#753 Energy begets Energy

Posted by admin March - 20 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Sluggishness is for people with little to do. Energy begets energy.
Last week we had a snow day. It snowed most of the day so I did not begin the clean up until late in the afternoon. My son in law, Brian, met me out back with his shovel to help and said, “I did nothing all day and I am more tired than if I had worked 12 hours straight!”
Brian spends his work day climbing huge trees with a chainsaw hanging from his tool belt. It is physically demanding work so hearing this from him gives the statement extra punch.
Inertia is an insidious disease. It feeds on itself making it harder and harder to break free. Dr. Rob says, “It’s the start that stops most people.”
Energy begets energy. If you find yourself stuck or resistant to doing something, fool yourself. Begin it with the intention of only doing it for a few minutes. Motion changes emotion and movement alters moods.
2017 Motto daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#752 Mindfulness

Posted by frank March - 13 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Several years ago my cousin Steve encouraged me to create a motto for each year. I like to create a motto that defines my intention for the year or addresses something I need to have front and center.
I, like many of you, am a victim of “Me and the moment.” My 2017 motto encourages me to make a plan and stick with it.

Think about it. We too often make choices that feel good and satisfy us in the moment but cause us pain the next day, the next month or in years to come.

“Yes! I’ll have fries with that!”

Bad choices cannot always be reversed. Those things that you convince yourself make sense, like skipping the exercise, smoking the cigarette, or watching one more episode even though you have to get up in a few hours, may feel good in the moment but looking back you almost always regret them.
The antidote to short-term pleasure causing long-term pain is mindfulness. It’s taking a beat to think about what you really want; and it may be fries today, which is fine, as long as it is a mindful order of fries. I have, too often, eaten 500 calories at the fridge while I am deciding what to eat!

Mindfulness, like sobriety, is essential for making better decisions. Be where you are. Take a beat and think, then choose your move.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#751 Complainers

Posted by frank March - 6 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

You know how some people have a low tolerance for pain? That’s me, except it’s for complaining. I literally become exhausted by complainers.
Let me break this down. I complain. You complain. We all complain. It is part of the human condition. It is our way of working out an issue. We often need to articulate what we don’t like in order to figure out what to do about it. I get that; it’s a process; complain, think, solve in equal parts or hopefully at a formula more like 20-60-20 in terms of the time and energy you give to each part. Here is what exhausts me; 80-10-0.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand the purpose of openly articulating what is bothersome, over and over and over again. My nonscientific finding is that people who are 80-10-0, or close to it, don’t want a solution. In fact, they reject almost all suggestions and help out of hand.
It is as if complaining is a soother for them; that it is in their comfort zone. Yet to me they look and sound miserable.

As I said, I have a very low tolerance for this. I want to hear the problem, think about possible solutions and try something. And I want to do that quickly!
Perhaps it is my sensitive nose but what complainers don’t realize is that they are infecting the very air around them with the toxic plume of their diatribe and creating an environment that will produce more complaining!

I need two things from you this week: One: please give me your take on this. Help me to understand the purpose of unceasing complaining. Perhaps there is some measure of good to it I do not understand?
Two: If you are in my camp on this make a tacit agreement with me, a pact for today, that you (and I) will not utter a complaint for 24 hours. I think it was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see”

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#750 Help or Hurt?

Posted by frank February - 27 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Takers may eat better but givers always sleep better. 
I was working with a seasoned sales professional last week and we drifted in to a conversation about abusing trust and taking advantage of customers.  We all know that in many businesses (including mine) all people do not pay the same price for the goods they buy.  I learned this early on when I watched my Dad negotiate the price of a leather jacket in the almost third world market on Orchard St in the lower east side of Manhattan.  The price marked on the jacket was just a place to start.  The price Dad paid was not the same as the price some other person would pay that day.  The outcome was dependent on negotiating skills and who had a stronger desire.  Did the seller need the sale more than the buyer wanted the coat?
Chris (the seasoned professional I mentioned) and I are both in a position to set prices where we can and make as much profit as we deem fair and that the client and competition will allow us to make.  But is that really the case?  Are we supposed to make as much profit as the client and competition will allow?
The answer is NO.  Making a fair profit for the goods and services you provide is the blueprint of a free market economy but price gauging, lying, cutting corners, taking advantage of naivety, or welching on promises are not ways to make a larger profit.  They are ways to make an UNFAIR profit.
What I liked about working with Chris is that he gets that.  He approaches the selling process as I do and as all good sales professionals do; to help.  When your motivation is to help, and you lead with sincerity, it is much more likely that the client will accept your help and expertise and be willing to pay a fair price for the goods and services you offer.
2017 Motto…”Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.”

#749 Peace is Harder than War

Posted by frank February - 21 - 2017 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

• Acceptance is harder than judgment.
• Patience is harder than frustration.
• Responding is harder than reacting.

The first word in these statements, the one that’s harder, takes thought and practice.

It’s easy to judge based on what the surface shows you. It’s easy to quit anything in frustration, like a two year old, throwing a toy he can’t operate. It’s easy to let anger flare up and shout whatever insults come to mind when someone insults or hurts you first.

It’s hard to say, “I don’t know what I don’t know” and give someone the benefit of the doubt.
It’s hard to take a deep breath, quiet the voice in your head, and refocus when a project has gone off the rails.
It’s hard to stop and think about the effect your words might have before you say them; especially in a heated situation.

Like most things, not smoking, eating right, exercising, doing your taxes, cleaning out the garage, or mending the fence, acceptance, patience and responsiveness are harder in the moment but will make you happier and healthier in the long term.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#748 Toward of Away?

Posted by frank February - 13 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

How are your resolutions holding up? How well are you walking down your 2017 goals?

A lot of factors go in to sticking to things like resolutions and goals.

Change is tough.

Here is something I learned in NLP that helps me with this. People tend to lean either toward or away. Meaning some people are primarily motivated by the promise of gain while others are primarily motivated by the fear of loss. Notice that I said primarily because we all have both of these motivations inside of us. Fear of loss is usually more powerful and more prevalent. Most people would be more motivated to run into a burning house to grab the money stuffed in the mattress (fear of loss) than they would be to save the money in the first place (promise of gain)

Goals and resolutions are usually written with “toward” language. We set goals with the promise of gain firmly in mind.

In order to convert your resolutions from Teflon to Velcro, I’d like you to add a pain statement. The pain statement should be emotionally evocative and have lots of imagery attached to it. For example if you have a goal to save $5000 this year in your retirement fund, the pain statement could relate to NOT becoming like someone you know who is impoverished and uncomfortable in retirement. You would imagine yourself to be like them in your old age, (sitting in a small, dilapidated room, in a stained, threadbare, chair, wearing torn pajamas and a old robe, eating cold spaghetti out of a can) This kind of overblown visualization of the pain associated with not hitting your goal can help you to find the discipline to stick to your plan and save that dough.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#747 Programming

Posted by frank February - 6 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

When you think of something and subsequently believe it, your subconscious mind is constantly searching for evidence to prove you right.

This works in a number of ways but most importantly regarding self-esteem and goal setting.

If you believe you are inferior in some aspect of your life, your subconscious will remind you of all of the reasons you believe that. It will tell you about what you haven’t gotten done. It will comment about perceived problem areas, reminding you of the times you’ve tried and failed to improve them, and it will compare you to others. The comparisons are most unfair because you are comparing “insides to outsides”; what you think about yourself (insides) to what you ASSUME is the life someone else is living (outsides).

The same subconscious can work in your favor because it only sees what we predict it will see. It looks to prove us right (even about being wrong!) and is constantly scanning for evidence and useful bits of information to come to a conclusion about the thoughts we give it. Set a goal that is measureable and time-bound and place it prominently in your mind by reading it often, visualizing the outcome and creating a burning desire to achieve it, and your subconscious mind will scour the planet looking for support to make that goal happen.

Thoughts are things. Be careful what you wish for…

2017 Motto…”Daily disciplines create desired outcomes.”

#746 Think before you ask

Posted by frank January - 30 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

A quick bit on the subconscious mind

In sales I teach people to ask questions and listen. Prompted with good questions, people would rather convince themselves than to have you convince them. In selling, asking good questions helps to lead people to a result that’s good for them and for you.

Your subconscious mind works the same way.

If you ask yourself why you suck at something your brain will come up with a host of reasons why you suck.
Ask yourself why you’re being left out or important conversations at work and your brain will throw a litany of self-defeating reasons your way.

What makes this so debilitating is that you will believe all of these unflattering answers about you because YOU came up with them!

When you ask better questions you get better results.

This goes for anytime you need to be a convincer but most importantly it goes for you and your subconscious.

This is the primary reason goal setting works. Done properly, setting a goal is done in a way that keeps that goal in the front of your mind. Your mind is constantly asking questions about this thing that is so prominent. With that much attention, answers to help you toward that goal begin to appear.

So rather than ask yourself why you wont succeed or why you’re so bad at something or why people don’t respond to you the way you’d like, reframe the questions. Ask yourself, how can I get this done? What would (name a mentor) do in this situation? What can I do to engage my team in more lively discussions? When you ask the right questions, the right answers will appear.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#745 Rude is Rude

Posted by frank January - 23 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Rude is Rude

• Announcing that “What I am about to say may sound rude but…”doesn’t make you less rude.
• Asking if you can be “totally honest here” is not a license to be insulting.
• Warning me that what your about to say “might sound harsh” does not give you the right to speak harshly.
• Saying, “I don’t mean to be difficult” means your about to be difficult.
• Saying “I don’t want to be critical here” means you are about to criticize me or my project.
• Prefacing your insult with “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way” doesn’t make you any less insulting.
• Telling me you are “just being real” doesn’t give you a pass on the content of your language.
• Brutal and honest have no relationship to one and other.

There are no free passes. Throwing out these qualifiers so that you can be indelicate doesn’t soften the blow to the person you are smacking with your words.
Real forethought about how to deliver your message will help you get your message through. In NLP we live by this phrase: “The result of your communication IS its meaning”

When I stand at your front door I can look around for the bell or knocker (even though sometimes they’re not obvious) and ring or knock, wait for the door to open, and for you to invite me in. Conceivably, I can also use a battering ram, knock down the door and let myself in.

Either way I am inside but I believe I am in a better position to communicate and be heard when I take the time to locate the bell, ring it once or twice, and wait for you to invite me in.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#744 Pattern Interrupt

Posted by admin January - 17 - 2017 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

A miasma of of manner-less misogyny hung in the air as I watched an old, gin blossomed, Brit dismiss the inquiry’s of his timid wife with no more thought that you would give to shooing an annoying kitten mewing at you for more milk. Still, she persisted, pleasantly trying to engage him in conversation but his answers were curt and left no doubt that he found her annoying.

They were seated next to me at an outdoor dining area in my hotel and I was having mental images of leaning in close to him and telling him, through gritted teeth, to be a little nicer. You see, Frankie from Staten Island is always just beneath the surface and while I can mostly control these age old imprinted urges they still exist.

When the waitress asked his name and room number he said Martin, 827. That gave Frankie a new idea He thought we might wander over to the bar and order a Macallan 25, year old…DOUBLE and tell the bartender, “Martin, 827” I figured that would set the old bastard back $150 bucks or so and he bloodily well deserved it!

Instead, I put Frankie from SI away and went with a pattern interrupt, turning to them with a smile and asking how they were enjoying their holiday. She lit up like Christmas tree and told me all about their time in St Martin and her couple of days in Miami, where we were now sitting The old Brit joined in and before long we were all having a jolly good talk about vacations, restaurants, and Travel. When I left they were smiling and enjoying their lunch.

Maybe he was just hungry or maybe he’d gotten up on the wrong side of the bed but whatever it was, his ship seemed righted for the moment.

There was a time, not too long ago, when The fake bar charge would have been a foregone conclusion and a nasty comment to the old coot was the the minimum I would have done. Minding my own business in the face of perceived injustice has never been my strong suit but thankfully I’ve learned to use some new tools to help me fix what looks to me to need fixing.

As I was heading out I glanced back and they seemed to be chatting nicely which felt pretty good. Still, as I rounded the bar, a voice in my head with a thick NYC accent, told me that The Macallan would have gone down pretty smoothly too…

2017 Motto: “Daily disciplines create desired outcomes”