Archive for September 2015

7 Keys to Better Relationships

by: Patricia Wagner

Would you like to enhance the quality of your life and increase your personal happiness? If you answered “yes,” the information in this article could change your life!

Isn’t it easy to get stuck in the everydayness of life? We can get so busy making a living and getting ahead financially that the really important things fall through the cracks!

That can happen to all of us. However, when people come to the end of their lives, they don’t wish they had spent more time making money. When all is said and done, we want our family and friends to be with us then!

So let’s try to focus on developing better relationships instead of acquiring more things. Think of your circle of family and friends as a lovely garden to water and cultivate. The book of Proverbs teaches this crucial truth: “A man that has friends must show himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24).

Here are 7 keys that will help your relationships to bloom:

1. Spend time with your friends and loved ones.

Although this is obvious, we need to intentionally set aside time in our schedules for them no matter how busy we think we are. Put appointments with friends and family into your daytimer or palm pilot. If you don’t do this, you may forget and months and even years can go by without seeing these special people. The sad fact is that those relationships can dry up and wither away from neglect.

Many marriages fail for just this reason. People are often too busy to spend enough time with each other and one or both of the partners can’t take the neglect. If you want your relationships to bloom, you have to water them with quality time. How long would a rose garden be lush and beautiful if no one watered it for days without end?

2. Genuinely appreciate the special people in your life.

Tell them how much they mean to you. Mention their good qualities and how special they are. For example, if you need to correct your children’s behavior, be sure to spend twice as much time appreciating their positive qualities than reprimanding their negative ones.

3. Learn to say, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.”

This will do wonders for your relationships. Humility is a beautiful quality in any person. Someone who thinks he or she is always right can be impossible to live with. If your habitual attitute is “I’m ALWAYS right,” that’s a poisonous plant that will spread and ruin your entire garden. Apologizing and asking for forgiveness when we’ve done something wrong does not degrade us. Instead it shows that we are growing up.

4. Be quick to forgive and don’t hold grudges.

Bury the past. Bitterness never helped anyone. It only hurts the bitter person. Don’t let the agressive weeds of unforgiveness spoil your garden. Try not to crush tender relationship plants by being harsh and unforgiving.

5. Learn to say “thank you” a lot.

Everyone loves to be appreciated for what he or she has done instead of being taken for granted. You may be thrilled by the vibrant blossoms of encouragement that will result from taking time to say “thank you.”

6. Listen more than you talk.

In a game of tennis it would be very strange for one of the players to bounce the ball up and down on his or her side instead of hitting the ball back to the other player. The same could be said for the game of ping pong. These games teach a powerful lesson. If you are always talking and other people don’t have a chance to get a word in edgewise, you won’t be very popular for long.

7. Go out of your way to help others in practical ways.

If a friend is in the hospital, go visit him. If a neighbor is going through a difficult financial time, bring groceries over to help tide him or her through the crisis.

If you follow these simple but powerful suggestions for nurturing your relationships, you yourself will also reap benefits in the form of increased happiness, pep and vitality. That’s because our relationships are far more important to our wellbeing than how much money we make or how well we’re doing climbing the corporate ladder.

Why not take a personal inventory of your life today? Put these suggestions into practice and become more effective in cultivating your special relationships.

Happy gardening!

(c) copyright 2004 by Patricia Wagner

About The Author

Patricia Wagner offers informative tips on living a more energetic lifestyle at http://www.a-to-z-wellness.com and through her free “A to Z Health Tips” newsletter. Subscribe at http://www.a-to-z-wellness.com/subscribe.htm. Contact Patricia at wagner.art@verizon.net

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Learning to Value Your Own Intuition

by: Albert Gundani

Ever wonder how animals know when to run for cover? They sense that danger is present. You have that sense as well. You won’t be running from bloodthirsty lions but your intuition will benefit you in life.

Intuition is essentially instinct. It comes from past experiences. If you learned that a stove is hot when the burner glows red, then you will stay away from stoves when you notice they are hot. That is a simplified explanation but the point is that experiences drive your intuition.

Another aspect of intuition is learned behavior. Here’s another simple explanation. Think of a deer hunter. You can’t just go out and find a deer; you need some pointers. Those lessons teach you to hear sounds and look for signs that you never knew existed before. It’s actually pretty amazing.

With each new experience and learned behavior you acquire new skills. Now, every time you make a decision you don’t consciously run through everything that you know before you say “yea” or “nay.” But, that information gets processed unconsciously and results in a feeling.

You might not want to use your intuition because it is based on a feeling. That’s what many people think. But, really, intuition may come across as a feeling but it is backed up by a lifetime of experience and learning. So, you really don’t just trust a feeling or a hunch.

With that said, intuition has to be practiced just like anything else. The hardest part will be recognizing it. Think about how you would feel walking down the street at night. You wouldn’t go down a dark alley or a dimly lit street. Why? You have learned that there is inherent danger in these places.

Use that same process to conduct your everyday life and goal setting. When you identify a goal you want to achieve, use your instinct to decide how best to achieve it. You can take suggestions from others but only you know the best way to proceed. When one path doesn’t pan out, your intuition will help you decide the next course of action.

Most of all don’t be afraid to trust it. Your intuition can not only save your life in certain situations but will also enhance your life. One reason we don’t always achieve our goals or even pursue a goal in the first place is because we trust someone else’s intuition.

Don’t let those feelings pass you by. It is your unconscious mind trying to give you a lift in the right direction.

About The Author

Albert Gundani is an Internet Marketer and likes to help other likeminded individuals to achieve their goals in life. If this article has been useful please subscribe to my list at http://www.MySuccessInternetBusiness.com

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Just Do It

by: Erik Luhrs

“It’s easy to say that.”

I can’t tell you how often I hear that expression when I first start coaching or consulting with someone. After they have delivered their “Oh, woe is me” speech, I will usually tell them some simple insight for success. They will then respond with those famous words.

People who have lived their life swimming around in mediocrity and excuses don’t want to hear that having a successful life or a successful business can truly be as easy as defining some core beliefs, establishing some procedures and just sticking to them.

But it’s not all their fault.

Most of us were brought up with family and friends telling us that “life is hard,” and that we had to be “realistic” in our goals. And if by chance we had the will to pursue our dream for a while we were told to “get serious” and “grow up” right after our first little mistake. That is usually where most people give up.

Of course, our families and friends had good intentions. But we all know what the road to Hell is paved with!

So we find ourselves ready to start a business or in the middle of trying to grow an existing business. Yet we feel like we keep “screwing up” and all we can hear are those well-meaning voices in our head telling us to give up.

That’s usually when a consultant or coach, like me, is called in. People like to think that someone else can magically change their life or their business.

The truth is we can help your life or your business, but we can’t change them for you.

We give value to our clients by helping them move beyond their internal distractions (like those “helpful” voices), recognize their needs, utilize their assets, and create realistic plans so they can confidently and competently build their businesses.

However, none of a coach or consultant’s work is worth a dime if the client doesn’t give up their sob story and take action.

So, when you’re about to tell yourself why you can’t do this or that, remember that “this or that” are things that many people have done before today and that many more will do after today, so they are not impossible. Thus, you can easily do “this or that.”

Now all you have to do is just do it.

Yeah, I know. “It’s easy to say that.”

About The Author

Erik Luhrs is the President of Make Your Business BOOM! Inc. He provides Consulting, Coaching and Seminars on Business & Performance Optimization to Executives and Business Owners all over the world. Visit http://www.MakeYourBusinessBOOM.com to request a complimentary Do It Now, Succeed Now Coaching Session today.

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Motivation: What Works?

by: William Frank Diedrich

Blame and criticism are highly overrated as motivators. You already know this. Think about it. When you spent a lot of time trying to correct someone–an employee, your spouse, your parent, your child, anyone–did it work? When someone was blaming and critical of you, did it work? Like most of us, you probably felt the blaming was unfair or inappropriate. The problem is that blaming and criticism don’t inspire us. If you are sensitive, they make you feel small. There is an answer.

Blaming and criticism arise out of frustration. We see that the behavior of another is not what we want, and so we try to blame it away. As I look back on my careers as a teacher, coach, executive, and consultant I can see all of the times I was ineffective as a critic. Blaming and criticism may serve you as a way of venting your frustration, but they don’t get the job done. The result is continuous struggle and/or removing the person from your sight. We stop talking to our child or spouse. We move the troublesome employee to another department or do our best to avoid them. There is a better way.

We tell ourselves that we tried and that we just couldn’t succeed in getting them to change. The problem, of course, is that we were trying to change the wrong person. In fact, we cannot change other people. We can only change ourselves. Our attempts to change others create frustration, stress, and blaming. Relationships become strained and dysfunctional (meaning “not working”). Yet the answer that we thought was in the other person was within us all along.

You may be skeptical at this point. After all, you had good intentions. You knew what the other person needed to do to be more effective or happier. You were right. They were the problem. Yet, the question is still nagging us. Did criticism and blaming work? Was it effective in producing the result you wanted? Be honest. It didn’t work, did it? This doesn’t mean that you blame yourself. Blaming and criticizing yourself doesn’t work any better. What does work?

When we blame or criticize anyone, including ourselves, we are focused on what we don’t want. All of our emotional energy flows into the negative. Most of what we do and say from a blaming mode actually serves to maintain or worsen the situation. We expect people to misbehave, screw up, or fail in some way. We get so emotionally invested in our judgment of their performance that we start needing for them to fail. Their failures reassure us that we were right. Their failures justify our negative opinion. Our focus on what we don’t want helps us to create what we don’t want.

Their failures justify our image of self as good, intelligent, or competent. An example would be the manager who blames and criticizes the employee who doesn’t perform. He’s failing because there is something wrong with him (lazy, not smart, no discipline). It can’t be me; I’m a competent manager. By convincing ourselves about what is wrong with the other person we prevent ourselves from finding new pathways to reaching them. Our judgment becomes an impenetrable wall that blocks us from seeing any possibilities for success.

When we blame, don’t see the other person as real. We fail to consider their needs and concerns, their view of the world. We resist them as people. Their behavior is inconvenient, painful, or disruptive. It gets in the way of me making my goals. One of the biggest complaints I hear from people in the workplace is the lack of respect and consideration they experience at work. They believe that their managers don’t really care about them.

So, what’s the answer? It’s never easy, but it is possible. First we need a vision. You know what you don’t want. What do you want? If this level of performance is not okay–if this behavior is not okay–what is? Clearly state what you want. Clearly tell people what the vision is. Align yourself with that vision. Do you want a workplace (or any other group you are in) where people are treated with care and respect? Do you want a place where people feel good? Do you want peak performance? Whatever you want, be it. Communicate it clearly. Give people specific positive feedback on how they are succeeding. Offer corrective feedback when people fall short. Ask them what they need. Ask for feedback from them on how you are doing at manifesting your vision. Listen and make changes.

Second, always talk to people with care. Don’t get caught up in the ineffective strategy of thinking people don’t deserve your respect. Offer your help. Do all that you can to create processes and relationships that support them in doing well. If they refuse to do well, find out why. Sometimes in the workplace people refuse to improve or change. Don’t judge them for this. Maybe the job isn’t for them. Maybe this organization is not for them. If you can’t help them to change, see if someone else can. If no one can help them to change, help them to go. Refuse to accept chronic behavior that doesn’t fit with the vision.

At the same time, give lots of specific praise for good work. Constantly reinforce people, and never take good work for granted. What you focus on expands. What we reinforce we strengthen. If we constantly focus on appreciating people for successes, we increase our successes.

Listen to the way people talk to each other. Challenge negative comments that are “normal”. Understand the dissatisfaction that is behind the comment, and help people find appropriate ways to address it. Do not accept negative talk as a way of life.

If you want to transform your workplace (or any group you are a part of), you need to be a visionary. You need to be so into your vision that you live it every day. Mistakes are opportunities to make positive corrections, to help people, and to solve problems. Blaming and criticism are like shooting yourself in the foot. Raise your aim to a higher level. See and encourage the best in people. Believe in their ability to add to this vision. Give them the tools and the feedback to help them. Include them in the vision by listening to them; providing direct, honest communication; and treating people with the utmost care and respect.

About The Author

William Frank Diedrich is a speaker, executive coach, and the author of Beyond Blaming: Unleashing Power and Passion in People and Organizations. William offers keynotes and workshops on leadership and moving beyond blaming. William also offers a free online newsletter, Transformation Times. Learn more about William at http://noblaming.com.