Little Things – bring the results

Minneapolis at dusk Sometime in the past week I was in a meeting and someone talked about achieving results.  The person mentioned that big change does not happen all at once, rather change and results happen over time in small increments.  The older I get, the more I know that this is completely true.  If you want to achieve something, it is going to take time, hard decisions, discipline and work - and, it probably wil not happen overnight. When I was a younger person, I would have listened to that person in the meeting and maybe nodded my head, but inside I would have disagreed.  Change can come fast and you just need to push hard right?  Wrong.  You can get fast change but so often that change does not last.  Let me tell you two quick stories. 1)  Once upon a time there was a man who in his thirties who one day looked into the mirror and realized that he was 30 lbs overweight.  Did that weigh gain happen in one day?  No, it happened over a few years day by day.  The slow creep of weight gain snuck up on him and it did not hit him until one day it did.  So one day he decided to make a change and start tracking all his calories and seeing what he was eating on a daily basis.  Over time he set a goal and started to work towards that goal, day by day, month by month.  Over time the weight came off.  But it took six months.  There were ups and downs but in the end that man was able to stay within his target weight for over two years.  Change that lasts, and results that last, happen slowly over time. 2)  Once upon a time there was a young eager leader who was working with a group of students in an organization and wanted to bring about fast change.  The group of students he worked with were part of an organization that was slowly declining in influence over time and were averse to change.  We always have done things a certain way, was their rallying cry.  They were stuck.  This young eager leader implemented some change and radically changed some of what these students were used to doing on a day to day and weekly basis.  Change happened amidst grumbling...
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Self-Awareness equals effectiveness in life?

Do you know how you impact others on a daily basis?  Are you aware how when you say, do, etc – how people react?  I think the more self-aware you are as a person the more effective you will be in life.   Your self-awareness must come first before you can have a good idea about how other people are reacting to you. During the past year I read a book on body language that opened my eyes to a variety of things people do to indicate how they are feeling and thinking without saying a word. What about when people are saying one thing, but their body is indicating they may not really believe what they are saying? Yes – people will say one thing but be thinking something totally different. joebook Reading this book, “What every body is saying,” by Joe Navarro opened my eyes to a whole new world.  I felt like I have missed so much of people were saying with their body language all my life, and now I pick up on a lot more.  Joe Navarro was an FBI agent who would interrogate people and try and figure out if they were telling the truth in the hopes of solving some case.  Now he is one of the leading body language experts in the world. Why is understanding people’s body language important to understanding how they are reacting to you?  It has everything to do with this.  If you ask someone a tough question and they start touching their neck or looking away from you might indicate you are making them nervous or they want to avoid the question.  Maybe you should back off a bit and ease your approach. In the past year I have worked hard on picking up on signals from people so my approach with them is the best it can be. Years ago I would never have known if I was running someone over by going to fast or being more intense than was necessary.  Now, I take note, slow down and try to maintain a non-anxious presence to help keep any situation calm and the waters smooth. As some of you know, I travel a lot.  Airports are havens for mass anxiety.  People are in a hurry, mad, frustrated, stressed and very anxious.  I have fallen into this trap myself and work hard to take the...
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2013 – Resolutions of things to do and not to do

The View   2013, how did you get here so fast?  I cannot even remember if I made any resolutions last year so I am guessing I did not.  This year I wanted to focus on things I will try and do more of, and less of this coming year.  I want to limit the amount to just a few so that I can look back at this time next year and gage some sort of progress, or whether I should do these at all.  Alright, here goes: 1)  I want to become even more focused on the areas I already find myself working on or in.  My job at Bethel, my coaching at Hamline, the consulting and speaking I do from time to time and most of all my family and relationships.  Wow, that is a big resolution but really it is easy for me to make because I have already tried to start doing this in the past few years.  The more focused I have tried to be, the easier it is to have good results in those areas.  So, in 2013 I want to do more of the same, and try and become even more focused. 2)  A few years ago I decided I wanted to stop the expanding nature of my waistline and I am happy to report that I am still down around 30 lbs from 2 years ago.  This is a constant fight and all I can say is, yes I do exercise but it has 90% more to do with what I eat and little to do with the miles I run every week.  Working out is great, but eating is more essential.  This is still a challenge for me and I continue to work hard on eating until I am satisfied, and not until I am stuffed.  I am much better at this then a few years ago.  During this time I have also figured out (with the help of my wife) that onions are not the best for me and almost any fried or super spicy food.  I resolve to continue to work on this and even get better at what I eat and how I fuel my body. 3)  It was a challenging thing to do but this year I gave up coaching Junior Olympic volleyball at Minnesota Select.  I did this for...
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