#644 An Apple a Day

Posted by frank April - 20 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

It’s almost beach season and in order to feel more comfortable in my favorite shorts or swimsuit I’ve got to be in better shape.   Maybe I should wait until May 24th and then go to the gym for 24 hours straight, so I can be ready on Memorial Day!

Of course we know it doesn’t work that way.  The saying is, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  You can’t eat 30 apples at the end of the month and expect the same result.

Dr. Rob spoke about this last week.  He said it this way; “It’s better to do a little a lot than a lot a little.”

Studying all semester beats cramming for finals and funding your 401K or IRA a little each year beats trying to live on PB&J for the final couple of years before you retire so you can save some money.

Walking a little every day is better than trying to walk 50 miles once a month and avoiding bad foods on a daily basis is better than a crash diet the week before the big event.

What little things could you be doing a lot to save yourself panic and pain in the future?

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

#643 Cynic or Sucker?

Posted by frank April - 13 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Cynic or Sucker?

If you trust you will get burned.

If you trust again, despite the burn, you will get burned again; and again; and again; and again.

If you don’t trust you will be safer.  You will be hurt less.

If you go in to any relationship expecting a bad outcome, or even hinting at the possibility of one, you’re protected.  When it goes badly, you aren’t surprised.  You called it early and you feel justified in being right.

When you give your trust to someone and they let you down, or, worse, they play you, it hurts.  But every now and again, when the trust is repaid with loyalty and love, it wipes the slate clean and renews you.  After all isn’t it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Cynic or Sucker?  Who would you rather be?

For me that isn’t even a question.  In fact if you believe it is a real question, you are on the cynic side of the equation because those who trust, despite repeated disappointments, never feel like “suckers.”  They know that “Ya gotta kiss a lot of Frogs.” Suckers?  That’s a moniker pasted on by the cynics; from a safe distance.

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

#642 Does ANYONE like YOU?!

Posted by frank April - 6 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich”  He wrote it after interviewing Andrew Carnegie who was the richest man in the world.  Hill wanted to pass on Carnegie’s secrets to success and he did.  Think and grow Rich began the self-help era and is one of the best selling books of all time.  Subsequent to Think and Grow Rich, Hill wrote an article based on his dealings with Charles Schwab.  Schwab worked for Carnegie and was paid a bonus of million dollars a year back in the early 1900’s!  Carnegie is reported to have said “The salary is for the work he does.  The million dollar bonus is for what Schwab, with his pleasing personality, could get others to do.”  So based on his research that began with Schwab, here are Hill’s 14 habits of the most likeable people.

1. They develop a positive mental attitude and let it be seen and felt by others.

It is often easier to be a cynic and to predict bad outcomes but while you will be right some of the time, you may be avoided much of the time.

2. They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone.

No matter what the content of your message is, your tone and body language deliver more than your words.

3. They pay close attention to someone speaking to them.

I can’t say enough about active listening.

4. They are able to maintain their composure in all circumstances.

Giving in to the emotion of the moment be it fear, anger or frustration will not endear you to people.  It is good to express those things but to do it with thought and measure.

 

5. They are patient.

6. They keep an open mind.

You don’t know what you don’t know.  Staying open to learn more about a situation or the people involved is an important habit.

7. They smile when speaking with others.

Regardless of what you think of their politics, picture the smiles of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  Who was more likeable?

8. They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed.

Likeable people have tact and discipline in conversation.  Even though they may be thinking something, they know it isn’t worth offending someone just to say it.

9. They don’t procrastinate.

Procrastination sends a message of unreliability to others.  Not a likeable trait.

10. They engage in at least one good deed a day.

They are actually looking for opportunities throughout the day to help someone.

 

11. They find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it.

IT’s fine to lament…for a moment.  It’s fine to sit in a failure to really understand it…for a moment.  Sit in it too long and the stench of it tends to cling to you making you someone to avoid

12. They act as if the person they are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

Again, this is about listening.  Ask questions and listen with the intent to understand rather than the intent to reply.

13. They praise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

Genuine praise is good.  Inconsistent and excessive praise smacks of insincerity.

14. They have someone they trust point out their flaws.

Continued growth only comes from examining one’s self and to get the viewpoint of someone you trust is invaluable.

 

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

 

#641 Alicia Turns 30!

Posted by frank March - 30 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS
I’m turning 30 tomorrow. I’ve spent a long time contemplating this day over the last year, a lot of time in self study; a lot of exploration, excavation, and innovation when it comes to mySELF. I continued to discover how much I absolutely love Alicia while uncovering more flaws this year than ever before, I think. My time alone in noble silence shined light on much of mySELF that needs work, a lot of work, to feel like my best me. I learned, though, that as a drug addict chases a high, we too (the Magellans of the SELF, the deep sea soul divers) can chase perfection until the day we die, if we aren’t careful. With this realization, I fell more in love with my life and how I respond to the circumstances around me. My best friendship with mySELF grows everyday, even when we don’t get along. Entering my 30s tomorrow, I am completely satisfied with knowing that I know NOTHING, but believe in SO MUCH, SO deeply. My strength in body, mind, and spirit grows daily even if just the tiniest bit. I embrace all I have been and all I am yet to be. I am open to what I am calling “true adulthood” as I enter marriage, starting a family, and owning my first [tiny] home. I vow to never stop asking questions, reading books, taking classes, and learning from others. My cOMmunity has expanded so greatly in my 20s, and I am so thankful for all who still surround me and support me. I thank my creator for this opportunity, to live this exact life as Alicia Somma, in this exact body, with all of you as my family. Namaste, everyone. Thank you for helping to create this version of me, brothers and sisters. Namaste.
'I'm turning 30 tomorrow. I've spent a long time contemplating this day over the last year, a lot of time in self study; a lot of exploration, excavation, and innovation when it comes to mySELF. I continued to discover how much I absolutely love Alicia while uncovering more flaws this year than ever before, I think. My time alone in noble silence shined light on much of mySELF that needs work, a lot of work, to feel like my best me. I learned, though, that as a drug addict chases a high, we too (the Magellans of the SELF, the deep sea soul divers) can chase perfection until the day we die, if we aren't careful. With this realization, I fell more in love with my life and how I respond to the circumstances around me. My best friendship with mySELF grows everyday, even when we don't get along. Entering my 30s tomorrow, I am completely satisfied with knowing that I know NOTHING, but believe in SO MUCH, SO deeply. My strength in body, mind, and spirit grows daily even if just the tiniest bit. I embrace all I have been and all I am yet to be. I am open to what I am calling "true adulthood" as I enter marriage, starting a family, and owning my first [tiny] home. I vow to never stop asking questions, reading books, taking classes, and learning from others. My cOMmunity has expanded so greatly in my 20s, and I am so thankful for all who still surround me and support me. I thank my creator for this opportunity, to live this exact life as Alicia Somma, in this exact body, with all of you as my family. Namaste, everyone. Thank you for helping to create this version of me, brothers and sisters. Namaste.'

#640 Your Joke Rolodex

Posted by frank March - 23 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Do you know the best way to get someone to tell you a joke?  Tell them a joke.  While you are telling your joke, the other person is going through the joke rolodex in their mind to come up with a joke to tell you when you’re done.  i learned this from Dr. Rob Gilbert.  It is human nature and works almost all the time but there is a danger in this.

I noticed that it isn’t just limited to jokes and therein lies the danger.  Last week i’d had a terrible morning; my pet chickens were killed by foxes who managed to break in to the coop overnight.  When i discovered the carnage in the morning i was really upset.  I couldn’t shake off the sadness all day.  I must have been wearing it on my face because one of my coworkers commented that I wasn’t myself.  I said, “I guess it shows.  I had a really rough morning.”  But before i could go on to say why my morning was rough she said, “Oh my God, me too.” and then went on to tell me about a flood she had in her basement, the late and crowded train she had to ride, and the big splash that hit her when a truck passed too close to the curb on her way to the office, soaking her outfit.  By the time she was done, my opening statement (and my feelings) were forgotten and it felt silly to bring it back up so i just commiserated with her about her rough morning and went about my business.

I noticed later in the week that i did the same thing to my wife.  When she said “I had a rough night sleeping” I jumped in about how I’d slept before before i listened to her story about what kept her up and how she felt etc.

The joke rolodex is a very real part of human nature and, in joke telling, is probably harmless.  Relating and matching during a conversation is a good thing but not at the cost of good listening.  I have begun to notice more about how i listen.  Am i listening with the intent to reply or am i listening to understand? These little episodes from last week have me resolved to make a conscious effort to practice the latter.

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

#639 It’s Easy to be an Ass

Posted by frank March - 16 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

There is nothing easier than being an ass.  When things don’t go your way yelling and screaming about it is pretty easy.   Giving in to frustration doesn’t take smarts.  But shouldn’t we be more thoughtful than that?  After all, you don’t still hit your brother do you?  When you were two, and your brother took your toy truck, this was an expected behavior that (hopefully) your mom nipped in the bud.

But that emotion is still in us.  For some it resides closer to the surface than it does for others.

Being an ass is easy.  It takes no thought or discipline.  You just let fly with whatever is bubbling to the surface and then, after the fact, say things like, “You make me crazy.” Or “I can’t help it I have a bad temper”

The truth is, you can help it.  You’re a grown up.  You don’t still hit your brother.

 

A moment’s hesitation before spewing venom will drastically alter the outcome of any charged situation.  A quick thought as to the effect of your words BEFORE you say them will serve you well and put you in a place of esteem among the people in your life while throwing tantrums or belittling people will get you talked about behind your back and a reputation as one to be avoided.  It really is a choice.  You really can help it.

 

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

 

#638 Tino and Wes

Posted by frank March - 9 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Nothing sells like service.  I get my morning coffee in a bakeshop about a block and a half from my office.  It isn’t on my way.  I actually have to pass my office to go there.  If you know Manhattan you know I have a half-dozen coffee choices on just that one block between them and me but I pass the Starbucks, Gregory’s and Mom and Pop shops to see Tino and Wes.

I’d found the place quite by accident.  My gym is down that way and after a morning workout I wandered by the bakery in search of some protein and fruit.   Tino was in the front.  He was a fortyish-looking, chubby, affable guy (I can’t imagine it is easy to avoid chubby working in a bakery) and when I came in he was yucking it up with a group of customers who were waiting for their orders.  When I stepped up to order he asked my name, and even though I’d said, “Frank” he yelled back, “Hey Wes, a large latte for my new friend Frankie, and make it nice and hot.  It’s cold out there.”  That got me smiling because only my family and close friends call me Frankie.

When Wes came up to deliver the coffee he was all smiles.  Tall and lanky with long dreds tucked up in his hat, he looked at the 3 or so people waiting, and said “Nice hot latte for Frankie”, and when he caught my eye, he said, “Here you go man.  I made it special since it’s your first time here.  Take a punch card.  Your 10th drink is free!”  Then Tino handed me the card with the hole punched out for drink 1 and he and Wes waved and said, “Have a great day” and “See you tomorrow!”

And they did see me tomorrow and a lot of tomorrows after that because “Hey Wes, a large latte for my new friend Frankie, and make it nice and hot.  It’s cold out there.”  beats the pants off of “Next!  What can I get you?” and the slow smile-less, shuffle that ensues, and passes for customer service, in most of the more convenient places I pass on the way to see Tino and Wes.

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

#637 Did YOU Just Walk In The Room?

Posted by frank March - 3 - 2015 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

#637 The energy you bring

Are you the life of the party or do you suck the life out of the party?  Are people happy to see you or happy to see you leave?

In a widely accepted communications study done at UCLA, Professor Meherabin famously determined that 57% of our message is received visually.

Don’t think for a moment that you can be pissed off about being somewhere and then enter the room without pushing that negative energy out in front of you.  YOUR ENERGY ALWAYS ARRIVES THE MOMENT BEFORE YOU DO.

That’s what I want to review today; our energy, because, we aren’t very aware of how obviously we portray ourselves and the way people are constantly calibrating us.  What I learned from Meherabin is that, we deliver our message long before we deliver our message. 

Picture a Mom with her arms crossed and brow furrowed looking at the front door as she waits for her late to dinner child.  Does she need to say “You’re late”?

How about the person who comes into a party with their arms open, eyes wide, and a big smile.  Do they need to say “I am happy to be here!”?

What about the guy who comes home from work with his head down as he walks through the door and grunts a barely audible hello to his family?  Does he need to say it’s been a rough day he’s in a lousy mood?

And what do all of these people have in common?  Without saying a word they have affected the energy in the room for better or for worse.

I’m not saying that we don’t have the right to express our feelings.  I am saying that we ought to be cognizant of the energy we push in to the room in front of us knowing, absolutely, that we change the environment and the feelings of others as we do.

 

2015 Motto: “Life is choices.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

Dove’ Sono? #635

Posted by frank February - 17 - 2015 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

First of all I’d like to welcome all of the new people I met from Maser Consulting, which, by the way, is listed among the best places to work in NJ!

 

Things change.  Things change rapidly.  Tempus Fugit.  Time seems to fly by, hardly touching down to stay for a moment, and we miss it.  We miss too many moments.

 

My motto last year was about mindfulness.  I want to be where I am.  I want to be immersed in the moments.  Those of you who meditate do this better than most of the rest of us but I think it is an area we can all improve on.

 

I focus on this when I am with my family most of all.  Those are the memories I want to build one moment at a time.  I try to avoid all of the distractions vying for my attention when my attention should be on them.  I do it at work too.  I deliberately close my computer when someone comes in to my office so the ping of the email doesn’t distract me.  I turn my chair to the window when I take a phone call so I am not tempted to keep working while I talk.  Our world turns faster today than it did years ago.  It’s too easy to miss the moments.

 

Things change.  Things change rapidly.  This hit me like a ton of bricks he other day I passed a “Lite FM, 106.7” billboard.  The picture of the artist on the light music billboard was Jon Bon Jovi.

 

I hope he paid attention and enjoyed the ride.

 

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”

#634 Image

Posted by frank February - 9 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I have an acquaintance named Phil.  Phil is an excellent man.  He may be where the saying “would give you the shirt off his back” originated.

Phil is very humble and extremely helpful.  I noticed though, something about Phil that made me sad.  Phil doesn’t think as much of himself as I think of him.  If you compliment Phil he beats it away, as if the compliment could be harmful to him; toxic. I know a lot of people do the “Aw shucks, it was nothing” and I get that.  Receiving praise can be a tricky thing but Phil makes me think that he thinks, praise is terribly misapplied when it is applied to him.   When he leaves me messages he says, “Hi Frank, it’s just Phil.”  He literally says, “It’s just Phil.”  Just Phil…
It breaks my heart.  He is a great guy but thinks of himself as “Just Phil”

Self-image is a huge thing.  Unless your view of yourself changes your outcomes likely won’t.

Last summer, my neighbor introduced me to a guy who was doing some work for her.  He extended his hand and said, “Hi, I’m big Ed.”  Ed was about 5’ 10” maybe 6 feet tall and tipped the scales at about 280.  He wasn’t big as in Michael Strahan muscular big; Ed was obese.  What are the chances that a fat guy who introduces himself as Big Ed” will ever get to a healthy weight?

2015Motto…“Life is choice.  Your very next moment can be different if you choose it to be”