Being among family can be more demanding of our emotional capacity than anything else.¬† 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.¬† Be tolerant of others.¬† Be the one who can mingle in family time without judgment.¬† Accept people for who they are, or who they are not.
Be aware of your intolerant thoughts¬† about people, places or things.¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† They’ve got their own struggles and we have ours.¬† If we were supposed to be dealing with their struggles, it would feel right.¬† 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 you‚Äôre busy and heading into the most intensive seasons of the year.¬† A time when you‚Äôll 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 isn‚Äôt there.¬† Be Tolerant ‚Äď 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 of¬† 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.¬† We shared about the power of just asking.¬† Ask for what you need.¬† Ask for what you want.¬† Ask for someone to include you in something you‚Äôd like to be a part of.¬† Keep on asking people for the things you want.
Many people don‚Äôt ask.¬† Instead they assume that all the things they‚Äôd ask for aren‚Äôt 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.¬† Be assertive to obtain the skills and knowledge that you need.¬† People love to give their knowledge.¬† People love when you show an interest in what they’re up to.¬† You‚Äôll be surprised at the result when you¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† I wasn‚Äôt paying attention to my speed, and I was about to get a ticket.¬† So I asked!¬† 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.¬† I‚Äôm so glad I asked and that the lesson of asking was at the top of my mind, so I am paying it forward.¬† 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 partner‚Äôs 31 year old nephew, and knowing the story of alcoholism that took over his better judgment. I‚Äôm 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.¬† Drinking and drugging became his answer to something.¬† 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 who‚Äôs organs became the victim to an incurable disease ‚Äď alcoholism.
Now just for a moment, imagine that was your family member.¬† Your son, grandson, nephew, brother, cousin or friend.¬† 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 isn‚Äôt a judgment of how other‚Äôs spend their time, money, or find answers to their deepest questions or challenges.¬† This is a message that there is another way.¬† There is a road to recovery.¬† 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, I‚Äôve heard hundreds of personal stories by people affected by alcohol in their families, stories hidden deep down because alcohol wasn‚Äôt a topic to mention.¬† Painful stories of people unaware of how their drinking or another generations drinking affected them, revealing experiences ¬†created by the undercurrent that alcoholic families have running, but no-one‚Äôs talking about.¬† This has to stop.¬† We need to vent.¬† We need to speak up and encourage those hurting to speak out about how we‚Äôre all affected.
I‚Äôve experienced this personally in my relationships too.¬† I‚Äôve been one to party regularly, and luckily managed to escape the powerful grip that substance has on others.¬† As I look back, I‚Äôm concerned for our youth.¬† What example do we set for them when they‚Äôre little and learning about life?¬† Children learn with they live.¬† What do they continue to see and experience with other adult influences in their lives outside our control?¬† And are we talking with them about it?¬† ¬†Are we living the example that we hope our youth model in their later years?
I‚Äôve always said that whatever the question, love is the answer.¬† So many people numb the feeling of not being loved.¬† Not being enough, not being seen, not being acknowledged.¬† Being abandoned.¬† Being abused.¬† Being lied to, cheated on.¬† The list is long ‚Ä¶ We need to express our love with words.¬† We need to express our challenges with those we‚Äôve grown up with using conversation to talk about things, and not hide in the fear of having difficult discussions for our own healing.¬† We‚Äôve got to be vulnerable enough to share honest thoughts, feelings and experiences.¬† This is the answer that our soul seeks most.¬† 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 they‚Äôve found the answer.¬† If you need help creating conversations, I‚Äôm willing to help.¬† Contact me personally.
I’ve always said that when two people WANT to do business together the details don’t stand in the way.¬† Businesses of all sizes rely on relationships with their prospects and existing customers to prosper.¬† If you think that you have a good relationship with customers just because you’ve done business in the past, think again.¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† In the mid 90’s I bought a home.¬† I spent hundred’s of thousands of dollars through my agent, and he and I were pretty close during the transaction.¬† Three years later it was time to sell, and I couldn’t even remember his name, or brokerage.¬† So I called another agent to help me list and sell.¬† No relationship, no future business for him.¬† 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.¬† You will gain tips to increase referrals by 30% in the next 90 days, and have past customers remember and rave about your service.¬† 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.¬† 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 ‚Äėliving the dream‚Äô?¬† Do you jump out of bed to dive into your awesome day?¬† We‚Äôre just one thought away from living at the top of our game.¬† The thought of believing you can, believing you‚Äôre able, capable and deserving.¬† You‚Äôre never to old to recreate yourself.¬† Have you ever thought ‘I need a new me’? … you can create a new you.
I love nature‚Äôs lessons.¬† Here is one I came across that I thought was amazing.¬† It‚Äôs 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 and¬†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 ‚Äď 40 years, regaining its full potential.¬† Source
We can decide to reinvent ourselves and return to our full potential, or create a whole new life.¬† Transformation is within our reach, and similar to the five months that the mature eagle spends, can happen quickly.¬† Who would you be if you could reinvent your career or personal life?¬† Eagles symbolize power, freedom, beauty, bravery, courage, honour, pride, determination and grace.¬† Let their ways be an inspiration to you.
Another remarkable story is Jenni Byrne, a young woman from Eastern Ontario, recognized today as Ottawa‚Äôs 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.¬† 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.¬† I’m just adding to the toolbox.
Wishing you lots of great thoughts, especially the thought of believing in yourself.
I‚Äôm gardening in a different way this year.¬† I‚Äôve completely turned over what used to be my garden beds, and laid new beds down elsewhere to yield a different result.¬† It‚Äôs been a family separation, and there are two gardens now.¬† The perennial children have been offered an opportunity to split themselves and plant themselves in two places.¬† Personal growth can be a struggle, as witnessed in human and plant life.
I can control my own flowerbed, and I use the word ‚Äėcontrol‚Äô very lightly.¬† I‚Äôve planted new seeds for my harvest to be full, and I‚Äôve 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 what‚Äôs best for my young sprouts.¬† She confirmed that every garden needs manure, and that the longer effects of willingly receiving the smelly situation would ¬†improve my soil (soul) and ultimately provide the best building blocks and nutrients for everyone‚Äôs growth.¬† I was able to see the need for manure in my garden of life and embrace it.¬† I was immediately able to cope with the ‚Äėaroma‚Äô 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 it‚Äôs 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.¬† Celebrate your manure, and also, the manure that is spread by other farmers over your garden.¬† Look at it as a contribution to fertile grounds for improvement.
In my theme of my new book, Give and Be Rich ‚Äď Tapping the Circle of Abundance, the chapter on RECEIVING everything that comes your way has once again been tested and confirmed this Spring.¬† Sometimes the greatest gifts come wrapped in the smelliest packaging.
The lesson — every garden needs manure to grow.¬† 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,¬† ‘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.¬† His richness will enrich you too, in two minutes of reading.
THE LAST CAB RIDE
I arrived at the address and honked the horn.¬†¬† After waiting a few minutes I honked again.¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† 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.¬†¬† 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.¬† It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.¬†¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† 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?¬† 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.¬† 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.¬† 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.
It‚Äôs human nature to want to come out big‚ÄĒto 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.¬† The lesson of inner expansion in leadership came to me by watching my favorite golfer swing, over and over again.¬† Dig In and Be Rich – Leadership Tip
I have a silent partner.¬† She’s my dog.¬† She stands by me whatever business decision I make, but one decision she makes for both of us on the days I’m in the home office is to get outside.¬† I’ve just completed a seminar delivery on Time Management, or what I title “Effectiveness Beyond Time”, and so as we hit the bush trail today, I had been asking myself one question that I prompt my students to ask about how they’re spending their time.¬† “Is this the best possible use of my time at this particular minute?”.
I struggle with my answer, considering many to-do’s and my quest for good balance.¬† Just looking at my silent partner running ahead with a wagging tail, I new I was on the right path.¬† But things were different today.¬† It’s almost spring here in North Bay, and the snow is crusty, so for the first time, I could walk anywhere with my snow shoes, without sinking in snow.¬† The possibilities were endless.¬† I could go this way or that way, or anyway at all, and so there in lies my teaching for today, direct from Mother Nature through me, to you.
How many times do we follow the same path, the path we’ve decided was good a while back, the path that others create for us, or the path that tradition sets in our patterning early in life?¬†¬†¬† Sometimes, the conditions are perfect for venturing off the ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ path to find new territory, to discover new potential, or just to experience that we have a world of opportunity just waiting for us to show up.
For me, this nature walk off trail taught me that each day is a new day, with new conditions, to see and feel and know what there is for me to see, feel and know on that given day.¬† The world is a playground just waiting to be discovered, and today, with no leaves or foliage in the forest yet, and the ability to walk anywhere, I could explore things I’ve been passing by for months and really get a different perspective of them.
The conditions are perfect for exploring, but you have to get off the normal path to find out what else is possible.
What conditions would you need to lead yourself to at least explore new possibilities?
Lately I‚Äôve been feeling ‚Äėless than‚Äô.
Less than I‚Äôve been in the past,
Less than I‚Äôve been to my kids,
Less than I‚Äôve been in self-motivation,
Just plain ‚Äėless than‚Äô.
In reflection and prayer of this place of ‚Äėless than‚Äô, I‚Äôve labeled it with feeling ‚Äėinsignificance‚Äô. But why? (I‚Äôm always asking myself and my peers the deeper questions.) Why am I feeling insignificant?
Is it because I‚Äôve reached a peak in my career and there‚Äôs no more?
Is it because my two beautiful teen-aged kids don‚Äôt need me like they used to?
Is it because I‚Äôve met a man who shares the love with me that I’ve always wanted?
Is it because I‚Äôve become so comfortable with who I‚Äôve shifted into that I‚Äôm not motivated to keep on shifting?
As I look back on the past year, I‚Äôve made some life changing decisions. These decisions have taken me out of ‚Äėstory‚Äô. The ‚Äėstory‚Äô that has run in me for so many years was complex. My story read like this ‚Ä¶ I’m not enough. I’m not lovable. Love is painful. I cannot trust. People don‚Äôt have time for me. etc.
The decisions I‚Äôve made recently have forced me to shift my thinking because I’ve intended to, and because there‚Äôs been so much evidence against my past thinking that I‚Äôve just kept on receiving, like a buffet of the opposite of my story, where I‚Äôve eaten and devoured it all because my soul has been starving for it for so long and now the Universe has provided it, and I‚Äôve learned how to receive the unlimited abundance.
So why am I feeling insignificant? Instead of full and beaming with goodness? Because I‚Äôm just learning how to ‚ÄėBE‚Äô without my story.
Who am I without my story? I am just in a place of empty and meaningless trying to figure that out. It‚Äôs like I have a huge white canvass, and I can paint whatever I want, but I think I don‚Äôt know what to paint, or how to paint, or what colour, or how to hold the brush, or how it should look in the end.
So I‚Äôm floating in nothingness right now, just being where I am each and every day. When I do show up to write, speak, teach, parent or love, the result is more meaningful and magnificent than it‚Äôs ever been.
I prayed for an answer to why I feel insignificant yesterday, on the top floor of our beautiful apartment overlooking the Coral Sea on Hamilton Island, Australia. The message came quickly and clearly. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs in your insignificance, that you‚Äôll find huge significance‚ÄĚ. With this inspiration, I feel like my life is right on schedule, and I‚Äôm going to keep on moving forward, being someone new, without my old story.