Thursday, July 26, 2012

Penn State and the Fallacy of Supreme Rule

This week I am going to opt to post a rant from my infinitely wise (in my opinion) second mom. These are views that I could not have stated better myself and therefore will not even try!

"So penalties have been levied against Penn State. They are strong – just short of the death penalty. Maybe they are not strong enough, but, then again, in my opinion, there are no penalties strong enough for Sandusky and the crew covering up these horrendous crimes. I do wish there was a way to punish the perpetrators without injuring the students playing football there, but, often, people only tangentially attached do end up with some of the damage. I do hope that the drama these student-athletes find themselves watching will teach them some lasting and very important life lessons. That, however, is not my rant this morning. Instead it seems to me more important that this whole scenario is viewed as a modern morality story. These are the kind of results we get when we allow great amounts of power to be concentrated with an elite few. It happens not only in sports certainly, but in corporations, politics, religions, institutions of many kinds. We must not sanction unlimited power in the hands of the few…CEOs, religious figures of any stripe, coaches, the very rich. None of them are gods, but, when they are allowed the power/resources/status of such, they will frequently take it and run with it. We have examples galore with politicians, corporate executives, religious leaders, and sports culture figures. And, often, we not only let them proceed, but we encourage that behavior. As much as I love sports, I know for certain that no coach is a god and we do the ultimate disservice to athletes (especially young ones) when we cultivate an environment around them that suggests they are. It can lead to horrendous things like the Penn State tragedy. If there is any positive outcome to this gruesome situation, maybe, just maybe, it will be that institutions will start to examine themselves for the structure and environment that can lead to this sort of thing. We can demonize Penn State (and, for this particular tale, it is probably warranted), but we need to be very clear that the “god” status can develop in many places. Just because we are on the outside looking in at this particular scandal doesn’t mean we are immune. Nothing good comes of concentrated power in the hands of the elite few…never has, never will. Transparency, openness, ability to challenge, and humility are necessary. It’ll be immensely difficult to change these environments, but it is vital that we do so." 

~ Stella

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Do You See?

Next time you are in front of a mirror we have a couple requests.

Why? Because it's important. Not for us but for you.  

When you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see the the leader that you claimed to be during the interview process for your current job? Or that leader that you speak about on the ice, soccer pitch, baseball diamond, etc? Or that leader that you aspire to be at home amongst your family? 

Or did you just say it because you thought it was the golden ticket to get you the job, or because you thought that every athlete was and is a leader, or because you thought it was the right thing to say when you became a parent? 

Because if you haven't noticed, we are lacking the leaders that this world needs right now. Whether it be within the corporate world, in sports organizations, or within our families & communities, there is a big gap in leadership that was created during (& before) the baby boomer generation to the generations of today. 

So then...who are great and effective leaders? 

Effective leaders are visionaries who craft clear pictures of their teams' vision and then link them to the present activities people are leading. In this way, all actions have a purpose: to bring teams, families or organizations closer to the result imagined by their leaders. The task of a leader is to get people from where they are to where they have never been.

In todays world, too many leaders become creatures of habit. They do the same things the same way with the same people every day. They rarely have new thoughts, generate fresh ideas or take calculated risks. Instead they confine their leadership to a secure area of comfort and refuse to leave it. Such leaders eventually suffer from their own blindness. By spending days doing the same old things its like they have placed patches over their good eyes. They become unable to see the tremendous opportunities presenmted by these rapidly changing times and eventually, not using their natural vision, they lose it and grow blind. The best way to succeed in the future is to create it.

Leadership is about focussed action in the direction of a worthy purpose. Leadership is about realizing the impossible is generaly untried. Many people think the leader is generally the man or woman with the CEO title or president. Or the dad or the mom in the family. Or the best player on the sports team. When actually, leadership is not about the position, its about the ACTION. To lead is to inspire, energize and influence. Leadership is not about managing things but about developing and empowering people. Leadership is about helping people (whether it be your co-workers, teammates, or children) liberate to the fullest of their talents while they pursue a vision you have helped them understand is a worthy and meaningful one.

The best leaders recognize that leadership is a craft not a gift. They constantly work to refine their art and one of the things they work on is the ability to be present based but future focussed. Great leaders have masterd the twin skills of managing the present while at the same time, inventing the future.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to be a leader - be one. Do whatever it takes and make this world a much better place. Be one that challenges the status quo every day in the office. Be the teammate that shows up first to practice, takes every play serious, and leaves last. And be the parent that teaches & empowers their children to strive for greatness, appreciate life, and respect those around them. Leadership isn't about being 'the man' or 'the woman' or leading 'marco solo'. It's about making others be better than you. 

Time to pay it forward and be the difference you said you wanted to be. So that the next time you look at the mirror, you ensure the reflection resembles...


Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Importance of a Perfect Squat

There are a few really important movement staples in exercise. A squat is one of these important and essential skills that should be in everyone’s repertoire. The mechanics involved in a squat are also involved in jumping and, therefore, are essential for anyone and everyone! Because there are so few people who can properly execute a basic squat, we are going to break it down in stages. As with anything it is important to note that special conditions, injuries, or major movement problems often require supervision for proper correction. You should not perform any squats if you have a knee, hip, ankle or back injury until you have been properly cleared by a Chiropractor, Sports specialist Medical Doctor or qualified Physiotherapist. This post is simply a guide to help the general population learn to perform a very important movement skill.
The definition of a perfect squat for this post:
-       Knees tracking over, but behind, the first and second toe
-       You are able to do a full squat (to 90 degrees) with your toes 4-6” from a wall without feeling like you are going to fall backwards

-       Your upper body is straight up and down (allowing only for about 20-30 degrees of forward flexion)
Stage 1: Assessing the baseline
-       Perform a body weight squat
o   Make note if your knees go past your toes
o   Make note if you knees track inside or outside of their center line
o   Make note of any pain (specific pain can result in several differential diagnosis when it comes to the squat motion. If you are experiencing pain, a medical professional should properly evaluate you before continuing
-       If your knees track in: perform exercises to activate Gluteus medius
-      If your knees track outward: attempt to intentionally keep them in and see how that changes your squat inside the above parameters
Stage 2: Selecting your first exercise
-       If you cannot stop your knees from going over your toes
o   Use a Stability Ball against your lower back on the wall
o   Add Glute firing exercises (ie, floor bridge, band kick backs)

-       Once you have mastered the Stability Ball squat with weight you are ready to attempt an elevated heal squat (this typically takes around 4 weeks).
-       Elevated heal squat is simply as it is stated. Raise your heals off the ground using a piece of wood or other implement that is around 2-3” in height. This will allow you to push your butt back without feeling like you are going to fall over.

If you cannot keep your knees from internally rotating (towards each other), then use a band from knee to knee during your squat and resist the band pulling your knees together. This will develop your external rotators and start to build the proper mechanics to perform a squat.

-       If you can perform a perfect body weight squat without any of the aforementioned problems, then you should start with a tempo-controlled squat and add weight as you feel comfortable
o   Tempo 1: 3 (down) 1 (pause) and 2 (up) – 3-1-2
o   Tempo 2: 4 – 1 – 1
o   Tempo 3: 4 – 0 – X (fast)

Once you can perform a perfect squat, you are ready to start jump training. You should not be doing any jump training until you can do a 4-0-X squat with perfect form that is weighted with at least 50% of your own body weight.

Happy Squatting!

~ Yoshia

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Full wallet, empty house

At first I thought it was because you didn’t care. But then, seeing your surprised reaction to what seems so blatantly obvious, I began to rethink my hypothesis and arrive at the fact you just aren’t getting it.

Here’s the 411. You are a hungry, a-type workaholic who’s invested every minute of your waking life to get the bucks, so you could get the gal, so you could drive the car, so you could build the house, so you could live the life. It all worked out! You made your wad, spotted the gal, she saw the hunger, and with the same moves you use to broker the deals, you got her and envisioned the future together.

There inlay the challenge. T.o.g.e.t.h.e.r. What could not be predicted is that the first ½ million wouldn’t be enough for you. You had to chase the second, and then the third, and then the deal over there. You seemed to care less about the new born and more about the free room with gambling in Vegas all under the guise of doing it for ‘us’. Sure you made attempts to be there… but were you really there, or were you simply grooming your kids to become the same knucklehead you are. I recall telling someone my son’s motto was work hard & get rewarded. This guy looks at me and says, my son’s is work hard and make millions. "Isn’t that great"… he laughs. I look at his wife who I’ve seen come onto one of my buddies prior to meeting them and laugh too.

Anyways… suddenly, the gal you came home to had enough of your guys trips, last minute business meetings, grabbed the remaining shred of confidence she had left after single handedly mothering two kids, gaining weight, attending social functions, and making sure you presented like the sales GURU (because really we are all sales people so not really sure why you think your above every other sales person) you are…. and moved on. Whether or not it was in the physical sense or just mentally, it doesn’t matter, she moved on.

Of course ‘what a bitch’. Of course ‘who’s the asshole’. And of course you can walk into your guys club and moan like a 5 year old who’s lost his favorite toy. But while you are insecurely gluing your ego back together amongst a bunch of the intellects who have done the same thing, we have a simple analogy for you.

Sunlight and plants.

Remember gr 11 science class when you seeded a plant & took it home in the Styrofoam cup? Well, when you left that sucker in the dark… it wilted and died. Shine light on it, and it flourished. Even if a glimpse of light, that plant would lean lean lean towards it. It’s the same game with people, except its called attention! Sometimes the sunlight is simply shining, not intended for one specific plant over another. The plants find the sun.

If you want to know how your gal became detached, your children started to hate you and your wallet emptied by ½, voice activate the mirror in your SL9000 to look directly at you.

PAY ATTENTION. It's not that difficult.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LIKE or DISLIKE for our Facebook experience?

By no means are we Social Media experts and at no means are we Facebook experts. We are perspective experts and that is what we do best. And when we look at breaking down 'the most' interactive network every created...we have some thoughts to make your experience a good one. Let us expand. 

Over the past decade, a number of studies & articles have explored how the Social Media giant - Facebook - has impacted psychological and emotional well-being. Some believe that media like Facebook and Twitter offer feelings of greater connectivity to others, increased self-esteem, and decreased loneliness. While there are others suggesting that online socializing elicits insecurity, anger, and envy. Not to mention, replacing important offline ties with family and friends, and creating a subculture of individuals who aren't learning the social graces of eye contact, conversational flow or how to decode non-verbal behaviour. 

It appears, when it comes to Facebook, the key for having a fulfilling and meaningful social media experience seems like it really depends on who you are and what you’re doing online.

Let's break that down. 

  • For some, Facebook is the millennium’s new water cooler. Whether it serves as a way for people to catch up on the latest trends, share milestones, learn about juicy gossip, or live vicariously through the experience of others. Now one doesn't have to keep up with the 'Joneses' because you can keep track of the 'Joneses'. And whether good or bad - these social experiences can make us feel connected to what is going on outside of our direct world but the world of our 'friends'. However, the attraction to this site for these bonding reasons could also elicit negative emotions of feeling left out or question the value of 'our status'. 
  • On the alternative, there are many others using Facebook as a tool for strengthening their identities. A kind of network that links people to other colleagues, businesses, contacts and organizations that share their political, social and community interests, or their career or professional pursuits. As much as it may have been created for the connecting has demonstrated huge success & return being used a free massive marketing platform. 
  • Both very different reasons (and not the only ones) - neither one is 'right' or 'wrong' for why people are using this tool. But it definitely provides enough insight that it is important to understand why we are using it ourselves and how to make it a positive experience vs. the opposite. 
  • Once you have figured out why you are using it...our suggestion is to mentally & emotionally redefine your Facebook experience. If it makes you feel left out to read about others' daily lives or pissed off because of others' posts, consider editing your subscriber list. Want to have more connection? Consider direct messaging than commenting on a community level. If you discover that using Facebook isn’t as valuable a tool for you, bow out. It’s just as cool to bump the trend as it is to be part of a trend.

And last but not least, remember to interact beyond the virtual world. Nothing replaces spending quality time socializing in real time with real people because that will benefit both your social bonding and strengthen the identity or marketing that you are after!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Back to the Future

Recently I was asked to write a note from the "future me" to the "current me" explaining everything I would gain by completing my goal of the Tough Mudder on June 23rd. I didn't know where this was going until I sat down to write it, and then the words just seemed to fill the page, and this is what I had to say:

Dear Me,

I am writing you to let you know everything you’ll gain by completing your goal of competing in the Tough Mudder this June. Well, actually, I am writing to let you know everything you’ll gain by setting goals, and completing them, period. 

Training is like life, and you’ll have to work just as hard as you’ll have to train for this race, for anything that you want. I hate to be the bearer of bad news (especially to myself) but you should know that you will not always win (actually, you’ll rarely win) but that’s how you`ll learn, from failure. If you were perfect you would never have to train. If you had everything, you would never push yourself. Where would the fun (or challenge) be in that?

The truth is, training, like life, will take longer, be harder and more challenging than what you had expected. You will diligently map out your program for training (and life) but I should let you know that life doesn't always go as planned (and neither does training) and you’ll have to go ‘go back to the drawing board’ numerous times. There are going to be days, weeks, months (maybe longer) where you will wonder if you’re any closer to your goal than when you started - you should know two things: (1) You’re always closer than you think you are, and (2) the reward will be worth the failures you’ve suffered through. Trust me.

Last but not least, what letter from the future to the past would be complete without a secret, come close, and I’ll tell you mine. The secret to success is hard work. That's it. Hard work will break those that don’t really want their goals, and help those that do. So, my advice, work hard, and don’t ever stop. 


~ Sasha

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nutritional Guidance

People often ask if we here at IF give nutritional advice. Our answer to them is yes, but NOT UNTIL you have written down EVERYTHING that you eat for 7 days. Next people traditionally ask if we will then give them a diet plan. Let's put this in very simple terms. Diet plans are not an answer to anything; they are a short-term fix for a life-long problem. Being told what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner does not work as a long-term solution. What we need to be able to do is develop healthy habits and choices that work in a variety of contexts. We need our diet to be able to stay relatively healthy in any environment. Because these questions are asked of us so often, it seems important to break this process down.  The first step to changing our diet is as follows:
Create a diet journal handy enough to carry everywhere. Below is an example of what it could look like:


Using a journal like this that tracks the time of day, the type of food, and the mood we are in when we eat that food (this can be anything – happy, sad, bored, tired, stressed, etc…) provides really good information on not only what we are eating, but also when and why. Once our journal has been used for a full 7 days, we are ready to make some changes. Please note that it is VERY important to write EVERYTHING down, not just our healthy choices.
 Now take those 7 days of the journal and go through it for evaluation. Everywhere that we find a food that is “suspect” in terms of how healthy it is put an alternative in that column. Next time we start to eat that item, look first at our alternatives and make a smart choice. An example of this would be “on Friday at 8pm, I ate vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce; my alternative is vanilla frozen yogurt and blueberries” or something to that effect.
The "mood" information can give us very valuable information as to what we eat when we find ourselves in different emotional situations. Do we see a lot of chocolate chip/walnut cookies on the same line with feeling blue or stressed or ignored? Ah, good information. Do we eat less when happy or more? Are we using food to try and alter our emotional state when actually we need to tackle the emotional/psychological problems in another way?  It might also be valuable, whenever we eat, to note whether or not we are actually physically hungry. That often plays right along with our mood at the moment.

Here is the tricky part of changing our diet. When we start into Week 2 of our diet journaling… wait for it… LET'S ACTUALLY MAKE SOME CHANGES. Yes, it seems really straightforward and it is, when it is being written in a blog or thought about in our heads, but, more often than not, people choose to eat things over and over again regardless of how unhealthy they are. When we are making our decisions, we need to always think about the weight gain/nutrition window. You can see the swim up stream blog from May 3rd 2012 ( ) to refresh your memory. Below is a diagram that will illustrate how to use this window. Remember that it is always critical that we keep your nutrient window full without going into the weight gain window.

These are tools that actually can work in assisting us in our diet changes. Let it be perfectly clear, however, these are tools to ASSIST us in our diet changes, they are not a magical stomach staple or potion that makes us gag when you see delicious foods. Cinnamon Toast Crunch will still taste delicious even if we are 100% aware that it is basically cinnamon and sugar- flavored poison. We make our own choices when nobody is around. It is our call if we want to crush a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while lying in bed at midnight. It is also up to us if we want to be healthy and have a working, conditioned body in which to live.

~ Yoshia

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Degenerative contributors.

There’s likely been an argument made by every outgoing generation on the state of affairs of the incoming generation relating to how they do not match up in terms of attitude or aptitude. What’s missed in the blame game is the former’s responsibility for the latter’s conscious and unconscious incompetence. Take the following BIG 3 factors into consideration while evaluating the next gens abilities / disabilities.

  1. technology. By nature the majority of humans are lazy. How we were intended to thrive & survive has been reverse engineered to make that process ‘easier’. This has lent itself to having to do less ‘work’ to achieve the same & greater results and isn't the a fault of the incoming generation as much as it’s a result of current generations creating & implementing ideas without thinking through the long term ramifications. Naturally, if there’s an easier way that requires less effort, we’re going to implement it (and probably would have ‘back then’ as well), lets be honest.
  2. sociology. The methodology  around raising our offspring is largely commerce driven. We ‘must have’ a/b/c and if we want our future scholars / athletes / philosophers / artists etc to ‘gain the advantage’. They must enroll in d, own e, experience f, & pre register for g (as there are only so many spots). If we can’t see through the ‘business’ raising kids, we can find ourselves right in the thick of things which long term leads & feeds into the ‘must have / must do’ consumer mentality. It’s learned. Attempting to run a household counter to the ‘social norm’, is to risk the tyrant label.  
  3. equality. Back in the day, failure to address a peer, coach, or boss appropriately was met with a swift reassurance that it wasn’t ‘cool’. Now, in our never ending quest for equality we’ve flattened the hierarchies in the name of creating level playing fields. Literally, this makes no sense eg: you would not likely substitute a 10 year old football player into a Sunday NFL game because he had a baseline knowledge of the game or felt they deserved to play. There’s a process he /she would have to go through that would take years of commitment and that process should be the same in any social capacity if we intend on maintaining the integrity of the game of life.
This could go on, but the overall point is before we look to blame the next generation for their impact (or lack thereof) on the world, we need to take responsibility for our role in shaping their behavior.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2 words.

I originally wanted to write you a letter about why you’re a great friend and saturate it with all the generic reasons and anecdotes, but I’m not going to do that because I might as well send a Hallmark card if that is what you were going to receive. 
Instead, I am going to take the time to THANK YOU for being the person that you are, for the person you have been to me, and for all of the perspective, lessons and experience that you have provided in my life. Because in a day & age that we classify our 'friends' as the number of people we have on our facebook account, you are more than just a number. 
Thank you...
  • for being consistently there, whether it be good times as we are slamming back a beer or during tough times when things are rough - it was never about being the flavour of the month as there was an underlying understanding that we were in for the long haul. 
  • for being equally committed. Not one foot in, but two. Not for one month, but for years. Knowing that you would scratch my back when it was itchy and I would do the same when it was time. 
  • for being able to be honest, upfront, and direct with what your thoughts are. Few people have the ability to look at you in the eyes and say it face to face...let alone on the phone anymore. It's behind a computer at most - if they say something at all. 
  • for accepting (but more importantly appreciating) our differences and making the most of those. Whether it is age, interests, work environment, life realities (ie. kids & family), or upbringing - we have been able to see through this and value the perspective that those differences bring. 
  • for believing in me when I was too weak and exhausted to believe in myself. It's those moments that bring you back to reality and pick you up from an area where no one wants to be. 
  • for pushing me and challenging me to be better than I was yesterday. Not only bringing the best out of me but encouraging me to even be better.
  • for not judging me when I did something that was irrational or not appropriate but also thanks for telling me I was an idiot and probably shouldn’t have done those stupid things. That's your honesty. 
  • for being genuinely concerned with the outcome of my life and always listening, even when you’re tired or focused on your life's challenges. 
Thank you for being you. For being more than a number. For being a part of a select few. Thank you for being a friend. 

Last but not least...

All I ask is to please pay it forward and thank your close friends (not including me) for what they have provided to you in your life - you'll be amazed on how far it goes! 

And thank you in advance for doing that. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

No More DRAMA.

We simply cannot ignore the pervasive attitude society has taken towards blowing things waaayyyy out of proportion before we think of arriving at an intelligent decision at how to curtail the nonsense. We must step outside our ‘short term thinking’ paradigm and understand the universe would be an incredibly simple & enjoyable place to reside if it were not for the human propensity to screw it up.

The following are three easy steps to keep drama at arms length from yourself, hence… make your life easier.

1. Step off your pedestal from time to time and look at what’s happening around you.

Many of us are too wrapped up in our personal journey's to realize the realities of the world depend on co-existence. Lack of education has a strong hand in this as we are being slowly brainwashed through the 'branding of the self' to believe that we must get somewhere else, at the expense of something / one else. Have we heard from anyone who's arrived 'there'? Do we want to be like them? As the 'me vs. we gap' widens, and the opportunity to socialize decreases, we will produce even more introverts and that is not healthy. Life is meant to function through a collaboration between species living together in a natural balance. Thinking we are more important than we are, distances us from reality while taking ourselves off that pedestal enables us to remain where we belong.... with each other. When we finally realize that we are not that different or special (we are ALL salespeople), we will gather a comparative perspective that we need.

We all have situations, issues and baggage to deal with (minor, significant, personal & professional). We also need to decrease the time spent analyzing and talking about them with people who can't help us and share them with people that can. Start the process by putting your life in perspective. Find out the behaviors your like about you and those you don't. Trace the origin of both. In the case of undesirable behavior, confront the problem or recognize the reasons - deal with them… and then move the hell on. Break the cycle of wallowing in self-pity and wondering 'why oh why' we were dealt the hand we have. This thinking perpetuates personal drama. Getting a shitty hand is one thing, keeping it is another and there is no mystery as to why truly successful people (by any right) focus on the solutions rather than the problems. Speedy results.

2. Establish a base set of positive principles for yourself and don’t deviate from your formula.

Set some time for introspection and find out what matters to you, void of anyone else’s ‘agreements’. When you set personal parameters for tolerance, attitude & outlook, you will find yourself amongst like - minded thinkers while withdrawing from those on a different plan. This is great and can be looked at as a personal mantra or house rules.

These rules can be flexible and adaptable to change at any point along the road. The trick is to avoid the webs of drama, strategically placed to snare you by insecure, low esteemed co-habitants who need someone to a) validate their shitty outlook or b) commiserate with. We must create better systems for developing self - esteem throughout all ages of our society in a hurry. If we are removing things like sports, team and group interaction and promoting ‘me’, this will cripple our children’s ability to facilitate and co-operate. The fact that so few of us are hesitant to try new things, as we get older is a testament to buying into someone else’s s dramatization of that event. Again, this is learned and not innate. Resisting the temptation to be herded into our pre destined echelons and do what we ultimately want to do, with a high degree of responsibility will keep us ‘open’ to experiencing those things that contribute to our growth. In the event you do feel yourself being dragged down the path of negativity, throw down the anchors (fast) and get back on your positive plan. There is too much negativity distributed throughout our daily lives, which needs to be balanced with a positive people, on purposeful plans. This starts with you. The reality is that it is a simple choice btw both attitudes.

3. Avoid information outlets designed to profit from dramatization.

Television should consist of three channels, education (learning, documentary, history, discovery), sports, and news (good news). when you pump c.n.n (continually negative news) to people don't be surprised when the little boy (lacking the same esteem & attention) see's the results of a school shooting (and a boy he can identify with) and pick's up a gun. When we celebrate the bachelor, the survivor, the temptation, the blind date and the american idol, we are in effect endorsing stupidity. All shows are created with an angle to make them interesting and dubbed ‘reality television’. Are we ‘real-ity’ that ignorant? No we are not and they are not interesting. Bombard the public with negative, berating, cynical garbage and they will become a mass of nay saying, classless, poor attitude skeptics. There is no mystery surrounding that correlation. We don’t need to launch a study. We do need to surround our children and ourselves with positivity at every opportunity and if television has become the medium of exercise for the minds, it is even more important to make the appropriate selections. Similarly magazines and newsprint must clean up their acts.

Preying on one of humans worse traits 'fascination with disaster', they feed us exactly what we want: death, destruction, failure and suck us in through fear. 'buy this and you will be safe', 'don't do this and you won't die' all.. Ironically in the same issue articles entitled 'we have to put a stop to bullying' & ' dictatorship is not an option' are endorsed. Are we noticing the irony? We must start relaying literature that fosters hope, light and positivism and control the amount of drama we let flow into our space through our chosen information outlets.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Take Five & Go Walk Your Talk!

Instead of taking your dog for a walk - why not take your 'talk' for a walk?
In business and in life, there are many individuals and organizations that have seem to have forgotten the simple concept of walking the talk, or in other words - DOing what they say they are going to DO. 
Instead, we live in a daily environment of broken promises, unfulfilled statements, excuses, blaming and even outright lies. 
Let's lay out the foundation of this simple concept. 

Walking the Talk

The “talk” is what you say you are going to do.
The “walk” is what you ACTUALLY do.
People love to talk the walk.
They love to tell you what they are going to do.
However, when it comes to actually doing, there are many people that don't have the discipline or ability to walk the talk. To do what they said they would.
Whether it is an obstacle of ability, time management, relentless pursuit, or simply the ability to follow through - the lack of credibility is incredible. 
And yes, it's not always easy. We leave that for talking. Talking is easy. Doing is hard. And doing what you said you were going to harder still. 
Now that we have got that across, let's aim to add solutions to the problem. 
Here are some tips to help you walk your talk:
  1. Doing Instead of Talking - There is a time for talking, and a time for doing. Make sure you know where one stops and the other begins. Doing something now, is almost always better than doing nothing.
  2. Say No – Instead of making a promise that you know you’re not going to keep, say “No” at the outset. This applies to the promises we make to ourselves, as well as others. Don’t make a promise that you know you can’t or won’t keep. In addition, don't make a promise that is (a) out of your complete control or (b) dependent on others - because you risk your ability to follow through. 
  3. Consider Your Reputation – In business (and for the most part in life), our reputation impacts future opportunity. Do people view you as reliable? Do they know and expect that you will do what you say? Your actions determine how others view you and ultimately how they ay treat you or provide to you in future scenarios or situations.
  4. Don’t Lie to Yourself – We often think the act of lying to ourselves is harmless. After all, we are not hurting anyone else. That is a shortsighted view. Your impact on yourself inevitably affects those around you. This is true at work, at home, and in your community.
  5. Broken Promises – This is lying to others. Don’t do it. Once you start, it is hard to stop. Often people, and more often companies, don’t think that others will notice their unfulfilled promises. Nothing could be further from the truth. Others may not be telling you about your broken promises but they are aware. 
  6. You can CHANGE Your Talk - Often, people feel trapped by their statements. They say one thing and then circumstances change. That is OK. You can change your “talk.” The important thing is that you have to communicate along the way with the people that are affected.
If we could give one piece of advice for the generation that is coming into the workforce today, it would be to 'walk your talk'. And although it sounds simple, few have mastered it. If you can master the art of doing what you say you are going to do, we can almost guarantee that opportunities will land on your lap more often than not.

It's like having a house party. You wouldn't invite people back if they came, took, destroyed, or caused issues. So, why would you invite them back (in work or personal settings) if they demonstrated to you that they might not be the right fit for the job? 

That said, take 5mins and go walk your talk.