How to Be Secure In Your Financial Future

Can’t we agree that everyone starts life with equal potential? Yet the baby-caucasian-child-daughter-53590amazing fact is that 95% of them will end up broke in old age. They will not be able to live the dream they dreamed of throughout their years of toil.

The problem is that those 95% of people just Continue reading “How to Be Secure In Your Financial Future”

Come on, Let’s Bust a Myth…and Solve a Problem

Disappointment-thinking

Have you ever worked to succeed at something and just as you are about to  bring it all together, something happens; just as you reach for the reward, it moves, or just seems to evaporate?

Have you ever recognized an opportunity, seized it, worked hard on it and then done something that messed it up? Don’t feel alone or different. I’ve been there, done that, and there wasn’t even a T shirt; just frustration and disappointment.

the myth we need to bust

Here is the myth. After experiencing a situation that has gone wrong, like I illustrated above, we react naturally and examine what we “did wrong” so we can fix it and move on to succeed. That makes sense and is quite noble. It sometimes works, but seldom actually delivers the fullness of results that are possible and desired.

The manifestation of the problem of missing the mark is assumed to be in what we did. Very few of us ask this question: “What caused me to do what I did that messed things up?” We need to know where the problem action(s) came from.

the fruit reveals the root

The problem is just the fruit, or a symptom. That result (fruit/symptom) that caused the problem originated in our thinking…wrong thinking.

Gritting our teeth and struggling to change our thinking is widely thought be a good thing, but it doesn’t do the job very well and leaves a lot to be desired.

The problem that caused the problem goes deeper than just our thoughts…it’s in our programming. Our programming comes from the influencers and influences that we have experienced in our lives. These influences include the people we listen to, our environment, music, media, entertainment; virtually everything we are exposed to.

how it all plays out in our lives

We are always thinking, 24/7, either conscientiously or sub conscientiously, and we are thinking about the things that come into our minds.

The influences that come into your mind that are not conscientiously rejected, those ideas that are accepted as “fact”, as “just the way things are” set limits in our minds concerning who we are, what we can do, and what we deserve. These are false limitations and are a part of what Zig Ziglar used to call “Stinkin’ thinking'”.

So, we have these false predetermined limits that cause us to believe things like “I can’t”, “I’m not good at ____”, “I belong in the poor community”, “My parents always struggled, so that is my destiny”, “Work is supposed to be boring, frustrating and painful”.

It is your beliefs about yourself that determine your destination, or results, in any endeavor. You will always go where your beliefs take you.

Can you see now, that the problem that shows on the surface is only a symptom of the real problem? Our beliefs about ourselves are the self-imposed root of the problem. Our human tendencies cause us to cling fast to our beliefs, we then obey them as a slave obeys his master and sabotage our own efforts. That keeps on proving the truth of our beliefs.

In other words, if we don’t believe that we can advance, even though we make a valiant outward effort, we sabotage our own effort with our own thinking to support the truthfulness of our beliefs, and we never seem to be able to break out of the cycle.

how can we break out of the cycle?

We have seen that the things we allow to influence us teach us what to think about ourselves. That being the case, doesn’t it make sense that if we change what we allow to influence us, we will also change what we believe about ourselves? I have proven this in my own life, and it is what has made the great people we look up to great.

If you would like to improve your life, try examining the influences that have shaped your thinking from childhood to the present. It is certain that you will be able to see that your present situation in each of the seven areas of life correlate directly to the beliefs those influences have given you.

If you have a good marriage and family situation, you will find it is because you had positive influences that gave you a positive belief that you could have, and deserved, to have a good marriage. If you think you deserve to be rich, you probably are, if you think you are not creative, you probably are not.

overcoming limiting influences

The influences of the past have accumulated over the years to help you form the beliefs you have about yourself today. Just as those influences developed you into the person you are today, you can deliberately change the influences and influencers you submit to and change your beliefs about yourself. You can move higher in every area of life.

Nothing that is really worth having comes easily, or cheaply. Believing that you deserve to and can do anything you dream of is something worth having. Until you have the belief, you won’t have the goods.

“All things are possible to him who believes” – Jesus Christ

Changing your beliefs about yourself and your worthiness won’t be completed overnight, but it can start right now, this very minute, if you will simply choose to be influenced by influencers who/which will take you where you want to go.

You can start reading worthwhile, inspiring books with just the click of your mouse, you can stop soaking up entertainment that focuses on where you don’t want to go right now. You can imagine and dream about the positive changes you want to experience right now. All these simple steps will help you to begin to change what you believe about yourself and what you deserve.

conclusion

The myth is that the mistake that directly caused any breakdown is the reason the problem occurred, when actually the mistake was caused by self limiting beliefs that you sub conscientiously felt needed to be validated. The problem is in the belief, not the action that the belief caused.

If you change what you allow to influence you, you will change what you believe about yourself and you will stop sabotaging your own best efforts to advance, if you choose influencers that are where you want to be.

“If you hear a voice within say that you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

What you believe about yourself is the root of the problem and it is the beginning of the solution. You must get over self limiting beliefs in order to advance.

Discussion Question: Have you taken recent action to expose yourself to positive influences that can improve what you believe about yourself?

 

Workplace Safety May Not Be What You Think

computer on desk w booksWhile workplace safety involves”Safety First” signs, rules (that are frequently broken) requiring the use of safety equipment and cleanliness, there is another side of the safety issue.

A safe work environment includes mental and emotional safety, as well as physical safety.

A long time ago, I heard the famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar ask the audience of several thousand people what characteristics they wanted in an employee, and if they were an employee, what characteristics they would look for in a boss. Zig asked the audience to shout out their answers, and as they did, he wrote those answers on the overhead projector. Their answers may surprise you. Here are the qualities the random people in the audience said they wanted in others:

  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Honesty
  • Enthusiasm
  • Motivated
  • Compassionate
  • Humility
  • Sincerity
  • Competence
  • Creativity
  • Open mindedness
  • Loyalty
  • Positive Mental Attitude
  • Self Directed
  • Goal Setter
  • Admirable
  • Positive Self Image
  • Loves people
  • Prompt
  • Communicator
  • Has a calling
  • Long suffering

Wow! That’s quite a list, and I wasn’t able to write fast enough to get them all down. It is enlightening that the answers are always very similar with every group.

Here’s what I’d like you to do; study that list and imagine a person who meets most of the listed attributes, then answer this: How many of those qualities can you honestly say you demonstrate daily, or almost daily?

Consider this: those are the qualities that a group of random individuals said they want in a boss or employee. That’s important, so let’s look at these people for a moment and ask why they want these qualities. After all, they could have said they wanted people who are self-centered, belligerent, callous, careless, and many other negative things. Let’s examine why they want so many “positive” qualities in their associates.

If you would count yourself among the group who selected the qualities on Zig’s list, think why you appreciate those qualities in others. You probably said something like “that type of person makes life easier, or more enjoyable.” If that was your answer, you hit the nail on the head!

Why People Want These Things

People want the kind of characteristics in Zig’s list because, as modern science has shown, their brains want to keep them safe and in familiar surroundings. Sticking with a known situation is intuitively regarded as keeping safe. That is an emotional response that relieves the person of the need for taking a perceived dangerous step, such as searching for a new job, or ending an abusive relationship.

Almost all the qualities on Zig’s list are qualities of attitude, not skill. As one employer said, “If I can have an applicant who has those attitudes, I can teach him the skill.”

Most employees will tell you that if they had a boss with those attitudes, they would be able to produce more and better.

Both the employer and the employees are exactly right because those attitudes will greatly contribute to, if not produce a safe working environment.

A safe working environment is devoid of fear of embarrassment, abusive talk, physical abuse, pettiness, gossip, etc. When workers are subjected to an environment that contains those elements, even if they are not directed towards an individual, they naturally fear that “they may be next.” A mean or ignorant leader may respond that in fact, they may be, unless they produce.

A wise leader, on the other hand, understands that people who are nurtured by an environment of respect, honesty, integrity and most of the other things on Zig’s list will produce better, come forward with suggestions, respond with respect and courtesy which comes together to make their job, and yours, better in every way.

The reason for this is due to the involuntary internal adrenal response that occurs in people when they are fearful, therefore they are on “alert” for perceived danger, compared to them being comfortable and relaxed.

When a person perceives danger of say, embarrassment, their body releases cortisol into the bloodstream and their priority changes from the job at hand to self protection against a perceived threat. This is known as the fight or flight syndrome. Doesn’t it make sense that a person whose primary goal is to protect themselves will be less productive than one who is comfortable and feels free to create? And that a person who feels safe will also feel free to create and produce?

On the flip side, when a person feels safe and secure, his or her body will produce the neurological transmitting hormones, dopamine and endorphins, that cause him or her to be contented, happy and maybe even a little euphoric. That is a condition that wise leaders will encourage because it leads to better creativity and production.

The culture, you, as a leader, create and the attitude you express towards your people is all that is needed to create a safe work environment. The chemicals at work in your workers’ bodies will produce the expected result, for better or worse. Personnel problems are usually symptoms of leadership problems. If you remove the symptom, you still have the root problem. That’s a leadership treadmill. These facts hold true in the workplace, and even more so in the home, among your family.

The “icing on this cake” is that your expressions towards your people have an increased effect on you. When you help your workers feel good, you will feel more good than they do. How I wish I had known and applied this when I was in my twenties!

If you are an inexperienced or sloppy leader, who resorts to yelling, embarrassing your people or use other negative tactics to gain compliance, implementing the change in your attitude that I am suggesting will probably not get instant results. Your people will be suspicious of your changed attitude. You will get results over time, and the time it takes depends upon how long it takes for your workers to believe you have truly changed. But change you must, for your benefit, and most important, for the benefit of your followers, upon whom you depend to get the job done.

If you want to see faster improvement and want to have your people recognize you as a good or great leader, you can get together with them and tell them that you have been studying leadership and realize that your skills have been lacking and that you are working hard to change the way you do things, for their benefit. Your honesty and forthrightness will impress them and give them hope. Their “learning curve” for developing confidence in you and their freedom from real or imagined fear will come about much more quickly.

Leadership is influence. Most people are comfortable being influenced, but leaders step out of the crowd and begin to influence the crowd.

For more information on the effects of a leader’s methods of relating to people, see my recent post,  Some Helpful Leadership Science.

An ancient Chinese proverb says “A gentle wind calms a stormy sea.” Let me add that a calm wind also keeps a sea from becoming stormy.

What experiences have you had with these approaches to leadership? Other readers may be helped by your comment below. Let’s not let the good you can do for others die with you. Step up, speak up and let your valuable insights benefit us all. Thank you.

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