Category Archives: Mindset

Achieving is Becoming

I would like to introduce you to someone.  Meeting this person could change your life from this day forward.  You won’t be able to shake their hand.  You won’t be able to exchange any words.  And though this person cannot see you if you look very hard you might be able to see a look of confidence in their eyes.  You might see the look of someone who has paid the price to get where they are.   This is a person that looked at where they were and then looked into the future at who they wanted to be, what they wanted to do, what they wanted to have and they got it, they got it all. They paid the price to grow, to act on their dreams, to persevere through the doubts and failures.  You will see in them that they have become victorious.

That person is you.  Inwardly just now you might have felt a tinge of disappointment or doubt.  Cast that from your mind!  Anyone who is willing to look at where they are now and where they want to be in the future can become that person who as earned the victory.  What lies between us and who we want to become is a GAP.  Big or small does not matter.

Let me give you a personal example of what I mean. When I was a freshman in High School we had a neighbor by the name of Jack.  Jack had been an NCAA All-American football player drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  A knee injure ended his career.   When I met Jack I was a freshman football player in High School.  I would go to the Varsity games.   I wanted to be one of those guys.  In fact I wanted to be one of the best when I got there but I was thin, slow and not very strong.  Jack shared with me what I am trying to share with you.  He helped me understand how to bridge that GAP so that I could become that person who realized that victory when I became a senior.  The me of the future would become fast, strong, muscular, confident and aggressive.  Jack helped me look forward into the future that I want and more importantly what I needed to become.  Over time the future became reality.  Thanks to Jack I received the major awards of our area and an MVP trophy from my teammates.  Over the course of three years I had evolved into a new person.

Another example, Arnold Schwarzenegger. I recommend his biographies.  As a young teenager in Gratz Austria he enjoyed going to the movies.  I understand his favorites were the Hercules movies starring Steve Reeves, formerly an American Bodybuilder.  Then a dream was born. A teenage kid in Austria briefly caught a glimpse of that person he wanted to become.  Arnold saw himself as a champion bodybuilder and American movie star.  Over time the GAP was bridged and he became a person capable of being a champion and movie star.  We all know the fantastic achievements Arnold has realized.  The details of his story have long been an inspiration to me.

For the ladies, perhaps another example is appropriate. JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series,  struggled with a relationship with her father, her mother died of MS.  The relationship with her husband was a difficult.  She had a miscarriage.  Eventually a daughter came.  The marriage fell apart.  She was alone, poor and on welfare.  Add to that clinical depression.  But as she sat on a train between London and Manchester she came up with a story to entertain her daughter.  It was in many moments like that in which I imagine JK began to catch glimpses of herself and her future.  Hard though it was she bridged the GAP.  You can too.

What can you and I do to bridge the GAP?   I will explain in the next blog entry.

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!

 

A Podcast Honor with Dr. Paul Jenkins

Last week I had the honor and privilege of doing a podcast with Dr. Paul Jenkins,  Mountain West Chapter National Speaker’s Association President .  I am now part of what he calls his “human collection” of other guests.   You can find him on Live On Purpose Radio:  http://liveonpurposeradio.com/.   Our recording will be posted in a couple of weeks.

I also read his book Pathological Positivity three times!   I highly recommend it!

Life is a total challenge in battling the positive and negative influences in life.  We talked about what he teaches as well of some of my experiences with those concepts.  I am reminded of a speech I gave recently.  Here’s the digest version:

“What is it you want, Mary? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. ”

Have you ever seen “It’s a Wonderful Life”?

Lasso the moon is a metaphor for dream big. George Bailey, the main character was a positive dreamer.

I like to dream big. Do you? Don’t we all aspire to do meaningful things? To leave our mark in the world?  Is it building skyscrapers like George Bailey, writing a book, building a business and career?

Have you ever had anyone ask you “what makes you think you can do that?” Have you noticed that in life we struggle with the negative and the positive? The “cans” and the “cannots”. When you are a dreamer you have to protect it from negative influences that will sap it, steal it and kill it.

Sometimes those influences come from other people.  Sometimes they come from the whispering angel on our right shoulder with messages of “you can, you are a child of God”!  And sometimes it’s the shouting little devil on the other shoulder with, well let’s just say, the opposite message.

Voices are choices. Which ones are really looking out for you? The one that says live your life to the fullest or the one that says “hide, stop, be afraid, you can’t”?

Don’t hide. Don’t stop. Dreaming without action is just day dreaming and negative voices can stop action if we let them.  Dreaming with action is power, its force, its imagination, its determination, its will power. And it is momentum, the best tactic for fending off those negative influences. So get out your lasso and capture the moon.

Remember voices are choices!

 

2016 Copyright © Jeff Shoop, All Rights Reserved.

A great book!

I finished reading Anthony Robbins’ book Awaken the Giant Within for the third time.  It’s over 500 pages of great insights.  Of those many things I had the good fortune of having something I read yesterday play out for me.

Tony points out that at times we get caught up in doing the urgent things over the “important things”.  Ever have that experience where you got a lot done in a day but still felt oddly frustrated at the end of the day?  I’ve experienced that a lot.  Tony points out that its because those activities may have been urgent, necessary but lacked “long term importance” or meaningfulness to us.

Today I put Tony’s words to the test, again.   I took care of some of the urgent items on my “to do list” but also made sure that I took plenty of time for something that I felt was meaningful in the long run, something that allowed me to make a potentially significant and creative contribution to a group of people.  TONY IS RIGHT!   I loved it!   I have that wonderful feeling of having lived a meaningful and fulfilling day!

You can find this topic in Tony’s book at Chapter 24:  “Master Your Time and Your Life” (page 477).

Facing Problems Head On

Facing a big problem head on can be pretty tough.   It seems easier to avoid it, at least for awhile.   Can you think of ways we avoid problems, either consciously or unconsciously?  Here is what I have come up with:

Denial:  You would think that if it is big it is not easy to deny.  Well, I think my mind has done a pretty good job at times in not accepting something as a problem.

Minimizing it:  OK so we admit we have a problem but hey, “no big deal”.    This is a cousin to denial.

Under react:  We take action but in a half hearted fashion and with steps that will not completely solve the problem.

In all three of these cases, in my experience, the problem festers.  If anything it gets bigger and hurts more.

I had to make a choice today.  I had a problem that has been festering for awhile.  I think I may have employed all three tactics above until finally, today, I said enough is enough.

Finally, I chose to be honest with myself.  Festering does increase pain little by little.  The only question is when we will reach the point that we decide to face it.

I think I was fifteen years old when I first read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.   See Chapter 4.  I have read it many times since.  He put a lot of good ideas into how to deal with problems in that book.

In management, in sales, in coaching everywhere I have found one of his simple formulas to work quite nicely….when I get to the point that I am ready to face the problem head on.

  1. “Get the facts”. Define the Problem.  How could we possibly solve a problem unless we can accurately articulate what that problem is.
  2. “Analyze the facts”. Consider possible solutions.   There are often a number of solutions to a problem.  Think them all through.  This requires some effort, some time and a quiet place perhaps to ponder how things might play out.
  3. “Arrive at a decision”.  Pick the best solution.  Trust yourself.  Again, if we have integrity and are looking out for the interests of all concerned, for those problems that affect others, it will probably work out.
  4. Put that solution into action.  At this point just move forward.  Procrastination is a step backward.  We need to watch out that delay does not nullify the thought and effort we put into solving the problem.

Facing a problem head on as you can tell started when we chose to look at it almost objectively, from outside ourselves.  I think to some degree we have to put some emotion aside perhaps, especially if that emotion is fear of facing the problem.  This might sometimes take courage.  Don’t discard emotion though.  It is who we are but don’t let anything negative rule the day.

Dale Carnegie listed three basic steps.  The third included taking action.  The only thing I might add to these four points is first to decide, no matter what, with courage, to face the problem head on.  And frankly if it takes some wisdom from above to solve those problems, especially those that seem “unsolvable”, then do it with full purpose of heart.

 

Take time to ponder.

I had the opportunity to speak with a group of about  50 people over the weekend.  Some were business owners, doctors, lawyers, salespeople, teachers, mothers and fathers, all walks of life.  One segment of our  discussion centered around the value of taking time out to ponder, taking time out to just think about things in our lives.

For many of us the world moves pretty fast.  We have a hard time finding those quiet moments to just think things through.   We move from task to task, problem to problem, opportunity to opportunity.   We get things handled.  There is however tremendous value in locking yourself in your office, taking a walk or finding a place with a view where you can just let you mind wander.   A notepad isn’t a bad thing to include.

It is in moments like this that I’ve found the most impact-full inspiration and insights.   I started finding moments in these pondering rituals when I was just a teenager.   Near our home in Southern California there were a lot of small hills one could walk or jog to the top of within a half an hour.  At the top I would find a comfortable place to sit for an hour or two and just let my mind sift through the events of my life while enjoying the view of the valleys below.  Often I would come to a resolution on a course of action for something I needed to do.   It was one of the most enriching practices I ever engaged in.

Today, the hills around where I live are not so small but I find the same results when I spend time in my study,  go for a walk in the neighborhood or enjoy staring at the flames in our backyard fire pit.  Its not complicated.   I just relax and think.   Our minds have such power when we engage them outside of the rushed timetables of our lives.

 

As a man thinketh….

All of my life these words from Proverbs 23:7 have kept coming back to me.  Over and over the concept is repeated in books by the greats of motivational speaking and self-help literature.  I’ve repeated the message to audiences as well in my own way.  Even as a speaker though, challenges still  come.  You’d think maybe since I know what right thinking is I would never ever deviate from it again. Why do I?  Why do we?  The answer?  We’re human.  Life is about getting up over and over.
Proper thinking isn’t only a choice.  It isn’t even just a habit. It is a way of life that takes constant effort.  Not just daily effort, constant effort.  Mentally it is the equivalent of being in top shape.  Get lazy with our minds and we will suffer.  Allow discouragement , sadness, anger, jealousy or any other negative wallowing and it will weaken us.

Let’s resolve to have a positive mind set always, today, right now!

Get up!

Football
Choose courage over dis-courage-ment. -Jeff Shoop