Category Archives: Positive Thinking

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!

 

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.

 

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

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.