#654 Yelling and Demanding will get results

Posted by frank June - 29 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Demands will get you results.  In fact, I have witnessed people scrambling around, trying to tidy up and get things right because Mr. Demanding is looming close by.

They run, they quiver, they angst, they do whatever they can to avoid his wrath. 

I think it’s easy to be Mr. D.  I think it’s lazy to be Mr. D.  I think it’s thoughtless and selfish to be Mr. D., though I admit, it can be an effective way to get immediate results.

I can certainly call a business or grab an employee and blast them for whatever bad service they’ve rendered and threaten to throw them out if it isn’t resolved in 10 minutes and they will react quickly.

 I can also lead with a compliment, listen with understanding, and get a good result for now and a reputation that will get me better long-term service albeit not as quickly.  Sometimes, the person giving the service comes from a place that requires me to have a firmer hand and sometimes I have to part company with that service or person but I find that out by having the patience to try to lead with kindness first.

If you put a cajoler head to head with a demander the demander will get faster results 99% of the time.  People look to avoid pain quickly. Knowing this Machiavellians will say that this is the course to follow and, for immediate results, I cannot argue with them.  However as I look back on my life and picture a long trail of interactions I have had I don’t want to see it strewn with the dismembered bodies of those I have sacrificed to get my results.

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

#653 I’ll Shop Elswhere

Posted by frank June - 22 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

This message is especially dedicated to the superior customer service providers at Neighbors Home Care!

On Thursday night I walked in to a convenience store.  I grabbed a bottle of water and a pack of gum and went to the counter.  I put my items down and put a twenty dollar bill beside them and waited.  The ass, sorry, I mean, guy, behind the counter sat there and stared in to his phone like he would find the meaning of life there.  I waited about 20 seconds (an eternity in a good customer service world) then reached over and grabbed my twenty.  My movement broke his hypnosis and he tore himself away from his phone and looked at me with incredulity.  I said, You didn’t even acknowledge me!   Then I pocketed my twenty and left.  I will NEVER enter that establishment again.

A couple of weeks ago I called a pool supply store with a question about saltwater conversions.  They told me my question would be best handled by the service manager.  I said, OK is he available?  The guy on the phone said , No.  But give me your number and someone will call you back later or in a few days.  I swear to you, that is an exact quote.  I will never do business with that pool store and, for the record, I never did get a call back.

I’ve made inquiries for services with various business people  who aren’t available at the moment I call and have  had numerous receptionists  say, Sorry, she isn’t in right now.  Can you call back? 

No, I don’t think I will.


There are choices.  In my small town there are many pizza places, bagel stores, law offices, lawn people, realtors, painters, vets, coffee shops and drug stores.  It isn’t just proximity that makes me favor one over another. 

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


#652 How to Skin a Bear

Posted by frank June - 15 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I was in Northern Saskatchewan at a hunting camp when I learned what absolute focus is.

Johnny Beaver-Eye was skinning a bear.  It was September and the air was warm.  Johnny is a local native and was our guide.  Johnny has hunted and fished full time for his entire life and knew the thousands of acres of woods and water better than I know my own kitchen.  He was a marvel of competency and his expertise, along with the company of some good friends, (and good scotch) made this the most memorable adventure of my life.

As I said, Johnny was skinning a bear.  Not in high end butchering facility; Johnny was lakeside, on the bare ground with just his skinning knife.  Think about what happens at your barbeque when the food is uncovered and flies, bees, and various other winged insects find it.  Now multiply that by 10,000 and picture the swarm around this 250 pounds of raw meat and the man astride it. 

Johnny skinned the bear.  He had bees on him, black flies biting him, ants crawling all over him and flies and mosquitos, whirl-pooling around his head and Johnny skinned the bear.

I watched him for over an hour and never saw him, swat at anything, ask for cover, brush a bug off his skin or complain.  It was all part of the environment and so was he.  He understood that to complete the task he had to coexist with swarming bugs and that swearing about it or focusing on trying to make it stop would not change a thing; so he skinned the bear.  With complete focus, expertise, and a calm that was other-worldly, he skinned the bear.

I don’t know what bear you have to skin today or what bugs will be biting you, crawling on you or buzzing around your ears, but I can tell you that with focus and concentration on the task rather than the pests, you too will skin your bear.

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


Yo! I got Issues #651

Posted by frank June - 8 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Max worked for me for several years.  He was a talented salesperson and we had a good run together but here is what I remember most about Max.  It seemed like once a week or so he’d walk into my office and, with his basso profondo voice he’d say,  “Yo Somms, I got issues.” Max was never one to hold back.  If he didn’t like a thing, he’d let you know.  I have to say that although Max was a bit of a prickly pear, the concept of releasing angst can be a good one.  I am not flip-flopping on my “no complaining” stance, instead I want to draw a lesson from Max and offer you challenge for today. You have issues with someone.  Don’t try to tell me you don’t.  Here is what I want you to do today.  Confront him or her but don’t attack.  Instead confess your feelings rationally and without blame.  Give your interpretation of the incident and how it has effected you.  Ask what you may have done to provoke them in to acting that way toward you and really listen.  You can even say that you may have misinterpreted the situation but you just want to clear the air.   I promise you that if you do this, in this way, YOU will feel 100% better.  You will have more energy and sleep better.  Bad feelings are like a fire inside of you and time ignored just fans the flames.  Let it out an put it out! Max did not have this formula down and often got the poor result you get when you blame someone else and attack them for your feelings but the concept is sound and if you express the way I am suggesting, it will bring relief

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


#650 You could be Dead

Posted by frank June - 1 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Life is a terminal condition.  Eventually, we all die.  Thankfully that isn’t the first thought we have upon awakening each day but still, it isn’t a bad thought to have if you can use it to fuel you.

If you have been reading me for any time at all you know I am not a huge fan of complaining .  I’m a “lemonade out of lemons” kind of guy.  Certainly I feel the same things the complainers do and I have  and will continue to complain from time to time but where I have gotten to now is this.  I feel it, I think about it, I think about what I can do about it, and I do it.  If I cant change it,(like the weather) I figure out what I can like about it.  I find no comfort in complaining.

Evidently, for some people, it does help to articulate it over and over.  I know some highly successful people who complain incessantly.  My school of thought isn’t the only one it’s just mine.  I choose to move to the lemonade part quickly rather than bemoaning my lemons over and over and telling them I wish they were cherries or oranges.

A quote that rings in my ears every time I complain is one that is attributed to Maya Angelou’s grandmother.  Maya said that when people complained to her grandma, her grandma would wait until the complainer had moved out of earshot and then say to Maya, “Sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, rich and poor, white and black, and they will never wake up again.  Those dead folks would give anything for just five minutes of the weather that person was grumbling about so watch yourself about complaining.  What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it and if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  But don’t complain.”

The part that strikes me most is, of course, the thought of living with what I am complaining about versus not living…

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


#649 BE, DO, HAVE

Posted by frank May - 26 - 2015 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

“But Frank, why do things like this always happen to me?”  “I don’t know.  The best I have been able to figure out is that things like this always seem to happen to people like you.”

You have attracted the life you have now because of the person you have become.  If you want a different life, be a different you.

Life is an inside out equation.  Your influence has little to do with what you say and everything to do with who you are.  How you present yourself; how you act and react, are all components of your influence and, ergo, the life you have.

Personal development is an ongoing process and begins with this simple philosophy:


If you have a vision of the life you would like to have the first step to creating that life is to BE the kind of person who has that life.  Then you have to DO the things that person would do so you can HAVE what that person would have.

Be, do, have.  It’s simple but it isn’t easy.  Daily disciplines lead to long term goals and it all starts with YOU.  You have everything inside of you to do whatever it is you’d like to do.

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



#648 I Won’t Complain

Posted by frank May - 18 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I am not going to complain.  Not even a little.  Not for one minute.  I am going to spend the entire day today in that posture.  Wish me luck.


I have to tell you truthfully, I am not really a complainer. I usually make the best of a situation or try to think my way through things but I have noticed that I do complain more than I thought I did.  Sometimes it’s just in my head, like when I am trying to move quickly as I walk through midtown but everyone on the street seems to be walking though mercury.  Sometimes I complain out loud, whether it’s about me, (I hate when I do that!) or you, (“I hate when he does that!).  Sometimes it’s when I’m driving, (Why do I AWAYS wind up behind the guy digging for change in an EZ Pass lane?) Sometimes it’s a phone call I’d rather not take (Argh!  Why is he calling me AGAIN?)

Regardless of the catalyst of my complaint, I’m just saying that I have been paying attention to these complaining moments lately and I have found that they make me worse; not better.  I find no catharsis in complaining.  Instead, I find myself a little more angry, a little more edgy, and definitely a little less friendly.

So I’m giving it a shot today.  Today, when I get cut off, or the grocery store is out of the apples I like, or a motorcycle roars down my street at midnight, or my favorite show buffers for ten minutes instead of streaming steadily (The way the cable company promises on their commercials) or I get to the train station on time but the train is running 20 minutes late, I am going to think of the promise I made to you, here, and smile and think of the 100 other things I took for granted today that all went well, starting with: I WOKE UP THIS MORNING.

I don’t know what the outcome of this experiment will be nor do I have any expectations of permanent change, I just want to see if I can do it.


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

#647 Same Sh*! Different Day

Posted by frank May - 11 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

If you don’t change you will be where you are now, only later. 

For me, two irrefutable principles in life are that self-awareness is paramount,  and personal growth is essential.

The growth comes from the awareness.  Some people say you ought to be satisfied with where you are; accept your lot in life.  I don’t think so.  I like to be happy where I am today while I look to the growth of tomorrow.  And I can do that because happiness is  inside out.

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” 

Remember, nothing changes until something changes and rumination is not examination.

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

#646 Do You Need to be Left Back?

Posted by frank May - 3 - 2015 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

Life is like getting left back in grade school.  You keep learning the same lessons over and over. 

Robert Louis Stevenson said “Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.”  The word consequences makes me think of paying the price for something I did badly but, in truth, consequences are just the result of something that occurred earlier. 

It is certain that if I’ve lived a crapulous (I’ve always wanted to use that word) life, I will suffer the consequences. But it is just as certain that if I lead a life of character I will also reap the consequences (rewards).

I find that, from time to time, I do need to learn the same lessons over and over.  Old habits, as they say, die hard.  I still occasionally lose my temper even though 99% of the times that I have lost it, it led to bad outcomes.  I still procrastinate things I dislike doing though I suffer regret each time. 

I’d like to think, though, that I am getting better.  That my patience and tolerance have increased with age and that I don’t need to be left back again today.  That instead, I am a work in progress and I know you are too. (I’m talking to you my talented Italian friend)

Self-awareness is the key.  It’s been said that I’m not who I think I am and I’m not who you think I am but I am who I think you think I am.  But I am from a school that says my self-awareness doesn’t need you to anoint me.  I am from a school that says I should evaluate myself, take total responsibility for the results of my life, and make adjustments based on those results. What do you think?  I’d love to hear from you.

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

#645 Adversity

Posted by frank April - 27 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Did you read this weekend the guy who crashed his small engine plane into the side of a mountain and lived?

He was burned over 80% of his body, broke 19 bones, punctured a lung, needed hundreds of stitches and was in rehab for a year!  Then he went on to invent several products, built a multi-national corporation, and began a worldwide charity organization.

This, to my knowledge did not actually happen.  I made it up to make a point.

We do hear stories all the time of people who face extraordinary adversity and then do extraordinary things don’t we?  And they are always so believable.  We want to believe in exceptional bounce-back-ability.  It is a cultural given.


It got me to thinking.  There are certainly a lot of people doing extraordinary things out there who haven’t burned up in a plane crash, escaped a POW camp, or overcome a debilitating birth injury and you may be one of them.  If you are, I tip my hat for you for excelling despite the relatively easy life you’ve had.

How about the rest of us?  Do we need to be thrust into our darkest hour to spring back with zeal?  Maybe it shouldn’t take more than a look at your mate or your kids to push you to excel.  

Don’t die with your song still inside you.  Push the fear aside, find the motivation in your everyday surroundings and explode in to whatever it is that you’ve dreamed about or imagined but pushed aside thinking the status quo will do just fine.

It may not be an invention or swimming the English Channel, it may be blowing through the ordinary as a mom or a Grandad or a coach or a teacher or it may be climbing Mt. Everest!  The point is, it doesn’t matter.  You don’t need extraordinary pain to vault yourself in to extraordinary fame. It’s in you.  You have everything inside of you to do whatever it is you want to do.  You’re not lacking it, you’re blocking it.

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