Jan 012013
 
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Learn To Give Yourself An Attitude Adjustment – 20 Ideas To Make It Happen

It’s important to be able to recognize when you need to give yourself an attitude adjustment.  It took me a while, but I’ve learned to do this when I start obsessing about negative stuff or other things out of my control.  As I sat at my desk yesterday fuming about a couple of personal and business issues I was confronting, I decided to write down some of the ways I give myself an attitude adjustment.  Maybe you’ll find them helpful in your quest to “get your head right”.

Here are some of the ways I’ve found that usually work for me:

  1. Listen to classical music.  I know this isn’t for everyone, and sometimes, classical music isn’t the ticket for me, either, but I do find that listening to music, whatever the genre, often can help me get my attitude back on track.  Usually, the louder the music, the better it works for me.
  2. Watch (or listen to) TED talks.  This is one of my favorite ways to get my attitude back on track.  TED is an acronym for technology, education and design.  It’s a series of conferences where they get all the best thinkers and innovators in the world to give talks on a variety of topics.  GREAT stuff.  Check it out at www.ted.com.
  3. Read an inspirational book, blog or quote.  This approach is tried and true.  Whatever your favorite written source of inspiration may be, have at it.  We all have our “go-to” sources for getting our attitude back on track.
  4. Exercise.  Even if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in a while, give it a shot.  You’ll be amazed the miracles a bit of exercise can work on your state of mind.  If you can’t (or won’t) make it to the gym, exercise at home or somewhere else where you’re comfortable.  Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
  5. Eat ice cream.  Just kidding – I’d stay away from using food to adjust your attitude.  It’s a bad habit that’s far too easy to start and tough to break.  Choose something else from the list.
  6. Take a walk on the beach.  Or take a walk in the mountains.  Try to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and get some exercise at the same time.  If neither beach nor mountain is available nearby, take a walk anywhere.  Bring along some music if it helps.  This is an easy one, requiring no special equipment other than walking or running shoes.
  7. Look at your vision board.  Assuming you’ve create a vision board for your future, taking a look at that can help change your state of mind.  This is especially true if you’ve populated your vision board with images that inspire and motivate you.  If you don’t have a vision board, I strongly recommend creating one.
  8. Look at photos that make you happy.  This is an easy one.  Look at your own camera roll (iPhone terminology) or photo album.  If you have neither, look at Instagram or Pinterest, or whatever site contains images that you enjoy.  This can be a quick and painless way to get your mind back on track.  It can also be quite distracting, so use this one with care.
  9. Plan a trip.  Take a few moments to plan your next trip.  This can be a great virtual getaway for your mind, as you think about some of the details of your next escape from reality.  If you don’t have any trips in your near future, make a list of some of the places you’d like to visit when you do get a chance to travel.  Don’t spend the whole day on this, but putting a few minutes into it can help return your mind to a positive state.
  10. Get some sleep.  I find that a lot of times when my attitude is out of whack, I’m at least somewhat sleep deprived, if not totally exhausted.  If you’re having attitude challenges and you know you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, get some rest.  Take a short nap, or get to bed early.  I’m not saying to sleep all the time – that too can be taken to an extreme – but it’s worth making sure you are rested.  Your performance on all levels should improve when you’ve had enough rest.
  11. Drink alcohol.  Just kidding – I’d stay away from this one as much as possible.  It’s been an approach I’ve used at times, but it’s a rough road to take, particularly if you use it with great frequency.  Whenever possible, select something else from the list.
  12. Call a close friend you haven’t talked to in a while.  This is a great one!  Getting in touch with old friends is great for your state of mind!  Use this one whenever you have the time to talk for a bit.  Often times, these conversations will go on for a while, and time will stand still as you’re talking about old times.  This will be good for your attitude and your soul.
  13. Watch a comedy movie.  Laughter is often the best medicine.  Check out a comedy you’ve heard is great, or go back to an old standby that you know will make you laugh.  Laughing causes physiological changes in your body and often has a positive effect on your attitude.  Use this one when you have a couple hours to watch a movie.  If you have less time, watch a sitcom.  Just use this with care – this one can be addictive, and a huge time waster if you’re not careful.
  14. Take a ride in your car.  This isn’t for everyone, but for some, driving can be therapeutic, particularly if you live in a place where you can take a scenic route.  It can also be fun to hit the accelerator a little harder than usual – use that one at your own risk though and stay safe, based on where you are and who’s around.
  15. Play a game with friends or family.  I find that playing a game with my kids can, at times, be a great distraction from ”reality”.  Obviously, it also has the collateral benefit of allowing you to spend some quality time with your kids – a win-win situation.  The same can be said if you play with friends.
  16. Remember, “it’s only a time and it will pass”.  This is one of my Mom’s favorite expressions.  I’ve found it quite helpful sometimes when I need an attitude adjustment.  When confronting difficult situations, it’s often quite helpful to bear in mind that whatever it may be, it’s not going to last forever – “this too shall pass”.
  17. Realize that whatever you’re facing, it’s likely relatively minor.  This is not always true, of course, but often times we get all bent out of shape over small issues.  We tend to blow things out of proportion.  Sometimes it helps to remind ourselves that there are people out there with much more difficult situations and challenges.  Get a sense of perspective.  It should help you get your mind right.
  18. Do something you’ve been putting off.  There are few better feelings than knocking something off your To Do List, especially something you’ve been putting off for a while.  When your attitude gets bad, respond from a position of strength and attack something on your list about which you’ve been procrastinating.  Do that and your attitude will change instantly.
  19. Buy yourself a gift.  This one’s often referred to as “retail therapy”.  Use this one with care – it can be addictive and usually really doesn’t fix much, but it can snap you out of a negative state of mind.  Learn what works for you, hopefully something relatively affordable.
  20. Remember where we fit in the universe.  This is another good one for gaining perspective.  You’re facing an issue that’s giving you a bad attitude; it’s likely a minor issue.  In the meantime, we’re really a small speck in the universe – quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things.  We’re inhabitants of a small (but beautiful) planet in a solar system, the center of which is a star that is one of BILLIONS in the universe.  How big is your problem in this context?  Don’t blow it out of proportion.  Put your big boy (or girl) pants on and get back on track!

Hopefully these ideas will be helpful to you next time you need an attitude adjustment.  If you have others that work for you, I’d love to hear about them!

I look forward to your thoughts!

Paul Morin

paul@companyfounder.com

www.companyfounder.com

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Apr 212012
 
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Abundance:  The Future Is Brighter Than You Think

Abundance:  Do You Believe The Future Is Better Than Most Think?

Last week I was at a conference where one of the speakers was Peter Diamandis, the author of Abundance:  The Future Is Better Than You Think.

In this environment of what seems like unending pessimism, particularly when it comes to the economic situation and future, it was refreshing to hear a highly credible speaker (undergrad and grad engineering degrees from MIT, Harvard MD, accomplished entrepreneur) talk about how great the future may be.

The book’s message is not one of unbridled optimism or “irrational exuberance”; rather, it acknowledges that the world is facing many acute and some potentially catastrophic problems.  The positive side of the book’s message and Diamandis’ talk refers to the abundance of “exponential technologies” that have put the human race in a position to solve such longstanding problems as hunger, water shortage, energy crises, healthcare costs and diagnostic deficiencies, among many others.  Although I’m only part way through the book at this point, based on what I’ve read thus far and what I learned from Diamandis’ comments and luncheon at the conference I mentioned, I highly recommend Abundance.

I’d like to share a couple of the key points I’ve learned from Diamandis so far and discuss how, based on my experience, they play a part in the entrepreneurial journey.

First, Diamandis makes the point that, as human beings, given our survival instinct, we are much more prone to pay attention to negative and potentially dangerous information.  A part of our brain called the amygdala, which I’ve referenced many other times in my writings, particularly on the topic of the panic response, plays a very important part in how we process information that gives us clues about potential dangers.  The media know this, and as Diamandis points out, the old news adage that, “if it bleeds, it leads” is as true today as it’s ever been.  The simple truth is that if it seems potentially dangerous, human beings are much more prone to pay attention to it.  The media play on this.  Advertisers play on this.  Many others who are trying to influence us play on this.

So, as an entrepreneur, how can you use this “amygdala reality” to your advantage?  Most importantly, as I’ve written before, it’s critical that you learn to overcome and manage the fear/panic response.  Next, to the extent you can do so within the boundaries of your business ethics, use the amygdala and fear response to your advantage.  Acknowledge and use the fact that your target market is a lot more likely to try to avoid danger and mistakes, than they are to try to “seek pleasure”.  This is not true in all markets and all circumstances, of course, but the vast majority of the time, it holds true.

Next, a key point that Diamandis makes is that “local and linear” thinking, with the aid of technology, in many markets, has become “global and exponential”.

How does this reality matter to you as an entrepreneur?  First, when you are considering business opportunities, ask yourself whether you are looking at the big picture, or just approaching it from a “local and linear” perspective.  The most valuable businesses that have been built in a relatively short period of time, have almost always capitalized on the extraordinary leverage potential of being “global and exponential”.  Think Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, to name a few of many.  Such a perspective is not always the right answer, but more often than not, at a minimum, asking yourself whether you’re unnecessarily limiting yourself to thinking and behaving in a local and linear fashion, will open your eyes to potential you would not have seen otherwise.

I found it refreshing to hear Diamandis’ extremely well-informed, data-supported thoughts on the future and its potential, and thus far I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his recently released book, Abundance:  The Future Is Better Than You Think.  Whether you get the chance to read his book or not, I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the future, and in particular, whether the news we receive on a somewhat continuous basis these days, paints too much of a negative picture.

If you’d like to get more of a taste of Diamandis’ thoughts on Abundance and the future, check out his roughly 16-minute TED talk here:  Diamandis TED talk.

I look forward to your thoughts.  Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.

Paul Morin

paul@companyfounder.com

www.companyfounder.com

Don’t miss an issue of Company Founder! Subscribe today.  It’s free.  It’s private.  It’s practical information for entrepreneurs and leaders interested in taking it to the next level.

Go to the right-hand navigation bar near the top of the page, enter your email and click subscribe.  We respect your privacy and will not sell your email address.  Note:  once you subscribe, if the confirmation email doesn’t arrive, check your spam filter.  It usually makes it through, but sometimes those pesky spam filters don’t know what’s good..

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Aug 272011
 
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2 “Rules” To Encourage Innovation and Initiative

2 “Rules” To Encourage Innovation and Initiative

Most entrepreneurs and leaders would agree that innovation and initiative in their organizations are positive things, right?  Then why as leaders and entrepreneurs do many of us not follow two simple “rules” to encourage more of both:  1.) the “Two Second Rule” and 2.) the “Well Done Rule”?  Let me explain.

These are names I’ve given to two practices I suggest you adopt, if you have not already.  The first, or the so-called “Two Second Rule,” refers to restraining yourself from being immediately negative when someone brings you an idea.  For many of us, the first reaction to a new idea from an employee or colleague is to point out all the flaws.  We immediately make comments along the lines of, “That’ll never work because…,” quickly demoralizing the person trying to innovate and potentially conditioning them to not want to bother bringing us ideas and suggestions in the future.  I call it the “Two Second Rule” because it’s meant to encourage us to think for a couple of seconds when we hear an idea, rather than immediately going on auto-pilot and launching into all the negatives.  Note that I didn’t say that the idea should never receive critical review, analysis and adaptation; just don’t kill it with negativity right out of the box.

The second, or the so-called “Well Done Rule,” refers to making sure we dole out some praise to people who bring us new ideas and suggestions, whether we fully agree with them or not.  We want to encourage people to bring us ideas, as companies grow and thrive by “keeping it fresh”.

Granted, as leaders of companies and other organizations, most of us are “maxxed out”; we’re inundated with requests and our “to do list” never seems to end.  So, it’s understandable if you may be a bit concerned about encouraging people to bring you even more requests, suggestions and ideas.  I understand completely.  However, do you agree that innovation and initiative are important?  If yes, then rather than shutting them down by automatically being negative or by not giving people the praise they merit, establish mechanisms to deal with all the ideas and innovations more efficiently.

Set up something along the lines of an “innovation group” – I hesitate to say “innovation committee,” as committees have such a negative reputation and carry many connotations that are counter to innovation.  Whatever you decide to call it, use it as a mechanism for organizing the ideas that come in and presenting them to you in a format that’s easy to deal with more efficiently.  For example, it can be a simple table of ideas, categorized by the area of your business on which each idea touches.  You can even ask the group to prioritize the ideas to highlight which ones they think are best.  Notice that I didn’t say “screen” the ideas.  You don’t want the group to eliminate ideas, as your perspective and experience may lead you to prioritize them differently and even the lesser ranked ideas may lead you to think of others.

Once you are receiving these ranked reports of ideas and suggestions on a regular basis, say monthly, you can also set up group and one-on-one interaction with the innovators.  In such meetings you can refine the ideas and you can recognize the people who have contributed.  You may even want to set up a monetary remuneration system for the innovators whose ideas are adopted and implemented, in order to further incentivize such activity.  That’s a possible step, but even without it, I think you’ll be pleased with what simple, non-monetary recognition will do to get your team innovating more.

So give the Two Second Rule and the Well Done Rule a try in your ventures and other initiatives.  As you can see, there are many different ways you can implement these “rules” and obviously, you should tailor the approach you take to the realities of your team and organization.  However you decide to do it, I’m confident that with less initial negativity and more recognition, you’ll be pleased with the increased levels of innovation and initiative in your organization.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Paul Morin

paul@companyfounder.com

www.companyfounder.com.

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May 182011
 
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Originally posted at:

Have you ever been questioned, attacked or put down for no apparent reason? Have you ever encountered a confrontation you didn’t see coming because there was nothing to confront? Have you ever been dumbfounded by the incredibly childish behavior a grown man or woman displayed in the wake of their own disappointment? At work or at home…

Why do some people have everything they need and are still negative? How do some people make do with so little and stay positive all throughout life? What is it that makes some see the glass half full and others see it half empty? The following quotes helped me see the ‘why’:

“People who project negativity typically have low self-esteem. They feel badly about themselves, and their negativity is simply a reflection of those feelings.”

Hendrie Weisinger

“One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction.”

Lewis F. Korns

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Winston Churchill

So, it’s in the attitude. Do negative people have low self-esteem? Isn’t that a convenient excuse? I have to believe the quotes are right. In my work as Social Media Manager, I have encountered many a negative person. Whether in person or through social media, negativity spreads like wild fire if you let it. Let it is the operative term here. My advice is to ignore all bad behavior. As a former nanny and babysitter, mother of four and business owner, ignoring bad behavior makes it go away, eventually. Giving any attention to it will make the issue bigger, better, grander and go on and on and on. The following quotes helped me see the ‘what’.

“Negativity can only feed on negativity.”

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.”

Shirley MacLaine

“Negativity is expensive. It costs companies millions of dollars each year.”

Gary Topchik

So how do you deal with negativity in the work place? How do you turn negativity into something positive? How can you prevent it and nip it in the bud as it starts to rear its ugly head? I am closing this one out with some wise advice from some wise men and women. The following quotes helped me see the ‘how’.

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

Thich Nhat Hahn

“It is easier to avoid the effects of others’ negativity when we question if an action or attitude is appropriately directed at us. If it isn’t, we can choose to sidestep it and let it pass.”

Sue Patton Theole

“The best way of removing negativity is to laugh and be joyous.”

David Icke

“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life. “

Anais Nin

I would love to hear your stories on how you turned negativity into something positive.

Originally posted at:

As always, if you have questions, or would like to comment, please feel free to contact Dorien@moreinmedia.com.

Come find me.

http://moreinmedia.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MoreInMediaCompany

https://twitter.com/#!/MoreInMedia

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Jan 262011
 
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Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
____________
Albert Einstein

One thing you can count on as an achiever is a lot of opposition to your ideas, from naysayers, pessimists, cynics, jealous people, etc. The “violent opposition” won’t always come from mediocre minds, but often it will. The bottom line is that from whichever type of mind you receive opposition, my advice is to acknowledge whatever point is being made, then simply keep moving forward and disassociate yourself from the source of negativity. Consistently negative people are a cancer in the achiever environment. Move on, leave them in the dust, and keep pursuing your dreams..

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