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October 2010

Connection, Connect, Connecting

by mikemack on October 25, 2010

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Connection, Connect, Connecting.

We keep hearing these words more and more it seems. It’s even in my weekly Blog title.

Whether it is business or personal relationships, the buzz word is Connect, or Connection.

So why is it so important? What does it mean? How does it happen?

Connecting Is All About Others
“When you are trying to connect with people, it’s not about you — it’s about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself. You have to change the focus from inward to outward, off of yourself and onto others.” – John C. Maxwell (author, “Everyone Communicates, few Connect”).

I had the good fortune of seeing a long-time friend of mine from Nova Scotia this past week, (Jim Casey).
We have not seen each other for four years, yet we chat and email from time to time and keep up on our lives. We both agreed that it only seemed like yesterday since we last were together. Every conversation was effortless and comfortable. Wow, what a concept!

We all experience this on occasion with certain people, but why does it happen with some and not others?
Well, I have a few theories, but will focus on one or two. Whether it is a business or personal relationship, we discover that there are certain people that meet, what I call, the “LRT” criteria. We LIKE them, we RESPECT them and we TRUST them, and that has stood the test of time.

I consider myself very lucky that I have many people in my life that meet these criteria. Of course, the criteria are earned over time, and I know that I too must earn this with the other person as well. That’s why it works!

It is a simple guide that can go a long way in strengthening a relationship.

I actually use the “LRT criteria within my Coaching practice when I make reference to how we establish Centres of Influences in our professional and personal life. If you have earned the right to ask anyone for anything, you too must be Liked, Respected and Trusted. Here is what is really important. It does not matter if the individual is a CEO, a Doctor, or a Farmer.

If we take the time to Connect with the person, not the position or their status in the community or their wealth, we really have something that is special and long-lasting.

Always ensure that the Connection, or relationship can create a win-win and never keep track if you have won or lost more than the other person. Sometimes you may lean on them more and other times they may ask you for more. It’s all good, if indeed a true connection is there.

I welcome your comments on this week’s Blog in the section below.

“Helping you to the next Level”

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I have a dream……do you?

by mikemack on October 18, 2010

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No, this is not a message from the late Martin Luther King, Jr. and his powerful message from 1963.

This topic has been on my brain for along time and there seems to be tons of dialogue with my friends and coaching clients in the past number of months about Dreams.

First of all, I do have a Dream….in fact, I have several. When asked, I share some of those dreams with friends and colleagues. Some responses include, wow that is awesome….or, my dreams aren’t that good, or.. I don’t really have one…..

Here’s some very basic advice…….your dream can be as big or small as you want it to be, and it does not need to excite anyone else, except you!!!

When I get into this a little deeper, I find out some amazing and exciting things…….
What about my friend B.E. who dreams of opening a Flower Shop, or my friend S.D. who dreams of completing an MBA, or my friend, T.R. who dreams of being a billionaire (so bad too) ….or my friend P.L. who is living the dream?

While I have used this quote and video clip in one of my Blogs back in March 2010, I felt it worthy to dust it off for a quick review, once again.

This is from the Pursuit of Happyness movie, with Will Smith, and is my favourite quote and scene from the movie, as it says so much, with very few words.

“Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something…not even me. You got a dream….you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something….go get it…period”

For most of us, we seemed to stop dreaming when we became adults. Why? Perhaps, someone told us that we couldn’t do something, or we didn’t protect the dream.
As kids, we dreamed of becoming doctors, astronauts, riding horses, or playing in a rock band, and much more.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

There have been many things that I have done in my life that many years ago would have been regarded as a wild dream, or crazy idea……….but today they have been realized. Sometimes, its as simple as taking a little action and instilling belief in yourself that you can indeed realize the dream.

p.s…I had a surreal moment as I was listening to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech on Youtube while I prepared this week’s Blog. As I typed the words, “Pursuit of Happyness”, within this Blog, he said the exact words (Pursuit of Happiness) as I typed them……I was kinda wowed by that coincidence……….That man indeed, had a Dream!!!

Have a great week…..you deserve it.

I welcome your comments on this weeks Blog in the comment section below.

“Helping you to the next level”

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Thank you!

by mikemack on October 11, 2010

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With the Thanksgiving weekend behind us, I felt that it was appropriate to give thanks to the many people that are in my world. There are many!
I do not say that to impress you, but to impress upon you that we all have people in our life that care so much about our well-being.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. I am grateful that my family in Saskatchewan is on the home stretch of getting their harvest off.

As I reflect, I find it really amazing that when you take the time to truly be thankful and grateful for the people you have in your life, nothing else seems as stressful or concerning.

You simply realize that life is pretty good, even though, at times, it can give you grief and challenge.

Those special people that support you, listen to you and care about your well-being make all the difference. Who are those people in your world? Are you on someones list too? This is a reciprocal process, meaning you give to so many people too, and rest assured, they are grateful.

One of my favourite songs is called “Thank You” (Johnny Reid)

The first few lines are as follows:

“If I only had, two words left to say to you.
With my last breath I’d come face the truth to you.
You’ve never left my side, even when I fell behind.
Thank-you.”

Thank you to the special people in my life that never left my side.

Have a great week and be thankful for the great people in your life.

Helping you to the next level.

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Struggles

by mikemack on October 4, 2010

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In my profession as a Business Consultant and Sales Coach, I see and speak with many people who have struggles. Some struggles are personal, and some are professional issues, but the reality is that this is completely normal. It’s called life!!

When the going gets tough, do you keep going? Many people do, and persevere, but many people just stop…or quit!

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill

Life can throw us curve balls without notice, but we must teach ourselves, or seek support from others to learn how to get out of the rut, or funk. Be strong and put in the effort to step forward.

As I speak with more and more people in my journey called life, I realize that alot of people don’t actually know where they want to end up. Their struggles may be related to job or career challenges. Perhaps they work hard and life is always hectic with their business and they see no end in sight. They may say, “why me?”

I really like the advice from Andy Andrews (7 Decisions for Success) .
He states, when someone asks, “why me, I will immediately counter with the answer, why not me? Challenges are gifts, an opportunity to learn. Problems are the common thread running through the lives of great men and women. In times of adversity I will not have a problem to deal with, I will have a choice to make. Adversity is preparation for greatness.”
This is great advice, and I do know that it works.

In addition to the above suggestion, I really encourage you to think about the following advice as it has served me very well over the past few years as I encountered many struggles in my life.

Focus on what you want……NOT on what you don’t want. This is very simple advice, but so many people don’t follow this. Create the life that you want………………you deserve it!

Instead of saying, “I don’t want to be unhappy, say “I want true happiness and will do what I need to do to find it”….(Two very different approaches)

I am a big fan of the work of Napoleon Hill. One of my favourites quotes from him is, “why is it that more people don’t keep on, keeping on?” The meaning here is that, if we push ourselves just a little more or further, we may get through the challenge and reap the benefits of our efforts…!

Here is my way of illustrating the struggles of life and I will relate it to a baseball diamond. The goal in baseball is to get a hit (let’s call that success) and advance around the bases (we will call this the journey of life) If you only get to 1st base and hit a challenge or struggle (you are out) you must start all over again. Getting to 1st base 10 times or 50 times is not the objective. Keep on keeping on, to advance your life!

When you get good at this, you realize that you will keep doing it, because as I see it, there is no other option worth considering!!!

Struggles will make you stronger……..trust me on this one!!!

I would welcome your comments on this week’s Blog, in the comment section below.

“Helping you to the next level”

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