Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Your thoughts define your life.

Your thoughts define your life

Tim Connor

I have spent my entire life studying brain function and no I am not a neurosurgeon or a Psychiatrist and I certainly don’t have the right to preach about how anyone should or should not live their life. 

However, over the years I have spent a great deal of thought (no pun intended) on this subject – how our thoughts ultimately define our life.  I’ve written a great deal about it, given keynotes and seminars on it and read dozens of books about it – and why – I believe it is the single biggest contributor to all of life’s circumstances – happiness, fear, success, doubt, wealth, poverty, joy, loneliness, regret, inner peace – I could go on listing every emotion, life circumstance and career, relationship and business circumstance, but I will try and make my simple point in as few words to follow as possible.

For those of you with little time or patience I’ll summarize this article in advance; thoughts repeated contribute to beliefs, beliefs contribute to attitudes and mindsets, these over time create habits (mental, emotional and physical), your habits are your rationales for choices and decisions, these contribute to actions and behavior and these equal circumstances.  So, now you can move on to the next item on your To-Do list OR, you can keep reading and learn why you just needed the summary and not the details.  Gotcha!

The human brain is the most amazing organ that has ever existed.  You don’t have to be an expert on brain physiology to know a few of the basics.  It controls 100% of everything you do twenty-fours a day 365 days a year until you take your final breath.  Don’t believe me? Where is your brain on and off switch?

It doesn’t matter whether you are sleeping, doing yoga, meditating or chilling – it is doing stuff in you at the rate of three trillion chemical reactions every second.  Enough of the biology.

When you have a thought, any thought, good, bad, memory, positive, negative – whatever – your brain processes this and then decides is this a new thought or one similar to one you have had in the past?  It decides and then puts it into what I call a Brian folder for future reference.

So, let’s say you have a worry thought about you’re an upcoming health procedure. Your brain asks itself – “is this a new thought?  Don’t know, let’s check the worry folder. OK, this is not a new one so let’s move this to the everyday thoughts folder.”  See where this is going?  Not yet?  OK, so you are in the doctor’s office and a new worry thought enters your mind.  Your brain says, “This sounds familiar. Yep, it’s in the everyday folder.  Maybe we should move this to the every hour folder.”

Once this stuff (thoughts) gets into the every hour folder in your brain, the folder is now in control of what you think hour to hour.  And once it’s in control, it is in control of everything related to it – minute to minute – second to second. Stress. Fear. What if. Why me. Why now. Etc. And once these folders take over, well, their goal is to make life easy for themselves, so they keep the every hour folder handy so they can react easier, sooner and more frequently without your mental intervention.

Are we there yet?

So – you have a thought.  Then you have it again. And again.  And sooner rather than later this thought becomes easier to have the more you have it.  And the easier it is, the more often you will now have it even if it wasn’t something you were thinking about or had planned to think about.  You just start thinking it.

Next step – this continued thought pattern now begins to impact beliefs, values, opinions, interpretations, feelings, etc.

Next step – you now start to form attitudes that are consistent with these thought patterns or mindsets. For example – if you are a procrastinator it becomes easier and easier to procrastinate the more you do it and why? I just told you.  Re-read the previous few paragraphs.

Once these attitudes are formed the next step is to create habits – mental, emotional, physical etc. that reinforce these mental states or are not in conflict with the thought patterns that have developed.

Next step – decisions, actions etc. are now controlled by this process as you are now in what I call – cruised control or auto-pilot.

The last step is that we tend to justify outcomes or results whether successful or unsuccessful, desired or undesired or planned or unplanned for that are caused by the previous choices, decisions, and actions we made.

Game over.  You are now a hostage of your thoughts and all they entail.

Keep in mind I am not implying that the only thoughts in this process are all negative ones.  This process also works the same for positive steps, confusion, desire, goals and every other thought we can have about anything and everything.

And, this is the answer to change. If you want something in your life to change, be better, be different – anything – you must go back to the beginning and begin the process again, but this time by having different thoughts – the ones you want or need to create the new circumstances you desire.

Your thoughts define your life.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly or The Stupid or The Wise!

From the outset let me be clear – I am including myself in all of the stupid categories that follow.  Some I have finally learned to successfully manage and a few of them I am still struggling to get out of the stupid column and into the wise column. There, I’ve said it - now can we move on?  So, just in case you didn’t get it – I’m not preaching here just “splainin myself” remember him? If not, Google splainin to do or splainin myself.  Ok, on to the point of this article – what qualifies for stupid stuff in life and why do we all keep doing it?  I’ll leave the opposite of them (wise stuff) up to you to figure out how to get out of the stupid column (if you are in it) and into the wise one.
To keep this short and concise I am not going to list every stupid life, career, business, spiritual or relationship category, but what I feel are just a few of the ones that cause the most life havoc and pain and tend to be repeated far too often by many of us (again – I include myself in this group).  I have also not put them in any order of importance since I couldn’t find any credible research on them, as a group.  So, here they are;
Decision making - repeated mistakes – Expecting different results from repeated behavior is a sign of insanity.  Ever heard that one?  Well, how about – expecting different results from repeated decisions - is the same – insane or stupid.  It’s not always the decision that’s stupid but how it is implemented, expectations we have because of it or just having an inactive wait and see attitude after they are made. The decision is only one of the many steps when it comes to the decision process.  If you keep making bad decisions, trust me – you will keep getting bad or uncertain outcomes.
Time use – Ever waited in line for a long time?  Ever been on hold on a telephone call forever?  Ever waited a week for a response to an email or text?  Ever sat in traffic every morning for longer than necessary on your way to work? These examples are too numerous to keep going but the rationale is always the same – “I don’t have any other options or choices – I’m just stuck.”  Sorry, there are better options in every potential “time-wasting scenario” – we might not always like them or be comfortable with them, but, they always exist.  Don’t believe me – here are two – Try a different route to work.  Leave for work earlier. Get a different job. Retire. Quit. Carpool. Take the bus. OK, how about the email or text. Call them. Visit them. Take them off your list of contacts. Set some communication rules or guidelines.
I will guarantee you waste a minimum, of 3-4 hours every day in some way that could be better used if you just got creative.
Life lived – Someday I’ll. When I am smarter I will. When I meet the right person, I will.  I will give this situation or person another year to change. I’m too old.  I’m too young.  I’m too inexperienced.  I’m not good enough. Please save me from these idiots.  The right time for anything is never the right time.  What makes anything the right time is not who, what or when but – you taking action, finding courage or faith, surrendering or anything that gets you to stop hoping, wishing and dreaming and start moving, acting or doing.
Emotions - worry, regret, blame etc. – Regrets weigh tons, blame is stupid, and worry is life’s biggest waste of energy and mental effort. So, why do so many people live with these and many other negative emotions – why have I? Stupid.  In hindsight every time I did any of these plus any others – jealousy, anger, disappointment, anxiety etc. I realized that when I did any of them, I temporarily turned the quality of my life and time over to others and then realized I was giving people I often even didn’t control over me – stupid.
Success and failure – Success is not a guarantee and failure can’t be avoided.  Disagree?  OK – have you succeeded at everything you have tried?  If you have I’ll wager you are in denial or haven’t tried much.  Never failed at anything?  Again, I’ll bet you have always played it safe.  Either approach is dumb.  The only way you can ever succeed at anything is to risk, step outside your comfort zone or try something new and when you do – there is never a guarantee it will work or that it won’t.  Successful people have failed, and failures never learn from their failures so tend to repeat them.
Ego and arrogance – it’s all about you – The world does not revolve around you no matter how much you want it to or think it does.  People with ego’s that dominate their lives spend a great deal of time wondering, in confusion, disappointed, frustrated and angry and why?  They need, no, they require control.  Sorry folks, not going to happen so if you are letting your ego rule your life, just accept that you’ll never be really happy, truly happy, content, no matter how much you have or inner peace until the world and everything and everyone in it behave according to your rules expectations, demands etc.  Good luck.

Well, how’d you do in these six areas?  Need to do some work to get into the wise column?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Reality is what it is - not what you want it to be!

Reality is what it is – not what you want it to be

Ever had a disagreement with someone? A spouse, customer, employee or even a total stranger?  Ever screamed at the TV as you listened to the rantings of some political Idiot?  Ever felt the stress of a relationship that was filled with tension or frustration?  I could go on with examples like this, but the question is – is there a common cause or contributor to all or each of these life situations, struggles or outcomes?

I have had more than my share of people come up to me after one of my speeches or seminars sharing their disagreements and/or opinions of what I talked about and how they felt I was wrong or just plain stupid – not kidding here.  Over the years I have spent a great deal of time and research trying to identify what the unique circumstances were that created these types of reactions, responses or behaviors when dealing with others whether in person or at a distance.  I finally figured it out.

The single biggest issue that contributes to poor communication, increased conflict, negative relationships, ineffective employee performance, declining health, bad decisions, lost business, ineffective management and declining organization success (need I go on?) - is simple but not complicated. In a word, it is “reality or truth”.

Let me explain.  Everyone has opinions, values, attitudes, prejudices, and beliefs that are grounded in personal experience, upbringing, conditioning, and education.  When blended into a person’s mindsets these create their personal sense of reality; what is, what is right, what is wrong, what needs to change etc. etc.  The problem gets even worse when people begin to believe that their sense of reality (the previous stuff and more) is the “reality” in other words all other views, opinions, attitudes, beliefs etc. are wrong, outdated, stupid, unnecessary or invalid because they are different than theirs. 

Imagine for a minute the last conflict you had with an employee, spouse or customer – I will guarantee its source was the attempt by both of you to validate your own opinion(s) and invalidate the other person’s.  Am I right? Due to current trends in Political Correctness, Social Media, The Selfie Generation we are very rapidly losing the ability to develop meaningful relationships – both business and personal – that are grounded in openness, understanding, tolerance, and respect. 

So, is there a simple answer to this life challenge?  Yes and no.  Yes, you can change, improve, grow, learn and mature but unfortunately, you can’t make the other person in a relationship do these according to your needs, expectations or rationales.  See the problem here?

Over the years in many of my presentations, I have subtly covered this topic, but I have decided it is time to give it the attention, focus, and independence it deserves.  So, if you are aware of any organization that would benefit from my latest addition to my seminar topics – Reality is what it is – not what you want it to be – let me know.  Just a brief overview of it below if you have an interest.  By the way, it can be a keynote or an all-day seminar.

During this session, Tim will cover topics such as;

-Behaviors that contribute to resistance when it comes to accepting differences and other’s realities.

-Why people close their minds to new, different and uncertain ideas, concepts and opinions.

-What we all lose when we choose to see the world from our own perspective only.

-How this issue contributes to poor communication, increased conflict and relationship breakdowns.

-Proven techniques to change these negative behaviors and attitudes.

-How to create a culture of openness and reality that is reality and not just a perceived reality.

-How to improve employee performance, customer loyalty, and marketing effectiveness but putting reality back into the business model.

And many others as deemed beneficial for the client and or audience.

Just a few takeaways from this session

-Improved employee performance, integrity-based communication and individual responsibility.

-Greater employee accountability and respect for others.

-Improved revenue, market share, and profits due to a culture of engagement and empowerment.

-Reduced conflict and less wasted time and resources due to improved awareness and responsiveness.

-The ability to maximize the impact and benefits of change and uncertainty by improved employee creativity and problem-solving.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

New book announcement - My Age is None of My Business

I am so excited to announce my 81st book –

“My Age is None of My Business”

sub title – Living your final years with dignity, health, peace, happiness and a sense of adventure.

will be on the market in late June.

Just a very brief overview of the book;

We are all going to Get Old, but we don’t have to Grow Old!

Over 175 pages of ideas, suggestions, and resources to help make your later years in life - your best years - there are two types of people in the world as they age;

Those who;

  • wait patiently for the journey to end.
  • live with fear, loneliness, uncertainty, and regrets. 
  • often feel like victims having lost control of their health, finances, relationships and even their time.

And those who;

  • live each new day with a sense of adventure, passion, purpose, and excitement. 
  • embrace each moment, challenge and opportunity with a “YES” in their heart and an “I Can” in their mind. 
  • finish their journey with service to others and a smile on their face. 

Just a few things I cover you can learn and share with others who would benefit;

  • Letting go of negative attitudes when it comes to aging.
  • Moving past grief and sadness when left alone by a tragic loss.
  • How to get and keep busy and productive regardless of your age.
  • How to avoid symptoms of loneliness or isolation.
  • How to develop and nurture new friends and relationships.
  • How to get back your life passion and purpose for life.
  • How to avoid some of the biggest mistakes people make when downsizing or moving from their home into a facility.
  • Starting new relationships if you have lost a loved one later in life.
  • Renewing your youthful spirit, optimism, and sense of adventure.

My special offer – For every copy, you pre-order (prior to 5/30 for ($25.00) – I will send you TWO FREE copies and waive the shipping costs.  I’ll bet you know a few people who would benefit from it – and remember – autographed books make great gifts.  The book should be in the mail to you by the end of June – but while you wait I will send you the eBook if you want.

The website for the book will not be up and running until the book is on the market in late June so to order your advanced copies with the special savings you will need to put in a little more effort than usual. Believe me – it will be worth it as this is one of my favorite published books of the 80 I have written.

Just email me (timspeaks4u@gmail.com) your interest in taking advantage of this offer (Tim I want to order your new book) and I will provide you with the form necessary to place your pre-order.