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Archive for February, 2010

John Maxwell on Leadership; Laws of Navigation, Addition and Solid Ground

February 12th, 2010 2 comments

All of us have had an opportunity to follow someone.  Either in our church as our pastor, or where we work, or in our government.  All of these areas have a huge impact on our lives.  Today’s lesson, taken from John Maxwell‘s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  They are the 3 laws of Navigation, Addition and Solid Ground.

Today’s video is a little over 3 minutes long.  Short and sweet but filled with important information.  Enjoy!

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John Maxwell on Leadership; the Lid, Influence and Process

February 11th, 2010 No comments

I have worked in the business building field for over 20 years.  I have seen many different kinds of leadership.  Leadership doesn’t necessarily come with a title.  Many effective leaders have never had a title, but have risen to the needs of a group of people.

What makes a great leader?  Is it the way they talk, walk, or part their hair?  Are people born leaders?  Not necessarily.  Most often, leadership is a learned skill.  Yes, some people seem to have a more natural ability.   While others grow their leadership skills with the help of time, education and a  good mentor.

Not everyone embraces the leadership role.  Being a leader means that you are visible inside and out to those that choose to follow you.

Several years ago, I read John Maxwell’s original book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  I found it insightful.  For those of you that don’t know John Maxwell, here is a link for his bio. He has been a pastor of a very large church.  Any one that has been involved in a church setting knows to grow a large church, filled with very different personalities, takes great leadership.  As an author, he has sold more than 18 million books.  He has a leadership newsletter called Leadership Wired that I have received for several years.  Dr. Maxwell has effectively crossed over into the secular business arena training leadership skills to thousands of people.

I have a short 4 minute video for you today.  It is only a short synapses of the first 3 laws that are spelled out in detail in his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  This video will give you a small taste of what the book has to offer.

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Is Positive Thinking Poisoning Our World?

February 10th, 2010 No comments

I was surfing around looking for self improvement topics that would add value for my twitter peeps.  I came across an article that really made me think.  It is called “Wishing It Don’t Make it So”. In this article, about an author by the name of Barbara Ehrenreich.  The premise of the article is that positive thinking is the cause of many unnatural and “bad things” that have befallen the United States.  Wow!  Doesn’t that statement make you sit up in your chair?!

The 2nd paragraph of the article says,

“In isolation, each of these facts may cause no more than mild disquiet, a sense that the harsher realities of life are being brushed aside. In fact, as a U.S. journalist and campaigner Barbara Ehrenreich has discovered, they are all manifestations of the ubiquity of positive thinking in the United States. When she began to put the pieces together, they revealed a nation in the grip of a collective delusion that does damage to people’s lives all the way from corporate boardrooms to those struggling with house repossessions and poverty.”

The article is written about someone who is from a very liberal or progressive bias.  In this article, my understanding of the premise, is that positive thinking is a negative and leading all of us down the garden path to global destruction.  Positive thinking has become so pervasive that “Anyone who was critical or unable to “get with the plan”, was got rid of, until there were no canaries left in the mine.” In other words, positive thinking has made it impossible for whistle blowers to do what they are suppose to do.  If anyone thinks negatively, they are cast out of corporate American and treated like lepers.

I have a hard time believing that all negative people have been thrown out of corporate America or are forced to change into beams of positive light.   If you aren’t  sunshine and lollipops there is no room for you in the corporate world.  My experience in the corporate world has been that really isn’t the case.

There is nothing wrong with feeling negative thoughts in the face of cancer, job losses, illness and death of loved ones.  Those are natural emotions born of frustration and loss of control in one’s life.  Those feeling should be honored.  But, to suggest that we all walk around raging about the dirty hand that life has dealt us, over and over again, seems to be a fruitless endeavor. Isn’t there enough negatives in our lives without listening to some one else?  If I was battling breast cancer, I certainly wouldn’t want to absorb someone else’s negativity.  That wouldn’t help keep my hope alive.  Reading someone on a forum talking about “sappy pink ribbons” seems like a personal affront to the Susan G.Komen for the cure movement.

I must say, that the “thinking only positive thoughts” might be a goal of some people and is taught in the self improvement industry, it rarely happens that someone is always positive, nor should they be.  The danger of that philosophy, that we attract negative things if we think negative thoughts, is the guilt that can be felt for not thinking positive and having the negative things happen to us.  We do need to take responsibility for our own lives.  To think that everything that happens to us is random is to leave us impotent and self victimized.  Rather than feeling guilt for the maladies that befall us “due to negative thinking” it would seem more productive to watch for the lessons in life that we can learn from experiencing the negative.

The natural order of things is that there are polar differences.  For every negative, there is a positive.  By experiencing negative things we can also experience the positive.  Isn’t whether something is negative or positive a matter of perspective?  Couldn’t one person’s job loss turn into an opportunity for something better?

Even the loss of our loved ones can have blessings wrapped deep inside the feelings of sadness and grief. But, is grief really a bad thing?  It may not feel the best, but to have loved someone so much that you miss them when they are gone is not a negative thing.  We shouldn’t stop loving because we may face grief later by their loss.

Call me Pollyanna.  You wouldn’t be the first.  I would say “thank you”.  To be able to turn the darkness into light doesn’t mean that you are deranged or hopelessly maladjusted.  I say, “live and let live”.  If you wish to choose the negative, that is your choice.  I, personally would rather look for the kernels of hope…after I have railed at my misfortune.

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Dr. Michael J. Druckett – What Mental Codes or Beliefs are Holding You Back?

February 9th, 2010 No comments

One of the great things about self improvement is in the quest of discovering ourselves.  I believe that is why self improvement has gotten to be a popular endeavor.  Many of us are curious about ourselves and how we think.  Why do we think the way we do?  Many of us have come to the realization that our thoughts create our world.  Is it possible to change our mental habits of thoughts to create the life we want?

In the animal world instinct plays an important role in how each species lives.  Certain things are passed down from generation to generation as instinctive behavior.  This is how those species survive.

In human beings, we use a different process to move our species forward.  It is our belief systems.  We run on our belief system, or programming, which starts when we are children.  It is an automated system that saves us time and effort. Can you imagine, if every experience we encountered we had to stop and relearn what to do?  It would make for a very cumbersome existence.  Because we have set up belief systems or mental codes we can run many programs on automatic pilot.  We believe because it worked in the past it will work again and again.  Even if it didn’t work in the past, we still use that programming.  This may have helped with the evolution of our species, but it can hinder us if we continue to go back to mental programming that is faulty.

I found this very informative 8 minute video for you from Dr. Michael J. Druckett.  He explains our mental codes and shows us how to get in touch with what is holding us back in life.  If you enjoy it, pass it on!

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5 Tips for Increasing Happiness

February 8th, 2010 3 comments

We live in a post “Secret” world.  Many people feel, to manifest what they want, they must live in a perpetual state of happiness or positive feelings.  Sorry, folks, I think that is just a load of poo.  I know many people in the “self help” arena would be very disgusted with me for what I just wrote.  But, seriously, do you believe that it is possible to be happy all the time?

Let’s look back, historically, at a couple of famous individuals.  First, let’s look at the life and times of Jesus Christ.  Do you believe that he was happy 100% of the time?  Probably not.  There were many things that happened to him that couldn’t possible make a guy happy.  Necessary to go through, but not a happiness inducer.  How about Mother Teresa?  Do you think that working with sick and dying people every single day plastered a grin on her face every morning?  Maybe, maybe not.

Feeling sad or depressed doesn’t automatically label you a failure.  Negative feelings can be healthy.  It helps us better understand the opposite of those feelings.  Do you think we would know happiness for the joy that it is if we had never experienced being sad?  Every one of us will endure something that makes us unhappy; losing someone you love, have a job loss, etc.  Those things are out of our control.  If we push those feelings away, without acknowledging them, they will return with a vengeance.

What we choose to focus on is in our control.  Here are 5 tips to increasing happiness.

1.  If you like something, enjoy it. No guilt, just enjoy it!  I enjoy boating.  I love being on a lake.  I enjoy feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.  I enjoy smelling coconut suntan lotion.  It brings pictures to my mind of many fun and happy times on the lake.  Every chance I get I head for the lake.  Some day, I will live on a lake.  I dream about that day.

2.  If you don’t like something, avoid it. It is perfectly okay to avoid things you don’t like.  I don’t like crowds.  I don’t like standing in line for things.  Perfect example:  women’s restrooms.  Large meeting places must have been designed by clueless men.  There are always lines for the women’s restroom.  Men don’t understand that concept until they have had to wait for their women to stand in a bathroom line (perhaps holding her purse?)  Is it a tough concept to have 2 women’s restrooms for every men’s? Food for thought for the architects out there.

3.  If you can’t avoid it, change it. If I have to get into a crowd situation I try to do things differently.  I avoid drinking a lot of beverages so I can stay out of the bathroom line.  I eat something before I go, thus avoiding the food lines.  I stay in my seat and keep the milling around to a minimum.  Changing what I can to do to avoid what I don’t like increases my happiness.

4.  If you can’t change it, accept it. If I am in a big crowd I don’t focus on what I don’t like.  I look at the advantages of being there.  Some of my best times have been in big crowds; such as conventions, concerts, and parties.  If I spend my time complaining I make everyone around me, and myself, less happy.  I accept it.

5.  Change your attitude. Changing my viewpoint is very important.  All things are seen through the eyes of perspective.  If I go through my life saying and thinking that I hate crowds I would have missed out on those happy times I mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Simply changing how I look at those things, and looking for what I like in those situations increases my happiness.

While we can’t be happy 24/7/365, we can increase our happy moments by choosing how we look at situations.  The times that I have been unable to do so, I have learned to let it go.  The best method, I have found,  for releasing unhappy thoughts is the Sedona Method.  If you are interested in finding out more, check out the website and get a free DVD explaining the method.  It is amazing.

If you found something of value in this post, feel free to pass it on to your peeps!  A re-tweet for the peeps is appreciated.

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Tony Buzan – Maximize the Power of Your Brain Using Mind Mapping

February 4th, 2010 1 comment

When I was in school, I loved the classes and the teachtony buzaners that made learning fun.  I, to this day, enjoy learning because of the examples those teachers set.  Why should learning be regimented and boring?  Our mind is our thinking tool.  If we use our mind in a creative way and implement that creativity in learn, doesn’t it makes sense that we might learn easier and retain it longer?

I have stumbled across mind mapping.  I started to research this and will be implementing it in my own learning process.  It makes sense to me.

I wish I had known about this technique when my daughter was going through school.  She had trouble in school due to, what was diagnosed as, Attention Deficit Disorder.  She has grown up to be a creative artist.  She relaxes and unwinds when she is involved in her art.  Would mind mapping provided that link from her creative side to learning and retention? I have included a 5 minute video from Tony Buzan, the founder and author of several books on  mind mapping, explaining this process.  I found it very interesting.  Leave me a comment if you have used this method and let me know how it worked for you.

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