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If You Can’t Find Time to do it Right

14 Aug

My first job out of college was as a junior salesman for the Milton Bradley Company, the oldest board game manufacturer in the United States. I was required to travel three mid-western states calling on Woolworth stores. It was in one of those stores that I first read the above quote, or rather the full quote; If you can’t find time to do it right, how are you going to find time to do it over. I found this quotation so profound that I made it my personal credo and it has served me well over the years.

You would think that anyone who attempts any task, either large or small, would want to do the very best job they were capable of doing. But anyone over five years old knows that this is not always the case. Now why is that?

My belief is that we were never told of our greatness. Nobody ever told us of our divinity. That we were a child of God and we could be, do and have everything that we desired. Nobody convinced us that we were capable of doing great and amazing things. And so we don’t.

Instead, for many of us, we were told just the opposite – that we were in some way flawed. Not quite good enough. Not capable of doing outstanding work. And we accepted this as the truth, and thus settled for an ordinary life. It took me many years to realize that this was wrong. It is not that we can’t find the time to do it right, but that our internal belief system tells us that we are incapable of doing it right. So why even try.

But try we must. Each of us has the innate ability to be one, two or even three times more productive than we are. So the next time you attempt a new assignment or take on a new task, and before you start, ask God, your higher power or the Universe for the ability to do the very best you are capable of. And soon, you’ll be surprised at just how capable you really are.

With Love,

Michael

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Fear Within the Sexes

24 Jul

At their core, women fear that men will kill them. At their core, men fear that women will laugh at them. ~Gavin de Becker

This will be the first time that I’ve written a blog on quotes where I’m only knowledgeable on half of the quote. Having never been a woman, nor have any desire to be, I can’t speak on the first part of the quote “women fear that men will kill them.” But I certainly can speak to the male part, AND IT IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

From a very early age boys strive to impress girls. It’s our nature. We may even deny any interest in girls but our egos are tightly intertwined with what they think of us. We don’t possess a magnificent plume of feathers to make an impression with, but we are quite capable of doing and saying some very stupid things. What we fear is female rejection.

As we get older this fear intensifies. It begins about junior high when we begin to see the opposite sex in a whole new light, and it never ends. Not in high school, college or anytime in our lives. We carry this fear with us always.

Let me ask the women reading this article; Have you ever seen a man that you’d like to meet spend a great deal of time looking at you, but never approaches you to introduce himself? You’re probably wondering what’s wrong with him. And you may even start to think, what’s wrong with me? There is nothing wrong with you. It’s all about him. And here is the kicker, the more attractive the woman the more fear the man experiences.

Until I read this quote by Mr. de Becker I always believed that our fear was in just being rejected, but it is more than that. What we really fear is being laughed at, which to us, is the ultimate rejection. Our egos cannot tolerate being the object of a women’s laughter.

When laughed at some men will slink away to lick their wounds, but others will respond in a more negative fashion. I think it depends on how much their ego is tied in with their feelings of self-worth. It is these men that add credence to the first part of this quote.

What’s the answer? You tell me.

With love,

Michael

Educating Out Our Fears!

17 Jul

Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out. ~Karl Augustus Menninger

I like to joke that each of us was born perfect and then our parents get a hold of us. But the more I joke about it the more I realize the truth behind the humor.

They say that babies are born fearing only two things; falling and loud noises. That means that every other fear we have was learned. But who taught us?  And here the answer is simple; we learned from those closest to us. Our parents, siblings, other family members, teachers, coaches, classmates and even religious leaders.

For most of us, these individuals taught us with love who and what to fear. They wanted to protect us. And so they taught us what to them was the “truth.” But hidden in those lessons were their own fears, doubts, insecurities, prejudices and even bigotries.

I have a nephew, a wonderful young man, who has an intense dislike for homosexuals. It’s almost as if he is two different people. On the one hand, he’s a great husband, father and businessman. On the other, he’s a bigot. One side of him I love, the other I detest.

I know where my nephew learned his hatred. Not from his parents, but from his grandfather who taught him why these people were “bad.” He loved his grandfather, and so he accepted his grandfather’s hatred as his own. After all, his grandfather wouldn’t lie to him, would he?

Just as my nephew learned to hate homosexuals he can also learn to be more accepting of the LGBT community. But only if he wants to. Like everything else it must begin with the desire to change, and as we know, change is never easy.

But think about this: What would the world be like if each of us took a hard look at our own fears and prejudices and decided to change only one; from hatred to love and acceptance?

With love,

Michael

Act Like the Person You Want to Become

10 Jul

Another Born Rich Affirmation: I Must Act Like The Person I Want To Become

Before I begin, let me first define what an affirmation is: According to Scott Armstrong of the Boulder Coaching Academy, “Affirmations, really, are simple. They are you being in conscious control of your thoughts. They are short, powerful statements. When you say them or think them or even hear them, they become the thoughts that create your reality. Affirmations, then, are your conscious thoughts.”

Creating the life you desire is not always easy. It requires you to monitor and let go of the approximately 54,000 negative thoughts that scientists tell us each of us thinks in a day.

Now I know you’re thinking “how can I possibly monitor 54,000 thoughts every single day?” But, it is actually easier than you might think.  Each of us has been given a wonderful tool for recognizing when we are thinking a negative thought. Negative thoughts generate negative feelings. Now obviously you are not going to “feel” 54,000 thoughts, since most are just transitory. But some, like fear, last longer and you physically feel them. It is these thoughts that you have to recognize and replace with a positive thought.

And this is where affirmations come into play. When feeling fear you counter it by repeating a positive affirmation. The above affirmation works to counteract many different fears. Here are some examples:

Afraid to pick-up the phone and call someone:  Say again and again to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – a fearless sales professional with a strong confident voice.

Afraid of networking or socializing: Say time after time to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – an accomplished individual who loves meeting and speaking with new friends.

Afraid to reach out and ask someone out on a date: Say repeatedly to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – a loving human being who is the perfect date for the right person.

Afraid to speak in public: Say regularly to yourself: I must act like the person I want to become – a confident person who has important ideas and thoughts to share publicly with others.

And don’t tell me you can’t act. Everybody can act. And the more you act the easier it becomes.

With Love,

Michael

When Will You Live Your Life?

26 Jun

We are always getting ready to live, but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s most interesting about the above quote is that it was written by Mr. Emerson approximately 150 years ago, when life in America was quite different than it is today. But it seems that nothing really has changed in those intervening years. People still sacrifice happiness today for some expectation of happiness in the future. The question is, Why?

Why do we put so much faith in tomorrow while we waste this most precious moment? Will tomorrow be better? We don’t know. We were created to be optimists willing to bet on the come. But, the best we can do is to hope and wish that tomorrow will be different; when joy, happiness, contentment and accomplishment will be our constant companions. But that really isn’t much of a strategy and very often leads to disappointment.

In my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life, I created Exercise #4 to deal with this very subject. It’s entitled, Today is Yesterday’s Someday. You see, my Dad was a Someday kind of guy. He used to pepper his speech with all the things he wanted to do, Someday. But when he died just short of his 77th birthday most of his Somedays were never realized. I was sad for him. What was he waiting for?

Somedays are often our dreams for ourselves. What we really want our lives to be about. But typically, they are predicated on some milestone or future event happening in our life. These things sound like, “I really want to learn to ________ as soon as the kids are old enough.” “By the time I’m forty I want to own my own business.” “I can’t even begin to think about that until our finances are a little better.” I want to pursue my passion for photography as soon as I have the time.” Does this sound like you?

This is your life on pause. But time cannot be paused. It continues to move forward without you and one day you wake up with little to show for all your years of sacrifice. You know that life is fragile. Just think about James Gandolfini, dead at 51. An incredible actor with so much more to give to future audiences. Why wait to begin living your life?  Life is precious and MUST be lived in the moment.

Here is what I want you to do NOW! Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your Somedays. Don’t judge what you wrote down. These are your dreams. Now prioritize them by which is most important to you. Then take your number one Someday and write a SMART goal for it. If you don’t know what a SMART goal is either buy my book, where I teach you, or look it up on the internet. Once you have your goal written – start living it, TODAY.

With Love,

Michael

Courage

3 Jun

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear. – Mark Twain

Wouldn’t it be nice to live a life completely free of fear? Where we could and would try anything new because we would not be constrained by those awful, uncomfortable feelings fear causes us.

Well, it’s not going to happen. Nor would we want it to. Without fear, some of us might decide to do some pretty stupid things in our quest to posthumously receive the Darwin award. So in some instances experiencing fear is a good thing.

But most of the fear we as normal humans experience daily is not real. It is created by the delusional negative thoughts we entertain. Something like 54,000 of the 60,000 thoughts the average person thinks in a day.

So, as Mark Twain said, we are never going to reach a place of total absence of fear. But, we can stop fear from negatively affecting our lives by resisting fear and mastering it. And we do that by changing the fearful thoughts we think to positive ones.

So the first thing we must do is identify a negative thought we are thinking. And here comes the tricky part, because I know you’re going to ask, “Michael, how do I do that?” Actually, it’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it.

How you feel at any given moment is a reflection of what you are thinking. A positive thought generates good feelings. A negative thought bad feelings.

Acknowledge when you’re feeling fearful, afraid, uncertain, or doubtful. Then stop and identify what you were just thinking. It should be easily recognizable as a negative thought. Then let go of that thought and replace it with a positive happy thought. In moments you’ll find yourself feeling better.

There are times when I like to ask my higher power for help in taking the negative thought from me. Typically, when that happens a positive thought will immediately come to fill the vacuum. I usually ask the Holy Spirit the following: Holy Spirit, I cast the burden of this negative fearful thought about ___________ on you, and I go free.” It is best to say this out loud and as many times as it takes to unburden yourself of the thought.

If at first this doesn’t work for you don’t worry, it will. As you make this a habit you’ll find your belief system will change until you reach a point where you ask your higher power to take your negative thought fully expecting it to disappear. And, it does.

With Love,

Michael

Who Do You Want to Be?

28 May

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else. ~Woody Allen

As a fan of Woody Allen, and knowing his humor, I find this quote very amusing. But for way too many people this quote speaks volumes. These are the people who do go through life wishing they were someone else.

My heart goes out to these individuals because they don’t love themselves nor even like themselves. They see themselves as unlovable and for some unknown reason, flawed.

Somewhere in their childhood someone convinced them that this was true. It probably started when they were very young and continued as they grew-up, until they didn’t need the other person to tell them of their worthlessness. They were quite capable of doing that themselves.

But are these people really worthless? Totally without value? Of course not. It is my belief that God does not make mistakes. Every one of us was born perfect, and inherent in each of us are the talents and skills necessary for every person to achieve his or her own Greatness.

If you wish that you were someone else now is the time to change your mind. And you do this by changing the thoughts in your mind about who you are. You are no longer a flawed human being, but the perfect child of God himself. You are the one he loves.

With Love,

Michael