Develop An Attitude of Gratitude

gratitude

A focus on gratitude is particularly necessary at this time of year.  It is, after all, the season of joy and glad tidings.  But truly, it should be a year round, every single day kind of practice.

The Universal Laws of Attraction teach that when you are grateful for what you have you will naturally attract more things to be grateful for.  The universe works that way.

More on this topic:  The Inuksuk

I recently ran across a blog post that included a list of steps you can take to create your ‘attitude of gratitude’.  I just had to share it and ask you which of these you already practice, which you need to work on and those that you think really aren’t relevant.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post please.  I’d love to read your them….

here are six simple tips on how to make gratitude a natural part of your daily routine, so you can attract more joy and abundance into your life all year long:

Take a couple of minutes each morning to write down everything you appreciate in life

Starting your day this way primes you to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring. It also helps you cultivate an air of positivity that makes you naturally more attractive to other positive people – and inspires them to want to help you achieve your goals.

Make a conscious effort to appreciate at least three people every day

By letting people know how much you appreciate them, you increase their own sense of appreciation and self-worth, and encourage them to pay this positive energy forward to other people.

While most people enjoy receiving verbal appreciation, written notes are also nice because they can be saved and re-read.

Play the Appreciation Game

Set a specific time each day to consciously appreciate everything you encounter. An ideal time to do this is on your way to or from work. Appreciate the people you pass, the road you walk on, the cars that let you merge into a different lane, the street signs that make it easy for you to know where you’re going, the rain that’s nourishing the plants and trees, and so on.

Look for the good in all situations – even those you would normally view as negative. As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” For example, when my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.

Carry a physical token of gratitude in your pocket, such as a heart-shaped stone, crystal, or some other small item

A physical reminder can bring you back to your practice of gratitude when your mind has drifted elsewhere. As you reach into your pocket throughout the day and feel the token, use it as a reminder to stop, breathe and take a moment to fully experience the emotion of gratitude. The more conscious effort you put into seeking it out, the easier it will be to find it – and the more powerful your experience will be.

Remember to appreciate the smallest blessings

The best way to activate your gratitude is by acknowledging the gifts most people take for granted. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet and a roof over your head, you are better off than seventy-five percent of the world’s population.

If you eat three meals a day, you are far better off than the 1 billion people on the planet who eat once a day at most.

Do you have a phone? How about a car that allows you to travel to work or to explore the country? Is your family healthy? Do you have a computer and Internet access to stay in touch with the world, get access to education, and perform work for which you are paid? Do you have clean water to drink?

Celebrate these simple blessings. These daily conveniences are gifts that most people in the world do not enjoy.

Appreciate yourself

Finally, don’t forget to appreciate your OWN positive qualities and accomplishments. In addition to celebrating your big successes, acknowledge your small daily successes too.”

I particularly like the last point.  It is very difficult to appreciate others when you’re not comfortable with you.  Like most things in life, it is a process to get there.

Something to think about:  “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”  (Mother Teresa)

Advertisements

Text Neck. Yep, It’s A Thing!

Distracted by technology

Let me apologize in advance.  I feel a rant coming on.  So there I was, reading through some of my favorite entrepreneurial websites and I ran across a phrase I haven’t heard before.

Text Neck.  Yep, it’s apparently a thing.  And not a very good thing.

Have we really come to this point that so many people spend so much time on so many handheld devices that there’s actually a new medical condition?  I’m calling it a condition because I’m not sure that the word ‘disease’ fits.  Maybe it is a disease.  Staring at your device and ignoring people certainly has become one.  I’m not even sure what my doctor would say if I made an appointment to discuss text neck.  I’m guessing his immediate response would be “you’re an idiot”.  He’s blunt like that.

Text Neck even has people talking about the right name for this condition/disease/whatever.  Some think it should be called Text Neck and others are lobbying for the name iHunch.  I’m not going to jump into that highly controversial slugfest.  I’m actually getting a headache just thinking about it.

The worst part is that these are not just physical ailments.  They apparently also lead to psychological problems.  I thought ‘psychological’ problems were pretty much guaranteed if you were actually trying to figure out whether Text Neck or iHunch was a better name.

But I digress.  The article says that “If you haven’t heard the official term “text neck“–the slouched posture one gradually adopts over time from texting too much–chances are you’ve felt its physical effects in the form of headaches and a sore neck.

And even more concerning, according to a recent New York Times piece by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, existing research indicates that bad posture isn’t just reflective of a bad mood or low self-esteem–slouching may actually cause self-esteem issues.

STUDY SAYS ‘FEELINGS OF DEPRESSION’

June study conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland …found that participants with good posture reported feeling more confident and being in a better mood after the tests. And a study published last year inClinical Psychology and Psychotherapy found that bad posture may also affect your memory.

COPING WITH TEXT NECK

If you’re on your phone constantly, there’s no need to panic yet. Cuddy says that there are simple ways to prevent your phone from ruining your posture. Try using a larger device, so that you don’t have to slouch over as much to be able to read the screen. Remember to hold your phone at eye level, so you can read through your emails and texts while sitting upright.

I HAVE A MUCH SIMPLER SOLUTION

Put the darn device down and talk to people.

Or better still, put the darn device down and go have some fun outside.  You remember where outside is, right?  That’s the place you used to spend lots of your time before you discovered texting.  It’s easy to find.  Go to the door, turn the knob (usually a round thing that opens the door) and step outside.  You’re going to find the world’s largest screen with the highest possible resolution presented in breathtaking real colour.  Plus, it’s free.

Final thought is always something to think about:  “A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.” (Truman Capote)

The Goldfish Bowl Effect

goldfish

You will always be the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  If you want more success, spend time with more successful people.  You’ve probably heard that or read it somewhere.  But have you actually spent a few minutes thinking about it?

I believe that phrase to be true.  For that reason I also believe that every entrepreneur needs a coach. I can tell you that any successes I’ve had in life, career and entrepreneurship are a direct result of the coaches and mentors I aligned myself with.

So why is it that so many entrepreneurs believe that it is their project and no one else understands it the way they do so how could a coach possibly help?

Goldfish bowl, that’s how.  Goldfish bascically spend their lives swimming in circles thinking  “Hey, there’s a castle”.  “Oh look. Another castle”.  “Wow, there’s another castle”.  They’re travelling a repeating path and seeing the same castle over and over again.  Somone looking from outside the fishbowl sees the entire picture.  So yes, a coach is a winning necessity.

WHAT SEPARATES THE WINNERS FROM THE LOSERS?

John Brubaker, award winning author, consultant and speaker says:  “What separates the winners from the losers? At the most elite levels it’s not talent, because everyone is supremely talented. Coaching is what makes the difference.

Coaching isn’t just important in sports, it’s the X-factor that makes a big difference in your business results as well. If you look up the words teach and coach in the dictionary, they share the same definition: “to provide instruction.”

Related: The Combination To The Lock

As entrepreneurs and leaders, you should embrace coaching instead of attempting to manage your people. You’ll see dramatic improvements. People drive your numbers. Your numbers don’t drive your people. View the organization as your team and your employees are your players. Just like in sports, every day is a performance review. Do this and watch your results soar.”

WHO NEEDS A COACH?

Brubaker goes on to say, “I believe everyone should both have a coach and be a coach. Every athletic and business success I’ve enjoyed has been the result of great coaching. I’m not alone in this belief. When asked in a CNN interview what the best advice he ever got was, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt said it was to find a coach.

As we enter the fourth quarter, ask yourself if you are really coaching your people or just managing the numbers. Are you being coached yourself? I’ve found that great athletes and executives don’t merely have a coach. They want a coach.

Elite competitors in any field have the self-awareness to realize you can’t see the picture when you’re trapped inside the frame. Great coaches see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. It’s what they do and this is precisely why you should invest in having an outside set of eyes objectively look at your situation from a different vantage point. It will pay big dividends.”

AND THE SURVEY SAYS

How big an impact does coaching have? A Bersin by Deloitte research study revealed that organizations that are effective at coaching are:

  • 130 percent more likely to have strong business results
  • 33 percent more effective at engaging employees
  • 42 percent higher in employee productivity

Did you ever wonder why coaching causes a dramatic improvement in these numbers? I can tell you from experience it can be attributed to trust. When you know your coach (boss) is trying to bring out the best in you, not just for the company or its bottom line, it engenders a great deal of trust. He or she is holding you to your highest potential, which we all crave at some level.

High performing organizations realize their leaders should be coaching, not managing. As my coaching mentor liked to say, “You manage inventories. You coach people.” The best way to manage people is to invest time in them. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of time, just purposeful and consistent. If you want your team’s buy in, you’ve got to put in the time, daily. Remember, it’s the people that drive the numbers.”

And finally, something to think about. “Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out.  Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.” (Pete Carroll)

Mentors – How to Choose

mentorI have never met anyone that has had massive success without the help of a mentor.  Period.

Mentorship is the oldest form of education.  It is one-on-one learning from a person that has already travelled the path you desire.

Plato was mentored by Socrates.  Together they founded the Academy in Athens,the first institution of higher learning in the western world.  Along with Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of western philosophy and science.   I’d say that mentoring relationship was pretty successful.

So how do you find a mentor?

I asked myself that question over 35 years ago when I decided I wanted to become a radio broadcaster.  There were virtually no institutions of higher learning that taught broadcasting and I couldn’t have afforded the tuition anyway.  So I took a gamble.  I called a man that I knew had massive success in the industry and said “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to take you for lunch and pick your brain about getting into broadcasting”.  He agreed and when we sat down to lunch he asked me to repeat, word for word, the request I had made when I originally called him.  I said, “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to take you for lunch and pick your brain about getting into broadcasting”.  His response was, “If you want to have huge success, stop asking for permission.”  That little nugget alone was worth the price of the lunch.  We had a lengthy mentoring relationship that created a 35 year career that I loved.

When I decided to expand my horizons after reading a book about multiple streams of income, I called an acquaintance that had the kind of success in business that I wanted to achieve.  Having learned from my first mentor, I dialled the number and said “I’d like to take you for lunch on Thursday or Friday this week.  What works best for you?”  Instant positive response.

In anything I have ever achieved, I have been blessed to find truly wonderful mentors.  Here’s a short list I give people when they ask me how to find a mentor:

1.  Has this person already achieved the success necessary to help you reach your goals?

2.  Do your personal values align?  It’s important to find out whether there is a common moral, educational and family basis for ongoing conversation.  A great mentor not only works on your specific goal with you.  They know that your life has to be in alignment on all fronts if you’re going to succeed.  It’s much easier to have those discussions if you share common values.

3.  Is this someone you would trust with your family, income and future because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you agree to a mentoring relationship.  You are putting total trust in someone’s ability to get you where you want to go.

4.  Most importantly, ask questions and listen to the answers.  Is this a person that you want to spend the next several years working with?

I get asked to take the role of mentor regularly.  My available time is limited and precious but I help whenever I can to pay homage to the mentors that have influenced my life.

I’ve had a life that has taken many interesting paths. I’ve learned a lot from mentors who were instrumental in shaping me, and I want to share what I’ve learned.” (Herbie Hancock)

 

Wisdom From Rap?

Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I’d be quoting a rap music star.

Frankly, most of the time I don’t even understand them.

Rap music messages can be extreme, anti-social and downright violent.

I now apologize to rappers.  Not to all of you.  Some of your lyrics and concepts are nothing short of societal disaster.

But as I’ve said before, knowledge is everywhere if you just look for it.

In his book, The 50th Law, rapper 50 Cent looks at life and the music industry.  And there are some true gems of wisdom.

Now let’s be quite clear about this.  These ideas aren’t new.  They aren’t even really his ideas.  Truth is ancient and these ideas are ancient.  The fact that he has internalized them and put them into practice is, however, impressive.

And concepts like this presented by a rapper talking about his industry and life is a very novel approach to say the least.

Read the words.  Digest the message.

“You came into this life with the only real possessions that ever matter — your body, the time that you have to live, your energy, the thoughts and ideas unique to you, and your autonomy. But over the years you tend to give all of this away. You spend years working for others — they own you during that period. You get needlessly caught up in people’s games and battles, wasting energy and time that you will never get back.

“You come to respect your own ideas less and less, listening to experts, conforming to conventional opinions. Without realizing it you squander your independence, everything that makes you a creative individual.

“Before it is too late, you must reassess your entire concept of ownership. It is not about possessing things or money or titles. You can have all of that in abundance but if you are someone who still looks to others for help and guidance, if you depend on your money or resources, then you will eventually lose what you have when people let you down, adversity strikes, or you reach for some foolish scheme out of impatience.

“True ownership can only come from within. It comes from a disdain for anything or anybody that impinges upon your mobility, from a confidence in your own decisions, and from the use of your time in constant pursuit of education and improvement.

“Only from this inner position of strength and self-reliance will you be able to truly work for yourself and never turn back. If situations arise in which you must take in partners or fit within another organization, you are mentally preparing yourself for the moment when you will move beyond these momentary entanglements.

“If you do not own yourself first, you will continually be at the mercy of people and circumstance, looking outward instead of relying on yourself and your wits…”

Ancient words.  Ancient truths.

Let’s hope that his posse in the rap music industry and his millions of fans pay as careful attention to his written words as they do his music.

Sorry.

I got carried away there with the posse thing.