Second Chances

Life is full of second chances, and they come at the best of times. So often we look at trials and troubles as bad luck, and we avoid them. The great thing about them is that they test us and show us what we’re really made of. True inspiration comes from when we are faced with a sink or swim situation. When you’re tested, you either pass, or learn what you need to fix and change. Are you willing to look at how to improve your situation when you don’t pass the test?

Being in a bad situation will either make or break you. Which one occurs will really depend on you. One will make you feel in control, the other will make you feel like a victim. There are enough victims in the world, so you might as well join the ranks of the winners in life. It’s more empowering. The feeling that you can handle something on your own helps to build resolve. The more resolve, the greater your confidence. The more confidence, the more at ease you are with your circumstances. This is true freedom.

It’s not how you handle life with things are going your way that define you: it’s how you handle the worst case scenario. It’s easy to love life when things are going your way. How do you handle things that are trying to break you? Strength comes from how you are at your worst, when you’re dealing with the worst that life can throw at you. How would you like to tell Job your problems is overused in certain circles. The question is, are you more like Joseph. If you know the stories, then you know what I’m talking about.

Second chances come in many different ways. Finally getting to do the things that you love, that’s a second chance. When life takes a turn in another direction, another second chance. Following a new path? Discovering a latent talent? Listening to people that see something in you that you don’t? All second chances. You just have to be willing to be open to a new way, day, situation, or whatever. And, it can all lead to bigger, better, and more fulfilling things. Life is more interesting the second time around as well.

Something good will come of it, and good times follow. When they come, they’re awesome, and are worth all of the hardship. Not only that, what you’ve lost, will be replaced with much better. New paths are adventurous, exciting, and scary. So embrace all that will come with it. Second chances are actually a blessing and a gift, so don’t fight it. When one door closes, another one or two opens. That’s positive news. Some of the greatest triumphs have come from the worst tragedies.The ultimate second chance. And, that’s good news.

 

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Out With the Old…

Happiness is an inside job, and starting over is proof that you can be happy in the end.   Do you know how to start over in style? First things first: get yourself together. Get rid of the things that don’t work in your life. If that’s a job, quit. If that’s a friend, stop hanging around them. And so on, and so on.

There’s something about starting over on your own terms, and doing things that really mean something to you. Being your authentic self is the best feeling. Especially, when you are able to do the things that you love to do. When you start over there may be some lumps and bumps, but it’s worth it.

New friends and contacts can help you make better decisions, pushing you out of your comfort zone, and helping you stretch. They make it more entertaining as well. I love when people give feedback, it helps you become a better person. Feedback can help you to improve your shortcomings. No one is perfect, and feedback helps to keep you humble. It also helps you know what to correct for your own good. People who resist feedback tend to critize others mercilessly, but refuse to be held under the same scrutiny.

A new attitude is a must. If you are dealing with people who are constantly telling you why you can’t do something, it’s time to turn a deaf ear. Most people are more concerned with you not surpassing them, than with cheering you onto success. I took a webinar that confirms this fact: friends and family secretly want you to fail so that they can tell you, “I told you it wouldn’t work”. Sheesh.

The flip side can be, you do succeed, and they sabatoge your success. They secretly wanted you to fail, and you proved them wrong. We can’t have that, so bring in the monkey wrench. Sad, but the people closest too you are often the ones that do the most damage to your success. And, then deny any wrong doing. Envy and jealousy have brought down empires.

Watch your circle, not everyone in it is for you, and they will hide that they are against you until they can deal you a serious blow. So be careful who you share your plans with. Don’t rule out perfect strangers as people that want to help you. They don’t have a stake in your success directly.

Successful people love to help others, it furthers their success. Unsuccessful people see your success as a threat. Another persons’ success somehow takes something away from them. Unsuccessful people have not learned that success isn’t finite and there’s enough to go around. They also tend to be jealous and envious, so watch for signs.

A successful do over starts with you. Do you know what you want? Are you willing to do what it takes to get there? Can you handle the rough times without giving up, or giving in? Can you handle failure without seeing yourself as one? Do you face problems  and resist the urge to run? Are you sure you can start over, even if it mean standing and doing it alone?  If you can answer these questions honestly, and know that you can do it, you’re starting over with style.

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Need A Bucket List

Do you ever dream of doing something, going someplace, and/or making some lifestyle changes? Is there something that you always wanted to do, accomplish, or be? Have you ever really given it much thought, or has “real life” gotten in the way? If that’s the case, then it’s time to start a a Bucket list. What can a Bucket list do for you? I’m glad you asked.

It helps foster creativity. You can’t get to Bora Bora by just watching it on TV or looking at pictures. But, learning about the Island and region will get you interested and motivated. Reading about the culture, people, food and history can prompt you to want to experience it in person. Start to try to find ways to visit. If money is an issue, look for different ways to make more. Time? Carve it out of your schedule, looking for alternative ways to make it happen.

Your inner circle starts to change. Many of the usual suspects aren’t interested in everything you do, so start looking for new blood to help you cross something off the list. I’m not implying that you have to get rid of people in your circle to do new things, just add others that have similar interests. If the only people you know want to do the same things over and over again, it’s time to branch out. New ideas come from new sources, adding new flavors can change your perspective.

Inspiration to learn new things. If you take a new language, learn to cook gourmet meals, take a training course, learn whatever your heart desires. Just don’t put it off. YouTube has tutorials on anything and everything. Take a class or training to improve whatever skills you feel you’re lacking. Learning something new is exciting and meaningful.

 Focus is clearly on personal fulfillment. Stop sitting on the sidelines of life. There comes a time in life when you want something for yourself. It doesn’t matter what it is, the need to do something that appreciates personal value gives life meaning. Inspiration can come from this list, and can motivate you to go for it. Growth is something that makes life more enjoyable. With growth, you’re moving forward.

Creates authenticity. It helps discover your inner most: desires, wants, hopes and dreams. It’s your show, do you know what makes you tick? A Bucket list is about what you really want to accomplish in life, so make it count. It’s personal, not what everyone else wants for or from you.

A Bucket list is just your ticket to really living. If you go through life not achieving what is most important, have you really been living or just existing? You don’t have to get to everything on your list, but at least have fun trying. It’s a work in progress, so don’t worry about the length as long as it has meaning for you. Establish some goals, create a plan, and make it happen.

Give some feedback: Name one hairy, scary goal on your bucket list, and when and how are you going to achieve it.

Why it Takes Time For a Breakthrough

Why is everyone in such a hurry? Life moves fast, but it doesn’t move so fast that you can’t stop and think. Too many people are lead by their emotions, and that can land you into hot water. From buying things you don’t need or want. To jumping into a relationship because you can’t stand being alone. Or, not taking a few minutes to calm down before you turn temporary problem into a permanent mistake. People just quit too soon. So what do you do? Stop, take a minute, and think. The very best things in life take time to cultivate, and they last much longer.

Everything in life can teach you something. Those who don’t learn from their past mistakes make them multiple times. Being stubborn, and persistent in trying to prove others wrong is a waste of time. It takes time to build something that lasts. You can’t raise a child overnight. A good and lasting marriage doesn’t happen overnight. A worthwhile skill isn’t learned in a day. There is no such thing as an over night success.

So why do we think that things are supposed to happen fast? Look no further than your TV, the internet, news stories, and movies. We are a society of sound bits and problems wrapped up in 2 hours or less. Enough already! “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a famous quote for a reason. You can’t build something enduring, sustaining, beautiful, or meaningful in a New York minute. It’s just not possible. Anything that comes along that fast, doesn’t last.

Patience, perseverance, and commitment have to have a chance to flourish. If not, then whatever you build will fall apart,  and possibly kill your dreams. Immaturity, irrationality and lacking sound judgment , coupled with no real direction is just asking for failure. No one plans to fail, but failing to plan leads to failure. Only kids can fly by the seat of their pants. Why? Because they have parents to help them when they fall.

If you are your own worst enemy: face that, own it, and do something about it. If people are telling you that you need to change something consistently, do it. If more than 2 people tell you, you don’t look well: you don’t look well. Same thing when you’re about to make a huge mistake. It’s called a confirmation. Give it some thought when it happens. You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to see you make mistakes you’ll regret. People with trust issues really can’t recognize the ones that want to help them.

Be careful who you listen to. Faulty advice and information is everywhere. It’s amazing how many idiots are able to get a following. They can really ruin your life by enabling you. Enablers are easy to spot, they don’t make waves. They tell people only what they want to hear, and definitely not what they need to hear. These are the people that slip into your life, soothe you like Delilah did Samson, and destroy you. All while, leading you smiling and laughing through the gates of your own private Hell. Shutting them behind you before you realize ( too late ) that you’re there. Beware the man or woman with sugar coated lips.

It’s the knock downs in life that teach us how to get up and keep fighting the good fight. If life was easy, where would the desire to meet and rise to the occasion come from? Where would the determination to meet the challenge you’re facing drive you originate? How would you know what you were really made of? Where would you get your strength? You wouldn’t, you would remain weak and remain a victim.

Breakthroughs come through adversity. It’s called a breakthrough because you have to breakthrough something to get to it. Why fight it? It takes time for anything of real value to grow. You have to build it, and let others help you. Time is your most precious resource, and wasting it can also teach you what’s really important. You are them sum of all of your choices, decisions, circumstances, and people surrounding you. Time will show you if you’ve chosen well.

Obstacles

What are the obstacles in your life? If you’re looking anywhere other than from within, you’re wasting your time. You whole life will pass you by, chasing fantasies that leave you empty and full of regret. Obstacles are there for a reason, not to be avoided. Are you wasting time trying to avoid things because you don’t want to change? Life isn’t static and trying to keep it that way is only going to cause you frustration, heartache, and cost you what really matters. Are you avoiding the opportunity for meaningful change?

People who are living obstacles are some of the worst offenders. It’s surprising how many people will treat strangers better than the people they claim to care the most about. This is done because they aren’t authentic. All people want to: feel special and important, be honored and encouraged, feel valued. To be able to talk about themselves, and feel like someone genuinely cares about them. Self focused people don’t do this. This type of person is an obstacle to others. Character and integrity issues can cause major problems.

Making poor decisions and bad choices are obstacles. Having problems with delayed gratification, an inability to put others first,  being inconsiderate, lacking empathy, or just plain selfishness with the inability to accept others telling you “no” will cause more harm than good. It guarantees facing these particular problems. Showing insensitivity and immaturity. There are times when you have to act quickly. But, if you get what you want ( by means of manipulation ei. badgering someone to the point of exasperation ), and the then don’t want it… It shows a lack of wisdom. Immaturity is a stumbling block for many people today. Not learning from past mistakes, selfishness, a sense of entitlement, and narcissism are usually present. If you keep making the same mistakes over and over again: it’s time to grow up.

A negative attitude is an obstacle that is a choice. Being negative makes some people feel empowered. Pointing out others flaws, nitpicking, constantly focusing on other people’s faults is a sign that you don’t really like yourself. Picking others apart is a clear indication that you know, without a doubt, that you are fully aware of your own flaws. And, you don’t want others to see them. Too late, they see your personal flaws. Why? Because people only point out what they don’t like about themselves in others, and telling them exactly what they can’t stand about themselves. Each time you criticize another person, they’re getting insight into your inner world. And, it shows you’re blatantly trying to fix something in another person that you need to be working on yourself.

Envy and jealousy are obstacles that keep you and others on edge. Why feel jealous or envious of others?  Desiring for yourself something that someone else has, and wanting or feeling you deserve it is a character flaw. Period. These selfish traits cause major problems because they don’t allow others to enjoy what they have. And, cause unnecessary misery. If you feel powerful by taking from others, that feeling fades, fast. Instead of resenting someone for having something that they’ve been blessed with, why not look for the things you have going for you. Being pleasantly surprised how much you have going for you when you stop looking at others and wishing you could change places changes your perspective.

Running away from your problems is an obstacle that shows personal weakness. Problems are meant to make you stronger, teach you patience, give you strength to persevere, and get you to the next level. Running away won’t make them go away. In fact, the truth is, it only makes things worse. It’s impossible to start over, and think that your personal demons from your past won’t catch up with you. It’s just not going to happen. Fearful, weak people run from life’s problems. Strength doesn’t come from ducking and dodging into every alley you come across when life gets tough. Eventually you run out of places to flee. Facing problems empowers, solve them and move forward.

Empowered people expect obstacles and resolve to overcome them. I’m currently reading the book, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”, by Amy Morin. I’m reading each chapter with my kids. They’re old enough to understand the strategies. We’ve faced some challenges over the past couple of years that have made me realize that my kids need these tools and skill sets to be able to make it in life. She has 13 strategies that I want them to embrace and utilize so that they don’t make some of the same mistakes that they’ve had to live through do to the circumstances beyond our control. This is one such resolution, and I’m employing others. Keep searching and keep growing.

Obstacles are a part of life. And if handled well, will bring you success. If not, failure is waiting for another victim to claim. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you embrace obstacles, look at them as paths to making you a better, stronger person, then they aren’t so daunting. If you see them as the enemy, each one will become an impossible challenge that you will fail to overcome. Obstacles should be seen for what they are: a test. You won’t always have the chance to be prepared for them, and they will come at the worst of times. If you embrace them, face them, work through and overcome them, you win. Experiencing a breakthrough in the process.

You’re in the People Business

If you’re not good with people, you’ll be out of business. Fast. No matter what product or service that you sell: you’re in the people business. Period. Businesses don’t usually fail because a product or a service isn’t that great, it’s usually because people skills are lacking. Manipulation will only get you so far, sooner or later, people figure you out. A genuine interest in people is at the heart of all great businesses. Why? Customer loyalty starts with you, not your product or service. If they don’t like you, forget about it.

Think about it for a minute: who would you rather do business with? The person who is: honest, loyal, friendly, caring and giving? Or the selfish, self-centered, immature, entitled and stubborn jerk? No brainer right? Guess what? Your customers don’t want to deal with that person either. So, if you don’t know how to treat people, your business will suffer. The customer may not always be right, but your business still needs their money to survive.

Customers are the real ones in control, not you. Why? You may be the winner in a dispute, but they can and will leave with their money still in their wallets. Think about that the next time you want to prove you’re the one in the right. You can be right, and go right out of business. So for the sake of your business, learn how to keep them happy, satisfied and coming back. You are in business to provide solutions and value, that’s what they’re paying you for. People don’t pay for grief, egos, bad service, and rudeness. It doesn’t matter if that’s how they were towards you. Remember: you are the one with a reputation on the line, not them. 

If you’re not sure how you come across to people, look no farther than your inner circle. How do you treat them? It’s true that there are people out there that treat strangers better than their friends and family. If you’re not good to those closest to you, you won’t be able to hide that side of yourself from your business forever. It will come out in times of great stress. Not making quotas, a day of very few sales, inventory that’s late, and a whole other host of reasons will show your true relational skills.

Do you get angry easily? Don’t kid yourself, a customer won’t tolerate a bad attitude. They will tell others about you and the way you do business.  Impatience causes people to be rude, and give bad service. First impressions are everything, and bad service isn’t easily forgiven. Prejudging people will also get you into hot water. That guy or girl that looks like they can’t afford your products may be able to buy out your entire stock. Remember, bad news travels fast. Word of mouth can either help your business or destroy it.

People who aren’t good with relationships can get trained in this useful skill. You have to be willing to be introspective. In other words, look at yourself first. The people who need the training the most, are usually the people who don’t think they need it. It’s like the dynamic in intimate relationships: specifically the person that is causing the problems, generally refuses to see themselves as the problem. If you don’t see the need for improvement, then chances are, you really need it.

Manipulative people think that just because they get their way each time, that they’re good with people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ask someone who deals with a manipulator and you’ll find that they can’t stand the person, and for the most part, are just tolerating them. Eventually looking to find someone else they they can have a mutual relationship with. And, when they do, they move on and don’t look back. This happens even more so in business relationships. Ouch.

Here are the hallmarks of people with great people skills they: put others first, take an genuine interest in others, talk about other people interests, are good listeners, make the other person feel important, encourage and don’t criticize, respects others way of doing things, and try to see things from other people’s point of view. Being able to put their egos in check is easy. Good people skills improve all of your relationships.

People who don’t have good people skills tend to be: bitter, negative, complainers, inattentive, self serving, entitled, ungrateful, critical, condescending, disloyal and angry. Failing from the start, they don’t recognize that they may need to change, and blame others for their lack of success. Their interest in people merely stems from what they can get, not what they can give. So, failure awaits, and success really does ride off into the sunset.

There’s always room for improvement, and if you want to be successful you need to be really good with people. Ask for feedback from someone that will tell you the truth. People that have your best interest at heart will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. It may be the difference between you skyrocketing to success or hitting rock bottom. You’re in business to serve, not just to make money. People have the money, so good service is a must. You serve others well, you’ll make lots of money. Don’t serve them well, and they won’t give you a dime.

Don’t be afraid to go to seminars and training classes that specialize in this. Dale Carnegie Training is in it’s 100th year, not a bad track record ( they still train many of the best in business ). There are a whole host of others who train and coach people towards better relationship skills. Read books and ebooks on the subject. There’s a reason why, “Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill is still gracing bookstore shelves. Webinars, Youtube videos, the internet in general, etc… You really have no excuse. Find a mentor, and work closely with them. Relating to people can make you rich and successful. Learn this skill well. People want to work with those that they feel that they can trust. If you’re bad with people, you’re bad for business.