Sunday, January 21, 2018

How much time do you have left?

How much time do you have?

Tim Connor

And . . . I’m not referring to your “TO DO” list for today or this week or taking the latest and greatest time-management seminar to get tips on how to manage time (managing time - a myth by the way – but I’ll save that and your time for a future article).

Regarding the title - not teasing you with morbidity – just realistic, practical and/or as genuine as possible.

Last year I lost 4 close friends between the ages of 50 and 90 and none of them saw it coming.  How about you – could you be next? Again – not being negative or morose – just asking you to consider a simple question – if today was your last day – would/could you leave here; contented, without regret, peaceful, satisfied and with a positive legacy or the opposite of many of these?

While you are reading this, and I don’t really care whether you are 25, 50 or 100+ cause the question is the same for all of you – let me repeat – if today was your last one – how would you leave here and what would you leave behind?

“Tim, it sure sounds morose.” – sorry – we are all going to die and none of us has the privilege of knowing when, where or how.  So, let’s talk a little about how you are living so when it’s your turn, you’ll be ready if you aren’t today.

There are a few life fundamentals that everyone wants in life – happiness, security, health and love (given and received).  Yes, there are may others for some people – wealth, fame, power, control, reputation, lots of friends, nice cars and homes, beautiful and handsome spouses and perfect kids etc.  Problem is if you haven’t figured it out yet – you’ll never have everything or all of the ones you think you need - to have a contented, happy, peaceful life.  Bet I lost a few of you with this remark!

Don’t believe me – tell me one person you know that has it all (and with these people you think that do – do you know what goes on behind closed doors in their lives – do you know what they worry about – do you know their stressors?).

Or, maybe you think you have it all. Well if this is true 1) trust me - either have really low standards, needs, expectations in every or many areas of your life 2) you are perfect or just maybe – 3) you have figured out what it takes (FYI – this one puts you in the minority) to live a contented life and no matter when your time will be up – you will be ok with it.

Some of you might be interpreting this article from a spiritual perspective and that is perfectly legitimate but that is not my primary focus although it is a critical piece of living and leaving with an “I’m OK and ready to go” mindset.  But, I’ll save that one for another time.  For now, I want to focus on what I refer to as “Life’s Ten Essentials” for a contented life and a positive legacy.

Before I give them to you if you don’t know what they are, let me repeat - the spiritual piece of life is vital and even if you have all of the following without it you may find it difficult to live and leave peacefully but it isn’t my intent to preach in this article but FYI - I do in many others.  Ok, here are what I believe are the ten essentials for a contented life (and yes, there could be many others (these are just mine).  It’s not my intention to tell you how to live, (I don’t have - nor does anyone else have that right) for me - I am far from perfect or ideal. Having said all this, if you think any or all of them are on target and you are willing to take a few minutes to clarify them from your perspective – why not jot down a few notes or write a sentence or two about what these mean to you and generally how you think you are doing.  At the least a few additional trigger words that come to mind when you consider each of them.

Back to the title – regardless of how much time you may or may not have how do you want your legacy to read ? ? ?

They are in no special order;

Appreciation or I Deserve This –

Gratitude or You Owe Me –

Other or Self Focused –

Integrity or Whatever It Takes –

Giving or Greed –

Humility or Prideful - 

Forgiveness or Blame & Anger –

Letting Go or Staying stuck –

Balance or Single focused life –

Faith or It’s All My Doing –

Learn anything???  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The perils of comparrison

The Perils of Comparison

Tim Connor

 I can’t tell you how many people I have met during my world travels when only after a few minutes of conversation they started comparing themselves to someone or something else.  A competitor, a celebrity, a fellow employee or even someone they didn’t even know.

Why do we need personal validation by comparison? Why do we need to feel better or worthier than others?  And why can’t we accept who we are, what we have accomplished, our flaws and mistakes, our failures and disappointments without the ego’s need to compare and look better than others?

As a global speaker for many years I have observed this trait is especially true of many people in my profession, but believe me - we are not unique. I can’t tell you how many business people I have met who have to tell some story about who they are better than, smarter than and/or more accomplished than others they know and even those they don’t know in some way.

Trust me – you don’t have to be the smartest, best looking, wealthiest or most famous person in the room to feel good about yourself. So why are so many people stuck in this comparison mode whether subtly or overtly “in your face”?

Not to brag here (that is not my intent) but I want to make a simple statement – during my career as an international bestselling author (over 80 books) and a global speaker (25 countries) my intent and goal was never fame and let me state that I have been very successful in achieving this goal.  Go ahead laugh.

Life is not about what others think of you or you think of others.  And if it is - trust me you will never find contentment, inner peace or happiness because there will always be someone out there smarter, better and wealthier etc. than you in some way – always!

Have you ever noticed that when people generally compare themselves to others they either use someone less successful or someone who they can criticize whether this person deserves it or not?

I can also tell you that many of my heroes – to mention just a few – Og Mandino, Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Jesus, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa and Charlie Tremendous Jones - comparison was not in their DNA.

What they all had in common was the humility and the desire to contribute in their own special way to the value of humanity and life in general.

Let me ask you – have you ever compared yourself to others to try and convince yourself that you were better in some way or just to make yourself feel OK about yourself?  Come on – be honest here.

Why do we need to compare?  Is it insecurity, an overcharged ego, the need for approval, the desire to please or simply the fact that we can’t admit that we all have flaws and/or weaknesses in our thoughts, actions, decisions and behaviors in some way?

I challenge you for the next couple of weeks as you talk with others to observe their comparisons or your own during conversations and then ask yourself – why? Why do I need to do this?  Why do they need to do this?  Try it you will be amazed at how frequently we are all guilty of this simple yet rather stupid trait.  Stupid you say Tim?  Yep, cause what do you think you really accomplish with all of these comparisons? More or less respect?  More or less fame?  More or less self-satisfaction? More or less something_______?  Sorry!!!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

What is the source of your personal value?

Your value – it’s source is –

Tim Connor

Each of us has a self-perception of our own personal value.  Some people use money, wealth and net worth while others use position, power or influence and still others us legacy, fame and reputation or status.  But there are also many who measure or value themselves based on service, humility, generosity and modesty.  Have you got an opinion which of these are better or more valuable to define you?  Better still – which ones do you use as a self-measurement?  Even better still (I know getting old) how do you think most people who know you reasonably well, would define you?  Could be scary.

As a global speaker in front of over several thousand people every year I have often wondered what categories many or most (not just a small few) people would put me in or use to define me.  Again, could be really scary.

“So, Tim, where are you going with this article – I’ve got other stuff on my plate today”. In a hurry?  Maybe we should add that one to your definition or one of your categories or how about - impatient, hurry-er, never enough time person, workaholic, Type A – I won’t bore you with others as I’ve either lost by now you or you are laughing).

OK to my point – we all have or use certain benchmarks, tools, definitions or values etc. we use to ‘self-value-measure’ ourselves – here are just a few to consider.  Why not ask yourself how you measure yourself or how does this area influence your life – could be an interesting exercise! PS: I’m not going into a lot of detail on these – they are just meant to be emotional or mental triggers to get you thinking or self-evaluating.

Here’s just a brief summary of a few of the more common ones;

-Who you are – Your birth date, where you grew up, education history, how you were raised, siblings, how you were treated as a child - etc.

-What you have accomplished – Education, degrees, inventions, businesses started, competitions, climbed mount Everest or done nothing significant – etc.

-Memberships – clubs, organizations, civic clubs, community organizations, school clubs or belong to nothing - etc.

-Your spiritual outlook – a Christian, agnostic, atheist, believer, Jewish, some other values, not sure – etc.

-Accolades or special awards – professional designations, special community awards or recognitions, retirement awards, military designations, political, special degrees or none – etc.

-Where you live – what state, city, special development, private lot, condo in resort city, farm or country – etc.

-What you own – size of your home, how many homes, how many cars, special toys (boats, planes, RVs) jewelry, wardrobe – etc.

-What you drive – vintage car, expensive car, piece of crap – etc.

-What you know – education, degrees, special courses, books you have read, special designations or awards, the size of your library – etc.

-Charities you have helped – or not helped, this one is obvious.

-What makes you happy or content – people, activities, sports, entertainment, family, travel, success, life in general or nothing – etc.

-How you have succeeded – could be financial, position, professional, age when you did it, a combination of accomplishments or accomplished little of value – etc.

-What you do – career, home body, mother, teacher, retired, volunteer, CEO, world traveler or couch and TV potato – etc.

-Where you are going – your future career, your next vacation, your next relationship, your next anything or your next nothing – etc.

-Where you have been – past failures, past successes, past mistakes, past anything – etc.

-Who you know – special friends, no friends, neighbors, famous people – etc.

-Who knows you – same as above.

-Your special skills/talents – music, hobbies, wisdom, talents, writing, artwork or you don’t have any – etc.

-Your beliefs/values – what are your standards, benchmarks, expectations, desires, goals, dreams, fantasies, hopes, fears, worries - etc.

-Who you are with – your spouse, your family, your friends, your employees, your customers, your business partners your or you are alone and have no one – etc.

-Who you have helped/guided – mentored, coached, counseled, children, family, friends, employees, customers, students or no one– etc.

-What you are worth – your stuff, your toys, your investments, your experience, your knowledge – etc.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of these lists so let me leave you with two questions – if you finished this article – what mental triggers were created or tugged at as a result of anything you read?  What are you going to do about it and how it impacts your life in 2018 and beyond?