What Our Basic Needs Become

Air, food, water and shelter. We all know the essentials we need to survive. If you remember learning about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs you know that after the basic physical and safety needs are met you move into belonging, love and respect needs. We are so blessed to live in a world where the basic needs of life are almost guaranteed that this sense of belonging can be critical because it can be the thing that people most need. For the people in your life that you care about, do they have that sense of belonging? If you aren't sure, here are some ways to help a person feel a greater sense of belonging:Respect - Show the person admiration for what they do. Trust them, believe in them.Support - Nothing makes a person feel better then knowing that someone has their back. That they will stand up for them and help them out when they need it.Forgiveness - People make mistakes and they can cause hurts without realizing it. Forgive and move forward.Kindness - Finding the little ways…

What Is Your Biggest Obstacle?

There are plenty of obstacles and challenges that come our way in life. Obstacles that prevent us from achieving our goals, our hopes and our dreams. The worst obstacles are the ones that we put on ourselves because those are most likely the ones that stop us from achieving something great.

Are you sick or do you not feel well?Are you injured or are you hurt?Are you exhausted or are you tired?Are you starving or are you hungry?
One of the items in each comparison needs to be resolved before you can move on. The other is noticeable but it isn't a barrier to accomplishing what you want. Too often we put limits on ourselves, we tell ourselves that we can't do something when we have all the capabilities in the world to do far greater than we allow ourselves to think.

You are destined for great things, allow yourself to believe it.

Pride Comes Before The Fall

All parents at some point tell their kids that they are proud of them. I've done it before, but it is something that I've consciously tried to remove from my conversations with them after reading a number of articles like this one in the Huffington Post. Saying "I'm proud of you." really becomes more about me rather than my kid, just look who is first mentioned in that sentence. If my kids accomplish anything it is really about them, yes I play a part in raising them but it should be about them.

It is a similar stance I try really hard to take at work as a manager. Yes, my job is to lead a team of people, but what they accomplish isn't about what I've done. I try not to say "my team", instead it is "the team". Whenever I want to give praise or recognition to anyone, I think about the words that I use because there is power in them. The focus needs to be on them and what they accomplish. 
Pride is something we all should avoid, after al…

Learning How To Learn

As my kids get older and they are doing homework at the kitchen table or with their friends I hear the question, "When am I ever going to use this?" I love it when this topic comes up because I love opportunities to teach my kids what the real world is like.

My first response is, "You are probably never actually going to use it in real life." That really gets them going as they wonder what the point is. Inevitably I end up sharing these points in some format.

You need to learn how to learn. I guarantee that in life you will have to learn new things. Starting a new job. Moving to a new place. Interacting with people from different cultures. There are countless opportunities in your life where what you already know doesn't help you. Do you know how to acquire new knowledge?You need to learn how to study in a subject that you aren't good at. If you hate math or English you can probably find a job that isn't reliant on those skills. However I guarantee you t…

Be A Soldier, Athlete and Farmer

I recently read a short passage that got me thinking about the roles that we all need to play to a degree if we want to be successful.

Soldier - I've never served so I can't begin to understand what people go through that do. What I have seen there are certain truths for almost everyone that does serve.They endure a lot - The life of a soldier isn't glamorous, sometimes sleeping on a cot is considered a great night. They fight through the hardships to accomplish the mission.Develop comradery- The men and women that serve together have a bond. They endure and fight alongside each other to have a bond that is unbreakable.Ability to fight - They don't back down when it comes time to fight.Athlete - If you want to win the game it starts with practice. It doesn't matter how good you are, or what your natural abilities are, you need to continue to practice and get better. You also have to play by the rules if you want to win.Farmer - When there is a job to be done, farmer…

Make Your Communication CUTE

Every day communication trips me up at work. People not understanding instructions because they weren't clear. Projects not getting done right because the requirements weren't detailed enough. Not getting responses to questions that are asked. These are all things that I control. Beyond that I'm also responsible for other team members, so I have to coach and help them without resorting to statements like, "Do as I say not as I do." There is always room to get better at communication.

I know I've written on the subject before, different days provide new insights to me. What I've come up with today is that communication needs to be CUTE:

Comprehensive - complete, every point is covered. Often you hear it is important to be concise. I agree, when fewer words are sufficient to get the point across. But you should never favor being concise if it isn't a complete picture.Understandable - don't use a bunch of jargon, if it is confusing them you are not co…

Why Are We So Stressed Out?

I don't remember being in school and feeling stressed. I cannot fathom having someone ask me how things were going and the response at any point being that I feel stressed out. Yet my kids have responded that way to me at different times in their life. Of course understanding what the real world is like I laugh at what they see as stress and then I worry if they are going to be able to handle it when real stress hits. I think our society has created a generation that is passing on to our children the need to be anxious about far too much in our lives.

It is easy to see why things seem so stressful. Our jobs continue to be more demanding in the always on, graying of the lines between work and home life world. Turn on any media outlet or your favorite social media destination and there is an onslaught of stories that can't help but make you sick to your stomach over what is going on in the world. We talk about stress and portray to our kids that it is normal to be stressed.

I re…