Tag Archives: success

Please and Thank You, No!

The first lessons of good manners, and other than “Mommy” and “Daddy,” often the first words we teach our children, are “Please” and “Thank You.”  We teach them to ask nicely with a, “Please,” and to always say, “Thank you” when someone has done something kind or given them something.  The word, “No” is often the first word they remember us saying to them, repeatedly and usually with some conviction, which is why they seem all to eager to repeat it back to us, seldom to our amusement.

Hearing our children calling us “Mommy” or “Daddy” gives us parents great pride, and their following that up with an “I love you,” can bring joyful tears.  At some stage, the good manners of “Please” and “Thank you” can seem strangers while having fun with their friends, thankfully becoming reacquainted as they grow up.  What else have you noticed about the words, “Please” and “Thank you” and “No?”

Were you ever so displeased with your child saying, “No,” that you may have said something like, “Don’t you tell me no?”  The message that may send children is that they have no power and should never say “No” to an adult.  There are other interpretations, but they do learn at a very early age that “No” is not a word that they may regularly use.  Though we may not want our children to tell us that they will not clean their rooms, we do want them to know that in some cases it is perfectly appropriate for them to say, “No,” which may make it more confusing for them.

“No” is one of the most powerful words anyone can ever say.  As an adult, are you reticent to saying, “No” when asked to do that next project at work or a favor for a friend?  Might that be the result of what you learned as a child?  Were you always trying to please your parents (or to not displease them)?  Has that carried into adulthood where you find yourself wanting to be “nice” and to please others, even to your detriment?

SuccessWhat if the next time someone asks you to do something, you pause and give careful consideration to what is really best for you, and if you decide that you really don’t want to or don’t have the time, tell that someone, “No.”  Now, imagine how wonderful it feels because you haven’t added that “one more thing” to your already busy life and you can actually breathe and do something just for you!  Sometimes, our greatest successes come from our saying, “No,” because it frees us to do that which is most important for our joy and wellbeing.  How cool is that?

What if You Knew What You Didn’t Know?

You may read the title of this post and wonder what in the world I mean, and that would make for a well thought out headline.  After all, the purpose of a well-written headline is to get the reader to read what’s below.  But what if there was really much more to it than that?

We go through our busy lives, often on cruise control or autopilot, and at the end of the day or the end of the week, we may not remember much of what happened and little about what really mattered.  Has that ever happened to you?  What if we could change that without effort, by simply deciding to do so?  What if, as soon as the day following reading this post, or even immediately, from the very next moment, you lived your life more consciously, more aware, and more grateful? Would that make a difference?

How many times in your life have you looked back and wondered, “What if…..?”  Usually when we do that, we are feeling a bit sad or guilty or somehow regretful, which is not healthy or helpful going forward.  I’m not saying it isn’t good to determine what we can do better or differently, but I am saying that feeling guilty or regretful simply keeps us stuck in the past rather than helping us move forward.  So what happens when you don’t know what to do better or differently or how to reach your goals or to be happier?

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What would you do if you did know?  What would you do if you did know how to be happier, how to reach your next goal?  You see, I believe that you actually do know, because you have an innate ability to tap into the many resources in and around you, and the only thing that holds you back is the fear of not knowing, or of making a mistake, or perhaps as or more likely, the fear of getting exactly what it is you want, i.e., the fear of success.

So the next time you are thinking about how you can change your life and your internal voice keeps saying you don’t know what to do, ask yourself, “What would I do if I did know?”  I can just see you now, getting a smile on your face as the answer hits you and you immediately begin to put the answer into action.  And then the ball just starts rolling, and rolling….  How cool is that?

What Defines You?

I recently posted a comment on Twitter and Facebook about how your past need not define who you are. Quite clearly, things we experience in our past influence us and how we behave in the future, but if we allow our past to define us, then we are acting as “victim” rather than being in charge of and taking responsibility for our lives.I know someone who experienced many difficult things in his life (emotional and verbal abuse, dyslexia, traumatic physical experiences, and more) and yet he has overcome them in such a convincing way that people who know him now are shocked when they learn of his past experiences. Most of us have experienced difficulty in our lives, and those who are successful use those experiences as lessons, not as excuses.

No matter what has come your way, you can decide, in this instant, that you are going to live the life you want to live. You can decide that you can and will live a joyful life filled with love. You can decide that you deserve to have the perfect relationship and settle for nothing but that. You can decide that no matter what anyone has said or done to you in the past, that you are a good person and that you will only allow good and love and positive people in your life, now and always. As Helene Rothschild wrote, “The Truth Is, No matter what anyone says or does, You are Okay, Worthy, Loveable, Attractive, Important, Intelligent, and Good Enough. You are a good person, and You deserve to be Happy, Healthy, and Successful.”

Sean Stephenson talks about “getting of your but.” What he means is that rather than using past experiences or even your current situation as an excuse, decide to live the life you want to live. If you know his story, you realize that he made such a decision (with the help of his mother) at a time when it would have been much easier to have felt sorry for himself.  Because he made the decision that he did, he has empowered countless others to do the same. He is an inspiration like few in the world can be.

If you aren’t sure how to proceed, look up Sean’s story,  submit a comment, or write me. I’ll be happy to guide you and teach you so that you can carry on, empowered to live the life you deserve. How cool is that?

 Karl
karl (at) talktokarl (dot) com

Controlling the Flow of Life

This title may seem oxymoronic, and perhaps it is, but it might also provoke the question, “Do we, or can we control the flow of life?” Or we might ask, “Do we want to control the flow of life?” And then, if we can and do, “Is there a flow of life?”

I don’t intend for this to be a, “If you put your foot in a stream, is it the same stream” kind of blog post, but I was thinking about how I have gotten fairly adept at allowing things that happen to just be what they are – to not be upset by them and to learn the lesson they were there to teach me. I have gotten good at not taking things personally, generally, which is a wonderful lesson for all of us to learn. Most importantly, I have learned to be okay with not having to be “in control” of everything that happens. This is especially useful since we are not in control of everything. At the same time, it is important to recognize that about which we do have control. One of my favorite quotes is the Serenity Prayer, “God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr) If you have been here before, you know that this quote has guided me for years, and it continues to be one of the most influential in my life.

In terms of the “Flow of Life,” I believe it is important for us to learn how to simply, “Be” in that flow. When we spend time in the past, we are unable to move forward. If we spend too much time in the future, we miss out on all the wonder that is happening in our lives, right now. We do want to be clear about what our dreams and goals are, but the “what-if” game can be harmful when it is based on worry and fear. Think of FEAR as an acronym meaning, “False Evidence Appearing Real” and worrying as, “praying for something you don’t want.” How helpful are either to creating the life that you want?

So, if we don’t have control over everything that happens and we are well served by going along with the flow, what do we have control over? We have control over our actions, our beliefs, and our responses to things that happen “to us.” You have likely heard the expression, “It isn’t what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us that defines our success.” What if everything that happened in your life was there to teach you something of value, something for your benefit? What if you knew that no matter how awful something seemed at the time, the result was going to be great? I believe that when we see our lives as splendid, magical adventures that teach us how to be joyful and loving, our lives will prove us to be right. How cool is that?

All the best,

Karl
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