When Your Life Is Out of Control

When stress and negativity starts creeping in, our lives are beginning to fall apart. 

Illness, relationships, employment, unresolved issues, loss — there is no shortage of ways that adversely affect our happiness.

Even when one problem is resolved, it seems something else pops up.

I’ve studied this all-too-frequent visitor to life — the lack of control — and have asked professionals their opinion on how happy, successful people respond when they feel their lives are beginning to go off track.

The “fix” is shocking perhaps because it is counterintuitive. 

Spiritual people turn everything over to God and if their faith is strong, that can effectively work for them.

But whether you are religious or not, the one way to defeat the awful feeling of life out of control is by saying this one line:

“I have no more control over this and I am incapable of dealing with it.”

Yes, admit defeat and declare victory.

That one line becomes a freeing thing.

It’s not that you don’t care, it’s just that you’re unwilling to keep paying a continued price for banging your head against the wall in an attempt to control that, which cannot be controlled.

Then move on. 

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t repeat this powerful line:  “I have no more control over this and I am incapable of dealing with it” and I thought when all else fails, you might like to try it, too.

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The Fastest Way to a Pay Raise

Asking doesn’t usually earn you a raise although it doesn’t hurt to try.
 
Even mentioning that you have another potential offer can backfire when your employer encourages you take it.
 
With the recent sluggish economy, raises are hard to come by but there is a way that few people try which almost always reaps monetary benefits.
 
Exceed expectations.
 
Do what is expected and then 25% more.
 
I know what you’re thinking.  You’re already doing 25% more and your company doesn’t seem to recognize it let alone reward the effort in cash.
 
But time and time again, the people who defy their coworkers and outperform others are the ones who actually strategize how they can deliver 25% more productivity that employers cannot ignore.
 
The number 25% is just a number until you add specifics.
 
What tangible ways can you add 25% more productivity to your position in the eyes of your employers?
 
Nothing is perfect and even exceeding expectations may not get you that raise you deserve.
 
But the people who are valued the most by their companies are the ones who go beyond what their employers expect — not so much in spirit than in targeted ways.
 
Make a list of extra things that you can do that in the view of your company would matter most and you may be in for a happy surprise by the end of the year.
 
“A steady salary is an invitation to mediocrity” — Unknown
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  • That got me fired as co-workers noticed and got jealous and even more lazy. then they turned on me and started to complain about the most trivial things and even a few things that I never did that were industry taboos.

Prove Them Wrong

James van Riemsdyk is a professional hockey player.  
 
He spent the last four years in Philadelphia after he was drafted into the National Hockey League.
 
He’s a good young prospect who has shown stretches of brilliance.  But he was also plagued with injuries, a concussion and some bad luck.  So when the Flyers traded him to the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, van Riemsdyk wasn’t surprised.  
 
A well-mannered young man, he immediately tweeted the Philly faithful how much he enjoyed playing in that tough hockey town.
 
But it is what van Riemsdyk did next that may have made all the difference to this young, struggling athlete.
 
He began wearing a wristband under his equipment sent to him by a friend who owned an inspirational clothing company.  The slogan said:  “prove them wrong”.
And prove them wrong he did by getting off to the fastest start in his career with the hope that now van Riemsdyk will finally catch up to his full potential.
 
The trade turned out to be a win-win for both teams because the Flyers received Luke Schenn for van Riemsdyk and he is off to the same fast start with his new team.
 
Prove them wrong doesn’t mean do them wrong or hold a vendetta against those who give up on you.
 
It is a reminder to never give up on yourself.
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Making Your Own Good Luck

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all”. 

That’s funny, but not true.

Blaming luck is a cop out of sorts – a way to see the negative side of things.

I know people – and I’ve worked with people – who seek out failure like a heat-seeking missile finds its target.  And I think they do it because of fear of failure.

If you blame luck, you don’t really have to take the chance of failing on your own.

If you read this space regularly you know I am a great believer that failure is actually the required precursor to success.  Tell me how many failures you’ve had and I can see a success coming.

Failure is a way to discover what works and what doesn’t.

A foolproof method of gauging your own desire and that of those around you.

“Lucky” people are rarely lucky.

Even those who think luck won them the lottery sadly find out that most big lottery winners become losers in life – losing their friends, family, job and, of course, the money eventually runs out leaving them destitute. 

You may prefer this great advice from Branch Rickey, one-time commissioner of baseball:

“Luck is the residue of design”. 

We make our own good luck.

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  • John Wooden once said, “hard work and good luck go hand and hand”

Stress-Free Email

So the Postal Service is cutting out Saturday deliveries in August and somehow I can hear millions of people moaning about the email that is going to pick up the slack.

Even more junk mail.

More back and forth communication that used to be limited to fewer postings.

Gen Y has it right.  E-mail is so outmoded and yet we find ourselves stressed out over it.

There is so much volume and it’s not letting up.  Factor in Facebook, Twitter and other social media interactions and we conclude that what put the Postal Service out of business is putting us out of our minds.

So, here are some workarounds:

  1. Open a new email address and give it out to others the way you would hand them a $100 bill – very selectively and infrequently.  Monitor this address the most once you have made the switchover.
     
  2. Consider a new IOS app called Mailbox.  It’s a retro way of handling mail just like snail mail.  You can sort your inbox into three pretty neat columns.  But it’s a tool not a total answer.
     
  3. You can answer your email at prescribed times each day but it might be better to refer back to #1 and start over.  A lot of email even handled twice a day can be stressful.
     
  4. Try to make emails Twitter length where possible.
     
  5. Sometimes the seemingly endless back and forth to, say, make an appointment might be better handled with a short phone call.

The answer is to take control of something that started as good and has now become a nightmare for many.

“I don’t believe in email.  I’m an old fashioned girl.  I prefer calling and hanging up” – Sarah Jessica Parker

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  • I like it.  I’m guilty of that at times in an effort to expedite my email (stress) but it sure helps the receiver to know the updated subject line

  • Jerry, here’s one … CHANGE THE SUBJECT LINE in the email when the topic changes. Saves a lot of time for everyone and your message is less likely to missed. Too many email exchanges turn into a series of Re:Fwd:Re: The Dog Ate the Goldfish even after the subject has changed to Did You Hear They Are Firing The Marketing Staff At Noon.