Is it Possible We Think Too Much?

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Is thinking good?A friend of mine said that I thought a lot. I didn’t ask what he meant I just thought everyone did. Maybe they don’t .

Could it be that most people don’t think?  Spending time thinking is one of the great past times of life, isn’t it?

I had a therapist who once said you can’t get chocolate milk from a turnip field. Now, she was talking about relationships — but the rest of life is like that too.

Think about business; it doesn’t happen from your living room or your showroom. It comes from you thinking about it and then making it happen. Wondering how everyone is getting business won’t help you unless you go talk to them and find out what they know that you don’t. Relationships don’t happen in your living room either.

Thinking everyone knows more than you won’t help either.  Don’t you remember friends from your school who were smarter than you and didn’t become much? I have a better story about Jim Deitz; I’ve changed his name to protect him from all of us trying to find him. Remember when they asked you in high school what you wanted to be when you grew up? Well, Jim said he didn’t want to work and wasn’t planning to. That didn’t make him very popular with the girls or the teachers. Well, the short of the long story is he didn’t work, or at least not like the rest of us, and he became a millionaire.  Winning was his plan and he bought lottery tickets every day. It was his plan for 10 years. It looks like he thought about it.

What motivates us? Could it be thinking? Here’s a good blog post from the Harvard Business Review about motivation.

Maybe it’s better you think alone. And sure as heck, don’t discuss your hair-brained schemes with others. What’s hair-brained to one is a fortune to another? When I was breaking up with a boyfriend some time ago he reminded me of my hair-brained schemes; somehow he forgot I was supporting myself with those schemes!  A scheme to one is a plan to another.

Remember Mark Victor Hansen, and Chicken Soup for the Soul? As the rumor goes, his book was turned down 63 times before it was published.  So he went out and asked all those who contributed stories to his book to commit to buying a bunch of books prior to publication. By the time he was done, he had enough prior sales that he was into his second publication! What publisher wouldn’t want that deal?

I took a class on book publishing and the first thing the instructor said was, if you have a following it doesn’t matter how bad the book is — they’ll buy it because it’s yours.

Don’t ask what other people think, who cares what they think? Could it be we spend too much time worrying about what other people think and not enough about what we think? As they say in North Dakota, and recently in Alaska, “you betcha.”

Excuse me while I go back and think some more. I’m not sure about what but I’m sure I’ll find something.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service and sales training. Need a speaker? She can be reached at Lis is also the co-author of CONTAGIOUS OPTIMISM!  Learn more at (publisher: Viva Editions).  


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By |2017-03-03T12:07:06-04:00June 1st, 2012|Blog, Motivation|1 Comment

Want it to Work? You Better do it Your Way

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The other night at the Alliance Flooring Convention I was struck with a statement made by  keynote speaker Dale (“the Murph”) Murphy. Dale was a major league baseball player for 18 years.  Dale said there was a time when he was playing so badly that he thought he should quit. It didn’t matter what he did or how much coaching he got, he couldn’t seem to improve. It occurred to him if he quit he knew what would happen; he would never play baseball again. If he stayed, he still had an opportunity, and so he stayed.

I haven’t stopped thinking about his statement; how do we  know when to quit? Quitting is the  end to whatever we’re doing.  In this case  quitting meant the end of the pain and it also meant being out of the game.  According to Murphy,  if success is what you want, quitting is never an option.  So Murphy didn’t quit but another person may have quit even if they wanted  the game.

Why do some people quit and some stay? It appears that it has to do with motivation.

 Some people quit exercising, dieting and their marriages. Others stay around for what’s called “the long haul.” Could it be there are different types of motivation? There are people who listen to motivational speakers, get all reved up and go home and do nothing.  There are others who get reved up and go home and do everything. So what’ the difference?

My research leads me to two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. . Simply, internal and external motivation. People who have extrinsic motivation need rewards from the outside to stay around. Cheering crowds, big pay checks, constant bonuses and the big hurrahs.

Those with intrinsic motivation are  motivated from within. They are motivated by their values and mission and find it difficult to quit.  If you are truly living your passion, quitting is not an option.

I am often asked to come in and motivate the salespeople.  My response is always I really don’t have that kind of magic, what I can do is help people find out what’s important to them. What makes them tick., why they come  to work and  what’s important in their lives–the internal motivation. I tell them everyone has something that shapes their world and gives them a reason to exist. Unfortunately people often find  out what it is and it’s not selling. What do they do–up and quit.

Unfortunately people don’t always have the luxury to do what they want or even have the time to figure it out. Author Henry David Thoreau said it best when he said,  “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go  the  grave with the song still in them.”

In other words, you have to be able to help people find their own values and their own purpose.  The reason people fail or quit is because the payoff isn’t really what they want. The payoff is what someone else thinks is important or what someone else wants. That’s why value’s clarification exercises are valuable to a company.

So how do you motivate yourself?

 You must decide what’s important to you and what you can commit to no matter what the external payoff. 

You must want to be you no matter what.

You must believe what you do is  worth the struggle.. As Frank Sinatra sang,  I Did It My Way.”

How do you motivate salespeople, and why do sales jobs have such high turnover? Sales is usually about extrinsic motivation, the pay off, the dollars. Eventually it doesn’t matter and people get bored and quit or the money isn’t enough. If you’re looking for great salespeople look for those that are motivated by caring and helping customers get the right products. Salespeople that want to do the right thing for the customer and never give up.

By the way,  Murphy finally ended up in the outfield where he became the youngest player in history to win back-to-back MVP awards (1982 and 1983), was named to the National League All-Star team seven times.

Lisbeth Calandrino is a motivational speaker and coach. She can be reached at






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By |2017-03-03T12:07:06-04:00March 15th, 2012|Blog, Motivation|7 Comments