Thursday, March 31, 2016

Are you letting your past determine your present?

The past is history regardless of its positives or negatives. Right now, this moment, this day is all you have or are guaranteed.  Will you live it with maturity, wisdom and common sense or will you let the mistakes, regrets, failures or challenges from the past alter or negatively impact what could be the opportunities that come to you today?

Sooner or later we all do dumb things, things in hindsight we regret, that’s life as none of us are without flaws or are perfect.  If you take risks sooner or later you will fail at something – a career, relationship, financial situation or any other life issue – let me repeat – that’s life and the only way to avoid mistakes, failure or problems in any way is to lock yourself in a log cabin in Vermont and stare at the birds all day.

I won’t bore you with all of my failures during my life cause if I did I’ll guarantee you would stop reading and say, “why should I listen to your council – you are a poor example of how to live life successfully.”

OK, you’re right but let me add that unless you are willing to fail and make mistakes you will learn very little about how life works and how to overcome and eventually win.

Why do people let past mistakes or failure have a negative influence on today’s actions, decisions, choices or behavior?  Well, I’m not a psychologist, but just a student in life and I believe it’s for one or several of the following reasons.

1)   They live every day with fear as their primary motivator.

2)   They worry too much about the approval of others.

3)   They need to have control of every aspect of life.

4)   They let their ego’s rule their life decisions and actions.

5)   They have low self-esteem or self-confidence.

6)   They believe failure is negative.

7)   They are unwilling to take full responsibility for their actions or choices.

8)   They have a dramatic sense of entitlement.

9)   They are constantly in blame mode.

10)They have a mindset of risk avoidance.

11)They feel inadequate or unworthy as an individual.

12)They give up control of their life to others or circumstances.

13)They stopped learning when they left high school.

14)They fear rejection.

15)They have a self-righteous attitude.

Any one of these behaviors or mindsets will contribute to letting your past have a negative influence on your todays.  Are you willing to honestly evaluate each of these and face reality and how you might be letting yesterday impact today due to any of the above reasons?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Are you waiting or living?

You can’t imagine how much time(life) the average person wastes – waiting for – something – anything.  The right career, relationship, job, vacation or for life to give them what they want or they think they deserve.  I know I have been guilty and I preach this stuff.  So, why do we waste life – waiting?

Since I know you have something else to do, someplace to go or something you are waiting for I will be as brief as possible.

Waiting - the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens. Guilty?

Living -way of life, lifestyle, way of living, life, conduct, behavior, activities. Helpful?

OK, so let me see if I can distinguish between the two and the advantages and/or disadvantages.

Life is short and speeds by in a flash.  One day you are graduating from high school and in the blink of an eye you are in your 40’s or 50’s or older.  We are all going to die and none of us knows when so why do we waste valuable time waiting for something better, newer or sooner?

Living is an adventure and each day can be lived with passion, purpose and a sense of joy or we can live each day wondering, fretting, worrying or regretting.  Think about it – I’ll bet for you the time has flown by leaving you asking yourself why – why you waited, why you wait or what you have missed as you waited or even – where has all the time gone?  Living is not about yesterday or tomorrow it is about making the best of every year, every day or even every minute you are given, not squandering time.

Yes, I know that some things take time but in the process do you stay in a limbo state waiting or live with gusto while you wait?

Disappointment is a natural part of life as are many other emotional states but in the end spending too much time in disappointment just wastes time and life.

Let me ask you have you ever spent time waiting? For something or anything that you couldn’t control?  If your answer is no – I’ll bet you are in a serious state of denial.

Again yes, I know that we all need to be patient as we wait for circumstances, careers or relationships to play out their normal series of events but the real question is – if you wait and it doesn’t happen the way you planned, hoped or desired was the waiting worthwhile?

Over the years I have developed a simple philosophy while I wait for life to give me what I want, hope for or desire.  I will be excited if it happens and I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t. This simple approach does several things for me.

One - it keeps my focus on now and not yesterday, tomorrow or what’s next.  Two - It helps me let go of control of what I can’t control.  Three – It reduces the disappointment and regret in my life. And four – it helps me realize how life happens in spite of my dreams, wishes or expectations.

Works for me.  How about you – have a philosophy to handle waiting or is waiting in control of your life?

Monday, March 28, 2016

What do you long for?

Everyone has a longing or longings of some kind whether for love, relationships, success, recognition, approval or world travels. It’s basic human nature.  If you long for nothing in your life that you don’t have or desire I’ll wager that you are living either in denial, you have settled or given up on a dream, hope, desire or some aspect or even every aspect of life – you are existing day to day just waiting for your last day.

I’m not just talking here about goals, plans or dreams but the basic need to fill some empty part of your life. To long for can take many forms from a simple something to happen in your life today to a miraculous cure of some disease or trauma.

Why do we long?  Is it pride? Ego? Arrogance? Fundamental basic human needs?  Hope? Visions?  Yes, it can be these any many more.

Over the years I have longed for many things in my life, career and relationships – some of them have happened while others still elude me for some reason.  Do I give up – quit – keep waiting – keep trying or just accept what is and what may never be?

I don’t know about you but quitting has never been in my DNA.  Frustration – yes, disappointment – yes, regret – yes, but in the end letting these rule the time I have left seems to waste life - whatever it brings to me.

Yes, sometimes age, health and financial circumstances can cause us to reconsider our lifelong longings, but this doesn’t mean they can’t change, adjust or be replaced with something else given our new circumstances.

I am reminded of Christopher Reeves (the first Superman) after his accident that changed the rest of his life forever but if you have read his story you know that he accomplished a great deal from his wheelchair, in fact much more than many people who can walk, talk, think etc.  His story has been an inspiration to me when I have faced challenging or difficult times. 

But what about you – given up on something?  Just because you may not be making the progress you think you should, is no reason to let go.  Yes, the dream or desire you long for may take a different path or have a different outcome due to unexpected changes in your life but this is no reason to quit, give in or settle.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The journey vs. the destination

You’ve heard it and I’ll bet you have even said it – “success/life is a journey not a destination”.  So, let me ask you are you living that way or are they just empty words?

When it comes to life there are basically four elements – the past, the present, the future and eternity.  You would be amazed at the percentage of time most people spend in two of the three (the past and the future) and how little time people spend considering how they are living in the present and how that will impact or influence how or where they will spend eternity.

I don’t care what your opinion or belief is about Heaven or Scripture because in the end both scripture and science agree on the fact that life is more than a few years on earth.  Without going into detail let me just say that life is more than just a body – it is also both energy or spirit and in the end the body ends but the spirit and the energy live on.  Science has stated that energy cannot be created or destroyed but it does change form.  No one really knows what this new spirit or energy looks like after death but why not live on the safe side and assume that when you die there is more than just the body and the life it lived.

So, back to the title.  Since no one knows when or how the life journey will end (the destination) all we really have is the ability to live the journey one day and one moment at a time.

I’m not talking here about goals, plans, dreams or hopes.  I’m talking about how you live each day that you are given focusing on what matters now and how it might influence tomorrow or next year (if you are still here).

Last year I lost five of my good friends and none of them knew they would not get to experience another year.  I’ll bet you lost someone close to you last year as well.  They are gone – where – we don’t know.  All we know is we no longer get to share laughter, dreams, memories or time with them.

So, focusing on the destination in my opinion is stupid - what we want in the future, what we hope for in the future, what we dream about in the future – got it? The future is an unknown but one we all hope we will have.

Very few people spend time considering what death really means and how its uncertainty influences or even controls their present.  During the past year I have read a dozen books about death and dying and the common theme in all of them (different and credible authors) was simply learn to live now – embrace the journey, love the journey, live the journey, experience the journey and someday the journey will be over for each of us.  But how we lived it will or may impact your eternity.  Why risk it?

So, let me ask you – if you knew today was your last day, or this month was your last month or this year was your last year – would you live them differently than you are?  If so - what would you do, start, let go of, improve, end, change AND - why, when or how?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Disappointment is not an outcome but a process

Ever been disappointed? We all are sooner or later and some of us more often than others and more often than necessary. What exactly is disappointment and what are its primary contributors?  But also, why do we set ourselves up for it?

Disappointment - the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations.  Get it – the single biggest cause of disappointment are the expectations we want or need to happen or feelings we have when we have been let down by others or circumstances.

Let me briefly explain the title as I believe that expectations and their outcomes are more of a process than an outcome.

We want something to happen – a returned phone call, email or text response, someone to show up on time for lunch – whatever – and we believe/feel that it should happen due to our own needs, desires or situations and then BAM – nothing.  So, we get upset, angry, hurt or yes – disappointed.  I call it the disappointment – setup.  Can it be avoided? Yes, but there are a few conditions that must be present.

First we have to grasp the simple concept that we are not in control of others or their actions, responses, timing or agendas.

Second we must accept that the world doesn’t revolve around us.

And third we must nurture patience – not an easy task for control freaks.

When I say that disappointment is a process it starts with us and how we turn over control of our feelings, behavior, decisions or actions to others or circumstances.  It doesn’t just happen – it builds slowly as time passes and you wait for responses, actions, decisions or outcomes you want from others or life in general.

I don’t care if it’s an airline flight that is late or cancelled, the weather that messes with your weekend plans or simply routine traffic while on the way to an important meeting – it’s all the same – stuff happens and if this concept is not ingrained in your consciousness I will guarantee you spend a great deal of time in a mindset of disappointment.

The other factor is the stress that is caused by these situations and if you are not aware of the negative impact of this let me tell you that everything in life is a stressor – a wedding or a divorce, winning the lotto or filing bankruptcy, getting fired or starting a new position – everything in life is a stressor but the body doesn’t separate negative from positive stressors – they are all the same.  Stress isn’t what is happening but how you choose to respond internally to what is happening.

Yes, disappointment is a major contributor to stress and again its primary causes are the expectations you bring to any and every situation or person.

What can you do to eliminate or reduce your disappointments?  Simple folks – let go emotionally of the things you can’t control.  Accept that life happens and not always according to your agendas or needs.

I’ll share one of my life mantras with you – “I will be excited if it happens but I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Are you stuck on your own pedestal?

We all have a certain degree of “self-adornment” but the real question is – is our self-made pedestal beyond – humility, wisdom, compassion and the ability to step off this podium when essential or even needed to achieve success, happiness and inner peace?

During my world travels I have met hundreds of “ego maniacs” as well as thousands of real, compassionate and kindhearted people so – the question I would like to address in this article is simply – are you stuck or trapped by your self-aggrandizement and an unwillingness to step off your pedestal when appropriate, necessary or beneficial?

I guess the first question is - are you on a self-created pedestal?  And if you are, why did you put yourself there and how is life working for you as you look down on everyone else in your life? Or, are you on one that someone else put you on?

What exactly is a pedestal?  Here’s my definition as it relates to this article – A self-created position above or higher than others when it comes to integrity, humility, intelligence, compassion or understanding.  It is when you feel better than others in some way creating emotional distance and separation between you and those around you.

Why do people put themselves on a pedestal?  Is it the need for approval, acceptance or low self-esteem?  Is it arrogance, ego and the need for power fame and success?  Yes, and yes.

Yes, some of us might have more fame, power, money and stuff but in the end does any of this make us a better person?  I don’t think so.  As I said I have met thousands of people around the world and yes, many judge others by what they have or do but in the end I don’t believe any of this makes us better.

In the end – it’s all going away so the question remains – is how you are living today having a positive or negative impact on where or how you will spend eternity?

Yes, you might be able to take better vacations, have nicer homes and cars and have a lot of pleasure while here but let’s be clear – one day it will all be left behind.

I have met wonderful people who had little or nothing and spent the majority of their lives giving to others, supporting others emotionally and sharing themselves unselfishly.

What’s your story – focused on stuff, the short term of life, what you have or gain or want OR leaving behind a legacy of love, caring and support to those who cross your path?

If you are on a self-made pedestal – I will guarantee you that sooner or later it will come crashing down.  If you are on a pedestal that someone else put you on I will guarantee that sooner or later they will wish they hadn’t.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Self-control is not saying No but Yes!

We’ve all heard it – from parents, spouses, teachers, supervisors, friends and even family – “you need more self-control”.  I won’t argue this point, but I must add that self-control is a lot more than saying no to something - It is almost always saying “yes”.  Let me explain.

Self-control is a very close cousin to discipline and discipline is also just as much about saying yes as it is no.

So, you want to lose weight, better use your time, stop procrastinating, spend more wisely, exercise more, read more – whatever -  but just saying no is seldom ever enough as we all have weaknesses, challenges and a lack of commitment sooner or later depending on how serious we are about our goals, mission, destiny or just everyday living.

As a “desert lover” it isn’t always easy to just say “no to Key Lime Pie or anything else sweet but sometimes I need an extra push or better still – something I can say yes to instead of no. For example – yes to an apple or another glass of iced tea.

I believe it is generally easier to say yes to things than no. Whether it’s a request from a friend or a favor for a family member, many times we say yes when we want to say no but don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings with a no.  The same is often true for ourselves - saying yes is sometimes easier than the resistance that a no can bring.

I’m not suggesting that if you are a member AA that this will always work but think about it – how often do you say yes to a habit vs. a no?  So, why not reverse this process and find alternate things you can say yes too, to change a behavior.

Here are a couple of examples:

When you don’t feel like exercising and want to say no (an excuse) say yes to - I can do this because I want to look better, feel better or just have a sense of accomplishment.

When you want to hit the snooze button to grab an extra few minutes’ sleep, say yes instead of no – I want to get up to have some extra time to get ready.

There could be hundreds of illustrations here but the message is always the same – when you feel the need to say no – replace it with a yes.  Try it – you will be amazed.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Life’s Five Essential Ingredients!

Do you know what the five essential traits, beliefs or life mindsets are for a well lived life?  Here are mine – wisdom, discernment, faith, integrity and action.  Let me explain why I feel these are the vital ones and yes, there are others, but if you live with just these you are headed in the right direction in creating an amazing life with fewer regrets, less stress and greater inner peace.

But, first why have I chosen just these five as the essentials? Well, it wasn’t easy as I have been on a very active journey for over forty years of study, learning, evaluating and considering.  I read on average - 2 books a week (and have for many years) by a wide variety of authors and I have learned a great deal about what does matter and what doesn’t in life.  What works and what doesn’t and what to practice and what to let go of.  Let me add however that I am not there yet, not even close as I am a student of life and not by and means an expert.  But, you are reading this so I am making some progress.

I chose these five for three reasons. 1) What have I learned that I wish I had learned earlier. 2)What have I learned that has made life more peaceful and filled with joy and 3) What have I learned that I wish I had avoided or let go of sooner.

So, now the five;

Wisdom – First – wisdom is not information, intelligence, maturity, insight, character, knowledge, experience or lessons learned.  It is the willingness and ability to blend all of these into a lifestyle that contributes to success, happiness, inner peace, contentment and ease of living no matter what you have faced, dealt with, overcome or has hit you like a 2x4 when you weren’t looking.  It’s the ability to face all circumstances, situations, people, failure, adversity and pain with a life view that shouts – I can’t control everything or everyone but I can control myself and I can learn to lean on God for guidance and not my self-sufficiency whether I am faced with trials and struggle or success and prosperity.  Wisdom is simply living wisely according to what is and not what was or you hope will one day be.

We all want success and happiness but we don’t always get to choose what will bring these to us.  We all want less adversity, struggle and pain but we are the ones who get to decide what it means, how we react to it, what we learn and how it impacts every area of our life.  That my friends is wisdom.

Discernment – The ability to determine what is important, relevant or necessary to achieve a worthwhile life includes the ability to choose wisely.  Today we have hundreds if not thousands of options, choices and directions we could go but just because it’s easy, quick or good doesn’t make it right.  Discernment is the ability to consider both the short term impact of choices, decisions and actions.  When you live with this as a mindset you will live with less regret, disappointment and frustration.  It doesn’t mean you will have fewer problems or even less failure but you will be better equipped to deal with these when you choose with maturity, consideration and a sense of reality.

Faith – I’m not just referring here to spiritual but life faith.  Yes, I believe it is necessary to have faith in God but He also expects us to have faith in ourselves, our desires, dreams and goals.  By this I am by no means suggesting that our human faith in life will ever equal, replace or dismiss our faith in God but without faith in ourselves it is very difficult to have faith in anything else.  Faith is simply believing in advance what you can’t see, prove or validate with your human experience, intelligence or knowledge.  Faith is hope that includes belief, courage, will and accepting that you can’t always control what happens but you can always control your reactions and/or responses to what happens.  Faith is a real test of your inner ability to trust life regardless of its trials, successes, disappointments and even failures.

Integrity – We are living in a world that is filled with uncertainty, a lack of congruence when it comes to words and actions and is riddled with greed and self-absorption. And the ultimate consequences are a lack of personal, relationship and business integrity.  Yes, there are many people who really say what they mean and mean what they say, but often separating these folks from the majority of society is becoming very difficult.  Integrity is becoming a lost behavior in many ways in areas of society and the outcomes are – chaos, dysfunction, emotional outbursts and a lack of trust to mention a few.  Integrity is doing what is right not what you think or believe is right as “right” can be defined differently by everyone.  It is honoring basic fundamental human beliefs and values that add trustworthiness to relationships and human value.

Action – Decisions, goals, dreams and plans without actions are meaningless. You would be amazed at how many people want better life outcomes in some areas of their lives and plan, dream and hope but never act.  What’s the point in spending time in these activities if you fail to move forward?  Action does not guarantee success or failure, ease or struggle, positive or negative results but one thing is for sure – without it you will never achieve anything.  Let me repeat to achieve you must act.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s losing weight, becoming a millionaire or finding life joy and happiness – you have to act.  Acting is never easy as it never guarantees you the results or outcomes you desire but often the process can teach you about what really matters in life.  In other words, if you act and as you move forward you fell less comfortable with your outcomes along the way it may be time to let go of something and embrace something else or new.  But in the end sooner or later you must act if you want to achieve anything.

Why not consider these and how you are doing when it comes to the quality of your life?  Go for it, what have you got to lose.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sales Boot Camp - Charlotte, NC

Sales Boot Camp
“Sell More - Faster and Easier”
Presented by Tim Connor – Global Sales Trainer
Charlotte - May 23, 2016
“Do you want your business to thrive regardless of market or economic circumstances or just survive?”  Then attend Tim’s popular annual Sales Boot Camp.  Whether you are a seasoned sales pro or a beginner you will leave this session with ideas, techniques and approaches that are guaranteed to increase your sales for the long and not just the short term.
During this High Impact and relevant session – just some of what he will cover:
-How to Improve sales margins.
-How to reduce sales closing conversion time and improve results.
-How to better manage time for improved performance.
-How to successfully compete in the marketplace.
-Basic negotiation skills.
-How to find more prospects easier and faster.
-How to spend less time with poor prospects.
-Overcoming common sales objections.
-How to improve customer loyalty and repeat and referral business.
And MUCH More. . .
This program is limited to only 35 participants - register early as Tim only does this program once a year and it sells out quickly.
Date: May 23, 2016 9 AM - 4 PM
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Westpark Dr. Charlotte, NC
Fee: $175.00 per person (Register 3 or more the fee is $155/person)
**Register before 4/15/16: the fee is only $145. (3 or more $125. /person)
The program includes:
-A comprehensive session manual.
-A copy of one of Tim’s bestselling books.
-A post program one-hour telephone coaching session.
Total Program Value: $595.00
If you would like to register or have questions –

contact me – 704-875-1230