Living in the Present

I’m bad at this and yet it is important – living in the now is the only place to be.

It makes sense.

There have been many outstanding books to extol its virtues.  Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” comes to mind.

Yet the very thing that makes us succeed – the ability to focus on the future — is not an adequate formula for personal happiness.

What is a person to do?

Not look ahead?

Just being aware of the demands of life and career is a good first step.  But I have found these thoughts helpful:

  1. Appreciate the moments of today.  Do not postpone joy.
  2. Forget about past hurts and move on – let go, put it to rest and feel the exhilaration that automatically places you in the present.
  3. Stop worrying.  99% of that which we worry about never happens and the 1% that does occurs rarely the way we feared it.  Needless worry relegates us to the past and not the moment.
  4. Start each day in the now – commit to it.  It gets harder to do as the day goes on and life happens but concentrating on today and not tomorrow’s worries will be a good beginning.
  5. Give your undivided attention to someone – perhaps a friend, parent, partner or a child without the focus on you.  It’s hard in a world of digital devices and social networks, but concentrating on others is an automatic homerun for living in the present.

As I said, living in the present is not easy for me.

When all else fails I take my inspiration from this thought:

“Children have neither a past nor a future.  Thus they enjoy the present – which seldom happens to us”.  (Jean De La Bruyere).

+ Comment on this post
  • @MartinGreenberg Thank you Marty

  • good stuff Jerry

  • @emic3 Thanks for the retweet

  • @jdVoiceovers Thanks for the mention!

  • @bccloutier Thanks for the retweet!

When You Lose Faith

Sir William Osler said, “Without faith a man can do nothing, with it all things are possible”.

But we are human and we have ups and downs.

Times when we are at peace with our ability to believe in ourselves, in others or how we choose to live our lives.

Sometimes unexpected events hijack our faith.

An illness, the loss of a job or the death of a loved one.  A friendship broken, angry words spoken or disruption that comes from one of life’s many hurts.

When faith wanes, channel a higher power.

Something or someone larger than life so that you gain the ability to let go of what ails you at the moment.

Did you know that Mother Teresa spent a lifetime dealing with doubts as she tended to the less fortunate people of India?  Mother Teresa said, “I have no faith – I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart and make me suffer untold agony”.

Mother Teresa wasn’t being scandalous.  She was being human.

So let me share with you what bolsters me when I struggle to maintain a strong belief in myself or others.

It comes from Scott Peck:

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers”.

Look up.

Thank you so much for sharing these daily messages with people who matter to you. 

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  • @Diane Cartwright Thank you, Diane.  Out of bad comes good again and again.  Everyone successful and happy can point to a turning point, a darker time that required perseverance.

  • Sir William Osler was paraphrasing Christ.  When friends have betrayed us, dear loved ones have passed and our careers have slid off life’s tenuous cliff, how do we find solid direction again?  Faith alone doesn’t seem strong enough.
    I admire your tenacity, Jerry.

  • Tis the Season……spread the KARMA

How To Get Rid of the Blues

The holidays can be such a wonderful time of the year, but they can also be a time of great loss and disappointment.

Meanwhile life goes on and we try to rally ourselves when we’ve got an unexpected case of the blues.

I’ll tell you how many people nip it in the bud.

They get busy focusing on someone other than themselves.

For example, another individual who needs a helping hand.

A person in need of a friendly ear.

Or to those who have bigger problems than we have.

One of my fellow Dale Carnegie instructors used to distribute 3×5 cards to his classes on the first day.

He would ask his students to write down and number the three biggest problems in their lives but without identifying their name on the card.

The instructor would then ask the class to pass the cards to the center aisle, collect them, shuffle the pile and randomly redistribute them to their “new” owners.

He would ask, “How many people by a show of hands would like to have their own card (with their own problems) back again?”

Never did even one person prefer their “new” problems to the ones they have.

I adopted this technique in my speaking but also in my life and the results are the same.

So, it could always be worse and if you want to make things better right now, a bit of gratitude along with the willingness to get the focus off your problems and onto helping someone else is the solution.

I love to write these daily messages to you.  Would you do me a favor and share with those who may also appreciate them?  Thank you!

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  • Two voices are better than one!  All the best.

  • Hi Jerry! What great advice! I’m going to remember that for future classes that I teach! It also played well into my new blog that is about to launch! I’ve been following you for quite some time, and will be utilizing some of your advice….. watch out! :)

What Employees Want the Most

Their bosses think it is money, but employees want – no, crave – appreciation.

And appreciation costs nothing to their employers.

Taraci Motivation compiled a list that compared what employees said they really wanted and what their employers thought they wanted.

For instance,

  1. Employees ranked appreciation as what they say they wanted most from an employer, but their bosses thought they would rank it 8 out of ten.
  2. Employers thought good wages would be what their workers said came first, but employees say it was only fifth on their list.
  3. It gets worse – feeling “in” on things was ranked second by employees but employers thought their employees would rank it dead last – at tenth.

This says two things.

How out of touch employers and employees are with each other’s wants and needs which is actually alarming if you think about it.

And secondly, but more important, the awesome power of appreciation as an affordable motivator that never goes out of style.

Appreciation as the first thing that employees want is nothing new –similar studies confirmed it as long as two decades ago.

So if you want to motivate an employee – or for that matter, anyone in your life – express appreciation in person, in writing or in deed.

Voltaire said,

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”.

Or as someone once said,  “If you don’t show appreciation to those who deserve it, they’ll learn to stop doing the things you appreciate”.

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  • @Chuck Johnston Well put, Chuck

  • I think most employers probably know these things… BEFORE they become employers.  Then they forget what it was like on the other side of the desk.

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

If you want to guarantee the best Thanksgiving holiday you have ever had, here is a surefire way.

Often the football games, children, families catching up understandably affect the spirit of a holiday whose reason for being is the expression of gratitude.

So, try this as you sit down and dig into the turkey and all the goodies.

You be the one to get everyone’s attention just before the meal begins and say something like this to the person(s) who prepared the meal looking them directly in the eye.

“I want to express to you how much we appreciate the time and love that you put into this meal.  All of us at this table are thankful that you made all of this happen so that we might be together today.”

There are two key elements.

You taking the lead.

And you expressing gratitude for the group.

Don’t be surprised to see teary eyes and a wonderful human relations appetizer for dinner.

It’s also a great teaching lesson to children gathered at the table.

Try it and report back in comments.

And have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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