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Treating If-Only Syndrome

prescriptionWhat do you do when things don’t go your way? You may feel discouraged. The events of life may just sap your strength of spirit. You lose your mojo!

It’s hard to live your life on your own terms when you’re feeling down, but it’s only natural for us humans to have down days.

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One cause of this is what we call If – Only Syndrome.

If only I had finished college.
If only I got a different degree.
If only I had taken that job.
If only I hadn’t quit that job.
If I had only done this instead of that, my life would be so different.
If only. If only. If only.

It’s easy to do. We start to beat ourselves up. We may even feel sorry for ourselves and mope a little.

As with many things, the right thing to do isn’t the easy thing to do.

Fighting these urges is hard.
Getting past the past is hard.
Lifting ourselves up is hard.
Fighting our natural urges is hard.

Focus matters

We get trapped on what might have been. What might have been doesn’t matter at all.

What does matter is what is and what can be.

You can be a bigg success. You can live your life on your own terms starting today.

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georgeI struggled with this when I was younger. I dropped out of college. I went on to start three businesses. But every time things got a little rough, I would beat myself up for not getting a degree. I thought that if I just had that degree, I wouldn’t have these problems. But I was wrong!

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The prescription for If – Only Syndrome comes in two parts. The first part of the cure is a healthy dose of …

So what?

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marylynnTo continue with George’s example, say you didn’t get a college degree. So what? How many people have succeeded bigg without a college degree?

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We don’t mean to diminish the importance of a good education. It does open up opportunities that may not be open otherwise. But it’s just one factor.

What about your experiences? They are irreplaceable.

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Now along with a healthy dose of “So what”, drink a little …

What can be?

Sticking with the college degree example, why don’t you get one now if it’s that important to you?

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georgeThat’s what I did; I went back to school. It’s not a path I would recommend. It was hard! I still had my three businesses, but I did go back and get a degree. It’s interesting … I then went on to get an advanced degree because I didn’t think I would ever go back to school again. Had I gone the traditional path, I doubt I would have ever gotten that advanced degree.

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What can be for you?

How can you make it happen? How will you find the time? How will you pay for it?

When you begin to focus on the actions necessary to move to where you want to be, you’ll feel energized. You’ll feel hope instead of discouragement.

What do you do when you feel discouraged?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks for checking in on us today. It means so much to us!

Please join us next time as we discuss one of the largest mistakes many people make when it comes to building their brand.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Hero Behind the Hero

eagle Today we continue our series on heroes. Last time we talked about what makes a hero a hero.

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Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully as we’ve come to know him) inspired this series. He is, of course, the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River to ultimately save over 150 lives.

But we haven’t heard much about the co-pilot on that fateful flight – Jeffrey Skiles. He, much like Sully, was a veteran of the industry as well. And let’s not forget the flight crew and also the passengers who stepped up to the challenge. The news coverage has largely ignored them too.

Heroes aren’t alone

We love our heroes. They are usually a single person. But a person usually doesn’t become a hero by themselves.

Which got us thinking about the Wind Beneath My Wings. Doesn’t that song seem particularly appropriate when thinking about heroes and airplanes? Pun fully intended!

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marylynn
On the show, I had to try hard not to cry as we talked about the lyrics of this song.

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georgeI tried not to admit that I’m a huge Bette Midler fan! But so was Johnny Carson … so I guess I’m in good company.

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Unsung heroes

The song starts …

“It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way. You always walked a step behind.”

This is the case with many heroes. There are the heroes we see. And for every hero that we see, there are many unsung heroes, working behind the scenes, that we never see.

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marylynnWhen I was in radio, I did a segment called “Superstar Employee of the Month,” where people could nominate their co-workers. The nominations were always so heartfelt and touching. People often recognized those co-workers who seldom got any credit.

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Plenty of work, very little credit

The song continues …

“So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strain.”

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georgeThis reminds me of something I heard my dad say a number of times about the employees of his business. “They do all the work and I get all the credit.” This is so true for many leaders. At least he recognized it!

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We all have people behind us that help us succeed. And they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Just like the co-pilot and crew of US Airways Flight 1549.

Lifting us up

These unsung heroes, who do so much work for so little credit do much more than just support us.

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marylynnMy favorite line of this song is in the chorus, “I can fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings.” It shows how important some people are to us. They lift us up to heights we can’t achieve on our own, to levels we can hardly imagine.

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A hero’s response

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georgeWhen my dad passed away unexpectedly, I kept a journal for awhile. The chorus to this song was the feature of the very first entry. There wasn’t much left unsaid between the two of us. We had a great relationship, but I’m not sure that I ever told him that he was a hero to me. I think he knew, but I sure wish I had said it explicitly.

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The song closes with the appropriate response of a hero …

“Thank you, thank you, thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings”.

Whether we feel like a hero or not, it’s important to understand that any success we achieve isn’t reached alone. There are people lifting us up every step of the way.

Don’t just think about how much you appreciate them. Tell them. To go back to the song one more time, it says it explicitly …

“It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.”

We should do the same!

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Do you have any idea how much we appreciate that you are part of our community? Well, let us just say, it means more to us than words can say. But we’ll try anyway:

You lift us up! Thank you, thank you … 

Join us next time as we wrap up this series by discussing the hero within the hero. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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A Formula for the Blues

unhappy It’s Monday of the last full week of January. You know what that means? It’s Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, according to Dr Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University psychologist.

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He devised a formula to find out when people are unhappiest. It’s based on many factors – the weather this time of the year in many parts of the developed world, Christmas bills coming in as we try to figure out how to pay them, our New Year’s resolutions starting to fall by the wayside, and more.

It’s been reported that fewer people went into debt this Christmas compared to prior years. So maybe it won’t be so bad this year. On the other hand, we get blasted daily with reports of layoffs, store closings and other bad news. Many people are feeling like they’re not in control of their own lives. So this may be a particularly blue Blue Monday.

Rock bottom up!

We can see the glass as half empty or half full. We could just sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Or we could look at it this way – if today really is the most depressing day of the year, then it can only be better for the rest of the year!

It reminds us of J.K. Rowling’s address to last year’s Harvard graduates. She said that, before her success with Harry Potter, she reached rock bottom. She found it very liberating because she knew she had nowhere to go but up.

Dreamin’ and schemin’

That’s what we call our formula for getting over the blues. It works for just about any situation that you’re unhappy about. So use this to get back on track with that New Year’s resolution, for financial problems, and just about anything else. Well, it won’t help with the weather!

Step 1: Allow yourself to mentally escape. For just a little bit, stop thinking about where you are. Instead think about where you want to be. Picture it as clearly as you can. Then write it down.

This has helped us innumerable times. By focusing on where we want to be for a short time, our motivation returns. We find we have new energy to return to the problem that got us down in the first place. Now we have the strength to return to the present and move to the next step.

Step 2: Schedule your steps. With your written description from your mental escape in Step 1 in front of you, think about your current situation. What will it take to get from where you are to where you want to be? Write down every step that you will need to take, focusing of course only on things you can control.

Step 3: Take the first step. This is really the most important step. Taking even the smallest step helps you lose that feeling of powerlessness. It gives you a reason to pat yourself on the back. It gets positive energy flowing to solve your problem instead of being frozen by it.

This is something that helps us get over the blues. What works for you?

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Oh, and if you’re feeling down today, hang in there. Dr. Arnall has also calculated the happiest day of the year. That happens in June!

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

Tomorrow, we’re inaugurating a new President here in the United States. He’ll swear that he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Join us next time when we ask, “Does your organization need a Constitution?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!  

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00311-011909.mp3

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Is E-Mail Diluting Your Message?

communicate Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, is the author of Silent Messages. This book discusses his legendary research into the relative importance of verbal and non-verbal communication.

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Mehrabian’s rule

When you’re trying to communicate emotions, think about the three V’s: verbal, vocal, and visual. They are the three parts of what has become known as Mehrabian’s Rule – 7% of your message is given verbally (the words you use), 38% comes vocally (the tone you use), and 55% is delivered visually (your facial expressions and body language).

We see from his research that, when we’re trying to convey feelings or attitudes, the overwhelming majority of the message comes through non-verbally. If the verbal and non-verbal don’t agree, people will rely on the non-verbal.

Choosing your medium

Therefore, understanding the three V’s of communication helps you prevent misunderstanding. If the recipient of your message can’t hear and see you say the words, your message may get diluted.

E-mail is convenient, but it can be easily misunderstood because it’s only words. What about text messages?

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marylynnA friend of mine told me that her husband’s ex-wife texts her husband about problems with their kids. My friend gets frustrated after several rounds of nothing getting solved. She says she tells him to just call his ex-wife.

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So choose your medium carefully if you’re trying to convey feelings or attitudes. Some media only use one part of the communication trio, and a very minor one at that!

If you’re just relaying facts, e-mail is fine. If you want to express more than that, your message may get diluted. A phone call enriches the conversation because you bring in the voice. And while it’s not always possible to meet face-to-face, it is your best bet for your most sensitive communication.

Speaking of which …

Let’s apply this to a presentation, whether your audience is one or many. How you say what you say, and what you do when you say it, are actually more important, in getting your message across, than what you say.

What?

It’s hard to explain this in just words. Hey, that illustrates our point!

You can say, “I’m excited.” If you say it with enthusiasm in your voice while standing straight up, your audience will believe you. If you say it like Droopy says, “I’m happy” and slouch while you’re saying it, your audience may doubt you.

People remember the impression more than the words. So if you want to connect with an audience, it’s important to practice your inflections and your gestures to make sure they’re congruent with your words.

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Are you thinking about your New Year resolutions?
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We really appreciate you reading our post today. If you listened to our show, you could’ve heard our appreciation in our voices! Join us next time when we get a visit from a very special guest – Santa Claus. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00289-121808.mp3

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Thanksgetting

giving Do you:

  • have trouble accepting a compliment?
  • struggle when others offer you sympathy?
  • feel anxious when you get a gift? resist signs of friendship and love?

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“It’s better to give than to receive.” Our parents teach us this from the time we’re young and society reinforces it.

We wondered about the origin of this quote. It turns out that it comes from the Bible.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Do you notice the subtle difference?

The statement has evolved into an absolute. It started out as a relative statement. Receiving is a blessing in and of itself. We’re even more blessed when we give.

But notice that it’s not bad to be the receiver!

Completing the circle
Think about it – there can’t be a giver without a receiver. If we can’t graciously receive, we deny the giver the full joy that should come from giving.

Unselfish people feel empty if they always “get.” Giving completes the circle. So it’s important to be a good receiver as well as a good giver.

Ask yourself “Why?”
At its most extreme, not being able to graciously receive may be a sign of an underlying problem. For example, it may mean that there is a lack of self-esteem. Someone may feel unworthy of the gift or the compliment.

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marylynnI think women may have more of a problem with this than men. We often get a compliment and immediately diminish it with a negative statement.

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Some people feel that they gain power by giving. If they receive something, they owe the giver. Others may give to impress others. Some people give to try to earn friendship.

If you really have trouble receiving, ask yourself why. It’s important to find the underlying reason so you can live your life more fully as a giver and a receiver.

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georgeMy mom was one of the most giving people you could have ever met. She seemed to struggle with receiving. One example – she always tried to buy when we went out for lunch or dinner. If I grabbed the check, she protested and protested. I finally told her that I couldn’t feel any joy in her buying for me if she never let me buy for her. After that, she let me take my turns!

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How to be a good receiver

  • Start by giving without condition or expectation. In order for you to experience the full circle, you have to participate on both sides. Start by giving.
  • Recognize that receiving is part of giving. You bring joy to the giver when you willingly accept their gift. 
  • Be grateful, not objectionable. Some people are so busy objecting to the gift that they take away all the pleasure the giver feels. Don’t immediately bring up all the reasons why you don’t deserve the compliment or the gift. Just say thanks!
  • Receive generously. If you learn to receive as generously as you give, the givers in your life will live more fully. Don’t hold back your appreciation!

Receiving graciously is a gift in itself – to you and to the giver. That’s what thanksgetting is all about!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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So today is Thanksgiving and we’re so thankful that you joined us! Check in on us next time as we ask, “Who gets your leftovers?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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