Resolutions to Habits

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Do you want 2017 to be your best year? Of course.  But, what can you do differently? Begin by answering the following questions:

How do you feel about yourself? If you don’t feel good about yourself, figure out why. What is missing? Take responsibility – nobody can make you happy, it is futile to look elsewhere to find happiness. There is something that can be done and there is something that you can do to address your emptiness. Take charge.

What are you giving? Think of those people whom you love to be around. What do they do to make you feel that way? Chances are they are enthusiastic, happy, encouragers who take the time to demonstrate that they care about you. You can do the same for someone else. You can be an enthusiastic encourager. It is almost impossible to feel bad about yourself when you are helping others feel good about themselves.

Who are you hanging out with? You respond to life similar to those you spend the most time with. That could be a blessing or a curse. If you want to be negative and cynical, hang with negative and cynical people. If you want to be a positive problem solver, hang with positive problem solving people. It is pretty simple. You will be a reflection of those you chose to be around.

How do you handle conflict? Conflicts happen in every relationship – can you ask for forgiveness? Can you forgive and let it go? Forgiveness is the “oil” of relationships … don’t let a disagreement destroy your life.

Don’t brood over mistakes, carry grudges or harbor hate. Take charge of how you feel about yourself. Encourage others. Hang with positive people. Settle conflicts quickly. You can make 2017 the best year of your life!

Recommended reading Monday Morning Choices. Available at CornerStoneLeadership.com or everywhere books are sold.

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New year … new choices

41pu12ehpcl-_sx327_bo1204203200_It is almost 2017, now what?

Isn’t it fun to open a new calendar? I am old school and enjoy touching the pages of a clean calendar where all the pages are unmarked and ready to be filled up.

Most people have great intentions to do something different when a new year rolls around but looking back at the end of the year not much changed. Their intentions did not turn into improvements. Maybe it is time to quit intending and start doing.  2017 can be the year for you to achieve more than you could even imagine.

Here are three suggestions that may help you have the best year of your life:

1. Start off by learning more … it can change your life. It changed my life when I became obsessed with personal development over thirty years ago. I discovered first hand that the more I learned the more I earned.  You can make the same discovery. Read a book a month and you can change your life. Try it. And, place on your nightstand an inspirational quote book that will stimulate a positive thought before you roll in and out of bed. Starting and ending your day with a positive thought can make a difference.

2. Your choices determine your destiny. You can choose to blame, rationalize, retaliate… or not. Other people and their opinions do not determine your future. The ball is always in your court. No matter the situation, something can always be done to improve it and there is always something that you can choose to do. Better choices will create a better year.

3. Make 2017 your year of encouragement. One of the greatest gifts you can give is encouragement. There is an abundance of discouragers around – we need more encouragers! You will find that encouraging others will inspire you.

Choose to learn more, make better choices, encourage others and make 2017 the year that your New Year intentions become your actions.

Get ready to enter the best year of your life!

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Don’t Blink

Don’t Blink

A popular song by Kenny Chesney is titled Don’t Blink.   He sings, “Just like that you’re six years old and you take a nap and you wake up and your twenty-five … so don’t blink.”

I can relate to that. I look around and see my kids are the age that I think I should be. My grandchildren are the age that, in my mind, my children should be. What happened? Was I blinking all along and missed everyone growing up – including me? I was immersed in my children’s activities all of their lives. Looking back though it seems that they grew up in the blink of an eye.

During this Thanksgiving week, don’t blink for a while. Open your eyes … wide open. Don’t blink and go share with the people at work how thankful you are for your job. Don’t blink and tell every member of your family how much they mean to you. Don’t blink and admire the beauty of God’s creation. Don’t blink and give thanks that we are free to live in the greatest country in the world.

As Chesney says, “Take every breath God gives you for what it’s worth … now, don’t blink.”

Happy Thanksgiving week!

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Fear

 

One of the most frequently used expressions during the election season was FEAR.  Isn’t it ironic, maybe even fearful, that regardless of who would win the election in the greatest nation in the world that citizens would be full of fear?

 

Fear is a natural reaction to an unknown and I believe that the environment in which we choose to live creates a “known” that is not entirely true.

 

Most people choose a one-channel media source – conservatives tend to believe everything they hear on a conservative network and liberals tend to believe everything they hear on a liberal network.  Even more concerning is that many people’s primary source of news is from comedians and social media. Those opinions may get laughs and likes but are not legimate news outlets. People chose to listen to what they want to hear, socialize with people who believe what they believe, and worship with those who agree on the same social issues.  That is not necessarily bad, but it creates an insulated personal world where reality is not nearly as bad or as great as it is portrayed on whichever side you believe.

 

The antidote to fear is knowledge.  Check your sources or as Reagan said, “trust but verify.”   Some things are worthy of fear but I believe that most of our fears are based more on assumptions and off based opinions than factual information.

 

Together we can make America greater by dealing with reality, not the reality of fear mongers. Our nation is not going to move backwards to oppression. We are not going to lose our amendment rights. We are not going to arrest and haul off law abiding citizens. We are not going to punish our citizens who work hard.

 

America can become greater by creating more jobs. We can be greater at valuing lives of all colors – even the lives of unborn babies.  We can do better by living in a country of law and order. We can make our inner cities safer.  We can protect ourselves from radical terrorists.

 

Don’t you think we can do better?

 

Regardless who would have won this election, our nation would continue to move on.  We have issues to solve and wounds to heal. We will have plenty of other issues and wounds to heal after the next election and the next and the next.

 

In the meantime, there is no good reason for students to be skipping school, celebrities threating to move out of our country, or gangs vandalizing in protest. That does more harm than good.

 

I love the United States of America, even with our quirks.  Please join me in praying for our leaders and let’s all do our best to make America even greater.

 

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Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer. I remember the first time I saw him play. In the 1977 Houston Open I was following my hero. In a crowd of hundreds of people, I would have sworn he made eye contact with me on every hole. He had that kind of charisma.

Sometime today mix up an “Arnold Palmer” and toast a man who knew how to win with class. Cheers!TwoRuleOfLeadership

Hate Mondays? Some tips on beating the blues…

Become a Monday lover. Yep, you. “If you’re an energetic and ready-to-go Monday person,” David Cottrell said, “the people around you will become one, too.”

This is just one of the tips you can find in Gail Rosenblum’s recent article in the Star Tribune regarding Monday Morning Blues. I enjoyed the interview and wanted to share the full article with you:

http://www.startribune.com/rosenblum-hate-mondays-some-tips-on-beating-the-blues/392810431/

Achieve Extraordinary Leadership Results with Class

Leadership is demanding. If you want to lead a great team, you have to be great. If you want great, long-term leadership success you have to win with great class.

The good news is that the rewards for being a great, rather than average, leader are heavily skewed. People want to work for the best, buy from the best, and deal with the best in almost every situation in our society. The rewards for being a great leader are enormous. People flock to winners.

What you do with your life will be your legacy. No one requires you to win with class. It is something you do to help someone along the way, to support your colleagues, your friends, and those whom you may not know. It is a gift that comes without a price tag. Your legacy is priceless.

In some cases, you may never know how much you impact the success of others.
Not too long ago, while touring Boston, I passed a cemetery where Ephraim Wales Bull was buried. I had never heard of Ephraim Wales Bull, but the tour guide said he was the person who created Concord grapes. However, he never profited from the grapes because he died before they were marketed in jellies and jams.

The reason I share the story of Ephraim Wales Bull is because the epitaph on his gravestone reads, “He Sowed, Others Reaped.” I think that should be our mission as leaders—to keep sowing and allow others to reap. That is what leadership is all about.

If you want to achieve extraordinary results with class, read and apply The First Two Rules of Leadership: Don’t be Stupid. Don’t Be a Jerk.  It will help improve morale, decrease turnover, increase everyone’s job satisfaction, and you will have a whole lot more fun leading.

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