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Hang @the Barber Shop and You’re Bound to get a Haircut

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Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars in 2017 and didn’t

Denzel Washington

make the cut. His reaction?  “If you hang around the barbershop long enough, you’re bound to get a haircut!”

Cute right? Denzel had to hang around plenty of shops before he got his. One thing that scared him professionally was he couldn’t sing. He failed many times while waiting for that haircut, and then it happened.

Famous baseball player Reggie Jackson struck out 2600 times during his career. In fact, he amassed the most strikeouts in the history of baseball. Jackson also hit 563 home runs during his career and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Following in the footsteps of The Babe, he also had a candy bar named after him in 1978.

This year, I visited the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Meyers, Florida. I still find it hard to believe that Thomas Edison actually made one thousand light bulbs before one actually worked. Edison said every failure brought him closer to success. Obviously, he wasn’t afraid of being called ‘stupid’ because isn’t that what we’re afraid people will call us? Maybe that’s where the ‘fake it until you make it’ came from. The key is to get over being stupid, obviously stupid is a good thing.

Wow, what an attitude. Edison spent his entire life trying to synthesize rubber. He imported plants and trees from all over the world before finding one that was capable of producing the needed product. By the way, I don’t think he ever got a haircut.

I watched Denzel Washington give his commencement address to the 2017 Penn State graduating class. Denzel said there was nothing as frightening as giving that speech; he had never seen so many people watch him. Most watch him in his movies when he’s not in the audience.

The message, of course, is that we will all fail.  And every time we fail, we will be closer to success. This is a great message for all of us. Seth Godin wrote a wonderful book entitled, “What to do when it’s Your Turn—and it’s Always Your Turn.” If it’s easy and fun and guaranteed to work of course you can do it.

How often do you say yes or do you spend so much time thinking your turn is gone? How many times have you thought about going to a movie but didn’t go because the coming attraction didn’t appeal to you? We want reassurance that the movie will be good before we go.

If you are willing to always be ‘up’ for your turn you will have your opportunity to make a change in this world and to realize your true potential.

Here is the link to the YouTube video of Denzel’s speech. It is only 22 minutes long and well worth listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAv_Bxrkwkk

Lisbeth Calandrino has been coaching business owners and salespeople for over 20 years. For more info. on Lisbeth, check out her web site, lisbethcalandrino.com, or email her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

#Denzelwashington

 

 

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By |2019-03-04T21:28:52+00:00March 4th, 2019|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

Why I Hate Flip Phones

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Teenagers on flip phones.

I just don’t get it. Why would anyone want to use a flip phone?

Maybe I’m spoiled; instant gratification is what I want. I don’t want to do the thing where I leave you a message and then you call me back and I’m in the shower. Then I call you back and your voice mail is full. It all makes me crazy.

Okay billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he’s not giving up his flip phone—at least not yet. The flip phone people are probably the same ones who don’t text. Do you remember texting on your flip phone? You needed 4 hands to do it! I’ve read there are lots of people who like the flip phones, It does slow you down and gives you lots of control about what comes and goes from your phone. Yes, you are in control. You are in control. Wow, I feel like I’m being controlled on some level; maybe I am.

“The flip phone is the new protest statement,” declared one article that recently appeared in several newspapers including The Seattle Times. “I don’t need that phone. I have everything I need without it,” wrote Katie Reid for The Baltimore Sun.  Kim Kardashian was spotted with a flip phone, now it’s cool! Maybe I’m just out!

I remember reading about Thomas Edison and what happened when he finally perfected the light bulb. He went to several companies to try and sell the bulbs and most companies said they weren’t interested! In order to get the bulb used, he had to give it away.

Is it that people didn’t think it was useful to see in the dark? Maybe they were right, work stopped at night because you couldn’t see. Possibly they knew if they could see in the dark, they would have a longer work day? Or was there some fear of seeing? Is it that when you removed your clothes in the dark you were less likely to be judged?

I feel like people with flip phones are the same type of people. They make excuses that smart phones are too much work, and too complicated. Somehow they don’t see the smartphone is just that; it’s smart and makes many things easier. (Plus you are connected to the internet and all that wonderful information.)

Actually I believe it’s about change. We think change is difficult. I believe change is annoying, not really difficult.

Change means we have to think and thinking requires work. Ask yourself, how much time do you actually spend thinking? My downstairs neighbor says she likes things the way they are and she doesn’t want anything to change. So she spends her time working on keeping everything the same. She rarely goes out to do anything except buy groceries, have her nails done and go to work. In the meantime, I am looking for something new to do.

Change also requires decision making. Some people aren’t good at making decisions so they just don’t bother. If you have to make a decision, it’s likely you will run into a conflict. Nobody likes conflicts.

Are these the same people who see others climbing dangerous mountains and say why are they doing this? Or am I making too much of this? I tried to coordinate the delivery of a television to a man who only used text and one who only used his phone. To me it was a nightmare.

Possibly I should ask what kind of phone a person has before I decide to get too serious.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a regular contributor to the Albany Times Union. Need help improving your business? Check out Lisbeth’s web site, www.lisbethcalandrino.com. or reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

#flipphones #Warrenbuffetflipphone #Seattletimes, #Thomasedison #Lisbethcalandrino.com #redhotcustomerservice

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By |2018-12-02T19:21:49+00:00December 2nd, 2018|beliefs, Blog, Change, Economy|0 Comments

Violence has become a Disruptive Trend for Your Consumer

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For several years, I have done work for a talent agency that provides live event, trade show staffing, field marketing & more. These live events are usually in large box stores where I get to demonstrate various products—the real reason I do these events are because I get to talk with customers and employees and get paid.

This past Sunday I worked demonstrating cell phone plans. I would say 4 out of 10 customers were looking for cell phones for their 5 and six year olds. When I asked why, I was told it was a way to keep in touch with their child in case something happened in their school. When I went to school it was a place to get away from your parents and hang out with friends; now it’s considered unsafe.  Consumers don’t often share their real concerns with salespeople, but these concerns come straight from the heart. This is a rare glimpse into what is foremost on the consumers’ mind, and it comes straight from their heart. Usually, what is motivating a buying consumer is not so obvious; it reminds me of what happened after 9/11.  While the Flagg Code may not be enforceable by law, many citizens think wearing the stars and stripes is offensive. After 9/11 companies couldn’t make enough flags; flags were everywhere and clothing with flags and flag designs was all over. It was one way to show our patriotism.

Young children getting cell phones.

It would appear that as a nation, many people are being motivated by fear. They are fearful for themselves and their kids. I must admit I would be fearful if I were sending children every day to school. I would speculate that this fear translates into other areas where kids congregate. Does this also carry over to movie theaters, churches and retail stores?

Are we as a nation motivated by fear? I took a self-defense course and am more cautious in place where there are lots of people.

Whenever possible, explain to your customers what you are doing to secure their safety.

  1. I suggest you focus on services that make consumers feel safe. If you are delivering a service to a consumer’s home, your delivery people should have several items of identification, i.e. a uniform and a picture id. In addition, warrantees on your products that protect the customer and provide repair services.
  2. Is your parking lot clear of trees and other obstructions? Is it clearly lit with security cameras? You might consider having your employees walking your customers to their cars.
  3. 24-hour security cameras aren’t let expensive and should be around the perimeter of your building and in your warehouse. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 11 percent of property crimes occur in parking lots or garages, and over 7 percent of violent crimes occur there.
  4. Chip card security is the latest standard in credit card security. This standard (called EMV®,) includes a small microchip in the credit card that protects buyers against fraudulent transactions. These cards are really hard to clone. Chip readers have been used in Europe for 10 years.
  5. My friend handles networking for a large community agency. He does training weekly and tells everyone to never download certain messages. Once a month he sends out a ‘trial balloon’,’ and he says at least ¼ of the employees download it! He has them change passwords monthly. I have a company that I do business with that has you change your account password every six months even if you don’t use the site! What a pain that is.
  6. Take steps to protect their customers’ credit card numbers, addresses, and other sensitive details at your web site. You may want to develop your own security package in addition to one that you purchase.

This is a time of uncertainty, do whatever it takes to make your customers feel secure.

Need strategic planning for your business? Reach Lisbeth at 518-495-5380 or email her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

#violenceandchildren, #violenceandguns, #societyscared,#disruptivetrends

 

 

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By |2018-03-08T22:09:56+00:00March 8th, 2018|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

How’s Your Emotional Intelligence?

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Thank you Talent Smart for image.

Thank you Talent Smart for image.

In 1996 Daniel Goleman stunned the world in 1996 by popularizing Emotional Intelligence or EQ. or EI.  Basically it means being able to identify and manage your own emotions.  It’s been said the ability to understand and manage your own emotions is the real key to success. emotions. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are driven by our emotions.

Want to know about your emotional intelligence? Click this free link to test your emotional intelligence.

Here’s the link to lifehack.org for a few reminders of how to improve our emotional intelligence.

Enjoy. Lisbeth

 

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00June 17th, 2016|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

What’s Your Brain Like?

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Thank you Gobblynne for the illustration.

Thank you Gobblynne for the illustration.

I love this article about how our brains work. This is from Nature Neuroscience.

CONNECT THE DOTS

 

Your skills and experiences leave their mark on your brain.

Researchers analyzed brain MRIs and personal information on 461 people. They found 200 brain regions associated with classically ‘positive” traits, such as strong memory, large vocabulary, high income and education. In the MRIs of people who had the positive traits, many of those brain regions activated simultaneously, suggesting strong connections between the varied regions.

 

The people who ranked high in negative traits–anger, rule-breaking, substance abuse, poor sleep quality–didn’t have these connections. But that doesn’t mean brains are hard-wired, the researchers say. Brains change. For example, improving skills like vocabulary can strengthen connections between related brain regions. Are you looking to change the wiring of your brain? Would you like to be happier?

Bethany Gonyea, the Founder and Director of NUMINOUS, sponsor for the Albany Peace Project has been working on such a study.   Research has amply demonstrated that both long-term and short-term meditators create brains that are hard wired for positive emotions.In 1960, Dr. Herbert Benson of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Benson also found that meditation was helpful in stopping or slowing obsessive thinking, anxiety, depression,  and hostility.  Since that time, there have been other studies to substantiate his findings.

Luckily in Albany, New York, we have the Albany Peace Project. For more information on Happiness and Meditation, check out this link. Even if you don’t live in Albany, New York, you can take part in their meditation programs.

Lisbeth considers herself a ‘Connector.’ Helping businesses find ways to connect to their customers and build profitable relationships. Reach her at 518.495.5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00April 15th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Your Brain|0 Comments

The Customers Aren’t the Only Ones That Have Changed

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CUSTOMERSI keep hearing the customer has changed how we cope with them. Think about it, we’re talking about ourselves.  It’s been a slow transition, so slow that we really haven’t noticed. We are so stressed out thinking about what we have to learn about our customers, we forget how we’ve changed.  If you examine your path , you won’t be so stressed  about the customers.

Let’s start with your phone. What type of phone are you using? When did you finally give up your ‘flip phone?’ Several of my friends still have a flip phone and are adamant about not changing. It makes me think, am I that stubborn? It’s hard to give up something we’re used to; if you’re still using your flip phone, you might examine what you’re missing.

Do you prefer texting to talking on the phone? I find it less intrusive, and I can reply quickly. The same people with the flip phones think that texting is ‘impersonal.’ Texting gives an additional way to get in touch, and it’s often easier. Have you asked your customers what they prefer? Let’s not assume we know, let’s ask them. If they prefer a phone call, honor it. Again, it’s not because they’re old they don’t want to give up what makes them comfortable.

Do you still have a fax machine or do you scan and email?  I had to return a document to a national company, and they asked me to fax it. I told them I got rid of my fax machine three years ago and scanning is easier. They were insistent I fax. They didn’t have a reason other than the fact: “That’s how we do it.” Are you still telling customers ‘that’s how we do it?’ Is it time for you to move forward and  make some changes?

Are people asking why you’re texting the person next to you? Often texting to someone during a meeting is a smart thing to do. It’s better than interrupting the speaker and what you have to say is essential. Isn’t it great that you can actually communicate without interrupting the rest of the world?

Are you still using the same-old  lines, can I help you? Today it’s more appropriate to ask the customer what they’ve seen online that they like. It’s a short cut to understanding how they shop. My experience is that salespeople still ask how they can help you when we know the whole world is online before going into a brick and mortar store. Help the customer cut their shopping time in half, find out what they already know.

communicationCommunication is the key to all of our transactions; nothing has changed. What has change is technology and how it is impacting our world?  The more you learn about technology the less stressed you will be.

For more on how technology is impacting all of us.

Lisbeth has been helping customers build sales and marketing strategies for over 20 years. Understanding and using today’s technology is one of the keys to success.

 

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:48+00:00March 20th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Change, Reaching the Consumer, Success|0 Comments

Why Dropping Your Price Can Give You More Than You Bargained For

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cost-cutDropping prices doesn’t benefit anyone; nope not even the customer.

If you’ve been in sales for any length of time, you may have said, “If I don’t drop the price, I won’t get the sale.” I’ve probably said it myself; that was before I realized what I was doing. I kept telling myself that getting the sale was more important than getting my price. What I was doing was killing my confidence. Whenever someone asked me to drop a price, I wondered if they had spoken to my last customer. I also thought will I have to go lower to get this sale? I was on my downward spiral.  I watched my sales people struggle with the same problem; how low should we go?

Inexperienced sales people will tell me they’re trying to show the customer they have fair prices. You don’t need low prices to show the customer you know what you’re doing. If you continue to do this, you collect ‘price conscious’ customers who will never pay a higher price.

Dropping a price is like telling a lie. You have to start telling more lies to cover up the other ones. Have you ever had an incident when a customer returned weeks later and you couldn’t remember the price you gave them? Telling lies can erode your confidence.

Cutting costs can put you out of business. Why would you want to do that?

According to Lawrence Steinmetz, in his classic book, How to Sell at Prices Higher than Your Competition, says the following: 

“Most Sales reps who are most successful DON’T MESS WITH PRICE-BUYERSThere are times when you just don’t sell.” This is an old book but everything in it is right on!

Besides, my experience tells me that  dropping the price doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get the sale.Sometimes you’re being tested by the customer. Unless you’re really good at “the drop,” the customer often leaves and takes your lower price to your competition. I remember when I bought my appliances for my house 20 years ago. Those were the days with ‘price matching.’ I shopped until I dropped and finally said to one retailer, give me your lowest price so we don’t have to do this forever!

Let’s go back to why the customer doesn’t win either. If they pay less than your original ‘asking price,’ they wonder why the price was so high to begin with. Wasn’t the original price real? So now the price/value equation is lost. 

If sales are your profession, you have to protect its integrity as well as your own.  Great salespeople get pleasure out of servicing their customers, helping to solve problems and getting the best out of their situation. Price or investment is the byproduct of the solution and should not be the focus. Stores like the Dollar Store are definitely price focused.  However, when I’m in the store, I always look for brand names that are discounted. Then I feel like I get my dollars’ worth.

Consider that the customer is also trying to get their dollars’ worth. They want to know that their purchase is worth more than the price they paid. This is where you come in. It’s your job to explain to the customer that your product, and your brand are worth the price. You do this by focusing on the problem and defining it so when you come up with the solution, the price seems more than fair.

Successful salespeople rely on value rather than price to cement the sale. The customer has to decide that your product will do the job; until that is established, price never matters. If the product doesn’t work, why would anyone buy it?

Unless you’re the Dollar Store, price cutting will eventually lead you out of business. Isn’t that the first things businesses do when they’re going out of business?

Lisbeth Calandrino has been teaching  salespeople  the “price/value” equation for the past twenty years and how to sell at profitable prices. Lisbeth spent 14 years with 7 “liquidator furniture and carpet stores” in the Northeast. She has spent her life negotiating price. To have teach pricing strategies to your employees, reach her at 518.495.5380, EST or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Check out her website, lisbethcalandrino.com.

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By |2017-09-22T12:32:31+00:00March 9th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Selling on price|0 Comments

How Much Pain do we You Have to Endure To Change?

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Change 2The question is how much pain do we have to endure to change a behavior? Even if the behavior is really destructive we have trouble changing.

My friend was given a gorgeous, glass dining room set ; it’s quite large with six chairs. It is actually too big for her kitchen but it was free. It is so large, that every time she has to get to the refrigerator; she hits her back end on the corner of the glass table. She actually has several large bruises from the dining room table. Why wouldn’t she want to lose that weight?

So what makes people change?As Wayne Dyer says, “Your reality is shaped by your thoughts.

Let me give you the rest of the story. My friend is my height, 4’11” and weighs 155 pounds. Twenty years ago, she weighed 110, like me. The doctor told her that she was ‘obese,’ and  said it was paramount that she lose weight. My friend continues to complain about why she can’t lose weight, but that’s another story.

Why don’t we change when it’s obviously in our best interest?

I know when I don’t go to the gym I feel lousy. Lousy because I say that physical fitness is the cornerstone of my life and I’m violating my standards. Regular exercise is how I live my life.

I also think about my health and the long term effects of not exercising. The other day someone said, “Have a piece of pizza.” To which I replied, “It’s not on my menu.” To this they replied, “It’s only one time, you don’t do it every day.”

Think about having  one donut a week for 52 weeks. The predictability of that outcome for my cholesterol is easy to predict. They say that 90% of our problems were predictable 2 years before, we just ignore the signs.

If you’re not changing, and want to,  you might look at the source of the pressure. Is it someone else telling you it would be a good idea if you changed?  Is your doctor telling you to lose weight.  Obviously health is not really a priority for her even though she works in the health field. She obviously, like so many of us, doesn’t think about the  the outcome of long term obesity. Is it better to have  diabetes and high blood pressure?

If change is on your horizon, but you can’t seem to get there, examine your motives and have a serious talk talk with yourself. Ask yourself, is your change part of your values or  someone else’s?

If the values don’t belong to you, that’s why you’re not changing. If you still want to change,  you have lots of work to do.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses institute change for over 20 years. If there’s something you would like to change  in your business or personal life, contact Lisbeth for a heart-to-heart chat.

Thanks to Glen Llopis for the photo on change.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:49+00:00February 11th, 2016|beliefs, Blog, Change, Motivation|2 Comments

Do Things From the Past Hold us From Moving Forward?

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favoriteTwo days ago, I realized I had lost my favorite watch. The watch was sent to me from a friend after my best loved cousin passed away. I loved the watch; it was very expensive and she only wore it when we went to the theater or out to eat. I commented that it was so beautiful she should wear it more often. She laughed and said she sometimes forgot about it. I was amazed when I received it; until its loss, I considered it my very lucky charm.  I retraced my steps, turned the house upside down, and it hasn’t appeared. There was no reason why it should have fallen off; it had a special safety bracelet.

For one day, I could barely function. It was embarrassing how lost I felt without the watch. I keep feeling my arm for my watch. I was out of sorts without my good-luck piece. I started thinking about what it meant.

It was a link to the past. It was a past filled with laughter, good times and some mystery. Part of the mystery was her unwillingness to go through chemotherapy to stop her leukemia.  She had cancer ten years earlier, and came through it with flying colors. She used to tell me it was a breeze. When she finished her treatment, she coached me through my cancer which started the day after she finished her treatment! Believe me, it was an awful winter. We were planning a trip to Italy and more good times in her town of Boston. By the way, we had not seen each other for over twenty years until she tracked me down at a seminar I was doing in Maine one year! We never knew why our families stopped talking, but they had. We vowed it would never happen again, and we began a very close friendship for almost eight years.

 

The eight years were filled with more fun than ever had when we were kids. She was a  couple of years older and, I thought, wiser than me.

The closer we got, the more I noticed how frightened she was. The nurse who ran eight operating rooms at Mass. General was willing to die than go through a bone marrow transplant. The one who told me not to worry about anything was undoubtedly worrying. I was there when the doctor told her if she didn’t continue treatment, she would be dead in a week. I heard her say, “I don’t care!” What had I missed?

I loved the watch but more than that I loved Rosalie. She was the grown-up sister I never had; the one who didn’t compare me to anyone else in my family. She was the one who loved me unconditionally. She approved of my finance and actually adored him; we spent many wonderful times together.

I tell myself; it’s just a watch. I really can’t afford to replace it because of the cost, and it wasn’t insured. I’m hoping someone found it, and they are wearing it. My arm feels so empty, but maybe it’s really my heart. I know Rosalie is gone but there was still a piece of her with me. The watch was the piece I really valued because I know how much it meant to her. How many other things am I  holding that really don’t matter?

She is in my heart; more than ever. Her love and good wishes for me are very much alive.  (She thought I was amazing and I felt the same way about her!) Our families came from very humble beginnings, there were Italian immigrants. We both spent our summers on the farm helping with chores. We both hoped to move on in our lives. I was the first to attend college in my family; she was the second in hers. We both knew we didn’t have much money but our families worked hard and assured us we would get through college.

I want the watch back, but more than that, I want Rosalie back. I’m mad that she made the decision to go away and leave me on my own. I am happy to have spent so much time with her and her most prized possession.  The watch was just a symbol of my connection to my cousin; I know she is still in my heart.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:49+00:00December 12th, 2015|beliefs, Blog|0 Comments

5 Reasons why it Matters that you Accept Where you are in Life

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It's hard to like someone you don't desire. -Laura Marling.

It’s hard to like someone you don’t desire. -Laura Marling.

I spent a couple of days with my friends in Long Island. There were lots of conversations about what others were doing and how our lives could be better. There was one common theme that kept repeating itself. There are many people whose lives are better because of what they have.)

So does money make us happy? The consensus was that money makes life easier which lessens the stress. Ultimately you will be happier. It seems simple doesn’t it?

To go along with this is the “I wish I had, why didn’t I and I should have” statements?

Today I had lunch with another friend, here’s what we decided.

“We are where we are because of the choices we’ve made in life.” Yes there are a few missed opportunities but basically we’ve made our own lives. We all have food, a place to live, a car to drive and mostly good health.  The bit problem seems to be accepting where we are. Here’s why it’s important.

  1. You don’t give yourself credit for what you’ve done. Miracles haven’t made your life what it so give yourself a pat on the back for what you’ve done.
  2. You can’t change the choices you’ve made. It is an excellent idea to review your choices and decide which ones were good and which ones weren’t so hot.
  3. You can’t grow or get better unless you accept who you are. We are only as smart as we give ourselves credit for. Why is it? We focus on things we haven’t done?
  4. You can’t “pretend” your way through life, although many do. My friend is finishing college and is telling me how much she is going to make. With all due respect, her two-year degree is not that demanding, and I know she’s into a rude awakening. Better to deal with “what is” rather than “what you would like it to be.”
  5. Work as hard as you can with what you have. Learn things daily, read, and find ways to get smarter. While coming from the gym I asked one of my “gym” friends, how he was feeling. He said he was annoyed that he wasn’t feeling better. I actually joined in with that I was also annoyed. Another friend chimed in with, “Hey we’re every working out; that’s better than most people our age!”

Accepting who you gives  you the ability to live with yourself. There are so many people who beat themselves up daily, as well as others who love them, for not being more. We can only be what we are at this moment. If we want the next moments to be unusual, we will have to make different choices. Some of these choices are difficult because we don’t know what they will bring.

Nothing new has every changed by doing the same thing over again. Einstein called doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results was a form of insanity.

None of us want to think of ourselves as insane.

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By |2017-03-03T12:06:51+00:00October 11th, 2015|beliefs, Blog, The Millenniums|0 Comments