Putting The Giving In Thanksgiving

In our last blog, we discussed the benefits of being thankful. Today we want to look at the second half of Thanksgiving – the giving.

There’s a lot of research that shows giving has benefits to the giver, as much as to the receiver. Allan Luks, the Executive Director of the New York chapter of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, coined the phase “helper’s high” in his book:
The Healing Power of Doing Good.

“Helper’s high”
When you give, you get an endorphin rush similar to when you work out. This is the “helper’s high. Interestingly enough, when you recall the giving experience, you also get an endorphin rush, though not as much as when you actually performed the service.

Show co-host, Mary-Lynn Foster, discussed volunteering for the American Diabetes Association. Her mom passed away due to complications of diabetes. She feels like she’s doing something for her mom by giving to the ADA. She says that she feels that “helper’s high” as she relates her volunteer experiences.

2 things to give
What are our two big external constraints?  Time and money. Guess what? Those are the two things we can give. Giving is a verb. It requires action.

Is your budget tight? You can still give – how about that old coat? Can you donate some canned goods?

Show co-host, George Krueger, related a story told at his mom’s funeral. Last year was her last Thanksgiving. At her funeral, a young woman explained that she had developed an allergy to flour. So she couldn’t eat bread. After some time, she was craving a slice of bread. She just couldn’t stand it. Just then, there was a knock on the door. It was his mom, with a loaf of flourless bread.

Pay attention
This story illustrates that you may make the most impact by meeting the needs of those close to you. So pay attention. Focus on giving and the getting will take care of itself.

Our quote today is by the writer, G. Donald Gale.  

“A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty;
an optimist see the same glass as half full.
But a giving person sees a glass of water and
starts looking for someone who might be thirsty. “

Quench someone’s need today. Next time, we’ll practice not being perfect. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

In our last blog, we talked about ‘taters and asked the question: “What kind of ‘tater are you?”

Today we’ll put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. 

Be thankful for the benefits
Robert Emmons, a Psychology professor at the University of California Davis, did a study to determine if there are benefits in being grateful.

He divided the study’s participants into three groups:

  • Group 1 recorded that day’s most significant events
  • Group 2 recorded minor complaints and hassles of the day
  • Group 3 recorded things they were thankful for that day.

After ten weeks, Emmons found that Group 3 had more energy, viewed life more positively, and had fewer physical ailments when compared to the other two groups.

Sounds like we should all be thankful for this study, doesn’t it? Emmons didn’t stop there. He wanted to know if there were any long-term differences.  Here’s what he found:

Group 3 members were more likely to achieve their goals.

So if you’re grateful, you’ll be healthier and you’ll reach more of your goals!

Make giving thanks a habit
We all remember the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” So, if we practice complaining, we’ll get pretty good at it. So how do you stop complaining?

Be grateful for what you have; quit complaining about what you don’t. It’s really a matter of attention. We tend to give attention to bad things. Many people shine stadium lights on their problems, and flashlights on their blessings.

You should do the opposite – be thankful everyday for all that happens to you. We recently wrote an article about John Bramblitt. Here is a young man that lost his sight, but didn’t let it conquer him. He became a painter. In his adversity, he found his gift.

The most precious thing in the world
Just like John Bramblitt, your life is a gift. You and only you are the single most unique thing in the world. There is only one of you. Your genes and all of your experiences have come together to make you who you are.

Don’t you have a lot for which to be thankful? Being thankful on Thanksgiving is great. We challenge you to make it a part of your life everyday. It pays big dividends!

Our quote today is from over 2000 years ago. It’s by Cicero, the great philosopher.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Greatness begins with gratefulness. Make giving thanks a daily habit. We promise that you’ll thank yourself for it. 

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

What Kind Of Tater Are You?

In our last blog, we discussed the role of role playing – practicing to be perfect, professionally and personally.

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., we want to ask you a question:

What kind of ‘tater are you?

You don’t want to be a:

Spectator – These people sit on the sideline, never getting in the game. They just sit and watch you do all the work.

Hesitator – These are people who talk about their ideas and dreams, but never do anything to reach them.

Commentator – People who find fault with the people playing the game. Never get in the game. Never take risk. Never fail forward. Never succeed.

Imitator – These people are so unhappy with themselves, they have to pretend to be something they’re not.

Dictator – Bossy people. They’re not confident that they can sell others on their ideas, so they have to try to bully them.

Agitator – Perhaps the worst of all. These people like to stir things up. They’re only happy when they’re unhappy. They try to unite people as a negative force.

You want to be a:

Facilitator – These people are always looking for a solution. They bring out the best in others by making work easier.

Sweet ‘tater – These humble, likeable, nice people will do just about anything for anyone. They genuinely like people. The get respect because they treat people with respect.

We challenge you to be a facilitator and a sweet ‘tater. Our quote today is by John Cassis, the former baseball player who became a motivational speaker.

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

Nice is a nice way to be. Tomorrow, we’ll put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

The Role Of Role Playing

In our last blog, we told the story on storytelling. We discussed finding the right yarn and offered tips on telling your tall tale well. Hear the story.

Today, we’ll discuss how to use role playing, both professionally and personally.

We’re not pretending to be the have all and be all of role play discussions here. We’re talking about a specific use of it. So let’s define what we mean when we say role play:

Practicing human interaction before you actually do it.

Rehearsing in your mirror is better than nothing, but it’s not role playing. With role playing, you’re going to have a mentor, a peer, or a buddy. When done right, it’s a much richer experience than simply rehearsing.

Practice makes perfect.
Imagine an athlete who never practiced. Or an actor who never rehearsed. Would you expect them to rise to the top of their profession?

So why do we think it’s any different for us? It’s not. By role playing, you’ll enter situations with more confidence, because you’ve been there before. You’ll face less stress and perform better. You’ve made the unfamiliar familiar.

Simulate the situation.
Create the exact same environment. Come as close as you possibly can to setting up the same circumstances you will face in the actual situation. This really needs to be done with you and another person face-to-face. You can role play over the phone (especially a phone call), but it’s much better in person. Let’s look at some examples of situations that you might want to role play.

Annual review / ask for a raise
Are you going to be sitting or standing? How about your boss? Most likely, you’ll both be seated around a desk. So when you role play, sit around a desk (or something you can pretend is a desk).

Sales call
You’ll probably be standing, at least at first. Practice your greeting while standing. Practice down to the handshake. You want a handshake Goldilocks would like – not too hard, not too soft.

Service call at homeowner’s residence
Practice ringing the door bell. What if the door bell doesn’t work? Practice knocking. Where will you stand as the homeowner opens the door? What will you say?

You can use these same techniques personally. For example, if you’re a parent, you may want to role play an important conversation with one of your kids. Personally or professionally, role playing is a great preparation method. Practice it, then do it.

Our quote today is by the great tennis player, Arthur Ashe.

“One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

Willingness to prepare helps you succeed. Role play your way to a great day.

Tomorrow’s the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S. So we’re going to talk about ‘taters. We’ll ask, “What kind of ‘tater are you?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

The Single Biggest Barrier To Your Success

Yesterday, we traveled to your future. To the life you dream about. We helped you visualize your future and challenged you to perform this visualization exercise every day for the next month.

Today, we’ll look at the single biggest barrier to your success. You may surprised to hear this.

The one big thing that stands between most people and success is fear.
We’re taught that fear is a good thing. And it can be. But it also can be counterproductive. One fear, in particular, keeps most people from achieving their dreams.

The most dangerous fear of all is the fear of failure.
This fear keeps more people from starting toward their dream, let alone actually accomplishing it, than anything else. As we mature, we get more self-conscious. We’re afraid we’ll be embarrassed. Afraid to be different. Afraid of being made fun of.

Plan to fail forward.
Successful people look at failure as an opportunity to learn. So the faster you fail, the faster you learn. Fail often enough and you have a leg up on all of those people who fear failure. Isn’t that most people?

Successful people are driven by the fear of not trying.
We got this idea from a great little book called I Can’t Accept Not Trying by Michael Jordan, the great basketball player. It’s a quick read that we highly recommend.

Have you ever been so fed up with something that you just had to do something about it? Of course, you have. All of us have!

W. Clement Stone, in his book The Success System That Never Fails, referred to this feeling as “inspirational dissatisfaction”. You can overcome your fear of failure by cultivating this fear of not trying. When you just can’t stand it any more. You have to find out if you can do it.

People who go for it reach a point where their fear of not trying exceeds their fear of failure. So they go for it. Some succeed beyond their wildest imaginations. Others fail forward. So they try again.

Our quote today is by Winston Churchill.

“Success is never final.
Failure is never fatal.
It’s courage that counts.”

Overcome your fears by living your dreams. What can you lose by trying?

Next time, we’ll tell the story on storytelling. How and why to tell a story well.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!