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Archive for the Success Category

You Can Do Better

“You can do better than this.”

I can still hear my mother’s voice.

I was in the tenth grade and I had brought home a report card that boasted a few As, a couple of Bs, a C and the only  D I’d ever gotten – in geometry. I didn’t see anything wrong with that report card because it wasn’t much different from what my friends brought home, except for that little episode with geometry, for which I still don’t apologize.

But, Mom did see something wrong with that report card.

“You are not average,” she said, “So you can’t bring home a report card like this. If you were average, it would be all right. If I knew this was the best you could do, it would be all right. But, it isn’t the best you can do and you know it. You can do better.”

I hadn’t really thought about it before, whether I was smart or talented or anything else. I was just a kid who wanted desperately to fit in despite being hindered by a major case of nerdiness. I wanted to be average because then I would blend in with the others. Teenage life would be so much easier blending in with the crowd. No one would expect me to do anything more than the minimum. Hanging there with mediocrity seemed like a pretty safe way to get through high school.

If you think about it, I was right. And it applies to our work situations today. Mediocrity is a very safe place to hang. You don’t have to deal with the risk of being extreme – either too excellent or too poor. You aren’t a problem child that needs to be put on probation or dealt with. You aren’t a model of excellence who is a target for people who are jealous or threatened. You’re just in the crowd.

My mother’s tone of voice made it very clear that I would be making a few changes with regard to my academic approach.

It’s amazing how quickly I turned things around after that lecture. All As, and a B in geometry. I just had to make the decision.

I’ve had to make that decision again and again throughout my career. It is a conscious decision to ratchet things up another notch, to produce more, to concentrate harder, to work longer, to deliver. It is a decision to leave the pack and be excellent.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.

Your Big Plan: The Greatest Piece of Fiction You Will Ever Write

I often joke about the initial plan I had for my life as an author. I would write the book in three months, then sell it for the high six figures, maybe seven. The book would then come out six months later, debuting on top of the New York Times ultracet no prescrition best-seller list. Oprah would see the book on the shelves while out shopping at the Chicago Barnes and Noble, then buy it. She would love it so much that she would call me up, have me whisked off to Chicago, then have me on the show as she told the world to buy my book. She would so fall in love with me that she’d invite me home for dinner with her and Steadman. attacks effexor with treating xr panic

Quite a plan, right?

Your “life plan” is the biggest piece of fiction you will ever write. You can try to organize and structure your plan, but you can’t make it fit perfectly in a world of so much unexpected drama. I certainly never counted on my book being rejected the first time by every major publisher, or it being released right around 9/11.

If you must have a plan, have a plan. But, plan to change it, because life will demand you change it. The seemingly clear path you devise to turn your vision into reality will twist and turn and run into dead ends. It will lead you into brick walls and open fields. Things you expect to be hard might be very, very easy. Things you expect to come easy might never come at all.

The plan helps you refine your vision and gives you direction so you won’t stall out. But, success does not happen according to plan. It happens, but you have to help it happen by being flexible, shrewd, quick-thinking and resolute about what you want. You can lament the twists and turns, or you can learn to expect them, and enjoy them for the extra challenges they present.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Rewrite The Negative

What could all of us do if we could just rewrite the negative stories we tell ourselves? If you tell yourself that “It’s too late,” because you are “too old,” then stop being negative. If you say you “aren’t as smart as” your boss, your boss’ boss or the head honcho at the top of the company, you are likely making a very false assumption. Sometimes there are brilliant people in charge. Sometimes, there are not. Just don’t dismiss your own brilliance until you see how far it will carry you.

There will always be someone smarter than you are. And someone who isn’t as smart. There will always be someone with more savvy – and less. Someone with better intellectual instincts – and worse. Someone who is more creative – and less.

Do you have to wait until you are the best in every category before you can see yourself as capable of achieving at a high level? No! You will never win all the marbles. You don’t have to. You just need to focus your vision, make up your mind and go out and do the work. Remind yourself again and again that the people who succeed are not the best or the brightest. They are the boldest.

Just be bold.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.

Fear Our Own Power

For the most part, I think we fear our own power because acknowledging it requires us to take action. Taking action requires energy, stamina and presents us with the possibility of failing. It’s much easier to blend in with everybody else, all the fearful people who don’t venture into their zones of discomfort.

I look back on the great cynics I have known in my life, and I have to admit they provided a great deal of entertainment for me with their smart-aleck remarks as we watched one of our peers dare to chase some cockamamie dream that none of us thought could possibly work. Years later, the cynics had done nothing new with their lives. But, look at what the visionaries did:

There was the night city editor who quit to open a restaurant. It wound up being Ryan’s — an extremely successful chain and franchise. At the height of his success, the late Eddie Ervin owned 25 of the restaurants himself.

There was the television assignment editor who left to go to medical school and now is a great doctor with a huge practice.

There was the very lame reporter who left for law school and became quite well-known for civil rights work.

And when those dreams worked, we’d make some snide remark about it — and you know that came entirely from jealousy.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books, including an Oprah pick. She speaks to corporations and organizations on courageous and creative leadership strategies taken from her interviews with the best-known leaders of our times.

Just Start

One of the most consistent sources of inertia in our lives is our fear of tackling daunting projects. We don’t take time to realize that there are few tasks that can’t be broken down into manageable parts. We see all of the things that need fixing in our lives and we don’t fix any of them because we think we must fix them all – and that prospect is frightening, intimidating and exhausting. So, we just wait and wait, and nothing happens. We need to just start!

I recently consulted with a man who has toiling in a job that pays him well every Friday, but does nothing for his psyche. He is miserable, and has been for a decade. He wants out, but thinks he isn’t mobile because he is middle aged. He is so stuck, and it is all his choice. He just doesn’t see that he has colluded with the negative forces that have made him miserable.

“I can’t get anything that will pay me better than this,” he said.

“How do you know?” I asked.

“I’m a middle aged white man and…”

“How do you know you can’t get anything better?”

“There are people more qualified and…”

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“How do you know you can’t get anything better if you haven’t done the first thing to try?”

Finally, he admitted what was giving him so much trouble: “I don’t even know where to start.”

“Do your resume,” I said.

Oh, that look. It is the same look I get every time I tell someone to do their resume. It is the look of dread and fear and doubt. You’d think it was absolute torture to do it. And, why? Seriously, why is it such a bad thing. They even have software programs to make it easy.

The lack of an updated resume is probably the most universal reason people are stuck in unhappy and unchallenging career situations. Doing that resume is the fundamental and essential first step that leads to all other opportunities, but thinking about doing it puts such a bad taste in our mouths.

Well, how long does it take?

Really, if you just spend one night doing your resume and give it three good hours of concentration, you’ll be done and good to go. It isn’t fun, but it certainly doesn’t justify the near total paralysis that it provokes in so many people who need to change their lives. So figure out what kind of job you are targeting and give your resume three hours. Then write a good cover letter. Then mail the stuff out.

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The only thing stopping you from changing your life is your unwillingness to do whatever it takes to get moving. So, quit whining and start moving.

How to stop rolling your eyes and take charge of your life

When I got my first full-time job as a journalist, I sat catty-corner from a woman who seemed eons older than I was. She was thirty at the time – think of it, thirty! And, I looked up to her because she was savvy, quick-witted and unbelievably sarcastic about the ways of the world. She always had some sort of smart-mouthed take on whatever the subject of the day.

Like an idiot, I consulted her the day before I was to interview Abigail Van Buren (the original Dear Abby) on the telephone. I asked my co-worker to help me come up with some questions Abby had never been asked before.

“Why not ask her how many suicides have happed because of her advice? And, ask about the number of divorces, too.”

That was life in the newsroom. There was always a nasty remark about everything. We knew that when someone gave us a tip, there was always a secret agenda. That people who held themselves up as the most prominent or upright citizens would too often wound up being convicted of fraud or theft or sexual assault on a child. That the world was filled with lies and liars. That there was always a humorous, negative take on everything, because good news really wasn’t news, and we didn’t run into all that many “good” people anyhow.

We’d go to events and never clap for the speakers. We’d be irreverent, and sometimes, disrespectful to people in positions of authority. We always assumed dark, not light. The worst, not the best. endoscopic breast augmentation texas

I tell you all of this so you understand that I had to leap from the negative plane where so many of us linger, and venture into the realm of light and possibility, where our true success awaits.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. Seriously, because before I made that leap, I would have scoffed at a column like this, then sneered, “What a bunch of bull….” I hate those books that seem like they were written by used car salesmen who have the secret formula for magic self esteem, and unbridled success and wealth. This is not that kind of blog. I am a recovered cynic, but because of my background, you can trust that I’m not saying anything that wasn’t scrutinized and challenged a great deal.

After I left journalism and decompressed a few years, I encountered others who manifested unthinkable success with an attitude shift that could only have been made because of their self confidence and fearlessness. They believed they could achieve greatness, so they did.

I remember asking Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams what separates someone who is ordinary from someone who is extraordinary. “The belief that she’s ordinary,” said Williams, who won the Nobel for leading the crusade against land mines. There is so much power and truth in that concept. You are what your mind says you are. Your mind says what you tell it to say.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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Beginning to reprogram our negative thoughts

If you have your doubts about positive self-talk programming, take a minute to examine what your negative self-talk has accomplished. I am sure it is significant.

Unfortunately, we humans are really mean to ourselves. We berate ourselves for gaining weight, failing in relationships, struggling at work, getting into tussles with family, not doing enough for the kids. We fail to let go of the inevitable criticism that comes our way through the years, remembering a kind word of praise for five minutes and a passing swipe until we die. We fixate on the few people who don’t like us, rather than the many who do. The list of sour thoughts that we put in our head and keep there goes on and on and on.

And, since we are sensitive beings, we don’t just acknowledge our shortcomings, we revisit them again and again and again. We remind ourselves how we fall short – and we aren’t even consciously doing it. We cling to nasty remarks that may have been said about us years ago – even decades ago – as though they were true and permanent. We joke about ourselves to others, but while those self-deprecating put-downs may be humorous, they serve to re-enforce our negative self-image. cymbalta and migraine

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

Self-discipline

I can’t tell you how many people tell me they could never work from home and get anything accomplished. “I lack the self-discipline,” they all say.

Well, me too. But, seeing as I do work from home, it is pretty clear that if I don’t get the discipline, I won’t eat. If I don’t get the discipline, I’ll have to get a traditional job. If I get a traditional job, I will likely have to wear panty hose again. hill richmond breast augmentation grand rapids breast augmentation

I remind myself of those critical matters whenever I start slacking off. Because I realize what a privilege it is to have my own business and work at home, I have to be disciplined – whether it comes natural to me or not. This skill can be developed.

And since many of you will say “The reason I won’t try to do x, y, or z is that I am not disciplined enough,” I will tell you right now that your excuse sucks. If you want to do something badly enough, you will discipline yourself. You will get organized.

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I am not an organized person, but I know there are certain steps I have to take in order to move toward my goals. Every Monday, I come up with a list of things I need to accomplish during the week in order to stay on task and move forward. I use that list whenever I become distracted. If I lapse into one of my marathon Net surfing expeditions, I have to go to the list to pull myself back on track. That is discipline and it is organization. It all comes from one simple list.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies. black book divx land before time the dvdrip

 

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An Extraordinary Woman

I once asked Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams what separates an ordinary woman from an extraordinary woman.

“The belief that she is ordinary,” she said.

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Simply profound and profoundly simple. The only thing that limits you – is you. Think you are average? You’ll be average. Think you can do anything? You can.

Last night, I met a 22-year-old singer/musician who blew me and about 100 other people away with her voice. Afterwards, I asked her what her plan was for becoming famous.

“Oh, I don’t want to be famous,” she said. “I just want to be able to make a living doing this.”

“Shoot for the middle and that is where you will wind up,” I told her.

People who don’t shoot for the top – the very top – often limit themselves because they fear making an enormous emotional and personal commitment, and ultimately falling short. Well, so what if you do? So what if you have big dreams and accomplish only 70 or 80 percent of what you’d hoped? You’ll still be far ahead of where you will be if you just aim for the middle and stay there. And, your experience will be so much more interesting.

Achievement comes in trying what you are afraid to try. Achievement is not the ultimate success or failure of any attempt. It’s getting out there, getting dirty, trying your hardest and enjoying every aspect of the challenge. It’s expecting obstacles and conquering them. It’s recognizing and treasuring the support you get from people who love you and believe in you. Achievement is the knowledge that you are defining who you are every day, rather than letting the circumstances of life define that for you. The reward in all of this is that you are living your life and choosing extraordinary. risperdal weight gain space cowboys download free

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

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In a Rut

Years ago, the argument for my inertia  was strong: I had a secure job, decent pay, good health insurance, five weeks of vacation, the best friends I’d ever had. On top of all of that, I got to live in glorious Colorado. My argument for change was rather short: I was in a rut and was unhappy at work.

Someone wanted to hire me in Florida. The job looked good, the pay looked fine and I’d be near my family. But, I couldn’t seem to take the leap.

One of my mentors told me: “Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.” And then, she said it again. “If you aren’t doing something,” she said, “you’re doing nothing.”

I took the job and never looked back as I created a new life of challenge and adventure, quickly learning that change is nothing to fear.

Ruts are comfortable and comforting. We know what to expect of our outside world, but there isn’t much cause to challenge ourselves. Our measurement of what we accomplish tomorrow is too often based on old goals that have lost their significance.

How often do you celebrate the goals you have reached, then take a moment to dream a little larger? Don’t measure yourself against the expectations of others, and don’t focus on competing against your peers. What do you want for your life? More money, more time, more freedom, more wisdom, more credentials, more perks, more love, more adventure? Know yourself, and measure yourself against your own dreams. Don’t fear change – seek it out. Don’t let security be your dangerous anchor.

The Ten Tell Tale Signs that you are in a Rut

1. You aren’t having fun

2. You aren’t challenged

3. You enjoy your job less and less

4. You don’t feel like talking about your work with your friends and family

5. You are smarter than your bosses

6. You keep reminding yourself of the good attributes of your job, and they all have to do with “golden handcuffs” – good pay, benefits and time off

7. You can predict your future and it looks exactly like your present

8. People say, “Are you still working there?”

9. You are jealous whenever someone “climbs over the wall” and quits

10. You feel stuck

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courages and creative leadership strategies.

 

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