Yes, I Probably Should

Many people claim that they don’t like or want habits because they just do things when they’re needed. The truth of the matter is people don’t do things when they’re needed. They wait till everything is piled up, and it’s hard to walk across the floor, and you can’t see the sink anymore. Then the idea comes to mind, “I ought to clean this up.”

Usually, as we finish cleaning something up, it dawns on us that the time and work wasn’t too bad. And, as good as the place looks we should do this on a regular basis. And yes, I probably should.

When they’re up and fully running, habits are wonderful. Trying to get a habit up and running is tough. Times don’t work out, things get in the way, and believe it or not sometimes I just get tired.

I have to tell you I do not believe in bribery. I have been known, though, to initiate positive behavior modification. Positive behavior modification is a lot better than bribery. I modify behavior to meet a needed objective by having an incentive which is highly desired and only given after the modification conditions are fully met.

I want the dishes done every night and the kitchen cleaned before we watch TV. However, there are good shows on early in the evening, and I don’t want to miss any of them. Okay, how do I make this work?

I can clean the kitchen as I cook dinner, rinse and stack the dinner dishes into the dishwasher, and if full start it. If I get creative, I could spend about three or four minutes after each meal I eat, to rinse the dishes and stack them in the dishwasher. I could also pick up the kitchen as I cook whatever meal I’m eating. And that would also save time.

Please comment and tell me what other chores plague you, what you think a significant incentive would be to complete them, and how you would make them a habit.

Protect What Is Valuable as We Move Forward

Sometimes when we live with jewels all of our life, we forget what is really precious. We sometimes take for granted the things that work so well. And, tend to ignore those people  that are always there.

When we make a change, the ripples of the change affect everything and everyone around us. The larger the change, the stronger the ripples around us are; and the more those who are near to us are affected. It is important that we are cognizant of, and pay attention, to those concerns.

Have you ever been in an earthquake? Having lived around the world, I have been in several earthquakes. Some that were over as soon as they started, and some that seemed to go on forever. The truth is, the time of earthquakes is usually shorter than you think. The reason it feels longer is that you don’t know when it’s going to stop. Just like the earthquake, ripples that are caused by the change of one person affect others more deeply when they do not know what is going on or where the changes are headed.

There is a really neat way to help dampen the ripples of change for both you and those around you. The nice thing is it doesn’t cost anything, it takes very little time, it provides everybody involved some great support. Just sit down with those concerned and talk to them about what is going on.

It’s amazing that when people know, they can work as a team and together they can do all sorts of wonderful things to meet challenges.  To grow, to move in  directions, and to set the basis to ultimately succeed, no matter what the odds are.  Whether you are moving to a new city, changing jobs, planning a retirement, or any number of other things, sit down with those around you and whatever you do you discuss it and do it together.

That is one mean old master sergeant’s thought for the day. Try talking to those around you, especially the ones you care about, and you’ll be surprised how much support and teamwork you actually will gain.

Talk to you again tomorrow, have a great one out there.

Nothing is a forever

Nothing in our lives in this world lasts forever. Rarely is there an immediate change. Often the change is gradual. What is normal to us is what seems like slow progress, and is often viewed as a drastic change by those who leave and come back five or 10 years later.

To see changes in the galaxy, or in the universe, one would have to leave and come back in 1000 or 2000 years to notice a difference. Sometimes we change so slowly, we do not even recognize the changes within ourselves. One day we wake up, look at our reflection and wonder, “Where did that old Fart come from?”

Change is inevitable. I know that this is quoted until it’s  practically a cliché. However, it is still true. I am talking about the second law of thermodynamics. Everything will break down to its most common elements.

As change happens, we have a choice. We can look at change as a good thing, or we can look at change as a bad evil. If you read my blog for a while, you know why I believe change is good.

I look at all the ills in the world that have been cured. I look at better understanding and better thinking brought about by better communication which leads to better collaboration. I believe that the more we learn, the better we become as humans.

This week we will explore this topic in more detail. If you aren’t sure, we are working towards something here. Hopefully, it will be something good.

We will talk with you again tomorrow.

Have Many Irons in the Fire?

Too many irons in the fire hark back to the days of blacksmiths when irons were heated in a fire stoked by a bellows.  The irons were heated red hot and then pounded into shape by the blacksmith using an anvil and hammer. Having too many irons in the fire meant that the blacksmith could not handle all the work he had to do. Today, we use the saying for too many projects that we’re doing.

It is in our training and in our desire to help. We take on some tasks which interest us we take on even more because the powers-that-be want us to do more. And sometimes there is not enough money for two people to do the tasks and therefore one is let go in the other one has to do the tasks for both. This happens more than you think.

Often, this takes place without a lot of complaint up the chain. For one thing, we still want the job, and the higher workload is one of the requirements to keep it. Another item that’s not so well understood is that many of us are wired to take on added work and/or are ashamed to admit that we need help. We see asking for help as a sign of weakness.

Here’s the question, and if you’re new to our blog so I always ask questions. Is it better work as hard as you can, knowing some things will fall through the cracks; or, is it better to ask for assistance or delegate work?

As much as we would like to be the hero, save the day, get all our work done and never need to ask for help, it does not always happen. Would you rather be standing in the boardroom explaining why a pet project was not completed? Would you rather be standing in the board room,  congratulated along with your team that helped to complete the project?

We all live with some fear in the back of our mind about what others may think of us. Most of that fear leads us in wrong directions. Leadership always prefers the person with that will ask for help when needed because the action shows they put the project first. And everything being equal, leadership respects and honors positive project actions.

Next time you have too many irons in the fire get a few more blacksmiths and just pound that project out.

Thanks for being with us. We have piled up a few irons in the fire ourselves. And I am hoping by the end of this week or the beginning of next we will have some exciting news to share.

Inspire Someone

Thanks, we are glad to have you here with us again!

Have you been thinking about what we’ve been talking about this week? Have you been writing things down? This is your life. I think we each only get one, and it is important that you have the chance to live the life that does you honor.

I have been taking a course on various companies. Learning what motivated them. Learning about their passions. Learning what it took to become viable and sustainable. For the founders of these companies, it truly is work. It is the work of fulfilling their passion.

Two kids from the same high school, one in ends up flipping burgers and salting fries. The other is driving Mercedes and taking vacations to Hawaii. Why?

Think of life as trade offs. 

Even better, think of where your passions live.  What do you need to do to fulfill them?  And, how that helps others because if done right, you could inspire generations that come after you. Don’t believe me?  Three words: Disney, Ford, Edison.

Mountains and Molehills

Hi there!

Did you sit down and consider the questions from yesterday? Did you write something down?

I saw a saying that goes you can be anything you want to be. A Variation on the saying is that you can do anything you want to do. Another variation is you can go wherever you want to go in life.

For some people, those things appear to be just lip service. They point at obstacles, and hindrances, and the results of poor decisions because no one to give them a chance. At the same time, there are people whose mountain of concerns make other people’s look like molehills, and yet they succeed.

Many people look at those who succeed and say, “Sure, but there they are outliers.” My thought on that is, “Yeah, so?”

You can do whatever it is you set your mind to. And, the second part of that? You have to be willing to do what it takes to succeed.

We will talk about what that looks like tomorrow.

A Few Questions To Think On

Last week we covered habits and systems. If you have the right systems inform the right habits to use them life gets a little easier. Without the right systems and the right habits, life gets tougher.

To understand what we need to do and why we must take a step higher, and look around. To help you with this, you need to get your notebook or writing pad, and you need to break down what is most important to you. This list is very important to you. You are making this list to better understand where your work is.

As you start to make your list, I’m learning to ask a few questions just to help you get started and to help you think a little bit about what is most important to you.

Which is most important:

  • Does family come before or after employment?
  • Which comes first, kids or friends?
  • Do you take care of yourself or others first?
  • Is your car a showpiece, or something to get you from point A to point B?
  • Are you happy with the way your house or apartment looks? If not, what steps do you take to change the appearance?
  • Do you ever not go to the doctor because of work needs?
  • How many nights a week do you not get enough sleep? Why?

The next question tells you where you want to end up.

  • If at the end of your life, your friends and family and former coworkers throw you a Three speeches are made about three significant things in your life. What do you want the three items to be? And what would you like the speakers to say?

When you get through thinking about this and writing everything down, a couple of questions are still left:

  • If you make no changes, will the speeches say what you wanted to hear?
  • If not, what would you change so the speeches could be given in a way you would like to hear them?
  • What do you think it would take to make the speeches reality?
  • Are you willing to put in the effort?

These are the questions for you to ponder. Making notes and writing things down is quite often less confusing and ensures that you will probably not forget the subtle things that you should remember along the way.

Looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow, have a great day.