Monthly Archives: April 2011

Achieve Success with Lessons Re-learned!

Lessons to Achieve Success

Success is achievable, you can really do anything!

A previous blog

http://danpetrosini.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/confidence-self-esteem-contd/,  explained how breaking your goal down into achievable sections, and building on those sections leads to success and confidence.

Reinforcement

A key component of learning and developing a new skill is reinforcement.  Doing something over and over until you  get it. Sounds logical enough and guaranteed to work!

But you also must use the learning ‘tools’ that apply to the skill desired.  They are called the fundamentals!

Remember the fundamentals and re-visit methods of learning that maybe specific to what you are doing!

We tend to Forget

A recent experience of mine own while learning was revealing.reinforcing the importance of taking it slow, breaking the challenge down.

Faced with a imposing challenge, I became intimidated by the difficulty of the task presented. It seemed I was trying to learn something that just seemed way to advanced had me down.

I had bought into the negative, I can’t do this mentality when I was reminded me to take it slow.

Incredibly simple advise from a friend worked immediately and boosts your confidence.

We Want to Rush it!

Slowing things down, breaking the challenge into parts will make any task easier, here is an example to help illustrate this point-

If trying to hit a baseball at a batting cage, don’t go into the fastest one,  start with the slowest, get acclimated and then move into the next highest and do the same.  It may take a day or week but you will soon be able to hit the fastest!

If two people put the same time into learning how to hita baseball thrown at 60 miles an hour, one who jumped right into the 60 mile an hour cage and the other who progressed from the 20 miles to the 40 then 60 mile an hour cage, who would learn quickest and with the least frustration??

Here are a few more quick examples-

Runners training for a race or marathon, never go full speed the first times out. They gradually increase the speed and length till they find the mazimum speed they can run at and still finish.

Would you teach your child to drive by getting on the highway first day out?

Remember to keep whatever you are doing at a pace you can actually do it.

Lesson Re-learned

Being reminded to slow it down was a revelation in way,  I relearned a critical covenant of success, break the task or challenge down and take it at a proper pace.

I am glad to have been reminded and to share that how to approach a challenge and succeed, is by sticking with the fundamentals!

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Pride? We have lost it!

Its Obvious

We encounter scores of people in our day to day lives who seem to have no pride in what they do.  Their lack of pride contributes to shoddy, uninspired performance and dulls our lives.

Without spirited, caring interaction in our daily lives we are less joyful and productive.

Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost our sense of cheeriness and pride. How did we lose these vital traits?

The Culture is at fault!

A major factor is allowing others to define who we are.  This is crazy!  Why allow society to judge whether something you do is ‘good enough’?

Today’s culture has a misplaced value system that reveres anyone, no matter how nuts, on TV, in sports or with wealth. (need I mention many of these ‘stars’ lead irresponsible, trouble filled lives?)

By this twisted, flawed definition we undermine every other vocation, including parents who stay at home to raise their children.

The brutal fact is that focusing on what others do or have dooms you to unhappiness.

What’s the alternative?

How about taking some pride in what we do?

There is no absolutely no reason to be embarrassed by what we do, unless we do it poorly!

Just think of the impact someone who may simply be working behind a counter at a deli can have.  If they are upbeat and engaging and anxious to do their job as well as possible,  both parties are uplifted.  Contrast that with those we may know whose negative, sloppy style leave us disgusted.

In reality it does not mater what you do, even if society deems it menial.

They are many examples of the impact we have on each other that can go both ways.  Even interacting on the telephone where you can be drawn into negativity or surprised when a stranger treats us well and resolves an issue.

Conducting ourselves and our activities with a sense of pride and a positive attitude is the answer.

Whatever you do, do it well, with gusto and a sense of pride.  Don’t be pulled into the mentality that “they aren’t paying me enough to do this’ or “it doesn’t make a difference” or I’m just an xyz”

Taking pride in what you do is essential to your self esteem and happiness.

Intimidated?

Why do we feel the need to shield information or position situations?  Its natural to try to make ourselves look good but some things are really silly and add ‘weight’ to our lives.

Why do we feel the need to make excuses for say a child that does make or choose to go to an “a” type college?  Why do we need to say “this is only temporary I took this until something else comes up’  Its fine as long as while you are there you do it well!

Caution – the Flip Side

There is a downside to having too much pride or ego.

It can cause us to think we are better than others, preventing real engagement with others.  It can prevent us from taking on ajob or responsibility, thinking we are too good to do something.

An Easy Fix!

Conducting yourself with pride is easy to master.  It may take a little practice, reminding yourself at times, but feeling good about yourself and what you do will also make your outlook brighter!

Life’s a journey towards your goals, you won’t get there in a flash and make many ‘stops’ along the way, so you must make the best of it to enjoy it.

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Ezine Author Award

Just a quick blast to share the news I was

awarded an Expert Author Award from Ezine!

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Breakfast of Champions or Food Poison? Feedback Can Crush or Build Confidence

Words are powerful

Criticism or Feedback are powerful.  We all know the term constructive criticism, the problem is we rarely practice it.  Its unfortunate, as criticism is necessary to grow in any endeavor.

Breakfast of Champions or Food Poisoning?

Proper feedback from a coach, teacher, friend, co-worker, client etc is an invaluable tool to improvement.  If the feedback is given constructively and and delivered in a caring manner, the recipient will incorporate it, using the suggestion to achieve their goals.  This type of criticism is what has been called the Breakfast of Champions.  Those open to constructive criticism ‘eat’ the feedback and improve!     Those that shut it out, struggle or fail, its that essential!

On the other hand, criticism can be poisonous.  Belittling, negative feedback is unquestionably destructive!  Sorry, but even if it is well intended and meant to help, it hurts!  Very few people are truly motivated by being humiliated.  We must ‘restrain’ our judgmental tendencies and craft our interaction in a way that is helpful.  Just think how nice a world this would be if we can give and receive this type of support.

Why good teachers/rare impact

Invariably, anyone who achieves a level of accomplishment in anything, 9sports, arts, business, etc.0  has had a memorable teacher, coach, mentor or guide.

The impact they have in nurturing a pursuit cannot be overstated.  The feedback they dispense is always framed positively,  meant to support the individual on their journey.  Good deliverers balance the criticism, offering praise for any progress, no matter how small, while pointing to an area for improvement they know is within reach.

This is not to suggest that it is ok to mislead and be dishonest, but to recognize that people have different skill sets and learn at different paces. The key here is for the coach/teacher to determine that the person has the drive and will to do what is needed to achieve reasonable goals and working alongside, support their pursuit.

Do we enjoy judging?

The flip side is judgmental dismissal!  It seems many people relish in the harsh put down of others, cloaking it as criticism or being ‘real’

Pure nonsense, that type of poisonous feedback not only disheartens but also erodes a person’s self esteem and confidence.

In some cases it causes a backlash, where a receiver shuts out the feedback and gives rise to animosity towards the person giving it.

Look for the positive

No one is an expert out of the box.  We need to look for the positive aspects of a person’s endeavor, even if its just their effort or interest, and praise that. Then we can craft ‘suggestions’ about how to improve, mindful of the damage or help it can render.

Try thinking of parenting as the ultimate feedback machine, it may help to soften the criticism we render.

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Cycle of Poverty Destroys Self Esteem in Children

Break the children poverty cycle and strengthen self esteem. We need a fresh approach on a subject with big upside on a humanitarian and economic basis.

A prior post cited the depressing stats the impact the current state of economic affairs is having on many children & families.   http://danpetrosini.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/children-at-risk/

Worse than it seems

The problem is much bigger than it seems.  The impact dramatically multiplies as over time these children have their own children who are likely to get stuck in a cycle of poverty and dependency.

It’s a complicated issue that’s been with us for decades.  Unfortunately, the many programs the government created have done nothing to slow its growth, in fact the problem has increased, despite of their efforts.

Corrosive to Self Esteem

The government’s and some well intended organizations approach is dead wrong. Providing shelter and food, while worthwhile endeavors in the short term, actually breed a mentality that support comes from the outside.

A life of dependency leaves no room for a healthy self esteem.  In order to feel good about yourself and face life’s challenges confidently you must learn to stand on your own two feet.

Radical Solution?

A successful approach is one where assistance has strings attached.  Rather than a pure hand out, connect positive actions to continued support! Is that radical??

Why does the government hand out 99 weeks of unemployment without requiring the people to do something!  If some of the unemployed have outdated or poor skills, require them to take training to upgrade or acquire a skill.  Why not??? Nothing else is working!

Examples the Current approach does not work

When Welfare for Work (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act) was introduced, (requiring recipients to work and capping benefits at five years etc..) poverty and welfare rates DROPPED!

Larry Summers, the former economic adviser to Obama, studied unemployment http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Unemployment.html : proving that long term unemployment benefits actually INCREASE the unemployment rate.  Wish he’d said something while at the White House!

Solutions?

This is a giant complex problem that a single solution cannot address.  It is easier but expensive, to just provide benefits to people in need and feel we are doing something.   Its simply not effective.

Truly helping the people who need it and are caught in a cycle of poverty and welfare is hard work.  It involves changing ingrained behaviors and building self esteem.  Not easy, ask any parent!

Approach is Critical

The task can seem overwhelming, discouraging attempts to do something.

We need to approach it by realizing that if we change one life, its a huge victory, with the bonus its saving their offspring and their offspring etc!

The types of agendas I suggest require intensive, comprehensive programs to change ingrained behavior.  Most of the people with dependent lives did not have the benefit of support (parents, families).  We need to teach them the set of life skills they need to be independent productive citizens.

It isn’t cheap but the alternative cost is much higher.  If you can’t justify it on a moral basis (I had to work etc…) think of it on an economical basis.

I recognize this is complicated issue with various roots of cause, but we must start somewhere and chip away at this critical problem.

Here is a link to Manna House, a local grassroots organization making an impact along these lines.

http://mannahouseonline.com/

(Does this ring a bell? – You can give someone fish or teach them how to fish)

Love to hear from you on it!

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