Have you ever heard somebody say to another person “Don’t spill that coffee.” and seen that exact thing happen, that you know will happen…. which is that they do spill the coffee by accident!
Right now you are laughing because it is funny. It is funny because it happens all the time. For some reason it seems the more you tell someone NOT to do something, the more likely it is that it WILL happen. Why is that? Sometimes we attribute it to simple disobedience – for example a child testing a parent, when the parent has said “don’t do that.”
However, it is more than just a simple testing of the boundaries. There is a biological, scientific reason for this and it has to do with the way that our brains are wired.
So why do we always seem to do the very thing that we are told not to do?
23 Jun 2010
I have been fortunate to discover that there is a reason for all things – even those that are senseless and incomprehensible – and that we have to somehow learn to trust that there is a bigger picture that perhaps we, as mere human beings, can never truly understand.
The most beautiful expression of this idea I’ve ever read was in a children’s book ‘Little Soul in the Sun’ by Neil Donald Walsh. In the story, Walsh talks of a Little Soul who wants to be incarnated as a human being to learn ‘forgiveness’. A Friendly Soul agrees to oblige him by incarnating as a person to do something to the Little Soul that will help him learn the lesson of forgiveness. But the Friendly Soul issues a plea of caution and says, ‘at the very moment that I strike you down, please promise me that you will remember who I really am, a Friendly and loving Soul, otherwise we will be doomed to repeat the process over and over again until we get the learnings or until another Little Soul comes down to help us find the way out.’
11 Apr 2010
Your financials are to your business what the scoreboard is at a sporting contest. Do you waste money and time chasing new leads and sales instead of fixing your business and making it profitable?
If Financial Ignorance = Bliss, you’ll be Blissfully Broke…
Imagine for a moment that you are playing an important game of tennis. It’s the club final and you are the favourite. There is a big crowd and as the game progresses, everything seems to be going to plan. You’re playing well and you’re winning points. Victory can’t be far away. There is only one problem: there is no scoreboard and the umpire is keeping score to herself. No one except her knows what’s really going on.
30 Mar 2010
What if I told you that YOU are you’re own worst enemy? Would you be offended or would you smile and agree, because you know it’s true. It’s true for ALL of us.
You can tell a lot about a business person by the way they spend their time. We all spend our time in various ways. Many business owners and senior executives tell me that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. Personally, I have a belief that there is always enough time in the day to do all of the things that are WORTH doing.
Sometimes activity can be a kind of anesthesia for the pain of not achieving the results you want and deserve. Action is always better than procrastination. However, more activity is not always better than less.
14 Mar 2010
Lily Allen may not be an authority on business, but she hit the nail on the head with her honest, irreverent spin on a timeless mystery – “how to know what to do when you have no idea and you’re not prepared”. In her platinum selling song, she sings:
I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
Everyone knows that we have been conditioned NOT to admit that we don’t know all of the right answers. Even though we know it’s not true, our teachers, bosses, politicians and even the media have modelled this “fake it until you make it” mentality. Since the mind doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event, acting ‘as if’ seems like the logical solution to temporary uncertainty, or does it?
“I don’t know” is a simple phrase. Simple and powerful at the same time. While there can be no doubt that to use it denotes uncertainty and the risk of embarrassment, with it comes an attribute that is far more rare and influential…authenticity!
Over the course of my life, I have been asked some difficult questions both personally and professionally – I’ve been put on the spot, caught unprepared and left exposed and vulnerable. Many times, I racked my brain to come up with the answer – a plausible response that hit the nail on the head or got me out of jail [metaphorically speaking] for free! Other times, I just got lucky.
But occasionally I must admit, “I just don’t know!” I simply cannot say for sure. I just don’t have the answer right now.
Sometimes admitting you don’t know can be the most empowering, intelligent, authentic and liberating response that you can offer. Compared to stumbling through a half baked idea, outright lying or trying to pull a cohesive response out of thin air, admitting you don’t know is a sane solution to this diabolical dilemma.
To be honest, none of us has “The Answer” to everything. If you think you do, chances are you know even less than you thought! If someone has taken the time to ask a question and placed their trust in your expertise, they deserve pearls of wisdom not propaganda.
In fact, in order to be a true leader and to earn authority, which is the foundation of your ability to influence others, it is simply not enough to be knowledgeable. You also need to be truthful. Therefore, in order to master the power of influence, you must establish yourself as both honest and powerful in your communications.
When in doubt, “I don’t know but I will find out” is the best answer.
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