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Guest Blogger: Lisa Hammond

July 27, 2011 255 Views

Here's a post from Lisa Hammond, author of Oh Thank Goodness, It's Not Just Me!

I have a quote hanging up that says, “At worst a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.” Rose Macaulay already had that figured out back in 1881. She was way ahead of her time!

Summer seems like the perfect time to follow Rose's lead and really start living your life. When was the last time you went off to play hooky? If you can’t remember, I suggest you carve out some playtime for yourself immediately. The work can wait, skip the meeting, let the laundry pile up, and take a break.

I have a friend who used to say he wouldn't take a day off because he was sure the company couldn't function without him. He told everyone he was the guy holding up the sun. Well, it turns out, after he retired the sun still managed to come up every single day without him.

I think a lot of us are convinced we are the ones "holding up the sun." News flash, we aren't. The sun is okay without our help.

The world—yes even your own company—will get along just fine without you for a few days, even weeks. In fact, I truly believe it will even benefit from your absence if you take some time off to recharge your batteries. As Larry Eisenberg said, “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.”

Women especially seem to have forgotten the being part of human being. We somehow bought into the human doing theory. It is easy to forget that we are multidimensional women, and we need to nurture all aspects of our lives. And that includes pleasure.

You are the only one who can schedule down time for yourself. Make it a priority and enjoy the blissful summer sunshine—because it turns out you aren’t the one holding it up!

Lisa Hammond

The Barefoot CEO ®

Inspiring change using the 100/0 Principle

June 22, 2011 335 Views

Brian Tracy said..."Eighty percent of life's satisfaction comes from meaningful relationships." Think about it...when you look back at the end of your life what will really matter? Five words...the quality of your relationships.

So here's the question: If your relationships are the most important part of your life, what are you doing to make them all they can be?

The 100/0 Principle may be the most important book you'll ever read.

For me, it ranks in the top 3...ever! The message is truly life-changing.

You've probably heard me say, it's not what you say, but how you say it, that turns the switch from "off" to "on." In fact, our book,212°...The Extra Degree, is a great example of that, but...The 100/0 Principle is even better. The examples, the stories, the quotes provoke many "a-ha" moments. Simply put, this is a book that can make your marriage better and greatly improve your relationships with family members, friends, co-workers and...even your boss.

Here's a brief excerpt from The 100/0 Principle. Enjoy!

What is the most effective way to create and sustain great relationships with others? It's The 100/0 Principle: You take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.

Implementing The 100/0 Principle is not natural for most of us. It takes real commitment to the relationship and a good dose of self-discipline to think, act and give 100 percent.

The 100/0 Principle applies to those people in your life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally. Each of us must determine the relationships to which this principle should apply. For most of us, it applies to work associates, customers, suppliers, family and friends.

  • STEP 1 - Determine what you can do to make the relationship work...then do it. Demonstrate respect and kindness to the other person, whether he/she deserves it or not.
  • STEP 2 - Do not expect anything in return. Zero, zip, nada.
  • STEP 3 - Do not allow anything the other person says or does (no matter how annoying!) to affect you. In other words, don't take the bait.
  • STEP 4 - Be persistent with your graciousness and kindness. Often we give up too soon, especially when others don't respond in kind. Remember to expect nothing in return.

At times (usually few), the relationship can remain challenging, even toxic, despite your 100 percent commitment and self-discipline. When this occurs, you need to avoid being the "Knower" and shift to being the "Learner." Avoid Knower statements/ thoughts like "that won't work," "I'm right, you are wrong," "I know it and you don't," "I'll teach you," "that's just the way it is," "I need to tell you what I know," etc.

Instead use Learner statements/thoughts like "Let me find out what is going on and try to understand the situation," "I could be wrong," "I wonder if there is anything of value here," "I wonder if..." etc. In other words, as a Learner, be curious!

Principle Paradox

This may strike you as strange, but here's the paradox: When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families.

Guest Post: An Old Role Model

June 21, 2011 217 Views

Terry Crenshaw, guest bloggerToday, I'd like to share a submission from one of our readers, Terry Crenshaw! Please enjoy her motivating blog post:

As far as the economy goes, we're going through some rough times; that's not a big secret, and while it's not particularly pleasant to think about, there's hardly any sense in denying it - especially because with the current set of challenges there are also ample opportunities. I've been overhearing a lot of young people recently - soon-to-be college graduates, in particular - discussing the relative dearth of jobs on the market right now. I empathize with them, and I also see a lot of value in youthful vigor and exuberance. That said, I can't help but think that this is one area in which we can learn a thing or two from older generations.

Let me create a contrast with the young people I just mentioned. I know an older man who recently retired from a job he had held down for many years - and less than a week into his retirement, he had already launched a brand new business enterprise! This is an almost comical exaggeration of an entrepreneurial spirit that can't be bottled up or held down, but it serves to illustrate a larger point. Simply put, there is something to be said for courage - for having the audacity to take initiative even when it isn't what's necessary, what's expected, or what conventional wisdom dictates is right.

This is the kind of spirit that I think would behoove many of our young people. Feeling inhibited by a less-than-favorable economy is completely understandable, but my challenge would be to consider surveying the current economic landscape from a new perspective. So there isn't as much work to be found from other companies as you might like - isn't that an invitation to do something creative, courageous, and totally outside of the box? Isn't that a golden opportunity to go into business for yourself?

Looking at it as an opportunity is something I feel members of the older generation would smile on. I know that men of my grandfather's generation, or even my father's generation, would never believe there could be a time with no success to be found, no money to be made, so long as there's some hard work involved.

And lest you think I'm espousing a kind of blindly romantic version of the old elbow-grease, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps creed, let me hasten to note that many entrepreneurs have chosen to view the current economic roughness as a blessing rather than a curse, and the results have often been quite impressive. Consider the fact that big businesses and large corporations are less able to provide their services than they may have been in the past. This creates an opening for the little guys.

As such, more and more go-getters with an inventive spirit have taken to starting their own small boutique companies - businesses that can provide what larger corporations now leave untouched. The great irony is that many of these boutique companies are actually providing their services directly to these larger companies. Big businesses are finding that it's less costly to outsource than to maintain full-time staffers, which is a real boon for these newer start-ups.

It's also proof of the wisdom of the older generation: There really is something to be said for courageous thinking in times likes these, not just on a philosophical level but in practice as well. Are you allowing the fear of failure - the often paralyzing implications of a challenging economy - to box in your good ideas? Or are you interpreting those challenges as opportunities, and allowing your creativity and courage to truly flourish? The answer is more important than you might think - and it could spell the difference between failure and success.

Terry Crenshaw covers economic trends in the United States and writes for Terry is especially interested in tracking the ideas of Peter Orszag and other economic experts as the economy attempts to recover from the recent recession.

Get motivated today with our top titles.

New Release: Life Lessons by Rick Tocquiny

June 10, 2011 171 Views

Get the first look at our newest release, Life Lessons! It was written by Rick Tocquigny, CEO and Chief Servant of Artbeat of America and Gracefully Yours Greeting Cards and the host of the popular blog-talk radio show Life Lessons.

Rick invites us to "share life lessons at your pace, pass on your wisdom and enjoy your passionate journey." Life Lessons' short stories and common sense anecdotes are a purposeful approach to sharing wisdom, setting all of us on the course for enlightened living.

Here's a chapter from Life Lessons:

In your life of work, you will hit phases when you know that promotion, raise or special goal is within your reach, yet you grow disgruntled and impatient. When you have worked hard to build a body of work, but you feel like throwing in the towel, consider that true success may be right around the corner.

At this very moment in time, it is hard to see the big picture, orbit above all the action and understand your progress.

Remember the legend of a general who found his troops disenchanted, disparaged and whipped. He believed that it was because his army division felt isolated and endangered by the enemy. The general knew that his division was physically close to other regimens, separated only by a dense growth of small trees and shrubbery. To lift his troops' spirits and let them see the might of the vast army, he then ordered "burn the underbrush."

When his explicit orders had been carried out, his division of soldiers found that they were not isolated, as they had supposed. To their surprise, they saw that they were a part of one mighty army approaching near victory. With their courage revived, they marched forward in triumph!

Life Lesson...Above all else:

Consider where you have been, what you have accomplished in your body of work and burn the brushwood of self-doubt, over-eagerness, mistrust, and separation.

Your success may be much closer than you ever considered.

Mondays with Mac: It's not about you!

May 16, 2011 288 Views

Why do some people act the way that they do? What I mean is that, sometimes when we find someone in the wrong, it's easy to think of it as all their fault. However, it could have been something outside of their control that made them act a certain way. Therefore, when someone offends us, it's good to take a step back to think and...breathe

That's what this story is all about...and how it relates to your happiness:

One of the most common ways we get in the way of our own happiness is by taking things personally when they’re not personal at all.

So many people seem to be sensitive creatures—taking affront at being “disrespected,” jumping to conclusions that someone else is being “rude,” and quick to outrage over any perceived slight.

Here’s a common example: You call a friend on the phone but he’s not there, so you leave a voicemail message Hours roll by and your friend doesn’t call you back Th e day ends and still no call Where does your mind go? If you’re like most people, you wonder, “Why hasn’t he called me back?”

Another day goes by and still no call Now you’re worried, “What’s wrong? Why hasn’t he returned my call? I wonder if something happened to him?” A week goes by and still no call Now you’re furious “What a jerk! The least he could do is return my call!”

The conversation in your head may be slightly diff erent, depending on who you’re waiting to hear from—but it’s always negative When someone doesn’t call you back, you think something negative about yourself (“He must be mad at me,” or “He doesn’t like me ”) or you think something negative about the other person (“He’s rude,” or “He’s a jerk,” or worse.) Either way, you let your happiness be diminished by your interpretation of someone else’s behavior.

The truth is, you have no idea why your friend hasn’t called! He could be out of town; he might be ill or injured; he could be up to his ears in work; he might be on a tight deadline with no time to call; perhaps his voicemail isn’t working and he never got your message; or maybe he simply forgot to call. There are a hundred possible reasons why he didn’t call—reasons that have nothing to do with you!

Here’s a simple, effective happiness tip: Don’t take things personally. Don’t speculate on why people do things until you have actual facts; don’t attach meanings to events until you know the whole story; don’t make up stories in lieu of real information.

All that happened is your friend didn’t promptly return your call. That’s all.

You can free yourself from hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and crossed communications by simply noticing what happened (or didn’t happen)—but NOT attaching any meaning to it. You’ll find freedom and happiness that way.

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