#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”

#743 React or Respond

Posted by frank January - 9 - 2017 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Welcome to all of the new subscribers from the Middletown Library Goal-Setting event.  I am so glad to have you on board!
It’s never about what is going on around you or to you; only what is going on inside of you. 
Do you react or respond?  When adverse things happen to you, you can react in frustration and find people to blame.  You can dial up the ferocity and spread it like Typhoid Mary, infecting everyone with whom you have contact, or… you can respond. 
Reacting takes zero thought.  In fact, it’s thoughtless. 
Responding seems tougher in the moment but is, ultimately, easier because you don’t have to repair the damage caused by your virulence.
Some of you are thinking, “I can’t help it.  That’s just how I’m wired.” 
I disagree.  I believe behaviors are learned.  I believe we employ them as strategies, because they’ve worked for us in some way throughout our lives.  I also believe we need to outgrow some of them but don’t always realize it.  Life and the world around us change over time.  What once may have been an effective, or at least accepted, response no longer is.  If you’re still throwing temper tantrums, and spewing vitriol every time the world frustrates you, it time to employ a new behavior.   What may seem to offer a short term fix is really bringing you, and those around you, long term pain.
React or Respond.  It is a choice; your choice.
2017 Motto: “Daily disciplines create desired outcomes”

#742 Choose Your Response

Posted by frank January - 3 - 2017 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

My motto for 2017 is Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

Let me ask you a question; Are you willing to give up what you want now for what you want most? As a former smoker I can tell you that I often gave in to what I wanted now (a smoke) and forsook what I wanted most (good health)

Dieters want to be thinner but sometimes have difficulty passing up the snack they want now for the healthier body they want most.

At this time of year, many of us are making resolutions and setting goals. At vision of the future can be realized or remain just a vision.

The difference between dreaming and setting and achieving goals is that goal achievement requires a plan and a plan requires daily action.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

I wish you a wildly successful 2017 filled with health, happiness and all good things.

2017 Motto: Daily disciplines create desired outcomes

#741 Did you just hijack my conversation?

Posted by frank December - 19 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Another reminder: Crafting a motto for next year needs to happen now. My cousin Steve turned me on to creating a motto that articulates some of my intention for the year. Some of you have adopted this practice as well. If you haven’t I encourage you to do so. I am happy to help with this so reach out if you want to kick some ideas around.

I called someone last week to tell him some news about me and get his opinion about something I am working on. I had hardly uttered a sentence when a word I used triggered a thought in his mind and he began a discourse about his life and all of the bothersome bits that were rankling him at the moment. It may have been five minutes but it felt like twenty. I honestly can’t tell you much about what was said because I wasn’t listening. I just kept thinking, “Did you just hijack my conversation? Didn’t I call YOU to speak about something that was on MY mind? I never did get to tell him what that was.

Listening is an awesome and underutilized skill.

Relating is a good thing. It’s nice to show understanding by matching something you’re told with something you’ve done or feel but good listeners follow that up with a question that prompts the speaker to continue with his subject.

There are two quotes, relating to this, that I love.
“No one cares what you know until they know that you care.”
And my favorite is “No one ever said, I hate that guy! All he ever does is listen to me!”

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

Character or Reputation #739

Posted by frank December - 5 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Always be more focused on character than reputation. Gossip is a force of nature. People like to talk about people. There are hundreds of shows and magazines focusing on the trials and tribulations of celebrities. If there weren’t a market to consume this, they wouldn’t exist.

Reputations are often built on perception but character is who you know you are, regardless of reputation.

A rather well off man, who dresses beautifully and is perfectly coiffed, declines when asked to donate to a local charity in his town. Word gets around and folks say, “Well of course he has money. If I were that selfish I’d have money too.”
In the grocery store he declines the extra dollar they ask for to help wipe out hunger. The grocery clerk looks at his nice suit, measures his refusal to contribute and labels him “an elitist who doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself”

Having lost his 5-year-old sister to Leukemia he decided early on that he would give all he could to researching that disease. His contributions have grown over the years and he is particularly happy this year because he has seen significant improvements in treatment and has managed to give more than 10% of his substantial gross income to The Children’s Leukemia Foundation.

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

#738 Failure

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

A big hello and thank you to all of the subscribers from Shirvanian Exit Realty. I am really grateful for every opportunity I get to be among you.

So what is failure? Failure is knowing that you didn’t do the things you should have and could have done to ensure the success of project, event or job. It isn’t what others identify later that you could have done better or differently. It isn’t what you learn afterward and identify as something you should have done sooner.

It’s what you know in your gut you should have done better or more of and only you know it. Only you know if your effort matched your capabilities.

There is no shortage of critics and Monday morning quarterbacks to tell you what went wrong but failure can only be judged by you.

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

#737 Giving Thanks

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

Gratitude is easy to pass up. My great friend and hunting partner Steve, (I call him Sensei) says two things to me that remind me of this. In the beginning of the season, on our first hunt together, he’ll turn to me and say, “Frankie; how many Octobers do we have left? Let’s enjoy this one.” He also says, at various times, “Remember, these are the good ole days we’ll be reminiscing about 20 years from now.”

Gratitude is easy to miss. In the midst of the daily grind, kid issues, job stress, car problems, finances and world strife, it’s tough to count your blessings unless you make it a habit to do so daily.

Waking up vs. not waking up is a good place to start. The cemetery is filled with people who, given the opportunity, would take your job stress and financial issues and trade places in a second!

As of today, I will begin my day by thinking of what I’m grateful for. My trigger will be the shower. As soon as I hear that water running, I will note three things I am grateful to have.

Will you join me? What will your trigger be? I’d love to hear from you. You can post your comments or email me privately.

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

#736 Words

Posted by frank November - 14 - 2016 - Monday 1 COMMENT

I’m a word guy. It all started when I was about 8 or 10. I was on the bus and saw a poster for the move Billy Jack. It said, the movie would emulate the runaway success of Walking Tall. I had no idea what emulate meant so I went home to look it up. When I read the definition I realized why imitate, though it could have worked in that poster, was not the word for the job.

Last week, on election night, the play-by-play announcers kept referring to various states as “bellwether” states, which means, essentially, as they go others will follow but I wondered how many of them knew the origin of the word. The bellwether is the castrated goat with a bell around his neck that leads the flock. Can you imagine Stephanopoulos saying, “Florida is like the castrated goat here, ringing a bell for other states to follow.”

Words are really important in terms of matching moods too. If you refer to incidents in catastrophic language, two things happen. First, people tend to disbelieve you over time (The sky is falling!) and second you can infuse too much emotion in to a minor issue. This happens within and without. Overstating a problem with a group gets everyone wound up and focused, perhaps, in the wrong direction. This is especially true for people in leadership positions.

Within us, the words we use change everything. For example, when something annoys you, if you start using language, overstating how grievous the annoyance is, you will blow it out of proportion. If on the other hand instead of saying “I AM REALLY, REALLY, PISSED OFF AT THIS!!! You consciously tempered your internal dialog and said, “This has me a bit annoyed” You would actually take some of the power away from the issue.

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

#735 Be the change

Posted by frank November - 7 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

The problem is always out there isn’t it? It’s easy to see the changes everyone else needs to make; right?

Here’s what I think. This is partly true. There are people I interact with that really should be better. Better communicators, more considerate, better listeners, and generally more genial and understanding. The problem with this line of thinking is that it leaves me at the mercy of those intemperate souls. While I may be able to advise some of them, fettling them is not my place. My place then, is to recognize, and adjust, rather than criticize and complain.

I want to be as authentic as I can and address issues but I want to disagree without being disagreeable. I want to think before I speak and, maybe, as Gandhi said, “Be the change I want to see.”

In the end I can only control me. If I want a positive outcome from a negative person its my job to figure out how to get that or to move on.
If I can do this with integrity, regardless of the outcome, I can still live with myself and maybe through my influence and attitude, I can affect some of that change I want to see.

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

#734 It is better to have loved

Posted by frank October - 31 - 2016 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I’ll admit it. I get burned sometimes but I would rather trust and be disappointed once in a while than mistrust and be miserable all of the time.
I’m not naïve. I don’t plunk my money down for three-card monte on 42nd street or ask a vagrant to watch my bags while I go get the car.

I do, however, believe in people. I do believe in second chances.

I have had my car stolen by an employee with a drug problem. I have loaned money that wasn’t returned. I’ve invested heavily in developing people and then lost them.
Despite this I still think it is better to believe in the inherent goodness of people and, I believe that his approach actually brings that goodness out.

I have also loaned money and made a huge difference for someone who kept the lights on and paid me back on time and I have invested in people who have given me a lifetime of joy and I can tell you that my fulfillment box is much larger than my disappointment box. The thing is, I could not have the fulfillment without the disappointment and I’m good with that.

Philosophically it is like the old adage, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

Have a great week!

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