25. Of course we will

I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Our city has become known throughout the world because of the severe beating we took last week.

Torrential rain pushed open the floodgates and turned our city and surrounding areas into an ocean of destruction. Streets were ripped up, homes were pulled down and people’s lives were turned around in ways they could never have imagined possible.

We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday hoping and praying that the severely overstressed sewer pipes in our condo would not burst and flood our four level parkade taking out our electrical rooms in the process.

Fortunately we were spared anything more than the stress caused by nervous anticipation of the worst.

Many of the condos, office building and hotels – a few short blocks east of us – were not so fortunate and will be many months on the mend.

I have friends who have described their homes as being nothing more than water-filled ponds and others who talk of having lost all the truly irreplaceable things in their lives –photos, trophies mementos. There are huge holes where roads used to be, rubble where homes used to be and parkades filled with vehicles floating inside like toys in a swimming pool.

But this blog is not about what was, nor is it about the horrors of the past few days. It is what it is – an historical event that no amount of tears will undo. This blog is about what is – the remarkable attitude of a city united and galvanized into action.

Certainly there are those who are defeatists, who believe their lives have been forever changed and all joy has been permanently removed. There are those who focus entirely on what they have lost. All of this is quite understandable in light of the enormity of their losses, but what is even more remarkable is the resilience and determination of Calgarians and Albertans to rebuild their city, their homes, their infrastructure, the surrounding areas and to make them bigger, better and stronger than ever before.

In my travels around the city over these past few days before I have asked people, mostly volunteers, how long they intend to continue helping out fellow citizens and the answer is always been the same, “I’ll be here as long as it takes.”

There is no doubt that we will emerge a stronger, more united and better society not because we have experienced severe hardship, not because adversity has struck a powerful blow, but because of how the great people of Alberta, in the face of all of this, have stood resolute and declared that, unlike the fairy tale, they will put Humpty back together again.

Last week we spoke about the Habit of Doing it Until … and my fellow Albertans, are demonstrating the power of that habit. While for some the worst is yet to come, the collective determination to restore the vibrancy and beauty of our city will ensure the success of their mission.

Our city emergency management commanders and the thousands of employees responding to calls have been nothing short of magnificent in their response to this disaster and they offer proof-positive that the Habit of Doing it Until … is the only way to ensure not just that things get done, but that the right things get done and that they get done right.

The army of volunteers who willingly giving their time and resources to aid their fellow citizens is growing by the hour with platoons of volunteers pouring in from other cities and provinces.

Calgary will be a role model for all that is possible when people embrace the Habit of Doing it Until …

Knowing the heart of Calgarians, who would possibly expect anything less?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to, or even just checked out, my new blog called Habits Cause Have Its please click here.

P.P.S. I am very excited to share with you that my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

P.P.S.S. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of doing my first ever radio interview.. The topic of the interview was my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours. Here is a link to my interview.

Two weeks later I did my second interview. Here is the link.

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to them. Please contact me at rael@raelkalley.com and share your thoughts.

24. When dreams stay alive, they come to life.

It seems my blog last week on the Habit of Doing it Until … apparently resonated with my new friend Frank.

I have never met Frank, we have only talked on the telephone once and that was last Friday when Frank called to tell me how much the blog reminded him of his late grandfather – his mother’s father.

When Frank was four years old his parents were killed by a drunk driver and he and his three sisters went to live with his grandfather.

Frank and his grandfather developed an extraordinarily close relationship and were, in his words, “best friends” right up until the day his grandfather passed away eight years ago.

Frank’s grandfather had come to this country from Poland as a teenager and, in the classic immigrant tale, transitioned from poverty to prosperity through sheer hard work.

His early days in Canada had been filled holding down as many as three menial labor jobs at one time, always with a smile, always with the intent of creating a better, brighter future for himself and his family.

Shortly after arriving in Canada his grandfather had seen a photograph of a magnificent house in a “rich and famous magazine”. He had clipped that photo from the magazine, folded it carefully and placed it in his wallet.

He made a promise to himself that one day he would build this exact home for his family.

Forty-two years later, his grandfather and family moved into that house.

Yes, it took him 42 years during which time he experienced several business failures, job losses, two life-threatening and financially ruinous illnesses and the death of his daughter and son-in-law. Despite all these hardships and tragedies, he never stopped pulling that photo out from his wallet, showing it to those closest to him and telling them that one day, no matter what and no matter when he was going to build that house for his family.

His final business venture was a restaurant in which he spent 16 to 18 hours each day, seven days a week working, improving, and perfecting. This eventually became two restaurants, and then four, and by the time he sold his business to an international restaurant chain his empire had grown to 37 restaurants.

The proudest day of his grandfather’s life was unquestionably the day he turned the key and opened the door to a new life in his new mansion.

And his first act in that new home was to light a fire and burn the photo he had been carrying in his wallet all those many years.  He didn’t need it anymore.

Frank told me that last week’s blog brought tears to his eyes as it reminded him of the fortitude with which his grandfather faced, and defeated, adversity and of the determination that kept him plowing on “until” his goal been achieved.

Frank did not want to tell me much about himself, but I was able to pry out of him that he too, just like his grandfather, is a man of enormous determination and is building a business empire of his own despite two previous disastrous attempts at doing so.

The Habit of Doing it Until … is simply not optional if we wish to ever arrive at the unreachable star.

My blog last week demonstrated the phenomenal power of the Habit of Doing it Until … Frank’s story confirmed it.

I would like to tell one more story attesting to the power of the Habit of Doing it Until … and I will be so appreciative it you will call and share your story or the story of someone you know as the subject of next week’s blog.

I know I can depend on you.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to, or even just checked out, my new blog called Habits Cause Have Its please click here.

P.P.S. I am very excited to share with you that my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

P.P.S.S. Four weeks ago I had the privilege of doing my first ever radio interview.. The topic of the interview was my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours. Here is a link to my interview.

Two weeks ago I did my second interview. Here is the link.

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to them. Please contact me at rael@raelkalley.com and share your thoughts.

23. If at first you don’t succeed …

Last week I had lunch with the mother of a young client of mine.

We had first met some eight or nine months ago after her daughter called and asked whether I would meet with her mom as she was going through a tough time and feeling quite desolate and depressed.

Her mother had decided to pull the plug on a new business venture she had recently gone into. It just wasn’t working out and she was feeling somewhat despondent.

When we did meet it seemed quite apparent that she was weighed down by all the problems of the world.

She told me she has long sought financial independence and had realized that this was an elusive goal that could not be obtained through her present income.

A friend had “talked her into” going into her own, home-based jewelry business as a means of supplementing her income and working towards attaining her above-mentioned dream.

The company whose jewelry she was going to sell has been in business for more than 30 years with thousands of salespeople around the globe.

She had “given it her all” for six weeks and her efforts had resulted in less than $100 in sales, so she decided to quit and was “stressed out” because “I knew I shouldn’t have gone into that stupid business in the first place.”

I asked her what giving it her all meant and she explained that she had arranged and attended three home parties and that the amount of jewelry sold at each of these parties had not come close to matching her expectations.

Doing the math I concluded that “giving it her all” meant attending one party every two weeks. Now I am no expert on jewelry sales, but it seems to me that trotting out once every 14 days to sell one’s wares is not a business model that is likely to translate into long-term financial security.

If Col. Sanders had quit after three unsuccessful attempts to sell his chicken recipe, we wouldn’t all be enjoying the highly nutritious fare served up at KFC’s around the world.

If Thomas Edison had quit after three unsuccessful attempts we’d still be reading by candlelight.

If J.K. Rowling had torn up her manuscript after receiving her third rejection we would never have known a young man named Harry Potter.

My client’s mother had made a fundamental error in judgment. She had evaluated her results and concluded that the company she was representing, and its products, were no good despite 30 years of international success.

The mistake she made was that this company, with a 30 year history of success, wasn’t on trial – she was.

She had unwittingly decided to dabble in the jewelry business rather than immerse herself in it.

She had chosen to play at the game, not play in the game.

She did not understand the power behind the Habit Of Doing It Until…

Yes, there does come a time when it is wise to conclude that all, and I mean ALL, reasonable efforts and resources have been vigorously directed towards the attainment of an objective, to no avail, and that any further efforts will only serve to produce more of the same unsatisfactory results.

But that is an extremely poor decision to make after a mere six weeks and three attempts.

Adopting the Habit Of Doing It Until… is an essential reminder that the price of success is frequently paid with meticulous preparation, inhuman effort, dogged determination and unyielding persistence.

The lady sitting across from me that day acknowledged that she had exhibited none of these traits.

I asked her what she might do differently if the option of failure was withdrawn and taken off the table – if success was not a choice but rather the only choice.

I challenged her to prove herself right. To prove that it was a lousy company selling lousy products.

And the only way to do this, beyond the shadow of any doubt, was to truly give it her all for a much longer period of time.

And she agreed to do just that.

We developed a plan and she lived it every day.

She studied her products to gain more knowledge.

She rehearsed her presentations until they felt natural and comfortable.

She conducted a personal debrief of every meeting she had to examine what she might do better the next time.

Instead of attending three parties over six weeks, she set and achieved a goal of three parties each week. And if for any reason a party did not produce the sales results she was hoping for, she redoubled her efforts and strengthened her resolve to do better the next time.

She mastered the Habit Of Doing It Until…

Our meeting last week was quite different from our first one. She took me to lunch to celebrate a major career milestone.

For the past three months she has been the top salesperson in all of North America and the president of the company had dropped by the day before to present her with the keys to a brand-new luxury car – the highest company reward for outstanding performance.

She explained to me that the Habit Of Doing It Until… is not really a habit at all – it is a mandatory requirement.

Then she thanked me, hugged me and left in her shiny new car. Without even offering me a ride back to my office.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to, or even just checked out, my other blog please click here.
P.S. I am very excited to share with you that my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at http://www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
P.P.S. Two weeks ago I had the privilege of doing my first ever radio interview.. The topic of the interview was my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours. Here is a link to my interview.
Yesterday I did my second interview. Here is the link.
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to them. Please contact me at rael@raelkalley.com and share your thoughts.

22. You gotta must just do this.

When I began this blog some 22s weeks ago it was my stated intention to select one habit and discuss it for three consecutive weeks.

To date I have lived up to that intention and have written about seven habits which I believe are crucial for any of us to adopt, or in the case of the Habit of Seeking Why Not, to dispense with, as we pursue greatness in our own lives.

Today however I will break from my stated intention and bring back for discussion the habit that served as the topic for my very first blog way back in January, the Habit of Powerful, Positive, Uplifting, Energising Self Affirmations.

Over the past several months my day job as a coach has put me in touch with many people, fascinating all, from a wide variety of backgrounds, each with their own story to tell, and I’ve become more and more convinced of the power that affirmations hold over all of us.

Not only have I become convinced of that power, but I’ve become equally convinced that we all practice affirmations on a very regular basis – multiple times each day – often with devastating results or unintended consequences.

What I mean is, I have come to believe every thought that flits across our minds, or every word out of our mouths, that is in any way self-critical, negatively prophetic, or damning, is, in fact, an affirmation. It is what we believe in the moment to be true of ourselves and of our circumstances and has the potential of either preventing us from doing what we need to do to reach the greatness we all desire, or will serve to continue to hold us back, imprisoned, inside the boundaries we fear – and need – to cross in order to reach the great joy and happiness we all desire.

I have met with several people who repeatedly harp on the negativity of the past, as their way of explaining/rationalizing/justifying what they perceive to be their life’s challenges. It is this type of constant, repeated, negative self-affirmation that is an enemy that resides within us that we need – that we must – replace if our quest for that elusive pursuit of achievement will ever hope to find itself within our grasp.

As I have gotten older I have become more convinced that we become what we believe to be true and it is for this very reason, and the rampant flood of negative self-affirmation that I hear from so many people on an almost daily basis, that I felt it important enough to revisit the Habit of Powerful, Positive, Uplifting, Energising Self Affirmations once again.

Our affirmations, what we repeatedly reaffirm to ourselves about ourselves, form the very foundation upon which our lives are built and we all know that a weak, shaky foundation never allows for the development of a lasting, strong, powerful structure

Since I wrote that first blog in January, more than 150 people have accepted my 30 day challenge. Many of them have since completed their 30 days and continue their new daily practice of positive self-affirmation.

The results for them have been profound and life-changing.

Yes, we are what we believe to be true of ourselves. We become what tell ourselves and I implore you, if you haven’t yet taken the 30 day challenge, to begin it right now, TODAY.

Let’s examine the steps for doing this.

You begin with a list.

There is no maximum length to this list –it can be as long, or short, as you wish. Naturally, there must be at least one item on this list or else you have nothing more than a blank sheet of paper or screen.

The list must contain positive, empowering, energizing, powerful and uplifting statements that you would like to believe to be true of yourself.

Please note the words, “that you would like to believe to be true of yourself”, in italics. As you look at your list you may not believe a word of it to be true today. That just doesn’t matter.

The list is, of course, a living document meaning you are free to change it at will and that it will evolve over time.

Once you have your list you are ready to begin.

Read the list, out loud if possible, as you would read it if you believed every word to be true. Read each word with the passion, excitement, and enthusiasm that you would feel if every word on the page represented a truth straight from your heart.

Make sure you are standing or sitting in exactly the way you would be if you felt all of the emotions from the sentences you are reading. Allow your face to reflect the joy of feeling great and allow your voice to resonate with conviction.

Read your list over and over again for between four and seven minutes and do this a minimum of four times each day.

Each day means seven days each week.

Remember you are competing with a voice inside of you that has had years and years of unrestricted, unopposed access to feed you a regular diet of negative self-affirmation and if you choose not to do this it each day, that voice will continue to do what it has always done.

For the next 30 days, after you have completed a minimum of four nourishing periods of positive self-affirmation, please text me at (403) 862-5019 or email me at ididit@strategicpathways.net with the words “day # done.”

Of course, this is the beginning of a lifelong habit and if you wish to keep checking in with me after the 30 days, you are more than welcome to do so.

At some point during those 30 days – and you will know the exact moment – something magical will happen in your life.

I know of nothing else that will so profoundly impact your life as the 30 day challenge that I am begging you to please, please get started right away.

And once you start, never stop.

And please share the Habit of Powerful, Positive, Uplifting, Energising Self Affirmations with everyone you know.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. I am very excited to share with you that my book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

P.P.S. I had the privilege of doing my first ever radio interview recently. The topic of the interview was my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours. Here is a link to my interview. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to it. Please contact me at rael@raelkalley.com and share your thoughts

P.P.S.S. If you haven’t yet subscribed to this blog, please do so by clicking here. You can also check out, or subscribe to my other blog by clicking here.