercising, BUT what if I twist my ankle and can't walk for my daughter's wedding in 8 months."
"I'd love to visit that destination, BUT I hear the traffic/crime is bad."
"I'd love to take our relationship to another level, BUT that would open me up and leave me vulnerable."
Think about the reserve and dispassionate life that someone may lead when they let fear dictate their direction, not love. Here are a few things that I have found useful in combating a sabotaging environment:
1. When I get up I put my running clothes on and running shoes too. I need to run. My clients really wouldn't like me showing up at their offices or conventions in my workout clothes!
2. I ask myself, "Why CAN this be great?" when my knee jerk reaction is the opposite.
3. I read something positive every morning for at least 10 minutes. Your brain is most open to suggestion at this time. I may as well put good stuff into it as opposed to negative.
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Stretching is an important part of any exercise program. If you don't stretch (after a slight warm up) your body may have cramping and muscle spasm. There is a bit of pain, but in the end, the relaxed muscles allow you to go farther than you were able to before.
If you are really ambitious, try yoga. We love going to Indigo Wellness (www.indigowellness.info) in Moline, IL. Aside from people who have this ability to twist themselves into a pretzel, most are just enjoying the work out. I have found that it helps with pain and injury as well as overall well-being.
Are you stretching yourself mentally? When is the last time you read something, attended a seminar, or listened to a personal development audio? Focus on life long learning. Remember that great ideas don't care where they come from! Chew on that one for a while...