#707 How to Worry

Posted by frank April - 25 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

This message is taken from Dr. Rob Gilbert’s Success Hotline
Success hotline delivers a 3 minute motivational message, 7 days a week, 365 days a year I call daily!


From an old family recipe

WORRYING: The attempt to solve problems in the future by tormenting oneself now about possible bad results then.

1. Pick a topic (any topic).

2. Imagine something bad happening in relation to that topic.

3. Replay this negative scenario over and over again in your mind.

4. As you replay this AWFUL THING (whatever it is), breathe very shallowly or, for maximum discomfort, stop breathing altogether.

5. Simultaneously, hold your body completely still while you:

6. Furrow your brow and clench some muscles.

7. Think, “It’s hopeless. I’ll never be able to handle this.”

8. DO NOT, under any circumstances,

a. Breathe deeply.

b. Move your body.

c. Laugh.

d. Ask for help.

e. Problem-solve with one or more sympathetic human beings.

f. Take concrete action.


#706 Trust and Leadership

Posted by frank April - 18 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Welcome to all of my new subscribers from Shirvanian East coast realty and thank you for the warm reception and your kind attention at our meeting.

Trust and leadership are earned through behavior, not grated by position or connections. It takes character, competence and caring not titles or entitlement.
In one of his cool novels, Kinky Freidman said, “You can’t fake sincerity.”
Just saying you care or acting like you care will be transparent. It’s like Trump feigning humility.
My old boss Joe Weiss used to say, “The higher you ascend in position the more you are required to serve”. (Which is actually a spin on something Jesus said.)
So how do you care and show it? This is a complex question but for the moment, let me lay out a few behaviors that any caring person should avoid.
-Don’t take a call while we are meeting. Make it clear that this time is for the
person you are meeting with.
-Don’t work your phone, (texting, email, FB, whatever) during a meeting.
It infers that your communication is more important than mine
-Don’t look at your computer screen when you are meeting in your office.
Physically turn it out of your field of view or turn yourself away from it. Quick glances toward the screen every time a new email message comes in chips away at your rapport.
Essentially, you need to be in “up time”. Up time is the NLP term for total focus on the other person. In up time, you have good eye contact, you are listening well (not waiting for your turn to talk) nodding and giving other non-verbal and verbal cues to show you are in tune. You are also paying attention and calibrating the other persons physical cues to be sure you are getting the entire message.
Caring and rapport building are not the whole enchilada when it comes to trust and leadership but without them, the rest of the recipe amounts to nothing.
2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it.

#705 Giving from the Heart

Posted by frank April - 11 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

OMG Frank, this reminds me so much of an experience.

Working in the local food pantry I would cook for the volunteers that assembled baskets of food for those in need in our community. In the morning, donors would drop off food and packages, and in the afternoon the recipients would be on line waiting to pick up their blessing. Ordinarily, over 200 recipient families.

I took a phone call from a woman that day of the event, who asked if it was too late to provide food for a family, and of course, my response was it is never too late, there is always the need. She then asked about logistics, and when the receiving family would be retrieving the basket, so that her and her children could take a photograph with the family. Ugh!!! I wanted to shout a response of how insensitive this was! I kept my response brief and asked her to merely switch her perspective, imagining what it would be like if she were waiting on a food line with 200 other recipients, and if she believed she would be happy or humiliated by the photo opportunity. She hung up the phone.

At first, I thought , wow, if I had stated this differently, at least one more family would have been fed, and because of me, they weren’t. Surprisingly, at the end of the drop-off period, I was informed of a basket that arrived, fully prepared, signed “Anonymous”.

#704 The Supporting Narrative

Posted by frank April - 3 - 2016 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

To support what we believe we sometimes take a snippet or a limited view of something and create the rest of the story to suit our own notions or beliefs.

A friend of mine, Anton, who is now a very successful business owner, was known to be prone to outbursts of temper from time to time when he was a young man. Another, fledgling middle manager I know, in the same industry, manages with fear and intimidation and when challenged on it will say, “Don’t you see? Anton’s company is successful because he doesn’t take any crap.  If someone doesn’t perform for a second, be blasts them and even fires them.  I heard he once threw a guy out of his office and docked him a days pay for being one minute late to a meeting!”

While the story may be true, the connection of this story and success is not. Anton does not owe his success to draconian management and the mistreatment of his employees and vendors. Anton is actually a really nice and charitable man who, as I said, had a bit of a temper as a young man.  To say that Anton’s temper built his business is like saying Babe Ruth was a great homerun hitter because he drank a lot.

The fledgling manager is frustrated. He doesn’t have the managerial or interpersonal skills to figure it out.  He is not a really nice guy so he grabs a piece of Anton folk lore that supports his narrative and makes it the whole story.  This allows him to run rough-shod over people and feel justified about it in the name of improvement

You may want to ask yourself what narratives about your family, friends, or coworkers are running in your head. Are they slanted toward what you want to believe and in need of some editing?


2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!

#703 Be where they are

Posted by frank March - 28 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

To continue where we left off last week…Meeting people where they are is a concept I learned from the great Dr. Dan Shafer. Dan is a bereavement psychologist who has morphed into a great speaker, coach and business consultant.  I explained to Dan that although my intention is always to be uplifting, some interactions with friends who were down, felt strained to me; almost like I was speaking the wrong language.  I’d see a friend or a family member in a bad way and want to help them to feel better.  What was happening was that my interactions with those people felt shallow.  It was like we were respecting each other’s words but not really getting to genuine feelings. It seemed like they would show me that “stiff upper lip” because of me.  Not because they actually felt any better. Dan, who is also educated in NLP, taught me that in order to lead someone to a better place you first have to meet them where they are.  If someone is extremely sad, or hurt, he explained, you first need to sit in that emotion with them.  You need to honor and respect how they feel even if it feels like you are reinforcing a negative.  Once you have met them where they are,  and been genuinely sad or hurt with them, then you can try to lead them to a better place.

This was one of the best life-lessons I’d ever learned and, at the time I felt it was completely counterintuitive.  I didn’t want to reinforce negative emotions.  What Dan explained was that it was about trust and rapport.  You have to sit in the bad place with someone in order to really empathize.  This is what creates trust and rapport.  It didn’t mean I was agreeing with their doom and gloom and getting sucked down the drain with them.  It meant I truly wanted to understand how they felt and that I respected that.  Once I had done that I could think about trying to help.

2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!


#702 What about ME?!

Posted by frank March - 21 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Sorting by self is a term I learned in NLP that describes a kind of selfishness that stems from maintaining a myopic view of the world that only sees you and the effect the world has on you. Looking out for yourself and being self-aware is good, but this isn’t that.

Sorting by self defines people who view the events in the world around them EXCLUSIVELY by how those events affect them. An egregious example would be:

“John, did you hear about the earthquake in India that killed fifty thousand people?”

John: “Oh my God! I get my organic tea from India.  Do you think this will stop them from exporting?”

Sorting by self in a more mundane example might be more like this… “Hey John, I’m going to go help Mary (the old woman next door) bring in her groceries. She has trouble lifting things.”  John:  “I guess that means I’m doing the dishes alone.”

Understanding personality types can help us to communicate more effectively by offering information in a way that anticipates the response or simply by understanding the response on a different level. Sometimes, meeting people where they are, first, will allow you to lead them out.

Maybe we can explore that idea next week.

2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!

#701 Consciously and purposefully

Posted by frank March - 14 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Consciously build on relationships. Whether or not you amass a good deal of wealth, or get to check off most of your bucket list, in the end, this is what will matter.

Your spouse, your kids, your parents, grandparents and friends take a conscious effort. The same way you plan your work, you need to plan your relationships.  There is a contingency of people out there who will say it shouldn’t be that contrived; that relationships should be organic.  I’m not arguing against spontaneity.  What I’m saying is that you will spontaneously think of people more often when you consciously take the time to purposefully think about the relationships  in your life and then make time for action.

It’s very easy for me to drive home from a late meeting and listen to the radio but I find that when I am purposely thinking about relationships, I use time like that to call and connect with someone. An hour drive home on the phone with my 93 year old Aunt, is time well spent and time I might not otherwise find.  If I am going to be in DC on business, I think about family and friends I may have there and can schedule in time that may have been missed without forethought.

Conscious and purposeful are the words I am driving home with this message. The same way you plan your work, retirement or a trip, you need to plan this; the most important part of your life.

2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!

#700 Don’t tell me these 10 things don’t matter

Posted by frank March - 7 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS
  1. Don’t offer to do me a favor and then carp about it
  2. Don’t bail me out of a financial jam and remind me of how benevolent you are
  3. Don’t give me a bonus and then tell me how lucky I am to receive it
  4. Don’t offer to take me somewhere and then look at your watch incessantly
  5. Don’t take a meeting with me and then look at your phone or email
  6. Don’t remind me of all you’ve done for me
  7. Don’t tell me we’re OK and then talk about me to someone else
  8. Don’t offer to help me and then lose patience when I don’t catch on right away
  9. Don’t “act” angry with me. Either tell me what’s bothering you or be pleasant
  10. Don’t forget about cordiality. Decorum and tact still matter (despite what we’ve seen in the debates)

2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!


#699 A gift for you

Posted by frank February - 29 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

A big thank you to those of you who sent me your favorite sayings. There is some great stuff in there.  Enjoy!


  • A smile goes along way
  • Don’t look back you’re not going that way
  • Don’t judge my path if you haven’t walked my journey
  • You can’t have a good day if you’re in a bad mood
  • If you have integrity nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity nothing else matters.
  • If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, how are you going to find the time to do it again?
  • If it’s not necessary to be rude, then it’s necessary not to be rude
  • It’s easy to be the top floor of a single story building, for most of us however our business and our life is more like a skyscraper we are trying to build, one new story at a time.
  • You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. (Mike sent this and said, I hate this saying, except when I use it!)
  • The secret of getting ahead is getting started
  • The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances
  • Emotional health begins at the point of emotional integrity
  • A moment of patience, in a moment of anger, saves you a hundred moments of regret
  • What you allow is what will continue
  • The man who refuses to participate in his own rescue doesn’t deserve to be saved
  • Never use logic when logic doesn’t apply
  • If you are too busy to pray you’re too busy
  • You don’t help anyone by trying to impress them; you impress someone when you try to help them
  • Don’t regret growing old, it’s a privilege denied to many!
  • When you talk you’re only repeating what you know but if you listen you may learn something new
  • Is what I am about to say: The truth? Necessary? Kind?
  • A bad attitude is like a flat tire, you can’t get anywhere until you change it.
  • 2016: A year worth being…Be Nice, Be Safe, Be Smart, and Be Grateful.



My 2016 Motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!

Sayings #698

Posted by frank February - 22 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I want to hear from you this week

I love sayings; that say “You can’t do this until you do that. Here’s one I wrote

You can’t lounge on your rooftop deck before you build your foundation.

I also like sayings that are: If you want to do this don’t do that.

If you want to drown, don’t throw yourself in shallow water.

So here is what I want you to do:

Send me sayings like this that you love; maybe even write one. I will publish the best of them next week and maybe some of you will adopt one for you 2016 motto!

Don’t think “everyone else will do it. YOU DO IT.


2016 motto: Notice what’s good and raise a flag over it!