Are You Giving Stress Too Much Influence?

Worry

Worrying was an important evolutionary tool. Wondering if there is a saber toothed tiger behind the bush helped our ancestors survive. But at what point does worrying hurt us? How can we turn worrying into “productive thinking”?

I have worried about many things. The slightest health scare can make me think I have a disease. One unhappy client leads to thinking that they all may leave. A little turbulence on the plane could be a deadly plane destroying hurricane! But is there really anything to gain from these worries? Not usually, and that’s why we need productive thinking.

Turning your worries into productive thinking can free your mind up to do what you need it for.

Here are a few tips to turn worrying into productive thinking:

#1.Let you thoughts take you forward and not back

Being in deep thought about a difficult subject is not a bad thing. We have to take time to think. However, you must pay close attention to where your thoughts are taking you. Are you focusing on progress? Are you looking for solutions? After thinking for some time, are you closer to overcoming the problem? Just beginning to find a solution can help you feel better.

#2.Decide if you can control it

Not everything is worth your deep thought or worthy of productive thinking. You have to be honest about whether something is truly under your control now. This doesn’t mean stressing about something that was in your control in the past. Maybe you failed in the past and that’s why you are here. But there are many things under your control this moment. If you don’t take ownership of them immediately, they can become things in the past that you are worried about.

#3. If possible, give yourself deadlines for action

OK, so you need to take action. Be cautious of paralysis by analysis. You will use all the time that you give yourself. Simply putting a deadline on finding a solution will help you tremendously. Put at plan of action together with a specific time. When you reach the end of that time, you need to be in a new place. Maybe that means you have solved the problem or not, but you can’t be in the same place that you started.

#4. If necessary, let it go.

What happens if you have no control? What happens if you set a deadline again and again, but you still aren’t solving your issue. Sometimes it’s just time to let it go (words my toddler daughter know too well). You cannot fix everything, nor do you have to. Many times the best thing to do is to accept that this problem isn’t going away. Perhaps it is necessary to stop thinking about it and move on. Be clear on what you can let go of. Perhaps accepting that you just can’t and don’t want to solve it at this moment will allow you to take the issue out of your mind.

Stress can cause so many problems but it doesn’t have to. Be intentional now and take control of your life. When have you overcome your worries? How did you do it? Thanks for reading. If you like this, I’d be grateful if you shared it. If not, don’t worry, you’re still awesome in my eyes.

Trust Your Team Members and Grow Your Business

Chicken Trust

Last week while passing a construction project near my home, I noticed a worker leaving wearing his backpack. A security guard lifted the bottom of his backpack a few times. After he was sure that the worker had not stolen any tools, he was allowed to leave.

Is this the kind of trust we have in today’s business? Someone can work for you all day long but we still check their bag.

Trust is the tool and you could be the one stealing it. The culture we create as an owner or manager is important. Not everyone is trustworthy but many are. There is always a leap of faith that any business must make to progress. Anyone who has started a business knows that feeling of hiring the first team member.

Trust isn’t easy but it’s a must.

Here’s a few tips to help you grow your own ability to believe in others:

#1. Delegate

Marketing expert Seth Godin said on his blog. “Yesterday, thousands of people got married. Just about every one of these weddings went beautifully. Amazingly you weren’t there, on site, making sure everything was perfect.” It’s hard to give up control, but we’ll never grow trust until we try. People can get things done without you. I am just like you, I want to be a part of everything. I don’t have to be, and neither do you.

#2. What’s the worst that could happen?

This is an important question to ask. You can set up your systems in a way that the downside is small, even if trust is broken. For example, author and time maximization expert Tim Ferris say that if a solution can be found for under $100, he lets his team solve it without asking him. This trust frees up his time significantly.

#3. Build trust over time

As people show that you can trust them with the small things,  trust increases. Many will rise to the challenge if given more responsibility. If they fail with the small things, then it’s reasonable if you have your doubts.

#4. Trust but document

Make sure you have procedures in place to document the trust you have given. Be very clear about your expectations. The better you are at documenting what you are trusting to someone, the easy it is for them to live up to your expectations.

Trust is essential for any relationship. Without trust there is no relationship. Will it be perfect? No. Will you get burned? Probably, but not most of the time. Take the chance, trust your team members. Many of you are where you are today because someone trusted you.

“It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them” -Tim Ferris

What could you do tomorrow to show your team members that you trust them? Why do you fear trusting someone? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading. I trusted you to read this far, and you did! I also trust you to share this, but only if you like it.

What Are the Reasons that You’re Not Succeeding?

Responsibility

35 years ago, motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, had this to say:

“I used to have that long list of reasons why I wasn’t doing well. To explain, you’ve got to explain right, otherwise you’re going to look bad. I used to have this funny list called, reasons for not looking good.”

His list included, the government, taxes, prices, the weather, traffic, his car, the manufacturers, the company, company policy, the training program, negatives relatives, cynical neighbors, “they’re just selfish looking out for themselves, won’t loan you money”, the economy, the community…

Later he had a conversation with a wiser friend who told him:

“Jim just out of curiosity, how come you haven’t done well up until now?”

“Excellent question,” thought Rohn, “well so I won’t look too bad, I’ll go through my list.”

After recounting the whole list, his friend replied:

“Mr. Rohn, big problem with your list… you ain’t on it.”

So what about your list? Are you on it? Almost every single thing on Rohn’s list is still on many lists today. The world has changed a lot in 35 years, but are we really that different? It all still comes down to responsibility.

Finding the person responsible for most of our problems is simple. Go to the bathroom and look right above the sink. Every time I encounter a problem in my life, I like to consult him first. “What did you do this time?”, I think, as I examine the face in the mirror.

It couldn’t be easier to blame someone else than it is today. The internet is filled with excuses. But what about when it’s time to be accountable?

Here’s a few tips to help you take full responsibility.

#1. Choose your path

Don’t live someone else’s life. When you follow your own path you are not only happier but you have only yourself to blame for the results. 48 Days To the Work You Love author Dan Miller reminds that, “You have the potential to get to the top of the ladder, only to find it is leaning against the wrong building.”

#2. Accept your wins

Whether you win or lose, own it. Many times we have success, only to feel that we got lucky. Obviously we have to accept our failures but part of the joy of personal responsibility is accepting our success. You succeeded because you worked, celebrate your wins, learn from your losses and keep moving forward.

#3. Don’t fear responsibility

Mark Twain famously said, “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” It’s a little scary to take responsibility, but when we do, we find that most of the things we fear don’t happen. “He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary,” Stoic philosopher Seneca.

This is just the start. What else can you do to accept full responsibility? Let me know in the comments. Share this if you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

New Month Resolutions, Achieving Goals All Year Long

Hapy New Month

That hope, that excitement, that energy for change doesn’t have to go away. You can achieve what you planned to this year, and you can do it while enjoying your progress and celebrating all year long. All you need is New Month Resolutions.

New year’s resolutions are almost forgotten this time of the year.

Those beautiful new running shoes have some mud on them. That diet is harder to stick with thanks to your busy schedule. That language you are learning just has too many conjugations of that verb. Sometimes hitting this point makes you want to give up.

Nothing worth doing is easy. There is no large task that can be achieved in one day. Some people may seem like an overnight success but that’s because no one saw them working hard for years to get there.

Here’s a quick action plan to help you grow each new month and achieve more than you ever have before:

#1. Celebrate the new month:

Every year you have not one, but twelve chances to start over. Don’t worry if last month wasn’t perfect, this month will be better. This will be your best month yet. Embrace you enthusiasm. Feel the excitement that is a new opportunity to grow.

#2. Make new month resolutions:

Before the month begins, take some time to reflect on what you want to accomplish. This way, when the first arrives, you can hit the ground running (or walking or saving or dieting or speaking). Be intentional about what you will get done. Make a plan of action. The moment you write something down you have strengthened your commitment to achieving it. Let your plan be the boss. Let your enthusiasm carry you over the challenges.

#3. Don’t underestimate yourself:

A month is really not that long. Thinking of goals as a whole year challenge can be daunting. 31 days can go by fast. When you make that commitment to change, stick to it. Time will fly whether you want it to or not, you might as well use each day to grow. You will find that the progress will make you happier.

#4. Be specific:

Don’t just say, “I’ll go to the gym more”. Set a number, let’s say you want to work out 4 times a week. In a month with 31 days, that is only about 18 workouts. What gets measured gets managed. I personally like to use an app called GoalTracker, but most goal tracking apps will do. It’s fun to check off my workouts as soon as they are done. It even recalculates how many workouts you need if you miss one. Follow your own statistics and enjoy rooting for team “you”.

#5. Be realistic but don’t be afraid to dream:

Make sure that what you are trying to accomplish is not going to be impossible. The goal to save a million dollars by next month is probably going to be hard unless you have done a lot to prepare. But there is an amount you could save. Look at your income, plan your expenses. What can you do this month to leave a little extra cash in your pocket? Dream big though. Don’t sell yourself short. Even hitting 75% of your goal could be a huge increase.

#6. Don’t forget the big picture:

Successful people plan long term. Make sure to have a vision of where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. Obviously things will change but with these visions it will be easier to figure out how this month can move you towards you ultimate goal.

You will never see this month again. Hold your own little ceremony. Make a special dinner or whatever you do to celebrate. Reflect on the month that past and prepare for the one to come. Keep you spirits high and don’t be afraid to fail. This could be your best month ever (at least until next month).

What New Month Resolutions will you make? Let me know in the comments. If you like this post please share it. Thank you so much for reading. My new month resolution is a success because you are here. HAPPY NEW MONTH!!!!

 

 

I GOT to go there vs. I GET to go there

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Years ago when I was managing a restaurant a customer came in and looked a little serious. I asked how she was doing, fully intending to listen to her response but also expecting the usual, “fine”. To my surprise she was very honest.

The customer replied, “Not so good”.

“What’s wrong?”, I asked.

“I gotta go back to work after lunch”, she answered.

There it is, that phrase, “I gotta”. What does that mean exactly. Are you obligated to do things? Do you really have to go to work? Do you really have to pick up your kids? Do you really have to go home to your waiting spouse? Or walk the dog? Make dinner?

The words you use are powerful. They change the way you feel about your life. One letter can make a huge difference. “I got to go to work today” becomes “I get to go to work today” Many times we forget about the opportunities we have. Being able to go to work. Being able to support our families and put food on the table. Sometimes we take this for granted.

How blessed we are to get to go home to a spouse waiting for us. We are not alone. How great that we get to pick up our kids from school. These valuable moments pass fast. How great that not only can we walk but we get to walk with one of the greatest walking partners in the world. If we took on every task like a dog takes on a walk, we would all be happier and more productive. How wonderful it is to be able to make dinner. Food in a working refrigerator, lights in a warm kitchen, gas on the stove. Not to mention a break from the day to just sit and eat!

So back to the restaurant. It was my turn to reply. “At least you have a job to go back to”, I blurted out, not rudely but clearly making my point. Her expression immediately changed. She looked up at me sincerely and smiled. “Thanks”, she said, “I feel better already.”

Such a simple change. When we see our obligations as opportunities we can appreciate the gifts we have been given.

Here are a few tips to help you change your “got” to “get”

#1. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Maybe the person you are talking to doesn’t have the “problems” you have. Maybe they wish they did. When you complain about hiring a caterer for your wedding, do you notice that the person you’re talking to just broke up with her serious boyfriend after 7 years because he never proposed? Be considerate of how your listener feels.

#2. Be careful of the language you use

When you say I “have to” or “got to”, how does that make you feel. Those words rob you of your control. Everyone wants to feels that they have power over their lives. perception is reality and a person who feels helpless can very quickly become that. Or you can turn it around.

#3. Find your blessings

Of course there are situations in which we really are obligated to do. But there is almost always a silver lining. Even going to the Department of Motor Vehicles can have a positive out look. Yes I have to wait an hour for no apparent reason whatsoever, or so it seems. But how would my life be if I didn’t have a car? How many hours would I lose? Maybe it’s better that we need a license to drive. I don’t want to drive on the same road as my 10 year old daughter.

What kind of things do you “get” to do that other don’t seem to appreciate? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading, if you liked this share it please. I’m glad I get to be a part of your day, make it awesome!

Why do we slow down to see an accident but not a sunset?

sunset and road

What is worth your time? Tragedy or beauty? A car accident or a sunset?

What is it about tragedy? What is it about misfortune? Why can’t we look away. We are drawn to it.

Sometimes seeing someone else succeed makes us feel unhappy. Then when we fail, we also feel unhappy. That’s a lot of unhappiness for one life.

A famous person donates to charity…no one looks. A famous person helps someone overcome a challenge….next. A famous person fails, gets arrested, gets embarrassed, gets sick, you know the drill. Tragedy gets the headlines.

Can you be intentional about what you “slow down” for?

Can you walk past the people arguing and watch the child laughing? When you can pay attention to your attention, you fuel your spirit with positive vibes.

So pay attention. If you can’t help, why stare? Look out for those things that bring you joy. The beautiful sunset, a smile, a laugh, the music, the lights. How many things can you find? What about that air conditioner right above the door of a business? Did you feel that? How about that look in the eye of a person who is really happy to see you? Don’t miss it…slow down.

Here are 3 tips on how to “slow down” for the positive things:

#1. Control what you can

Skip the news. It’s important to know what’s happening in the world, but once you know, look away. Fill your mind with positive things: podcasts, books, blogs, stories. Anything that brings you joy and growth.

#2. Practice looking away

Be conscience of your attention. The moment you catch yourself focusing on something negative, look away. With time you will catch yourself sooner and sooner.

#3. Be grateful

Write down at least one thing you are grateful for every day. At first it will be the big things, but after time it gets more difficult. You will have to be more focused to find the little things. This task will change what you give your attention to because you will constantly be trying to find something to add to the list everyday. Gratitude is key!

“Make way for the positive day” -Bob Marley

What kind of positive things do you “slow down” for? Leave a comment and let me know. If you like this, please share it. Thanks for reading, you’re worth slowing down for!

You Are Kind of My Favorite Person in the World

One of the hardest things about trying to write an influential blog,

is knowing that no one will ever read it…

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Welcome to my new blog! My name is Craig Rohlfing. My goal is to help you make the little changes in your everyday life that make the big differences. I focus on personal development and leadership. You, yes you, are one of my favorite people in the world.

I am a student of life, constantly learning and looking for ways to make those around me happier. This blog will help me share with you much of what I have found from the many blogs, books, and podcasts that I enjoy.

This blog is meant to be a dialogue. No one wants to just listen to me. I will read every comment and respond when I can. Please share your feedback. My goal is to serve you. If you like something, let me know and please share it. If you don’t like something, let me know too.

Suggest a topic in the comments. I want to provide only what you want. I am here to serve you and it would be my pleasure to.

I will be posting twice a week.

Some of my favorite brains belong to: Derek Sivers, Charles Duhigg, John C. Maxwell, Seth Godin, Jonathan Levi, Dan Miller, Dave Ramsey, Michael Hyatt, Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins, Patrick Lencioni, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuk, John Felkins, Lisa Earle McLeod, Stephen MR Covey, Jim Collins, Tom Ziglar, Malcolm Gladwell, Mari Smith, John Lee Dumas, there are so many more though. I will constantly be looking for great content from these thought leaders and many more. I will try to provide you with many of their highlights, but be sure to check out their amazing material yourself as well.

If you made it this far, I can’t thank you enough. I’m looking forward to serving you!

( I will provide a way to share the content, and subscribe as well, in the future)

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