Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Credit Crunch Help

As if we need to be reminded from both Presidential candidates, that we're living in very tough times...

Have you lost your job? Lost your direction? Lost your motivation? Help is here: Credit Crunch Coaching

Together,you and I will develop strategies and realistic plans to help you reach your personal and financial goals. I can help you set a budget where you won't feel like you're giving up too much and at the same time put money in the bank. If it is a new job/career that you are looking for we will work collaboratively to design an employment search plan that will provide you your desired results.

In the mean time here, are 11 tips that may be of help to you as you navigate through the financial crisis:
  1. Put it all in perspective - Yes, times are tough but compared to what? If you ate one meal today consider this: more than 840 million people in the world are malnourished — 799 million of them live in the developing world. If you have a roof over your head count your blessing because up to 100 million people are homeless worldwide, of which 20 million to 40 million are adrift in major urban centers.
  2. Stop worrying and be concerned instead - Worry will not fix anything. There's a big difference between worry and concern. Worry keeps you up at night, concern helps you make plans.
  3. Stop thinking so much - Thinking not planning is of not much use yo you when you are under stress. Put a gap in the unrelenting thoughts by meditating or exercising.
  4. Start counting your money - Keep a record of every transaction you make and at the end of the month look at areas where you can count your spending.
  5. Create a spending plan not a budget - Design a plan of how you want/need to spend your money and pay yourself first.
  6. You are resilient - Human beings are very resilient, tenacious and powerful. Don't under estimate your capabilities to not only survive but to prosper.
  7. Remember to laugh - Laughter is the best medicine and it really works plus it's free and anyone can do it.
  8. Talk with others - It helps to remember that you are not alone. The majority of us are in the same boat. Talk to others and share your thoughts and frustrations.
  9. Get creative - During every recession and even during the last Depression people made a lot of money. Host an "idea party". Create a consortium of like-minded people - two or even five heads are better than one.
  10. Keep it simple - This old phrase is so true. Simplify everything. Study after study has shown that money does not make people happy. It buys a bit more physical freedom yes but not happiness. Take a lesson form those giggling children you see playing - they don't need a lot of toys to create their own little world of happiness; they just keep it simple.
  11. Ask others for help - If not me ask someone to help you. It's a sign of strength to seek guidance and ask for help. The goal is interdependence.
Read what others have to say about their successful coaching experiences with me. All they had to do was take the initial step, say "yes" and ask for help.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Killer Disease & The Disney Marathon


Meet Jarrett and Quinn Margus, sons of Brad and Vicki. Jarrett and Quinn both have the killer disease Ataxia-telangiectasia or "A-T". Sound scary? It is.

A cure as yet to be discovered and currently there is no way to slow the diesase's progression. A-T is persistent and focused on in its attack of children. Only a fortunate few will avoid developing cancer. A-T patients usually die from respiratory failure or cancer by their teens or early twenties.

I hadn't heard of A-T until last month when my wife's ex-boss at Rockefeller University told her that a friend, Brad Margus and wife Vicki, founders of the A-T Children's Project had organized a fund raising effort in conjunction with the Walt Disney A-T Cure Tour. She new that I was a runner and quickly asked if I'd be interested in running the 2009 Disney Marathon to help raise funds and awareness. After reading about A-T how could I possibly say no?

My goal is to raise $4000 one month prior to the 6 a.m. January 11, 2009 start time of the Marathon. With a lot of help and generosity $3240 has been donated to date so, I'm very close to the $4000 goal. If you are able, please help the
A-T Children's Project research efforts in fighting this devastating children's disease by contributing on my personal A-T home page.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Nobody Listens to Me

Poor Vincent, nobody ever listened to him. Well, maybe his brother Theo but then he too, grew tired of Vincent's whining.

Since most people, (I include myself) are only thinking about what they are going to say next instead of actually listening to the person they are in conversation with, does anyone actually listen to anyone - besides themselves?


My wife frequently says, "You never listen to me." Never is far fetched but I admit that sometimes I don't listen to her but other times I don't 'hear' her. The difference between listening and hearing is like the difference between looking at a Van Gogh painting and
seeing a Van Gogh painting. All my clients tell me that the biggest challenge they have is getting people to listen to and understand where they're "coming from". And that they don't feel fully appreciated because others don't listened when they speak. Again, so if everyone is speaking, who's listening?

I
know immediately when someone is not listening to me because the first thing they say after they have pranced upon the small breath I took between words is, "but". "But" translated into non-listener parlance means, 'I didn't hear a word you said and I really don't care what you said because I disagree with what you said and my idea is far superior and better than yours so why are you bothering to speak to me at all?!" Sound familiar?

Even if you disagree with someone (most people tell me that when they don't "like" someone, they disagree with them before one word is spoken) you want to really hear what they are saying so that you truly understand what you disagree with. "Wow, that's really mature and professional," you say, so why aren't we listening to one another?

As Winston Churchill said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." There is a lot of value in WC's short sentence and most of it is made up of verbs. Listening is an action as is speaking and silence is more powerful that endless chatter and bravado. Yet, we love to talk. I do too and it is when I listen that I am truly engaged with another. Someone said that the greatest gift you can give to another human-being is the gift of your ear. Simply listen to them. You don't have to comment or try to fix anything, just listen. Try it now. What do you hear?

I meet a lot of people because I am endlessly curious and I ask a lot of questions and because I want to learn about people I can't wait to ask the next question. But, (I have to use that here) I need to listen to their responses first or, and this has happened, they can't keep up with all the questions (in business jargon this is known as "driving your point home".)

Last night my wife and I had dinner with family and friends. We hadn't seen each other in quite some time, so there was a lot to catch up on which created quite a ruckus. My mother who recently starting using a hearing aid continuously asked with much frustration, "what did you say?" Because most everyone at the table wanted to be heard, much was lost by everyone (not my wife of course, because she truly is an excellent listener) trying to talk over each other and tell the next joke or story. We had a lot of laughs but my poor mother didn't hear much of what was being said. I drove home thinking that I need to speak slower, more clearly and check for understanding when I speak with her in the future. I think that this will be a good practice to keep going no matter who I'm speaking with.

If we would all listen to each other the world, your world (home/work) would be significantly quieter, peaceful and more productive. Now, what were you saying?