Thursday, September 3, 2009

Better You

It’s important to know that the work we do is valuable to others and valued by others. When what we do feels important, it becomes important and that contributes to our sense of purpose, giving us the passion and a desire to work at our full potential.

I am a HUGE believer in personal development! I believe the bigger you are, the better you are, the stronger YOU are (inside -mentally, spiritually and emotionally), the smaller your problems become.

“What is your job” / “what is it you do here”?

I am of the humble opinion you/we are here on this earth to “Serve” others! The more we do this, the better we do this in our lives with an open heart the more good we receive. One simple note being a servant does not mean being a doormat. I mean to be of service to others in your life and career by doing good work, being kind and helpful etc… But you knew that. (just a reminder:)

The best part about being of service to others is when we are focused on our problems they’re Magnified – but when we look to serve others our problems disappear. This can be your escape. Beyond that, it has been my experience the most happy, successful and satisfied people in the world are not those that are focused on themselves and their own issues but rather the joy of helping others.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” ~ John F. Kennedy

“Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family.”~ George Bernard Shaw

“Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Great Core Values

Be a positive Role model

Whether you are a parent, sibling, friend or coworker you can be a positive influence to anyone and everyone. You have the ability to be a role model everyday to someone in your life. The best way to be a positive role model is simple make good choices. That’s it; if you make good choices you’ll lead by example.

The second part to that is even if you mess up, admit it and then keep doing your best. We are all human and no one expects you to be perfect. In fact when you admit an error and do your best to correct it that is another opportunity to be a role model. You can teach people to learn from their mistakes, to get back on track and to be open and honest.

For me the best way to learn what I don’t know, to accomplish some thing I never have and to be more than I ever thought I could be is to find a mentor.

I can say honestly I am, who I am today, thanks to people who have guided me. I have been very fortunate in life to recognize when some one cared and was willing to help me; then gravitated towards that person and was able to learn from them; like a flower soaking up the rain.

In addition to this, when I had no mentor in my life for something I wanted to learn or become I sought them out in books, audio cd’s, websites and seminars. Here is a list of just “Some” of the people I study, admire and model my life after:

Dr Wayne Dyer, Oprah, Jay – Z, P Diddy or Sean Combs, Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Alex Mandosian, Jim Rohn, My Mom and Grandmother (who just turned 88 and still volunteers at a Catholic grade school in California), Donald Trump, Steve Jobs and Tiger Woods.

I promise if you study, read about, learn from and model just one of these people you’ll have a more fulfilling, amazing life beyond your expectations no matter what that means to you. Every role model had a role model. And to be a role model can be one of the most rewarding things you do and you don’t have to be rich or famous just make good choices and be “You”.

Creating the highest quality program

In my opinion and personal experience, on going professional development and being a life long learner is the best way or really the only way to create the highest quality “You”. If everyone had this mindset and focus at least to some degree, then creating a high quality program would be effortless.

You can’t give what you don’t have. This is true with Love, knowledge, energy, time, money etc… So the more you are, the more you have to give the more you bring to every relationship and that includes at home, at work and … with yourself!

It all starts with us. Anything we are involved in is merely the sum of its parts. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Another reality is that any group, job or relationship is just a mirror of the individuals. For example America is in Debt because collectively its citizens are in debt. This holds true anywhere so if we work on being the highest quality people it will automatically be reflected in our relationships and work.

"There is no labor a person does that is undignified; if they do it right."~ Bill Cosby

"It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity."~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."~ William A. Foster

Perform as a strong team

As people we need each other, I think now more than ever. In the North East part of the world we tend to be a lil’ more closed off, cold like the weather. But we should never forget we are all connected and we need one another.

In your life you are part of many teams. Family team, work team, school team, maybe a sports team and even a neighborhood team. How well do you play on the teams your involved in? Where can you be a stronger link or play a bigger role? Don’t be afraid to be more open or to try harder.

A college professor once asked a class, “to have a successful relationship what percentage of effort does each party need to contribute?” One student feeling smart yelled out “50/50” immediately the professor shot over a look of dissatisfaction, a few seconds later another brave student said “51/49 because you have to be willing to give more” and finally someone guessed 80/20 why I have no idea. The professor walked over to the board and wrote 100% - 0! He said…“You have to be willing to put in 100% effort with zero expectation in return, because you can’t expect to receive the best from someone, if you don’t give your best to someone. And although we can never control what someone else does or does not do, we CAN ALWAYS control what we do…or do not do!”

“Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.” ~Henry Ford

”The strength of the team is each individual member...the strength of each member is the team.” ~ Coach Phil Jackson Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers

Meaningful connections

Finally the best for last! To me this goes hand in hand with service to others is making meaningful connections; it’s why we are here on this planet! The definition of a meaningful connection I have said is:

“A connection has been a meaningful one when, all parties involved feel satisfied and have received sufficient value for their time, money or energy contributed.”

I Really liked some answers I've heard before even better like creating trust or giving and receiving respect.

The fact of the matter is in order to have a meaningful connection you have to be: 1. Present and in the moment. This means you are focused on what and who is in front of you at that time, not stressing the past or thinking about what you’re going to have for lunch; you are focused and concentrated on who you interacting with. 2. You genuinely care about whether or not the person(s) is satisfied or fulfilled with the interaction.

To often we talk just to get out words rather than to really communicate. It’s lazy or we think we’re just being polite and really that is “impolite”. In addition, people often have the bad habit of waiting to speak rather than actually listening. We are so concerned in saying what we want to say and we never really hear other people and if we are doing that to them…they are probably doing that to us.

I cannot stress the beauty in really caring for others, really listening and having engaging, deep meaningful connections with people. Not just saying, “how are you” while racing past someone to get to your next destination. This will mean slowing down more often and I know in today's fast pace world this can be a tough task but it’s worth it. Practicing this can change lives; yours and all those you come in contact with.

“I am a part of all that I have met”~ Alfred Tennyson

“Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it”~ Anais Nin

“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own”~ Ben Sweetland


So all if this may sound great but here are some tools that have helped many others and myself be able to deal with stress and actually implement the above core values with a little more ease.

1. Handle conflict, its not you (deal with the problem not people) – Keep in mind whenever you are in or dealing with a conflict it’s not about you. You or the other party are just upset over an event or situation and if you step back and say "how can we come to a resolution that is satisfactory to us both", rather than attacking each other it will be easier to successfully deal with the issue at hand.

2. Release tension exercise – part 1. Close your eyes, sit comfortably in a chair and picture an event or person that is currently or has recently upset you or caused you stress. Get the image firm in your mind and think about how they or the situation, really hurt you. After you have this focus clear in your mind for 30 secs or so, squeeze your shoulders up tightly raising them to your ears creating tension and hold...SQUEEZE! Then let go. Part 2. Now keeping your eyes closed, body upright, feet on the floor hands on lap, in a comfortable position, take a minute to notice any left over tension and breath deep while relaxing that part of your body until you are almost limp and totally relaxed. I want you to bring up that person or event again. This time though, imagine either the person quite and smiling or if it’s an event picture yourself now outside in the sun on a perfect day. Now I want you to image the perfect outcome in place of what happened or what you fear happens. I mean perfect!! You hit the lottery, the person apologized sincerely AND bought you a gift, whatever it is, it’s exactly the perfect resolution. Finally while holding this image and most importantly “feeling the good feeling” associated with the great outcome I want you to smile and take 3 long, deep, relaxing breaths then end the last breath exhaling the word PEACE! Open your eyes. If need be repeat part 2 several times till you feel peaceful and relaxed and the perfect outcome seems real.

3. Remember the bigger pictureWrite your goals down and refocus your mind. Concentrate on the love, the mission, the goal. Rather than stress one temporary issue that may seem big at the moment OR worry over some minor detail, stop and remember, often times we when we look back we realize what appeared to be a "Mountain" was really just a mole hill. So pause...breath...and "focus on the bigger thing & what makes your heart sing." It’s too easy to stress little stuff and lose sight of what’s really important.

4. Rely on each otherDon’t be scared to open up. Ask for help. If you want to serve, sometimes the best way to serve is to ask for help and give someone else the opportunity, the “Gift” of serving and helping You; it’s a win-win. Remember being a team means you rely on each other. This will make for more meaningful connections and the best role models know when to ask for help and ask often.

5. Create a success and gratitude journal – It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people who want more in their life but aren’t grateful for what they have now. God, the universe, an employer, will never give you more if you don’t appreciate what you have already been given; no matter how much or how little that is. Also, it is so much easier to bring more good in your life when you are happy and grateful so every morning write in a journal, first thing at breakfast time, 3 things (people, situations, things etc…) that you are grateful and then close your eyes, put on a smile and FEEL grateful! Really take a minute and say “Ahhh…Thank You.” The next part to this is building on your small successes to create bigger ones. The more you appreciate and reccognize your small successes the more confidence you will build, giving you the strength to try more things, take bigger risks and accomplish bigger successes. There is no big success without small success. For example Oprah Whinfrey did not wake up a billionaire. She first went to school, worked hard, made mistakes and learned from them, become committed to a career, practiced her butt off, had a small radio show, which became a big radio show, which became a small talk show to an empire. And all that started with her getting up and getting to work on time. So appreciating the little and BIG successes daily by writing 3 successes you had that day from, eating a good healthy breakfast, getting your kid (or husband) to do something you ask without a fight…to getting a raise or positive acknowledgement at work. Keep this journal, writing 3 things to be grateful for and 3 successes everyday for 90 days! It will change your life for the better guaranteed.

I hope you find these ideas of value and I wish for you...

Peace & Prosperity,

Dallas M Cyr

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