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Archive for November, 2010

The 4 Things that are Stealing Our Goals and Dreams

November 30th, 2010 7 comments

Humans always seem to want more.  Ever noticed this? It is our nature.  We have the ability, if we want, to have more, do more and be more.  To accomplish our goals and dreams.  We can rise to the occasion. This is because of the WIIFM factor. Also known as the what’s in it for me factor.

I have been blessed to live in a capitalistic society.  I hope this last for all of my life.  In our capitalistic society, we have the opportunity to be whatever we want to.  The system is in place to allow us to live the life of our dreams!

When we don’t live the life of our dreams, there is usually something standing in our way.  Have you ever wondered what’s holding you back?  Here are a few reasons that might ring true.

FEAR

We all dream our dreams.  When we pull the wishbone on the Thanksgiving turkey and make our wish, we all know what we would love to have, do, or be. All of us have a handful of things we would like to have happen when we win the lottery.

But, when it comes down to the investment of the sweat equity it takes to go after our dreams, it’s too easy to choke.  We stall out like a jet plane and let out dreams crash.  We allow fear to dictate what we accomplish.

You know those fears; fear of failure, fear of success, fear our friends won’t like us any more if we become successful, fear of change, fear of responsibility. Fear, Fear, Fear!!  Yikes!

Isn’t fear really just false evidence appearing real?  The things that frighten us rarely come true.  If we do what we fear, the death of fear is certain.

ALLOWING OTHERS TO STEAL OUR DREAMS

We allow people to rob us of what we want.  How do they do it?  They tell us why it won’t work.  How silly of us to think we could actually have our dream.  They give us every reasons it can’t work.

It’s like two baskets of crabs on a Louisiana dock.  One crab basket has only one crab in it and the other crab basket is filled with lots of crabs.  If we only had one lid, do you know which basket we should put it on?  The logical choice would seem to be the second basket.  Right?  It only makes sense, we wouldn’t want to lose the most crabs.

Louisiana fishermen are wise.  They would tell you to put the lid on the basket with the one crab.  No crabs can escape from the second basket.  Each time a crab gets close to climbing out, there is another crab to pull it back down into the basket.

People can be like those crabs.  When we start to achieve our goals and dreams there is usually someone there to tell you why we can’t.

My advice, get the heck away from them!  Run, don’t walk!  Instead, hang out with other people who are working towards their goals and dreams.

LACK OF BELIEF

This is mega huge!  If you believe you can or you can’t you are right.  It’s all about belief. To move in the right direction towards your dreams and goals you have to be able to suspend your disbelief.  This is called faith.

FOCUS

Most talented people who don’t accomplish their dreams and goals are focused on the wrong things.  They focus on the struggle, their illnesses, friend’s problems, family issues, lack of money, etc.  We’re creatures of attraction.  What we focus on grows.

This one dovetails into the lack of belief.  Many times we are focused on why we can’t do something.  Then we begin to just settle.  Settle for a cheaper car, a less expensive house, a lower paying job.  We allow adversities of life to dictate our dreams, instead of rising above it and pushing forward.

We need to be bold!  Listening to others and playing it safe won’t get us the life of our dreams.  Make bold decisions and choices!  Risk can equal reward.  It’s not an overnight solution.  But, it’s worth the effort!  Life will give us what we are willing to fight for!

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Leadership – Is it Important to Be a Good Follower?

November 29th, 2010 5 comments

I was thinking about what it takes to be a good follower.  Kind of a contrary thought, isn’t it?  Because, anyway you slice the pie, leadership gets the most press.

The leader, is the out front guy, who takes the flack or receives the praises. As we all know, the leadership proficiency meter can go from bad to great with many stages and steps along the way.  Is it completely out of vogue to be a good follower?

Great leaders are not hatched from a egg fully developed.  They all start out as good followers.  Timing or circumstances are the usual catalyst for turning a follower into a leader.  If a follower hasn’t learned from the feet of the master, how can they become an exceptional leader?

Someone who has been in the following of a leader are, themselves, setting an example.  If they haven’t been coach-able, helpful, or taken direction well, the example they have set will be a poor one.  Others will follow that example.  When they advance to the leadership position, their reign will be fraught with the issues in their followers, they, themselves, were an example of.  In other words, what goes around, comes around.

Some people, in a leadership position, wants to keep all the knowledge of how to lead people to themselves.  They may feel insecure in sharing the knowledge.  What if their followers won’t want to follow them?  Or, the follower might take their job if they understand what it takes to lead.

This kind of thinking is a grave error in judgment.  The only leaders who can stand the test of time are those who create leaders from their followers.

A sign of a strong, confident leader is to realize or believe the cause they are fighting or working for is larger than themselves. If they are to truly succeed on a monumental level, they have to train their followers to become a leader, and to develop other leaders.  A leadership factory, so to speak.

If this isn’t done, a good causes can fail.  Crumbled at the very core by a lack of leadership to continue after the initial leader has gone.

There is value in being a good follower.  Obviously, we can’t all be the leader at the same time.  It is an excellent training ground to learn to lead.  A good follower is the backbone and strength of any group.

As the old saying goes, a team is only as strong as its weakest link.   If we understand and believe this concept, wouldn’t it be wise to be the best follower possible?

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Our Family Holiday Traditions – Should We Keep Them or Sack Them?

November 16th, 2010 9 comments

There are many different types of families.  There are extended, nuclear, and blended families.  There are families who aren’t related by blood.  These friend families are, sometimes, closer than blood ties.  They are the family we choose. One thing, which has stood the test of time is, families who have the strongest ties have the most rituals.  The rituals are better known as traditions.  Why is it important for family closeness to observe holiday traditions?

Here are a few reasons I have found for participating in our important family rituals.

SENSE OF FAMILY AND CLOSENESS

It gives us time to spend with each other.  This time together helps us understand and love one another.  It’s a great time to drag out our old stories and memories, while we are making new ones, by being together.  These memories are very important for us.  We are able to call upon these memories when times aren’t going well.

A SENSE OF CONNECTION

Spending holidays together gives us a sense of being a family unit and understanding our commonalities of where we come from.  A family can’t stay close without, actually, spending the time together.  Even when we are away from our family we still feel this connection.

KEEPS OUR HERITAGE ALIVE

It gives us an opportunity, and the time, to teach our heritage to the next generation, our children.  In the United States, we are a melting pot of cultures.  We are, also, a nation of many different faiths.  The holidays, gives us a chance to share the traditions from the part of the world our families originally came from.  We can celebrate our family’s faith.  Our families might celebrate the Christmas holidays, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and the list goes on.  We can, also, celebrate our American heritage, such as Independence Day, on July 4th, and our Thanksgiving tradition in November.

A TIME TO RELATE TO EACH OTHER

A chance to problem solve and communicate what is important to us.  Things like goals, challenges and needs.  It gives us a chance to heal from things like the loss of a loved one.  There’s no better way to heal from a devastating loss than to be together as a family.  To share tears, stories, grief, blessings, and eventually move through it, closer from the experience.

A TIME TO FORGIVE

Being together for holidays gives us the togetherness to forgive each other.  We are able to associate the holiday traditions as a happier time.  It puts us in a frame of mind to forgive each other, so we can retain our sense of closeness and family.

COOPERATION AND WORKING TOGETHER

Preparing a meal helps us relate to each other by working to create a common goal.  Sharing this meal of accomplishment, helps everyone to relax and let their guard down.  We gain strength and appreciation from this closeness.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what your family unit looks like to the outside world.  It is only important to share the holidays and celebrate with our special traditions.  This family unit is the only one who can decide what they want to celebrate.  Each of  our souls need to feel this special closeness and celebrations of life!

From my family to yours, have a happy holiday season!

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9 Tips for Keeping Working Parents Lives Organized

November 5th, 2010 8 comments

The 2010 census shows that over 75% of 2 parent families have both parents working a part-time or full-time job outside the home.  How do we find the time to do all the things we want to do for our families?

We are busy people.  There are meals to cook,laundry, dance class, little league, and the list goes on and on.  There seems to be more things to do than we have hours in the day.  By the time you add on a 40 hour work week, it is mind boggling and stressful.  The answer is in our organizational skills.

Here are 9 tips for staying organized.

1.  Plan a menu a week in advance.  List it all on the calendar with every one’s schedules. Use one calendar located where every member of the family can see it.

2.  Shop once a week for everything on the weekly menu.  This cuts out all the time consuming, little runs to the store.

3.  Fire up that crock pot!  With the help of a timer, the meal can be cooked and ready to go by the time everyone hits home.

4.  Don’t forget to use those easy cooking, quick preparation time cook books.  They have some very nutritional meals with short preparation time.

5.  Prepare ahead of time the things that can be cooked and frozen such as ground beef and chicken broth.  Keep the fresh veggies cut up, and in containers in the refrigerator, for easy use and snacks!

6.  Make twice as much at one time and freeze half.  Don’t forget to put the date on it!

7.  When making cookies, make some to freeze.  This is a life saver when it comes to providing those last minute cookies,  your child forgot to mention but is needed for school, that day!

8.  My kids were always starved when they hit home after school.  Having little snack sacks of nutritional snacks, made up in advance, helps them reach for the healthy snacks.

9.  Don’t hesitate to use the 5 year rule.  5 years from now, is anyone going to remember if that particular thing was done or not.  Keeps us pointed on the more important things.

Life is busy!  When we stayed organized and prioritize it will go smoother.  The key is to get things done, so we can have some much needed time with our partner and children.  Or, a novel concept, time for yourself!

Here’s a couple of sites I found helpful.  Click here and here!

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My 5 Discoveries on How to Becoming a People Magnet!

November 3rd, 2010 6 comments

We all know someone, who make us feel good, every time we are around them.  This person has a warm and friendly way.  They draw people to them like ants to a picnic.  They seem to know every person on planet Earth.  They’re people magnets.

I grew up, quiet and shy, in a reserved family.  My family didn’t have a lot of interactions with other people.  I always knew, there are some people with better people skills then the ones in my family.  I went on a quest to discover, what do people magnets do differently?

Here are 5 discoveries from my observations:

1.  People magnets don’t just like people, they LOVE them.  They find them fascinating!  When talking with them the PM, also known as People Magnet, looks them right in the eye.  The PM always has a friendly expression on their face.  People will smile at someone, who smiles at them first.  This easy smile, puts people at easy.

2.  When a PM talks with someone, they are, sincerely, interested in them.  They asks questions.  Not nosy, prying questions, but questions which keeps the conversation focused on the person the PM is talking to.

The PM is interested in what the person, they are talking to, has to say.  They have a way of listening which people respond to.  They tilt their head slightly.  They nod in agreement.  The PM’s body language is saying, “you are the most important person in the world, and I am listening to your every word.”

3.  Not only does the People Magnet listen to what the person is saying, but they can feed back little bits of information they are hearing.   This is because the PM finds them fascinating.  Details are remembered, and the next time the two meet, the conversation can start right where it left off.  The PM might ask how their children are doing, or their wife.  Maybe, something about their business.  Or, anything else that might have been shared.  This trait makes the People Magnet different.  Most people, really, don’t care about others, enough to remember what was said.

4.  A People Magnet will go out of their way for others.  If they talk with someone who needs something, it’s as good as found.  They know so many people, it’s not hard to find some one, who knows some body, who has it.  This doesn’t put the PM out because he/she really likes helping people.  They take pride in helping others get what they want.

5.  People Magnets let their manners show.  They always, make a point to says thank you, when a kindness is done for their family or themselves.  They know, deep down inside, manners help remove the barriers people can erect between them.

Every one wants to feel special.  People, always, take an interest in someone who takes an interest in them.  When we polish up these 5 skills, and become People Magnets, more doors will be opened up for our success.  If you are a people magnet, watch out, I might be watching you, too!

Who is the people magnet in your life?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

Parenting – Are We Allowing Our Children to be Part of the Family Team?

November 2nd, 2010 47 comments

Years ago, at the start of the Industrial age, children were put into the work force.  They worked long and hard hours.  They never had a childhood, where they could run and play.  As a society, we have done a complete reversal.  Have we gone too far?

We are now facing an epidemic, of child obesity.  It is convenient to blame McDonald’s and fast food.  When we really look at what our children’ s lifestyles are these days, it is something to ponder.  Are we, the parents, doing what we are suppose to do for our children?  Isn’t our role as a parent to raise children to be independent and productive members of society?

Most families today, have both parents working.  When Mom and Dad get home, they are exhausted!  I’ve been there.  I know how tired one can be after a long day at work.  It is easy to pack the kids up and head out for a quick meal.  I understand this.  When I was a child, and my Mom worked, I was responsible for having the dinner ready when she came home.  Amazing concept!

My concern is, children are not being allowed to become part of the family team.  Most children, don’t have important jobs around the house to contribute to the family.  When they get home from school, they are free to watch TV, play video games, have after school snacks, and do nothing until Mom and Dad come home.

Every child needs to feel they are contributing to the family.  That the jobs, they are responsible for, are very important to the whole family.  If we let them off the hook, and they aren’t responsible for anything but their school work, is that really fair to them and to, you, the parent?

When I was a working parent with children, I got a lot of flack, from concerned relatives, about the jobs my children were responsible for around the house.  They were, usually, people who hadn’t worked outside the home when their children were young.

I see working parents who work all week, and on the weekend, they work both days around the house and yard.  They work, while the kids watch TV, play video games, or some other amusement of their choice.  Are we responsible for raising children with no concept of a work ethic?

When my children were young, and I was working outside the home, they had jobs around the house.  Were they always happy about their jobs?  No, they weren’t.  What they did get out of working around the house was a sense of pride.  They realized, if they did their jobs, it would free up Mom and Dad for some fun on the weekends.  If the stars on the calendar were complete, we would be able to do something, together as a family, they wanted to do.

I’m not suggesting shackling your children to the house work wheel.  I am saying, it is healthy for children to have jobs around the house and yard.  It will give them a sense of family pride, as they work as a team.

We have come so far from putting our children into hard labor to earn money for the family.  Our children have time to be kids.  Let’s not let it go too far.  Children who contribute and share the work load in their families, learn to how to do the important tasks around the house and yard.  They learn how to be productive members of society.  That’s what we really want, isn’t it?

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Parenting – How Do I Handle the Feelings of Guilt?

November 1st, 2010 13 comments

It can be very frustrating to work a full time job, while balancing a full time Mommy or Daddy position.  I have seen so many working Moms and Dads feeling guilty and beating up on themselves because of this.  I have even done it myself!  The guilty can take us over, if we let it.

I have been on both sides of the motherhood coin.  I have worked a very time consuming and stressful job when I had small children.  I have, also, been a stay home mom chasing after the little guys!

I enjoyed my career and I enjoyed being home with my kids.  There are stresses to both worlds.  Life is too short to bog ourselves down with unproductive feelings of guilt.  No one wins in the guilt scenario.  What ever we decide our role is, we should learn to find the good things in what we are doing.

If a job is needed to help balance the tight budget, then do it.  Many working parents don’t have a desire to stay home with their children.  That’s OK too!  Make the decision to do what you need to do and drop the guilty.

Guilt is a double edge sword.  We can use one side of the sword to punish ourselves for taking time away from our kids to go to work.  The other side of the sword can be used by the kids, who sense our guilty feelings about working.  It’s time to sheath the sword and stow it away where it can’t hurt anyone, any more!

Many people when balancing their careers and families feel bad not having enough time to do their house work.  When ever I started feeling guilty about not have Mr. Clean as my best friend, I made a point to stop and think, 5 years from now will anyone remember whether my house was clean?  Instead, I chose to spend time with my kids.  Five years from now, they might not remember on that exact date whether our home was sparkling clean.  They will remember we played and spent time together.  They will always know how much they mean to me.

Divide up the house hold chores among everyone.  Even the littlest guys can do things to help.  They are fantastic go-fers!  The extra dividend of the family pitching in and dividing up the chores is, they learn how to take care of themselves.  It will help raise them to be independent, productive adults with great work ethics!

When it’s boiled right down to the barest bones, we need to prioritize our lives.  We should decide, what is the most important thing to us.  Talk it over with our spouses and  our kids.

The Mommy and Daddy roles is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.  We all know this to be true.  I say, make a decision, communicate with your family about the decision, and don’t ever feel guilty about it, again.  Decide to enjoy your life, and what ever rolls into it!

Have you found a way to let go of the guilt?  Leave me a comment and let me know what works for you!

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