Posts Tagged ‘radio’

WHY YOU NEED TO CHANGE

People become defensive at the thought of someone telling them or implying that they must change. “I am who I am; take it or leave it” is often the response. “I’m not changing for anyone. Except me for who I am or don’t be in my life.” While many view these comments as signs of self-confidence – that one does not rely on the approval of others to determine their worth or that they are perfectly content with themselves exactly as they are – in truth this attitude is typically a cover-up for fear. “If I change then I am admitting there is something wrong with me. If I change, then others are controlling who I am and/or dictating who I become.” Neither option is appealing but rather quite disturbing. To admit one’s flaws can further damage one’s compromised sense of self. Giving in to the demands of others relinquishes one’s free will (freedom of choice) to another. Yet if we examine the need to change who we are in greater detail, we’ll see that neither need be the case.

First, let me state that we all need to change. Just as we periodically change our clothing when it no longer fits or becomes frayed or soiled, we also need to occasionally amend such things as our belief systems, methods of performing certain tasks, our ways of thinking or how we experience the world. Yet change without confidence in self is extremely difficult. One would not embark on a new career if they did not feel secure that they were qualified to do their new job well and/or that the switch would ultimately be beneficial to them. One must believe undeniably in their own abilities and fortitude before comfortably engaging in any life adjustments.

Secondly, it is important to note that before making any alterations in one’s self, one must fully know who they are. You are God’s sacred child, an expression of His Love manifest in physical form. The very nature of who you are is love: kindness, compassion, courage, forgiveness, justice, generosity, and so on. This is the you that you need to know intimately. Understand, too, that one is unable to change their intrinsic self. Like the color of your eyes, who you are is preordained by the Almighty and will remain intact for the duration of your existence. And it need not change for it is perfection in (human) form.

Thirdly, like your clothing or hairstyle, what needs to change from time to time are your attitudes and actions – the way you think and behave. Keep in mind that both of these are learned and serve a purpose in the moment. Keep in mind, too, that negative attitudes and like actions lead to difficulties in life. When we entertain positive thoughts they are followed by positive behaves as well and we reap the rewards of our choices.

Those attitudes and actions that need modification (or elimination) are those that do not support one’s authentic self. When we don’t outwardly express our true nature we create internal conflict for ourselves (“I’m a nice guy but I sometimes treat others poorly.”) We deceive ourselves by not acknowledging that our actions do not accurately reflect the goodness of who we are. There are times, too, when we recognize the contradiction but feel powerless over it. “Why am I hesitant to speak up? I’m not afraid of what others may think of me.” This leads to internal discontent and stress.

Our incongruent actions also cause confusion for those we are interacting with. They cannot fully know who we are if in fact we are acting out in a contradictory manner (being hurtful, sarcastic, lazy, mean-spirited, etc.) when they have already witnessed the goodness within us. This makes them question our trustworthiness, not knowing when we will contradict our nature with opposite behaviors. Lack of trust weakens the very foundation of any relationship and impedes its ability to grow and survive. If I am an intelligent person but I make ignorant choices, or give little regard to the decisions I make, then others begin to doubt my judgment, and my reputation as well as my relationship with them suffers.

Fourthly, the willingness to change means one is accepting enough of themselves to realize they need improvement in certain aspects of their life; that they are not fully comfortable of the way they are living; that they are a proverbial work in progress and are continually seeking to grow and improve. Like a worker who takes continuing education classes to always be up on the latest changes in their field so that they can be the best employee on the job, so is this same approach necessary to succeed in life. Someone once said, “Be content with what you have but never be content with who you are.”
In truth, we are continually modifying our behaviors in many different circumstances. A casual dresser wears formal attire to the wedding of a best friend as requested by the bride and groom; one who is shy takes command of the stage when performing; one who readily speaks their mind remains silent in order to protect someone’s feelings. We do this subconsciously without hesitation. Therefore the real issue is not so much a resistance to change but rather when it appears at the request or demand of another.

Fifthly, changing for others can be an indication of concern for their well-being. We speak to adults in one particular way yet if we encounter someone with a hearing impairment or a learning disability, we adjust how we interact with them by making certain that we speak in a way they can relate to. If my husband requests that I take my shoes off before entering the house so that I don’t track pollen in on my shoes that could cause him respiratory distress, as a loving wife I would gladly accommodate him. He is not asking that I change who I am but rather that I modify my actions in order to make life more comfortable for him. And if I asked him to be a little more quiet around the house from time to time rather than always expressing the boisterous person he is, I would hope that his love for me is great enough to do so. Call it love or concern or consideration or respect: life is a series of interactions with others and the more thoughtfulness we extend to others the easier our relationships, and ultimately our lives, will be. Of course, all of these requests and adjustments must be fair and reasonable.

Resistance to change causes the same rigidity that can make a stiff tree snap in a strong wind. Those that are willing to bend to accommodate the wind remain intact. Humans who adopt an attitude that they will not change for anyone are fearful of relinquishing who they are for the satisfaction of another. Resistance to change in general can be an indication of one who lives in denial of their unhealthy attitudes, actions, lifestyles, relationships and so on. Low self esteem prevents them from recognizing their imperfections and lack of courage or self-love prevents them from making the necessary improvements.

Even though we deny it, we all expect others to change for us in some way, shape or form. Spouses must be willing to accommodate their partner’s needs; family members must take into consideration what matters to other members and make the necessary adjustments (such as in meal preparations); coworkers need to modify the way they speak with and interact with others on the job to be more professional, and so on. The willingness to put another’s preferences above our own when necessary is thoughtful, courageous, respectful, and unselfish. Those are the very characteristics that we all seek in friendships, intimate relationships, and those we work with and interact with socially. Therefore we must be willing to extend those courteousies to others first.

Again, I am not suggesting one changes who they are intrinsically for in that regard we are all perfect. I am recommending that changing one’s attitudes and actions are not only necessary but vital to one’s success in life. Remember, too, that authentic change must be voluntary. Forced change is coercion or compliance and will never be lasting nor create a healthy, happy life.

Never settle for being the way you act; always seeking to learn, to grow, and to improve so that you may have the life God created you to have. When your outward attitudes and actions align with your intrinsic nature you will find inner peace and contentment.

“A bad attitude is like a flat tire: if you don’t change it you won’t get very far in life.”

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GOOD L~U~C DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE

Last week, I spoke before a group of business professionals about dealing with difficult people. It seems that no matter where we are in life, whether at home with our families, in social settings, at work, or just out and about, we encounter challenging and obnoxious people. The first issue we must identify, however, is who the insufferable person is. Look in the mirror. Is the reflection one that others would label demanding, obstinate, stubborn, unmanageable or irritable? While it is not always easy to recognize our own imperfections, it is absolutely critical that we do so first. For if in fact, we are the one who is creating the difficulty, then a simple adjustment on our part can alleviate the problem and enable greater ease and cooperation with others. Remember Ghandi’s words: “I must first be the change I want to see in others.” If you are uncertain as to whether or not the issue is you, ask others for their assessment and input. Then listen open-mindedly to their response.

Having established that you are indeed the thoughtful and cooperative person, you realize that you seem to be a magnet for problematic people. Argumentative, stubborn, demanding, arrogant – whatever the nature of their behaviors – sometimes we are obliged to interact with them and do not have the option of disengaging. In such cases, is there a way we can collaborate with them that will make matters easier for all parties? Absolutely. It just takes a bit of Good L~U~C.

1. Listen. Very often, those who test our limits do so because they feel unimportant and are seeking recognition. Every human being desires to be heard, to have someone willing to listen to what they have to say. Whether it’s an opinion, feelings, sharing a dream or goal, discussing a regret from the past, or any other matter, genuine, undivided, from-the-heart listening sends a powerful message to the other party that they matter.

Time is one of our greatest commodities; it is one of the ways we measure what matters most to us. We make time for the people and activities that hold the greatest importance to us. Taking precious time away from a task, another person or even ourselves in order to hear what someone has to say lets them know that in that instant nothing matters more to us than they do. Being heard validates their worth. (Time is money; time is valuable. Therefore, if I give you my time it’s because you are important to me.) This simple act has unlimited benefits to all parties. It can boost a person’s self-esteem, bond both parties long after the experience is complete, offer an opportunity to practice selfless giving and concern, fosters mutual respect, alleviates stress, depression, anger, frustration, loneliness, feelings of isolation, and more. It hones our communication skills, promotes compassion and empathy, builds healthy relationships, and overall makes both parties feel good.
Listen with the intent to understand, not to respond.

2. Understand. In addition to being heard, all humans crave being understood. Listening to learn the facts about a person or issues is a far cry from fully understanding the nature of the matter or how it impacts the other party. Too often, we only listen half-heartedly. Our minds are divided between the person speaking and another interest. We hear their words and may understand intellectually what they are saying. But true understanding goes far beyond that – it also involves empathy, the ability to feel what the other person is experiencing.

In my “15 Minute Conflict Resolution Solution” training that I provide to corporations, I spend a significant amount of time on communication strategies. One of the most profound is something I call “Heart/Brain Communication”. It goes beyond the intellectual understanding of facts and figures and introduces the element of compassion, the ability to feel the feelings of the speaker along with a strong desire to alleviate any suffering they may be experiencing. This brings communication and understanding to a much deeper more personal level. This is what all of us seek.

Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying: understanding facts is critically important as well. So often, when people discuss an issue there is clearly a lack of knowing the specifics of what is being said. Misunderstandings, miscommunication, being vague or ambiguous leads to frustration, increased levels of stress, arguing, possible accusations and false judgments, aggravation, yelling, hurt feelings, and ultimately a breakdown in the relationship. Each of these elements leads to a distrust based not on a person’s deceitfulness but on a lack of clear communication masquerading as dishonesty or lies. Listen to understand on a factual level as well as an emotional one.

3. Cooperate and Compromise. When a lack of trust is not forthcoming in a relationship, whether warranted or imagined, people oftentimes become stubborn, arrogant, or difficult as a means of self-protection. Whether protecting their integrity, their feelings, needs, desires or wishes, their opinions or actions, people do so when they don’t feel safe in the other person’s company. By that I mean, they must know unequivocally and believe fully that they will not be ridiculed or criticized, that their well-being is of great importance to the other one, and that they will not be cheated or betrayed but rather treated fairly and with respect. Once a trust is established, they will naturally become more relaxed and cooperative.

One of the easiest and quickest ways of building trust is by being accommodating from the get go. Search for ways of working with them in a supportive role. Offer to be helpful whenever possible. Be willing to peacefully and respectfully negotiate whatever issue is before you agreeing to make whatever adjustments are possible in order to accommodate their needs and desires. Express your concern for their happiness and well-being verbally and follow through in your actions. Remember, too, that trust is built on integrity and promises kept. One indiscretion or broken promise can completely destroy that trust and it can take a long time to rebuild.

Compromise is another important component of cooperation. Again, people can be difficult due to latent fears they harbor that dictate they will not be treated fairly, that somehow their needs will be considered less important than others or hold no value at all. Making sure that their needs are addressed and fulfilled early on alleviates their concerns and the need to resist or to be defensive. “It is in giving that you shall receive.” Give a little upfront and you will receive their respect, trust, and support in return.

Depending on the nature of the relationship and the issues at hand, on some occasions it is perfectly acceptable to simply walk away from the difficult party and let things work themselves out. In other circumstances one must address the individual and find a way of getting along as best as possible. Don’t necessarily take the easy way out but know when it’s best to stay and when it’s best to walk away.

Remember, “The only way to defeat your adversary is by making him your ally. And you can do so with a little Good L~U~C: Listen, Understand, Cooperate and Compromise.” So Good L~U~C to all of you!

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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ROAD RAGE: A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH

Recently, I’ve been driving into NY City to do mediations for a large clothing manufacture on Madison Ave. I used to teach classes at the Learning Annex and some of my son’s doctor’s were in the city as well. However, it’s been awhile and as incomprehensible as it may sound, NY has become even more congested than I remember. Along with additional vehicles, bikers, pedestrians, city workers and delivery trucks comes added frustration, impatience, anger, and rage. Whether in the heart of Manhattan, one of its suburbs, or major highways or bridges, our roadways have become even more dangerous to traverse than in prior years. Along with excessive speed and distracted drivers, aggressive driving has become the norm. We have all witnessed or personally experienced road rage and some have even engaged in it. Regardless of your level of involvement, road rage poses a serious threat to everyone and has proven to be deadly as well.

Stats: According to AutoAdvantage.com the cities with the most number of aggressive drivers are Miami, NY City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Statistically young men are the most prone to road rage. A whopping 56% of men surveyed said they feel more rage on a daily basis verses only 44% of women and are more likely to act it out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94% of all accidents are caused by driver error and of those accidents, 33% are linked to behaviors assigned to road rage. In the1990’s AAA found that aggressive driving was linked to 218 deaths and shockingly that number has been rising by 7% each year. Half of all drivers subjected to another driver’s anger admitted to retaliating. Tragically, injury or death can occur even after the incident on the road is over. Drivers have been known to continue their anger even after the initial incident has concluded.

Triggers: the most frequent triggers of anger behind the wheel are being cut off, driving slow in the left lane, tailgating, flashing lights, rude gestures, stop and go traffic, failure to signal, careless/reckless driving such as speeding, weaving or frequent land changes, and excessive use of horn.
Be aware that if these incidences trigger anger in you, they will do the same to others drivers should you engage in them. Remember to be courteous to others as you would want them to be to you.

Causes: As with all anger or rage (intense anger), there are many triggers but only three root causes: hurt, fear, or frustration. Many who become enraged feel disrespected by those who engage in rude driving. This is actually an indication of being hurt. To disrespect means to devalue – one feels as though they are less important (in the eyes of the offender) than others are. Very often they feel targeted and personalize the other driver’s bad judgment. Keep in mind that their behaviors have nothing to do with you – behaviors are an expression of who the individual is and what their agenda is. Taking personal offense is the number one mistake people make that can convert any innocent incident into a more serious one.

Fear is another root cause of road rage: those drivers who cut us off or tailgate put us at risk for an accident and/or injury. Also, adults expect that those driving are mature and intelligent enough to know the rules of the road and obey them. When that is not forthcoming, people become frustrated that others haven’t or won’t learn responsible driving, are not capable, or that the system allows incompetent people to operate a motor vehicle.

Remember, too, that all emotions (anger and rage included) are not determined by the actual event but by how we choose to experience it (perception); what we say to ourselves about the situation; our thought process or internal voice. T~E~C~O Magic*: Thoughts, Emotion, Choice, Outcome. We choose our Thoughts which are the predecessors of our feelings or Emotions. Therefore, we choose how we feel about any given situation. Every Choice we make is determined by our Emotions: we act out what we feel. And every action (Choice) creates an Outcome or consequence. Therefore, in order to remain calm behind the wheel, one must continually monitor and choose their Thoughts. If someone is riding my bumper, I can say to myself, “This guy’s a jerk!” and instantly trigger rage. My rage then compels me to slow down my car to agitate him at which point he swerves to get around me, putting others and myself in jeopardy.

Or, I can say to myself, “Maybe he’s late for work and doesn’t want to lose his job.” In this instance, I’ll feel understanding and my reaction will be a compassionate one: I’ll move over to let him pass. Same incident but two drastically different outcomes, all determined by one thing only: my inner dialogue, or Thought process.

Tips if you’re the driver: ~Monitor your thoughts at all times. Remember that positive dialogue creates positive feelings such as understanding, calm, patience, etc. ~Before you react, ask yourself, “If I say/do _____, then _____ may happen. Is that smart, safe, logical, productive? Can I, as well as those I impact, live with the consequences of my actions for the remainder of their lives?” If the answer is uncertain or no, then refrain from proceeding. ~Choose an affirmative alternative. ~Change your perception (thoughts) about the other driver and/or the situation. ~Don’t personalize their behaviors. Remember, it’s never about you. Your actions are about you; theirs are about them. ~Always assume the best; give them the benefit of the doubt. “Maybe they didn’t see me when they cut in front of me.” ~Choose compassion, understanding, patience and forgiveness over rage. Ask yourself, “How many times have I been guilty of this same offense?” ~Always be courteous. ~Express gratitude “Thank God I was paying attention and didn’t hit him when he suddenly slammed on his brakes.” ~Avoid routes that trigger anger, such as high volume traffic, construction, etc. ~Practice deep breathing and/or sipping water while driving to maintain a sense of calm. ~Listen to motivational tapes or soothing music. ~Put post-it notes on your dashboard to serve as reminders to be a safe driver. ~View every driver, even those who are careless, as your mother, father, brother, sister, child or someone you deeply care about. You’ll be less inclined to disregard their safety.

Tips if you are the target: ~Don’t engage. ~Don’t make eye contact. ~Monitor your inner voice reminding yourself to keep calm and act responsibly. ~Remember your first priority is to keep yourself and your passengers safe (safety first). ~Remain focused on the road and driving safely. ~Take slow deep breaths. ~Recite a mantra or positive statement for focus. ~Do not return rude gestures. ~Do not stop your car, follow them, or cut them off. ~Do not roll down your window. ~Do not drive to or in a deserted area. ~Seek immediate help – dial 911 or drive to a well-lit/well-populated area, stay in your car and honk your horn to draw attention to yourself ~Drive to a police station or hospital for protection. ~Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Immediately remove yourself from any potentially dangerous situation. Give angry drivers plenty of room. Let them pass if they want to. If someone cuts you off, slow down and let them. Do not speed up or obstruct their attempts. Never ever challenge them in any way shape or form. It could prove deadly.

R/D/C Method: Refuse, Diffuse, Choose
Refuse (to initiate or engage in dangerous driving); Diffuse (stop a bad situation from escalating using calming, responsible thoughts and actions); Choose safety over everything else. Make it your sole priority.

Final thoughts: Always choose safety first. Leave you ego locked in the trunk. This is neither the time nor place to become arrogant and self-righteous. As a responsible driver, we are all called upon to engage in safe, lawful driving habits, obey all laws, and extend courtesy to all those we encounter. It very well could be the deciding factor between life or death.

Remember: one bad choice can change your life forever! Smart actions save lives. DRIVE TO STAY ALIVE!

* TECO Magic, chapter 4 in The Secret Side of Anger

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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