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March 2011

Family is Number One!

by mikemack on March 27, 2011

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What do you think?

Do you regard your family as good, reliable, caring people?

As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I am learning that this is not always the case with everyone.

They are not close with their siblings or parents and perhaps rarely talk to them, regardless of the occasion.

The concept of “Family is Number One” , as it relates to my family, started with my brothers and sisters in the summer of 2007.

We were attending a family wedding (my nephew Brian) and during that time our Mom was in the hospital battling cancer. While at the wedding we were all thinking of Mom and during a photo opportunity with the six of us, (my three sisters and two brothers) I subtly suggested that we hold up our right index finger, smile and say, “Family is Number One”. The photo resonated with all of us, in fact, we have had other pictures with the same number one look.

It is said that a picture paints a thousand words. Well, I can’t begin to describe what goes through my head when I think of that picture with my amazing brothers and sisters. If you were to Google, “really awesome families”, that put the needs of each other first, that would pretty much describe us as siblings.

This BLOG is not intended to brag about my family…..I don’t have to, because we simply put each other first…….always and without exception! While our Mom and Dad are no longer with us, we are reminded of the caring family values that were instilled in each of us.

If you are looking for this, I may suggest that you be the first one to step to the plate. Show that you care for them, and don’t wait to be cared for. Show up and treat your family like a best friend, one that you, LIKE, RESPECT and TRUST.

Ironically, this is incredibly easy for us to do.

It can be:

Listening intently as one of us is going through a major life challenge.

Bouncing a business idea by one another.

Encouraging one another to get our morning workout.

Spend 50 minutes together (because that is all the time we have available) before we head back to our respective homes, and make every moment count.

When the going gets tough, my family doesn’t keep going……it stops and offers a helping hand.

If your family is a rock…….than times are good for you.

If your family is rocky, than time for you to be good to them.

If your family doesn’t talk……than pick up the phone!

I dedicate this BLOG to my Auntie Betty, who passed away on March 17th. (She is seated in the picture)

“Helping you…and your family, to the next level”

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Goals and Dreams!

by mikemack on March 21, 2011

Whether you are a 20 year old woman like my daughter Jessica, a farmer, an MBA student, business owner, or athlete, we all have goals and dreams.

How can we get what we want?

As a general observation, it would appear that many people don’t exactly know what they want.

Even successful people that have worked hard and saved money for retirement are now in a situation that they don’t know what they want. The goal of working hard and saving for retirement has a flaw in the plan. There was no true “goal”, of enjoying retirement. Yes, the theory was there, but not a practical plan.

I believe that there are 5 key principles to increasing our chances of achieving what we truly want.

DESIRE

Whatever we decide to strive for, make sure that you love what you are doing on the journey to getting there.

MOTIVATION

Create a plan and start on it now. If you have a goal, go get it. Don’t wait, as it is not likely coming to you without action.

DIRECTION

Where do you want to go from here? I am amazed at how many people don’t put any of their goals on paper. It’s simple, yet it is so significant in actually moving you closer to your goals. The future “you” may look fuzzy and unclear. Seek and find clarity.

DESTINATION

If you are going to plan a goal, it might as well be BIG. Have fun with it. This process can keep you pumped about what could be.

FEARS

You can gain confidence through focus. Climbers who have conquered Mount Everest know this very well. In some challenging portions of the climb, ladders are stretched across large and wide crevasses that drop thousands of feet. You must cross this narrow path. If you do not focus on the other side and decide to look down and fear the possible drop, you may not get to where you want to go.

I talk to alot to people about goals and dreams. One of the most important things to remember is that regardless of how big my goal is or how small your goal may be, ultimately it is your goal and dream. As long as you have the desire to achieve it, you can go get it. When you get there you can savour the moment. Don’t compare your goals to others. It can distract you from who you really are and when you actually achieve your goal it may feel bittersweet. A goal is a dream with a deadline! It should be fun, challenging and fulfilling!

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

“Helping you to the next level”

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Authenticity

by mikemack on March 14, 2011

This is a very powerful and important word in our personal and professional lives.

I believe that we are all born naturals when it comes to authenticity, however, as we get older our environment seems to change some of us. Perhaps we are told to stop acting in a certain way, and if we hear this enough times we stop acting the way that we are. We may be forced to be someone that we are not. (peer pressure) We stop being authentic.

If we experience a major challenge in our life or some significant reality check we may evolve back to our true self. It is also possible that we change our circle of people that we interact with and we find that people truly appreciate when we can simply be ourselves. It is ok for us to be who we really are.

The definition of authenticity is the quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy or genuine. It is a particular way of dealing with the external world, and being faithful to internal rather than external ideas.

In short, it is about you being you. This is not always easy for some people to do.

Forrest Gump’s Mama always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates….you never know what you are gonna to get.”

In this regard, when we can live in a place of authenticity on a regular basis, others will know what they are going to get when they interact with us.

We can increase our value when we are authentic. Like a beautiful piece of antique furniture that is found hidden in a corner, it can become a truly valuable treasure if it can be restored to its true and original state.

Our value goes up with others and with ourselves (not in a monetary sense) when we are original and authentic. They want to appreciate us for being us. Whether we have a big smile, or we joke and act crazy at times, it is who we are. It’s a good place to be all the time.

I have realized that I am starting to get the hang of being more authentic…….but I still have room for improvement. What I continue to learn and experience are people that have entered my life that are truly authentic. They can laugh at themselves, be vulnerable and more importantly you always know what you are going to get with them. When I get the privilege to interact and spend time with these individuals I reflect on how I can demonstrate that same openness and genuine self. It can be a challenge, but a great goal to aspire to. Truly authentic people say to me, “is there any other way to be?”

Make it a great and authentic week!

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

“Helping you to the next level”

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Go ahead…..make my day!

by mikemack on March 7, 2011

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Clint Eastwood made this line famous in the early 1970′s with the hit movie, “Dirty Harry”

There was a scene where his character met a criminal with a gun and was basically egging him on to pull the trigger. “Go ahead…make my day!” In this case, making Harry’s day would have come as a result of someone else feeling great pain…Ouch!

While this line has resonated with many of us, (Okay, assuming you are over 27……LOL) what if we could always make someone’s day in a really positive and fulfilling way?

We could do it with “Random acts of kindness.” No pain required!

Let’s get really creative here…

Allow someone to go in front of you at the grocery store, because they only have a few items.

Wave and offer to have someone enter your lane in rush hour.

Offer a public compliment about one of your colleagues, just because they deserve it.

Phone your aunt when she is faced with poor health.

Tell your kids that you love them, even though you will not expect a mutual response.

Smile at a stranger walking on the street. (This works with friends too!…….Thanks Harvey!)

Stop and listen to someone who wants to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of their day.

Buy someone a Tim’s coffee for no particular reason.

Give someone your time, when you feel you have no time to give.

Offer some free advice because it is the right thing to do.

Phone a friend to make sure that they are “connecting the dots” (Thanks Ronda!)

In our busy and fast paced life, we don’t take enough time to do this…..Why is that? I will let you ponder on this!

Here is the cool part of the program. If you do this from time-to-time, it actually can become habit. You don’t have to always do it with the same person, but you will find it becomes a way of life. Remember, do this because you WANT to, not because you HAVE to.

Go ahead……make someone’s day!!!!

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

“Helping you to the Next Level”

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