Category Archives: Education

Clear Thinking

Sometimes problems can play havoc on our productivity.   I am not talking about the oil light going on in the car.  That one is easy.  Just add oil and you are done.  I am talking about problems that are impacted by the emotions of ourselves or others.  If the oil light were to go on in the car in a desert 100 miles from nowhere in 105 degree heat, then the situation can become emotional.
How about situations where a manufactured product fails a customer?  How about when a software program on your laptop fails to do what you were expecting it to do?  How about those situations where someone choose not to do what you think they should do?
In my experience, many times, emotions become part of the problem.  We make the mistake of focusing on symptoms in an attempt to solve problems.   Our emotions can hold clarity captive.   Unbridled they can lead to worry which disrupts our focus.  It’s part of being human.  Ever been to the point where you cannot focus and think about one issue or task at a time?
Lack of clarity in thought is confusion,  a word that evokes an uncomfortable image in my mind.  Confusion is intelligence on hold.  I know, I have found mine on hold many  times.  The issue (problem), whatever it may be has been clouded by worry, doubt, fear or negativity.   How does one arrive at a place of clear thinking when the entire landscape is covered in fog?  How do we enable the light of day to shine through?  Obviously emotions have to be under control.    There are probably many methods of clearing the mind. I have employed several.
One is quiet time. That could be sitting in front of the fireplace early in the morning and meditating upon one topic at a time accompanied by prayer.   I like to write my thoughts down as I think through issues. Another way I have of clearing my head is long walks.  Using the recording function of my phone I will often record the clear thoughts that come to me.   Many people  utilize some form of meditative technique.   The key is to free up the mind, relax and, for a time, step outside of whatever the problems are and allow our brains to ponder our problems in thought.  Sometimes analytically, sometimes by patiently  drifting a bit.
Personally I try to indulge in these moments regularly.  The pulling and tugging of negative emotions, big or small, requires almost daily maintenance.   Problems can trigger emotions associated with worry.  We can however establish a pattern for handling problems.  The challenge is to keep thinking clearly . Many years ago I learned from the book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie, to define a problem, determine possible solutions and make a decision on the best one and implement it.   More often than not this works for me.
Clear thinking, it is so necessary for keeping our focus on attaining whatever goal we have in mind.  I recommend Carnegie’s book.
2016 Copyright © Jeff Shoop, All Rights Reserved.

Becoming

I would like to introduce you to someone that could change your life from this day forward. In their eyes you might see the confident look of a person who has paid the price to get where they are, a person that looked at where they were and then into the future at where they wanted to be, what they wanted to do, what they wanted to have.  And they got it!  That person is you.

Let me give you a personal example of what I mean. When I was a young teen just starting high school my father would take me to varsity football games.  It fostered a dream in my heart.  One day I wanted to be one of those guys.  In fact I wanted to be one of the best of them.  But I was thin, slow and not very strong.   Fortunately there came into my life a man that could introduce me to the Jeff that I had to become and how that gap would be bridged.  He was a neighbor named Jack.  Jack had been an NCAA All-American football player drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He told me I could become good at football and even gain a college scholarship.  He taught me to grow, to plan and to have passion for my dream.  He taught me to focus and to work toward it.  He taught me to persist no matter what.  Through his efforts I could see what manner of man I needed to become.  Through the three years that followed I became swift, strong and skilled.  A dream became reality.   I became one of the best in our area and gained scholarships for the achievement thanks to Jack.

We all want to become something.  Have you caught a glimpse of the person you would like to become?  Skilled, confident and able to share your talents as well as any of those you look up to?  We all deal with lack of experience, doubt, fear, nagging voices in our heads that tell us, “no not you, that will never happen for you, you can’t do that”.   None the less here we are.  We choose to move forward.  How do we bridge the gap between who we are and who we will become?

  1.  We grow. How?

We have a purpose. Our desire to be, our ‘why’ behind the work.  As a boy the feeling I got when I focused on my dream drove me.  I had a vision and my ‘why’ was my family and friends being proud that I had succeeded.

We also have passion for our purpose. We love what we are doing even when sometimes it is hard.  JK Rowling had a purpose in writing the Harry Potter novels.  With that a passion.  She loved her stories.  I too loved practicing football.  Now I love sharing my message with others.

Also to grow, we develop a plan to do so. A plan to cover the days, months and years all progressing toward our end goal.

2.  We act!

In acting we work, we practice, we perform. The key is focused effort.  Harry Potter didn’t happen overnight.  It took a lot of writing and rewriting.  Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or any other person you want to name had to focus, practice and work on their craft.

3.  We persist.

High School Football was only a beginners training ground for reaching goals. The real challenge came at age 17 when I decided I want to be a salesman.  I was a shy, self-conscious introvert.  As a matter of fact around my high school they called me stone face because I was so quite I was even afraid to smile.  At 17, while still in high school I stepped into my first sales position.  I quickly learned that I had to do more than just show up, I had to grow up.

It took me years to succeed but following the formula in the acronym I just gave you, grow, act and persist, GAP I eventually bridged that GAP between who I was and who I wanted to become. This time, rather than Jack, my mentors were the greats of motivational speaking, Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, Anthony Robbins and many others.  But the ‘P’ in GAP is perhaps the hardest thing because failing is part of leaning and growing.  He who doesn’t persist doesn’t succeed.

‘G’ Grow in it with purpose, passion and follow your plan.  ‘A’ Act by working at it with focused effort and ‘P’ persist.  If you do you will get a little bit closer to your goals and the person you were meant to become.

Say hello to who you can become!

China

I had the opportunity during the last week of June to visit Beijing China to provide training to a small group.

Check one off the bucket list!

The training sessions were vibrant and full of discussion and growth.   We discussed everything from sales tactics to service  and processes.

It was my first time to China.  I loved it!  What a vibrant city!  I went not knowing what to expect but I would have to say t that I expected less technology and industry than I found.  Highways, cars, buildings, everything as modern as home.  The subways were packed with people, young and old, actively communicating via their mobile devices.  Some things have no boundaries.

Thanks to my hosts!

 

Jason Hewlett-Wow is an understatement!

I have been strongly influenced by the best motivational speakers our world has to offer over the last 30 years. I have also laughed and admired the talents of the greatest comedians. Never have I seen a speaker combine the talents of the motivator with the talents of the comedian like Jason Hewlett does. He may be from another galaxy!   

with Mr. Jason Hewlett
with Mr. Jason Hewlett

 

Tonight there were just a few of us gathered to join residents of a humble half-way house of people looking to change their lives.  He promised to give us his absolute best and he more than fulfilled that promise. I have seen him speak in front of hundreds of people.  Now get this! Jason gave as much in that small living room as he gives on the big stages! He brought me to the point of tears with laughter and then, with inspiration.  No wonder he was the National Speaker’s Association Keynote speaker for the 2016 convention. If you need a keynote speaker for a corporate or community event, it will be an absolute life-changing hit with Jason.  As far as I am concerned, he is the best in the world of motivational speakers today!

Contact him at  www.jasonhewlett.com

Continuing Education

I enjoyed a marvelous weekend of continuing education.  Jim Key, the 2003 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking,  Eric Culverson, comedian and speaker, as well as Patricia Townsend, speaker and National Speakers Association member all presented a the Toastmaster District 15 Fall Conference.  I loved every minute of their presentations and enjoyed some personal discussion time.

Jim is not only a marvelous speaker but also a speaking coach.  I purchased everything he had.  Eric was funny and inspiring.  Patricia, by her sheer demeanor and stage presence is a tremendous example of speaking confidence and authority.   I am a fan of each of them!

Although I have spoken for the last 30 years I keep learning and developing from professionals like this.  We need to be around people who are successful in what we want to be successful in.   We need to invest money in our ourselves as well.  Their thoughts become our thoughts when we take them in and put them in action.

Your dream is a possible.  If you will do things like this you get closer.  The vision and the pathway becomes clearer, an closer.