#775 Outsides Vs. Insides

Posted by frank August - 21 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

You can’t know someone’s inside by judging their outside, yet, we do it all the time.
When I was a kid I was invited over to my friend Keith’s house. Keith’s Dad drove a Cadillac in the days when driving a Caddy meant you had money. Keith had nicer clothes than I did and had all the latest things a boy could want. When I came home I whined to my Mom about how much Keith’s family had compared to how little we had.
She explained the concept insides vs outsides, without ever demeaning Keith’s family. She explained the value of love and family vs. money and things and then she went to the bookcase, pulled out a book, and read me this poem:
By Edward Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
‘Good-morning,’ and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich – yes, richer than a king –
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#774 Now You vs. New You

Posted by frank August - 14 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

In a contest of New You vs. Now You, Now You kicks butt…and that is not a good thing.
New you is the future you that you imagine and Now You is, well, You.

New You is 12lbs lighter and feels great, but Now you, just ordered the nachos an another beer.
New you is tobacco free and the picture of health. Now you went 12 hours without a smoke and then drove to 7-11 at midnight for a pack of Marlboros. New You is happily retired with the income he needs to live well in his twilight years. Now You just took a loan against his 401K and went to Vegas.

Now You is posing rationalizations and making judgments while New You doesn’t even get a lawyer!
The problem is that Now You is clever. He knows you inside and out because he is you. He knows exactly what arguments to make to convince you that the pleasure you seek now is OK and that there is plenty of time to work on New You. He’s a liar. He’s a snake oil salesman.

Take a small step toward New You today.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#773 One way to avoid anxiety

Posted by frank August - 7 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Goals without conscious gratitude and some planning are nothing more than vague, anxiety producing, dreams.
Having this ephemeral sense of something better and thinking in the periphery of your mind that there is something out there for you in the future is a formula for this constant low level anxiousness that plagues so many.
Your past does not equal your future. Your daily behaviors add up to your future.
My formula for losing that low level anxiety is first to be present. To feel where you are and find things to be consciously, outwardly, grateful for now.

There are a lot of people who died yesterday who would gladly take on your issues today.

Secondly, set your eye on the prize. Whatever it is that you think will improve your tomorrow’s needs to be written down and looked at often. With that in hand you can do a little bit each day to make it to that future and taking small steps toward something definitive alleviates that gnawing feeling that you should be doing something but you don’t know quite what it is.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#772 Perspective

Posted by frank July - 31 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Perspective is an odd thing. When my pool filter crapped out and I swore about it, my daughter tapped me on the shoulder and said “Hashtag; First world problems Dad.” Here are a few other examples of perspective.

• Remember the fable about the man who lived in a small house with his wife and six children? He complained unceasingly, walking about grumbling aloud, and casting a pall of misery over his home and family. Then he met with the wise man and told him of his horrible living conditions. The wise man had him bring in a goat, a cow, a dog, some chickens, etc. In the end, when the wise man removed all the animals, the lesson was learned.
• The man who could not afford shoes complained bitterly until he met a man with no feet.
• Visiting the dentist, a woman was filled with anxiety that her tooth could not be saved. The dentist told her that he thought it was beyond fixing and he’d have to remove it. After an hour of poking and prodding he said “I think we can save it. We’ll do a root canal.” The woman exclaimed with a smile and relief, “Oh thank God! A root canal!”

What’s going on with you that could use a little reexamination? What’s got you rankled that needs reordering in terms of your perspective? My view is that we need to strive to be happy with what we have while continually trying to improve it. One of the main reasons happier people are happier is because they do their best to keep complaining to a minimum and remind themselves, daily, of what they are grateful for.
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#771 A Present

Posted by frank July - 24 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

First of all, a BIG shout out to the great management team at High Rise Fire and Security. You are awesome!
Do you let yesterday take up too much of today? Are you constantly thinking ahead about what you need to get done? Do you worry a lot? Personally, I am not much or a ruminator nor am I a worrier but I do spend an awful lot of time making schedules and lists in my head, thinking about what needs to get done in the next minutes, hours, days and weeks. Recognizing this, I am making a conscious effort to be more present. There are enough distractions (like that tempting little screen in my pocket) to keep me from being in the moment without me adding to it by drifting in to the future in my head.
In an effort to quell the constant list and plan making in my brain I decided to try something new. A few mornings a week I run, with my dog, though a large wooded area near my home. We run on paths of dirt and grass that wind through woods and meadows. We see deer, rabbits, every manner of bird and the occasional fox. It is a gem of a place and I am lucky to have it so close to home.
For years, I have run with earbuds in and listened to music. I always assumed I needed the distraction to keep me from focusing on what hurts, how tired I was, or how much further I had to go. On my last two runs, I decided to go sans music and what amazed me is that the opposite is true. The run seemed to go faster. Not only that but I also felt less fatigued at the end.
I’m not saying I didn’t think somewhat about the days and the weeks ahead. I’m not yet able to control that “monkey mind” from bouncing from here to there but I was able to focus on what I was doing for a good amount of the time and it felt great to be present.
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#770 My new best friend, TED

Posted by frank July - 17 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Today I want to impart some wisdom. Not mine, TED ‘s; Technology, Entertainment, Design.
My fascination with TED started with Guy Raz’s show, the TED Radio Hour. My friend Patrick turned me on to a particular episode and I was hooked thereafter. Guy ad his team create a one hour show out of two or three TED talks. They edit in the highlights of the talks and intertwine interviews with the folks who gave them. These are great shows and I suggest that you subscribe to the TED Radio Hour Podcast as I do. Guy whetted my appetite for so many subjects I began to use some of my commuting time for more TED. I’ve listened to most of the top 25 TED talks of all time and I’ve learned so many cool and useful things. Amy Cuddy, Dan Gilbert, and Shawn Achor ,(to name just a few) give talks that are extremely informative and enormously entertaining. Find the time to watch them ASAP! If you can’t watch, there is a listen button you can utilize to enjoy the talk without video.
There is so much to learn and the folks on the TED stage deliver great and useful information in about 20 minutes per talk.
Do yourself a HUGE favor. Find the time to listen to some of the most popular talks. The three I mentioned are a great start then scroll through and find what interests you. I promise they will amaze and impress you and teach you some life-changing things if you’re open to them.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#769 The Worst of Us

Posted by frank July - 10 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Sometimes I use this weekly blog to offer answers or possible answers. Today, however, I just have a question.
What is it in us that makes us want to hear about the worst of people and then regurgitate it to everyone we know?
Vicious gossip spreads like wildfire. People hear a story about the basest human behavior and feel the need to tell everyone they know about it. I don’t often hear people going on about Mary’s great achievement but have Mary get caught in a tryst with a coworker and it is like “The shot heard round the world”
When I was getting a shoeshine last week I made the mistake of picking up the newspaper left beside the seat. Each headline screamed for my attention by being viler than the next. It was like a game of “Can you top this” with the worst of humanity.
The Daily News and the NY Post aren’t stupid. They do this because that is what we buy. My question is why?
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

768 What’s the story?

Posted by frank July - 3 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Your past does not equal your future. We are not so much of what happened to us as we are how we responded to what happened to us and what we continue to tell ourselves about it. Everyone has a story and we all use our stories to define our lives. Your story is either empowering or disempowering. If it’s empowering, remember it vividly and tell it to yourself often. If it’s disempowering kill it like a bad script at a Hollywood power lunch.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective.
There is a great story about twin boys raised by a ne’er-do-well Dad who was too often drunk and always abusive. One boy followed in his father’s footsteps and became a nasty, miserable drunk while the other went on to a successful life. When asked, separately, in adulthood, why they turned out the way that they did, each had the same reply. “I had no choice. My father was an abusive drunk.”
You are the author of your personal story. You own all the rights to it including the right to stop telling it to and to craft a different story!

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

Serious Science #767

Posted by frank June - 26 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Action equals attitude, movement changes moods and motion alters emotion.
In a recent study at Harvard University this was proven to be scientific fact by social psychologist Amy Cuddy. Professor Cuddy studies, among other things, non-verbal communication. In this experiment, she took saliva samples from her subjects and measured the levels of testosterone and cortisol in those samples. When one is stressed and feeling overwhelmed cortisol is high and testosterone is low. Cortisol, the stress hormone, regulates things like blood pressure, heart and blood vessel tone and contraction. Testosterone, beside the sexual association we are all familiar with, regulates feelings of power, confidence and risk-taking.
Imagine going in to the boss for a raise you don’t think you will get. Your body posture before you enter is smaller and confined as you wait in that non-confident posture. In that moment your cortisol is high and testosterone low. Your behavior, when you go in for the meeting is then strongly influenced by those hormone levels and your chance for the raise evaporates.
In professor Cuddy’s experiment , she taught power poses. Picture Wonder Woman with her hands on her hips, feet apart and her head held high. The other pose she taught is the victory pose. Hands in the air in a V shape, like a runner breaking the tape at the finish line.
She had the participants hold those poses for two minutes.
The after samples of their saliva, post power posing, showed significantly decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of testosterone.
Their physical posture altered their chemistry.
Please remember this little mantra: Your body changes your mind. Your mind changes your behavior and your behavior changes your outcomes.
Watch Professor Cuddy’s TED talk. It has had over 40 million views and is the second most viewed TED talk of all time.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#766 The Big Lebowski

Posted by frank June - 19 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Right isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and wrong isn’t always wrong. Great leaders know this.
In The Big Lebowski, after John Goodman makes a scene in a bowling alley about strictly following bowling rules, he and Jeff Bridges head to their car. They’re talking about the rule infraction and Goodman’s over reaction when Goodman says repeatedly, “Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Am I wrong?” Jeff Bridges replies, “You’re not wrong Walter, you’re just an asshole.”
It is classic. You know people like Walter. People who think right and wrong is all that matters; people who see no creative solutions.
It takes a lot of time, patience, understanding, and empathy to see beyond right and wrong.
When my mom was teaching me to drive there was an intersection at the end of our block where a stop sign had recently been erected. These were small streets in a residential neighborhood. We had the right of way and the intersecting street had the stop sign. My Mom used to make me slow to a virtual stop as I approached that intersection. I complained, “But Mom! They have the stop sign and I have the right of way!” Her reply has stuck with me for life. She said, “Yes you’re right, but right or wrong you’re just as dead.”
In your position of leadership, take the time to slow down and understand the situations you are presented with. Rules don’t manage people; people manage people. I do understand that rules are not mere suggestions, and I don’t want anarchy. I am only suggesting that you understand the people affected by the rules as you apply them.
2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes