Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Mantras to guide your year

As we begin another new year, I thought I would share this year’s with you. If you like them feel free to use them yourself.  If you don’t like them – refer to the last one.

Make 2019 your best year ever.
“I was not put on this earth for the approval of others.”
“I am responsible to people not for them.”
“If it happens, I’ll get excited.  If it doesn’t, I won’t be disappointed.”
“You get the behavior you reward. Stop evaluating and criticizing the behavior, look at the rewards you are giving hoping for the behavior you want to be changed.”
“Dream big, plan well, work hard, smile always and laugh at yourself and sooner or later good things will happen.”
“What is happening now is nothing compared to eternity.”
“Everything between birth and death is trivia – let it go.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Dont let your CD (Corporate Disconnect put you out of business

 Don’t let your - Corporate Disconnect (CD) put you out of business.

The single biggest cause of business malaise, dysfunction, slow growth and ultimate failure is Corporate Disconnect (CD). Don’t risk ignoring it in 2019.
Blockbuster had Corporate Disconnect (CD).  Toys R’ Us had CD.  Borders had CD.  US Airways had CD.  Want more? Kodak had CD. Sharper Image.  Polaroid. Fruit of the Loom.  Planet Hollywood.  Howard Johnson's. I could go on for pages.  Want to bet whose next?  Sears?  Macy's? Sprint?  AOL?
The single biggest common denominator in all business failure is - Corporate Disconnect.
If you are losing market share you have CD.  If you are losing good employees, you have CD.  If you have communication breakdowns you had CD.  Want more?  If you have slow sales growth you have CD.  If you are losing customer relevance you have CD.
Do you have CD?  YES, every organization and every business suffers from some degree of CD.  Two questions – is it slowly putting you out of business? Do you know where your CD is killing your organization’s growth, effectiveness and performance?  Request my FREE 100 CD Employee Questionnaire/Survey form. Email or call me. Here are a few of the details;
If you have ever been in an airplane at 40,000 feet on a clear day, I’m sure you’ve had the experience of looking out the window and being able to see for hundreds of miles, but also realizing that you couldn’t see any detail on the ground.

To describe CD, I’m going to use the illustration of flying as a passenger on an aircraft. This illustration is straightforward and easy to apply to the concept of CD and all its ramifications, symptoms, causes, and solutions.

Let’s say you are returning from a business trip and are now flying over the western part of the US heading toward Los Angeles. As the pilot announces that you are flying over the Continental Divide, you peer out the window and realize that you can see the topography of several states: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico and maybe even a few others. No matter how far you can see, however, you can’t see any detail. No cows, trucks or houses. You are just too high to make out anything other than the vast expanse of raw land. Later, the pilot announces that he is beginning the descent. As you descend through the 20,000-foot level, you notice that you can’t see quite as far, but the details are getting a bit clearer. You can see houses, roads, and factories, but you still can’t tell if that’s a cow down there or a truck. As you get closer to the ground, you notice that you can’t see as far off on the horizon, but the details are getting clearer. At 500 feet, your view of the horizon no longer exists, but the details are quite clear. You can tell that there’s a red truck traveling on the highway off to your right. You land, and another safe trip is behind you.

The analogy: Presidents, CEO’s, CFO’s and other senior executives are typically flying at the 40,000-foot level in their organizations. They can see a long way. Their vision for the future is clear and they can easily be aware of major storms or opportunities at this altitude. But details? Not a clue. Middle managers, directors or senior staff employees are typically flying at the 20,000-foot level in their organizations. They don’t have as clear a view of the horizon as their superiors since they are 20,000 feet lower, but their view of the details is a bit more evident; not totally clear, but better than at the 40,000-foot level.

Then there are the employees in your organization who are flying at the 500-foot level, almost at ground level. They don’t have a clue what’s going on beyond their desk or the building next door, but they can tell you what customers think, what policies or procedures are working or not working and what is generally going on in the bowels of the organization. They know the details, they live them every day; but they, for the most part, don’t always see the connection between the reality at 500 feet and the vision or decisions at 40,000 feet.

Here’s the simple truth in two sentences: If the reality of what is going on in the marketplace, with your customers, with your competitors and/or with your employees is not getting to the 40,000-foot level, I will guarantee you are experiencing CD. Likewise, if the vision, leadership or goals at 40,000 feet are not finding their way to the 500-foot level, I guarantee you are also experiencing many of the negative issues of CD in your organization.

So, what is Corporate Disconnect? It’s when your employees who do the work don’t see a connection of their efforts to the vision of your senior management. It’s when your senior management makes decisions or takes actions at the 40,000-foot level – new policies, new products or services, acquisitions, new divisions or branches, new anything – and they do it without getting in touch with the reality at 500 feet.

Beware! This is a recipe for lost customers, lost revenue, lost growth, poor employee retention, and any other negative corporate malaise you can think of.

Got a bad case of CD in your organization? Here’s a little truth to consider. In my 40-year speaking and training career, I haven’t found a single organization that didn’t have some degree of CD going on. So, would it appear that having a case of CD is normal? Yes, every company has it to some extent.

Here’s the bottom line. No matter how bad your case of CD is or whether you are aware of it, fixing it, ignoring it – whatever, as long as your CD doesn’t ever touch your customer or the marketplace, there is no critical problem; you will most likely survive CD’s symptoms. However, if your CD does touch your customers, suppliers, the marketplace and/or your prospects, watch out. You may be in for a long and difficult recovery period with a few emergency room visits along the way.

So, now you know what CD is. Want to know how bad you have it – whether you need surgery or over-the-counter meds?

Let me summarize; Corporate Disconnect is -

1.      When the realities that exist at the lower levels of an organization and in the marketplace do not find their way to the highest levels of the organization – where the direction is set, goals are established, vision is created, and major decisions are made – with accuracy, continuity, clarity, and consistency.

2.      When the vision, purpose, direction, and leadership at the highest levels of an organization do not accurately radiate throughout the entire organization with integrity, accuracy, clarity, accountability, and consistency.

3.      When lack of corporate-wide congruence negatively impacts sales, profits, effectiveness and consistently healthy growth.

Fail to manage your CD and I will guarantee you-you will continue to lose market share, sustained growth, good employees, customer loyalty and even become a statistic.  Don’t risk it – let’s overcome your CD together – call me.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Meaningless . . . It's all meaningless.

Meaningless . . . It’s all Meaningless and

chasing after the wind.

Tim Connor

Over 2000 years ago two books in the Bible were written by Solomon– Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes and both have been a big part of my spiritual development over the past few years, so I thought I would give you my very short take on the combined wisdom of both.

For two years I have focused every day on my spiritual journey reading Proverbs every night and Ecclesiastes every morning.  And after almost twelve months it finally dawned on me that – yes – it took that long and yes - it’s all meaningless.  Let me explain if you have time, an interest or are just curious.

You are born.  You grow up.  You get an education.  You get a job or career or business.  You get a relationship or a marriage.  You have kids.  You go to work each day.  You play some, travel some, go to sporting events, take a few vacations and then you start all over again and you buy some stuff.  You live through a boom period or you suffer through a recession.  You attend graduations and weddings, or you share the pain with others at funerals and in hospitals. You cheer others on or blame them for your trials. You sell some stuff or throw stuff away then buy some more stuff. You accumulate things, experiences, and memories and over time some good ones and some bad ones.

You repeat some or all of the above for fifty or sixty years or if you are lucky you get even eighty or ninety years and then you die, and you leave all the stuff, memories, accomplishments, successes, failures, experiences and people behind.  It’s over.  So, what do you have to show for all of your effort, toil, time, sacrifices, pleasures, mistakes, and possessions? Nothing.

Yes, maybe you left behind wealth, things and a few memories for others but how do you value these now that you are gone?

Sure, you had some great years, lot’s memories and a house or garage full of stuff but how much of that is in the coffin with you? None of it.

Oh sure, a few people might remember you for a few years and a few others may keep some old photo’s of you on a shelf and yes, every now and then someone will mention your name or remember you in a conversation with someone but after that – it’s back to meaningless- it’s all meaningless – everything is meaningless.

If you are a believer and read scripture you might find the following interesting. If you are not, I’ll guarantee you didn’t even get this far.

But if you are still reading you might be starting to lose it and want to pick up the phone and call me or come knocking on my door to give me a piece of your mind.  Don’t bother – it’s all meaningless.

Yes, you had a lot of fun, saw the world, made friends, donated to charity, helped some people along the way and lived what you feel was a wise and good life.  OK, so now you are eighty and leaving here – so what was the point of it all.  PLEASE, I am not a negative or pessimistic person.  It is not my intent to come across as morbid or even stupid as the one who wrote these two books in scripture.

Let me blend a few (and there are a lot more I could discuss) life basic issues with some of the words of wisdom from Solomon. (PS; even though there were no universities, internet, and bookstores – he was a pretty smart guy). I’ll start each topic with a verse or two from Ecclesiastes and then give you my take on it.

The effort, work, and careers; 2:21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.

You work hard every day for a salary, to please customers to satisfy supervisors and bring home the bacon.  Year after year passes – a raise, a new office, a new title, a layoff, a new position etc. One day you retire or leave it all behind.  Past customers have died or retired too. The company is out of business or run by people you don’t even know.  You busted your butt for thirty or forty years and what do you have to show for it? The money you earned has gone into the cost of living, buying a house and a little fun. A few new cars, helping your kids or giving it to charity.  OK, so you did your part, you did your best – now what? 

It’s all meaningless.

Activities and projects; 7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

You are proud of your new garden, remodeling your old house, taking up a new hobby or activity.  After many years you have now sold the house and downsized, the garden is now in the hands of others or maybe it isn’t, and you are now too old to continue with this new activity you started years ago due to health issues.  Looking back, was it all worth it? Sure, lots of memories, but was starting or finishing more important to you?

It’s all meaningless.

Money and wealth; 5:15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.

You work to create income, wealth, lifestyle and security for the future. Thirty to fifty years of effort, learning and sometimes even slaving.  Ever estimated your entire life’s income?  I have and it’s scary to think I earned all that much and blew most of it on – well I have nothing substantial to show for it.  Was I stupid?  Have got a large percent stashed away in bonds or cash or real estate?  So, what if you do – what happens to it all when you are gone – someone else owns it, the government takes it, or it just sits there and rots.  Boy Tim are you negative. Nope – just being real here – we own nothing while we are here – we use it, live in it, play with it and then someone else gets it and they do the same and then someone else gets it – get the picture here?

It’s all meaningless.

Life purpose and legacy; 5:18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.

I spent years trying to create a legacy of trying to contribute to the lives and well being of others and hoped that someday I might be able to look back and say – yes – I did it.  Well, after writing over 80 books, several thousand articles, giving over 4000 speeches and seminars in 26 countries and giving away hundreds if not thousands of books to friends, family and lots of strangers – here I sit – no legacy, no fame, simple lifestyle, no friends (not whining) just the facts and what will I leave behind in a few years – boxes of unsold books, a computer full of articles no one read or don’t remember and a bunch of stuff that will end up at the junkyard – go figure.

It’s all meaningless.

Actions, decisions, and outcomes; 8:14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. 9:11 I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

It would be nice if we could control the future and our destiny with our choices, decisions, and actions but unfortunately will have its way with us sooner or later.  If you can’t surrender your goals, needs, desires, dreams even hope from time to time life has a funny way of saying to you directly or indirectly, “So, you think you are in charge? Watch me.”  Ever been there?  I have more times than I care to admit but, in the end, all we can do is work, plan, hope and then accept what we have earned or need to create what life wants us to leave behind, whether it will touch one life after we are gone or thousands.

It’s all meaningless.

Pleasure, happiness and fun; 3:12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 3:13 That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Eternity vs. now; 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Pleasure regardless of its nature or how you define it is always short lived and, in the end, we always wish it could have lasted longer or even had more meaning. There is nothing evil or wrong with wanting to have fun in life and be happy, the problem is all three, pleasure, happiness and fun are all inside-out responses to outside-in activities, people or situations and when these leave us or end for any reason we now have to wait for the next episode of any of the three hoping we don’t have to wait too long.  But someday we will look back trying to remember some of the happy, fun or pleasure memories we had and unfortunately, we will feel at a loss and often empty that we no longer have them or can even remember them in any detail.

It’s all meaningless.

If you are still with me let me briefly summarize – Life is short, there is nothing we can do while we are here to make our time here longer and what we do or don’t do and believe in the NOW will impact our life in eternity. You will leave everything, and I mean everything, behind when you leave here, and you will soon be forgotten by everyone for the life you lived. Yes, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Henry Ford etc. are still remembered by many from time to time but, there are the exceptions. And finally, it will all be over in a flash – you are here today and gone tomorrow – don’t believe me – chat with someone in their 60’s or 70’s and ask them how fast life has gone by.

Everything is meaningless . . . a chasing after the wind.

Monday, November 26, 2018

What if you could reverse a previous life decision or action

What if you could reverse a previous life decision or action . . .

Tim Connor

No, I’m not Scrooge - Past Present and future. But just wondering – have you ever in hindsight considered how your life might be different today if you could go back in time and reverse a decision or action you took years ago?

Wish you had said no rather than yes at the Altar?  Wish you had said yes rather than no for a job transfer?  Ever said – I’ll think about it before you said yes or no to a purchase, investment or opportunity?

I could go on with hundreds more of examples but as we approach the end of another year, I’m sure many people reflect on the quality of some aspect of their lives and how it might have been better or worse in some way if they had made a different decision or taken a different action?

Could this be you?

As the end of another year is quickly bringing me to yet another life ending, I have asked myself these questions in real and often painful detail for the first time.  Sure, most of us from time to time reflect on some aspect of our lives but do we ever dig really deep into real personal outcomes, causes, reasons, expectations or agendas that could be major contributors to some or all of these circumstances? As a speaker and author - from vast global experience and meeting thousands of people around the world - is that the answer to this question is - no.  And why?  Do we want to avoid the pain and guilt of mistakes?  Can we not get out of denial ‘that my life is not in my control and the needs to point fingers or blame’?  Do we lack the courage or willingness to accept responsibility to make necessary changes that can or may improve our futures?

NO ONE knows tomorrow – let me repeat if you are reading this too quickly – NO ONE knows what tomorrow will look like, bring or be.  I don’t care how smart you are, how in touch you are, how intuitive you are, how beautiful or handsome you are, how poor or rich you are – GOT IT?  No one knows how any decision or action will turn out in the future – ever.  No one knows what tomorrow and life will look – whether positive or negative, chaos or La La land, health and happiness or sickness and loneliness.

So, do we all make mistakes along the way?  I don’t like to call them mistakes but “life teachers” instead. We can learn from them or repeat them again and again. We can try and change the outcomes with more wisdom, knowledge, information, and experience or we can accept that there is very little in life we can control.

If you don’t think you have ever made a mistake does this make you stupid, arrogant or egotistical? Or, if you look back on all of life whether positive or negative saying to yourself – “I did the best I could at the time with what I had or what I knew.  Sure, If I knew then what I know now, I would have done it (anything) differently.”  But unfortunately – that’s not how “real life” works. Life is an ongoing adventure, journey, experiment, process and progression and it is not in control by you. Life has a funny way of sometimes using our bad or poor actions or decisions to teach us what we are often too haughty to accept or learn and it desires us to learn. Ever noticed, if we fail to learn important lessons , life has a funny way of bringing different people or circumstances into our lives again and again that are remarkably similar to previous people or circumstances to teach us what it wants us to learn before it’s too late or our time here is over?

Guilty?  I know I am – and I must admit - far too many times.

So, what does it take to accept and learn from what life gives us whether a winning Lottery ticket or the loss of someone close to us?

I don’t like to preach since that is not my strength but what I can share is what years of life – some filled with pain, disappointment and anxiety others filled with joy, humility, and peace – have taught me.

You can trust, or you can question.  You can learn, or you can blame.  You can love, or you can hate.  You can grow, or you can stay stuck.  You can whine, or you can get busy.  You can resist, or you can accept.

Need I go on?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Why not take the following “9 Pledge Agreement” for the new year!

In 2019 - I Pledge To;

Trust God in all ways, at all times and in all things.

Appreciate everyone in my life for all they do and all they are.

Let go of fear, stress, worry, pride, regret and the past.

Communicate with integrity, truth, compassion, and consistency.

Treat others with kindness, respect, understanding, and patience.

Live with wisdom, common sense, humility and responsibility.

Share all that I have that I can with the less fortunate.

Be true, honest and fair to my family, friends and all who cross my path.

Never quit or give up on my dreams, plans, and desires.



Saturday, October 27, 2018

How will you be remembered?

How will you be remembered

Tim Connor

Please - I'm not being morbid - just asking a simple question.

Trust me - the years pass much more quickly than most people realize or are willing to accept.  Your chronological age is not the main determining factor as to when you will check out of here so back to my question - How do you want to be remembered after you are gone?

First of all, who remembers us and why depends on many factors; our relationships (family, kids, siblings etc.), careers (customers, fellow workers, bosses etc.), where we lived (neighbors, friends, acquaintances etc.), and yes even a few total strangers that might have crossed our paths quickly and even briefly.

Then there are our actions (things done and not done), behaviors (good, bad, stupid, thoughtful, selfish, kind, egotistical, compassionate etc.).

And of course, there are our words (things said and not said, kind words or hurtful words etc.).

And how about our belief’s attitudes, prejudices and opinions (did we always have to be right or could we accept mistakes, were we always talking, or did we ever listen and care, could we disagree without anger or validate others for who they were, did we live with a spiritual foundation or did we assume there is no God etc.).

Yes, there's one more - our goals, desires, dreams, and plans.  Did we include others or exclude them, did we rely on others or did we always go it alone, did we give credit when it was due or always keep it for ourselves, did we share our victories or assume we deserved all the benefits regardless of other's guidance etc.?

OK, I hope I have made my point - there are numerous factors regarding who will or will not remember us, why they will or will not remember us and how they will remember us - or whether they will.

I'm going to generalize a bit so hang in there with me.

There is an ancient Native American legend that states 'you will only get into Heaven leaning on the shoulders of someone you helped while you were on earth.'

Regardless of your opinion of this statement consider - if you helped no one in any way - what are your chances?  If you helped one hundred people - go for it.

As I go through my last life chapter I have spent a lot of time considering this question and is it too late to change what those who were in my life - for many years or even a few minutes - will remember about me or even care.

Ever wondered how many people will attend your funeral?  Full house or a lot of empty seats?

You've heard it I'm sure - It's never too late to make a new first impression.  Does this rule also apply - It's never too late to change your legacy?  I don't have a clue but what I do know is how you live your life while you are here become the guidelines for your legacy or how, why, if, when etc. you will be remembered.

I'm not referring here to all those famous folks like - Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Babe Ruth or Henry Ford etc.  I'm talking about us normal folks who are doing our best to live a life of dignity, happiness, success, compassion, and love rather than fame and fortune.

So, here's a thought - make a list of all the people in your life that matter - current or past, relatives or friends - get it - anyone or everyone.  Now, write down the words that you think each one of them might use to describe you, your legacy or what you meant to them while you shared life with them if they were giving your eulogy. Got the courage to do this?  If no, why not?  If yes, go for it. 

And here's a final thought if you can handle it.  Now share the words, memories etc. you wrote down with as many of these folks as you can and ask them for their response (agree, disagree, like, don't like etc.).

Friday, October 12, 2018

There are three types of dying.

There are three types of dying

Tim Connor

Notice the title isn‘t three types of death.

Most people when they consider the concept of death only think about physical death, but I believe there are two others that are just as serious although not as permanent as the final one.

Yes, we are all one day going to die.  It’s a given regardless of your gender, race, nationality, age, education, wealth, lifestyle, spiritual values or any other life area or circumstance.

But before we die is it possible to slowly die in other ways?  I believe the answer is yes.

In my opinion, the other two types of dying are emotional dying and then there is spiritual dying, let me explain.

Over the years I have met many wonderful people who were engaging, fun, respectful and playful but I have also met some folks who were no longer connected, engaged or participating in life emotionally.

These were not necessarily people who were sick physically or even poor, alone or without a history of success or achievement.  But they were people who no longer wanted to participate in life with others whether family, friends, co-workers or even strangers now and then.

They were emotionally lost, afraid and often even had given up on life, not to the point of suicide but that they no longer cared about others and whether other people cared about them.

They were not necessarily loners or living alone or old and frail, or even without what others would feel are reasons to live or were addicted to some substance.  They just lost any zest, reason or purpose for embracing life as it was and was given to them.

They were emotionally disconnected or in my opinion, they were dying slowly but steadily. Ever known anyone like this?

And then there is spiritual death.

Regardless of your religion, beliefs, spiritual values or any other attitudes that you embrace one common element in all of them are that there are characteristics that are a part of them we don’t or never will completely understand and that we all for our personal reasons believe in this other, higher, or significant power no matter what.

So, I don’t confuse you, I am a Christian and believe in God.  But, I also know that I don’t have the right to tell you or anyone else what you should believe or how or why.  Having said this, I also know that there are some common traits in most spiritual belief systems.  It is not my intent with this article to dig into these beliefs or values (that’s a book) but to just share what I believe by spiritual dying.

In many ways, non-believers in any religion, spiritual system or a higher power, in my opinion, are already dying, but again I am not going to go deeper into this topic either. 

But, I can guess that depending on your spiritual values or beliefs some of you have either stopped reading or are getting ready to send me an email.

As a global speaker (25 countries and counting) I have attended churches, synagogues and been in buildings that were promoted as religious facilities in almost every country.  Yes, I must admit that on a few occasions during the services, I left early as the messages were very uncomfortable.

But, back to the topic of focus here. What is spiritual dying?

If you believe in a higher power, God or some distant being who guides areas of your life and being - when you lose this foundation or these bearings for any reason you will tend to feel lost, alone, abandoned and out of touch with others, life and often your reason for being or even living.  I have known a few people during my life travels who were experiencing these very circumstances and there was nothing anyone could do to help them get back their life spirit, purpose or sense of personal value.  As a result, many people in these negative circumstances do in fact turn to drugs or even suicide.

What are some answers if you feel you are, or you know someone who is slowly dying in one of these areas?

I am not a psychologist or therapist and don’t have the right to give advice but what I can tell you is there are generally five things others can do to help them;

1)   Don’t invalidate them because of their behaviors or actions. 2) Don’t abandon them because they are no longer who you want or need them to be in your life. 3) Don’t judge them.  None of us are perfect. 4) Listen to them with compassion and understanding. 5) Urge them gently to participate in counseling or therapy.

What people who are emotionally or spiritually dying need in my opinion are compassion, understanding, empathy and often even some tough love.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Your Life's Report Card

Your life’s report card

Tim Connor

Remember when you were in high school or even elementary school you used to get a report card every few months?  If you behaved, did your homework and studied, you might have received a B or even an A.

But if you slacked off in some or every way you most likely had to explain to your parents why you got a D or even an F.

Basically, your grade was your teacher’s opinion or rating of how they felt you were doing with your responsibilities, actions, and behaviors.

Think you are still getting report cards today when you are in your 30’s or even your 60’s? Oh, the teachers have most likely retired or have moved on to new classes and different students but trust me, life is still giving you a report card- every day, every month and yes, every year.

It might not be a piece of paper with a bunch of letters or numbers on it but believe me, you are still getting reviews on how the people in your life believe you are doing?

And who are these people?  They are your; customers, bosses, spouses, kids, fellow employees and often even some of the strangers that pass through your life like; flight attendants, restaurant servers, mechanics or your physicians.

No, they all don’t give you a written report, but they do evaluate – who you are, how you act, what you believe and even how you may treat them.

So, If I still have you, what kinds of grades do you think you are getting from; a spouse (not referring here to counselling sessions) , your boss (and I’m not talking about your annual reviews), your kids (and I’m not talking about the grades they are getting in school or on the soccer field), your customers (and I’m not talking about how much money you might be making from them) or your family physician (and I’m not talking about your annual physical or check-up)?

Unfortunately, most people (and I’m including myself in this group) wait until they are failing at something or something just stops working before they make changes, attempt improvement, modify behavior or just admit that what they are doing is or will some day give them an F.

Let me give you an updated grading system that is a bit more relevant to life than the report cards you used to get.  I call it My Life as it is Report card.

You are getting an A -

Notice I didn’t include an A+ in this group? It’s simple – none of us are perfect, we all have flaws, we all make mistakes and sooner or later we all fail at something.  An A means you are exceeding life’s expectations.  You are learning, growing, maturing and recognizing life areas where you need further improvement.  Your ego isn’t running your life. Your arrogance is under control and your patience is not demanding you do something or everything faster, better and/or easier. Your need for control is under control.  Your stress is not killing you. And your spiritual life is ruled by humility, peace, giving and compassion. Yes, there are a few more items that are contributing to your – A - grade but in the end, the ones above are the primary factors that are saying to you - you are on the right path, keep going. But, be careful you don’t lose the above items, or the consequences could be dramatic.

You are getting a B –

Take all of the above-mentioned items and just reduce the definition, for example.

You are learning, growing, maturing and recognizing life areas where you need further improvement, but you are not doing as much as you could or need to do.  Your ego isn’t running your life, but it has its moments depending on the person or situation. Your arrogance is not a serious issue, but it could be. Your lack of patience is often demonstrated by your hurrying or need to do something faster, better and/or easier. Your need for control is not under control.  Your stress is not killing you yet but is having a negative impact on some area of your health, relationships or life in general. And your spiritual needs more time, attention, effort and/or better awareness.

You are getting a C –

A C means you are average in all of the above areas.  You are not in serious trouble anywhere yet, but you are also not moving in the right or best life direction.  If you don’t make some changes soon – you could very quickly find yourself in the D or even F categories.  It’s time to wake up and recognize that life isn’t easy, fast, accommodating or revolves around your needs, expectations or desires. It’s time to grow up and it’s time to let go of your “the world owes me” and/or your “selfie mindsets”. This is a life crossroads where you can change direction in a positive or a more negative way and destructive way.  You can begin to move into B territory and start getting better, stronger, wiser or healthier or you can wake up one day and realize you are failing, and it could be too late to change.

You are getting a D –

A D means you are heading towards disaster and time is running out.  Make some changes soon or before you know it life will give you an F.  And believe me an F can be costly, uncomfortable, painful and even deadly.  A D says you still have some time to fix some things, but life is gradually losing its patience with you.  It says, “I guess the only way we can get your attention at this time is with some kind of jolt, disaster or circumstance (a divorce, a bankruptcy, a heath attack or getting fired).”  Don’t wait too long – the pain of turning a life around at this stage can cause many people to stop trying or just give up entirely in life accepting the consequences of the next and final grade – an F.

You are getting an F –

An F means – you have failed and will spend a lot of time and your remaining life; alone, afraid, in regret, angry, resentful etc.  It is now time to pay the price of all of your mistakes, failures and poor choices and behaviors.  Can you recover?  Of course. Can you rebound?  Yes.  Can you begin again? Always.  Can you get a second chance? Yes.  But at this stage, it will require a great deal of; humility, effort, surrender, admission, time, patience, hope and help and guidance from others.  And, it will require accepting letting go of control of what life brings to you and the willingness to trust God during your return to sanity.

So, give yourself a grade today in; your finances, your marriage, your career, your business, your health, your social life, your relationships, your family and your spiritual direction and its beliefs, values, and actions.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Second Chances

Second Chances
                                                                Tim Connor

Do we all need a second chance from time to time?  How about a third one?  Or more?  Ever had a second chance and ignored it?  Ever had a second chance and in hindsight realized that it positively changed the trajectory of your life in some way? These questions are not redundant.  We all get second chances, even more, that we ignore, don’t realize or even spurn for any number of reasons.

How about a second – health chance?  How about a second – career chance? I know you are getting bored by my questions – see what I mean?  I’m just trying to set up the foundation for this article and you have lost your patience for giving me a second chance or I have touched a sore spot in your life and you wonder where I’m heading.

Either way, the entire question of second or third, fourth or 100th chances is moot if we don’t see the need to evaluate them, consider them or take advantage of them.

If I had to bet – there is some area of your life right now where you wish you could have a second chance?  Am I right?

What exactly is a second (or another) chance?

It can be a new beginning, a new ending, a new opportunity or a new life lesson – painful or cheerful.  It gives us the choice to stay on a path that may or may not be working or beneficial or the option of fixing a previous mistake, failure, bad decision or choice or accepting responsibility for our life as it is unfolding.

Life has given me many second chances – some I embraced and many I ignored but in the end they all came into my life for a reason – to help me get wiser in some way – to teach me something I needed to learn and to help me to let go of ego, arrogance, insecurity, immaturity or any number of emotional, financial, relationship and/or career behaviors that in the end, if they didn’t change, would have come to a negative conclusion in some way.

Risk, uncertainty, and change in our life circumstances can not be avoided sooner or later.  We all must face some unknowns and do the best we can with them given our education, history etc.  But in the end, we will all make some dumb decisions or choices, it’s who we are.  But life is seldom final.  It helps us, if and when we are ready, to improve, grow, change, adjust etc. and learn from our mistakes, failures and bad choices or decisions.

But, life also will not prevent us from experiencing the lessons or consequences of these actions, choices or behaviors as this is one of life’s ways of helping us learn, grow and change.  But, it still gives us a choice.  Life says, “Learn from this or you will continue to bear the consequences of these actions until you do.  I am giving you a second chance.  Don’t blow this one.”

When fear of change, risk or uncertainty rules our life we close ourselves off too many of life’s opportunities and blessings.

However, we must not see second chances as simply a way to escape from lessons that need to be learned.

So, you are in a dead-end job going nowhere and a previous employer offers you a new position with more income and no hard feelings about the way you previously left.  Take it or not – that is the question.

A previous spouse wants to try again to make it work this time and they say they forgive you your transgressions.  Say yes or no?

Life is filled with these types of options and choices – so what do we do?  I can’t tell you how to approach second chances – all I can tell you is what I have learned.  Sometimes they work out well and sometimes they don’t, so how do we know which road to follow?

-Listen to your gut. Ask yourself – what really feels right?  What makes sense? What would I do if I was smarter, wiser, younger, older, poorer, richer – get it?  Just keep asking yourself questions and I will guarantee sooner or later the answer will come – do it, don’t do it, wait, get more information before you decide or some other approach that often seems to come from nowhere.

Sooner or alter we all get a second chance so the question is not whether we have one or deserve one but what do we do with it?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The pain and stupidity of comparison

The pain and stupidity of comparison

Tim Connor

Many people’s idea of success is nothing more than a comparison of them to others.  And who do you think these folks compare themselves too – people; who are smarter, wealthier, happier, more attractive, more influential, or just better off in some way?  I seriously doubt it.  These folks, to feel better about themselves in some or in any area of their lives must look better than others.  I know, because there was a time in my past when I was guilty of this stupid life philosophy.

Why do we care what other people think about us? Why do we need other’s approval? Why are we afraid to show or share weakness, failure or inadequacies?  Why do thousands of people every day add new “amazing” photos of themselves to social media sites?  Is it only for approval, or due to insecurity or just an egotistical life approach OR, could it be all of these or even something else?

I went to one of my ‘friends’ social media pages (someone I do not know – so they are really a stranger) pages before writing this article and they had over 950 photos of themselves.  Who has time for that? Who is interested in seeing all of them? No disrespect intended – but I just don’t get it. Many single people (according to their profiles) routinely add numerous photos (mostly them at their best) every week. But a better question is - why the need?  Does this approach make them feel – unconsciously or quietly in their own mind – better than others or are they just searching subtly for some type of acceptance? I am not judging but I can say that as long as you don’t have your own self-approval or self-acceptance it’s doubtful you will ever get enough of it from others.

Please understand - regardless of your wide circle of friends, your hundreds of social media connections and the thousands of people who you will meet in your lifetime – you will always find people who are better off than you are and worse off, better looking than you and uglier, poorer and richer, happier and sadder.

People who have a healthy self-esteem, like themselves or are real, tend not to need to compare themselves to others.

Success is not a comparison of you to someone who is less successful.  If you must – success is a comparison of you and your past or present to your own potential.

Happiness is not about what you have, and others don’t, but who you are -inside-out not outside-in.

Contentment, inner peace, and self-love are not about anyone else or anything else – it is simply an acceptance of who you are and where you are going where you have been and what you have.  This does not imply that a lack of initiative, purpose, effort – whatever – is not required for what you want in life but what you want is up to you.

If you want to stay; poor, unhealthy, alone etc. – that is your choice but if you want something more or better in life, that’s ok too – all I am suggesting is use your own standards, not someone’s who has less or more.

It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from new skills or better attitudes, more learning or positive change, new lessons and new experiences.

 So, in summary - what’s the point or value of comparison? It’s all about “you and what you have, what you know, what you are, what you believe, what you have accomplished, what you look like, who you know, etc. etc. etc. compared to someone or something else that is or has less.”

If this is, you – is it working?  Do you feel OK with who you are, where you have been, where you are going and what you have or own?  Or, are you on a mission to – do more, have more, be more so you can finally be ok when you are compared to what others think or believe about you?

My life mantra is simple – I was not put on this earth for your approval.  Like me, don’t like me, approve of me or don’t, judge me or don’t – whatever - I don’t care. I’m not perfect in any way and never will be.  I am not famous and don’t need to be. I could have more or better stuff, but I’m ok with what I have.

In the end – trust me - the only acceptance that really matters is your own of you.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Is it time for some new definitions?

Is it time for some new definitions?

Tim Connor

Let me ask you – how many friends do you have on Facebook or LinkedIn that you don’t know, have never met and have never talked to?

If I had to guess, I’ll wager it’s most of the people on the various sites you are connected with.  Am I right?

OK, so after several years of social media redirecting and controlling our lives I believe it’s time for a few new definitions.  Agree, disagree, like, don’t like – doesn’t matter – I will guarantee how you define the following has changed in the past few or several years. I’ll give you the traditional (dictionary) definition first them mine. Feel free to add yours if inclined.


Traditional – a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Mine – Someone who knows you, trusts you and supports you, believes in you, is with you in the good and the bad, and want’s the best for you.


Traditional – a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend.

Mine – Someone you have connected with at some point in your life and from time to time – reconnect in some way.


Traditional – a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar.

Mine – Anyone who crosses your path – in an airport, restaurant, business meeting, while on vacation or a first date and you never see them again.


Traditional – a partner or colleague in business or at work.

Mine – Someone you have a common and mutual bond with, in a professional way.


Traditional – a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

Mine – Anyone you meet where you have something in common and develop this in a mutually positive way as time passes.


Traditional – a person born in or coming from a country other than one's own.

Mine – Anyone not from the country they are currently in whether they are visiting, are on vacation, are running away from home or are looking for a new or different adventure.


Traditional - a person from a country who comes to live permanently in a different or foreign country where they were not born or were a legal resident.

Mine – I agree with this one.

I’m sure some of you might take issue with some of my definitions and that is your prerogative.  The only reason I have written this is to ask you how many social media so-called friends do you actually know or who know you?  So, Tim – what’s your point?

No disrespect to anyone, but on a recent birthday I received over 300 birthday wishes from social media strangers (so-called friends) and I personally knew 12 of them. One of my social media “friends” has over 495 photos on their social media account. I see people who go to the trouble every day to keep us all informed of their lives as they progress from day to day.  One person every day for a week actually complained about how they had been dumped in a relationship. Does your world of “friends” need to know?  Do most of them really care?

Who has time for this – to either list them or look at them?  And we wonder why we have lost the “human touch” in relationships.  I am by no means suggesting that all or any social media sources, everyone that is on them or those that use them for personal or business gain have no value or use.  I’m sure lots of people have gained fame, recognition, made new “real” friends, have made legitimate revenue and any number of other positive benefits or results

My only point with this article is to bring some reality (from my unique perspective – not saying I am right and anyone else is wrong) to this process or definition of words we are calling “friends” etc.

I’m sure some of you who may have finished reading this article may be taking issue with some of my remarks and are defining me as – “out of touch, uncaring, unsupportive, irresponsible, stupid etc.” I am guilty.  I have no idea why I have over 4500 friends on FB and over 2500 connections on LinkedIn, but I do know this – most of them don’t give a “real” rip about my life circumstances, issues, challenges or what I had for dinner last night.

Many words today are being used and interpreted differently than they have in the past and if this process keeps changing even more in the future (and trust me it will) – at some point we will all need to carry a personal amogie and/or a word dictionary with us at all times so we know what people are saying, implying or mean! We (most of us) are letting social media dictate and control many aspects of our lives – starting with how we define basic words. This my friends is a very slippery slope. . .