Thursday, May 16, 2013
I recently read an article that said that as you get older you get happier. I tend to agree with this. As I become older, wiser and bolder I find that I am happier. There are some simple reasons for this. The first one can get you in trouble – but as I grow and become more confident I realize that issues that used to send me over the top don’t faze me now – maybe because I know that I am so much more in control than when I was 20. As a child everything makes you happy (unless your parents take away your “candy.”) In your teens, you get to drive and have freedom for the first time. In your 20’s you are ready to take over the world and know more than anyone so it is easy to be happy. In your 30’s it is your first big promotion, possibly getting married, having kids, buying that first home or following your dreams whatever they may be and wherever they may lead. But let’s focus on those next decades where some people and even some of my friends worry about getting older. I love getting older – it is better than the alternative! So here are some thoughts for being happy at any age. 40’s – you are young yet and still trying to figure out all the possibilities that life has to offer you in your career and personal life. For some their lives are expanding and their circle of friends and family is bigger. With all the new responsibility of growing households, job enhancements and daily pressure there is some fear, guilt and worry about the future. Solution – Learn to take on just what you can handle. I always remember at this age wondering why the neighbors had a bigger house, drove better cars and the wives never worked while I was busting my (you know what) to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. My husband always calmed me down by repeating his famous saying, “things aren’t always as they seem.” Some of these people were living way beyond their means and therefore happiness was cut short when sooner than later they would lose their house or downsize because they couldn’t live within their means – so don’t worry about keeping up with the “Joneses” just keep up with yourself and be happy! 50’s – Here is to old friends and new starts. For some in this group you have lost your parents and you are learning to cope with this new chapter in your life. You may be grandparents realizing how much fun it is to have your grandbaby for the weekend and then they get to go home. You start to have more time. Yoga becomes exciting, you run your first marathon, and learn that making up is much better than fighting. There is some stress in coping with all these changes in your health, dealing with aging parents and the possibility of your adult children suffering with job losses and personal issues. Solution – get in touch with old friends – use Facebook to find all your high school and college friends. If you are married or in a partnership, celebrate that you still have this person in your life to travel with, laugh and cry with. You are not alone. If you are not in a relationship or just ending one – look beyond today. There is someone for all of us whether in friendship or love – don’t sit back – go find them. 60’s – Peace at last. I hear from my friends in this generation that they are filled with gratitude for what they have. Thankful for their long standing relationships, grown children and more time for themselves. Those that can go with the flow find that their life is much easier than the ones that are so focused on living their life from an Outlook Calendar as they did when they worked. There is still stress – issues with the grown children, chronic health problems and the realization that your life has changed for good. There is no more alarm clocks, worry about the next presentation and should you really keep the “big house.” Solution – go with the flow. Discuss your thoughts, concerns and problems with your spouse or partner and your kids if you have them. Be open and honest. Don’t try to be everything to all people. You have paid your dues and the clubhouse is open – enjoy the party! Money and Happiness In my book “Living without Balance and Loving It” I talk about money and happiness. I have always been told that money can’t buy you happiness but I always say that “happiness can’t buy you a house.” There are facts now that show that stress is reduced if you make a decent living – whatever that is for you. Worry about money causes stress at any age. So be smart while you are young and save – save – save. Then your 60’s and beyond will be even happier!
Monday, May 6, 2013
Spin your weakness around! We all have weaknesses. The real struggle with these weaknesses is first admitting where you fall short. Whether it is in the service or product you sell or the in personal service you deliver. When was the last time you received any feedback? Was the feedback observable? Recently I sat in a workshop and observed people from different countries give each other feedback. The honest, sincere and authentic ideas they shared with each other were enlightening. They took every weakness and showed the person they were giving feedback to how to turn things around to be more positive. While I was at this session I took a Yoga Class and the instructor spoke on the same topic. She reminded each of us that the negative thoughts in our head can be devastating to our wellbeing. She used the example of a? If you straighten out the “hook” of the question mark (which can be negative – always questioning something) to an exclamation mark (!), you will you become more excited in life!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
We often hear the term, when in Rome do as the Romans do. But do we really know what that looks like? As a person who travels the globe, I can assure you that I love the different cultures. I love the food, the smell of the flowers, the clothes, and most importantly the people. While spending the month of April traveling and working in Asia, I really became a part of the landscape. I drank Chinese tea, learned how to say different greetings in Cantonese Vs. Mandarin and how to dress for each day in compliance with Thai culture. As I watched the locals blend in between the busy streets of local vendors and still merge into the glamorous shops of the malls of LV and Chanel I realized that being politically correct is not necessary - what is necessary is being real, being gracious, thoughtful and nice. No one questions whether or not what you believe is the truth or what they believe is more important. I think it is time that the citizens of the United States of America stop tripping over our words with each other and focus on the reality of living the American Dream. If you can afford a luxury car or an expensive watch and I can't - so be it! If you like to donate your personal time to helping others in need, so be it. We are not the same and often cultural diversity in the USA gets to much attention on the wrong things. Instead of trying to say the "right" thing, just enjoy the differences and be nice. While in Thailand I met a young boy whose parents were worried he was headed for trouble. He was a bully (as he admitted to me) and so they sent him to boarding school in England and to Michigan State in the US. He said the best thing in the world was that he learned that his bullying was not nice. Although he was not bullied in the US, he said he stood out as the only "Thai" kid in the dorm. In fact so much so that his nickname now is TAI! He came back to Bangkok and met with each person he had bullied over the years to apologize. This story doesn't just belong to a young boy who grew into a fine gentleman, it applies to everyone of us. Stop trying to make our world the same - as Americans we should appreciate that the food they eat in Louisiana is different than food in Michigan. What we refer to as Hamburgs in Michigan may be Hamburgers to the rest of the world - my point is to get over it and enjoy the freedom of America. We are different and I love to explore our differences just like around the world. Stand tall, stand proud and be happy you call America home if that is where you live - if not, enjoy your country, your culture and welcome each day with joy!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I am in NYC and it is cold outside - the snow that is pounding the midwest is on its way and lucky for me I am catching a flight before the snow falls tonight. I thought that during this chilly month of February I would focus on our communication - do you inspire people through your thoughts, words and deeds? Or are you a bit "chilly?" Recently I met a person who seemed so warm and engaging in person and then when I began to receive follow up emails from this same warm person they were a bit "chilly." Nothing that this person portrayed in "person" - warmth, caring and engaging ever showed up in their email communication. They came acrossed as if we had never met before. How can this be? How can a person be something completely different in person and then give off such a cold perception in writting? This made me think about how I come across - sometimes I can be too direct in an email but in person I am much more communicative. Let this be a lesson to all of us. Be seamless in your life. Be who you are always - in thought, word and deed!
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Life shouldn't be so hard - with every organization focusing on teamwork, diversity, generational differences, employee and client engagement why do some people personally struggle with being authentic or true to ones self. I actually think that our firm - Master Connection Associates does a good job of walking the talk - but even with a talented group of HR/Training/Consulting and operational people on our team, we sometimes slip. It is about not responding to one another in a timely manner - it is about focusing on your own "agenda" and forgetting you are part of the bigger picture. No one flies solo - not me, not you and definately not your team. We need one another to really improve on the business objectives set by the shareholders - in my case the buck stops here! We walk the talk and insist that everyone is open to feedback and honesty. Years ago in my sorority we sang the song - "No Man is an Island," and I have lived those words my whole life! So humor me and sing along - No man is an island, No man stands alone, Each man's joy is joy to me, Each man's grief is my own. We need one another, So I will defend, Each man as my brother, Each man as my friend. I saw the people gather, I heard the music start, The song that they were singing, Is ringing in my heart.
Friday, February 1, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
Ladies & Gentlemen, I am here to tell you that it doesn't matter where you came from, what your background is or the color of your skin, everyone has the innate ability to strive and succeed in this world. People must be accepting of different backgrounds and understand the word - diversity. Accepting people all the same is what you should live by, but I'm not here to run your life. What I will tell you is accepting people from different backgrounds other than your own will teach you things, get you more cultured and truly appreciate the little things in life. I travel all of the world and I embrace it all - you should too.