Saturday, May 31, 2014

A New Anthem

One of the lessons I'm learning throughout this "pause" period is taking things 1 day at a time, and turning things over to God. Both are challenging. By nature, I'm a multi-tasker. I'm planning for things 2 months from now; not even focused on the now. being in the moment is a challenge. When I notice my mind racing, I step back and tell myself, "Slow down and breathe." This situation (and the way I'm handling it), clearly shows me I have a LOT of ground work to cover. And this "turn this over to God" thing? Frankly, I'm in the 1 step forward, 2 steps back, model.

As I said in my first piece (Intention), I'm in circumstances that I can't control. Spiritually and supernaturally, God has created these circumstances to keep me in check. I have to tell you that this IS a roller coaster ride. So many buttons are being pushed. These buttons point to issues that I wanted to control (and took pride in). Turning something like this, over to God seems good in theory, but it's much harder, er challenging, to do in person. I don't know about you but God and the Holy Spirit speak to me through different media. Currently, music and books have been HIS chosen voice.

Many months ago, I prayed for, and deeply wanted, some new friendships. There was someone in my zumba class that (I thought) was an answer from God. When I didn’t receive what I BOLDLY prayed for, I went back and prayed again. No response from God. I thought, “Was that a no, or a not yet, response, God?” The roller coaster ride went on for a couple of days until IT happened. I was in the car talking to God; (oblivious to my surroundings) when all of a sudden, I heard “Let It Be” by The Beatles. I thought, “I can’t control this outcome. This song tells me to Let it Be. The answer will come.” In that situation, the answer was a “NO.” The circumstances changed negatively. In hind sight, I’m glad the door closed and the answer was NO.

Let It Be has come back many times (in different circumstances) to tell me "Bob, you've done all you could. God is taking care of this. Let It Be."

This morning, I found a quiet room at the health club and talked with God. I asked him to send me “Let It Be” (my new spiritual anthem), when He saw that I was anxious with my current/future circumstances. In a way, I’m glad God has control, because I know I’m learning a new behavior, which is challenging me to find my “real self,” and to operate in less controlling, less stressful ways.

Question For You: What current situations have forced you to “Let It Be”?

Focus: God, self-control

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Three R's

Many of us know about the 3 R's-- reading, writing and arithmetic. Recently, I came across an idea that incorporates those 3 R's but from a business model -- responsive, receptive and reasonable.

Responsive means that you act appropriately with an issue. You respond with perspective and wisdom instead of a knee-jerk reaction. When you're responsive, you factor in many variables instead of just one.

Receptive means you're open to ideas and suggestions. When you're receptive, you listen, THEN decide.

Reasonable suggests the ability to see things fairly without being self-serving. It's the ability to see your contribution to an issue, and the willingness to learn from other points of view. You place yourself in another person's shoes and walk in them for a while. Reasonable people are well liked and respected because they listen. They don't judge. They accept you.

When you are responsive, receptive and reasonable, things fall into place and take care of itself.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Divine Appointments

We often think that events "just happen" to us. God (the Universe) may use common occurrences to lead us to where we need to be. It's important to evaluate all situations as Divine Appointments designed to shape our lives. Think of all the good and bad that has happened to you. Can you see a purpose to it?

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Person's Title

I learned 2 valuable lessons after reading What Color Is Your Parachute. The first one related to the book; namely, how to turn your interviews around so you stay in your personal power. The 2nd lesson was about how a person’s title can cause you to give up your personal power.

Many years ago, I interviewed for a staff position at a prestigious rehab facility in Chicago. The facility carried a lot of notoriety. Anyone with a brain would have loved to work there. I was one of those people; until I went through their process. It lasted 3 hours. Every 30 minutes you met with another person of the team for a 1-1 interview. Each member  had an opportunity to ask anything from soup to nuts. I like interviews so this was right up my alley. But, it was the interview with the medical doctor that taught me my most important lesson -- NOT BUYING INTO A TITLE! I remember the moment vividly, “Bob, your resume is stellar. You have so many skills . . . however,  you don’t have exactly what we’re looking for.” (What happened next was a result of reading the book and growing into my man-balls.)

“Really?” I said, “That’s interesting. Can I ask you a question?” “Sure!” he said. “When you applied for this job, did you have all the skills that were needed?” “No” he said. “Would you say that when you interviewed; the team saw something in you that was fresh and innovative and they took a chance with you?” “Yes” he said. “Well, I think you just made my point. When you interviewed, the team saw something in you that warranted them taking a risk. At the beginning of this interview, you told me I had exceptional skills but I didn’t have everything that was needed. As the team took a chance with you; I’m asking for the same opportunity. Give me a month with someone to shadow me, and I WILL have everything needed for this position. All people need to be taught the system. People who work at McDonald’s are taught how to fry a burger and wash the floor. I’m asking for the same opportunity. I think we’re done here; aren’t we?”

The doctor was stunned with my response. In fact, he didn’t say a word. I got up, shook his hand, and graciously thanked him for his time. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job but I learned a valuable lesson in how people buy into titles.

Tom and Jim (not their real names) were pastors from 2 churches. Both came from different walks of life. Tom was older and came into his ministry after being in the real world. Jim was raised in the church. Tom came into my life professionally. Jim came in personally. In both cases, I brought up the subject of titles and challenged them to see whether people respected them for their titles, OR their authenticity and the integrity that came with it. In Tom’s case, he tested the validity of how people interacted with him. He saw that when he walked through his life WITHOUT his title, that people valued him for his authentic self. He learned that his title meant nothing if people were seduced by it. He saw this quickly.

On the other hand, Jim did not. He used his title for leverage and could not make the connection that Tom did. I assumed that no one in his church ever challenged his title. Therefore, how could he see himself differently.

My point is this: Titles are earned. TRUE integrity and respect come with a title. Think about it. When you come into the world, you are announced by your gender. The doctor says, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” not, “It’s a doctor!” or “It’s a policeman!”

Don’t give over your personal power to a person’s title. They pee and poop like everyone else.

Question for you: Have you bought into a person’s title? What was the result?

Focus: Personal power, entitlement

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's About Presence

Years ago, a client asked me, "Can you teach me how to have charisma?" I told him he already had it. He just had to figure out when he was in it, so that he could make it stronger. Charisma is presence!

Presence is difficult to define. It's actually easier to describe. You can tell when someone has it. A person with presence is said to be  charismatic. People are drawn to his/her energy.

A strong presence is a matter of being comfortable with who you are and completely absorbed in the moment. When you have a strong presence, people sense that you're FULLY present.

When you have presence, people are drawn to you. They can relax when they're in your space. They enjoy your company and feel your sincerity. Your presence makes them feel IMPORTANT. They respect your boundaries and your wishes. They listen to what you have to say.

The way to strengthen your presence is to understand its value. When you're with someone, be with them. Once you experience its value and effects, there'll be no turning back. You'll be HOOKED!

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Leadership And You (Part 11)

Sometimes, we let others' values and actions dictate our attitude and behavior. Have you ever made a wrong choice because you wanted to be like everyone else? Be careful that the values of your friends doesn't pull you away from what is right.

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