greatest-generation

Leveraging The Gifts Of The Greatest Generation.

I work with companies to enhance individual employee performance and create alignment company wide for higher levels of success. One of the tools I utilize is how to understand and leverage the various characteristics of the different generations. In all the years of studying generational differences and teaching effective ways of working together, I have found that it’s absolutely imperative that people master the values of one specific generation if they want to attain super high levels of success. If you are interested in “more than the norm” in your business, keep reading!

The Greatest Generation Truly is “The Greatest Generation”

Of all the generations (Greatest, Boomers, Generation X & Millennials), the Greatest generation possesses a distinct advantage over all the others when it comes to creating success and it’s present in every aspect of their being. Their way of doing things is often laughed about as it’s seen as ridiculous, unnecessary or a waste of time. However, when you look deeper at how this generation did things and then look at people that created high levels of success, you can see serious similarities and understand the tremendous value in learning from this generation and applying what they do.

What Makes Them So “Great?”

These people came from a simpler but challenging time (1925 – 1945). They were greatly influenced by events like the roaring 20’s, the great depression, world war one and two and the Korean war. As a result they became dedicated, respectful, patriotic and extremely loyal. They learned to not waste, to save for the future, to put their responsibilities before themselves and to sacrifice to create what they want. They don’t procrastinate, break their word or use excuses. These people suck it up, work hard for what they want, put in the time it takes to create it, don’t shirk their responsibilities and are grateful for the opportunities afforded them. They highly regard the satisfaction of a job well done.

Why Is It Important To Model This Generation?

I support people in creating higher levels of success everyday, it’s my career. From my experience of working with people for over 20 years, it’s not ability or talent that keeps people from being highly successful. There are lots of people out there with huge POTENTIAL. What keeps people from huge levels of success is a lack of ethics, values and morals that are critical to success. You may be one of those people that doesn’t want to face this but the truth is NO ONE OWES ANYONE ANYTHING and no one is going to show up and give you something. I don’t care what people say it’s very simple, if you want more, you are going to have to work for it! The Greatest Generation understands this concept and let’s face it, that concept seems to be dying off. For some reason, it’s become common for people to believe they DESERVE more for doing less but, if you can adopt and apply the ethics, values and morals of the Greatest Generation, you have a serious advantage.

How Do I Do What They Did?

Most of these people learned the hard way or were raised by people that learned the hard way. Life has a way of getting our attention sometimes and that’s one of the biggest challenges companies face. In our society, there’s a trend for people to be comfortable and we go out of our way to accommodate that. In doing this, we shelter people from hardship and along with that, the opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t like pain either but the truth is some of our greatest learning comes from pain (you didn’t touch the stove today, did you?). Creating the space for people to learn from their mistakes and then apply what they learned empowers people to grow and become more effective. It also removes the frustration and time wasted attempting to shelter or protect the company and increases individual accountability.

Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable/Challenge Yourself

Success is going to be work, hard work so just get used to it. You and your people are going to fail and if your vision and goals are huge, it will happen a lot. Get used to that as well. I highly suggest you learn to embrace it and learn from it. Make it ok for your employees to fail and find solutions. We are not our results so if someone tanks it big, it’s ok. It doesn’t mean anything, except you are working on something really big and that’s exciting! Stop seeking comfort (and I’m not saying to seek discomfort either). What I mean is that most people aren’t uncomfortable sitting on the couch eating ice cream because that’s not challenging. We aren’t growing when we lay around (except in the waist). When we push harder and go bigger it will be uncomfortable, the success comes when we use that discomfort as an indicator to weather we are challenging ourselves or not. Be patient and stay the course.

Be Grateful And Humble

I believe this is a lost art. I have worked with companies where I had to explain to employees that they were given the gift of a job. It’s weird to me that people believe their employer owes them more than a paycheck for the work they do and if you ask them to work late or do more, they act like you just hooked them up to a car battery! Being grateful is a great way to advance your position in a company and make more money (I’m not talking about being a brown noser). If you own your own company, you can apply this by working harder for your clients and expressing your gratitude often. Clients and employers provide the opportunity for us to pay our bills and put food on the table. That in itself in my opinion is a gift. If you want more in life, be humble, work harder, learn more, apply yourself and for God’s sake, QUIT WHINING!

Do The Right Thing

My father is a “greatest” and he and my mother recently put their home up for sale. Even though the realtor told him he didn’t have to, he has been patching holes from pictures, replacing sprinkler heads in the backyard, painting and doing repairs to the house. He could leave it alone for the next owner but he is adamant about leaving it in excellent condition. He believes that he is selling something to a person and he wants it to be right for them. The crazy part is people laugh and shake their heads when I tell them about it. They think he is crazy. Why do we laugh and think someone is crazy when they want to do the right thing? I am eternally grateful for the numerous lessons I received from my father and I think we can all take a page from his playbook.

I could write a ton more on this topic, there is so much to it  and in wrapping up I think it’s fair to acknowledge that our world has changed and I understand that we have to adapt but sometimes it pays to look back. Just because there is a new trend or a new way of doing things doesn’t always mean that it’s better or that the old ways are outdated. The fashion and design industries revive old styles all the time so why not look at the gifts of generations in the same way? You might think it’s old school but maybe it’s time to take out the old ways and dust them off to generate some serious success.

Looking to help your employees improve individual performance and align with company vision, click here http://www.brainstormsuccess.com/corporate-training-programs to get more information about our corporate programs.

For over 20 years Jeff Rogers has supported companies to obtain much bigger results that have previously eluded them. His no BS, no fluff approach helps companies quickly uncover a true direction to elevated results and provides simple to apply tools to obtain them.

 

Solutions from What Is Brainstorms

Creating Powerful Solutions from “What Is”

Creating Powerful Solutions from “What Is”

Last week, the east coast was hit with a snow storm. Several days before the storm, the news media was banging away with story after story about how terrible it was going to be. After it hit, they were “Johnny on the spot” with live reports showing tons of snow piled up and people going on about how terrible it is. Flights were canceled, cars were buried and the snow plows hadn’t made it to every neighborhood yet. Now I’ll agree that those are some serious inconveniences, but I’m pretty confident that this is not the first snowstorm to ever hit the east coast in January. So why all the drama?

Well, for news programs, drama produces higher ratings which must mean that people like it. People seem to get pretty dramatic about the weather and a lot of other things as well but, does all this drama solve the problem? I think we can all agree that it doesn’t. I also think that we can agree that if we skipped the drama, we would all be much better off. Of course, the big question is, how do we do that in a world that seems to thrive on drama?

Accept “What Is”

I’m sure the people affected by the storms were not happy about it. I’m confident it was a major inconvenience, but did the drama and all the stress that goes along with it, change anything? Of course not. Giving your energy to something you have no power to change only drains you and creates undue stress. When you start accepting “what is,” you create the space for more peace and less stress in your life.

“Quit Ur Bitchin’”

There are things in this world worth fighting for and then there are those things that aren’t. Even when you ARE fighting for something do you have to complain? Constant complaining doesn’t help and usually only serves to piss other people off. Ever been around someone that just won’t let it go? Ever been that person? I don’t know about you but I just want to punch those people in the face. If you are going to take a stand for something, do it in a constructive manner and make sure it’s for something worthwhile. If not, everyone would appreciate it if you would just shut the hell up!

Find A Solution

This is the way to get things done. Complaining creates noise, solutions create action. I saw a Facebook post from a friend of mine in Philadelphia were all his neighbors got together with their snow blowers and shovels and all chipped in to dig themselves out. They got the job done and had fun in the process. Of course, they didn’t make the news but their street was clear on the first day and they could drive their cars. Maybe I don’t get it but that seems like a better result to me.

Don’t Participate In The Drama

If you truly dislike drama I challenge you to not participate. Shut off the TV, don’t listen when others do it and instead, focus on something productive. When you do this, I guarantee you will feel better, enjoy more peace, have more energy and certainly get more done.

Do you perpetrate drama? Do you participate in it? Is it really supporting the results you want for yourself? Maybe if we had less drama in this world, we would have less problems. Let’s give it a shot and see what happens. I’m in.  

Quit Quitting

Quit Quitting! Finding the Motivation To Achieve HUGE Results.

Wish you could stay motivated and quit losing momentum when you’re working on your goals?

When setting goals, week 4 is the time the majority of people go back to their old behaviors. Which is great week for me because I get my parking space and equipment back at the gym and it’s great news for the bars because all their old customers have returned to eat, drink and sit around watching the games. Now of course, if you have been following along with my blog posts and exercises for the past 4 weeks you certainly have a jump on those who started on  January 1. So right now you might be hitting the week 4 slump. And trust me, in 2 or 3 more weeks, things at the gym will be slowing down and the bar will be picking up as those people reach week 4.

The 4th week in a goal setting process is a very important time because this is the time when you find out how committed you really are. If you are still in the game, cool you’re doing great. If you are statistically like most, well, nice try…again.

So what happens at week 4? It’s simple, people lose motivation. What was once seemed so important and such a great idea has lost it’s appeal. Maybe the results aren’t happening fast enough, you’ve hit unexpected challenges or the outcome doesn’t seem worth the effort any more (or so you think). Whatever it is, you no longer have the motivation to get to the gym. The catch though, is that we have to find motivation to get the results we want. So before we can get to the solution, I think we need to discuss motivation, what it really is and how we increase it for ourselves.

What motivates you?

Most people answer this question with a list of things they think are cool or something they desire. Money, cars, sex, fun, travel, free time, shopping, more sex etc. I would argue, however, that those things don’t have the power to motivate you at all. Most people believe these things are motivational because of how they feel about what they want or when they receive instant gratification from these items. The truth is, believe it or not, if money could motivate, it would motivate everyone. My 83 year old mother is not motivated by sex (I think I just threw up in my mouth) and contrary to popular belief, neither are you. You may like it but it is not the source of your motivation.

What is motivation really?

So what IS the source of your motivation? Motivation is connected to your self esteem or how you feel about yourself. Think about it, when you are down and not feeling great about yourself or situation, do you really feel like jumping up and getting busy? Typically not. You may be able to overcome that, suck it up and get busy anyway, but how long is that sustainable with a crappy view of yourself? Not long, that’s for sure! When we feel great about ourselves and our situation, we are generally more excited about doing what it takes to get what we want. It’s simple, when our self esteem is elevated, we will do more of what it takes to create the results we want. The challenge is, how do you raise your self esteem?

How do I raise my self esteem?

Your self esteem is a direct reflection of the alignment you have with your values. When you are out of alignment with your values, your self esteem drops and your motivation goes with it. Likewise, when you are in alignment with your values, your self esteem elevates and your motivation increases. As I stated before, when you are more motivated, you will naturally do more of what it takes to create the results you are looking for, regardless of how you feel about the activity. You might even find ways to make unpleasant tasks more enjoyable. The trick here is getting into alignment with your values and getting back into alignment when you are out.

How do I create alignment with my values?

Basically, what we’re talking about here is integrity but I prefer to say that the best way to  create alignment with your values is simply a matter of having a great relationship with your word. Give your word and keep it. To others, to yourself, to what you say, to your goals and what it takes to achieve them. When you do this, you are forced to live your life in integrity and thus in alignment with your values. Self esteem rises as a result of this increased internal relationship and suddenly you are more motivated to do what it takes to create the results you want. Take a moment now to think about one thing you want. What would you have to give your word to in order to create that result? How would you have to show up? Do you see how giving your word and keeping it would support you staying in the game and completing the tasks necessary to get your goal?

What are your true values?

Most people describe their values with words like honesty and integrity. Yes, those are part of a value system and there is much more to the values I’m talking about. What I’m talking about here is innate values or the values you were born with. Consider a small child and look at how they are or how they are being at any given time. What do you notice? They are honest (because they haven’t learned how to lie), fun, passionate, loving, caring, trusting, open, interested in things, have lots of energy and the list continues. Imagine if you were living your life in alignment with these innate values. You just might have more success in your business and personal life, right?

When you live from these innate values, you are living in “integrity” with yourself and are therefore in alignment. With that, your relationship with yourself improves and your self esteem rises. As your self esteem rises, you become more motivated and the more motivated you are, the more likely you are to do what it takes to create the results you desire in your life.

So what do you really want? Money, relationship, sex, travel, liberty? Whatever that is, identify your values and do everything you can to stay in alignment with those values. When you find yourself out of alignment, get back in. I guarantee that your results will improve dramatically.

Let me know how you’re doing on your goals this year so far? Share your comments below.

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How to Avoid Killing Your New Year’s Resolutions.

This post is part 3 of a 4 week series designed to help you get more of what you want in 2016. I know it’s the first week of the year so you may be wondering why I am in week 3 when all the people in my industry are discussing week 1. Well, If you have been reading my posts, you already know that my first post (How to Finally Achieve Huge Results in 2016) addressed the value of not procrastinating and getting started with what you want right away. My second post (Get Started and Stay Moving) provided additional tools to support being ahead of the game. If you haven’t seen those posts, I highly suggest that you go back and read them as this post will provide tools that build on the ones provided in those previous posts. Today, I am going to provide practices that will support you in going farther and staying in the game possibly longer than you ever have before.

Let’s face it, if you have a really big vision and great goals, it’s going to take some time to make that happen and staying in the game is critical to your success. If you took my advice in the first post and STARTED NOW instead of waiting, you are now in your 3rd week of working on whatever your vision or goal is. Statistically, you are at that time when the majority of people quit, give up or return to old behaviors that don’t support them. What was so important 3 weeks ago, is now just another failure or unrealized goal. So let’s give you some tools that will keep you from being a part of that nasty statistic once and for all.

Apply “Simple, Healthy, Habits” to avoid burn out

I think everyone wants to get the results they desire as quickly as possible. As a result, they come out of the gates on fire, going 100 MPH. Although the added effort is great, sustaining an unreasonable pace generally leads to burnout. I have seen more people stop going after something they really desired or even sabotage it because they set an unrealistic pace for themselves or bit off more than they could chew. The easier something is to do, the more likely we are to do it. It may take a little longer to get what we want but an easier, slower pace will help you stay in the game and assure success. Of course, we want these activities to be positive and support the outcome we are looking for so it’s important that they are Healthy. Last, we want the positive behaviors to become more difficult not to do than they are to do. When this happens, you are assured that you will attain your goals and ultimately your vision. It may take a little longer, but it’s well worth it.

Stay Focused (keep your eye on the prize)

Whatever it is that you are going after had a purpose when you started. Pain, failure, unforeseen obstacles, rejection and numerous other challenges may have caused you to lose sight of your objective. The passion you had when you started may have faded. It’s important that you remember and focus on the reason you set this goal to begin with. If you have a vision and this goal is attached to it, you may remember how achieving this goal supports that greater purpose.

Apply Supportive Behaviors to Avoid Procrastination and Doubt

I don’t consider myself a writer but it is an important part of getting this information to you. I often get blocked or don’t like what I have written. I do however realize that the behavior of sitting down and writing is supportive of my vision and is therefore a productive behavior. I also realize that every time I write, I get better at it and I find it easier to communicate my thoughts. Now, I may never be a Hemmingway or Jack London, but I’m staying the course and putting it out there by applying supportive behaviors when I find myself avoiding the task of writing. What behaviors do you need to apply to keep going to get your goal?

I truly believe your vision and goals are important. I think you deserve to live the life you desire. Do you? I also believe that it is your responsibility and you owe it to yourself to do what it takes to have what you want. With these practices, you increase your odds of living the life you desire instead of settling for one that is less than what you want.

To read more about living an extraordinary life, download my FREE ebook: Living a Kick Ass Life, How To Go From Achingly High Potential To Confidently High Achieving In 7 Simple Steps.

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Get Started and Stay Moving

In my last blog post, I talked about what you need to have in place in order to achieve huge results in 2016. If you haven’t had a chance to read or need a refresher, here’s a link. How to Finally Achieve Huge Results in 2016. Once you have a clear vision, goals are set and you have identified the actions needed to achieve your goals, as I mentioned in that post, you’re ready to get started. If you haven’t done those 3 things, I highly recommend you go back and do them.  If you are already starting this process by not applying the previous tools, what makes you think you will do what it takes to have what you want moving forward. This could be why you’ve fallen short in the past or are not yet where you want to be. If you have done what I asked, let’s keep moving.

You might be surprised to learn that starting is actually the easiest part of creating huge results. I won’t say everyone, but when most people finally get tired of the same old routine or previous results, they get 100% committed, excited, and are ready to kick some serious ass…It’s like being shot out of a gun. You’re hot and ready to go. The trick is keeping it there. Big results are seldom achieved in a sprint. Really great things are achieved as a result of hard work and dedication over an extended period of time.

Getting what we truly want requires changing behaviors that don’t support the results we’re looking for. Some people can take that way too far and as a result they miss an important step. What they miss is the second part I’ll talk about below…identifying the behaviors that DO support what we want and finding ways to duplicate those behaviors. Sometimes success is not a matter of changing something but rather using something we already do well in another area. So as you start going after this awesome vision and these amazing goals take some time to…

Identify the behaviors you use that do not support what you want in your life

I want you to actually get a notebook and write them down. Take some time and go deeper. When you get blocked or can’t think of any more, take a break and come back to it. Don’t try to shortcut this process because I think you’ll find that’s just another behavior that doesn’t work for you.

Identify the behaviors you use that do support what you want in your life

Again, take your time and go deeper. This is an important list for a couple of reasons. Chances are you already do what it takes to create the results you are looking for and it’s just a matter of applying that to another area of your life. Typically, these productive behaviors can counter your non-productive behaviors. When you are stuck or off-track all you have to do is look at this list and the tool you are looking for should be there. That’s assuming that you actually did this step. If not, you might want to add that to the list of non supportive behaviors.

Take these 2 lists and post them where you can see them often

If you want to get back on track quickly when you are off your game, you’ll be able to see immediately what needs to be adjusted towards more productive behaviors. The only way I know to do that is to study. I like to write things on my whiteboard where I can see them often. This method is like listening to the radio for me. The more often I hear the song, the more familiar I am with the lyrics and the quicker I learn it. The same applies with adjusting your behavior. When I know what my non supportive behaviors are, I can catch them quickly and shift. If I don’t really know them, my chances of catching them are reduced and I spend more time being non-productive. Make sense?

Knowing and understanding these behaviors is key to your success. It assures that you stay  productive and provides the path when you are off. Most of my clients find that when they apply this tool, they produce what they want much faster simply because they are more efficient and therefore much more effective. Of course, you have to do the work and apply the tool to get that result. That behavior in and of itself requires awareness, discipline and hard work. I know that’s the last thing you want to hear but I didn’t say this was going to be easy…did I?

We are always here to help or answer questions. Reach out to us if you need support.

If you want to learn more about getting what you want be sure to sign up for my FREE WEBINAR TRAINING: “The Quit Whining No Excuses Way to Finally Build the Life you Love in Record Time.”

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The Waiting Game

Here we are again. It’s almost Thanksgiving, Christmas is coming and its just 6 weeks from the 1st of January. There are two things about this time of year that just drive me crazy.

1. The excessively perky holiday music (it’s not even Christmas yet)
2. People saying “I’ll wait until after the holidays to do this or that.”

Ok… I’ll get over the music but this waiting thing just makes no sense to me and it never will. In my opinion, it’s the cry of the infinitely mediocre.

 Even when not in the midst of the upcoming holidays I’ll bet you’ve found yourself; waiting until Monday to start exercising or eating right. Maybe you’ve been waiting until you have more money to invest in your success or waiting for the right time to call that client or even a loved one. For you mothers out there, how about this one… “wait ‘til your father gets home!”

When did Monday or January 1st become the magic day to start something? Why the waiting game?

If you could have the relationship you’ve always wanted or the perfect clients to take your business to the next level right now, why would you wait? That’s like finding a $100 bill on the street and waiting until tomorrow to pick it up!

Sometimes taking time to pause or take a break can be a healthy choice, but a 6 week stand still comes with a serious cost. Now if you’re infinitely wealthy, have the most amazing relationships and the liberty to live your life however you want – good for you, take a break, you earned it!  But if you don’t have what you want, waiting is simply an excuse for not taking action. Everyday you don’t take actions necessary towards getting the results you’re looking for, is a day that you’re actually taking steps backwards.

Many people get stuck in a trap of “either/or.” Which means they think they can EITHER do this OR do that. I call BS! The best way out of that mediocre trap is to find what I call the “AND.”  You can do this AND that – it’s just a matter of how passionate you are about having what you want and then consciously making a decision to take action now versus “another day.”

When we wait for the perfect time to take action we are disempowered by living in a position of scarcity and become a victim to our current circumstances. How many times have you looked back with regret and said something like; “I wish I had done this a year ago” or “if only I had started sooner, I would be there by now?”

As we know from physics that an object in motion tends to stay in motion and you are no different. So even if you make a decision and take a small action, it’s better than not taking action at all. When is it ever going to be the RIGHT time?

I believe that the right time is when an opportunity is in front of you. I don’t believe in coincidences so when an opportunity arises – the time is right at that moment.
I mean, why do you think the opportunity is there? What opportunities are available to you today?

I encourage you to take action today in the direction of your dreams. Don’t wait. There are going to be those people that START on January 1st, but you could be that person who’s at a full sprint come January 1st. How much farther ahead would you be if you started now? Wouldn’t you rather look back over 2014 and say “I’m glad I did that?”

Check out an opportunity to have the extraordinary life you’ve always wanted by attending my Free Webinar Training: The Quit Whining, No Excuses Way to Finally Build the Life you Love in Record Time.
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Survive or Thrive?

The Natural Path Of Least Resistance?

As an avid outdoorsman, I often find great life lessons in nature. The path of least resistance is one of these lessons. Water flows downhill and follows the lay of the land and animals naturally follow the most accessible food and water sources to survive. Humans also take the path of least resistance in our environments and although we may survive, we certainly wouldn’t thrive by doing so.

When an animal is born, it immediately becomes prey. It must learn and adapt quickly to its environment and implement its natural instincts in order to avoid being killed or eaten. It must utilize all available resources and become efficient with its quickly learned skills in order to live. Eventually, the animals’ behaviors become routine, unconscious reactions that are naturally utilized for them to survive. With animals, natural selection happens when the strong survive and the weak die depending on how they adapt to their environments through what they have learned. Humans are no different. We learn habits, behaviors and unconscious reactions in order to survive in our environments. However, if we want to actually THRIVE in our environments, we must learn some new or unnatural habits rather than merely taking that natural path of least resistance.

Adapting To Change.

The challenge that we as humans face, is that unlike animals, our environments are always changing.  You see, most animals’ environments stay the same throughout their lives and thus there is no need to learn anything new. But as productive humans, we must adapt, learn new skills, or die. Unfortunately for us, many of our previously learned habits and skills have become so automatic or unconscious that we simply apply them to every environment we encounter without even realizing it. Just like animals do, we simply react to whatever is happening in our environments without thought to whether the outcome will be productive or not. We simply take the path of least resistance.

Lets do an experiment.

Lets say we take a lion from the plains of Africa and we drop it in Antarctica. What do you think the lion would do? Obviously it’s natural food sources would be gone, weather would be extremely different and everything it utilized to survive  and thrive in Africa would be ineffective. At the same time, I think you would agree that the skills you utilized to survive and thrive as a child (self centered communication skills, how you got your food, your work ethic, etc.) probably wouldn’t work in your adult relationships. Crying, stomping your feet, sitting around waiting for your wife to make you some lunch or being thoughtless of others probably won’t get the results you are looking for in most interpersonal relationships. Neither would taking the summer off to play if your career did not support that decision or behavior.

I am reminded of this lesson from the events of the real estate crash of 2008.  When many people left their jobs to create more for themselves (money, freedom, etc) by entering the market as realtors and mortgage brokers. Lots of people were doing it and it was easy to do. When the environment changed and got tough, instead of learning new skills to thrive, in a changed environment, most of them took the path of least resistance and went back to what was comfortable or what they knew. Just like the lion would have to learn a new set of skills quickly in order to thrive in Antarctica, we must also do so in our ever changing environments. We must literally become a constant student and conscious observer of ourselves in order to thrive and create the higher levels of success we are looking for. Working on ourselves every once in a while won’t get it done.

How To Overcome The Challenges Of Natural Behavior.

So the path of least resistance, although natural, will not support us in achieving results we desire at work, in relationships or elsewhere if we are to thrive. It may feel comfortable or natural to stay where we are, but when our environment changes, what then? Culture and society attempt to make things easier, fair or equal for us but the easy path is not reality if you want to really thrive. Lets face it, we cannot make something stronger by enabling it to be weak in its environment any more than we can make a kid a winner by giving him a 5th place trophy. As individuals it is up to us to first identify the shift in our environments and then identify the behavioral changes necessary to thrive in that place.

Better yet, if we can first decide or design the environments we want to exist in, we can predict the behaviors we will need to thrive and consciously implement them as we go along. The more we see forward and plan, the more natural applying behaviors for success in those environments becomes. These pre-determined life choices help us to utilize our natural learning process to quickly ingrain productive behaviors and thus, provide a greater chance of thriving instead of just surviving. What are you doing to thrive in your environment?  Share with us in the comments. 

At BrainStorm we help individuals and business identify their path and the behaviors and habits necessary to create it. We do this by utilizing unique, engaging, fun processes that uncover an individuals’ and companies vision and engage the innate values necessary to live the amazing life of their dreams. Find out what so many of our successful customers already know. Visit www.magnitudevisioncourse.com to see how you can get on the path to living the life of your dreams today.

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Align and Conquer

I work with several corporate clients. My goal with these clients is to help them attain higher levels of success by working to align the “human assets” of their company. Often times my clients are owner-operators and have a business partner or partners. Normally, this is the start of the alignment process because, more often than not, the partners are the biggest source of misalignment in the company and the biggest source of frustration for themselves and the employees alike. This misalignment at the top of the company creates all kinds of internal turmoil and usually filters into the client base. Trust me, if you own a company and have partners that are out of alignment, your employees and clients know it. If allowed to continue, misalignment interferes with communication, work flow, productivity, customer service and will eventually kill a company.

So why do people get into partnerships to begin with?

I mean really, do you ever hear “GREAT” partner stories? It’s rare. Even the best partnerships have challenges. In my experience, (including my own journey), I have found that most companies are developed by people that have a spirit for achieving bigger things – an entrepreneurial spirit. They gained their experience in a given industry and eventually got tired of working for someone else (whatever that reason may be). Many take the leap and soon realize they may not possess all the skills needed to make the business work. They discover the workload is too much for one person or they simply desire the comfort of a confidant. Whether the need for additional capital, workload or friendship, the partner appears. Usually this person or people are acquaintances or friends that they believe they know and can trust. (God forbid the partners are family, which would take another whole series of blog posts!) Maybe they worked with them somewhere before or they were present when the idea of venturing out was conceived. Whatever the case, this is when the problems start.

Why are most partnerships doomed from the start? Quite simply, a lack of clearly defined roles for each partner, and an undefined or non-existent shared vision. Rarely do I find partners who have clearly defined their roles and mapped out how their partnership will work. Partnership agreements are loosely written or not in place at all. Although they like each other (to start), soon they find reasons and problems that interfere with the expectations they had for each other. To put it simply, they never started the company with any sense of alignment at all. They can tell me when they believe the problems started, but usually fail to see that the breakdown actually started the moment they became partners.

Now, as much as I appreciate the job security of these situations, lets see if I can help you avoid or work through some of the challenges of a partnership:

 1. Make sure you have a shared vision.  

Do all the partners agree on the direction of the company? Is the vision for the company clearly defined or just presumed? Are all of the aspects of the company in alignment with that vision? I cannot stress the importance of this first step enough. Without a clearly defined vision, direction and roadmap for the company – what is the point?

 2. Clearly define roles.

Make sure all partners have clearly defined, written job descriptions with specific roles and duties laid out. Having this foundational piece in place is the best reference for each partner to determine who is pulling their weight or not.

3. Communication is key. 

Many partners hold back and don’t speak their mind for fear of the repercussions or backlash from the other. They usually deal with the challenges in their own way (stuff it down, attempt to ignore it, etc.) until the frustration grows past the breaking point. What follows is disaster. They may even hold on to things until the company is gone. No matter what the challenges may be, or how uncomfortable it may feel, you have to be willing to start a respectful and responsible dialogue with your partners.

 4. Switch to solutions.  

Getting things off your chest is good, however constant complaining is just, well, bitching. Form a plan that you can agree on that you can begin to implement right away. Action from everyone is important to assure agreements are kept and solutions are followed through on.

 5. Listen.

You must be willing to listen (and hear), be open to all viewpoints and be willing to make adjustments from all perspectives in order to create an aligned outcome. You have to be willing to do something different as do your partners. This can be the most challenging because additional stress is created by one or all of the partners who may be inflexible and positioned. It is not uncommon that I am hired by a company where at least one of the partners is not in alignment with the process of change. This lack of alignment results in a lack of desired outcomes and sometimes to partnership buyouts or splits. Sometimes when you have a partner or employee that is out of alignment, your only option, after exhausting all others, may be to get them out of the company before greater damage happens.

Is your company running at peak performance? Are you and your business partners in alignment? If not and you’re already in deep, I will be glad to coach you through the process to create alignment in your company. At BrainStorm, we implement communication techniques, programs and solutions to help make this process much easier.

Visit us online at http://www.brainstormsuccess.com/corporate-training-programs/ to learn more.

Break the Chains of Procrastination.

 What are You Waiting For?

“Why put off ‘till tomorrow what you can get done today?” How about the flip side, “why do today, what you can put off ‘till tomorrow?” What’s your favorite take on these old adages?  Why do most people hesitate or put off the tasks required to get where they want to be? What’s all the waiting about?

 Why We Procrastinate

I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that there seems to be a wave of cultural acceptance in our world today for people to do less and it seems to be getting worse. In some areas it even appears that people are rewarded for doing less. “Someone else will get the job done, why exert myself?” Add to that, our cultural desire for instant gratification and we have a society that focuses on what we want now versus what we want long term.  Sound familiar?

There are thousands of articles written on the topic of procrastination in psychology journals, blogs and other internet resources. These articles (including this one) provide all kinds of opinions on the causes of procrastination and a boatload of statistics about why college students, business people and even stay-at-home-mom’s do it. While the research and various opinions on procrastination are important, I believe that the answer lies within the individual so lets give it a shot to see what it is for you.

 What’s In It For You?

I’m going to challenge you to really answer these questions. Yes, I’m going to ask you to take a minute and do a little work on yourself, so don’t put this one off! Who knows, maybe you’ll actually discover something. What is keeping your ass anchored to the couch? What is it that keeps you from doing what needs to be done to have what you really want? Is it fear? Self-sabotage? Exhaustion?  Perhaps you overestimate the time you think a task will take causing you to perceive it as an overwhelming chore.  Maybe you just don’t want to do something!  Whatever the reason for you, I think we can all agree that procrastination interferes with individual performance and creating the outcomes we desire in our lives. I believe the biggest cause for procrastination is lack of “self regulation” or just simply, self control. It is our human nature to have what we want NOW, and often forget that anything worth having is worth the time and effort necessary to get it.

How To Move Past It Today, Not Tomorrow

So now that you have hopefully identified the cause of procrastination for yourself and you understand that we are living in a culture of accepting less from people, how do we move past procrastination and get to what we desire most? As we see in economics, education, and business that the biggest payoffs require the most work or risk,  if we don’t solve this challenge and get off our butts, we aren’t going to get to the really great results we want. Simple math right?

Those that follow me know that I talk about the two biggest motivators being 1. Pain and 2. Value. Although pain will always be the most considerable motivating factor, I don’t believe that it HAS to be present or that we have to suffer to achieve great things. Pain works to motivate us towards change because we feel it, it’s personal, we are emotionally connected to it, passionate or driven to get it out of our lives and, if it’s bad enough, committed to get past it. Value on the other hand is not as effective a motivator as pain, however, it can be if we apply the same feeling or emotional connection, passion or drive and commitment to it that we utilize to end or relieve our pain.

To create the kind of value that you can feel, have passion and drive for and commit 100% to, you need to be clear about what you ultimately want or desire. Only when you possess that kind of value will you give up procrastination and start working towards what you want today. If you do not become absolutely clear, everything that you are doing will serve a purpose for the moment, but will not take you closer to what you really want your life to look like and the waiting or putting off game will continue. When you have defined (not assumed) clarity, your decisions about your path will be easily followed and as that path takes your closer to what you want, your excitement will grow. Procrastination will fade away, action will be your ally and pain will no longer be the driver of your motivation.

Download your copy of our Free Ebook: “Living a Kick Ass Life: How To Get From Achingly High Potential to Confidently High Achieving In 7 Simple Steps.”

Simple Healthy Habits to Last Beyond the New Year.

It’s little over a month into the New Year, so how are those resolutions you made coming along?  I would venture a guess that most people who vowed to get skinny, make more money or stop smoking 6 weeks ago have either given up, lost hope or reverted back to that excuse,  “maybe next year.”

If you are still on a path of positive change since the clock struck midnight on January 1, good for you.  Keep it up. For those who have “fallen off the wagon” there is hope that you can make lasting change and it doesn’t have to be so hard, if you are willing to employ some simple, healthy, habits to assure your success.

Human beings are creatures of habit by nature. We adopt habits over time because they provide us a reward or payoff whether positive or negative.  A drug addict becomes an addict because of the reward (the high) he gets from repeating the un-healthy behavior of doing drugs over time.  Similarly, a fitness enthusiast gets the reward of a strong, healthy body by repeating the healthy behaviors of eating right and exercising over time.  Charles Duhigg discusses this theory in his book The Power of Habit. Duhig talks about the psychological “habit loop,” a three part process;  First there is a cue or a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic and let a behavior unfold.  Then there’s a routine, which is the behavior itself which then leads to the reward, the third step in the loop. The brain usually likes the reward and helps it remember this habit in the future.

Think about some of the habits you have formed both positive and negative. Perhaps it’s brushing your teeth or your daily commute to and from work. Maybe you have adopted habits that aren’t the most productive such as mindless eating of unhealthy foods or spending valuable work time on Facebook. Whatever the habit, the process of it becoming a habit is always the same.

So if you are looking for a way to really make a lasting change this year and into the future why not adopt some SIMPLE, HEALTHY, HABITS?

Keep It Simple

I am a big fan of taking the path of least resistance.  Why make things more difficult than they have to be?  We see examples of this in nature as well.  Electricity takes the shortest path to ground and a river follows the easiest lay of the land.  Why should we make it hard?  I hate going to the gym to work out. I despise the 2 hour process of driving there, waiting for machines and other various annoyances. Rather than join a gym again this year, knowing I would never go, I made it simple.  I purchased a DVD workout program  and do it in my basement every day. This SIMPLER process for me takes 45 minutes, giving me an extra hour of productive time in my office. Keep it simple when attempting to adopt a new habit.  A few simple disciplines practiced every day, is the easiest path to immediate results.

Focus on Healthy Outcomes

It goes without saying that we want the new habits we adopt to be healthy otherwise, why do it? Make sure the simple habits you want to adopt are not harmful or counter productive to what you want to create. Focus on the positive outcome rather than the process of how to get there. Focus on the prize and your subconscious mind will fall in line.  See yourself as that fit, healthy person or that wildly successful business person as a healthy discipline rather than a fat and broke person.  The daily practice of seeing your healthy outcomes will increase your self confidence and keep you on the path when things get hard.

Practice Practice Practice

Just as your current habits were formed by weeks, months or years of practice, adopting new simple healthy habits will take time as well. Remember how long it took you to learn to write or to walk? These outcomes didn’t happen overnight but before too long they became automatic, a habit. Be willing to put as much time and consistent effort until your new, healthy routine becomes an unconscious habit like brushing your teeth.

Get Support

Don’t think you need to go at it alone. Engage the support of a friend, colleague or family member to hold you accountable to the adoption of your simple, healthy habits.  You may even want to hire a BrainStorm professional coach to help you stay on track and focused.

Tell us about your success or challenges with adopting simple healthy habits in the comments below.