Life is like the seasons… by Jim Rohn

Here is one of my favorite lessons from Jim Rohn.  Life and business is like the change of the seasons.  The seasons can not be rearranged.  “You cannot  change the seasons but you can change yourself!”  The challenge of life is to work hard on yourself during the tough winters so you can be better prepared for the opportunities of the Spring.  Isn’t it amazing that spring always follows winter.  What a great place for it!

So remember that the tough times in you life(the winters) are an opportunity to work on yourself.  Then when spring comes(and it will come), you will be smarter, healthier and stronger than you were before.  That will enable you to seize all of the opportunities that spring has to offer.

Have a great day!

 

Hoping Santa Brings Everything on your list…

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I have been asked the same question over and over this holiday season, “What did you ask Santa to bring you this Christmas?”.  At first I thought that was a pretty odd question to ask a someone who is 34 years old.  Of course it was really just to break the silence in our conversation, just like asking about the weather.  I didn’t have much of an answer the first time I was asked.  I just kind of sat there and gave what seemed to be a silly question some thought.  Just then it hit me…

What I really want Santa to  bring me is some self-discipline!

As I think about my future 5 or 10 years from now, I know that there is no greater gift that I could give myself this holiday season.  To be fully transparent, I have not been very disciplined in regards to my health and finances.  Imagine if I was disciplined to following a health plan(Which is even more embarrassing considering I wrote and published my own diet plan when I lost 100 pounds 3 years ago).  How much better could my health be just 6 months from now?  What if I was disciplined to saving 20% of my income?  How much better would my net worth be in 5 years?  The answer to all of these is a million times better!

Let me leave you with another one of my favorite songs.  This is the perfect song to drive my point home.  No matter what area  of your life is lacking, you have the power to fix it!

“Now I know, only I can stop the rain!” -DMX

 

Finding the courage to make the right decision, not the easy one!

Image result for two roads divergedHello again!  It has been awhile since my last post.  It has been an emotionally exhausting past few months.  Mostly because of the passing of my father, but also because I had made a tough and important decision at my job.  I have been working for the same company for the past 7 years and I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have had to grow and develop my skills and abilities.  In this economy, I don’t take for granted the fact that I work for a company that is excelling and has ample room for growth.  I have been, and will continue to seek out opportunities to learn and grow.

I had spent the first five years training and developing my skills to move up through the management chain.  Admittedly, I am not a confrontational person and being a disciplinarian isn’t a natural part of my skill set which is a pretty important aspect of the job if I was to grow into a General Manager or above.  However, I had the burning desire to learn and grow and I worked hard to learn all of the necessary skills that will be needed to grow in the company.  After 5 long years of putting in extra time and begging for a promotion, my wish was granted as I was promoted to General Manager at a location just a couple of towns away from my home.

I am proud to say that I had some really good results in my time as a General Manager.  My cafe had posted the best customer service scores in the market for the majority of a year and a half.  I was chosen to be a “Seed GM” in which my cafe would be the first in the area to roll out new company initiatives and I would be a resource for the rest of the manager’s in the area.  I had a core of employees who responded to my encouragement and positive support.  Those individuals knew that I would go way out of my way to support them and I was grateful to have their commitment and dedication in return.

There was also a small group of employees who took advantage of my kindness.  That is to say that some of the employees tried to get away with whatever they could knowing that their boss was not a micromanaging tyrant. It has been said that a good leader knows how to adapt his(or her) management style to the needs of the employee and I tried to.  Still, I always had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I would be “found out”.  I had a meeting with my boss and mentor one day and she gave me an interesting piece of advice.  She said, “Do I think you should be an a-hole sometimes?”.  I imagined that she was going to say no.  However, I was blown away when she followed a short pause by saying, “Yeah, sometimes you should”.  Her message was that I needed to stand up and not be such a pushover.

Luckily, I had built such a strong relationship and friendship with my boss before this meeting.  I knew that her feedback came from a place of love and caring.  Like any intelligent person would, I took her advice and attempted to change myself.  I spent two weeks with a new, no nonsense persona.  I went into work angry everyday and went home just as angry.  I had no problem confronting anyone who I felt deserved it or tried to take advantage of me.  In an honest moment, I realized that focusing too much on becoming someone else had lead me to carry myself in a manner that didn’t show off the skills and talents that made me special.  I pride myself on being a kind, funny, and helpful person who is a driving force in creating a positive culture of respecting and serving others.  I had made the switch that seemed necessary, but it came at too great a cost!

Now let me share one of my favorite quotes.  As Jim Rohn famously says, “The major question to ask on the job is not, ‘What am I getting here?’.  The major question to ask is, ‘What am I becoming here?'”  This is a question which made what could’ve been a very difficult decision very easy.  In my situation, I was becoming something that I am not.  I realized that this position was not allowing me to utilize my skills and abilities that made me special.  The next day, I asked my boss to meet with me, and explained that I believed that I could be an even greater asset to the company if I was to obtain a position in the training department in which I could utilize my skills to help inspire and develop people without being the ultimate disciplinarian.  She had agreed with me and was just as excited about the impact that I could have in my new role.

It is my hope that my story can serve as inspiration to anyone who has found themselves in the wrong situations.  Whether it is a job, relationship, or any situation, it can be hard to look down the road to envision what is possible for you if you have the courage to make a decision.  You have to be willing to accept some bumps in the road, but if you know that it is the right situation for you, then you need to find the courage to stick to your decision.  I have attached another great song- “Infection” by disturbed.  It is about him finding the courage to leave a toxic relationship even though he know how hard it will be.  My favorite quote is, “I’m still afraid of the light, and a thousand voices share their laughter at my demise!”.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you stop by soon as I share more small tips for a BIG life!

Lessons from Dad

Sadly, I lost a very important person this past Sunday.  His name was Robert Bruce Sims and he was my father.  He passed away from what seems to have been a sudden heart attack while he was scuba diving in Pennsylvania. I’m sure you can imagine how heartbroken and devastated I feel as I write this.

I would like to take this opportunity to share some of the valuable lessons that he taught me along the way, which has helped me become the man that I am today.

1) “Most people stay in a job they hate because they are afraid of change”.   I remember him telling me this several times when I was younger.  It helped shape my belief that you should not be afraid of change if you are unhappy in your current situation.  This rule applies to all relationships, not just employment.

2) ‘This too shall pass’.  This was one of his favorite quotes.  I remember him telling me that it was the title of a George Harrison album, but as I googled it, the title is actually ‘All things must pass’. Either way, the message is virtually the same. What you think is a major problem today will soon pass and you will be on to the next problem before you know it.

3) It’s never too late to start over. My dad had many different jobs in his life and in many different fields. He was a corporate salesman in NYC, taxi driver, bus driver, and ultimately a Cisco certified Wireless network engineer. When he became unhappy with the field that he was in, he would simply grab a textbook and start over.

4) Go all out. My dad wasn’t one to go halfway with anything. Whether he was into motorcycles, scuba diving,  or anything else that he was passionate about, we would go all out. He would sign up for training classes, read anything he could on the subject, and buy the latest and greatest equipment.

5) The importance of traditions. Christmas was a big deal to him. He was half Jewish/half protestant but he was raised in the Jewish faith after his father left him at a young age. I used to think that it was some sort of rebellion but I later realized that it was more a reminder of the great times he had with Christmas as a child. He would always ask the kids to sleep over the night before so that they could wake up Christmas morning and run to the tree for presents.

6) Most importantly, he taught me how to be a caring and understanding father!  He was always there for me when I needed assistance or guidance through tough times. He loved to spend time with his grandkids and went out of his way to try to make each day they spent together special.

I would like to end this post with a clip of my dad singing karaoke on a cruise just months before he passed.

Enjoy….

Quasimodo

Here’s another one of my favorite songs(Quasimodo by Lifehouse).  It is a must listen to song for anytime you are being too hard on yourself, feeling inadequate, or doubting your skills and/or worth.  Enjoy!

Do your best and forget the rest!

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Tony Horton(creator of P90X) said it best, “Do your best and forget the rest”. These are truly words to live by.  In Tony’s world of fitness, this is a reminder to not compare yourself to others and simply do the best that you can. If a workout is too advanced for you, then feel free to modify the exercises or take extra breaks.  You will continue to improve and see great results as long as you do your best and don’t allow yourself to give up.  Of course you need to eat properly as well, but this might be the best one sentence philosophy I have heard of.

Now, I would like to apply this principle to a different area of life and happiness.  Do you feel that you do your best to treat others with respect and appreciation?  I will admit that I would have had to answer no to this question for many years.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but I let my pride and insecurities get in the way.  Let me share an example that you might be able to relate to.

It all boils down to the belief that if I was to give others respect I expected the same in return every time.  Sadly, this isn’t the case. I see it, communication is getting shorter and less respectful in this new age of texting.  It’s been explained that the law of attraction means that like will always attract like.  That is to say that the world echoes what you put out there.  If you put out kindness, you will receive kindness in return.  Although I believe with law to be true, let me be clear that it does not happen a 1:1 ratio.  Many people(Including the younger version of myself) have the false expectation that they will receive one kind response for every kind compliment or gesture that they give.  As a result of feeling rejected or hurt, I used to refrain from acknowledging others in fear that it would not be returned in kind.

So What!  That’s how I see it now.  I focus my energy on trying to serve and enhance the lives on the people around me.  It may only come back my way once every 3-5 times, but when that adds up pretty quickly.  That means a times a day, which is dozens of times per week, hundreds of times per month, and so on.  You get the point.  If you are committed to sharing love with the people around you, you will ultimately receive far more love in return than you would if you didn’t.

Let me leave you with a challenge.  For the next week, try to apply this principle to any area of life that you are struggling with.  If you are trying to lose weight, follow the principle just as Tony teaches it.  Try to eat properly and put your best effort towards your exercise.  If you are unhappy, try to carry a more positive outlook and recognize as many people as you can to let them feel good right along with you.  Give them praise and appreciation without expecting anything in return and see how much better it will make both of you feel.  And so on…  Regardless of what your current struggle is, commit to a week of giving your best and forgetting the rest.  It might be the simple mantra that you’ve needed to have the confidence to share your special skills with the world.  You’ve got nothing to lose.  You can always go back to being miserable next week if it doesn’t work out!

Thanks for reading!

-Dan

It’s not the End of the World!!

Image result for a setback is a setup for a comeback

This is one of my favorite quotes,  I first heard this quote while watching a motivational speech from the great Les Brown, and it is exactly the message I needed to hear.  I have always been someone who is extremely hard on myself.  I would beat myself up for days for any mistake that I made.  My internal dialogue was always the same, “I made this mistake because I am just a screw-up”.  You can see how this attitude had kept me from really applying myself to do great things.

Somewhere along the line, I had jumped to the conclusion that being successful meant the absence of mistakes and/or problems.  I have since change my definition of success as I realized that success isn’t living a life without problems.  Everyone has ups and downs in life, true success comes when you can accept and overcome the tough times.  As he continued his speech, Les Brown offered this thought…

“Don’t complain about it.  Because 80% of the people don’t care and 20% are happy that it’s you!”

It’s been said many times in many ways… It isn’t what happens to us in life that makes the difference, but rather, how we respond to what happens that makes the real difference.  There have been many times that I have been in overwhelming situations.  When I became overwhelmed and allowed my emotions to boil over, I not only failed to fix the problem, but the way that I chose to carry on quickly became this biggest problem of all.  At the end of the day, the problem was still there and I felt defeated.

Assuming that you haven’t committed a class A felony, there are few mistakes that you can’t overcome. You just need to ‘shake it off’, ‘get up off the canvas’, ‘try try again’, or whatever your favorite cliché is. You just need to give 100% effort towards your goals and you will come out better on the other end. In fact, you are likely to find that your current crisis will forgotten about before you know it!

Thanks for reading 🙂

-Dan