The Core of More™ – Be Awesome from the Inside Out

There are crucial components to your development that must be examined to accelerate your progress. There is a core set of skills, values or principles which can be debated, but factually, these key ingredients build on your present state.

Let’s place four elements in this Core of More™. These elements confirm there is more in your core than you can imagine, yet you periodically ignore one or more components. They are Let it glow, Let it grow, Let it flow and Let it go. These ingredients will enable you to gain rather than regress and achieve surplus, that is not necessarily excess.

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Let it Glow

Your light, however you define it, must be allowed to shine. Your talent, skills, abilities, capacity and resources must be a beacon of hope, a living positive example. Your light must be an indicator of your presence, purpose and performance. As we sang in Sunday School, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” When it shines, it has a glow, a luminescence that grabs people attention, pinpoints your location and potentially influences your behavior.

Let it Grow

Skill level and impact will expand and enlarge your contributions. Influence grows as your abilities are refined and increased. You will devote the time, effort, energy and insight received from teachers, mentors and coaches to improve knowledge and the quality of your work.

You will become a continuous learner and communicator, passionate about getting better in the priority areas of your life. Your light will get larger and brighter and more will take notice of you and more will be expected of you, as more are influenced by your presence. Your abundance will become a windfall to others, as you realize you are slated to get better, so others can benefit from your brilliance.

Let it Flow

As it glows and grows, it will flow in the execution of your skill set and in helping other people. Work will become easier and more natural. Executing your tasks will appear effortless, mainly because you are in your sweet spot and you are letting it flow. It is captured in an acronym SMILE (So Make It Look Easy). An athlete will comment that they let the game come to them or the game slows down for them as they improve their craft.

When you let it flow, you remove the barriers to your performance. Your actions are as a well-trained athlete, gliding through the race; a musician who makes playing the instrument look easy; a world class professional speaker in their comfort zone, delivering a powerful message. You are caught up in the flow.

Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi , has a concept of flow which is defined as follows, “In positive psychology, as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity”1. It is a state where skills are consistent with the challenges presented to you. In the state of flow, you lose track of time and you are consumed in passion”2. Simon Sinek says, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”3 When you Let it flow, your passion shows, as you let it flow.

Let it Go

Along your journey, there are nouns you must displace. There are people, places or things that are excessive weight that must be discarded. As a hot air balloonist will tell you, if they want to increase their altitude, sand bags must be cast over board or they will hamper your ascension.

There are personal situations that try to hold you back and hold you down. In earlier articles I refer to them as the Hindre™ a person or spirit of negativity that attempts to hinder or restrict your progress. They must be released if you are to soar to the rightful heights of your achievement. You may know these impediments, or you must be open to people giving you a second opinion on people who are plotting against you.

You must let go of destructive habits, attitudes, the wrong crowd, the wrong mindset or other roadblocks that are impeding your progress.

Let it glow, Let it grow, Let it flow and Let it go, are part of the Core of More™. Apply these principles to help you achieve success in the professional and personal realms of your life.

Copyright © 2018 Orlando Ceaser

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)
  2. Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (1998). Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life
  3. wordpress.com/2014/08/24/working..

 

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The Power Of Paying Positive Attention (POPPA)

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I admire people who have a reputation for making people feel noticed and special. Presidents have been lauded for their ability to remember people’s names and making them feel as if they were the only people in the room (John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton). Others also, they have the keen sense to recognize and comment on any changes in a person’s appearance or behavior. You may be such a person. You have an eye for detail. You know the right questions to ask, and the appropriate comments to make. These individuals have the power of observation and paying positive attention.

Additionally, individuals have a knack for always pointing out when something is wrong. But, we will spend time focusing on the people who have the power of paying positive attention to something that is right. These individuals may have the gift because it comes to them naturally, so they have the knack for it. Or they may have acquired the knowledge of the impact it has on people. They have the knack or the knowledge. Therefore, they have the intuition or received instruction on the value of paying positive attention to others.

We could describe this skill with an acronym (Power Of Paying Positive Attention). It can have a profound effect on productivity, performance, productivity and relationships.

When you watch something carefully, continuously over time, you formulate a mental baseline of how things are. This is cemented in your memory. If something changes, alarm bells signal a deviation from the norm. You may not know what changed immediately, but you are aware that something is different. Observation and perception notify the brain.

POPPA is a great skill to demonstrate in the workplace, home and school. It helps to establish and strengthen relationships. The power of paying positive attention causes you to focus on people and every aspect of their beings. You look them in the eyes. You notice them and ask questions about the quality of their work. You remember their names. You ask questions about the pictures in their workspace and other symbols in which they have pride. You may comment on their backgrounds, families, education and interest as appropriate. They feel important. You value their contributions at work and are authentically concerned about them as individuals with families and a life outside of work. You see the employee, peer or classmate as a total person with long term professional and personal interests.

If you treat people as if they matter, they may ultimately live up to your projections and live up to and exceed your expectations. If you treat people as if they exist and make them feel important, and did not invisible, you will ultimately reap the benefits of an engaged and inspired person.

We are equipped with our 5 senses, highlighted by the senses of sight and hearing to enhance our powers of observation. It does not cost us anything, but a small investment of time to notice someone. If the average human being could walk around with a fictitious cartoon bubble over their head, it would say, “Notice me” or “Please see me.” They want to feel significant, special, substantial, loved and connected.

While observing a sales representative making a presentation a manager noticed that he was obviously preoccupied. There were points in the call when additional information was needed and he was usually very adept at picking up signals and following through with the right questions. After the presentation, rather than point out the obvious oversights, he asked if everything was alright. He discovered that he had personal matters that compromised his thinking and performance. The manager adjusted his coaching accordingly.

A District Sales Manager working with a star performer was confronted with the following situation. During one of her presentations, there was tension in the air on. The sales representative was noticeably reluctant as she was visibly holding back when a strong challenge was required. The company’s reputation was being assaulted and her usually strong personality folded in the moment. The manager asked, “What would you have done if I was not present with you today?” She outlined her strategy and why she did not pursue a more aggressive stance. She told him what she would have said ordinarily if he wasn’t there. She did not want to challenge the doctor in the presence of sales management, so she was reserved.

The manager gave her the following advice. “When I work with you I want to see reality. If I coach behavior that is not your usual behavior I leave feeling that I had a productive day. But my comments would have been a waste of time. You would leave feeling that the words were meaningless because they did not apply to you. If you don’t want me to waste my time, show me what is real and trust the process that I will handle each moment as a teaching and growth opportunity.” The power of paying positive attention allowed him to recognize a change in behavior and to coach to improve performance.

Lastly, there are times in our lives where we give routine responses. We are simply going through the motions in our very busy days. We feature the same words, whether it is in a greeting or part of the key messages delivered in a conversation or presentation. It is important to get these words right, but do not become bored or distracted with repetition. This may cause you to lose focus and fail to pay attention. You may miss an opportunity to connect with someone on a different level and strengthen a relationship. Watch the person’s face and body language to detect the messages they are sending to denote interest or a reaction to your words.

Our interactions in the workplace, at home and in school are environments where we should engage with other people by showing them that they matter. As a species, we want to be recognized and respected, belong and accepted. If we positively and authentically comment on their appearance, behavior, and performance, the compliment will inspire them to work harder to become more competent, which will have a profound impact on their confidence and they will complement your work culture, family, team, and organization.

Copyright © 2017 Orlando Ceaser

Are you smarter than a Squirrel?

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I believe that anybody and anything can teach me something. I believe I can learn from everything in my environment. Sometimes it is nature and the animals that are my greatest teachers.

I was sitting in the kitchen one day observing activities outside my window. My wife is an avid gardener, so in front of me were many varieties of flowering plants. There were xenias, Echinacea, sunflowers, roses and many others; a botanical garden that held my attention. There were hummingbirds darting back and forth to my delight. In the center of the garden was a small tree from which she hung one of her bird feeders.

She had a problem with the squirrels. They could usually be found sitting in the bird feeder eating the seeds she purchased to attract and feed her assortment of feathered friends. She purchased from the garden store, a revolutionary bird feeder designed to be “squirrel proof”. This new bird feeder looked like something from outer space or a cross between a jellyfish and a Portuguese man of war. It had a large dome which was to protect the bird food from the squirrels. The food was housed in a cylinder from the center of the dome. Finally, she had a bird feeder to keep away the squirrels.

A curious sight developed in front of me. A squirrel came by to feed or to see the new contraption. Did someone think this device would keep him from the food? The squirrel jumped on the tree, climbed to the limb from which the bird feeder hung and climbed down the chain to the top of the dome. When he reached the dome he fell quickly to the ground. The look on his face as he frantically tried to grab something to hold onto was priceless. He fell to the ground quickly. He looked at the new feeder as if to say, “What happened?” He seemed to love a challenge. He dusted himself off to try again. He tried several more times to master the bird feeder, but with the same result, landing flat on his feet and disappointed on the ground. I felt my wife had made the right decision on this new bird feeder. The frustrated squirrel stared at the bird feeder, as if to study it. If I didn’t know better, I would think he was trying to figure out the best approach. Squirrels have a reputation as creative thinking creatures; causing havoc in many locations.

Finally, he climbed the tree, as he had before, with the same determination. This time, I paid attention to the pink ribbon my wife had placed on the top of the bird feeder to make it look attractive. The squirrel lowered himself slowly down the chain, as he had done before. This time, however, he stopped at the pink ribbon. What came next stunned me. He slowly pushed his tail through the bow, she had meticulously tied. He locked his tail in the loop of the bow, anchored himself and slowly slid over the side of the dome, until he was perched over the feeding tray. There he hung upside down helping himself to the food that was denied him. It was a marvel to behold.

I called my wife and told her what had happened. She was upset. She muttered something about false advertising. She immediately packed up the bird feeder and took it back to the garden store. The bird feeder was squirrel resistant, but not squirrel proof. I tried to persuade her to just remove the ribbon, but that was not enough. The squirrel proof claim had already become null and void for her.

If animals can face a problem and use instinct or ingenuity to arrive at a solution, what can we do, since we are the wisest of all creatures on the planet? We could say it was an accident and the squirrel was lucky. However, the truth still stands, it solved a problem. If we review all available options, we find that the squirrel when faced with a problem was:

• Motivated to succeed – hunger or hunger prevention
• Persistent mentally and physically in trying different approaches (tenacious)
• Tried many choices and different decisions
• Used available resources to solve the problem
• Savored the victory

We told this story to our real estate agent and she told a similar story. Apparently, a client placed oil on a bird feeder to keep the squirrels away. The squirrels would slide off the feeder. However, one squirrel was seen rolling in the dirt until he was covered with a mixture of oil and dirt. The dirt enabled him to get traction so that he could hold onto the feeder and not slide off. This seems like a calculated, reasoned approach to solving a problem. She was able to get the food without slipping off and falling to the ground.

When we lived in Ohio, my wife had her signature garden again. Her problem with squirrels was their aggressive nature around her sunflowers. They would take the seeds from the sunflowers. She collected the sunflower seeds for planting and eating. There was one sunflower that was her pride and joy. It literally had a 12 inch head. She decided the cover the head of her largest sunflower with a plastic bag before we went to church to prevent the squirrels from stealing the seeds. When we returned from church, there was no trace of the sunflower head. It had apparently been chewed off at the base and dragged away. Well that’s the story we tell, and we have no reason or evidence to think anyone climbed the fence to destroy this one sunflower, but our usual suspects, our fine furry little friends.

Do not underestimate the creativity of a determined animal. We should not underestimate our ingenuity when passionate about a cause and resilient in our methods. So the question remains, “Are you smarter than a squirrel?”

Copyright © 2010 Orlando Ceaser