A Holiday Thought (for the whole year)

I quite often get admonished for talking to people when I’m out.  People who care about me worry, this, because, when I go out for a walk I say hello or something kind to most people.  I don’t actually do this to upset the people who care about me, I do so because I understand something.  And, I know there is something I should do.

Not everyone gets the same advantages and disadvantages in life. Trust me, everyone does get tested, it’s just hard to see how all tests work. When I go out and walk the streets, I never know how the other person I cross paths with feels. I never know who has had a good day or a bad day. It is not possible to know the wealthy person who is despondent or feeling abandoned. Nor is it easy to know the penniless person on skid row who is happy, because they are there with all their friends.

 

When I go out and walk down the street, and I say a kind word, for some people that would be just, “So what?” And yet and yet, for some other people, it may be the best or kindest thing they hear all day or all week.

 

If you knew you would make a difference, a dramatic positive difference, in someone’s day just by being kind and saying hi, would you do it? If you knew you would make that difference, you just did not know who you would meet who needed it, what would you do?

Thank you to Unsplash and Bryan Minear for the use of  this photo.

A New Pilot Course

Many of you who read my blog regularly, have seen and participated in some of the lessons I have posted.  I am very excited today to announce a new pilot course I have developed to help people set and meet their goals. This course is a little bit different than most courses people take.

I have developed this new pilot course from things I learned over the last many years. I have taken that knowledge and set it into this new course which is called Reveille. Reveille, because we are working on new beginnings.

In the pilot, we will learn we can do what we want to ‘IF.’ If we are willing to work and do what it takes, we can go just about anywhere we wish and do just about anything we want. There’s very little that can stand in the way of a little elbow grease and determination

I have written this first pilot to help veterans. I am a veteran myself. I have gone through many of the problems those leaving or retiring from the service stumble on. I would like to help so that others can find a clearer path.

If you are interested in this, please email me mikebalof@readingsticks.com also, if you know someone who might be interested or benefit from a class like this, please pass this blog on to them.

Imagine what a gift this could be for someone. To find their right path and to learn and earn their way in life doing what they are truly passionate about.

Thanks,

Mike

Take Time

How are you doing?  Are you taking time for yourself?

We do so much for so many others, and often we forget to take time for ourselves. Sometimes, we demand so much from ourselves that when we cannot meet a goal or a deadline, we get upset…  with ourselves.

For being out there trying our best, I think we ought to give ourselves a break. After all, the bad news is, Hollywood already cast Superman and Wonder Woman, and we did not make the cut. We tend to give everyone else a break, and often we are much harder on ourselves.

Cutting ourselves some slack is not the same as backing off or giving up. It is the ability to take a step back, rest the body, clear the mind and rejuvenate the soul. If you can take 20 minutes a couple of times a day and possibly an hour or two a weekend, you will be amazed at what it does for you. Productivity you gain from that small time spent will more than make up the time you take to reset yourself.

What can you do in 20 minutes? You can take a walk outdoors and breathe some fresh air. You can walk up and down the hallway and do some stretches. You can sit in a quiet place and meditate. You can go watch a sunrise or a sunset. You could take a quick shower which would rejuvenate the mind and body. There are many things you could do, to take a step back from others, and the electronic world, and recharge a battery, your battery.

You get the idea. The thing to remember is, do not feel guilty to take care of yourself. After all, the good we do for others is important. Although, we should not destroy ourselves doing it.

Have You Ever?

Ever stared at a white sheet of paper knowing that you want to write something, and yet not quite sure what to write? Have you ever gone out to get one item, and returned home with everything except the one item you absolutely needed? Have you ever missed an important meeting, not because you did not want to go rather because you got tied up into any other things? These things do happen.

Why? Why, is an easy answer. We are human, and all humans have frailties. Mix that with a hectic lifestyle which many of us have and the danger of overlooking a need or desire becomes more prevalent. And yet, there is a multitude of possible cures and antidotes to improve the chances of completing what we really wanted to get done in the first place.

The biggest intervention we can use is our attitude. When things like this happen, we don’t want to go berserk or fly off the handle or get mad at ourselves. And at the same time, we don’t want to adopt an attitude of “Oh well,….” We need to find an approach that works for us, and no, not all approaches will work equally well for all people.

Each of us should find what works best for us. Many use a calendar and a to-do list. This works great for those who keep the list in the calendar up to date and in a small enough package to always have it handy. The smartphone works very well for this. The problem though is that we often fail to put things on our calendar or on our to-do list because in the back of our mind we believe they are too big to forget.

Others will write a sticky note at work and stick it to their ID badge, so they don’t forget. This works great until the note becomes unstuck and falls to the floor while walking down the hall. At that point, the note is no longer there to remind them. Four interruptions and one ad hoc meeting down the line, the person, may have completely forgotten about that important ‘whatever it was.’

Some managers will write themselves an email to remind them of what’s going on or why they did something in particular. If they don’t have a good system of filing their email, and if like most managers they get about 300 emails a day, it is easy for the facts to get lost in the electronic pile.

Does this mean that we’re hopeless, that we cannot overcome forgetfulness? We’re people, and people can overcome anything. In the last 5000 years how many things have threatened us, endangered us, tried to wipe us out? And yet, here we still are. To overcome this, we only need one thing. Habit.

We all have habits. Washing the car on a Saturday morning is a good habit. Playing games on the computer because I am bored and want to do something is a bad habit. We need to find habits that work for us, and we need to stick to them.

Can I tell you exactly which habits in which variations will work best for you? I am sorry I cannot. For most people reading this, we’ve never even really met face-to-face. What I can tell you is one habit I believe will work for you. As you are developing habits, try many things, drop those that don’t work, and keep those that do.

The other thing I could mention, cut back on electronic game playing. It’s always the frustrating ones that eat most of your time.

Happy High Road

Would you like to know if the fact that will not only set you free, it will help you to work with anyone, anywhere, at any time, feel great, and get great things done? Impossible you say? Read this blog, and if you still don’t believe it’s possible, write me in the comments section, and I’ll call you, and we can talk for half an hour.

So, what’s the fact? If you can be happy and feel great, the majority of the time those feelings will transfer to the other person and be found in their responses. I hear a question already, about all the people out there who are so negative. Many times, that negativity and wish for dominance that others have for you, has nothing to do with you. The truth is often they don’t even know you.

Folks who display immediate negativity and desire to dominate others are those who have been hurt by other people. The neat thing is (and here is where the real secret lies,) they cannot dominate you any more than you can dominate them. For them to do so, you would first have to give them permission. You do that by starting off acting like they do.

The trick is to find your balance, your happiness, your drive for the path you want to walk in life. And then when negativity shows up in the forms of other people, be nice to the people, and don’t let the negativity in.

Easier said than done? Try this. Keep your positive attitude and your happiness. Then when you have to say something less than absolutely positive to anyone always start off with telling them three good things about themselves or three good things that they are doing. And then you can tell them something less than positive just do so in a positive way. Afterword’s, tell them one more thing very positive about themselves. It is often very hard to be mad at someone the when they’re telling you good things about yourself.

We all have some days that are better than others. However, you do get to choose. If you choose a happy high road, imagine all the others that you could bring with you.