Social Media Strategy: Become That Which You Desire To See

book_jacket-second-editionIn 2006 I wrote my first book. I’d love to say the title (You’ll Never Be Who You Want To Be As Long As You Are Who You Are) is the reason it isn’t a best seller, but the reasons are many and not the topic of this writing. The point of the book however is.

As I trolled social media this morning I couldn’t help but notice how many postings are of a negative nature. Take away the ads (which many of them fill you with fear to buy) and the personal postings of pets and children, and virtually every message we see is negative.

Yet ask anyone if they’d prefer to be a generally negative or positive person and the answer will be overwhelmingly, “positive”.

So why do we do it? Why do we not only post such negativity but then, delight in viewing it in such massive quantities?

According to an article in The Telegraph by Lauren Davidson (17 May 2015), “The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day”.

And with so much time spent and so much negativity distributed, it’s easy to see how we can become disenchanted and negative too.

Which brings me back to the reason I mentioned my book in the first paragraph. As long as we are engaging in negative experiences, we’ll continue to have negative experiences.

We all know people (maybe even ourselves) who get into extended debates on social media about topics that are important but not necessarily topics over which we have control. We debate to reinforce our position and to try to sway others to agree. But rarely does anyone change his or her mind.  In the end, we simply get frustrated and become distant.

What good does this accomplish? Aside from stroking our own egos and from having others who agree with us come to our defense it does no good.
And if we endeavor to have a better life (I’m assuming everyone does), wouldn’t it just make sense to focus on good things instead of bad?

To suggest we take a social media diet or hiatus is advisable, but not very likely given our proclivity to use it.  So how do we fix this trend of negativity?

We must become that which we desire to see. We must understand that we cannot be who we want to be as long as we are who we are.

I’ve been experimenting for the past month or so with my own social media posting and consumption. Here’s what I’m doing, perhaps it can help you.

  1. I do not click on any posting that is political in nature. I know exactly where I stand on the issues. Should I need further knowledge of a topic to form an opinion, I will rely on trusted sources, not on social media postings.
  1. I will not respond to anything in any way that is not constructive, supportive, and positive. If I cannot post in a way that will be helpful there’s no need for my comment at all. Humor is allowed only to the extent that it does not attempt to influence others to my way of thinking.
  1. I will purposefully find postings which I may comment on in a supportive or encouraging way every time I am on any social platform. Further, I will not leave any platform without making at least one encouraging or supportive post.
  1. I will make my personal and business postings be inspirational and beneficial to those who view it. There are two purposes of posting on social media; To benefit others or to benefit myself. I will create my posts with the benefit of others foremost in my mind.
  1. Finally, I will realize there are plenty of people hurting in the world today that use social media as an outlet for their pain and I’ll have empathy for them. I will encourage where I can and will not criticize when I am tempted.

Of course, I haven’t been able to avoid negative behavior completely. I fall back into old habits just like everyone else.  But what I have experienced has been life-changing.

Since beginning I’ve seen people have responded to my posting more than ever before. Who knows, maybe everyone has it wrong and people prefer good news.

But most importantly I’ve seen a change in me. I find my day starts with a lightness of heart that continues throughout the day. I’m more patient and joyous. I’m grateful.

And hopefully, that means a change in those around me as well. For while I know that perception is reality I further know that a smile brings a smile, and good is returned by good.

Give it a try and see for yourself. Only you can become that which you desire.


Just Because We Know Doesn't Mean We're Not Scared

glen-eating-fire-marshall-sylver-eventIt’s been said that “knowledge is power” and it is true. We are emboldened when we possess the knowledge of a topic or situation. Why then should we feel fear?

Wouldn’t it be great if by simply having the knowledge necessary to obtain a desired outcome, we could act boldly and achieve our desired results?

Some years ago I attended a seminar where we were taught how to eat fire. It’s a simple task that includes suffocating the fire in your mouth long enough to extinguish the flame. Of the hundreds of people in the room, every on executed the task without incident. And so did I.

But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared.

Many years earlier I engaged in a dumb challenge at a bar with some friends. The challenge was putting matches in our mouth and striking them to light them. The person who was able to strike the most would have his bar tab retired by the others.

It’s funny what we’ll do for a few free drinks. Actually, it’s dumb.

I took an entire matchbook and when it went up in flames, so did my upper and lower lips. It took a couple of weeks of aloe treatments to get back to normal.

And thoughts of that past pain came back when I saw the flaming cotton ball at the end of the stick I was about to eat. All I could think of was how much it hurt to burn my lips, how much pain I endured, and how much embarrassment I suffered.

Now I was about to do something similar that could have the same result. And this time, not only did I possess the knowledge of the pain; I was sober too!

I could have allowed the previous experience to prevent me from a successful result. I could have been one person in the room that was too afraid to do what we’d been taught to do. Who knows, if I had not eaten the fire that day maybe others would have allowed my fear to expose their fear. Perhaps I would have prevented someone else from achieving his or her goal with my fear.

But I overcame my fear. I realized that I now possessed new knowledge. I knew exactly how it would work this time if I only followed the process. And I did.

But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t scared.

How did I overcome the fear? I focused on what I knew I needed to do and ignored that which I didn’t want to do.

As we make changes it is important to remember that we must act proactively with confidence in our new knowledge.

If we’re trying to avoid mistakes of the past while trying to employ knowledge of the future, fear will hold us back and we’ll fail to act, or worse, we’ll pull back with catastrophic results.

As the flaming cotton ball approached my mouth or as it was inside, had I remembered the pain I experienced before, I might have opened my mouth, exhaled, and given more fuel to the fire. I would have not only burned my lips but likely the inside of my mouth and much of my face too.

We must act boldly and confidently in the knowledge we’ve gained. Change is at hand. We know what to do and all we must do is do it.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not scared.


New Year's Day is not Championship Day

new-years-day-orchampionshjipheading1Every player wants to win the championship. Professional athletes stay in shape during the off-season but a championship campaign begins with training camp.

After a few weeks, preseason begins. Here the players get back into the groove of competing. While everyone wants to win the real purpose of preseason games is to evaluate the ability of each player to execute both personally and with the team.

Some players won’t make the team. In the end, the manager puts the best team he can on the field with the intention of winning the championship at the end of the season.

Championships are often won or lost before the season begins. It is often the discipline each team member has during off-season, training camp, and preseason that makes all the difference.

What does this have to do with our personal success next year? Everything.

More than half of all people in the world look at New Year’s Day as a new beginning. The other half are in denial. A new year is simply that, “new”.

That’s where trouble begins. We approach New Year’s Day as Championship Day. It’s as if we suddenly are thrown into the biggest game of our lives. And the bad news? We prepared for the big game by doing everything we no longer want to do.

Imagine the manager telling his players, “Ok, listen here guys. During training camp I want you to try to miss the ball when you swing the bat. On the odd chance someone does hit the ball, I want you to be sure not to catch it if it comes near you. And if you’re the one who hits the ball, whatever you do, do not run those bases.”

Then, after camp and pre-season the manager says, “This is it guys. Everything we’ve worked so hard for. It’s Championship Day. Today, make sure that when you swing you don’t miss the ball. When the other guys hit it, you have to catch it every time. And run those bases as if your life depends on it. Go get ‘em!”

Take a professional baseball player and have him practice missing the ball for an extended period of time and it will take him a while to get back to hitting the ball at all.

It’s the same for you and me. We’ve been practicing all the wrong skills.

We desire something better. So we set New Year’s Resolutions or goals. Sadly, most of us will fail. Not because we didn’t earnestly desire or genuinely try, but because we prepared poorly in the off-season (aka last year).

So let’s take a new approach this year. Let New Year’s Day be the beginning of a winning campaign. Let’s bring our best discipline but be aware we’ve been enjoying the “off-season” for a while now. We’re going to make some mistakes, engage in some old behaviors, and yes, we’ll even fail.

But remain diligent and disciplined. When we fail, begin again with the knowledge we gained in failure. Examine what caused the failure and endeavor to avoid those circumstances next time.

In the end, we may find that some players (our new goals) won’t make the team. We just might find that we can win our championship without them. Better still, we may find that goal wasn’t big enough for us.

It’s time to put our best team on the field and begin our winning campaign.

New Year’s Day shouldn’t be the end. New Year’s Day is by its very nature is the beginning.


The Mother of All Success

Change by doingIf you believe success in any endeavor requires a clear-cut destination, I’m about to rock your paradigm.

More than half the American population has or will make New Year’s Resolutions this week. It is highly unlikely many if any will be, “I resolve to do exactly what I did last year.”

Desire for change is born of dissatisfaction. At some level we are unhappy with certain aspects of our lives so we resolve to change. Simple enough.

Yet change doesn’t come easily, partly because we know it doesn’t come easily. But there is a secret weapon at your disposal that can make change easier, simpler, and faster than you ever thought possible. What is this elixir to our better life? Routine.

“Oh, come on now” you say. In your best Jim Mora press conference impersonation you scream, “Routine? You want to talk about routine? I hope I get through the day and you want to talk about routine?”

I remember my routine screaming moment. I loved golf. All I wanted to do was play golf. Then one day I decided I wanted to be better. My brother taught me, “People love routine.” He said, “If you want to play better, you need a better routine.”

Here’s the paradigm rocking point: As mundane and simple as it sounds, routine is the mother of all success, even the success you have in achieving a life or portions thereof you no longer desire.

If you’re overweight, you have a routine of eating too much of the wrong foods and spending too much time in non-physical activity.

If you smoke cigarettes, you have a routine of lighting them when on the phone, after a meal, and when you wake up that makes you a smoker.

Are you less fit than you’d like? You have a routine that excludes physical activity. You get the idea.

Now for the good news: If you want to successfully make changes in your life you need only start with changes in routine. The best way to do this is to replace a routine with a new routine. You’ll rarely have success going “cold turkey” but even that is a change in routine.

Is your resolution to lose weight? Find those trigger moments and change the routine. It usually isn’t the moment you eat the pint of ice cream that gets you, it’s the moments before you grab the freezer door. What do you routinely do that leads to that moment? That’s where you need to focus. More tips can be found at http://bit.ly/KYNGx9 or check out this useful infographic at http://bit.ly/2hPI6Pz.

Are you focusing on quitting smoking? You’ll need to find something to do with your hands at those key trigger moments. Everything you need to know about quitting smoking can be found here: http://bit.ly/1qlSg5A

Would you like to be more fit? Your best bet is to change your morning routine. If you start your day with some light physical activity you ‘ll likely carry the routine throughout the day. Begin with simple stretching or just a short walk around the block, anything that starts the routine of more activity. Here are some simple tips to get started: http://bit.ly/1ho4N6u

Of course you’ll want to know where you are going and why you want to get there to help ensure arriving at the destination of your choosing, but creating a routine that ensures your success is essential. Start small but get started. And never, ever give up.


Ten Things You Can Do Today To Make The World A Better Place

imagesSometimes it feels like a losing battle.  Everywhere you turn you’re faced with deadly viruses, a polarized society, a void in leadership, integrity, and personal responsibility.  Add in a good measure of frustration, lack of civility, and rudeness peppered with a lack of time and loss of purpose and you’ve got a recipe for hopelessness.

 

After all, what can one person do?  Here are ten things you can do today to make the world a better place:

 

1.     Smile and make the world a better place.  According to experts, smiling improves your mood and health and lengthens your life.  Best of all, smiles are contagious which means other people will be getting the benefits of your smile when they naturally smile in response. That means you’ll be looking at more smiling people and you’ll be smiling more too.  Source: http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongbeauty/tp/smiling.htm

 

2.     Slow down and make the world a better place.  Too often we miss the beautiful little things that give life balance because we’re too rushed.  Stop to smell the flowers, see the sights, and breathe.  Commit to once a day stopping and breathing deeply for ten seconds.  Go ahead, close your eyes and take ten deep breaths.  You’ll be pumping brain clearing oxygen into your bloodstream and reinvigorating all your senses.  According to Slow life expert Jacqui Mott, changing your pace will boost your health.  Source: http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/sex+relationships/wellbeing/slow+down+and+enjoy+life,18201

 

3.     Read something inspirational and make the world a better place.  Let’s face it, we have all the negative material we need and it is essential to fill your soul with positive inspiration. Begin your day with something uplifting and inspirational and you’ll be more positive all day long.  This is best done in the morning to set the stage for the day but you can read inspiration anytime.  Everyone has the time to be inspired, you just need to commit to it.  Need some ideas?  http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/top-10-motivational-books-of-all-time.html  I chose to add The Bible to number 1.

 

4.     Make one just because call and make the world a better place.  SendOutCards.com founder Kody Bateman calls them “promptings”.  They are those momentary messages we all get that we often fail to act upon.  He founded SendOutCards.com to help people become card senders (if there was room, send a card would be on this list too).  But perhaps as important is to make a call to someone just because you’ve been thinking of him or her.  Make it a point to daily make one call to someone just because.  Need ideas? Try that electronic leash in your pocket that seems to butt-dial the wrong person at the wrong time.  Pull it out and scroll through the contacts.  Push call.

 

5.     Listen more than you talk to make the world a better place.  Everyone wants to have their say, but what they really want is to be heard.  Listening to people is different from hearing them but the first step is to listen more and talk less.  When you listen more than you talk you’ll likely hear more new ideas since the voice you’ll hear won’t be yours as often.  Master “hearing” and you’ll understand people better.  Understanding leads to empathy and an empathetic world is a better world. Here are some tips on being a better listener: http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-skills.html

 

6.     Look people in the eye and make the world a better place.  The eyes are the window to the soul and a key indicator you are paying attention to someone.  Give people your full attention by looking into their eyes.  When you do you’ll become a better listener (Tip #5) and you’ll be on your way to better understanding.  When you understand more you’ll have more wisdom.  Everyone could use more wisdom.  Tips on eye contact can be found here: http://www.succeedsocially.com/eyecontact

 

7.     Have a dream and make the world a better place.  Martin Luther King had a dream.  You should too.  Dreams give us something to strive for, something to wish for, something to hope for.  Dreams give us direction and are essential to a powerful purpose. Sometimes our world seems hopeless but that’s because we’ve forgotten how to dream.  Dreams require belief and belief is essential to life.  Hear about the power of dreams in the “original” happy song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBWjNlBko70

 

8.     Be an encourager and make the world a better place.  Everyone needs a lift now and again.  Commit yourself to being the person people go to when they wish to feel better.  Be the doctor of self-expectancy.  When you see someone you know should be expecting more and is capable of more, give them an uplifting comment or compliment to refocus their efforts.  Sometimes we just need that one bit of encouragement to get through the wall.  Everyone needs to know there is someone who believes in them.  Be that person.  Read these great ideas on encouragement: http://livingontheedge.org/broadcast/how-to-become-an-awesome-encourager-part-1/daily-radio#.VE-uh1PF8Zc

 

9.     Take a media cleanse (including social media) and make the world a better place.  Take one day and commit to not watching any news, reading the paper, or going on Facebook (remember just ten short years ago Facebook didn’t exist).  Give your brain a day off from all the negativity and you’ll feel better.  If something really important happens you’ll hear about it.  You don’t need to be in the know as much as you are and you’ll find most of what you get from the media is just chewing gum for the brain.  Take a rest, clear your mind to focus on good things.  Read about a media detox in this article (about half way down) https://experiencelife.com/article/media-diet-makeover/

 

10. Decide you are happy and act as if you are to make the world a better place.  From Proverbs 23:7 to James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh (http://jamesallen.wwwhubs.com/think.htm) the truth is we become what we think about.  Think about being happy.  Tell others you’re happy even when you may not be.  People have a tendency to mirror each other.   You aren’t helping anyone by telling them you aren’t happy so pass on happiness even when you aren’t experiencing it.  By doing so you’ll likely be talking to happy people all the time and that will make you happy too!