You’re Killing Me! #632

Posted by frank January - 26 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I recently met with a woman who was newly hired as a fundraiser for a small non-profit.  She has been on job for just under a year and is frustrated with the lack of success she’s had thus far.
I listened to the various things she has tried and to what degree they’d worked.  I asked a lot of questions about her process and her day to day schedule.  Her answers came out as excuses as to why she couldn’t make faster progress.  She told me about the many directions the organization drags her in and how many hats she has to wear during the day. In other words she was already shutting down any notion I might have as to how trying something new or scheduling herself in a different way might help her even before I’d suggested anything!
I tried to offer a few suggestions of things that have worked for a friend of mine who is in the same position as she at a very similar organization.  She told me why each would not work in a place like hers.  I offered a couple of new directions that had worked for us at The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation but none of those would work with her board, her boss, her budget, her community etc.  I even offered to set up a meeting between her and my fundraising friend who has been at it for 40 years but she thought that she’d be wasting his time because her place was not in a position to do the things he might suggest.
When I left there, my stomach was in knots.  I’m not good at fielding complaints without resolution.  It frustrates the hell out of me.  It isn’t that I need to have an answer to every issue, but I need to feel like the person is at least seeking an answer.  What I saw there was someone who will wallow in their own mess, make no progress at all, blame the organization and eventually get fired and blame that on her organization.
I complain.  I absolutely do.  We all do from time to time.  Sometimes complaining is just venting and people don’t want answers; I get that.  But in a business setting complaining about not achieving your objectives without being open to anything new is stupid and a guaranteed path to failure.

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

#631 Can Do/Will Do

Posted by frank January - 12 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

When I am interviewing salespeople I evaluate them on two things; CAN they do the required activities to be successful and WILL they do the required activities to be successful.  The first one is relatively easy.  Most often, I can ask questions and listen and determine if they “Can do.”  There is a certain personality that brings competitive instinct, a desire to be noticed and a drive for money and things that is evidenced in most salespeople.  The tougher part is the “Will do.”

I believed that every single sales hire I ever made had the “Will do” or I wouldn’t have hired them yet a huge percentage of salespeople hired wash out in less than a year.

It’s the same with most activities.  I just read a statistic on Jim Vaughn’s “The IQ Morning Report, (Go to www.theiqmorningreport.com and subscribe!)

That said that over 80% of habits we intend to form don’t stick.

-CAN you go to the gym 4 days a week?  Yes, but, WILL you go to the gym 4 days a week?

-CAN you read 20 books this year?  Yes, but WILL you read 20 books this year?

So what is the gap between Can do and will do; between intention and action?  I could write 1,000 pages about that but for today I’m going to go with the elephant eating theory, one bite at a time.  If I say I am going to walk for 30 minutes every day I probably won’t do it.  There are idle treadmills with clothes hung on them in 5 out of ten houses in America proving that theory.

So, applying the elephant theory, and some AA , one day at a time, wisdom, can you walk tomorrow only?  Of course you can.  Dr. Rob says to use the 15-minute rule.  Just commit to something for 15 minutes.  At play here is the idea that action leads feeling rather than allowing feelings to determine action.  If you begin for 15 minutes you will likely feel like continuing but if you wait until you feel like it, you will likely be hanging your gym clothes on your treadmill.

 

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

#632 Lead

Posted by frank January - 11 - 2015 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

Old tried and true sayings are called tried and true because they’ve been tried and they are true! DUH.

“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”  Most people hear this and pay attention to the last part, about making him drink.  But for the moment let’s focus on the first part; leading a horse to water.  Imagine trying to drag a reluctant, two thousand pound horse to water.  Imagine yelling at him, kicking him and dragging him.  How’s that working out for you?  Wouldn’t it be better to, as the expression says, LEAD that horse to water?  You can lead him by training him to walk beside you, encouraging him and talking about how good the water will be when he gets there.  Or you can show him the way to the water, or even hold a carrot out in front of him.  Getting him to drink when he gets where you are leading him is also a lot easier if you didn’t flog, push and berate him on the way.

 

 

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

#630 Richard Cory

Posted by frank January - 5 - 2015 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

 

I think most of us can agree that these essential elements are part of a happy, successful life.  We want to be HAPPY, HEALTHY, REASONABLY PROSPEOUS, SECURE, have GOOD FRIENDS, PEACE OF MIND, GOOD FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS and HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

The thing, though, is that sometimes we assume other people have this covered and we don’t.  Emerson said, Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.”  I’ve always loved that quote.  When I was a kid I went on and on about a “rich kid” in my class.  I was jealous of his clothes, his house and his Dad’s brand new Cadillac. I asked my Mom why he had EVERYTHING and we had nothing.  Mom, in her inimitable way, taught me that you can’t tell someone’s insides by looking at their outsides. She taught me by having me read this poem I share with you now. 

                                                RICHARD CORY

                                                By Edward Arlington Robinson

WHENEVER RICHARD CORY WENT DOWN TOWN,

WE PEOPLE ON THE PAVEMENT LOOKED AT HIM:

HE WAS A GENTLEMEN 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 WAITEDFOR 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.

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

#629 A New Motto

Posted by frank December - 29 - 2014 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

You see on at the bottom of this weekly missive, as well as at the bottom of my email messages, my motto for 2014, “Mindful in Every Moment and Grateful for Every Day” The idea of creating a motto for each year came to me from my cousin Steve and it has become a wonderful exercise I look forward to as the new year approaches.  With 2015 just a few days away, I’d like to challenge you to create yours.  For me, creating a motto for the year is akin to what my daughter Alicia asks as she begins every yoga class she teaches.  She instructs her students to create an intention for that class. 

Creating your motto for the year is just like that.  What is your intention for 2015?  Last year, as I thought it through, I realized that I wasn’t as present as I could have been during 2013. I was preoccupied and left events in my life without a vivid memory of what had occurred.  I wanted to improve upon that and my intention for 2014 is clearly stated in my motto.  I can tell you Steve was right.  It set the tone for my year.  Having that motto at the bottom of every email makes it a constant part of my consciousness and, in 2014, I was more mindful of every moment and more grateful for every day.

So again, I challenge you to meditate on this for a day or two and right down your ideas.  What do you intend for this year?  What is your focus for 2015? Can you right a statement that describes what a part of you should be like in the coming year?

If you need a sounding board feel free to send me some ideas.  I do this with Steve and he helps me to hone the final statement in to one that hits the nail on the head.

Thanks for reading and for all your feedback.  I wish you a happy and healthy 2015.

2014 Motto: “Mindful in Every Moment and Grateful for Every Day

#628 Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Posted by frank December - 22 - 2014 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Shoulda Woulda Coulda…

How many dreams have dissipated with age?  How many people have gone to their grave with their song still inside them?  When is it too late?

We’ve all heard the story of KFC and how Harlan Sanders didn’t start his meg-franchise until he was in his sixties; but that’s him.  That’s a legend.  What about the rest of us regular folks who have to grind it out day after day?  What about our dreams?  Can we pursue our dreams while punching the clock and paying the bills?

The answer is a resounding yes and not because of some legend we may not be able to relate to, but because I can tell you about a friend of mine who just realized his.

Joe Herder, was my roommate while we were in the US Navy back in the late seventies.  He went on to a terrific career in finance but that’s not the story I want to tell.  Recently, Joe managed to write and publish his first novel while working a demanding full time job.  How did he do it?  He sat down and wrote.  He wrote when he had a break at work.  He wrote on the train to work.  He wrote in the evening and he wrote in the morning.  He wrote at lunch and on weekends and virtually any time he could squeeze it in.

The story is a great one.  I know, I read the manuscript.  Joe developed the story, in his head, over 15 years ago while commuting on Metro North in to Manhattan and now, at age 56, wrote it, had it edited and published last week.  The link is below, and again it is a fantastic book.  Grab a copy to read and be inspired by what my friend was able to accomplish in his “spare time” while most folks just about have time to get through the day to day.

 

I’m really proud of him and, as a constant consumer of great fiction by guys like Clancy, Sanford and Lehane,  can tell you that the name Herder, belongs next on that list.  It’s called Ripple Effect and it is available, electronically, on Amazon.  Here is the link

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ripple-Effect-Joe-Herder-ebook/dp/B00QQN3NZE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419109658&sr=8-1&keywords=joe+herder

2014 Motto: Mindful in Every Moment and Grateful for Every day

#627 Alone with no Phone

Posted by frank December - 15 - 2014 - Monday 2 COMMENTS

A couple of weeks ago I dropped my phone and cracked the front glass.  I took it over to a friend of mine who has a small shop on 7th Ave in which he sells phone accessories.  He told me he could bring it over to a guy and have it fixed but it would take an hour or so.  I was meeting a business associate for coffee so I left the phone and headed toward the coffee shop.

I think I reached in to my pocket three or four times, reflexively, on the way to the shop to grab my phantom phone.

 

When I got to the coffee shop my guy hadn’t arrived yet so I reached for the phone again to check email or whatever.  As I sat there, unconnected I felt uneasy.  I had not been alone with myself like that for quite some time.  Whenever I wait for anything, I have two email accounts, text messages, twitter, Linked in, etc. to check to see what’s happening second by second.

 

This morning as the train made it to the tunnel on the way in to Penn., most of the riders woke from their morning naps and headed for the door.  I took notice that, literally, every one of them had their face in their phone as they waited for the last 5 minutes of the train ride.

 

I don’t know that I want to pass judgment on this as being good or bad, I just wonder about the uneasiness I felt when I was without my phone.  It kind of reminded me of why I quit tobacco; I hated the idea of something controlling me.

 

NOTE:  With the year drawing to a close it is time to begin to formulate your motto for 2015.  What will the theme of this year be for you?

 

2014 Motto:  Mindful in Every Moment and Grateful for Everyday

#626 Bad Call

Posted by frank December - 8 - 2014 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

You chose the life you have so far.  You chose what last year, last week and yesterday were like for you. 

Choice is not blame.  When bad things happen, many of us look for a reason why, as though we can be blamed for our own cancer or horrific accident and trace that malady back to a choice we made. 

This is not the choice I am talking about.  I’m referring to the choices that make up the texture and flavor of your life and those choices may be overt or tacit.

If I treat you badly haven’t I then chosen to be treated badly by you?

If I fail to greet or engage those around me haven’t I chosen loneliness?

If you are unhappy with where you are review the choices you make each day.

 

2014 Motto…“Mindful in Every Moment and Grateful for Every Day”

All about ME! #625

Posted by frank December - 1 - 2014 - Monday 1 COMMENT

When I was younger I had no sense of my projected image.  Meaning that it never occurred to me that other people may perceive me in a way that was different than who I thought I was.
I know; not too bright, but that’s how it was. Additionally, I was a show-off; always looking for the spotlight.  So imagine this young man, uninterested in listening and inept when it comes to taking social cues meant to shut him up or tone him down, vying for attention, only to be whispered about in the corners and cattily reviewed after his exit.  That was me before I learned a bit (and am learning still) and matured some.
I met someone over the holiday weekend who reminded me of that me; trouncing every story with an over-the-top personal anecdote and spinning every conversation back to himself.  I watched as people noticed and objected to his behavior with their body language while he was there and then trashed him after he left.
I thought a lot about this a lot and, at first, I thought that maybe people were being unfair and not giving him a chance.  After all, he was new to the group and maybe just trying too hard to make an impression.  But the harsh reality is that if he persists with this behavior, the body language will get more severe or he will overhear something hideous about himself, or he’ll get called out in a group and then growth can begin.
If you’ve ever watched Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, try to undo social problems in a dog you’ve seen him put the problem pooch in to his pack of dogs and then observe as the pack quickly straightens out the bad behavior.  It’s almost instant.  And here we thought we were the superior species…

​2014 Motto…“Mindful in Every Moment and Grateful for Every Day”

#624 With Age Comes Wisdom

Posted by frank November - 24 - 2014 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

Don’t be surprised if I do King Arthur lines for the next week or two.  I just saw Camelot again and he is just chock full of wisdom.

 

King Arthur: “I am too young and too old. Too old not to be uncertain of the fears that may be phantom and too young not to be tormented by them.”

When I heard this I knew I would want to remember it.  It reminds me a lot of the Marcus Aurelius quote; “I am an old man and have had many worries, most of which never came to pass.”

We are an anxious society with Xanex sales going through the roof.  Anxiety comes from worrying about mostly phantom fears.

Are there things to be concerned about?  Of course.  Do those valid concerns number as many as we fear?  Of course not.

The beginning of the Serenity prayer made famous by AA covers this subject well:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Live.  Let life come.  Plan of course but know that you can deal with most things thrown your way when they get here and know that most phantom fears will never arrive

2014 Motto: Mindful in every moment and Grateful for every day