Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

Last week I told you about my passions and I described what a mess they make of my life and of our house and office!  But how do baby birds fit here?  And how do YOU fit here?  Those college students I mentioned are the baby birds.  They seem to always be waiting for the next college class to feed them information, the next semester of study that will give them what they need to be good . . . and so on.  They seem to be intentionally ignoring information on medically-related subjects because . . . well . . . I am not really sure WHY they are doing that.  Here are four possibilities:

  1. Other Plans. They are secretly planning to go into car repair instead of medicine and they just haven’t told anyone.
  2. Embarrassed to Admit: They have already secretly earned their PhDs in their chosen fields and are embarrassed to admit that they have already read those articles, or maybe wrote them.
  3. Hedging. They are hedging, not allowing themselves to get excited about a career, not digging in and investing time now, because they are afraid they may not make it into the medical field they have set their sights on.  And they don’t want to set themselves up for disappointment later.  If this is the case, they need to snap out of it.  Viking ship captains burned their boats on the beaches so the message to the disembarked troops was clear:  We are STAYING here, boys, so make it work!  Same for mamby pamby students – – – get committed, get resourceful and make it happen.  Immersing yourself in the subject now could teach you something arcane (look it up) and give you just enough head start on other more hesitant colleagues that you might beat them out of a slot in medical school or in that nursing program you want.  Being hesitant or unsure now might keep you from learning that one item which, in a competitive interview, could actually have WON you the admission slot!
  4. Waiting to be FED. Like baby birds, they are just waiting to be FED all the information required for their profession, as part of upcoming college and medical/nursing school courses, and they see no reason to try to learn any of that stuff now.  (This is my current theory to explain their behavior, although I also like the second one.)

I am the opposite of those people.  I am voraciously hoovering-up information like a human vacuum cleaner, wherever I find it.  I am “going for it” and sucking the marrow out of the bone, licking up every tidbit of info I can find on the subjects that interest me.  And I have waded in with both feet, by DOING those things, not just reading about them.  I saw a great T-shirt that read:  “When I have money, I buy books.  When I have extra money, I buy food.”  That’s me.  The family usually will not enter a bookstore with me because it is so hard to get me out of there.  And now that they all have coffee . . . oh . . baby.  Plus, the family gave me a Nook Color so my nose is going to be welded to that thing!  I’ll be LIVING at Barnes and Noble, surfing through the e-books there!

And I have news for any baby birds out there.  Wake up! Get out of the nest and get up to your EARS in your chosen field.  Make it a job/profession that people are (or will be) making a living at.  Whatever it is, you can spend an (enjoyable) lifetime in it, if you just will get all the way IN IT.  Business, retail, real estate, banking, dentistry, chiropractic, farming, nursing, appliance repair, EVERY FIELD can provide you with a lifetime of thought and involvement if you will just dive in and commit to being the best at it.  Commit to a lifetime of learning, and staying current, and pushing the edge of the enterprise.  Plus being the go-to person makes YOU the expert.  It means other people will come to YOU on that subject.  And here is the good news – – –  the years will FLY by, you’ll travel and meet great people, and you’ll feel GOOD about yourself.  An entire profession will be indebted to you, as well as all the professionals in it!   And on that pillar of respect and success, my friends, you can build a great life and support a family.

As we asked in a previous blog, do you have a “fire in the belly”?  Three years ago I saw a plaque on the wall of a castle in northern Germany that said:  “Most people believe they need money to be happy.  But all you really need is something to get lost in.”  Go find that subject (or two or three) and get yourself lost for life!  Trust me, It’s great!

Copyright: Solid Thinking Corp.

The trap of entertainment!

by Himanshu Jhamb on September 6, 2010

On a recent business trip to New York, I was presented with a unique opportunity in a most unexpected way. I was going through my day like clockwork – attending client calls, leading my team through the initial stages of a big project & in and out of meetings – when a colleague of mine came into my office and started talking about leadership. The conversation started with my colleague sharing his opinions about how leadership had been assumed in the past (in our organization), rather than earned… and soon went further into other undesirable facets of the company that had plagued the organization.

Before I knew it, the conversation took a bit of a negative turn where I observed myself contributing to it as well by going over the undesirable past events… like they mattered! I have been in these conversations in the past… they happen all around us; in our homes, in businesses and even in hair cutting salons! I have, inadvertently, been an active participant in these conversations for hours together and in the end, always come out feeling a little “better”, but there has always been an accompanying feeling that something still wasn’t right.

I boil down this feeling to the nature of “complaints”, especially the ones that are repeated. It is important to notice that whenever we complain about the same thing repeatedly, without attempting to change the way we act – we are usually getting some “juice” from our complaint – which is, in a very weird way, ENTERTAINING, to us. What’s worse is, this is something we humans get simply hooked to! … And this, my friends, is what I call The Trap of Entertainment.

Think about it – Have you ever caught yourself in an argument that started with a complaint, lasted more than 30 minutes and you forgot what you were arguing about … while you still continued to argue? Why did you do that? There is some Entertainment you are getting from the situation – it’s important to note that though this might be entertaining, it is dangerously so. Why? Because the consequences are usually not so entertaining!

How does one get out of it?

So, given that it is natural to get into this, how does one go about getting out of this? Here are 4 questions that would help:

  • What can we learn from the past mistakes so that the same situations do not happen again?
  • What can we do NOW to make sure that the complaint we have of others in the past – Others do not have that same complaint of us in the future?
  • How can I make a positive difference to the other person’s life RIGHT NOW, in this conversation?
  • How can I provide VALUE to this conversation without getting sucked into sharing my opinions about the past events?

Avoid the entertainment trap by guiding your conversations with others with the help of these four questions and see how things start turning up for you… and share how it goes for you!

Flexible Focus #17: Determine your destiny

by William Reed on September 2, 2010

Do you believe that you can determine your destiny? A lot hangs in the balance of how you answer that question.

Destiny is a word often associated with fate and inevitability. Destiny is how you face up to that which you cannot control. But it is also your destination, the place where you are destined to go. It is both your lot and your luck,  but how it works out in the end depends on your attitude and focus.

In this series, we have compared the Mandala Chart to a lens. Flexible focus is not just for clarity and perspective, it also applies to concentration and action. A magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight into heat and burn a hole through paper. The Mandala Chart is like a lens that can focus your mental energy to get results.

In fact, it can add a new dimension to the Law of Attraction, one which is practical and action-oriented. Start small to gain focus in getting things done, meeting a deadline, or start a new project. Determining your destiny need not begin on a grand scale. Though your destination might be far away, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Whereas wishful thinking is aversive to action, flexible focus enables you to reach out through the mist and make use of all of the resources you have at hand.

We are far from having explored the limits of the possible. The history of human experience has shown time and again that when the mind can visualize it can materialize. The important thing is to give shape to your thoughts. Write them down, sketch them out, speak your dreams and make them happen.

The attitude for this is known in Japanese as kokorozashi (志),  literally the soul (心) of the samurai (士), and all that it implies in terms of courage, calling, and conviction. The biggest thing that stands between you and your destiny is not something outside of you, but the fear, uncertainty, and doubt in your own mind which saps your energy (迷), literally the loss (辶) of energy (米).

Regardless of how many reasons or resources you have, if you lack the energy to determine your destiny, then everything will come to nothing. Energy is the great multiplier, and the real measure of your strength. You cannot have enough of it. If you have a surplus, then share the wealth. It is one of the good things in life that is contagious.

If your energy is low, there are a number of things you can do to increase it.

  • Motivate yourself with music. It keeps your attention, tells a story, taps into memories and emotions, and is ever enjoyable. Here are some great resources you can access online to get you started.
    • Make it Happen, by Mariah Carey (lyrics and video): Mariah moves Madison Square Garden, and she can move you. Read the lyrics too.
    • 40 Motivational Songs for Goal Setting: Incredible playlist of music videos by artists who have rocked the world. Watch them all.
    • Runner’s World’s Music for Motivation Playlists for Runners: Playlists of top world runners which you can download from iTunes. Give them a run.
    • Tap videos from my own favorites at http://blip.fm/willreed: Top artists of Tap will get you grounded and ready in rhythm. Put energy and finesse in your footwork.
  • Get your body moving. Once you get on your feet, whether you choose to walk or run, you can gain inspiration from the marathon. The change of pace and environment, the fresh air and sunshine, the sheer momentum of moving your feet will generate enough energy to put the process in motion.
  • Eat properly. Food is your basic fuel, providing your body with the ingredients it needs to stay alive and healthy. But eating too much of the wrong kinds of food can not only sap your strength, over time it can kill you. Food can make or break you. Get the facts, find what works best for you, and eat properly.
  • Get coaching. Sometimes we need a catalyst to get moving. Whether you are looking for clarity, focus, or motivation, the right coach can be a key partner in your success. Personal chemistry is critical in choosing a coach, but first inform yourself of the many options and approaches, and select the one that fits you best.
  • Put life in perspective. When you lack perspective then all of the reasons why turn into reasons why not to take action. Procrastination is the thief of time. After getting the broader picture it is easier to return to the field with conviction on the most important question of all, Why are you here?
  • Declare your commitment. The desire for internal consistency is very powerful. No one likes to lie to themselves. If you have a sincere commitment, then declare it to others and watch how this puts positive pressure on you to keep your word. Don’t take your promises lightly, or you may stop believing in them yourself.
  • Read for inspiration. Well-selected reading gives you access to a vast library of ideas and approaches that can fire your imagination with inspiration. Read for emotional and practical motivation, for new ideas, and for pleasure. Whether you read books and articles, or dip into the digital world, make sure that your environment supports a pleasurable reading experience. This will encourage you to come back for more.
  • Get traction through action. The most powerful and persuasive factor in determining your destiny is taking action. When your actions are in alignment with your destiny, then you carry the torch which will light your way.

Eight ways to increase your energy and determine your destiny. Consider them in combination by downloading the PDF file Mandala Chart DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY.

From the lyrics to the song by R. Kelley, I Believe I can Fly

If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it

Are you feeling helpless?

by Vijay Peduru on February 15, 2010

Many times in our life, we feel stuck or helpless when we encounter a situation.  We would have encountered this same situation before but when we tried to control it, we couldn’t, so we accepted that it cannot be controlled.  When the situation occurs again we think we are helpless and are resigned about it. This is called “Learned Helplessness” i.e we have learnt to be helpless and we get depressed. As grim this might sound, there is a silver lining to it – Since we have learnt to be helpless we can also unlearn it and come out of it.


Martin Seligson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of several books including “Learned Optimism” did some interesting experiments on Learned Helplessness. They took a few dogs and divided them into two separate groups. The first group was given a electric shock and if they pressed a lever the shock stopped.  The second group was wired parallel to the first group. i.e when the shock was given it goes to both the groups at the same time,  but for the second group their lever didn’t stop the electric shock. It stopped when the first group pressed the lever.  For the second group, the shocks appeared to start and end at random and they  learnt that they cannot do anything to control the shocks and learnt to be helpless.
They took the same set of dogs and this time placed them in a different setting, This time, instead of a lever, they put a low partition in front of them, so they can jump out. When they gave the shocks the second group which learnt to be helpless simply lay down passively and whined even though their escape was just in front of them.
This is the same with humans. We can be trained to be in “Learned Helplessness” mode… How do we get out of this?


There are 2 ways.


1. Recognize this mindset: Whenever you are feeling helpless, remember that this may be “Learned Helplessness”. Many times we are not aware of this at all. It all happens unconsciously. Now you know what “Learned Helplessness” is , you can recognize this in yourself when you encounter it.
2. Be Optimistic : Once you notice “learned Helplessness” in yourself, the way to come out of this is learn to be optimistic. Martin Seligson in his experiments found that in the second set of dogs, Some dogs did not become helpless, but instead managed to find a way out of the unpleasant situation despite their past experience with it. This characteristic was found to correlate highly with the human character .. optimism.


Recheck your attitude and be optimistic..

Quality #9: Quality of Relationship and Communication

by Tanmay Vora on November 19, 2009

Welcome to the ninth post in this 12-part series on QUALITY, titled #QUALITYtweet – 12 Ideas to Build a Quality Culture.

Here are the first eight posts, in case you would like to go back and take a look:

  1. Quality #1: Quality is a long term differentiator
  2. Quality #2: Cure Precedes Prevention
  3. Quality #3: Great People + Good Processes = Great Quality
  4. Quality #4: Simplifying Processes
  5. Quality #5: Customers are your “Quality Partners”
  6. Quality #6: Knowing what needs improvement
  7. Quality #7: Productivity and Quality
  8. Quality #8: Best Practices are Contextual

#QUALITYtweet How NOT to deliver total quality:

Focus on quality of product without focusing on

quality of relationship and communication

In an increasingly service oriented business environment, what you sell is not just a product but an experience. People may forget explicit details like specifications or price, but never forget the experience they had when they bought the product.

Experience extended to end-customers largely depends on attitude, values and behaviors of each individual who interacts with a customer. One of the most important challenges is to keep this group of people aligned to organization’s quality system and values.

Communication is the backbone of organization’s success in marketplace. Effective internal and external communication within an organization ensures that:

  • Your employees understand your value system
  • They understand what is expected out of them
  • They are motivated to walk an extra mile to deliver excellent service
  • Your customers know your value system
  • You build trust-based relationship with your people and customers with consistent communication
  • Manage expectations with your people and customers.

How can you motivate your teams to deliver excellent customer experiences through simple communication processes? Here are a few ideas to consider:

Train:

Training your internal team can be your biggest tool for clearly explaining the process of communication and how important it is for the business. Consistently train your people on value systems, leadership, quality management, effective communication, what works in customer management, what not, expectations management and cultural aspects of client’s location. Clients also need training on how best they can use your products. Companies organize client workshops to educate them about different aspects of product/service. Train consistently to streamline communication.

Support:

Once your people are trained, you need to support them in doing right things. Supporting can be a simple act of being there with your people when they talk to customers. Help them improve and share feedback on how are they doing. Some companies may see this activity as an “overhead” but it is an “investment” in your people.

Monitor:

Once you have confidence that your people will be able to do the right communication, monitor them. Take periodic feedback from them. Communicate consistently to ensure that they are motivated enough to continue doing it.

Delivering consistently superior experience to your customers (via quality of products and communication) results in a long-term relationship based on trust. In business, as in life, relationships are crucial. Quality of your relationships is as important as quality of your products, or perhaps, even more.