How do you stay motivated and win the day when everything seems hopeless? One of my clients asked me recently.
I was reflecting on her question as I watched Jeff Walker talk about Payton Manning on “Winning when You Are Not at Your Best” (in the video below). In one word, the answer for me always comes down to mental toughness, which is developed over time by choosing what I will focus on day in and day out.
As Jeff puts it, it’s a matter of deciding what I will focus on next. In celebration of my Year of Jubilee (turning 50 this year), I decided to gather and share 50 phrases I focus on every day to build my mental resilience … to ensure that I can win the day, even if I don’t feel I’m at my best.
Neither of us can control our circumstances. But we can choose how we react to them.
Those close to me know that I am a recovering academic. I thrived in academia for years, as a graduate student, as an academic technologist, and as a faculty member.
I still have my final graduate “A” paper, the crown jewel of my academic career. I pushed myself physically and mentally like never before to analyze every piece of writing by Sylvia Plath and the women who influenced her writing. Then I set out to argue that misunderstood feminist ideals would always be at odds with a woman’s innate longing to be a wife and a mother.
The handwritten note on the last page, written by my most revered advisor, haunted me for years:
For the last 24 years, Joyce Tepfer, my beautiful and inspiring mentor of 10 years, has been delighting thousands of audiences through the lost art of storytelling. With her signature gift of “Tea and a Christmas Story,” she invites her audiences to indulge in a mini retreat that never fails to prepare our hearts for the Christmas season. This year I’m honored to bring this taping of her story presentation for many more people to enjoy. I invite you to turn off your phone, gather the family, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy Joyce’s special gift.
“The cost is irrelevant.” Have you ever justified a purchase or investment with similar words? Have you ever wished those you’ve been trying to influence felt the same way?
Most recently, I purchased a package of consulting services, for which I’ll have to travel across the country twice, for several times the cost of similar services here in San Diego. By the time I add time, airfare, and lodging… Well, you get the picture. “The cost was irrelevant,” I told my business partner as I justified the investment.
I’m not alone. Many of my clients confessed that they chose me over other coaches or consultants who offered cheaper services.
Why do we yield and pay more, much more—whether it’s in money, time, or commitment? Is it a flawless sales pitch? That’s only part of the story.
Influence that leads to relationship—someone’s capacity to compel others to take action on something that is good for them—is the rest of the story.
This is what I know for sure: authentic influence that leads to relationship trumps tactics, flare, and sales pitches. Why and how world-class influencers improve their authentic influence is the topic of this conversation.
I’m obsessed with bridges. I still remember the first time I crossed the Coronado Bay Bridge that connects Downtown, San Diego to Coronado Island. I asked myself, “Wouldn’t a straight line across the bay, instead of the 80% curved bridge, make more sense? Shorter distance. Cheaper to build and maintain.”
Later I learned that the Coronado Bay wasn’t the only barrier to overcome. Engineers had to figure out a way to leave enough clearance for US Navy ships, which operate out of the San Diego Naval Station and must maintain regular access to the bay. The ideal bridge, which exists today, must be high enough for all US Navy ships to pass beneath, but not too steep for vehicles to ascend and descend.
Bridges are a true testament that Bridge Builders will always find a way to overcome challenging barriers standing in the way of worthy goals.
The Bridge Builder Factor
Today’s Bridge Builders—those who overcome their obstacles to reach their most ambitious goals—share one crucial trait: They are superb communicators. They understand that before they can get what they want, they must rally the support of others.
I once heard management expert Ken Blanchard share a story that illustrates how even the most unlikely organizations can inspire their employees to act like owners.
After years of avoiding the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, Blanchard decided the time had come for him to renew his license. “Block my calendar for three hours,” he told his secretary. “That’s how long it takes to get anything done at the DMV.”
But from the moment he stepped into the building, he knew something was radically different.
In this episode, Charlie Poznec interviews Maria Keckler, an honorary Baby Boomer who works with passion and action-driven leaders, entrepreneurs, and organizations that are ready to move to the next level of influence, productivity, and success. Maria is also the author of Bridge Builders: How Superb Communicators Get What They Want in Business and in Life.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Focus on the audience you want to reach, and communicate effectively.
Getting clear on your goal(s) can foster effective communication.
“What got you here will not get you there.”
Build a business that will fit the lifestyle you envision.
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Interview with the Boomer Business Owner Podcast with Charlie Poznek
I’m not a man and will never be able to fully understand their deepest fears and motivations, but Sam, my husband, tells me that a man’s ego is like a fragile egg in the hands of his wife, regardless of how strong he appears to be. He also tells me that when she believes in him, he’ll walk to the ends of the earth for her and his family.
I learned these lessons gradually. A year into our marriage I discovered he was battling a pornography addiction. By year two, I had grown convinced that he would never be the man I could ever respect again.
Yet, I didn’t want to be the quitter. Instead I pushed his buttons, using my words as lethal weapons that began to destroy his confidence. Sooner or later he would get tired of the abuse and walk away. I’d be able to say that he was the quitter.
I began to understand the second lesson shortly after a long road trip. I can’t remember how we began talking about coming of age stories, but the following story forever changed how I felt about him and the future of our marriage… [continue reading original article at The Good Men Project]
“One Story Every Man Must Learn and Be Willing To Share” was First published at The Good Men Project (June 25, 2015)
Almost four years ago I left my full time job to return to my entrepreneurial roots and pursue my publishing dreams. Within a couple of months I knew I needed the help and advice of a professional coach to help me organize my new office space and to simplify my systems. Calling Marcia Ramsland was the best investment I could have made as a creative entrepreneur. Listening to her advice and acting on it set me on a trajectory to do the work I love, to double my income, and to finally finish writing and publishing the one book I hope will change the world.
Why should this matter to you? Because today you too are cementing (or sabotaging) your future—perhaps without realizing it—merely by the way you respond to the advice others are sharing with you.
“It’s been like a day… in Vietnam!” I used to joked around (sort of) when folks commented on how great it’s to see a couple make it this long. Those who’ve known us from the beginning get the joke immediately.
They saw the bad and the ugly years. When I was a bottomless pit of need and insecurity. Sam a raging bull, fighting his demons and addictions. They witnessed my childish antics that exacerbated Sam’s OCD, like the time he wanted to wring my neck when he got home to find his entire closet on our front lawn (a long story I’ll save for another time).
When did you last ask, “What would you do differently if you were me?” Getting feedback from others is essential to our success, but that’s not the real reason why feedback should be your most important meal of the day, as Ken Blanchard suggests.
Leaders everywhere can dramatically increase their effectiveness and influence by weaving facts and figures into a memorable storyline that connects all the dots for those we are leading. These slides offer some inspiration from some brilliant thinkers who continue to remind me that becoming a better storyteller is a gift I give those I want to influence.
As my friend and colleague Lisa Thomas likes to say,
“It’s not about becoming an entertainer. It’s about tapping into the elements of story that allows us to connect with our audiences.”