Tag Archives: mondays

Week 13 – Cultivate Graciousness!

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“And you know, when you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgive, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people.You’re a lot more gracious to others” – Rick Warren

Many years ago, the company I worked for provided me with the opportunity to attend an incredible leadership course. During the course, one of the participants asked the instructor how to deal with negative or poor leaders above you. The workshop leader said, (And I apologize for the swear word—this is a direct quote) “There is an old saying. The higher the monkey climbs up the tree, the more his ass shows. You have a choice. You can point and laugh at the asses of the monkeys ahead of you, or you can realize that the monkeys behind you can see your ass. Always be gracious with the monkeys ahead of you in the hopes that the monkeys behind you will be gracious with you.”

mar_27_0467_climbing_monkey

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Week 12 – Celebrate the Small Stuff–Often!

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Celebrate what you want to see more of.”  -Tom Peters

You may have heard the expression, “What we focus on grows”. Where we put our attention, is what we usually get more of. Two of the primary things that make the unconscious mind encode, or imprint, and actually create neuro-pathways in the brain (that means hard-wiring) are repetition and strong emotions.

When we celebrate our successes, even small ones, with gusto and enthusiasm, we focus attention on success, and create the strong emotions and repetition needed to imprint the unconscious with the command that we want more things to celebrate.

Bluebird on post 553 03-27-10 with LR Edits with quote -1 low res

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Week 11 – Appearances DO Matter: The Eight Appearance Principles

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“Attractiveness is not necessary for success, but appearance IS .” ― Max Simon


When I was teaching career transition at Bow Valley College, one of the sayings we would emphasize to the students was: “If you look like you belong in the room, then you only have to convince people to listen to what you have to say. However, if you don’t look like you belong in the room, you have to first convince people that you do belong in the room, and then convince them to listen to what you have to say.”

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Looking like you belong in the room saves a lot of time and energy!

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This might seem overly simplistic for a success blog, (and I am by no means perfect) but I am constantly amazed when I go to networking events how many people look , as one of my colourful friends would say, “slapped together with duct-tape and a glue gun”.

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While, as Max Simon says above, attractiveness is not necessary for success, appearance is. Our appearance is a reflection of our self-care.  Our appearance conveys CRUCIAL information. It conveys what we think about ourselves. It conveys how much we value ourselves and what we think we are worth.  And that translates into what OTHERS think of us and what others think we are worth. Let’s face it. Humans DO judge a book by its cover.

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Which office would you prefer to do business with? Photos is from www.asimpleplanconsulting.com

Which office would you prefer to do business with? Photos is from http://www.asimpleplanconsulting.com

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Week 10 – Success Principle #17 – Ask

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“We are afraid to ask not because we are afraid of the answer, but because we are afraid of the feeling of rejection.” ― Anna R.

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Several years ago, I was attending one of Jack Canfield’s workshops on success. Jack Canfield is the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a wonderful book on success titled, The Success Principles. At that time, I was the coordinator and lead instructor for the College Success Program at Bow Valley College in Calgary. I was also completing my Master’s degree in Leadership and Education.

As part of my Master’s, I had to complete a thesis. Somehow, I got the idea in my head that I wanted to complete my thesis in transformational leadership and work with the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC). TLC is an organization the Jack Canfield started because he wanted to spend time with like-minded people. You may have seen many of the members of the TLC in the hit movie The Secret.

I attended Jack’s one-day success workshop because I was determined to “corner” Jack at the workshop and ask him how I might complete my thesis with the TLC. Or, at least, that was the theory. All morning long, I chickened-out.  I was too afraid to ask. Read the rest of this entry

Week 9 –Doing Time: Letting go of the Myth of Overnight Success

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My dad told me, ‘It takes fifteen years to be an overnight success’, and it took me seventeen and a half years.”     –Adrien Brody (actor)

A few weeks ago, I was having one of those moments. You know the type. The type of moment where you are whining about the fact that you have been working so hard for so long and it feels like running through mud.  Yeah.  I’m not proud. What was interesting was that, within a three day span, I heard or read three different people (one each day) talking about the myth of the overnight success. It was a great wake up call. Success takes time—and you can’t fast-track it (despite what many people will try to tell you).

One of my favorite stories is about Thomas Edison. It is alleged that it took him 10,000 attempts to make the light bulb. During the entire time, Edison never felt he failed. He felt he found 9,999 to NOT make a light bulb, and one way to make a light bulb. Success is like that. It takes many attempts. And, only those who stick with it through the set-backs reach the finished line. (This great, short video by Miguel Joey Aviles captures the essence).

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Week 8 – Redefine Possible

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“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Spencer West was born with a disease in his legs that resulted in both his legs being amputated just below the pelvis. His parents were told Spencer would never sit up by himself or be a contributing member of society.

Over his life, Spencer was told a lot of “wouldn’ts”,  “couldn’ts”, and “not possibles”. Fortunately, neither Spencer, nor his parents, paid attention to the limitations other people put on Spencer. They approached life from a place of discovering for themselves what Spencer could do.

In June 2012, Spencer West, together with his two best friends, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Spencer did over 80% of the climb on his hands.  (Let’s face it, there are lots of people with legs who never climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.)

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Week 7 – The 5 “I Can’ts” Successful People Say

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“No one can  go to the highest level and remain a generalist.”  – John C. Maxwell

Despite what you may have heard, there actually IS a time and place to say, “I can’t.” The truth is, it is not actually possible to do everything.  As soon as we choose one thing, we give up something else. For example, if I wear my red dress, I can’t wear the blue one at the same time. I can’t be at the grocery store and the book store at the same time. If I’m writing my next blog article, I can’t be doing something fun at the same time….Oh, wait, that last example doesn’t work. Writing my blog is TOTALLY fun!!  I can’t be on Facebook and writing my article at the same time. OK, that works.

The point is, life often forces us to make a choice.  What matters is that in the process of choosing, we choose what will take us to where we want to go. “Can’t” can sometimes play a role in success!

Below are the 5 “Can’ts” successful people adopt. Read the rest of this entry

Week 6 – Five Ways to Stop F’ing Yourself!

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“Those who say life is knocking them down and giving them a tough time are usually the first to beat themselves up. Be on your own side.”  ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

I bet the title REALLY got your attention! In a recent offering of my “Your Best Year Yet” Workshop, my friend and colleague, Betsi, shared with our group that she constantly guards against what she calls “Betsi’s Five F’s”. These five F’s usually go hand-in-hand with self –criticism. The five F’s demonstrate where we are beating ourselves up, and always show us where we are “fighting” against life (rather than living in the flow of Life—Flow is an F of a different kind! )

Successful people have very low levels of self-reproach. They learn from challenges and mistakes, forgive themselves (another F) and move on. They don’t waste their precious energy and resources on beating themselves up.

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Week 5 – Beginner’s Mind

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“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”  – Shunryu Suzuki

The human mind is amazing. It is set up for speed and efficiency. This is so we can recognize and respond to danger quickly. However, one of the problems with our biological derivative for fast processing, is that in efforts to create speed, our mind will often seek out patterns and create generalizations. In the process of doing this, the mind often leaps to conclusions about the nature of something. Now, this has many advantages. It makes it much easier and faster to process the 2 million bits of information per second that our five senses  receive. However, it causes an equally large challenge. Once the mind has locked into a pattern, (for example: it swims, it has feathers, it quacks, it lays eggs, therefore it must be a duck), the mind “dismisses” the pattern as known. At that point, we actually stop looking, exploring, and seeking understanding.  Once we “KNOW” something, once the dismissal happens, there is little room for learning. (for example: It might be a goose, swan, or even a heron). Read the rest of this entry

Week 4 – What’s Your BIG Rock?

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Action expresses priorities.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi

The Parable of the Professor and the Rocks.  – Author Unknown

The professor was standing behind his desk in the lecture hall as I came in. That was odd because he usually dashed in just as class was supposed to start.

He didn’t say anything as he looked out at us—also odd—and everyone took a seat quickly. He reached under the desk and took out a clear glass jar, the gigantic kind that cafeterias get mayonnaise or pickles in. He set the jar on the desk and then reached under again and took out a box. Read the rest of this entry