Kindness

In a time when the word kindness seems to be vanishing, here is a thought. Be Kind just to be KIND. The other day I was doing Facebook Live, and the topic was kindness, and why we should be kind. Following the session I received a text that said my words were off base, that kindness is only manipulation and always has been. I thought to myself, “Wow”, I just do not believe that.

My point of the talk was that we should BE KIND to BE KIND, not for the accolades it may bring. Mr. Carnegie said in his book How To Win Friends and Influence People, that we should “Make the other person feel important AND to do it SINCERELY.” Without that sincerity we are offering nothing but flattery, a means to get what we want. It is funny, the longer that my career as a Dale Carnegie Instructor goes on, the more my BS meter gets stronger. Which is also a self catching motivation, that when I am inclined to be kind because I want something, I back off and rethink the situation.

We walk in a world where kindness HAS taken a back seat. Selfishness seems to be driving the car most of the time and it is being reinforced all over. I remember a few years ago when the phrase “Pay it forward” came out. Great idea, yet when you go to the office and tell everyone that you “Paid it forward” it loses its sizzle quickly. I guess that was the purpose or the theme of my video. You see, holding the door for someone because they might say “Thank you” is the wrong reason to hold the door and saying after they walk in and do NOT thank you, “At least you could say thank you”, defeats the entire purpose also. Just do it, to DO it.

Our country, our world, seems to have shifted during my lifetime. When I was young respect for others was a way of life. There were certain jobs that just commanded the respect of parents, of people and of the citizens of the community. For many reasons this seems to have eroded, and some of those reason are just. Some are not. We cannot change the trend in one single act and we cannot make others change either. What we can do is control ourselves, our emotions, our words and our actions. We can reach out to others with kindness, just for the sake of being kind, with no thought of return. We can hold that door, just to hold the door and not worry about a “Thank You”, just to do it because that is who we are. If enough if us start doing that, it might make a change, if not, in our hearts we will know that kindness still lives…..

Inspire someone today!

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No Words

I sat down to write my blog this morning and no words would come out. Usually when i sit down at the computer the thoughts just flow. There are days that I could write ten blogs, the thoughts and the words just come screeching out of my fingers and I have a ton of options and thoughts, today, nothing.

As I sit here, I ponder what is the challenge today? Why today? What is keeping my mind in the shutdown mode? I have a freshly brewed, freshly ground, cup of coffee. Island blend from World Market, strong, yet not to strong, and very favorable. Okay, I digress, back to the blog block.

So let me try to get the mental block that I am experiencing freed. I will try to do this by just putting down all of the things rumbling through my head, half thoughts, words, happenings, all of those things that have given me writers block. So hear goes; Fake news, hate, murder, Inauguration, protests, civil rights, commuting sentences, music, Aja, It’sMy Life-The Animals, hate (Oh, I already mentioned that), Huffington Post, work, classes, emails, lunch n learn, friends, talks, blogs, Facebook, travel, taxes, children, tragedy… okay, that’s a start…

How do we deal with it? This is every day, every moment…how do we get things done? It is just amazing to me what we endure, what we tolerate, what we cause and who we inflict our pain on. It usually ends up on the doorstep of our children or our spouse. I remember seeing Don Rickles in Miami back in the 70’s and he had a line…”You only make fun of the ones you love” … I was to young to understand what he was saying, but now that line usually is, “You only hurt the ones you love”

Our lives today are drenched in stress, its all around us. When we get stressed we react and too often that reaction hurts somebody, and it is usually someone close to us. The world can be a cruel and loving place, all at the same time. How we react is what is important. Today I feel bad that so many people are in pain, both physically and mentally. Broken relationships, strife, challenges and the list could go on and on. Finding someone or something that can help you through that is a key.

I have no solutions that are cut and dried to fix all. I search between words of inspiration and silence. Try to put the positive thoughts in my mind and then share them with others. I have a good job, a nice home, a wonderful family and good friends. My health is good, my dog is happy and the electricity is on. Yet sometimes my mind only finds the troubles in my life and dwells on that. What a tragedy.

Thank you for letting me ramble this morning. What is the point of this message? Maybe there is not one and that is okay, that is the point, maybe. Or it could be that we are all in this struggle together, or we all share this wonderful thing called life, together. When you make it through the day and you can still smile, that is a victory. When you make it through the day, period, that too is a victory. When you can help others smile…now that is a blessing! Share a smile…..

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Words For A Friend

Christmas day I got the news that a friend of mine had passed away. I want share some words that I wrote that morning on his behalf.

This morning I was sitting in my sister in law’s house contemplating scents, yes scents. You see, I am a big scent guy, I love candles, incense and the smell of fresh rain on trees. I had mentioned to my sister in law that her house smelled marvelous and I knew it was from the fresh Christmas tree that was in the room.

So I started thinking of the scent of candles, a HUGE industry I might add, and I thought how the wax was infused with a scent that when lit gives off a wonderful smell…yet, with all candles, the scent does not have staying power and seems to fade or blend in after a while to the point that it has no impact at all.

Then there is incense, with a strong odor (My favorite is jasmine) that really takes over a room. The scent is strong and all encompassing. The trouble with incense is that after it is burned the fresh aromatic scent goes away and a heavy mud like presence takes over. You walk into a room an hour after it has burned and you smell nothing but YUCK!

So that leaves the real deal, like my sister in law’s Christmas Tree. A fresh cut tree, that they trimmed  and kept the trimmings to decorate their fireplace mantel. She said that the needles can be a bit tedious to clean up but it was well worth it. The thing about that fresh cut tree is that it smelled the same, strong and pure, every time you walked in the room.

You know, both the candle and the incense are something that has to be infused with a scent to become attractive. Wax alone does nothing for anyone in the scent arena, and the composite that makes up incense has no redeeming value in the smell area either. Yet that tree, all it had to do is be what it is, without pretense, without help and it changed the room.

Well people are the same way. Some are candles that can be whatever you want them to be. They can dress up all nice and fancy and play the part and for a short period of time, they can have a positive effect on you. Yet, after a bit of time the “scent” wears off and you find them, well, kind of boring. The other thing is that you have to LIGHT the candle, and sometimes people are not very much fun either unless they are lit.

Then there is the incense person. They come on strong and with a lot of “personality” and for a while you really enjoy their presence. They can change a room with their vibrancy and presence, but in the end it is just the strong scent that you enjoy, when they leave there is a lasting negativity that remains behind. We all have met a person of this ilk.

So that leaves us with the real deals, the Christmas trees of people. First of all, they do not try to be something they are not. You can buy candles and incense that are “Christmas Tree” scents, but you cannot buy a Christmas tree that is trying to be a candle, it never will try. The tree is just that, the tree, and some people are the same way. They come into the room, change the atmosphere and you know you are in the presence of the real thing. They have a refreshing presence that you look forward to.

Our friend, Josh Tabares, was the Christmas Tree. He was the real deal, without pretense or a phony facade. He dressed his own way, he walked his own way and he cared for others in his unique own way. He left us way to soon, with a lot of work still to be done, yet he left an indelible lasting impression on everyone he met, me included. So take a moment to think about the “Christmas Trees” in your life, the real deals, those rare people that walk the walk and talk the talk, the “Josh Tabares'” that you know. Thank them for what they bring to the table and recognize that you are lucky to have a few in your life….

Live life to the fullest and inspire others!!!

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Just To Say “Merry Christmas”

Christmas Eve, 2016, a lovely morning in Florida. So this will be the first Christmas that I will not hear “Merry Christmas” from either my mom or dad. It is a real strange thought. For my entire life, Christmas was always a magical time of the year, and my parents made it even more magical. When mom passed away in March, I didn’t know that it would have the effect it is having on me today.

Now, how I feel is not what is important. What IS important is the lesson it can teach and that lesson is that life is fleeting, it is only momentary in the grand scheme of the earth. I am not sure that we have had a year like 2016. So many well known icons, gone, not forgotten, but gone. A presidential election unlike any other in memory and so many other odd occurrences. Yet the searing memory of the year for me will always be my mom taking off to spend eternity with my dad.

So do yourself a favor this year, look at the ones you love around you and make sure that you appreciate that they are here. Take the time to call just to say hello. Put the ones you love on speed dial, take an hour or so tomorrow and call them, just to say “Merry Christmas”! Find reasons to love, to connect, to share and to care instead of always finding reasons to hate or criticize. If you are a son or a daughter, do not wait for your phone to ring, be proactive and reach out. If you are a parent, don’t wait for your children to call, do it yourself, because the silence lasts forever, I know.

See how many good wishes you can share this year, with everyone and remember, life gets better when you decide it does!

Merry Christmas!!!!

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Just To Say “Merry Christmas”

Christmas Eve, 2016, a lovely morning in Florida. So this will be the first Christmas that I will not hear “Merry Christmas” from either my mom or dad. It is a real strange thought. For my entire life, Christmas was always a magical time of the year, and my parents made it even more magical. When mom passed away in March, I didn’t know that it would have the effect it is having on me today.

Now, how I feel is not what is important. What IS important is the lesson it can teach and that lesson is that life is fleeting, it is only momentary in the grand scheme of the earth. I am not sure that we have had a year like 2016. So many well known icons, gone, not forgotten, but gone. A presidential election unlike any other in memory and so many other odd occurrences. Yet the searing memory of the year for me will always be my mom taking off to spend eternity with my dad.

So do yourself a favor this year, look at the ones you love around you and make sure that you appreciate that they are here. Take the time to call just to say hello. Put the ones you love on speed dial, take an hour or so tomorrow and call them, just to say “Merry Christmas”! Find reasons to love, to connect, to share and to care instead of always finding reasons to hate or criticize. If you are a son or a daughter, do not wait for your phone to ring, be proactive and reach out. If you are a parent, don’t wait for your children to call, do it yourself, because the silence lasts forever, I know.

See how many good wishes you can share this year, with everyone and remember, life gets better when you decide it does!

Merry Christmas!!!!

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A Little Each Day

Don’t underestimate the power of each and every small habit exercised over time. For good or bad, your habits determine who you will ultimately become. What you do everyday adds up each week, it adds up each month and each year. The accumulative value of that, can make a significant change in who you are and what you have. The rule is true for the positive part of life as it is for the negative side also.

Take for instance, if someone is extremely overweight, that did not happen overnight, it was an accumulation of weeks and months and probably years of neglect. To make the transformation back to where someone might want to be weight wise, will take another period of time to achieve. The same is true with our mind as it is with our body.

If you want to improve your skill in any select area of your life, you must be willing to put in the effort and the time. You must be willing to discipline yourself to practice the new habit daily and you must condition your mind to the amount of effort that is needed. What you do today is another action towards what you will be tomorrow. As we repeat that action day after day for a week, you start to make gains on where you want to be in the future. When you repeat that over a month you start to see and feel your results taking shape, ever so slightly. When that action becomes a habit, a daily habit repeated year after year, you begin to experience the transformation of who you are. You realize over that time that whatever way you are trying to change, you will change completely.

So it is the smallest change today, the change of an everyday habit, that can truly change our future selves. One of my mantras is that “You can’t say you did it everyday unless you DO it everyday”. So many times I hear people say, “I do that everyday”. Then  as the conversation goes on, their everyday might be three times a week…that is not everyday. If there is a way that you want to change, and that change has enough meaning to you, then you will discipline yourself to do it everyday.

So take joy in the fact that you alone control the changes in your life, and that you can accomplish your goals by changing your daily habits. It is up to you!

Inspire someone to greatness today!!!

 

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A Long Time Ago

I did not touch this in four years…I wrote this and left it in my drafts…read it for the first time in four years today…kind of interesting…have not spell checked or edited anything at all….that last paragraph was very interesting….

 

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Moanin

This is the first of Monday Morning posts….just random thoughts that one might wake up with on a Monday…

After spending about 30 years of my life in advertising, I can tell you, it works. The creativity and repetition burn thoughts and images into your mind. It can make us spend money that we never would have thought of spending in the first place.

So to think that a constant barrage year after year of violent images does not effect minds, well I think it does. As a child growing up in the 60’s the images that we were subject to were nothing like the violent ones that kids are subject to today…many of the video games that are played are violent in nature, then you couple that with parents spending less time in the home and a less spiritual approach to life…fractured family structures and a more divided political structure than ever…we have created a fast food mentality that we want everything NOW…we are more of a confrontational litigious society than ever before…our news media glorifies violence, we make virtual rock stars out of the worst that the underbelly of America can produce…

So what am I saying? We may be creating a society that is creating more and more of these type of events. Is there any ONE solution? No, I do not think it is that easy…we have done a poor job over the last forty years of choosing our leadership…policies have been politically motivated, financially self serving ideas…what kind of society would you like? One that promotes selfishness? Well that is what we have created….a selfish me first society…I don’t have any answers, but we can see that freedom has it drawbacks and we would not trade it for anything….those 27 people were murdered and I cannot imagine what those families are experiencing…

It is not time to politicize this tragedy, and yet it has been…it is not time to promote YOUR agenda, and yet that is what people are doing….it will take years to fix what years have created…Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming this on media or video games or divorce or a society that condones abortion and violence…it is an over all change in how we approach life….life seems to mean less in our society today and how you fix that, I am not sure…

Life this weekend had other events too….Congrats to my next door neighbor David Dean and his Valdosta State Blazers….another National Championship for Title-town…not sure if people outside of Valdosta know this, but this guy can coach…people also do not realize that he coached on the same team with Kirby Smart and WIll Muschamp here at Valdosta State….from the champs to the chumps, my Detroit Lions fell to 4-10, what a futile effort in Motown….actually looked like they gave up…two weeks to go, Atlanta and Chicago both at home, if they quit there they will be booed mightily….I watched parts of the Hurricane Sandy concert again, just the Roger Waters part, what an incredible musical genius…I am so glad and thankful that my son took me to see The Wall for father’s day….what is it with Sandy any way? Hurricane Sandy, Sandy Hook Elementary? In that deranged mind was there a connection?

We got a new puppy last week, Buffett Ganzak, yes named after the singer not the billionaire….forgot what it was like to crate train a puppy, but she is doing well…and a great disposition too….kids have a couple more days of school before Christmas break, I learned about how X got into X-Mas this past weekend…in certain countries they were not allowed to worship Christ, so they inserted an X into their writings and the X stood for Christ…at this moment we DO NOT have to do that, we are still allowed to worship Christ, no substitutes needed, please put Christ back into His birthday…..I miss hockey, not sure what those dudes are thinking but that sport does not have a foot hold on society that will tolerate a strike…shot themselves in the skate this time I believe….and the NBA? Not even sure where the teams are anymore, the constant evolution of sports….some interesting things happening in the hot stove league of baseball too, millionaires popping up all over…can anyone say the Mendoza Line? If you do not know it, look it up….

I was asked if I thought the president politicized the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut…of course he did, that is what our political system does…nothing against him, it is the machine that continues to condone it…what bothers me more is the way the media grandstands about their issues…what is sad is that a president had to sit and write a speech and make sure that he did not upset the right too much and yet that he played to his base on the left….just wish a man could walk out to that pulpit and speak only what is in his heart be it pandering or not…and why every word has got to be dissected by the media amazes me…all we get is the spin…look, you are living a life that is manufactured by rich extremists…these are not the thoughts of normal middle of the road America…we would get along much easier, both the blue states and the red states if it was not for all of the money poured into the system in order to incite peoples emotions…it is a marketing machine and we are the guinea pigs…you have the Michael Moore’s, the Hollywoods types, the Unions on the left….and you have the fat cat religious zealots on the right…stuck right in the middle is me and you, played like a ping pong ball back and forth over the net…in the past three months we have had three public tragedies, Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook Elementary….all three have been politically polarized by the media in order to push an agenda…all three have been politicized by the White House, carefully, in order to get the maximum political outcome from it…as Chris Matthew’s said the night of the Election, I am glad this Hurricane happened…yes, that was the view of the left, it won the election, took the emphasis off the economy and Benghazi….lives lost, tragedy in the billions and it is all politics to the machine…

Final Ramblings….

Hug your kids…hug your neighbors…remember your friends and treat others with respect…as we teach in our Dale Carnegie classes, you cannot change others until you accept the challenge to change yourself….have a wonderful week….

BOB

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