Do You Have Gratitude?

Gratitude is the common thread that runs through Americans for the next couple of weeks. It should be all year long! As I observe the blessings of living in Southern California where today it’s 75 degrees and sunny, I began to think about how much gratitude I have for life. As other’s do this week and next, I started to make a mental list of things I appreciate and try not to take for granted. There are simple things such as good health, family, love, and friends. There is a roof over my head, and food in my kitchen. My little dog Laci, rubs up against my leg with affection, knowing that she is unconditionally loved, and loves back the same way.

Read More

Want to design a joyful 2010? Here’s a couple of tips....

New Years

I am thrilled to have a wonderful friend and colleague like Michele Lando!  I often refer to her as "the most articulate person I have ever met"!  She is an expert in so many areas, and has helped me numerous times with my branding and communications.  So, I am most excited to share with all of you her latest article on getting a head start on 2010!  I know we're all caught up in the holidays, but remember 2010 is only a few weeks away.  No matter if you're a student or adult, these handy hints are for all of us! Tish

After the decorations, celebrations and communion with family and friends, Monday morning will reappear.

My holiday gift to each of you: a few tips from the IndiBrand™ Individual Branding Workshop series.

Even in this economy. There is much to be grateful for:

The future is the present moving forward constantly. This means that whatever you envision for your future is being impacted by your choices right now—this very minute—and the next, and the next, and the next.

The future is connected to your present (which has just this instant become your past). As you consider what you want 2010 to be like for you, engage all of your senses. What do you want it to smell like? Taste like? Look like? Sound like? And feel like? The more visceral your imagination of your future, the more real it becomes and the easier it is to make choices in this instant and the next that truly support your goals for your future!

When I am considering my future I make sure I am specific and engage each of my senses across multiple areas of my life. Like good marketing, the more targeted I am in my focus on each area of my life, the more impactful my connection to it is! The more likely I will actually create it, and the more joy I experience in all areas of my life as a result. Following are some of the focus areas for my future. What are yours?

  • Social: Relationships with family, friends, organizations
  • Spiritual: Practicing faith, prayer, self-exploration and development, awareness of others.
  • Romance: Husband, travel, celebrations
  • Creative: Writing, music, ideation
  • Health: Exercise, yoga, quiet time, food prep, breathing
  • Professional: Contribution, self-growth, mentoring, learning
  • Financial: Abundance, philanthropy, saving, planning, insurances, spending
  • Play: Silliness, laughter, light-heartedness, outings, new experiences

There is always room for changing one’s vision. Don’t let your fear of commitment or your belief that you cannot control what the future holds, or anything else, get in your way. It’s the distinction between making choices that lead to something that fulfills you or not.

Author: Michele Lando, president of Skilset Communications, Inc., and author of the internationally acclaimed IndiBrand™ Individual Branding workshop series. To reproduce any portion of this article, you may write or phone 626-792-0032.

So, you want to communicate with your teenager?

CB002708

Are you a lucky parent raising a teenager in today’s world? Pretty scary! We all want our kids to like us. We know they love us, but liking us is another thing entirely. We want communication open and flowing – how do we make this happen?

Does this sound familiar?

You: “How was school?”

Teen:  “Fine.”

You: “What did you do today?”

Teen: “Nothing.”

When was the last time you spent some one on one time with your teen?  How can you have a good relationship with your teenager? Nothing takes the place of getting involved and interested in your teen’s life. We often think of quality time for very young children, but this term still applies when they are teenagers. We forget about it because they’ve seemingly reached that age of “not wanting to be seen with us.”

It’s really the quality of time, not the quantity.  It may take a bit of work to figure out the best way to do this, but trust me, it’s worth it!  What do you think they might say if you asked them to teach YOU something that they’re good at?  Ask them to teach you the “quirks” of texting so that you can communicate with them on their terms.  Ask them what they like best about what they’re studying and YOU study up on that subject so that you have another commonality.  Take walks, hike, bike, attend art, music or dance classes, etc.  Make sure it’s their choice of activity.  Don’t go to the movies unless you both commit to 15-30 minutes of discussion of the movie once it’s over.  The object of this exercise is to communicate, not be entertained.

Do you really Listen to them?

Always pay really close attention to what your teens are saying to you.  Look them straight in the eyes and let them know you care about what they are saying!  When they realize you’re really interested, they typically will let go and really talk to you.  You’ve got to be prepared to stop what you’re doing and listen if they want to talk.  They want to share something with you!  How cool is that?  Isn’t this what we’re striving for?

Everyone has ridiculous schedules in today’s world.  Finding family time can also be difficult, but to keep communication open, you have to make the time.  Meals are a terrific place to start. Try to have at least one if not more sit-down family meals per week. Find a common topic for conversation, and let the family know ahead of time so that everyone can find a tidbit or two to add to the conversation.

Now here’s the glitch – even if you don’t agree with their opinions, find a way to listen, really listen to theirs.  This can be a difficult task, as it can be hard to really listen when all you want to do is tell them your opinion about something with which you don't agree. Whatever you do – Don’t judge them!  It may be best to admit there is a disagreement  and postpone the discussion until you can calm down and be rational.  Then you can go back and say something like, “I’m not sure I agree with all you said, and there are some things I don’t understand.  Let me think about this and we’ll pick it up tomorrow night at dinner.”  By setting a deadline for the conversation, you are acknowledging the importance of their opinion to you, and they will come back to finish up.  Isn’t communication the goal?