These Are The Good Old Days

I’m part of a Facebook group of people who all I grew up in the same area and era. Often the postings are about places and events from the past. You know, the good old days. The interesting thing is we didn’t appreciate a lot of this stuff when we were living it. Just keep in mind that someday people will talk about what’s happening now as the good old days.

These Are The Good Old Days

Slow Down

I’ve come to realize that many people don’t read any more. The problem with this is when they get an e-mail they skim through it and miss things–important things–and often embarrass themselves when they reply. This then makes them look lazy, sloppy, unprofessional and as harsh as this sounds, look stupid.

The irony is by trying to save time by not really reading something this leads to wasted time down the line when they have to explain themselves for not knowing something they should, showing up to something on the wrong day or time, or not showing up at all (in more ways than one.)

Slow Down

Such a Simple Thing

When Savannah Guthrie (the newest member of the “Today Show” cast) came back from maternity leave to help celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of Matt Lauer, she said the following to him: 

“Matt, you know this, but I’ve looked up to you all my life, because you’re so old. No, seriously, I just want to say, we adore you. One of the things that is so wonderful about you is that from the second I walked in here, one of the things I noticed is that you know every single person’s first name and last name. You know the name of their dog. You know how their mother is doing.”

This could be something we probably could all improve upon this year, our ability to remember names and simple things about those we interact with regularly.

Such a Simple Thing

Listen To Me

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the talk of the town was robots. Robots who can do everything from make your morning coffee to sort and fold your laundry. 

Some of the robots on display also look just like humans. In fact, that’s what the industry is aiming for–robots that take care of your chores AND care about you. (Yes, you read that right.) 

So what does this mean? I guess if you already use Amazon’s Alexa you can guess where I’m going with this. Some people want and need someone to talk to, or most specifically, someone to listen to them. In the future, we will have a relationship with a robot. (Some people probably already feel like they do . . . with their spouse.)

Just something to ponder.

Listen To Me

New Skills Needed

“How are you doing?” It’s a question often asked and often answered the same way, “I’m fine.” Fine is okay. Wouldn’t it be better to be able to say, “I’m fantastic”, and mean it. Take the quiz below to see if you are doing all you can to 2017 your year.

Check off the things you are doing well.

__ I am into new technology and keeping up with trends in my field.
TIP: Narrow your focus to finding and using new technology that helps you reach your goals to avoid overload and wasted time.

__ I am careful about what I say, write, post, and tweet because times have changed.

TIP: It takes years to build a brand and a positive image and reputation–all of which can be undone in one slip up in a very critical and politically correct world. It’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to anything that may offend others.

__ I am investing time, money, and energy into self-improvement and skill building. 

TIP: It’s easy to get complacent when things are going good, but to get to great we all need to be lifelong learners and spend time and money getting better–or better yet, becoming obsessed with trying to be the best at something.

__ I am into helping others reach their goals with my job, business, and volunteer work.
TIP: The best way to move forward is to help others move forward. No matter what we want (to make a sale, get a promotion, or increase our list of Facebook friends) we have to give to get. 

__ I am willing and able to step outside of my comfort zone.
TIP: If we’re not changing we’re not growing. Furthermore, if we don’t have what we want, maybe we should do something we haven’t done. The people who have achieved great success are usually the ones who are comfortable being outside of their comfort zone. Take a small step or two outside of your bubble, or make your bubble bigger.

__ I am spending my time on the things that make me happy, make me money, make me proud, make me successful, make me better.

TIP: Finding ways to incorporate the things WE enjoy doing into our daily routines isn’t easy, but if we could just read for a few minutes, do a focused workout that takes less time, take a quick power nap, or watch a recorded show without commercials, we can fit things in. The trick is to find faster and better ways to do the things we have to do to make time for the things we want to do.

__ I am my own brand and I project the image I want to maintain.

TIP: If we take a minute to look at all of our points of contact to see if they match up with our brand, we can be sure our outgoing message, e-mail signature, postings, and tweets all line up. We also should look at how we look and dress, our hair style, how clean our car is, and so on to make sure we make a good impression.

__ I am all about building and maintaining friendships in my personal and professional life.
TIP: Career success, sales, and promotion are about relationships–good ones with people who can help you get where you need to go with a phone call or e-mail on your behalf. We all need more successful friends, not just acquaintances.

This list was a LOT longer but I cut it down to (hopefully) make it easier to read. Needless to say having a focus for the year, making and managing money, and staying healthy are important–but aren’t listed.

New Skills Needed

Hang In There

When people feel frustrated that nothing is going right, they need to use a four-letter word to fix it. Ah, it’s not the word that probably popped into your head, the word is hope. In the movie Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne (who is imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit) says, “Hope is a good thing.” 

As long as we have hope that things will get better in the future, we can endure what’s happening in the present. Without hope, we can spiral down into a place of self-pity and despair–which is not where we want to be.

So how do we get to a place of hope when the world around us (our world) is crumbling and there seems like there is no way to rebuild it? Here are several steps you can take right now to put yourself on a path to prosperity and happiness.

1. Proof Positive
Hope comes from knowing that someone else in your same situation (or worse) has turned things around. Use Google to look up great comebacks and read about someone else that overcame similar obstacle. After studying them, print out a picture of this person and on the back write what you think THEY would do if they were in your shoes.

2. Let Go Of The Outcome
It’s easy to lose hope when you aren’t in control of the outcome of a project, proposition, or plan. Instead, get lost in the process. The Nike slogan, “Just Do It” is appropriate. Just start and let go of the things you can’t control–other’s opinions and decisions. Action is the antidote for frustration. So just start on something without caring about how it will turn out. Or, take on a tiny project you can control and see it to completion.

3. Positive People
If we are surrounded by positive people who we know are pulling for us and who help us out, encourage us, and really listen to us when we tell them about our situation and don’t judge us, we can see hope on the horizon. Make a list of the people you spend the most time with and next to their name put a plus sign if they are positive people and a minus sign of they are negative. Make it your mission to spend more time with the positive people in your life. If you don’t have enough positive people in your life, find a group that will help you better yourself and has people with a positive outlook on life–like Toastmasters, for example. (By the way, stay away from social media where other’s are flaunting their success. This can drag you down.)

4. I Can See Clearly Now
Having a vision for your future is always better than just winging it. When we wing it, anything is possible, which sounds good, but in reality is overwhelming. When we know what we want, can picture it, describe it, and verbalize it to others we are focused–and when we are focused on something (positive) we will see opportunities. Whichever way works best for you to create a clear target to aim for and a path to get there, then do it. Write down your mission statement. Pick a person or company and say, “I want to be the (fill in the blank) of my industry. Find a photo of what you want and put up where you can see it. (Also surround yourself with your past success–anything you have done in the past that motivates you in the present will do.)

5. Helping Hand
Sometimes helping others with their problems gets our minds off of our own. Seeing someone succeed and having a hand in it gives us hope that the same can happen for us.

Hang In There