January 2011

Frank has a guest post on Pick The Brain titled, 5 Ways to Win An Argument. Here is a link to his post.

 

The only way to solve a problem is through strategic action. Complaining alone won't generate any change.

Frank took some time Tuesday explaining the power of body language. This article was so good that after I read it I immediately asked my wife, “When do you know I’m in the midst of a good conversation.” Without hesitation she responded that the answer is in my hand movement (or lack thereof). Of course, this was a needed revelation for me. She followed that comment with a couple suggestions on how I can make my hand gestures more uniform for all of my professional and personal interactions.

Seeing how quickly and accurately my wife responded planted the seed for today’s topic.

For anyone reading this who does not know my wife personally let me briefly introduce you. Rachel is amazingly sharp, intuitive, witty, and has a hint of perfectionism hidden under her calm, unsuspecting demeanor.  Her no-nonsense approach to dilemmas is one of her best qualities. In short, Rachel is a problem solver.

What’s the opposite of a problem solver?

There are those of us who spend our time moaning about what’s wrong when we recognize a problem. We can overlook twenty good things to fixate on five bad things. Left uninterrupted, these five bad things overtake our lives! How so? I’ve noticed that if the habit of complaining is allowed to enter into one’s life then it will quickly spread into every area. At work with associates, at home with family, in leisure with friends… whining is contagious! Ironically I’ve recently heard this process defended because it is claimed to be therapeutic.  Everyone needs the opportunity to vent right? The truth is this type of misplaced venting does not produce positive chance unless it is coupled with…

Solutions

Complaining, that’s so last year!  It’s time to embrace the next dimension. In this next dimension you’re stronger, wiser, more passionate, more productive, more joyful and closer to wholeness. Complaining and whining is a sign of one’s unawareness of power. That energy spent complaining was meant to be spent brainstorming for solutions. If you want to see change in your family, friendship, and business endeavors…

It is going to take action.

Yes, it is important to flesh out the details and depths of an issue. However, I cautiously adjure you to remember that this is just the first step. Once this step is complete we must start to seek answers and resolution.

So the next time you are boiling mad because of a faulty process at work, a family short-coming in budgeting, or a friend’s failure to perform a function don’t whine. Come correct. The correct way to address a problem is with at least two suggestions for solution.

Not only will this separate you from the majority of people that inhabit our planet, it will also elevate your standing amongst your peers. You will not be looked at as a grumbler, complainer, or quitter. Your ability to understand, address, articulate and then seek to solve an issue will fortify your role as a leader in any spear of your life.

Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution!

Young Man Screaming

Photo by Ian Kahn

Language is a complex system of symbols and sounds used to articulate a statement of fact or emotion. There are over 6900 known languages all around the world, each with their own set of rules, sounds, and dialect. The mere fact that they exist is a miracle. Where did they come from? Who had the vast understanding of noun and verb agreement when communication, according to popular scientific beliefs, evolved from grunting and moaning? It is mind boggling.

In our everyday interactions communication is focused around the words we speak. It is constant exchange of ideas, emotions, stories and experiences that give us a connection to the people and the world around us. Through language we voice our frustration, share words of encouragement, and paint vivid pictures so detailed that the recipient can almost envision being there themselves.

If used appropriately the art of communication can change the very world in which we live in. Imagine a world where everyone speaks the same language. Nothing gets lost in translation. People would relate on a level that they never knew was possible. Why do you think that the understanding of communication is a multimillion dollar industry? People want to learn how to talk to one another.

I will be the first to say that I have thrown my share of dollars toward the very topic in my quest to become a better communicator. It was not until recently that I learned I was investing in the wrong stock. Every book I have read is based around the words you speak and the vocabulary you use but only 30-40% of communication is based upon that. 60-70% of communication is based upon body language, non-verbal behavior. (Albert Mehrabian)

Where would you like to invest your money?

The language your body speaks is so important that is can override the words you say. Have you ever tried to tell someone you loved them with your back turned away? It just doesn’t seem honest.

Physical expression is paramount.

Here are some quick tips to help you improve your body language and maximize your future interactions.

The basics of body language consist of 3 major areas of focus. They are the eyes, head, and hands. I promise to not bore you with all of the details but I will hit the bullet points.

EYES

  • Eye contact conveys confidence and positivity
  • Avoiding eye contact conveys dishonesty and discomfort.

HANDS

  • Hand placement over you mouth displays dishonesty and discomfort.
  • Hidden hands could indicate you have something to hide.
  • Positive hand placement would be ones that indicate you are thinking or in reflection.

HEAD

  • Tilting your head forward is an indication of interest.
  • Leaning to the side or away from the person is an indication of boredom, distrust or dissatisfaction.
  • A swiveling head is one that is looking for an escape.

If there is a message that you are trying to convey, it is important that you control every aspect of the way you communicate it. This may seem like very simple common knowledge but I dare you to put it to the test. You can greatly enhance your interactions by being conscious of the language your body speaks.

Learn to master your body language and control your interactions permanently.

You know about Dr. King's Dream and his sacrifice... Now it's your turn!

I couldn’t let this week past without referencing the King of Dreaming and challenging our readers to “start dreaming BIG!”

In other post we’ve taken the time to express the necessity of having a dream as well as questioning the author of our dream. Now we are sincerely ready to begin “Dreaming.” I will advise you to make sure that you’re centered and focused at the conclusion of these first two steps. Remember, the first duty of dreaming is to listen. It may take upwards of two weeks of soul searching to come to definitive conclusions as to who your true self is and how to approach releasing that person from the bondage of your current daily grind.

There is Good News and Not-So-Good News

The Good News:
If everything is perfect you are getting ready to invest the time to move out of your comfort zone and take a risk that may change the rest of your life (as well as the lives of everyone around you). You’re mapping out your future. You are beginning a realignment of your day to day living that could propel you into a place that you’ve never imagined. How do I know it’s beyond your imagination, because we never know exactly what we will be until we become it?

The mental spark that has burst forth in your mind is a sign that the real you is still alive. You haven’t killed your essence (yet). Though potentially bound and possible weak, the true you has a pulse and wants to live. Not that impressed or committed yet? No worries. If any of this literature has touched you, moved you, or inspired you to think about “you” in a new and different way I’m glad (not satisfied, but glad). For no other reason than it proves you are still willing to question your current position. Some of us get so involved and so self-righteous until we forget there are other perspectives out there in the atmosphere that we can learn and grow from. Kudos to you!

So it doesn’t matter if you are sitting here on pins and needles waiting for the next installment of motivation or if you are casually reading to pass the time, I’m sure that this will eventual heighten your senses to the ultimate reality that underlines our world as we know it.

The Not-So Good News (the blunt truth):

I hope no one has already drifted off this newly paved path and started to think that “Dreaming” is a carefree exercise. Actually I’ve found the exact opposite is true. It takes more effort, dedication, ingenuity, and patience to pursue a dream in a mature fashion than it does to live a mundane cyclical existence (just ask M.L.K.). It is hard (not impossible) to change directions in life… especially if you’re used to the mundane and just now deciding “to be.”

Why?

Because you’ll be forced to critically review yourself and even change some of the things you’ve always done. We’ve all heard the overused simile, “it’s like swimming upstream.” Nearly everything within your life will try to convince you to keep doing what you’ve been doing and just get by. Or, keep chasing your society-created dream instead of inviting that inner voice to help you redefine your dream in hopes of greater final reward and peace of mind. What am I saying? You can’t do what you’ve always done and expect to get a different result. Yet, you’ll only get what you’ve always gotten.

To break your old habits and reverse your default programming (the teachings of society and parents) you’ll need a strong will and a lot of personal accountability. You’ll have to be responsible for your dream and how it affects you and those around it.

I’ll be honest; I can’t promise that this pursuit will be filled with glee. It may generate pain, frustration, sleepless nights and even new enemies. It is indeed a risk. So let us sit down and reason together. I present a promise of enriched life and meaning… a connection with a deeper truth and purer manner of life. A hope of TRUE satisfaction and intangible rewards, wholeness in which every area of your life is tended to, instead of just your wallet and public persona, a relief from distorted self-imaging. So ask yourself,

“What am I willing to risk, sacrifice, or forfeit to receive this?”

 To have tried to do something and failed is vastly better than to have tried to do nothing and succeeded. Thus, this choice is totally up to you. But I know for this to be effective it will cost you something. Count your cost, weigh your options and make a firm decision.

Finally, living a life that makes a mature pursuit of a dream does require patience. That’s why we use the word mature. You can’t walk into work today and quit your job because you’re “pursuing your dream” when you have bills piled up, old college loans waiting, and family that is dependent on your current income. You have to gradually transfer out of the life you’ve created by nurturing your dream until it is close enough to realization to depend on it to actualize.

Being a responsible dreamer is being a person who sets their sights on higher goals then takes the time to strategically work to attain them.

Is It Really Worth It?

Each and everyday that we are alive on the Earth we are given the opportunity to make a decision that will forever effect our lives. It may start off with a simple decision like bacon or sausage but as the day progresses the decisions may become a lot more in depth and also have attached […]

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Chaos Organized

I am drowning. I am completely submerged in the endless sea of papers that represents my personal and professional responsibilities. To make matters worse I can’t swim. With both arms swinging and legs flailing I desperately attempt to bring my head above water. I am frantically in pursuit of a breath. While many people in […]

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