Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Keys to Having a Successful Relationship

Today I want to continue my series on Successful Relationships. There are 2 main keys to having a successful relationship.  These keys will improve your relationship as well as your life. 
The 2 Main Keys to Having a Successful Relationship:
Main Key #1: Be Your Very Best
The first main key to having a successful relationship is to “be your very best,” and to treat your partner the way you would want to be treated.  This is not solely for their benefit, but it is equally for your benefit.
Because what you do to your partner you are doing to yourself – in the end, you’re in the game together.  And in order to “win,” you must play the game from this perspective.  It is impossible to wrong your partner in any way without wronging yourself!  If you cheat your partner, you are cheating yourself.  Think about this the next time you think you’re getting away with something.
Why is this true you might ask?  Well that’s a good question.
You are wronging yourself when you wrong them because you are lowering your own consciousness in the process of wronging them, which by default lowers the collective consciousness of the relationship.  (You’re taking an 8.5 relationship and making it a 7.4.
Your unwillingness to do the right thing has lowered the standard of the relationship, and now you must eat of the fruit of your own doing, because there is now a lower standard for the two of you to live up to.
If you sow corruption, you will reap corruption.  The books always balance!  This is why it would serve you well to think of your relationship like a team sport, remembering that you’re in it together!  The Apostle Paul said, “Take heed that ye not bite and devour one another, lest ye be consumed one of another.”
You can never take advantage of the relationship; if you tried, you would only be cheating yourself in the end.
A little contamination contaminates the whole. 
This is why you are to “do unto your neighbor as you would unto yourself.”  Not because it’s a good suggestion, but because on a “very real level,” what you are doing to your neighbor, you are actually doing to yourself.
The point I’m making is this:  never forget that you and your partner are on the same team.  You win and lose together.  No one has an advantage over the other; you can’t keep secrets from each other without it eventually costing you the game.  So play together, support each other, work on yourself as you work on the collective relationship, and in time you will have mastered “Main Key #1.”
Main Key #2 will be presented in the next article…
Thank you for reading, and be sure to pass this article along!

Roland N. Gilbert

24 Habits of Successful People

Is excellence within your reach?
I believe it is. You can achieve personal excellence in every area of your life: your work, your family, your health and your relationships. The opportunity is there—you just need to seize it.
When you’re on an intentional journey through life towards a better future, you’re living in a purposeful, engaged way. You’ll feel more satisfied and more fulfilled—not just when you reach that future, but with each step along the way as well.
As you look from where you are to where you want to be, you’ll see a gap between reality and your intention for the future. This gap is powerful—it causes creative tension (an idea put forward by Robert Fritz in the book The Path of Least Resistance).  Creative tension encourages you to take action and make progress.
There are a wide variety of behaviors that help people succeed on this journey. Some of my favorites are listed below. These are success habits of the high achievers—people who pursue personal excellence. They can become some new or expanded best practices in your life.
  1. Know your core values and design your professional and personal life around them.
  2. Master the art of relationship building.
  3. Identify your “successful” and “limiting” habits (both part of your current reality) and learn to Pivot—to constantly adjust your direction as necessary, by looking towards your destination and continuing to take rigorous action.
  4. Develop your leadership, management and coaching skills – these are keys to professional and personal success.
  5. Always do and be your personal best!
  6. Life balance is bunk. What matters is that you are happy. That might mean working 12 hour days – so long as you’re spending your time doing something you love, with people you want to be with.
  7. Give a little extra in all you do. The extra mile doesn’t have a lot of traffic on it. By adding value, you give yourself an edge over others.
  8. Use the power of consistent persistence.
  9. Let others contribute to you. No man or woman is an island.
  10. Take “massive action.”
  11. Learn from your mistakes and be prepared to learn a lot.
  12. Become a masterful networker and build your social capital.
  13. Surround yourself with positive supportive people.
  14. Eliminate or reduce the tolerations in your life—the little things which diminish life and sap your vitality. They might be tiny (the shirt that’s too tight around the collar) or huge, involving key relationships (such as an aggressive boss or an abusive spouse).
  15. Un-yuck your life by creating a plan for optimal healthy living
  16. Be self-ish. In order to be your best, you need to take care of yourself first. Take care of your own well being and your needs, and recharge your batteries so that you can allocate your resources and energy to other people.
  17. Be a work-in-progress—always be learning.
  18. Be a giver, a contributor, a person that makes a difference—a coach for others
  19. Take risks and live each day with no regrets.
  20. Learn to manage your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy and not just your time.
  21. Know your strengths and use them as much as possible.
  22. Stop working on your weaknesses or find a way to work around them.
  23. Build the creative side of your brain. Daniel Pink does a great job of discussing strategies to do so in the book A Whole New Mind.
  24. Use the 4 magic words- more, less, start, stop.
What do you want to do more of (things consistent with your strengths)? What do you want to do less of (the things you’re tolerating)? Start? (New initiative, area, something exciting.) Stop? (Take things off your plate, rather than adding more and more.)
You already have great habits and behaviors in many areas of your life. We can all learn from one another’s best practices and best ideas—so what tips could you share with other readers, in the comments below?
Roland N. Gilbert

Friday, May 27, 2011

Looking For The Perfect Mate? 15 Things To Look For

This article is a continuation of our “Successful Relationship” series.
Today I want to discuss the “relationship characteristics” you should look for when identifying the person you’re  in a relationship with and eventually want to marry.  I want to specifically talk about 15 characteristics that are signifying factors that you’re marrying the right person. 
Look for these 15 characteristics “before” getting married:
1. You’re Attracted to The Person Physically and Mentally – I wouldn’t marry someone who I wasn’t attracted to in some significant way.  Now, everyone’s not going to marry an “intelligent supermodel”,  but finding a person who you’re attracted to physically and mentally will “serve you well” throughout your marriage.
2. Loyal and Trustworthy – A good partner possess incredible loyalty. 
"I believe if I was involved in a “fist fight” my wife would jump-in, even if I was winning; she’s that loyal" a client told me once (…not that I would advise this ).
In addition, a good partner is also trustworthy.  They earn your trust, and they keep your trust.
3. They’re Different Yet the Same – It’s true that opposites attract, but it’s also true that birds of a feather flock together. 
It’s okay that your partner is “spontaneous” while you’re “boring,” and it’s okay that you’re “disciplined,” while your partner remains a “free spirit.”  These differences will bring balance to your relationship. 
However, your core beliefs should remain the same.  If you’re a devout Christian while your partner is a leader in the atheist movement, or if you and your partner have diametrically opposing beliefs on how a “family” should function, these foundational differences can destroy a marriage at the root.
4. The Lines of Communication Are Open – Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and at the end of the conversation you knew nothing about them.  While this may not be a problem if you’re talking to a stranger, this should not be the norm within a relationship.
It’s okay to be private with strangers, but if you can’t be intimate with anyone, then there’s probably a reason why?  Intimacy means, "In-to-me-see," and it’s requisite to the success of any long-term relationship.
Conversations should lead to deeper understandings of the person you’re with. 
5. They’re Honest – This is an obvious one, I think. 
It’s not enough to just have open communication; the communication must also be honest.  If you catch someone constantly being dishonest, this is certainly a “red flag” that something is very wrong.
You should feel comfortable knowing that whatever your partner says is “true.”  Unless you ask them, “Do the jeans make me look fat?” 
6. They Like Spending Time With You – A couple once told me that they “broke up” because they got tired of being together “all the time,” but they recently decided to get back together, and now they’re getting married.  I thought, “…that’s an interesting combination of situations…”
…You need to find someone who likes spending time with you, and who you like spending time with.  Spending quality time together is why you marry someone to begin with, if you don’t want to be around your partner constantly, you should probably remain “single.”  Hold out for someone who you love spending time with, and who loves to spend time with you.
7. They Prize You Above Everyone Else – Marry someone who values you above their friends.  If you’re not valued above their friends, then their friends will have priority in your relationship…when a decision has to be made, you may be the last person asked.
You always want to be where you’re celebrated, not tolerated.
8. Their Life is an Open Book, and You Like What You’re Reading – You should be able to see patterns in your partner’s life. 
Has the person always been very disciplined, lazy, aggressive, or nice?  What are the positive and negative habits and patterns in this person’s life?  Can you live with these patterns and/or habits?
Has this person previously been involved in 20 relationships, if so, what’s the pattern, what’s changed since the last relationship? 
Life happens in cycles, discover the life cycles of your partner; make sure you’re excited about those cycles.
9. You Have a Lot in Common – You hang out in the same spots, you like the same things; you’re headed in the same direction.  Why is this important?  Because marriage is not the goal; it’s only the starting line of the race.  You and your partner need to be headed in the same direction in this race.
People often get divorced and say, “we grew apart.” 
It would be wise to discover where your partner is going before you marry them, and it would also be wise to know where you’re going. 
If you don’t know where you’re going, and they don’t know where they’re going, we have a classic case of the blind leading the blind; both of you will end-up in a ditch.
Somebody said, “but I don’t know what the future holds”…the future holds what you plan for it to hold…what are your planning?
How many children are you planning, what kind of career are you planning, what kind of spiritual life are you planning, what are your life goals?  Not that you’ll know everything in the present moment, but you should know a majority of the important things.
10. Your Friends Like Them – In other words, the “unbiased” people in your life like the person. 
If none of your friends like the person you’re marrying, you may want to re-think your decision.  Your friends sometimes see things that you are unwilling to see.
11. Their Motives are Pure – Look for a spouse who wants “you for you.”  Someone with pure motives; they’re not trying to get something out of the deal.  They’re not a vampire looking to suck your blood; they’re seeking to give.  They’re not going to subtract from your life, they’re going to add to your life.
12. They Express How Much They Love You – Love is seen, love is action.  If someone truly loves you, you will know it by their deeds, not just by their words. 
Make sure your partner’s actions are indicative of someone who loves you.  Their words should match their actions, and their actions should match their words.
13. They Don’t Believe in Divorce – Simply put, if divorce is an option for your relationship, then you have a much greater chance of getting a divorce.  As a couple you must make the conscious decision to work through your problems.
14. They Give to You – They buy you things, no matter how small, or if they don’t have any money…they make dinner for you, give you foot rubs, they cater to you.
15. They’re Not Selfish – They desire to see you fulfilled.  A good partner is concerned about your dreams, wishes and goals. 
They are willing to work to ensure you accomplish everything you desire to accomplish!
In closing, I’ve written this article as a guide on identifying the signifying factors of an ideal partner, use the list as your gauge.  However, don’t bother looking for these qualities, if you don’t first exemplify these qualities yourself, you will only attract what you are.  You must be the first partaker of what you desire to receive. 
Think. Grow. Live!

Roland N. Gilbert

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How To Find a Good Man - 3 Signs To Look For

Today I want to discuss the 3 signs of a good man.
I’ve received several requests to extend my writing on “success and prosperity” into the arena of successful relationships, so I’m doing a brief series on the subject of relationships over the next week or so.
I’m going to relate this particular article to the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”  If you’ve ever had the luxury of seeing the movie, you know it’s about a girl named Dorothy, and her journey to visit the Wizard (with her dog Toto).  The Wizard is suppose to have the ability to help Dorothy get back to her home in Kansas.
On her way to meet the Wizard, Dorothy runs into three men who need help.  She runs into a scarecrow, a tin man, and a male lion, and she agrees to let them follow her on her journey to see the Wizard.
The scarecrow doesn’t have a brain, the tin man doesn’t have a heart, and the lion, believe it or not, doesn’t have courage.
So we have Dorothy and her dog Toto leading three men; three men who are searching for a brain, a heart, and courage.
Let me repeat that, for those of you who weren’t paying attention, we have three men, being led by a girl and a dog, trying to find a brain, a heart, and courage.
A Brain
Women, the first sign of a good man is that he has a brain.  In other words, he’s astute, judicious, and intelligent; he can think for himself, his actions are not dictated by his friends or his associates.
He possesses the cognitive ability to recognize your importance and see your true value.  He’s smart enough to appreciate you, and intelligent enough to show it.
He’s a visionary; he knows what he’s doing and where he’s going.  He’s a leader; he’s able to handle his responsibilities; he’s able to control himself, his anger, and his nature, in other words, he has a brain.
A Heart
The second sign of a good man is that he has a heart.  Some men are cold, they’re callous and they’re mean.  They don’t feel anything, don’t care about anything, don’t care if you cry, don’t care when you hurt, they are uninterested in the things that you are interested in; your feelings mean “nothing,” they don’t have a heart!
A man “with a heart” is concerned about you, takes an interest in the things that interest you, and prizes you above anyone else.  A man with a heart will spend time with you, because he knows that time is a sign of value.  What people value they dedicate time to.  A good man has a heart.
A man with a heart defers to you, respects your emotions, your feelings and your perspective.  A man with a heart is not intimated by your intelligence, intuition and sensitivity; he understands you and relies on you.
A man with a heart respects his parents, his neighbors and most importantly, a man with a heart respects the women he’s with.
The third sign of a good man is courage.  He has courage in the face of circumstances, challenges and misunderstandings.  He doesn’t quit or shrink, he doesn’t run-out, and he doesn’t give up or back down when things get rough; he has courage.  He has the courage to stay committed to relationships, the courage to make big decisions, and the courage to back his decisions.
He has the courage to change when change is required.
He has the courage to take risk, the courage to pursue his dreams, the courage to love the unlovely, and the courage to do the right thing.
He has the courage to commit to you for a lifetime, the courage to respect you, the courage to protect you, the courage to earn a living, the courage to pursue his passion and the courage to be the man that you desire him to be.
In closing, a good man has a brain, he has a heart, and last but not least, a good man has courage.
Think. Grow. Live!
Roland N. Gilbert

Tag: Jonathan Lipnicki

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Personal Success, Commitment & Mental Strength - Part II

In Part I we discussed commitment as it applies to your unconscious beliefs and how that may show up in your life.

I finished last weeks post with:

You need to exercise your mental strength and make a good firm decision right now and that is to just try another project as you are sure this time it will be the right one. You convince yourself that you just haven‘t found the right project yet that is best for you. And off you go in search of another project.
But what are the criteria upon which you will choose the next ‘project’?

Well if you don‘t stop to find out what is laying below the surface of your conscious thoughts, what is driving your actions, then you wont know.

You will use the same criteria you have used your whole life…the one that commits you to reinforcing the unconscious and potential limiting belief.”

I’d like to continue today with…


Without thinking about your criteria (beliefs) about how you make a decision you’ll end up taking another step reinforcing that belief. Reinforcing a belief that doesn‘t support you. You’ll weigh all the reasons for taking this step and convince yourself that it is best.

You’ll never ask yourself how you feel about this step. You’ll ignore your feelings. Slowly you’ll convince yourself it is the right way to go forward. You have finally sold yourself on the idea or at least your inner critic has.

So…now how does the future look for you?

Well that ‘project’ didn‘t work out did it?  I know…it just wasn‘t the right one for you. Once again you have convinced yourself of all the reasons why it didn‘t work out. The areas you convince yourself most about are the areas where someone else had something to do with it. You start to blame the market, the people on the task, anyone or anything that you could use to scapegoat. Then you choose another ‘project.’ Explaining once again all the reasons why this one is finally the one – you just know it!

Throughout this process you have been slowly corroding your self-esteem, your self-respect and your self-love. You are at a point were even you don‘t believe in yourself anymore. Each step towards denial is a further blow to your self. Your life is now about fully committing to a belief that destroys you.

It is again at this point that you can either choose uncertainty or certainty. Certainty in that you are certain doing the same thing over again will destroy you or uncertainty where you move to a time in your life where you begin to get to know yourself more. You move to a time in your life where you commit to learning more about yourself and finding out what is brilliant about you.

You commit to discovering what‘s unique and special about you. You commit to being successful. You commit to feeling fantastic. You commit to walking tall and no longer comparing yourself with others. You commit to feeling alive. You commit to your personal success.  You realize that committing to your personal goals is going to be a new way of going forward in your life. You recognize that to achieve this you need support. Don‘t forget you have that little inner beast talking to you all the time, telling you that this is too hard, go back to the old way. This is your past talking. Say to it “thank you for sharing, now be quiet.”

Start to write-up a list of people who can support you. Commit to telling them about your path forward. Design a plan of action; take steps to working out how to learn more about yourself. You’ll do great…for a few months.

Then one day you are tired and that inner beast of the past will try to get you to stop. It will try to convince you that this is not the best path forward. Your ability to keep it quite is slim and none…and slim just left town. Self doubt is slipping in. You start to think of other projects you could start-up with again. Same old patterns of thought are returning.

As Susan Powter say’s…”Stop the insanity!”

You still believe that you are not great. Let go of it. Call a friend, a coach a support person on your list. Take time out to care for yourself. Be still and let the moment pass as it will only be a moment. Then go back to your plan, look at your vision, see the vision of where you are going. Check in to see if your actions are aligned with your plan. Actions that are in alignment are a big sign that your commitment is aligned with where you want to go. Look at what you have achieved so far. Acknowledge yourself. Think about all the areas of your life that you are grateful for since you began working on your plan. Feel your energy shift. Recommit to your plan and check in right at this moment with how you are feeling.

Committing to ourselves is the most important thing we can do in life.

Consider the example of former South African President, Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison. He was once asked how he could forgive his captors. He replied: “I realized one day, breaking rocks, that they could take everything away from me, everything, but my mind and heart. Now, those things I would have to give away, and I simply decided I would not give them away. Even in a prison, Mandela found choices to make; choices that showed a commitment to freedom, to love, to independence and to moving forward. Fundamentally it showed a commitment to himself.
  • If we don‘t invest in ourselves then how can we invest in others?
  • If we don‘t commit to ourselves then how can we commit to anything in our life?
It must begin with us. If we are only trying to commit to ourselves then we are living in denial or we are not living in awareness. We do not truly believe in ourselves if we are simply trying. Simply trying is when we keep a small percentage available to us for failure so we feel okay when it happens. This however means that we are committing to personal failure rather than to personal success.

If you feel, and know, that the action to take will keep you moving forward is the right action, then use your mental strength and commit to it 100%. Any percentage allocated to error means you are still uncertain and there is doubt and doubt will become the focus of your pathway. You will seek out doubt along the way. It is this very doubt that you have followed all your life. It only leads to further doubt.

Think. Grow. Live!

Roland N. Gilbert

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

20 Ways To Have The Life You Want!

Note: This is a guest post from Orna Drawas of OrnaSpeaks.com
Rock stars appear to have it all. The admiration of others. Opportunities at every turn. Pride in their accomplishments. The life of their dreams. Being a rock star isn’t as impossible as you might think. Here are some of the special ingredients to becoming what you dream about:
1. Have the desire
Do you really want to be a rock star? Someone who is respected for their success, has personal pride and self-esteem and lives a fulfilled life? Then decide this is what you really want and let your passion drive you.
2. Take control of your destiny
No one but you controls your actions, decisions and the life you create. You can decide when to exercise or tell yourself it’s too late; go to graduate school or get too busy to apply; create an outline for the book in your head or meet your friends instead for a drink. You’re a grown-up. You decide. The sooner you accept that your future is in your hands, the sooner you can begin creating the future of your dreams.
3. Create a breakthrough goal
This is the golden nugget of success. Don’t just create goals for yourself. Create a breakthrough goal that once achieved will seriously up-level your life – your career, your relationships, your income – everything around you. A breakthrough goal might be to land a big-name client, or be the keynote speaker at your industry conference, or lose 50 pounds. Whatever it is, breakthrough goals are just that – a goal like no other that will move you to another place. For me, it was writing a book. It changed my career and ultimately my life.
4. Develop a strategy
Think about it. What will it take to achieve that goal? Don’t worry about what’s required to do it. Just focus on the direction you need to take. The number of miles doesn’t matter. Being on the right road is the point. Once you have a direction, begin writing down all the little and big things you need to do. Make a list – a detailed list of activities on the path you see ahead. Creating your list will help you begin to see the path ahead.
5. Follow the Rule of One
I love this ingredient. It makes everything doable. And nothing could be simpler. Do one thing every single day towards moving you closer to your goal. No matter how big, no matter how small – one thing each day propelling you towards what you want most in your life – living your dream. Imagine if at the end of the week you have accomplished five things towards your goal; at the end of the month, 20 things, and so on. Before you know it, you have made enormous progress, just one small step at a time.
6. Be positive
Your attitude will drive your momentum. Choose to go forward with a good attitude. Don’t create barriers to your personal success and ultimate happiness. Attitude is contagious and it will help to motivate you, and even those around you, to drive you towards your goal.
7. Be persistent
Never give up. Keep moving forward one small step at a time. Progress will become a habit and success will come naturally. According to Donald Trump: “positive attitude and persistent are inseparable.” After all, it worked well for him.
8. Stay focused
Figure out the relevant over the irrelevant and focus on the few things that will move you towards achieving your dreams. Even the woodpecker knows, he can tap twenty times on a thousand trees and get nowhere, but stay very busy. Or, he can tap twenty-thousand times on one tree and get dinner. Stay focused or you will go hungry.
9. Love deadlines
Deadlines are the pixie dust of life. Without them, nothing gets done. But a deadline has to be just right. Make it too short and you’ll end up frustrated. Give yourself too much time and you’ll lose interest and get distracted. Make a deadline the causes you to stretch, but not break. You’ll feel fulfilled every time you meet one.
10. Ask questions
A follower asks: when is it due? A rock star asks: why are we doing it? Be inquisitive. Challenge the status quo. Always look for a better way.
11. Never make excuses
Is it right or is it wrong? Are you proud of the results or do you wish there was a better outcome? No one cares about excuses, so don’t bother. Making mistakes is not the problem, making excuses is. Learn from your mistakes and move on. There is never time for excuses – ever.
12. Do what your CEO wants
No matter where you are in the organization, ultimately your job is to help the top honcho move the company forward. If you are not focused on the priorities of the organization, there’s really no need for you. Never lose track of what you were hired to do.
13. Reserve your prime time for you
Let’s face it – you’re not productive every minute of the day. Many people say they are most productive early in the morning; others claim late night is their prime time. Whatever your best time is, don’t waste it on distractions. Save your “smart” time for your priorities and schedule everyone else around you.
14. Always have a prioritized list
Without a list, you are at the mercy of the current demand or loudest scream in the room. How can anyone keep track of what’s most important when you can’t compare what’s expected? A list allows you to see everything on your plate. When a new request comes in, it’s then up to you to decide where it belongs on your list.
15. Conquer procrastination
Good news. You’re not alone. Everyone procrastinates. It’s a skill we have developed from a young age and perfected over time. But, a rock star has learned that procrastination is the enemy. It robs you of time and will derail your success. Turn it around. Promise yourself a reward for finishing a task and reap the benefits of defeating procrastination.
16. Delegate for results
Whether you’re delegating to an employee, a babysitter or your gardener — delegating well can mean the difference between satisfaction and frustration all around. Delegate the result; the process is none of your business. This usually works. When you ask your significant other to cook something special for dinner, expect a delicious meal and stay out of the kitchen.
17. Don’t let e-mail control your life
We love it; we hate it; we can’t live without it. Most professionals say they receive about 100 e-mails every day. Many agree that it takes an average of two minutes to deal with each e-mail. If that’s accurate, then it takes the average professional over two hours to read and respond to e-mail daily. That’s 40 hours per month! Stop the insanity. Take e-mail breaks during the day. Respond to e-mails in the morning and in the evening. Don’t let other people’s ramblings control your day.
18. Make small changes that will have a big impact
Ready to make some changes? Choose carefully. Make small changes that will have the greatest impact on your performance and the results you achieve. Those are the changes worth making.
19. Don’t sweat the small stuff
As they say: pick your battles — especially with yourself. Don’t lament small failures, especially if they are not important. Concentrate on the things you do well. Enjoy your success. Focus on the results that really matter and let the others slide. In the end, your success will rest on a few big wins.
20. Have fun in the process
Isn’t fun and fulfillment what it’s all about? Make it fun. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with those you love. Enjoy the ride and you’ll be cooking up something great on your way to rock stardom!
Dream it. Do it. Live it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Want To Turn Adversity Into Opportunity? Here Are 5 steps How

Adversity is something nobody can elude forever. Whether you’re a risk-taker or someone who likes to play things safe, life will inevitably throw challenges in your direction.
That could be something in your professional life (maybe you missed out on a promotion or you lost your job after years of dedicated service). It could also be something in your personal life (maybe you were the victim of a traumatic crime or someone close to you just died).
Often, people experience a sense of injustice or hopelessness when something bad happens to them. We wonder “why did this happen to me?” or “how will I cope?”
While it is important to work through the emotions that these episodes provoke, it’s also important not to wallow in self-pity and despair.
The first step to turning adversity into opportunity is acceptance. You need to accept the reality of what has happened, and accept the fact that this isn’t something you can go back and change. Reliving past events and allowing yourself to become consumed with disappointment, anger, guilt or regret is not a healthy process.
You should never deny the reality of what has happened or the emotions this has stirred, but rather than worrying about what you could have done differently, you should start thinking about what changes you want to make moving forward. At the same time, you should accept that there are things beyond your control, and allow yourself to let go of any fear of the difficulties you might face in the future. Otherwise, you will end up living in a state of paralysis.
Taking responsibility
When adversity strikes, people often feel like victims, and this becomes a kind of archetypal role that they assume. People like to be able to find someone to blame when things go wrong in their lives, and find some sort of transient comfort in the notion of their own innocence or misfortune. Ultimately, however, this is not a constructive way to approach the situation.
In some cases, such as the death of a loved one from natural causes, there really is no-one to blame. In others, such as losing a job, you may be able to identify someone who could have treated you differently, but focusing on that person won’t get you anywhere.
While the situation may be something you could never have prevented, the way you respond to it is something you can take responsibility for. The way in which you handle negative experiences is up to you, and once you realise that, you will be empowered to find positive ways of channelling your energy.
Recognizing what you have learned
If you have managed to accept the unpleasant experiences you have endured, and you have taken responsibility for the way you react, it’s important to stop and reflect on the ways in which that journey has affected you. Has it made you a stronger person, better prepared to take on challenges in future? Are you wiser now, more comfortable with your place in the world? Perhaps you will even be able to pass on the insights you have gained to others facing adversity of their own.
Identifying new goals
There is no better time to take stock of the direction in which your life is heading. If you lost your job, this is the time to be honest with yourself – were you 100% happy with your career path so far, or does your passion lie elsewhere? If you lost a parent to a preventable disease, you could use this to motivate yourself to live a healthier life. Or you might just be more grateful for the time you’ve got, and think of new things you want to achieve, places you want to see, or experiences you want to have.
Pursuing your dreams
Once you’ve set some new goals for yourself, remember how active you are in dictating your own destiny, and follow your dreams!
Roland N. Gilbert

Friday, May 20, 2011

Personal Success, Commitment & Mental Strength

I've discussed this topic – commitment – in earlier posts and I thought it would worth while revisiting with some fresh information.

Let’s begin with a story…

Sarah and Brian were working on a project to create a new business. They were designing a name for their business, determining their market, and designing stationery and many other aspects of their business. The website was one of the biggest projects. They had to decide on the design of it, the language they used, the technology they wanted and the products they wanted to sell.

Each week, Sarah and Brian would get together to discuss their business projects. Each week, every aspect of the project was flying forward except for the website. Sarah and Brian had decided that the website would be slower as they needed to work out all the other parts first.

Over several months the business was getting closer to launching yet still no website. There was some hold up with the designers, then the IT company, and then the marketing company they were using. The content of the website was not complete and it seemed as though it would never happen. Sarah and Brian sat down to have another meeting about the website.

They looked at each other in a very frustrated way. They began to go over the long list of incomplete tasks related to the website. Then Sarah stopped the meeting. She asked Brian if he was committed to this project. He agreed he was, one hundred percent. Brian then asked Sarah the same question. She agreed one hundred percent. The next question they asked each other was why they were getting stuck in moving forward with the website. They worked out that neither of them was particularly interested in the website. They knew they needed it for the business but they didn‘t have any particular strengths in this area.

Both Brian and Sarah were committed to the business and wanted to get it started. But they weren‘t committed to doing the tasks associated with the website. They realized this task was taking a lot of their energy and yet nothing was coming of it. They had to resolve this quickly. So they decided to ask a business colleague, who loved building websites, to be involved in this part of the project.

They would brief him and then hand it over to him knowing it was getting completed. They needed to find the right person who they could trust to do this really important task for them. They spoke to their colleague and he came on board straight away, excited at the whole idea. He quickly outlined the time frame they would be working towards and asked many questions to get a sense of the style of site Sarah and Brian were looking for.

At the end of the conversation both Sarah and Brian heard themselves give a huge sigh of relief. Now they could work to their strengths and grow their new business and their colleague could build the website.


The above story gives some insight into an example and meaning of commitment. Many times we carry out tasks that we are not committed to and then wonder why they didn‘t work and why we don’t achieve our personal success.

In an incident like this we ARE committed, but to failure not achievement and personal success. If we keep pushing ourselves to fulfill something that is not right then it‘s just plain not right. It may be that we need to re-frame our perspective and see the task in a whole new way to align with it. Or it may be as Sarah and Brian identified, it was something they were not committed to.

But what happens when we are not committed to something…to our personal goals?

Deep down in the very depths of us are a whole range of underlying beliefs. These are beliefs we have about ourselves. They may be beliefs that someone gave us, our parents for example or the community that we grew up in. These beliefs sit below the surface of our consciousness in our subconsciousness.

The only way we can know what they are is by observing ourselves and seeing what causes us to do certain things. The more we know about these beliefs below the surface the more we will be successful in achieving our personal goals and the more we will feel great about our world and ourselves.

Lets look at what happens when we don‘t understand our unconscious beliefs.

When you were growing up you were probably in a number of systems that compared you to others. It may have been a sporting group, school, a social group, family, church or any number of other groups. In these groups, people are often compared against one another.

So you may have heard messages such as the other child is really good at this, why aren‘t you, or can’t you try harder, you take longer than anyone else. All of these adjectives are comparative adjectives. Smarter, harder, better, fitter, cooler – all these words are based around comparing you with someone else.

You may have heard these messages once or a million times. If you hear something enough times then you make a ‘limiting decision’ and start to believe it. Overtime this belief sits in your unconsciousness, like a conductor, orchestrating your life. This belief was given and accepted by you so long ago.

Once you started ‘committing’ to this belief, you built a world around you that confirmed this belief. You may have fought hard not to notice it, lived in denial. But this was rejection and denial was still believing in it, or you may have given into it and carried out your life reinforcing it.

Then one day, as you sit in a quiet reflective space while reading this blog, you start to think about why something in your life just keeps on going wrong. No matter what you do, you just can‘t make it happen in the way you would like to. You are trying so hard to make it happen but nothing.

It frustrates you beyond all belief. You start to feel negative about yourself; you start to doubt what you can do. You feel like giving up. You question why you can‘t be smarter, better, lose weight; make more money…and all the other comparative adjectives. You could decide at this point to:
  1. Give up on yourself and not believe in who you are.
  2. Deny this is happening to you.
  3. Convince yourself that this was the wrong thing for you
  4. Take a good hard look at what got you to this point in time.
The Decision

On average we take the first two options. The last option feels way too hard and you’re uncertain of where to begin (this is where a coach comes in handy). Plus the third option is filled with uncertainty – who knows where it will take you.

You need to exercise your mental strength and make a good firm decision right now and that is to just try another project as you are sure this time it will be the right one. You convince yourself that you just haven‘t found the right project yet that is best for you. And off you go in search of another project.

But what are the criteria upon which you will choose the next project?

Well if you don‘t stop to find out what is laying below the surface of your conscious thoughts, what is driving your actions, then you wont know.

You will use the same criteria you have used your whole life…the one that commits you to reinforcing the unconscious and potential limiting belief.

I’ll finish this post with a quote attributed to Goethe

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

OK…more on this next week. Until then….if you’d like to begin to explore your unconscious and limiting beliefs, go ahead and ask for an Introductory Consultation today.

What do you think?  Please let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Successful Home Office Management: My 8 Top Tools & Tips!

When asked recently how I managing to run a home-based business, I thought about all of the mostly free (free is good, especially when just starting out) tools/apps out there that make getting and staying organized easy.
I've found the following eight online tools to be essential to my being able to work efficiently, collaborate easily and stay organized. All are easy to use and many are totally free!
1. Skype: Meet with other business people, designers and vendors anytime you want. Skype connects people across the world through online videoconferencing.

2. SnagIt: Screen captures and sharing them has never been easier. Want to inspire others with an image, connect them to stylistic look or offer logo suggestions? You can do that and much more with this tool.

3. Pamela: You’re busy and details from that Skype meeting can fade from your memory quickly. No problem. With Pamela, you can record up to 15 minutes of that meeting. This is just one of many great features.

4. RoboForm: Fill in forms, user names and passwords easily. RoboForm remembers all the information needed to make sure you never waste another moment looking for basic information.

5. PageLeap: Turn on your computer and PageLeap displays the websites that are invaluable to your enterprise. One click and you’re exactly where you want to be.

6. Carbonite: Be sure to backup every ounce of information on your hard drive by using this service. Carbonite connects your computer to a backup server that is designed to keep your data, records, financial information and more safe and secure.

7. Google Documents: You will always be able to access each and every one of your documents from any computer anywhere through this software from Google. Collaborate, share and save with this online tool.

8. Google Calendar: Never miss an appointment again, make sure everyone involved in a meeting or project are on the same page and coordinate schedules with ease using this calendar tool from Google.

Settling in, Making it Your Own
It’s important that you find your home office environment enjoyable. It needs to be a place that encourages you to work and in which you enjoy spending time. Take some time to make the space into a real office. What sort of decorations do you want? What types of plants are you going to include? How are you going to configure the furniture? Is your office light and airy? If not, can you brighten it up and find a way to open it up?
No Time Like the Present
The primary thing that you need to do is to get started. You probably have a day job and while you’re starting your online venture, you will need to keep that job. Use the weekends, evenings, lunch breaks and other times to work on your new venture.
You need to develop a plan for your business and office. Then it’s time to take positive steps towards creating your workspace. Your home office will be the anchor, catalyst and central nervous system for your company. With a little effort over the course of a weekend or two, you can be up and running.
It’s Your Energy and Dreams
Your home office is the crucible for your energy and dreams. It needs to be part inspiration, as it should at least support your desire to work (the perspiration part of the equation). If music gives you energy, personal photos inspiration and DVDs instruction, then add an entertainment unit to your space. These can add depth and variety to the space, while providing you with space for other useful technical devices such as a HD television, extra monitor and CD player.
By creating an efficient and pleasant home office space and equipping it for success, you’re well on your way to fulfilling your objectives and realizing your dreams. Be sure to make your home office a place where you will want to spend a lot of time working. Doing so will payoff in the long run.
It did for me!