30. It can be comfortable being uncomfortable.

While in Vancouver last week I met a friend for coffee in the hotel restaurant.

When I entered the restaurant my friend was reading the morning paper which, upon seeing me, he neatly folded and placed at the far end of the table.

My friend sells insurance and other financial products and at one point during the conversation he pointed to a photograph on the front page of the newspaper. The picture was of a high profile, well-regarded Vancouver businessman and my friend forlornly told me how he wished he had clients of this caliber.

He went on to tell me this how great it would be to have this man as his client so, naturally, I asked him whether he had made any effort to contact this man and secure his business.

Shaking his head, he explained to me that there would be no point and that surely a person at this level of success would already have put in place all of his insurance and financial product needs and was most likely working with people with whom he had strong existing relationships.

Over the years I have heard so many people in so many different fields explain to me their reasons for not approaching and talking to people who could help them reach their goals.

The reasons are almost always the same:

“He/she wouldn’t be interested.”

“He/she probably already has all that he needs.”

“I do not have the experience/knowledge/education/to talk to him/her.

“He/she wouldn’t want to go out with me.”

He/she is probably already in a relationship.”

I have been listening to these “reasons” for so long that I have realized that behind each of them lies a simple truth. When we proffer these lame excuses and disguise them as valid reasons for not approaching and talking to people, there is really only one true reason behind it all. We are afraid of being rejected.

I get it. Nobody likes being rejected and it is the fear of rejection that all too frequently stops us from ever potentially realizing the joy that accompanies being accepted.

None of us have the capacity for mind-reading. We truly have no way of knowing how a person will respond until such time as we provide them the opportunity to do so and when our fear of being rejected is greater than our desire to be accepted then we forever relegate ourselves to an unknown quantity of unrealized possibilities.

As has become our habit in this blog, we select a new habit to discuss for three weeks and today I would like to introduce the Habit of Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.

Most gains in life are realized at the cost of first experiencing some degree of pain and when my friend listed all those reasons why that well-known businessman would not want, or need to talk with him, he was simply pointing out to me that he was not willing to adopt the Habit of Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.

He was also possibly making one of the biggest mistakes that people in his profession could possibly make.

Many, many years ago I learned what has perhaps been the most important question we can ever ask ourselves.  In fact it’s one I have attempted to incorporate into my daily life and have asked myself numerous times every single day.

This powerful, life altering question is; “How do I know?”

–       “How do I know that the next person I meet will not become the largest client I will have in my entire career?”

–       “How do I know that this successful businessman already has people looking after his financial service’s needs?”

–       “How do I know that the stranger sitting across from me in a restaurant is not going to be the purchaser of the most expensive home I will ever sell in my career as a realtor?”

–       “How do I know that this young lady riding the elevator with me will not become a hugely successful distributor in my network marketing business?”

–       “How do I know that the attractive young co-worker I’m afraid to ask out on a date, is not hoping each day that I will do just that?”

The truth is, the answer to the question, “How do I know?” is “I don’t.”

The only way to find the answers to any of those questions is to approach, meet and talk to each of those people. We don’t know whether he will become a client if we don’t ask. We don’t know that he will buy an expensive home from us if we don’t ask.

We don’t know whether she will become a successful distributor if we don’t talk to her.

We will never know if she would go out on a date with us if we don’t ask.

The habit of asking How do I know will change your life. And in order to do so you must be willing to adopt the Habit of Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable. After all, the pain of discomfort is fleeting. The joy and reward for enduring that brief pain may well truly last a lifetime.

How do I know?

I just know.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, this week introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure

– 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.

– I have recently done several radio interview radio interview. The topic of each interview was my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours. And its applicability to different situations.

– I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions once you have listened to the  interviews.

– Here is a link to the interviews.   www.lifesinksorsoars.com/media

– Please contact me at rael@raelkalley.com and share your thoughts.

29. It worked for Einstein.

A good friend of mine is a very successful head-hunter. In conversations, I’ve often jokingly explained to him that I see no difference in the work he does and the work of a B&E artist.

A B&E artist comes uninvited into your home, takes what is clearly not his (an asset) and sells it to the highest bidder.

A head-hunter comes uninvited into your company, takes what is clearly not his (an employee), and sells that person to the highest bidder.

My friend doesn’t appreciate my cerebral humor and each time I point out the truthfulness of what he does for a living, he is quick to arrogantly and sarcastically comment about the lack of value consultants bring to the world.

Clearly the man has no sense of humor but during many serious discussions he has frequently told me of how the recruiting industry has changed over the years, particularly with regard to what is being sought in perspective employees, and to the degree of willingness or discomfort experienced by candidates in response to certain types of questions during an interview.

My friend told me that it was not too many years ago that a commonly asked question, (what would you say are your most glaring weaknesses?) would cause candidates to break out in a cold sweat and often mutter some incoherent response.

Today, he tells me, quite the opposite is true. That very same question is one which many candidates spend hours crafting the responses to.

It is a question that enables the candidate to openly brag about his/her prowess in addressing weaknesses and converting them into productive strengths.

The perspective of both the interviewer and the interviewee has changed radically over the past few years.

For two weeks now we have been discussing the Habit of Reframing and it seems to me that by using this habit to change perspective around a topic as uncomfortable as our weaknesses, enables us to capture huge potential opportunities for empowering people because “an identified and acknowledged weakness is often a diamond in the rough – a gem to be polished and admired.”

And old saying reminds us that when we change the way we see the world, the world itself changes too. Reframing allows us the opportunity to explore the notion that “things are seldom as they seem to be” and that they can indeed be anything we wish them to be if we are simply willing to place a different frame around “things.”

The power afforded us by the Habit of Reframing is formidable. It enables us to turn bad into good and disaster into opportunity and by so doing we collectively contribute to a better world.

Einstein is famously quoted as saying, “I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’

‘This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.

“For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.

“If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially ‘playing dice with the universe’, then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.

“But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives.”

“God does not play dice with the universe.”

The Habit of Reframing.

Perspective!

If it’s good enough for Einstein …

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, this week introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure

I have recently done a series of radio interviews in my book, Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours and its application t people in different industries

Here are links to the interviews.

Interview 1

Interview 2

Interview 3

Interview 4

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

–  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.

–   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.

 

28. He had a change of heart.

My friend Mark was recently bemoaning the fact that, without warning, he became a cardiac patient.

While sitting at his desk he had become aware of a mild feeling of discomfort in his chest.

Naturally, like any intelligent male, he ignored it.

It didn’t go away.

A short while later a co-worker entered his office, took one look at him and told him that he looked like $#!+.

He ignored him.

About two hours later, by which time the sensation in his chest had progressed from discomfort to acute pain he called his wife and asked her what she thought he should do.

She told him to hang up the phone and call 911. Immediately.

He ignored her.

His next memory was of opening his eyes and looking into the face of a young paramedic who was helping lift him from the floor of his office on to a gurney.

That day Mark experienced this first ever ambulance ride and shortly thereafter learned he had had a heart attack.

He was released from hospital a few days later and sent home with a list of instructions and do’s and dont’s that marked the beginning of his new life.

And he wasn’t happy about any of this.

Why did this happen to him? He was young (44), he was in relatively good shape (give or take the 30 or so pounds he had gained in the past 10 years), he ate a (sometimes) healthy diet and generally led a (relatively) stress-free life.

And suddenly he was a cardiac patient.

Not just a cardiac patient but a terrified cardiac patient who now felt that even the slightest tingling sensation in his chest signaled the beginning of his next, and probably fatal, heart attack.

And while he was still young, still in relatively good shape and still ate a relatively healthy diet, his newfound fear was raising his stress levels higher than anything he had ever experienced before.

Mark realized that unless he could apply the Habit of Reframing to this recent experience he was priming himself for a life of worry and anxiety.

The Habit of Reframing provides us the opportunity of viewing any experience in our life through a fresh, new lens and by so doing, we can shift our perspective and let the experience illuminate a new meaning for us.

Rather than resent this life-changing event Mark placed a frame of gratitude around it. This allowed him to view his heart attack as a gift, a wake-up call if you wish, to evaluate his lifestyle and modify it in a way that would substantially enhance both the quality and length of his life.

The Habit of Reframing allowed him to heighten his gratitude when he realized that he’d been granted a second chance at life – an opportunity so often denied victims of heart attacks.

Mark used the Habit of Reframing to view his heart attack as a journey of discovery and set out to learn everything he could about living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

He made subtle changes to generate huge results. His office is on the fourth floor of a building and he started using the stairs to get there.

Instead of buying lunch from one of the food fair vendors, he began bringing his own salads to work.

He took short breaks in the mornings and afternoons to regulate his stress levels by quietly sitting back comfortably and meditating.

And most importantly, “I realized what was important in life and developed deeper love and appreciation for my family and my friends. I constantly tell them how much I love them because I have learned to appreciate every single day as an invaluable gift and they are the blessings that make my life so wonderful.”

Mark has taught himself to use the Habit of Reframing to see the learning opportunity for personal growth that resides in every one of our life experiences.

Many, many years ago Epictetus, a Greek philosopher wrote: “People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them”.

I think he was on to something.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, this week introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure

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

Shortly thereafter I did a second radio interview recently. Here is the link.

Ten days ago I did my third radio interview.

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

–  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.

–   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.

27. Shift your position and the whole view changes.

I would like to introduce you to a long-time friend of mine named Howard. Howard is a self-described pessimist who spent many years of his life drinking half-empty glasses of water all the while expecting any bright spots in his life to be dimmed by circumstances beyond his control.

Howard’s life had been a journey marked by one disappointment after another. His stress levels were immeasurably high as he struggled to find his niche in a challenging, competitive world.

His health had suffered greatly through constantly exposing himself to stomach churning stress and he confided in me that on more than one occasion strong feelings of hopelessness had led him to the brink of suicide.

Each new disaster would drive him into a sense of panic that was paralyzing in its intensity and, in his own words, all he wanted to do was find a way to “run away without having to take myself with me.”

One day, during one of his bouts of despair, a friend introduced him to a new word. That word was “Reframing” and his friend explained that it means “choosing to see the world and all of our experiences from a different angle.

Howard had just been laid off from his job and every waking moment was spent worrying about how he was going to make his rent and car payments.

His friend asked him to focus on his present situation but rather than viewing it through a lens of impending doom, to instead pretend for a moment that within his present situation lay the greatest opportunity of a lifetime.

He was asked to answer this question: “If only great and wonderful things can come from your present situation, what would they be?”

He handed Howard a pen and notepad and instructed him to start writing.

For some five minutes Howard stared blankly at the wall constantly shaking his head. Then, as if a light had magically come on in his head, he began to write.

  • This is a great opportunity for me to examine what I really want to do with my life and what kind of company or industry I want to work for.
  • This is a great opportunity for me to upgrade my resume.
  • This is a great opportunity for me to work on my self-confidence so that I can show all prospective employers my true genius when they interview me.
  • This is a great opportunity to find a company that is worthy of having an incredible employee like me.
  • This is a great opportunity for me to hone my negotiation skills by convincing my landlord to give me an extension.
  • This is a great opportunity for me to prove my own greatness to myself by turning great adversity into great adventure.

Howard was on a roll. He didn’t stop writing until he had filled three pages and it was only at that point that the true miracle of what had just happened occurred to him.

He realized that in the 20 minutes that had passed since he began writing, nothing had changed in his physical life. He was still unemployed and couldn’t make either his rent or car payments.

For some strange reason he was feeling inspired and energized because he was seeing his situation through a completely different lens – from an entirely different perspective.

And in that moment Howard’s life was forever changed. He had discovered the Habit of Reframing and his life would never be the same again.

Since then Howard has incorporated the Habit of Reframing into his everyday life. He examines every situation he finds himself in, reviews it through different lenses, selects the perspective that he finds most compelling and sets off in pursuit of the possibilities connected to that frame.

Howard’s life has miraculously shifted from hopelessness to heavenly since he adopted this new practice. He still has hurdles to jump and barriers to climb, but he is progressing at a rapid rate. While many of his challenges remain, he no longer views them through the lens of panic. The Habit of Reframing has taught him that when you change your perspective, you change your world.

Try it, you just might like it.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. My company, Strategic Pathways, this week introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure

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

I did a second radio interview shortly thereafter. Here is the link.

Last Friday I did my third radio interview.

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

–  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.

–   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.

26. He never quit until it was done.

A delightful lady named Belinda called from California a few days ago to tell me that last week’s blog – #25, Of course we will  brought tears to her eyes.

She said that the story of the attitude of Calgarians responding to devastating flood damage reminded her of the stoicism with which her father had lived his entire life.

She lost her dad last Fall when a heart attack claimed him – at age 89 – while he was in his backyard chopping wood, having spent the day volunteering to help those whose lives had been upended by Hurricane Sandy. Belinda said that anyone who knew her dad would not have been surprised to learn that he died while busy doing something because he spent very little time during his life doing nothing.

She told me that her dad was a man who instilled in her and her two brothers values that, in her words, “all the formal education in the world cannot teach.”  She said her dad lived by the credo of never quitting until the job was done no matter how tough the task at hand, no matter how extreme the adversity, no matter how painful the wound, and no matter how fierce the competition.

She said there is an old saying that summed up her dad’s determination to succeed no matter what, and that quote was expressed by her brother eloquently during his delivery of the eulogy at her dad’s funeral.

Her brother reminded all those present that, “It is never the size of the dog in the fight, it’s always the size of the fight in the dog.” Her dad epitomized that quote.

Her dad’s life was not an easy one. In his early years a saw-mill accident ensured that pain would become a life-long companion but didn’t slow him down for one moment.

If there was a task to be done, he did it.

The Habit if Doing It Until…

There were many times that it was obvious to all her dad was in extreme pain. She never once heard him mention it.

Over the course of his lifetime he single-handedly built three homes for his family. By day he worked as a laborer and by night he was a homebuilder building a palace for his family to live in.

He “hammered every nail, sawed every piece of wood, laid every brick and every roof tile” for the first house. Three years after the family moved in, the house burned to the ground.

Her dad was away on a job at the time and when reached by phone and told of the tragedy his response was, “I will be home tomorrow and we will start rebuilding then.”

The second house was a repeat of the first with Dad doing most of the work and her brothers doing the rest.

And 9 or 10 years later when arthritis robbed her mother of her mobility, her father lovingly gutted the interior of the house and rebuilt it with extra-wide hallways, wide doors and ramps going everywhere in order to make it is as accessible as possible for her mother.

Belinda told me that no matter what curve was thrown in her dad’s path he just put his head down, went to work and stayed with the task until it was done.

In his 50s when he was told by his employer that he lacked the education for advancement in the company, he went back to school to obtain his high school diploma and then went on to acquire a university degree all the while holding down a second job in order to pay for his tuition.

And once again, the Habit of Doing It Until … got him that promotion he coveted.

In her dad’s world there was no such thing as too high a price when one wanted a dream fulfilled.

I was flattered and humbled when Belinda told me her dad would have loved my blogs particularly, the last two that dealt with the Habit of Doing It Until… She laughingly said that last week’s posting was not simply a blog about never quitting until things are done and never giving up under any circumstances, it was her dad’s biography.

She ended the conversation by saying that every day she and her brothers, along with their own families, aspire to live up to the values dad instilled in them and the world lost a great hero the day he died last November.

We can all learn so much from the lessons taught by that uneducated man. I sure wish I’d had a chance to meet him

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

P.S. Please take a moment and read this.

As most of you know I have a real day job. I am a coach and have been working in that field for almost 20 years.

My typical coaching relationship with each client is for a full year during which time we meet approximately twice each month.

I am now introducing a powerful new coaching product that produces the same new habits and lasting results in a fraction of the time.  This product is the result of three years of listening to, and experimenting with, my coaching clients who inspired this program.

This offering is only for a limited time at an introductory price, so don’t miss out!!  The program consists of 6 intense sessions of coaching, beginning with a focused ful-day session on planning and goal-setting using a proprietary process  which I have developed over my 20 years as a coach.   You will walk away from this session exhilarated and with a sense of clarity like never before.          

The investment in this program is $2,000.00 If you are one of the first six people to register you will receive a 25% discount and pay only $1,500.00.  Place the call to invest in yourself today!!!

To register, or for more information, please call me at (403) 862-5019 or email me at Rael@RaelKalley.com