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    August 2008

    Mondays with Mac: Emotional Baggage

    August 11, 2008 2707 Views

    Our emotions are powerful motivators, and more than almost anything else in our lives they will drive our behavior. Sometimes our greatest challenge is to get inside our own heads to understand what makes us tick. Why do we feel and behave the way we do?

    Highly motivated, positive people are focused. The mind is clear, and energy levels are high. Also, many things can hold you back and prevent you from becoming all you can be. One of those things is…Emotional Baggage.

    I know two family members who were best friends, but several years ago, one reminded the other of something that had happened thirty years earlier. One thing led to another and, you know what, they haven't spoken since.

    Anger or resentment is like a cancer, and when you let it go untreated, it will put an invisible ceiling on your future. You don't know it…but it does.

    William Ward identified the cure when he said, "Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the handcuffs of hate."

    Those are powerful words, and I know from personal experience…forgiveness works. A few times in my life I've been greatly wronged and taken advantage of. My first reaction, of course, was anger and resentment. I held it for awhile and felt my stomach tie up in knots, my appetite wane, and the joy slip out of my life. The quote from Ward provided the wake-up call I needed to forgive the person who had wronged me. It was like I had been playing the first half of a basketball game with three-pound steel shoes, and in the locker room the coach said, "Mac, try these new Nikes in the second half." Multiply that by then and you'll understand how great it feels to unload your "emotional baggage" through the power of forgiveness.

    Mondays with Mac: Belief Fuels Enthusiasm

    August 4, 2008 2259 Views

    In 1972 I had just accepted a position as vice president of sales for Orval Kent Food Company, a small enterprise that manufactured fresh-prepared salad products selling to delicatessens and restaurants. I had come on board to hire and train new sales people, but I knew absolutely nothing about the salad business. So Sid Caisman, who had spent most of his career selling to delicatessens, was assigned to show me the ropes. Sid was a pro, and he loved what he did.

    I'd been there about two weeks when Sid came in smiling ear to ear. He said, "Mac, I've been trying to get an appointment with this large grocery chain for over two years and I finally have it next Friday. Do you want to go with me?" My response: "You bet I do!"

    The big day arrived, and on our way out we picked up our refrigerated samples. When we arrived at their corporate headquarters I could tell Sid was pumped. The buyer came out and introduced himself, and we followed him back to his office. We sat down and he looked across his desk at Sid and asked, "What makes you think your product is any better than your competitors?"

    That was Sid's cue to perform. He began to tell the buyer about why our potato salad was superior to anything on the market. He went into great detail about the quality, the fresh-diced vegetables, our special dressing and our stat of the art manufacturing plant. Then he said, "And I've saved the best for last…you're going to love how it tastes!"

    With great fanfare, Sid popped open the lid of the sample container, and I couldn't believe it. Sitting right on top was a large, black, rotten potato about the size of a quarter. But Sid, seeing the potato before the buyer did, reached down and popped it in his mouth and said, "Bob, I just can't get enough of this stuff!" And to my surprise the buyer also reached down, grabbed some salad, and said "Sid, you're right. It tastes great."

    It was a powerful moment. I had just witnessed a sophisticated buyer eating potato salad with his fingers and he didn't even know it! And it was all for one reason…Sid's unbridled enthusiasm.


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