BERTHA ADAMS BACKUS
There are times in our lives when our enthusiasm appears to wane and we seem to be losing the old drive and energy. It can happen to the best of us and usually does at one time or another.
It can be a challenging time and one that will slip up on you before you know it, especially if you've been on the same job for a long time. The natural and normal enthusiasm you once felt for your work is replaced unconsciously with boredom and stagnation.
What is needed is a new, fresh approach. You are required to make a conscious and deliberate effort to revitalize your thinking by adopting four basic rules:
1. Be receptive to new ides, new ways of doing things. Newness often means change and people who get set in their ways unconsciously resist change. They become negative when confronted with anything that might upset their smoothly oiled apple cart. Open up your thinking to the possibility that newness will equal greater drive, enthusiasm and creativity.
2. Keep on learning. Always acquire new facts and keep up with the growing body of knowledge in your field of work. Stagnant thinking literally creates a rut in your brain. The rut keeps you in your routine and makes it more challenging to make changes. Start now, learn something new and start applying it to your daily thoughts and routine. The brain is more efficient with pathways rather than ruts. Also remember, people who assume they know enough or everything will wake up one day and find that things have passed them by.
3. Capture your insights. Too many of us have good ideas, then ignore or forget about them or fail to follow through on them. What a waste! The essence of creative thinking is the flash of insight, the thoughts that suddenly emerge as a brand new idea. Such insights are often priceless and open up whole new vistas of opportunity. Write them down and use them.
4. Think, question, be curious about your challenges. Examine challenges, don't run away or avoid them. What you resist persists! Think the challenges through to logical conclusions, ask for assistance, research, be curious and pray for guidance. This process involves courage, self discipline and trust AND it adds excitement as the possibilities for solutions bubble up for examination.
Remember, you are the only one who is in charge of your thinking. Practice focus in each moment. Make each tasks a game. Play with the ideas and possibilities. Have fun and your drive, enthusiasm and creativity will explode!
There is the promise that the sun will come up every day, whether we see it or not. There is the promise that air is all around us for us to breath and stay alive. These are true promises.
One of the best ways to win respect is to keep your promises.
Promises are easy to make and sometimes challenging to keep. It is not a good business practice to make a promise lightly. In fact, it is not a good practice for anyone to make a promise lightly. The manager to whom you have blithely promised improved results will not forget it quickly if you fail to produce. Neither will the associate who you have led to expect a pay raise you can not deliver.
Why are we all so quick to make promises? The reason most likely is that it is so simple to do. Promises are a quick, easy and painless way to motivate people and to get them to do what we want. Eventually, however, the time comes when we have to make good on our promise. This is where the difficulties show up.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with making promises...provided you observe a few precautions:
How sure are you that you will be able to deliver the promised outcome?
Do you honestly intend to keep your promise?
Are you particularly careful not to mislead a person?
Do you make a practice of delivering all that you have promised?
Are you overly optimistic and tend to get carried away and promise things out of enthusiasm and, most likely, make a promise you have no control over?
When under pressure, it is easy to promise a person something and then forget all about it or you hope the other person will forget about the promise. Unfortunately, they won't forget and more likely, they will be thinking about the promise constantly.
Forcing a person to settle for something less than you let them to expect will leave a bad taste in their mouth. Always settle in full!
Those who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.
The best practice is to be slow in making a promise and to be faithful in its deliverance.
At some time in our lives, all of us face the need of a new beginning. As toddlers learning to walk, we fall down, get up, and try again. In school, we fail tests and take them again.
We then move into young adulthood, we go away to college and we adjust to a new beginning as we are out in the world on our own. We get married and go on to start a family, again, a new beginning.
Later in life, we may lose a job and face the traumatic experience of finding and beginning a new one. We may move from one town to another and be forced to adjust to new surroundings. When a love one dies, we have to learn to live with the void. A marriage comes apart, and two people must make separate lives for themselves. Our health fails or we find ourselves growing old and we must adjust to a new lifestyle.
We all must learn to begin again. That's life - a series of new beginnings. We make many changes and new beginnings in life.
Remember, we may not have control over the thoughts that enter our heads AND we do have complete control over what stays there. It is our responsibility to become a master of our own thoughts. Take away the thoughts that will have the most positive impact on your happiness.
We shouldn't be afraid to fail. When it happens, we shouldn't waste energy trying to cover up. It's all right to fail as long as you learn from your failure and go on to the next challenge. If you're not failing, you're not growing.
Barbara Corday ( is an American television executive, writer and producer known for co-creating the television series Cagney & Lacey) has something to say about failure in On Becoming a Leader, an excellent book by Warren Bennis (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.).
Barbara Corday was co-author (with Barbara Avedon) of the TV movie, Cagney and Lacey, which was the basis of the highly acclaimed TV series, but in the Bennis book she talks about one of her flops.
"My favorite project" she said, "a TV series called American Dream, had a lot of things to say, was executed brilliantly, written and acted well, and produced beautifully. It was a critical success, but for whatever reason, the public chose not to watch it, and it lasted only five or six episodes. It was a flop, but I don't see it as a failure. It also wasn't a mistake. Mistakes aren't failures either, and I don't take them seriously. It's okay to make mistakes, as long as you make them in good conscience and you're doing the best you can at the moment...I'm not afraid to make a mistake, and I'm not afraid to say afterward, 'Boy, that was a mistake. Let's try something else.' I think that wins people over. Now, I don't make mistakes purposely to win people over, but when I make one, I admit it. I can also say, 'You have a better idea than I have. Let's do your idea.'"
This is great advise we can all incorporate in our day to day life.
The thing I fear most is fear. - quote by Michel Eyquem De Montaigne 1580
Nothing is terrible except fear itself. - quote by Francis Bacon 1623
The only thing I am afraid of is fear. - quote by Duke of Wellington ("The Iron Duke") 1831
Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. - quote by Henry David Thoreau 1841
We all know what fear feels like and it is probably the most common emotion. Because fear is so common, it can be associated with dread, horror, phobia, terror, alarm, suspicion, panic, etc. The truth is that fear typically exists in your mind only! What are your thoughts around a fear? Are you thinking about something that happened in the past and are fearful that it may happen again? Are you thinking about a future event and making up a fearful scenario for the outcome?
Stop now and think about a fear you have. What is the thought behind the fear? Now, relax, bring your thought to the present. Focus on your breath. Watch your chest rise and fall. Feel your breath going in and out. Now stay with the focus on your breath, are you fearful now? Remember, when we are fearful, we take very shallow breaths. Breath deeply and just watch yourself breath.
My suggestion for you is that every time you have a fearful thought come up, take a moment, focus on your breathing and breath deeply. Practice that for just a few seconds and you will relax and your fearful thought will shift. I also highly suggest keeping a journal of your thoughts. Think them out on paper. I find that writing my thoughts out in a journal helps me to see other alternatives.
I wish you the best and have a wonderful - fear-less day!
(Picture of the Unforgettable Zig Zigler.)
I took a Dale Carnegie course back in the 1990's and, in my perspective, his teachings are timeless. In his book, Make Yourself Unforgettable, Dale Carnegie tells us to keep the following points in mind:
When you want to make yourself unforgettable, you may consider, do I want to be considered in a positive or negative manner? This is especially true when you are looking for opportunities. You never know who you may run into who may be able to help you reach your goals and your dream may come into fruition.
Much love and success,
I was listening to a webinar yesterday when the speaker asked us about out brain and our thoughts. He said that our brain is in charge of protecting us from harm. It is the old ancient fear that results in fight or flight. We needed this in the caveman days, right? Do you need it now? Yes, sometimes we do AND we are required to discern when it is necessary to listen to it when we are on a subway or when we are safe in our comfortable chair at home drinking our favorite beverage.
When a fearful thought comes into your mind, do you go off on a tangent and continue to focus on that thought? Do you bring in past thoughts that might reinforce the thought and then project the thoughts and potential situation into the future? What happens then? I mean, what feelings result? Do you get afraid, depressed, or sick? Just think about this for a moment. This is so very powerful!
Observe your thoughts now. What are you thinking now? Are your worried about paying your bills? Are you thinking about a test that you have to take? Are your concerned about your health? Are you worried about your children's safety? Are you concerned about your spouse or lover cheating on you or abandoning you? What are your thoughts?
Now, take a few moments and write those thoughts down. Are they happening now, in this present moment? I mean really now! Did it happen in the past or are you thinking that it might happen in the future? What is really happening in the now? Are you in a safe environment? Do you have food to eat? Do you have ANY loved ones in your life, Ie...friends, family, etc.?
What if, when a fearful thought comes into your mind you simply say "Thank you for sharing"?. Period! You simply thank your mind for "warning" you of a fearful situation that MIGHT happen and then you focus on what is in the present moment. Even if that present moment you sitting with a hot cup of coffee, a tree, a blade of grass, a plant, a pet, etc.
Just try this. It certainly won't cause you any harm AND it just may put you on a path to happiness and abundance. When you notice that it does start helping you, remember to practice it with EVERY fearful and negative thought.
Do you use your debit card? Does your debit card have a chip reader on it? Regardless, be aware! One of our prized employees was robbed of over $1,000 last Friday. Someone was able to get the number off of her card and obtain her pin number, she believes it happened at a gas station. The thief then had a duplicate debit card made and went on to use it at a gas station ATM and to make large purchases at Wal-mart. Shocking! There are many articles on this and yet, we, including myself, continue to go on using our debit card like cash. The best answer is to use a credit card and have the balance deducted from your checking account monthly.
When there are fraudulent charges made on your debit card, cash is immediately pulled from your checking account! Yikes! Talk about a change in your cash flow! If you use a credit card, you can contact the issuer of the card and have the card blocked AND the credit card company will do all of the work AND you will still have the cash in your checking account. We hear about these things happening in the news and yet being robbed in this manner doesn't become real and serious until it happens to either ourselves or to someone close to us.
If you MUST use your debit card, be aware of where you use the card. Gas stations and outdoor ATMs are targets for thieves as they may have access to install the theft devices unnoticed. Also be aware of restaurants. The server takes your card and disappears for some time. In the meantime, someone could potentially write down your card info. Many stores do not have chip readers so a replacement card can be made and used.
Online purchasing is also very dangerous. Are you using a secure site and is the store your are purchasing from using a secure card processing service? Are you making a purchase using an internet service at a McDonald's or Starbucks...aka open access wifi?
Please be aware. Especially if you are young and just getting started in business, get a credit card, even if it has a low credit limit. If you don't qualify for a credit card, get a prepaid credit card. It will be devastating if you encounter fraud on your debit card and learn that you have lost all of your cash! It could take your months to get it resolved...if at all!
Please take this message seriously. I am.
Now, go have a great rest of your day!
"Think of a community as cells in the body.
When communities (cells) heal, the whole thing heals.
You want a better country? Start with your own house. Then your street. Then your neighborhood. Then your town.
Share resources. Grow food. Teach something to children. Pick up trash. Feed someone who's hungry and help them get back on their feet. Start small.
And start NOW....START NOW!"