Your Life is a Choice

Choose Wisely

 
Jack WhitingLRNot long ago, we celebrated my father-in- law’s 80th birthday in Boston.  A successful businessman who’s mostly retired, he’s a vital, vibrant man who has chosen to live life on his terms.  He plays tennis several times a week, square dances regularly and participates fully in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He has a keen mind, a loving heart, a positive attitude and is an inspiration to me and so many others. 
 
In contrast, I recently met a woman who has chosen to be miserable.  She focuses on the negative, consistently.  As we discussed families and I shared that my father had passed away a few years ago, she declared vehemently that whatever I had gone through, her experience was 10 times worse.  I wasn’t aware that is was a competition. How sad.  My heart went out to her, because she was so attached to her drama and negativity.
 
We can all get caught up in our drama and problems.  But is that truly where you want to put your focus?  What you focus on, you create more of.  I would rather create more joy, success, love and peace.  How about you?
 
“To win or lose,
To love or hate,
To try or quit,
To risk or withdraw,
To accelerate or hesitate,
To dream or stagnate,
To open or close,
To succeed or fail,
To live or die.
Everyone of these starts with a CHOICE.”

Snowden McFall

 

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The Power of Hope

Transform Your Life with Hope

Making Hope Happen- blog by Snowden McFall, stress speaker
 “Hope matters. Hope is a choice,  Hope can be learned. 
                      Hope can be shared with others.”
                        Shane Lopez, Psychologist

The author of this book, Dr. Shane Lopez,  is a leading researcher on hope, and a Gallup Senior Scientist. He believes strongly in the power of hope, as he personally recovered from West Nile Virus and almost died. The hope his wife instilled in him during his illness is what led to his recovery during extreme pain. She continually described wonderful places they would travel, great vacations they would take, and the impact they would have on others.  It worked- he recovered and they visited all those places.

“How we think about the future-how we hope- determines how well we live our lives,” he says.

Hope is much more than optimism. Shane says optimism is an attitude, while hope is belief plus action. Hopeful students achieve higher grades than students with same IQ but less hope. Workers with hope are more productive by an hour a day, than their non-hopeful co-workers.

Hope is linked directly to a sense of meaning in life, which we know from Harvard research is directly tied to human happiness.

What do you want to hope for in 2014? How will you tie the belief that you can succeed to positive action?  What is your fondest hope?

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Are Entrepreneurs Optimists?

busman victoryLRLoving What You Do Makes
All the Difference

A new report from Gallup shows that
entrepreneurs are more optimistic
about the future than regular workers.
They also have somewhat more stress and
worry than non self-employed people.
But unquestionably , their optimism
wins out.  30% of those inthe study
imagine they will enjoy “their best
possible life” in 5 years.
Only 25% of workers felt that way.

Part of the reason for entrepreneurial optimism and positive expectancy is that they
love what they do. Going to work every day to do some.thing they are excited about
makes all the difference. Also entrepreneurs are constantly learning and growing,
key components for happiness.

Optimists also sell 56% more than pessimists and live 7 years longer, according to
a Yale University study.

Isn’t time you started thinking more positively? Optimism is a 75% learned trait, so
in every situation, start looking at the bright side.  What can you learn from the situation? What good connections, contacts, opportunities arose?

 

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here http://firedupnow.com/top20tips/

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The Six Words that Can Change Your Life

What Are Your Six Words?

chargebkcoverThere’s a great exercise in Brendon Burchard’s book, The Charge, that can have a big impact on your life and your year. It’s called six words.

A. List all the words to describe the way you think of yourself

B. Pick 3 to make as your goal this year as to how you want to be

C. List all the words that describe how you interact with others

D. Pick the top 3 to serve as your goal this year as to how you want to be with others

This is very powerful.  Once you have them, bring them to mind daily to determine how you are doing.  Check in with yourself at night to see how well you are living those six words. How is your life changing? For me, my top six are fit, effective and expansive and with others, my three are loving, accepting and empowering.

Let me know what the magic six words are for you  at orders@firedupnow.com

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©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

 
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Start the Year with the End in Mind

Fired Up fireworksIt’s now 2013.  For just a moment, pretend it’s New Year’s Eve 2013 and you are looking back over your year.  What great successes have you had?  What new relationships?  What have you accomplished that was truly meaningful for you?

Start your year with the end in mind.  How do you want your life to be?

• physically- healthy, fit and strong?

• emotionally- joy and happiness in life and your relationships? positive outlook?

• spiritually- peace and well-being, connection to something greater?

• financially- abundant, prosperous, generous, free?

• mentally- stimulated, challenged, creative, open?

Add in the words that are right for you and make a plan to create that in your life.
People who have written goals are far more successful than those who don’t. Give some serious consideration to what is important to you and make plans to achieve that.  You can do it- you have infinite skills, talents and resources. 

 

©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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More Vacation Days = Better Productivity

More Time Off  Means Better, Happier, Healthier Workers

Did you know that if women aged 45-64 took two weeks of vacation a year, they would cut the incidence of heart attacks in half!  That’s right, the simple act of going on vacation can save your life. (Boston College study)

Exhausted woman from Stress Express!According to Expedia, 34% of employed Americans  return from vacation feeling better about their jobs and are even more productive.  53% say they come back feeling rested and rejuvenated.

At Red Frog, the CEO gives his employees unlimited time off.  That’s right- unlimited time off.  And it’s never abused or taken for granted.  Because more time off means greater productivity.  You have time to recharge and renew; creativity abounds and you return to work with a good attitude, ready to take on challenges.

In 2011, 70% did not take all their allotted vacation time.  Managers: take note- this is not a good idea. Encourage your people to take all their time off, and consider giving them more.  You may just find you have even greater success and better results.

 ©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference

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The Abundance Mindset

Are You Living with a Poverty Consciousness?

Glass of water from Stress ExpressHave you ever been around a large family that did not have much money but was filled with joy and love? They feel blessed, and  have a wonderful attitude of gratitude that people with far less money have.  It’s not that they don’t have financial worries like everyone else, it’s where they choose to put their focus. It’s called an Abundance Mindset.

This mindset starts out with gratitude for all the blessings in your life, all the good things.  It focuses on love and joy, and the wealth of the gifts in your life, rather than lack.  In contrast is a poverty consciousness, where no matter how much you have materially, you feel poor or afraid that you will lose it all.  Often those people expect the worst and they get it, because that’s where they put their attention.

What about you?  Where do you put your attention?  Are you aware and thankful for all the many gifts and talents you have, the wonderful people in your life, the shelter, clothing and food you have?  How about the work you do that you get paid for when so many others are out of work?  How can you change the way you look at your life to recognize the wealth that is already present and attract in even more?  It’s all in your mindset.  Choose abundance and gratitude, make that your daily intention and see what manifests in your life.

 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
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What is Your Legacy?

You Never Know What Will Happen

Me and Cinderella

I was out of the country this past week on vacation and returned home to two sad events. Cinderella Hubbard,  (yes that was her real name) the woman who raised me, has passed away at age 93 after battling dementia.  She was an amazing person who made a huge difference in my life.  Cindy’s goodness, loving, wisdom and values shaped my life in so many ways and I will never forget her. For a little girl with a dying mother, she provided the solid rock of love, faith and strength that I needed so much.  She touched so many lives, especially at her church, where she was the oldest living member and the kindest.  They called her ‘Aunt Cindy’.
More shocking was the sudden and tragic death of Denai Vaughn, a newer friend and fellow speaker.  Killed in a car accident at the age of 37, Denai left behind a doting husband and young daughter, and a legion of fans.

Debbie, Snowden and Denai Oct 7,2011

Denai and I had one of those instant heart connections. We had a great deal in common, including a passion for making a difference.  Her exuberant, joyful personality and friendly open approach drew people in.  There’s no surprise she was the Networking Queen.

Both of these women touched so many lives by the essence of who they were. They were kind and caring, filled with the joy of life, and shared themselves generously, leaving a legacy of love and gratitude for all who knew them.

What is your legacy?  How do you want to be remembered? What will people think of after you have gone? Give some thought to what you are leaving behind and what you want to be known for. You never know when your time is up, so be grateful for every moment.  I know I am grateful to have known these two extraordinary women. They blessed my life.  How will you bless others?

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
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Stress Express Tip: Get Lost in Someone Else’s Life

Relieve Your Stress by Being  Present in the Moment

When your life is too much to take, whether from business pressure or challenges at home, go visit a friend and be totally present for them.  Spend time helping prepare a meal, rebuilding a shed, playing with their children or pets- step into their lives for a day.

I did this when I went out of town to lead a stress management program.  A  friend of mine kindly let me stay at her home.

Giggling, bouncing 7 and 9 year old girls greeted me along with a very friendly golden retriever and a clever black and white cat. ( This cat can open doors by turning the doorknob!) They wanted to connect with me and I enjoyed meeting and learning more about them.  I forgot everything else in my life, came present and just enjoyed the moment.  And as I drove off to “Reignite the Fire” of others, I realized I had not thought about my life, my work or anything else but my friend and her family for several hours.  Refreshing & revitalizing!

 

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 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication 
or reprinting without permission and author reference.
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Get People Fired Up by Expressing Gratitude

Praise Others and Say Thank You

According to the US. Department of Labor, 46% of all people who quit do so because they felt they are not appreciated for the work they do. According to James Howard, 92% of workers say that when they finish a project, their supervisors say NOTHING!  88% of American workers never get a thank you for the work they do.

Thank you notes keep employees Fired Up!Now obviously, you are not that kind of leader or manager, but this data speaks to the very real need for positive feedback, often and in writing. Employees need to know you value their ideas and work.  Be sure to be specific about what they did and let them know you value them.  A simple quick praise on a post-it note, a hand-written card, or a laudatory email sent and copied to others make a big difference.  A $5 Starbucks card has big impact.  Stock up on small items your people value and use them often.  In this day of tough economies, you might not be able to give them a raise, but you can give them a well deserved thank-you.

Make it part of your internal retention strategy to actively acknowledge others’ efforts. The rewards will be substantial.

 

 ©2011 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication
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