The Puzzle of Your Life

Each and everyone of us has a unique purpose for our lives. No two people are the same. We are unique in our experiences an a one of a kind gem piece with an unlimited potential a power force residing in each of us. 

As we all take this journey through life focusing on what we want and avoiding what we do not, we come to the realization that our days are numbered and if we ever choose to live out our best days it must be done right now. 

All to often we, some of us get this tugging desire to, become something more than what we currently are. The vision we have is so far out there we tend to not believe it to be possible. Or sometimes we just go about our lives  doing the things we know that we ought to like going to work and school just hoping everything will some day fall into place. And when they do fall into place we consider this to be luck and if it doesn’t we are instead on a path that surely we lead us to becoming doomed. 

But have you ever just stopped for a min and pondered the events of your life and noticed that because of this I am here? I’ve done this only because of that. And then you realize through it all,some good and some terrifying moments, life has somehow has coincidentally come together for your better good. 

When I look back at my life starting from childhood, young adolecense, then preteen to young man, I recognize destiny wasn’t clear. My life then was like a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle that slowly over time came together creating the  picture of my life. 

But through time the cheerfulness imagination and the deep desire to put together piece by piece this puzzle becomes overwhelming, long and labor intensive down right boring. The once imaginative and determined youth loses interest and quits looking for the clear picture of their life. 

So what happens then is you walk away form the puzzle in which you have started. You say to yourself “I will come back when i have the patience and the desire to finish what I have started.”

Several years pass and you decide to come back to the puzzle. Some pieces of your life have broken apart and your mind is scatterd in every direction.  Your faith has waned. You just don’t know what else to do with yourself. You tried this fad, and then that gimmic, you listened to this persons advice and you rejected another’s. Your instinct is saying one thing, but you are confused and don’t know what direction to go. 

Does any of this Sound familiar? 

Now, your no longer a kid or a young adult you are now wise in your years. You’ve taken risks, you now have some experiences under your belt. Life has thrown you down to the ground many of times and now you are ready to dig deep within yourself to find the answers that you were looking everywhere for. 

You return to the puzzle. 

With all the edges together the outline and border is framed. That border represents the once broken boundaries which you’ve had to escape and find out for yourself what is truth and what is not. Now you know. The puzzles border is done first and without it there is no shape or completness. It’s the starting point of your life. 

So here you are again at the puzzle sitting alone just you and your thoughts. So tempted to just say screw it and throw it back in the box. But you don’t. You come back to life and try again. You sit there with all your failures and past successes. The pain and happiness of your hearts memories are now scattered pieces of the jig. You ask God for some help. He then takes your hand and guides you to the exact piece for what you need, the piece fits perfectly. A smile emerges. Once again the pieces come to together. A clear purpose to your life forms.  Slowly but surely the picture becomes recognizable. 

Wow! This vigor fills you. What was distant painful memories becomes this beautiful flower bloom scatterd in an open prairie. Your very own experiences become the mountains of courage in the horizon. Your tears become the lake where a beautifully young doe drinks. The sun’s rays which gives meaning and hope shines through in your smile. The puzzle of  life with all its unseemingly pieces come together at the right time. Through it all your life now has a greater meaning. Have a seat again. Take in a breath of hope and release any thoughts of doubt. Reach for the puzzle piece and ask for the help of a guided hand. 

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Confessions of a CHEATER

What if you woke up tomorrow and you were somebody else? Who would you like to be? Who would you not want to be? What talents would you possess? Would you like to be a famous athlete or entertainer? Or how about if you can go back in time and change one event in your life or someone else’s, what would that be? If magically you can be anybody you want or have the same abilities or talents as anyone, what would they be? Now, imagine you were that particular person and all your fame, fortune and notoriety were stripped away. How would you handle such turn of events.

I imagine waking up and I’m this extraordinary, gifted and talented athlete. Not the world famous controversial athlete that the world knows now, before it all and I’m 13 years old. The ‘pretend’ me is 10 times as gifted of an athlete as i ever was. Sure the ‘real’ me could run faster than most, jump high and was considered a candidate to make the basketball or track team, but i wasn’t the best athlete in the region, state or school for that matter. The person I am pretending to be is a superior athlete with astronomical potential.

I’m 13 years old and I am breaking school records. My parents recognize I have a passion to compete and hire me a personal trainer like that of Olympiad Bruce Jenner. By 14, I’m receiving national recognition in track and field and one day it was suggested to me that i should broaden my training, to include swimming and cycling. During the summer my parents buy me my first 10 speed bicycle. It’s black and yellow with the 2 gear shifters on the handle bar’s neck. I wake up and i can’t wait to go riding. My parents tell me to wear a helmet and be back before dark. I pack a sandwich and begin my journey. I love how fast i can go. Unlike running it takes forever, but when i am on my bike I can cut through blocks and neighborhoods at lighting fast speeds. I can pedal until i tire, i  seldom am. I imagine i am racing or being chased. The exhilaration is like no other. 5 hours later i see a sign that reads ‘crossing state lines’ I can’t believe i have ridden this far and i stop to ponder if i should cross. My first thought is that-my parents are going to kill me-if they know i entered the next state. I smile and can’t resist the slyness temptation. I quickly cross to say that i did it and i make my way back home.

Later that summer, I beg my parents to allow me to race a triathlon. They say they will let me race only under one condition. That i must win! Everyday i wake up and ride to the lake 10 miles away. I jump in the water and swim as if the sharks were going to eat me. I swam and I exert all my energy but for some strange reason i never felt tired. I’m afraid I’m not training hard enough. I swim to the bottom of the lake and hold my breath for 170 seconds and that is when i felt most alive. I love the feeling of being out of breath. Strangely, i am never ‘out of breath’. I run around the lake, swim and ride my bike all day from sun up to sun down. The race would be here before i knew it and my Dad’s voice would permeate saying “you can race, but only under one condition,…you must win.” I have to win.

Race day, the gun sounds off and a couple hundred competitors jump into the lake and we swim the first leg of this triathlon. I swim as fast as i can and I see just a few swimmers ahead of me. I finish the swim race, run to my bike and start peddling. I look ahead and I can’t tell how many racers are before me. I look back at those that were swimming and can’t believe how many were still in the water. I then realize -out of the many men i am racing- I am the only teen competing. I was faster than i thought. And then it hit me. I can win this.

I gain road, and i pass one cyclist after another. This is too easy for me. I love riding. Every rider I pass i gain a momentum. I jump ahead of the 20 or so men. My legs are lightning, and my black and yellow 10 speed is the truth. I peddle and peddle chasing the other riders until i notice i was out in front and gained at least a 2 min. lead among the other riders. I couldn’t believe I was going to win. I had to win.

My last and final leg of the race is the foot race. I have a good lead and feel strong, but noticed the other runners were coming behind me fast. I sprint as fast as i can. I hear cheering fans from my school. The second place runner catches me and then the 3rd. I fall back to 4th place with a mile to go. I’m running my fastest. I grit my teeth and hear my Dads voice in my head saying “under one condition…you must win.” I’m angry and I’m  holding nothing back. I catch the 3rd place runner and then the 2nd. But I’m too late, I was too slow. I come in 2nd. I’m the youngest to compete in this triathlon losing only to an out of state professional who lives in Italy. “Way to Go!! My mother professes.”I lost” I say so with a frown. “You should be proud of yourself son my father tells me.” I wasn’t. I hated losing.

That next year i raced the triathlon again and won. I beat the Italian professional. That week my parents phone was ringing ‘off the hook.’ Racing teams want to sign and offer me a contract. “Son, they want you to go pro” I’m only 16.

I’m 19, a national sensation and a ‘wining’ professional triathlete. I transition over to professional cycling and the money I’m making is more than both my mom and dads combined. I love cycling more than running and swimming just as i did as a kid. I can’t imagine I am getting paid to do what i love. My team and I continue to win. I advance as the strongest cyclist. The more we win the more money we make. The more we win the more famous we became. We have our eyes set on the ultimate prize, the world stage, The Tour de France.

I’m now 25 years old. I get these tremendous groin pains. I ignore them thinking it may be straining from over training. A few months pass i can barely sit on my bike and decide to go get this checked out. The Urologist do some tests and I am diagnoses with stage 3 testicular cancer. “What does this mean Dr?’ “You have cancer on your testicle, which needs to be removed. You may never have children. And if you consider that the worse part, fine. But i must also let you know that the cancer has traveled to your abdomen, lungs and brain. Forget riding a bike again your going to die.”

I come home and sit in my favorite lazy boy recliner as i always do after grueling training. I sit here for 2 months in seclusion not going anywhere or talking to anybody. Next to me is on a side table is my grandfathers bible and my non-wireless  house phone with cored plugged into the wall. It’s all over i contemplate. My life and my career cut short. “God why?” I ask. God doesn’t reply. “God, I don’t want to die yet. Please let me live i will do good” The Dr’s call and tell me i must go into chemotherapy. And that this particular chemo would mean i may live, but will never race again. I have a choice to make, live and never race again or die. Give me death. The Dr’s call back 2 weeks later with positive news that they found a particular chemo treatment with a drug that will not effect my lungs. I agree to the treatment if it means i have a chance to race again. Right after i hang up, I receive another call from the professional team i ride for. I offer them the ‘good’ news they counter offer me the ‘bad.’ “Were going to have to drop you. I’m sorry.” My income is zero. God I ask again “Why?” There is no reply.

I go in and have my testicle removed and begin my chemotherapy. What do you call a man with one ball? A half a man. I’m pissed. I’m told i may never have children. Luckily i banked my sperm. Not knowing that, in the future i would have 5 children 2 naturally, and 3 from artificial insemination which also resulted in twins.

I receive a note of good report from my Dr that I am cancer free. My road to recovery and my redemption is now underway. I train like i never have before. I have no money. I am broke. I almost died and the world has forgot about me. I will change this. Yeah. I will change this alright. How? Like i always did. By winning. I have nothing to lose this go around. I was once almost defeated by cancer, but this time i will defeat and demoralize anybody in my path. I am the greatest there is and the best to have ever peddled a bicycle.  I will prove it. Tour de France,… here i come!

But first, I’m offered a measly $200,000 contract to again ride professionally. It’s a far cry from the other team that was paying me $2m. But It’s ok. I’m back on the saddle and I will win again. I will show the world I am the best cyclist to ever compete. I will win the Tour de France not once, not twice, but 7 times. And to anyone whoever doubted my come back, I will prove  it to you. And I won’t stop at nothing.

I continue to win. I drop one professional team and sign with the next in the same manner i was dropped. It’s a ruthless business. Not only do i win on the road, I’m just as cunning and ruthless in business. My endorsements grow. I finally win the big race. My team and i are loyal and my buddies all want the same even if that means doping. I assure them that we will not get caught because my determination to win races, fans, business and doping tests, I am unbeatable. I am the race ‘Leader’ and the drug ‘Lord’ all in one. My riders believe me. With tainted blood, I became the greatest rider in history to manipulate an out come of a races. Why? Because that day when I asked God “Why” He didn’t reply. Because,… I am God.

7 Tour de Frances and 600 doping test I  beat and won. Anybody who goes up against me in a race, a lawsuit, or challenges me, I will dismantle. I can’t be beat. Until…one day my oldest son Alex comes home from school and asks me if it was true what the school kids were saying about me, that i cheated. I look my oldest son, my pride in joy in the eyes and I say “NO. Son i did not cheat!” Later that night i sit at my recliner chair. The same chair where i spent 2 months of my life after being diagnosed with cancer, contemplating life, and and asking God for answers. And all i can hear is the lie I just told my son, being replayed over and over in my mind. I would remember my own Fathers voice telling me i must win. I sat there disconnected from the world thinking about almost losing to cancer and what it felt like being broke and fame-less. And then I thought about losing the trust and respect of my oldest child and that was unbearable. I thought i could lie and cheat the world, but if i had any dignity left, why did i lie to my oldest son-my miracle baby?

I finished my bottle of whiskey I call my son Alex to me. “What i am going to tell you son is going to be the hardest thing i have ever done. And you don’t have to forgive me. Your dad is not a Hero son. I did cheat. What they said is true. I am a cheater” Alex stands there looking me in the eyes. He says nothing. My face begins to tremble as i fight back tears. Alex sheds a tear nods  his head and walks away. I sit back down in the chair again and contemplate my next move.  These lies of mine and this monster i have become has gotten way out of hand. That next morning i awake my kids for school. I walk my kids to the bus stop. My twins Isabelle and Grace holding my hands singing and skipping. They get on the bus and say “daddy we love you.” Alex hesitates before stepping on the bus. He turns and looks me square in the eyes and says to me “Daddy your still my hero! You’re Lance Armstrong.”

I walk home with tears in my eyes. And suddenly I hear a voice in my head clear as day. The voice says “Lance,…you know what you must do” “Yes, Lord. I must confess. I will confess to the entire world that i have cheated and I will confess that you are my Lord and Savior”

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Love is a discipline. You get better at it with practice. Love always defeats Anger

Valentines day has come and past. Love is still in the air. Special moments were created with our Valentines that will be cherished for years to come. This special day that is once a year forces us to open our hearts and to express to our loved ones, friends and admirers that we appreciate them and we show them with candies, gift cards, flowers, jewelry and lovely dinners. With all the senseless violence and Anger in the media recently, Valentines day was a much needed day to reflect on Love and the beauty that is represented by this gesture. Let’s keep the Valentines day Love momentum going shall we?

In my previous posts this month, I touched on Anger and how this emotion manifests in our personal lives. I went as far to mention that professional career success doesn’t equate to personal family success. In fact, I made claims that the stress and pressure of maintaining a professional image in the work place daily, monthly, brought about the accumulation of stress and how it can easily spill over in home life potentially destroying or hurting our loved one. I’ve also pointed out that Anger needs to be properly managed and that it wouldn’t hurt to consider counseling or taking an online class that could provide coping techniques while understanding certain triggers that may be causing us to feel mostly Angered. The suggestion of Anger classes only comes from the fact that there are at least 69 known emotions that we all experience, but unfortunately not too many of us are in tuned with these, in particularly us men. See “There’s roughly 69 known emotions. Why are you Angry?”

In this post, I don’t want to focus on Anger and the effects of this emotion because we all are informed enough through media, our fixation with violent movies and video games, and through our own actions we know what is Anger is and how it’s acted out. Instead, I want focus on Love and how its expressed through our actions. By focusing on love and the actions of love I hope to give life and meaning to the emotion canceling out the need to be angry. Yes, love is still in the air and it’s lingering over us after Valentines day.

So what is Love? Here is a few definitions

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”-1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a

“Love and Compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”-Dalai Lama

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous”-Ingrid Bergman

Love is a practice. It’s a discipline. Doesn’t always come easy. It’s so much easier to become angry and upset rather than enforce patience and kindness. Love is a learned behavior and must be practiced regularly. What do you love? What are you passionate about? What brings you great joy? What fills your heart with gladness? If I asked you what Angers you, that would be easy to answer. But instead….what do you love? When you arrive to the answer to that question. Nurture it.

I get it. Love can be awkward. Like learning a new dance move or holding a yoga pose, Love can leave you feeling off balanced and clumsy. Give love a try you’ll never know where it will lead you. With practice those poses will give shape. Like yoga, love will permeate ones being while healing vent up anger and stress getting rid of rigidness. Love is a practice a disciple. It starts within and blossoms with inner beauty. “Fuck, Dammit…cursing.” No No No…that’s vegetation killer. Your inner beauty must surpass all agitation.

We know what Angers us. Do you know what you love about yourself? If so, bring out those attributes. If unsure of what your best qualities are,…search for them. What would you like to be known for, Tolerance, Gentleness, Calming, Patient, Kind, Generous? If these are the qualities you want to be known for work on them. And remember LOVE is a discipline and it takes practice!

What are you giving Life to Love or Anger?

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There’s roughly 69 known emotions. Why are you Angry?

Did you know there are something like 69 Emotions that we all experience? Probably not. If you are anything like me you could probably only account for Mad, Sad, Happy, Tired, Angry, Annoyed, Hot, Hungry, Upset and Pissed Off! I know your saying Hunger isn’t an emotion and neither is Pissed Off and I would have to disagree with you. If I’m hungry and I don’t eat I get pissed off, therefore being hungry is like playing with my emotions. Do you follow?

There’s roughly 69 known emotions. Why are you Angry?.

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There’s roughly 69 known emotions. Why are you Angry?

Did you know there are something like 69 Emotions that we all experience? Probably not. If you are anything like me you could probably only account for Mad, Sad, Happy, Tired, Angry, Annoyed, Hot, Hungry, Upset and Pissed Off! I know your saying Hunger isn’t an emotion and neither is Pissed Off and I would have to disagree with you. If I’m hungry and I don’t eat I get pissed off, therefore being hungry is like playing with my emotions. Do you follow?

Yep, guys there are a whopping 69 emotions and feelings that quite frankly I’m sure most of us know nothing about nor can make anything of them.  How can you truly know thy self or why you do anything for that matter other than wake, work, gym, sleep, sex, Madden and drink? (I know there’s not much more to life, but try to stay with me.)

It’s no wonder most of are in sad shape and can’t quite pinpoint what the real problems are in our lives. Don’t feel bad I didn’t know until this week, according to the ‘Plutchik’ table that there are a staggering 69 emotions that we incur on a day to day basis. Or maybe you shouldn’t feel bad for not siding with me, because i didn’t know how many emotions that were present. “Shouldn’t feel bad…” There’s a name to that emotion and it’s not called ‘Bad’. Is it ashamed or is it embarrassed? I should be able to express how i feel rather than  say i feel bad. And just think, I’m the type of guy who ponders deeply, writes in a journals, and inspires to be a personal development writer/coach. Unlike some men, there not the type to sit down and discuss emotions and feelings. Not that i feel ashamed or embarrassed for not knowing about the ‘Plutchik’ table, I’m ecstatic that i learned something new and can also share this with you. Yes, I’m ecstatic!

All 69 of your emotions

All 69 of your emotions

In my previous post If you are successful at your career, but your rage is destroying your home. You are a failure! I stated, You can be praised in society. Be a top performer at your job. Possess amazing talent, have thousands of friends on social network, be this extremely likable and respectably guy in the public’s eye, but when you step foot in your front door, your home, you become someone entirely different when taking your rage out on your family. If this is the case you’re not a success, you’re a failure. I wanted to spend this month focusing on anger and how it manifests in our personal lives. Valentines day is approaching and It seemed appropriate to focus on Anger(and the newly discovered emotions) the destroyer of passion.

Yes, I understand Valentines is coming up  and perhaps you have let work stress bottle over at home and what perfect way to cover up a few ‘blow ups’ by purchasing her a new set of diamond earrings or some chocolates.

You definitely have to make up for how you treated the in-laws during Christmas, so what better way to win her over by swiping the good ole credit card? Diamonds are always a quick fix and she will love ya for it all night, but come March 14 when that credit card statement comes around you won’t know what you feel. You will be back on my site looking for that Plutchik table trying to place a WHAT to the Who When Why Where and How? (Wifee, Valentines day, In the backseat of the Escalade, Love)

As you stand there holding the credit card bill in your hand with clenched teeth, the room increases in temperature causing you  to loosen your tie. Your heart rate increases and you take a deep long breath. Your wife comes around the hall smiling happy to see you and jumps in your arms. The diamond earrings are stunning alright. Your stunned and you don’t dare mention the debt for fear she will throw the earrings back in your face and run off crying. You smile holding her tight while balling the credit card bill even tighter. You reminisce about valentines and the fact that you had to make love in the back of the car like high schoolers because your card declined at the hotel after dinner. (Your probably thinking why you didn’t come back home instead for passion? I don’t know I’m just making this stuff up as i go. The kids were home and the bedroom door ‘lock’ is broken and you don’t want them to walk in to see mama in the most vulnerable of positions. Just kidding…about the bedroom locks I mean.)

Alright back to whatever it was we were talking about. Oh yeah Anger. I have a solution for that. Let’s say in addition to the Valentines gift, not as a substitution either, you take a step towards anger management and enroll yourself into… ‘Anger management’ classes! Before you start shaking your head and closing out Internet browsers, let me explain why this isn’t such a bad idea. And if this is your first time reading my blog read my About page or better yet  My First Blog Entry . I clearly state that I am in no way qualified to fix you. I’m here for support. You can come visit my blog for added encouragement. I’m going to try to offer some of the most sound and educated advice i can, in regards to real life and self improvement. As i mentioned in the first paragraph there are some 69 emotions and I’m familiar with like 12 of them.

Over the week as i tried to get a crash course about Anger over the internet, Wikipedia and my wife’s Psychology book, I knew i was way over my head. I thought I knew every thing about Anger since I have been angry most my entire life. I learned that Anger becomes the predominate feeling  behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. The behavior aspect is what we do when angered. The cognitive is the ability to make the choice to restrain from punching someone in the head. And the physiological is the tensing of hands, increased heart rate, and balling of fist like the angered husband story i told while he was clenching his credit card statement in one hand and his loving wife in the other. I’ve also learned that anger causes a loss in ‘Self monitoring‘ capacity and ‘Objective observability‘. What that means is that when your arguing with your wife and the kids are right there listening and your trapped into yourself not realizing you have lost control by not considering the effects this has on your children.

Anger is a natural emotion that everybody lives with. What separates each individual is how the Anger manifests. There are people who are Passively Angry and there are also those who are Aggressively Angry. Passive Anger would include: Dispassion– giving someone the cold shoulder., Evasiveness– avoiding conflict and not arguing back., Defeatism-relying on people that you know will let you down., Obsessive behavior– overly working, cleaning, over dieting, over eating demanding all jobs are done well., Psychological manipulation– provoking people to anger and then patronizing them for their reaction. Getting someone upset and then telling them that they shouldn’t yell. These are to name a few passive anger expressions which also include Secretive behavior, Self blame, Self-Sacrifice. (Wikipedia-Anger)

Aggressive Anger would include: Bullying-threatening gestures, intimidation, playing on peoples weakness.,Destructiveness– harming animals, destroying objects, destroying relationships, reckless driving and substance abuse.,Grandiosity– showing off, being a soar loser, not listening, expecting kiss and make up sessions to solve problems., Hurtfulness– physical violence, sexual abuse and rape, verbal abuse, foul language, blaming and punishing., Aggressive Anger also includes Manic behavior, Selfishness, Threats, Unpredictability, and Vengeance. (Wikipedia-Anger)

So as you can see, there is a lot to this emotion Anger. Do you recognize any of these passive or aggressive types within your own ways of coping? I haven’t even spoke on rage yet. We all seen rage. It’s Anger mismanaged that can lead to road rage, physically harming someone, and the senseless shooting sprees that we have seen repeatedly in the media lately.

How well are you ‘in tune’ with your 69 emotions? Are you accepting of all of them? Have you mastered them? Or has Anger mastered you and is breaking you and your family  apart?

I just learned that there are these many emotions, so I cant tell you i have much more of a clue than you. But i do know that I can also be stubborn when it comes to asking or accepting help especially if it means I need therapy or counseling. I like to think i can figure anything out just like i did while researching Anger on Wikipedia. Our circumstances, moods, brain chemistry is highly complex and sometimes we need the help of a trusted professional. You might of developed some sort of addiction along the way that might be triggering an anger response. Or there may be deep routed family issues that need to be dealt with. I don’t know your situation. But i do know mine. I do know that I have dealt with Anger problems since i was a child. And as an adult my Anger, non acceptance and neglect of a serious mental  illness, has landed me behind bars away from my family as I caused great bodily harm during a fit of rage.

What does all this mean to you?

I wish someone would of suggested to me like I am to you to swipe the credit card and purchase a $700 twelve hour Anger management session.  I would of gladly spent the $100 a month if that meant I didn’t have to learn this lessons behind bars away from my family. I’m still paying for my actions. Why, because i failed to get the necessary help when I should have.

Do yourself a favor. If you think you can benefit from a few sessions go for it! If you can’t afford it you can take classes online for as cheap as $70. I smirked at the $700 and dismissed it as i can’t afford it. But when i saw the affordable online classes I said to myself, “what’s your excuse now?”

If anger has never been an issue for you well then great. I’m happy for you. Continue the path of personal development. Learn to appreciate the beauty of the uniqueness of each of the 69 emotions. If you don’t deal with your Anger now, sooner or later your Anger will deal with you. If your a hot head and your like a overheating engine eventually your going to blow. Once you blow it’s all over. Take care of your mental health. Understand all your 69 Emotions.

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If you are successful at your career, but your RAGE is destroying your home. You are a FAILURE!

You can be praised in society. Be a top performer at your job. Possess amazing talent, have thousands of friends on social network, be this extremely likable and respectably guy in the public’s eye, but when you step foot in your front door, your home, you become someone entirely different when you take your rage out on your family. If this is the case you’re not a success, you’re a failure.

For the month of February, I want to focus on anger and the effects of this harmful emotion in hopes to create awareness within ourselves, so that we can make the necessary changes to improve in our marriages, relationships and most importantly our home lives.

I’m not going to offer cliche solutions to handle anger like ‘count to 10 and breathe.’ What i will do is address anger by creating an awareness of how it manifests in all of our lives specifically where our family life is concerned. By doing this, i hope to establish common ground in hopes that readers will see they’re not alone and that we all can takes steps in undoing the harm that has already been done.

For majority of us, we like to think we have a grip on our emotions. We show up to work with smiles on our faces, we’re all bubbly and friendly never allowing our rage to come to bay. You cant walk into your job tell your boss he’s a fucking idiot and snap back at a co-worker yelling, “you’re fucking incompetent and that you can never do anything right.” Because if we did, we would be out of a job now wouldn’t we? So how is that we keep it together for 10 hours a day at work for years without any meltdowns, but when we come home we feel that we can let loose like a tyrannical raging Tasmanian devil yelling and destroying the bonds that we have with our loved ones?

I don’t call my kids idiots or tell them they can’t do anything right. But i have seen this kind of ridicule before with a close friend of the family.

He would say to his sons how they were as dumb as a sack of rocks as they brought home D’s and F’s on their report cards. And would say that his wife was as stupid as they come. It was constant insults to his family. He acted as if his family didn’t appreciate the grueling nature of his profession. So therefore the pain he felt from his labor, he replicated it verbally with severely harsh insults. Because his job was physically demanding he felt his family was ungrateful because they wouldn’t show their appreciation to him by catering to him like the king that he felt that he was.

By industry standards this guy was a success. He perfected his trade. Was able to support his family, provide to them all that they needed and asked for. He had multiple lavish cars and motorcycles and was well respected in the community. Not only respected he was everybody’s friend, likable and could make you laugh hysterically. His personality made him friends and money. To him providing a roof over his families head was the only proof he needed to validate his love. Some would say he was a work-oholic, he might say he’s a better father than what he had by being physically present but distant emotionally. You might ask, “Why don’t you spend some quality time with your kids, take them places tell them you love them gently. Stop with the abuse” Well lets just say that, like in many homes across America, this abuse is unspoken of. If you were to pry…You would be told something like “it is no none of your business!” And that this is a family matter.

Does this story sound familiar to you? No? If you have ever watched the motorcycle build off reality TV show ‘Orange County Choppers’ you have witnessed first hand Senior and Junior go at it on national TV. Successful, but a deeply rooted display of family dysfunction.

When my youngest was about 4 years old. I yelled at him to shut up. A few minutes later he comes back to me with tears in his eyes and says, “Daddy, I don’t like it when you say shut up it hurts my feelings.” I continue to explain my actions and give justifications for why I was angry and yelling. I knew i was making an excuse for my actions at the time and i saw the effects of my own actions and told him i was sorry and that i wouldn’t say shut up again. Its be quiet now.

A few weeks later I told him to shut up again and he reminded me of the promise i made. I apologized a second time. Since then I never yelled those words Shut up again.

I’m not saying that I’m the best father and that all my parenting is perfect. However, I don’t verbally insult my sons and bring them down. As this would be unhealthy and detrimental to their self-esteem. In my home, just like most homes with kids, there’s the occasional yelling: “Pick your close up off the floor. How many times do i have to tell you to take out the trash? How many times do i have to tell you to do your home work before you play?” Those type of screams permeate daily in the Champion house hold.

Then there are days i come home and i don’t have the patience for anything. I constantly bite my tongue because i don’t want to blow my top because the house is turned upside down and out of order. The anger isn’t so much that it’s chaotic at home, its more so because chaos is dwelling within me internally. The stress of the job, the constant holding back of frustration, irritability, bills, and whatever other problems at the time the family is facing gets to be a bit much.

But you’re a good guy they say. Instead of the hitting up the bar or the strip club after work. Or hanging out with the fellas you come home for some family time. But you’re too stressed to help with home work or throw the ball with your kids. Your wife starts in on you about fixing this and that bills needs to be paid. You respond with aggravation and abruptness. Now the Mrs. isn’t talking to you. She’s upset and the kids don’t want to come near you. Your mad at yourself and to avoid it all together you storm out of the house pissed off only to come home when everyone’s asleep. Does this sound familiar to you?

Fellas we need to correct home life. Ladies i know you can be guilty of this too.

When i was a kid my mother would come home everyday screaming at my brother and I. And then wondered why there was no family bonding.

We all love our families and if your anything like me constantly considering how my actions and words are uplifting my family or bringing them down. I suggest those key moments after work during the bus, train or car ride home transform yourself into the loving, patient, slow to anger, gentle, calm, understanding father that you are. It takes conscious effort. No matter the horrific day that you had, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have a loving family to come home to.

Your home is where healing and regrouping begins from the relentless hectic world that we live.

Lets not lose sight of this. If your a pro football player by day and your battle’s are fought on the field aggressively and your hitting tackling and fighting to win and get the job done. Whatever the outcome may be, you leave it all on the field. No matter what it is you do for a living don’t bring the stress home with you. Your wife and kids are your cheerleaders not your Right Tackle, Defensive End, or your bench press buddies. No screaming and slamming things around to make your point. Leave the aggression at the front door. Let the soothing words and touches of your family heal you from the battle wounds of life.

Assignment: This next week  practice coming home from work stepping into the front door enthusiastic and excited to see your family. Come with open arms even gifts. See how this works for you to counter your irritability. I’ll see you next week for part 2 leading up to the holiday of love-Valentines day.

Part 2 Anger Management Tools: on line resources, when to get therapy, how to go about getting therapy, domestic violence, outreach phone numbers, plans and methods to conquer angered behavior problems.

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Is your weekly pay brought to you in a wheelbarrow? Find out what expert phone sales and living a rewarding life have in common.

I’ve been in sales practically my entire life. I’ve sold debt consolidation, gym memberships, cars, and video production. As a kid I went door to door with a lawn mower, rakes and shovels to plow neighbors snowed in driveways. I’ve sold clothing in retail stores such as Gap and sold watches for Fossil. I have worked for banks as a teller and loan officer selling bank card products and small loans. I’ve even had a few small business start ups selling auto detailing services. I drove around with a wet vac, buffer, car detailing chemicals in the back of my 1985 Cadillac fleetwood brougham with business cards that read “I will come to you.”

My resume is extensive in sales.  Although, a phone sales career isn’t that much higher on the reputable list of jobs on the totem pole, it’s an honest and decent living that anyone can learn to do even the disabled begger on the street corner.

Further more, telephone sales it’s the lost and forgotten art/skill that is dwindling because  text communication is replacing this once highly valuable skill of painting vivid pictures over the phone.

Here is some valuable in-site of how the lessons of tele-marketing sales can enhance anyones personal and private life while also the wisdom gained is transferable over to many industries not just limited to phone sales.

This post will cover: persistence, time management, disparity of income and commissions, time wasted socializing, excepting and overcoming boredom, repetition, conduct, risk vs. rewards, goal setting, focused energy, understanding people, handling pressure and stress, separation between top performers and pikers, enthusiasm, confidence, and making big money,

The Fear of making calls. How fear holds us back in our regular day to day life.

Phone sales is much different than face to face sales. The initial impression that are made with energy, body language, a pleasant smile, dress, product knowledge experience can all be determined visually face to face unlike over the phone communications where the same cue’s must be conveyed auditorially. It can be kind of tricky at first if the last phone to phone communication you had were the days back in high school when your were chatting it up with your sweet heart until either your ear hurt or it burned off.

In phone sales, the customer can easily just- hang up in your face. And that takes a little getting use to. But once you get hung up on enough you get use to it and accept its going to happen. Getting hung up on or rejected isn’t ever the desired result especially if your only getting paid for the results you produce. So as you go about your day making hundreds of calls pushing past the rejection, and the I’m not interested, or the I cant afford it, you eventually make a sale. Close the deal. Confirm the payment. Book the job. Its exciting and exhilarating. (If you have never did phone sales and can’t relate its like that feeling in high school when you’ve been talking to your sweet heart all year over the phone and one summer she gives you the green light to come over to her house as her parents won’t be home. That feeling my friend-you sealed the deal!)

I had been out of high school for some time now and had been a little rusty on my phone game but its the same concept. So stay with me now, overcoming sales objections and fear in regular life is the same. People are going to tell us NO for whatever reason. We learn to know when we need to persist or when to give up all efforts. If she’s not interested its called stocking. Its the same thing if you keep calling a customer on the no call list. However, in all seriousness, sometimes the fear of hearing the word NO prevents us from going for what we want in life. We hear NO, I’m sorry, I’m not interested, NO thank you, it’s impossible, you can’t do that and we fail to persist for a second, third and a fourth time.

Is it a house you want? Go get it. Is it a career you want? Go for it! The relationship you want? By all means don’t give up! If you want a better life for yourself and your family then you can’t let fear of rejection detour you. Life is like phone sales. Every phone pro knows, you have to get through all the NO’s to get to your Yes. So pick up the phone of your life and smile today and dial away! Every imaginable opportunity awaits you.

What do you, the top sales pro and the richest guys on the planet have in common?

Whether you work 8, 12, or 16 hours a day for peanuts or you are a billionaire tycoon, what we all have in common is that we all share the same amount of time during each awaken day. Although, those with a lot of money have more resources available, I’ve come to learn that the top phone pro’s making $6000 a month and the minimum wage dialers making $310 a week have the same resources, but use them entirely different. Both have a cubicle, computer, phone, pen and paper, office chair, shirt and tie, borrowed space, recycled air, florescent lighting and the similar office work place distractions.

The best phone guy has extreme focus and a relentless work ethic. And his check is also the envy of the entire staff. He doesn’t spend his day browsing the web checking social media every other minute, nor does he get up from his chair every 5 minutes to go to the water cooler to discuss sales calls, personal life drama, or the latest football game nor does he waste time talking about how hot or cold is the weather. Instead, he rarely gets up from his seat. He doesn’t stop to ask how his cubicle neighbors spent their weekend. The top guy is not a jerk as you might suspect. If you ask a question he will answer you respectfully and humbly. He understands he’s under the radar and people are watching closely to label him the bad guy for making more money than all the rest. The fact of the matter is, he is a beast on the phone. And like every great company with a strong sales dept, they are known to be the company’s backbone. At any rate, he or she is there to make the company money and its a reciprocal relationship don’t be fooled.

The top phone guy is making more calls than the average guy or gall. He has more talk time than the everyone else. And why is this? It’s obvious. His respect for time. Whereas someone like me after sitting for an hour need to get up and stretch go get some coffee and vent to a co-worker about how a call bombed and the customer decided not to make a decision right then. As my co-worker shares his similar story, next thing you know we’re spending 15 minutes angered, venting, socializing, and comforting one another. Call it what you will. 15 minutes every 1 hour, times a 8 hour work day is 2 hours of non productivity. Not to mention 1 hour for lunch breaks. This equates to 10 hours a week and 40 hours a month of non productivity. Thats one extra/less check a month.

Don’t worry I’m not your boss. Just trying to make a point where time is concerned.

Time is a precious commodity. You can spend and hour with one client and it can make you a ton of money or it can be a complete waste of time. Either way, its an hour of your life that you will never get back.

Those who respect and value time the most live a more rewarding life than those that squander it. So be mindful of the hours you spend working for a fortune or working to build impressionable memories with your family.

So what’s my point here? Everybody wants the top position, to be the best and make the highest commissions. But are you willing to avoid all distractions? Are you willing to sit through the discomfort and back pains while your ass is falling asleep just to make $6000 a month? It sounds like a no-brainer. But from what I witnessed at this sales floor of 50 or more, very few are willing to do what it takes mentally or physically. And when I’m at home stressing about bills, spending more time on social media, financially frustrated, and am equally as exhausted as the top sales dialer,unlike me he can’t wait to get back to the office to make another $1500 that week.

Count how you spend your time and your rewards in life will be right there following.

A phone sales professional remains just that- a professional. Emotionally, never allowing to be taken out the game.

A phone sales professional never allows anger, frustration, annoyance, impatience, pressure, show in his voice tone or presentation. Never. For whatever the reasons the customer don’t buy from him, his response after overcoming objection is always “Ok great. Good luck if you still need us give us a call.” Because the true professional knows that the final impression may get a call back if the buyer senses pushiness or insincerity with his final choice. A pro always leaves the door open for a 50% call back. And besides, that frustration and stress will boil over and effect the next call. A professional is an expert and is knowledgeable in every aspect of his line of business. His communication skills are exceptional, product knowledge and detail is extraordinary, and most importantly the seller can empathize and connect with the buyer. Simply put, buyer is not purchasing from you if he doesn’t like you. A true phone pro does not celebrate every time he closes a deal or vent each time one falls through. The best pros keep hammering the phones. The time for celebration is when management brings you your pay in a wheelbarrow!

Being a true professional is not only important in the work place, but equally important personally and in life. Things are going to go wrong throughout the day. Someone is going to say something to upset you. Your going to get some bad news. Disappointments are inevitable. Its how you choose to react to them. Do you slam down the phone angry because the client chose another route and don’t make another call the rest of the day? Or do you spend unnecessary energy arguing and being pissed off about what you can not change? Things break, plans fall through, a landscapers and the car detailer can’t work in the rain instead they make calls and build tomorrows agenda. At least the smarter ones do.

If your a phone pro and you keep your emotions in check and handle your issues and problems objectively, your positive demeanor will allow for greater opportunity rather than unluckiness that stems from bitterness, frustration, anger, failure and a bad attitude. Keep a phone pros’s perspective at all times an your rewards in life will be substantial.

The actions of yesterday and today effect tomorrows outcome/income

The more calls made the stronger the pipeline. The more interaction with potential buyers the greater the chance of making the sell. If you dont show up on game day you don’t have a chance to make the buzzer beater. Although your bed is comfy and you might not want to get out of it because the entire day will be filled with uncertainty and rejection. Wake up enthused and excited for the opportunity that awaits. You just may learn something or meet someone interesting. Besides, your paycheck stands before you in the form of a call.

Some people would rather not sell and fear it as much as public speaking. Times have changed where you no longer have to go door to door to sell your products. Instead, you create a fancy website and flashy marketing advertisement hoping to woo your customer to buy your product. The same strategy is used for retail shops. The customer is expected to drive by your location. No longer do employees have to do any marketing, advertising or promoting at the store level. They just smile as the customer walks in.

There’s plenty to learn from the dieing industry of telephone sales. Truth be told, I was terrified to make calls in the beginning. My hands would get clammy I would fumble and mumble as the words would stutter out of my mouth. My confidence wavered. I’d become discouraged as my enthusiasm and excitement dwindled. I took it personal and would dwell on what I would say and beat myself up for what I didn’t say. I learned that there is much more to phone sales than only talking. It was especially disheartening when I would call back to hear the customer tell me they went with someone else and that they also paid more. This just taught me that I didn’t deliver with full hearted conviction. As I improved and learned from my short comings, I couldnt help but to be in awe of what made the best phone sales consultants. As I studied technique, established confidence in my ability, imitated what worked and kept my ears open, I took great joy in connecting over the phone with people offering a product that would benefit them.

Keep the end in mind. Focus your time and all energy on the results you desire most. Isn’t this true in Life?

The more calls you make, the more people you speak to means more rejection and possibly higher income.  It’s the risk reward factor. Get use to being down in the trenches getting dirty working hard for it. Dig deep. Dial until your fingers bleed is the slogan. Keep your emotions iron clad and stay driven whether happy or sad. Your not a con artist, or a manipulator, or a shiesty salesman or a Wall street broker for Lehman Brothers who lies to stock investors while inflating the markets and potentially crippling the US economy. No, you have integrity. Your a phone pro!

Phone sales is challenging, but is also rewarding and the lessons I spoke of can be important life contributors. Outside of sales, the busier you are the more you get done and the happier you become. Productivity in its own brings satisfaction. I’ll prove it you. When you’re engaged mentally, your striving to reach your goals, your hearing more YES’s in your life  rather than NO’s, aren’t you feeling better? Aren’t you more excited? We want to hear YES YES YES! So what activities are you doing on a regular basis to gain those desired results?

Stay busy, stay focused. Develop the attitude of a phone pro and I assure you life will bring its rewards to you in a wheelbarrow!

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