Don’t be a Passive Victim

There is a Positive Psychology course that Margie and I have been taking that is really interesting. We ran into a guy named Nathaniel Branden, who wrote about the six pillars of self-confidence. His big theme is nobody’s coming. If you are thinking about someone who is going to get you out of a situation, and you’re waiting for them to take all the action, the reality is that people can do things, but nobody is really coming. What are you going to do?  One thing that’s interesting is the difference between passive victims—people who are in a situation and immediately go to self-pity—“This is really tough.” Then they want to point fingers and blame other people. This leads to frustration, and eventually anger, and things kind of spiral down that way. This is the passive victim that somehow thinks their fate is in somebody else’s hands, versus the active agent who takes action—“Okay, this is tough, but what am I going to do? What can I do in my area? What ideas do I have?”  They are willing to take responsibility, which is being able to respond, and give suggestions that will help. They have a feeling of confidence—“Somehow we’re going to make it through this thing together.” This leads to hope and optimism. We all need to take action—what can we do to help?  Let’s work on responsibility. I have confidence and hope. What is it that makes some people be able to pull out of tough times? It’s all about resiliency. So remember—we’re all responsible somewhat for the condition we’re in. So be an active agent, not a passive victim. Life is a very special occasion. Don’t miss it with a lot of negative energy.

Live Life in the Present

Have you ever noticed how you can look forward to something for so long, and then all of a sudden it’s upon you, and then it’s gone? I think that should teach us that life is to be lived one day at a time, and in the present. My friend Spencer Johnson had a great message years ago in his book The Precious Present. He said that we need to learn from the past, but not live there. Plan the future, but don’t live there. Because we are at our happiest when we’re living life in the present – one day at a time. So if you look forward to something for a long time, and then it’s gone, now you’re back to your regular life – what are you going to do about that? It’s interesting and powerful to recognize that life should be lived in the present. Time flies. We’re here for such a short period of time. So enjoy every single day. And reach out and tell someone you love them and you care about them, because when all is said and done, as I’ve said many times, the only thing that counts is who you love and who loves you.

March Madness

Last week and this week we are having a “Blanchard March Madness” tournament here at the corporate office. Last week we had some individual competitions including HORSE and a Sharpshooter tournament, and this week we are having 3-on-3 games. Well, on Thursday we had the finals of the individual competitions, and do you know who won the sharpshooting contest? Yours truly! Ha! I made 16 out of 20 shots from the foul line. What a great time we had, and I couldn’t believe I beat all the youngsters here at the office!

It was interesting. I’m proofreading the second edition of The Mulligan that I wrote with Wally Armstrong, about golf and faith. There’s a lot of mental stuff in there too. Tony Robbins said that if you want to perform well, there are three aspects. One is focus—you have to see yourself doing well. And you know, I used to be a great foul shooter when I was younger, so I just saw myself pouring the shots in. Then Tony said you have to have the physiology—you have to walk like you know what you’re talking about. So when it was my turn, I just walked there like I knew what I was doing. And then Tony said you have to have a routine. So I bounced the ball and tossed it around the same way every time before I went for the shot. So I made 16 out of 20 at the line, which even surprised me.

I also read in there what we wrote about playing NATO golf—Not Attached To Outcome. So you’re not worried about your outcome, you’re just going with the flow. Last week we were at a program called Inspire San Diego. The guy who put it on was Greg Reid, who cowrote a book called Three Feet from Gold, which really built on the ideas from Think and Grow Rich, the classic book by Napoleon Hill. Just listen to this line from Napoleon Hill:  “There are many things you cannot control, but you can control the only thing that really matters—your mind and your attitude. External forces have very little to do with success. Those who program themselves for success find a way to succeed even in the most difficult of circumstances. Solutions to most problems come from one source, and one source alone: yourself. You can do it if you believe you can. You control your destiny. Decide to live life to the fullest. You may be three feet from gold.”

That was fun. Life is a very special occasion, don’t miss it!

Know Anyone Who is Looking for a New Job?

Although the U.S. unemployment rate is estimated to be 10%, if you look at the age groups of our talent base that’s out of work, it is far higher among recent college grads and estimated to be 20% or more among those between the ages of 20-30.  Many people have proposed a “job corps” like the Peace Corps, where young people would serve their communities for a year or two, and their education debts would be forgiven based on the duration of their service.

There is so much energy and passion among this age group just entering the workforce, and so much social entrepreneurship happening from this new generation.  It is a shame that we may be facing a “lost generation” of new workers due to the economy!

My friend Harvey Mackay has a new book called Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You. Whatever age you are, if you are frustrated with your job search, or you’re facing a career change, you will get some very practical insights.

People are more discouraged than ever.  But stay positive!

Finding a job and advancing a career is tough work.  People need an inspirational force behind them and Harvey will share that journey with you. This is a great book, and everybody today, whether they have a job or are looking for one, will find a lot of useful information.

The ABCs of Personal Power

I was recently reviewing an old concept that I learned years ago called “The ABCs of Personal Power:”

  • A stands for Activating Event. It’s anything that can happen to you. It can be good, it can be bad, or whatever. Things will happen. You get praise, you get a reprimand, you get promoted, you lose a job, your house burns down – you know, whatever. It’s something that happens to you in life.
  • B stands for your Belief system. That’s where you store your beliefs about yourself, about other people, and about life.
  • C is Consequence. What do you do about what happens to you?

We can never control the activating events. Good and bad will happen to you in life. Things show up. The only thing you can control is your belief system—what do you do with what happens? I remember one time when I was a kid, walking with a friend in the woods when a snake came crawling across the path. I’m not a big fan of snakes, so I was about ready to turn around and run. And my friend said, “Don’t run! Snakes are beautiful—look at this thing!” And he bent down and picked up the snake. It was the same activating event from a different belief system. That’s the way it is in life. The same event happening to two different people gets programmed a different way. What do you do when something happens to you? Remember—it’s your belief system that will drive your life. You can’t control what happens to you but you have complete control over what you do about it.