I once heard a great statement from the CEO of the Union of Ontario Indians.Â While speaking to his team about staying committed he said, âIf Iâm not doing my job, please let me know, but donât let it stop you from doing your job.âÂ I will always remember this piece of wisdom, and Iâve shared it with so many audiences since.
People resonate with this because they form teams, agreements, pacts, set goals or create dreams together, but if someone falls out of commitment, sometimes everyone comes to a halt, blames those who quit and remain frustrated failures at what they had committed to.
Iâd say this scenario is a reasonable excuse to quit, give up, or return to the status quo.Â People often donât realize the underlying reasons they have for buying into othersâ lack of commitment, but they are definitely getting something out of it, for example, it’s a good excuse to not put in your best effort because others aren’t.
Twice this week, I chatted with clients whoâve been challenged with the commitment of a team. A community leader spoke of his disappointment in a group that had a great idea and implemented it, but after a few roadblocks, people started wavering on their commitments, and the project fell apart.Â I suggested to the leader that he not quit.Â Others may quit, but that doesnât mean he has to.Â His satisfaction should not be at the mercy of other peopleâs decisions.
Another commitment conversation I had was with a group of First Nation Youths who had been fundraising for a trip to explore the West coast of Canada,Â when some of their adult resources hadn’t honoured a commitment.Â I told the youths that this was the time for them to step up, take the lead, and win that race.
If we let others determine our destiny, we will most often be disappointed.
When helping a team stay committed, you can hold people accountable, but in order to be in the place of doing so, youâve got to be holding up your end of the agreement, too.
Commitment is continuing to do what youâve said youâd do,
long after the feeling you had when you made the commitment has gone.
Commitment is not a feeling.Â It’s a decision!
If youâve been married or in a long-term relationship, you can certainly relate to that definition of commitment.Â Iâve learned that when you fear someone is not remaining committed, you can stay committed regardless.Â I didnât learn it the first time around, but Iâm learning it now.Â My soul knows when I am all in, and I feel steady despite any wavering of others.
The key to staying committed is to not quit.Â Try this statement over and over again.
I commit âŠ I will not quit!
I commit âŠ I will not quit!
I commit âŠ I will not quit!
Your satisfaction depends on you, and no-one else.
p.s.Â As a follow up to the group of First Nations Youth fundraising for a trip to Vancouver, they re-committed yesterday despite the low funds raised, NOT TO QUIT.Â They have a dream, to explore another part of the country and to prove to themselves and their community that anything is possible with commitment.Â If you’d like to read about their progress or help out, check out their CBC news coverage.
Being among family can be more demanding of our emotional capacity than anything else.Â You can choose your friends, but family is chosen for us, and the bond runs deep whether relations are good or not good. Tolerance is an asset.
Be the Gift this year.Â Be tolerant of others.Â Be the one who can mingle in family time without judgment.Â Accept people for who they are, or who they are not.
Be aware of your intolerant thoughtsÂ about people, places or things.Â If thoughts of resentment, jealousy, judgment or self pity back come up, redirect them back toward your own peace as if they are light beams that are yours, and being chosen to keep for their brilliant energy.Â Call it back to you, and convert it to light, bright goodness so that it can be medicine for your own mind, body and spirit.
Other people’s issues aren’t our problem to solve.Â They’ve got their own struggles and we have ours.Â If we were supposed to be dealing with their struggles, it would feel right.Â But it feels off, which is our internal guidance system telling us to focus elsewhere.
This is a very short Holiday greeting, because I know youâre busy and heading into the most intensive seasons of the year.Â A time when youâll be with family, and those that matter most to you, and for some, a time when you can only wish you could be with someone special who isnât there.Â Be Tolerant â and Be Rich in peace, love and joy.
The other day I sat in a circle discussion led by my partner Matt Thorpe, addressing a group of youth at the Atikokan Native Friendship Centre, on the topic ofÂ alcohol and drugs and the road of substance abuse, crime and violence versus the alternative; sobriety and living honestly at the top of your game.
One young fellow mentioned that he had some great experiences including attend a conference of Chiefs, and a private conversation with one of them because he had asked to participate and asked for the private meeting as well.Â We shared about the power of just asking.Â Ask for what you need.Â Ask for what you want.Â Ask for someone to include you in something youâd like to be a part of.Â Keep on asking people for the things you want.
Many people donât ask.Â Instead they assume that all the things theyâd ask for arenât achievable, or attainable, or they’re somehow not worthy.
I wrote a piece of wisdom in my recent book Give and Be Rich, about asking, where A.S.K. is an acronym for Assertiveness, Skills and Knowledge.Â Be assertive to obtain the skills and knowledge that you need.Â People love to give their knowledge.Â People love when you show an interest in what they’re up to.Â Youâll be surprised at the result when youÂ do ask, because the worst answer you could receive back is a NO, which leaves you no further behind where you were when you asked.Â So you have nothing to lose, and lots to gain by asking.
On the way home from that circle discussion, I got pulled over by the OPP.Â I wasnât paying attention to my speed, and I was about to get a ticket.Â So I asked!Â I asked if there would be a possibility that the officer would give me a break because I’m trying to clean up my driving record and lessen my insurance costs.Â Iâm so glad I asked and that the lesson of asking was at the top of my mind, so I am paying it forward.Â Just Ask!
What will YOU ask for?
Perhaps a more personal topic than I usually write, this one is too close to home having just attended the funeral of my partnerâs 31 year old nephew, and knowing the story of alcoholism that took over his better judgment. Iâm struggling with why not to write this, why not help other families, why not change even just one person who reads this.
Army was his name.Â Drinking and drugging became his answer to something.Â It got a hold of him, the cunning, baffling and powerful obsession slowly made the decisions for him that would result in his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends saying good bye to a young man whoâs organs became the victim to an incurable disease â alcoholism.
Now just for a moment, imagine that was your family member.Â Your son, grandson, nephew, brother, cousin or friend.Â Just see the people that you love that you know are users of substance, maybe even yourself, and let that thought really sink into your mind, so you can feel the feeling of loss.
This isnât a judgment of how otherâs spend their time, money, or find answers to their deepest questions or challenges.Â This is a message that there is another way.Â There is a road to recovery.Â There is an honesty that is required, for people to dig deep into, to find out why they do what they do, what the risks are, and how alcoholism affects families.
In my past two years of workplace relationships, resolution and reconciliation services, Iâve heard hundreds of personal stories by people affected by alcohol in their families, stories hidden deep down because alcohol wasnât a topic to mention.Â Painful stories of people unaware of how their drinking or another generations drinking affected them, revealing experiences Â created by the undercurrent that alcoholic families have running, but no-oneâs talking about.Â This has to stop.Â We need to vent.Â We need to speak up and encourage those hurting to speak out about how weâre all affected.
Iâve experienced this personally in my relationships too.Â Iâve been one to party regularly, and luckily managed to escape the powerful grip that substance has on others.Â As I look back, Iâm concerned for our youth.Â What example do we set for them when theyâre little and learning about life?Â Children learn with they live.Â What do they continue to see and experience with other adult influences in their lives outside our control?Â And are we talking with them about it?Â Â Are we living the example that we hope our youth model in their later years?
Iâve always said that whatever the question, love is the answer.Â So many people numb the feeling of not being loved.Â Not being enough, not being seen, not being acknowledged.Â Being abandoned.Â Being abused.Â Being lied to, cheated on.Â The list is long âŠ We need to express our love with words.Â We need to express our challenges with those weâve grown up with using conversation to talk about things, and not hide in the fear of having difficult discussions for our own healing.Â Weâve got to be vulnerable enough to share honest thoughts, feelings and experiences.Â This is the answer that our soul seeks most.Â Alcohol and drugs are a cover up for the real answer. It just so happens that the numbing affect of alcohol and drugs wear off, and in the constant need for more, our bodies and relationships are strained and broken.
This article is dedicated to the life of Armond Jr. Thorpe to carry on his legacy by empowering people to create one conversation at a time, to help heal those who think theyâve found the answer.Â If you need help creating conversations, Iâm willing to help.Â Contact me personally.
I’ve always said that when two people WANT to do business together the details don’t stand in the way.Â Businesses of all sizes rely on relationships with their prospects and existing customers to prosper.Â If you think that you have a good relationship with customers just because you’ve done business in the past, think again.Â The good news is that you can retain and grow your existing customer base with relationship marketing.
What is Relationship Marketing?
According to businessdictionary.com, relationship marketing is “marketing activities that are aimed at developing and managing trusting and long-term relationships with larger customers”, and I’d like to add, smaller customers too.Â I’ve tested relationship marketing out for years, and it’s been my golden ticket.
Here’s an example of no relationship – no future business.Â In the mid 90’s I bought a home.Â I spent hundred’s of thousands of dollars through my agent, and he and I were pretty close during the transaction.Â Three years later it was time to sell, and I couldn’t even remember his name, or brokerage.Â So I called another agent to help me list and sell.Â No relationship, no future business for him.Â Had he stayed in touch, or created a lasting impression, he’s of had my future business, but I couldn’t even remember him.
If you’re a business owner or professional, you want to make sure people remember you in a good way, so that you’ll be the first one they think of when they’re ready to buy again, or they have the opportunity to refer clients to you.
It’s All About Relationships
To help with this concept, I’m hosting a complimentary two hour lunch and learn to demonstrate how to keep costs down and existing customer engagement up.Â You will gain tips to increase referrals by 30% in the next 90 days, and have past customers remember and rave about your service.Â Learn secrets of the top 3% in your industry and strategies to improve and secure profitable relationships for your business.
The session is complimentary but only limited seats are available, the purchase of lunch is required, and you must register at this link.Â Register One or More Guests
- Cecils Eatery & Beer Society – Map Room – 300 Wyld Street North Bay, ON P1B 8K3 CA – View Map
We’re already half full, so register and commit to learning a few tips that will ensure best relationship marketing practices.
Here’s to bigger and better business!
Are you âliving the dreamâ?Â Do you jump out of bed to dive into your awesome day?Â Weâre just one thought away from living at the top of our game.Â The thought of believing you can, believing youâre able, capable and deserving.Â Youâre never to old to recreate yourself.Â Have you ever thought ‘I need a new me’? … you can create a new you.
I love natureâs lessons.Â Here is one I came across that I thought was amazing.Â Itâs about the Eagle, and how it transforms itself later in life, to be new again.
When eagles get older and weak because of worn out feathers, which slow down flight speed andÂ manoeuvres, the eagles retire away in the rocks and will pluck all their old feathers until it is completely bare. It waits until a new set of feather grows and comes out of his body. It stays in the hiding place until all the new feathers comes back to make it fly dynamically and royally again without much effort or toil. This happens at about the age of 30. What happens is that when the eagles reach the age of 30, their physical body condition deteriorates fast making it difficult for them to survive. What is really interesting is that the eagle never gives up living, instead retreats to a mountain top and over a five month period goes through a metamorphosis. It knocks off its own beak by banging it against a rock, plucks out its talons and then feathers. Each stage produces a regrowth of the removed body parts, allowing the eagle to live for another 30 â 40 years, regaining its full potential.Â Source
We can decide to reinvent ourselves and return to our full potential, or create a whole new life.Â Transformation is within our reach, and similar to the five months that the mature eagle spends, can happen quickly.Â Who would you be if you could reinvent your career or personal life?Â Eagles symbolize power, freedom, beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace.Â Let their ways be an inspiration to you.
Another remarkable story is Jenni Byrne, a young woman from Eastern Ontario, recognized today as Ottawaâs most powerful woman, who left nursing school without graduating to rise to become the ultimate alpha in a political environment dominated by middle aged men with advanced degrees.
As I pack my suitcase and briefcase for Harvard Law School’s program Advanced Mediation, I am including my own beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace.Â I’m reinventing myself, but I’m keeping all my feathers of Workplace Relationships training, because they’re still young, current, awesome and shifting lives.Â I’m just adding to the toolbox.
Wishing you lots of great thoughts, especially the thought of believing in yourself.
Iâm gardening in a different way this year.Â Iâve completely turned over what used to be my garden beds, and laid new beds down elsewhere to yield a different result.Â Itâs been a family separation, and there are two gardens now.Â The perennial children have been offered an opportunity to split themselves and plant themselves in two places.Â Personal growth can be a struggle, as witnessed in human and plant life.
I can control my own flowerbed, and I use the word âcontrolâ very lightly.Â Iâve planted new seeds for my harvest to be full, and Iâve tried to create a fertile soil (soul) for my growth and the growth of my offspring. The best gardens grow when sprinkled with manure and tended to with love and encouragement.
Some sh*t happened the other day, it ruffled my leaves and temporarily upset the vision I had for the way my garden should grow and flow. I was in earshot of a social worker in my training session that day, so I asked her for some advice to cope, and to do whatâs best for my young sprouts.Â She confirmed that every garden needs manure, and that the longer effects of willingly receiving the smelly situation would Â improve my soil (soul) and ultimately provide the best building blocks and nutrients for everyoneâs growth.Â I was able to see the need for manure in my garden of life and embrace it.Â I was immediately able to cope with the âaromaâ of decaying matter, (the old ways of the relationship) and believe that the manure gives the greatest nutrients that will bring bigger blossoms and colourful appeal in its own time.
Did you ever wonder why manure continues to fall into your lap when you have the purest and cleanest intentions to grow? Perhaps because itâs fertilizer and needed, just as the sun is needed, the rain is needed, and the storms are needed for the complete cycle of life to transform.Â Celebrate your manure, and also, the manure that is spread by other farmers over your garden.Â Look at it as a contribution to fertile grounds for improvement.
In my theme of my new book, Give and Be Rich â Tapping the Circle of Abundance, the chapter on RECEIVING everything that comes your way has once again been tested and confirmed this Spring.Â Sometimes the greatest gifts come wrapped in the smelliest packaging.
The lesson — every garden needs manure to grow.Â May all your gardens be seen as meaningful manifestations of a beautiful life, and may your own leadership be blessed by the lessons of Mother Nature.
Dedicated in appreciation to Joanne K.
My book topic,Â ‘Give and Be Rich‘ is so well demonstrated in this story emailed to me by my Mom, about a cab driver and his elderly client.Â His richness will enrich you too, in two minutes of reading.
THE LAST CAB RIDE
I arrived at the address and honked the horn.Â Â After waiting a few minutes I honked again.Â Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.
‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.Â There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.Â She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
‘It’s nothing’, I told her. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy’, she said.
When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice.
‘The doctor says I don’t have very long.’
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. ‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city.
She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighbourhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.Â Â She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner, and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.Â It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.Â Â Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.Â I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
‘How much do I owe you?’ she asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I answered.
‘You have to make a living,’ she said.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.Â She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?Â What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments, but great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
People won’t always remember what you taught them or told them, but they will always remember how you made them feel, good or not so good.Â Any day we can give and be rich in the feeling of digging deeper into ourselves, and giving to others in a way that makes them feel better.Â This is an important currency, for both the giver and the receiver, and it’s always within our reach.
Bless and be blessed,
Life may not always be the party we hoped for,
but while we are here we might as well dance.
Itâs human nature to want to come out bigâto present ourselves as larger-than-life in conversations, relationships, and success.Â However, in order to come out big, we have to go in first, even though our instincts tell us otherwise.
In one of my keynotes, I talk about going in big before you can come out big, and the concept of expanding on the inside first before you can become big on the outside.Â The lesson of inner expansion in leadership came to me by watching my favorite golfer swing, over and over again.Â Dig In and Be Rich – Leadership Tip
Itâs human nature to want to come out bigâto present ourselves as larger-than-life in conversations, relationships, and success.
However, in order to come out big, we have to go in first, even though our instincts tell us otherwise.
In one of my keynotes, I talk about going in big before you can come out big, and the concept of expanding on the inside first before you can become big on the outside.
Take, for example, my favorite golferâmy sonâwho wants to send the golf ball as far as possible down the fairway and into the hole with the least number of strokes.Â To do this, he needs to come out big off the tee.Â His first motion, however, is not toward the hole.Â Instead, he draws his club into a full backswing, only then bringing it forward in a more powerful way to connect with the ball and drive it much further than if heâd just teed up and swung forward.
Those of you who play the game of golf will also agree that the toughest six inches of the course are between your ears.Â Itâs your mental game that holds your physical game together.
Regardless of what you wish to become better at, before you can come out in full swing, you need to consider the ways that you need to go in first.
Letâs say you want to come out big during a workplace meeting.Â Youâd naturally think that you have to come out with the right words that appeal to the meetingâs audience.Â But what if you shifted your approach to go in first?Â What if you started by listening to what people want, taking in their thoughts and feelings, and then coming out with something relevant to their input?Â Do you see how youâd engage their interests more effectively and have more influence?
Going in before coming out can also resolve conflict.Â When dealing with conflict, our natural instinct is to winâto place blame or find fault with the other party involved. Thatâs your ego wanting to be right and to protect you, but itâs not always the shortest path to resolve.Â Rather than coming right out with your need to place blame and find fault, you could go in the opposite direction: you could go in and take responsibility for yourself.Â What did you bring to the conflict?Â If the conflict within you was triggered by someone elseâs actions, it could be a mirror for you to see something within yourself that is unresolved.
Dig in, get messy, and find out for yourself.Â Explore the connection between whatâs happening today and how it relates to something in your past.Â See what you need to see, own whatâs yours, and come out with cleaner hands, bigger and more powerful on the outside than had you not challenged your natural instincts first.
Going inward to develop first on the inside is the only way to come out with your full swing in life.Â What would happen if you used this strategy to gain more inner expansion, power, and clarity for yourself before coming out swinging?
Dig in, and be rich in all the ways that really matter.
p.s.Â I’d like to dedicate this article to Henry Brunton, for his dedication to Jr. Golf Coaching