Waiting To Be Happy? Really?!?

Enlightenment, joy and peace are inside you

Have you ever said to your spouse, children or a friend; if you would do “this” I would be happy? Come on, be honest. If you didn’t say it out loud, you’ve thought this at one time or another. Or maybe you have only applied this type of statement to a work environment. When the company does this, I will be happier about working here.

I started thinking about this because I’ve allowed a personal situation to steal my happy recently. I strongly disagree with some decisions a family member is making. When I discussed it with my husband, he said I was being negative about that person. Although I don’t see it that way, I understand his point. The fact is I’ve spent far too much energy thinking about the situation, worrying about the individual and trying how to get them to recognize what they are creating. No matter how much we love someone, we can’t live their life for them and they must deal with the results of their decisions.

A few months ago when my book, It’s Your Life…..Own It! was released, a classmate reached out to me. Bob and I had attended junior high and high school together. We hadn’t spoken in a decade but he wanted me to know he was proud of me. What was interesting is, he told me he wouldn’t be purchasing the book because he was already very happy with his life. Unlike most, he was grateful for all areas of his life. He used the words satisfied and happy multiple times as he described his life.

Yesterday Bob had a heart attack and died. I was shocked and saddened when I read the post on FB. Naturally, I recalled our last conversation and realized Bob was content and happy with the life he lived. Isn’t that the best that we can ask for? To be happy with the life we’ve lived?

My friend’s death gave me a different perspective on my personal situation. The question for me as well as you is; why are you wasting any time on things that cause you distress, anger or worry? Life is meant to be joyful. Why waste time or wait to be happy? Just as I can, I’m sure you can find plenty of people or circumstances in your life to be happy about. I have a file saved on my computer called “Gratitude Journal”. Sometimes I open it up to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life but today I’m going to add to it, starting with “I have been blessed to have had Bob as a friend, because he was a living example of happiness.”

RIP Bob, I will miss that easy smile and the man behind it.

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Finding Daily Inspiration

Never know who needs you  Christie Marie Sheldon

Have you thought about the correlation or the common link of the things that inspire you? Do you know why such things as quotes, videos or particular people make you feel like being a better person or trying harder to reach your dreams?  I believe that the things that inspire us are at a higher vibrational frequency than we are at that point in time.

We are beings of energy and all of us have a frequency that is normally where we function. If this is a new concept for you, think about different people that you come into regular contact with.  Is there someone you dread dealing with?  That person is operating at a lower frequency than you are.  The phrase “she’s a downer” could apply to such a person.  At the other side of the spectrum are people that always make us feel better when we are in their presence.  They bring us up.  Think of a time you saw a motivational speaker.  Immediately following that encounter you felt better, more energized and that feeling may have lasted hours or even days.  Your vibration raised because of the exposure to someone with a higher vibration.

Even though you have a normal frequency for you, that doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  You can do things each day that move you up.  You will recognize this is happening because you will feel better.  Although reading inspiring quotes or watching a positive video on social media can help, there is one thing that will make the biggest difference.  Surround yourself with people that make you feel better, happier, more alive.  If these types of people aren’t part of your daily life, than take the time to reach out and call someone who is. Hearing the upbeat tone in someone’s voice is much more effective than a text or an email because your brain picks up on the vibration they are emitting.

Another way to increase your vibration is to express gratitude.  Even when life is handing you lemons, there is something you can be grateful for……find it……and remind yourself of what is good in your life.  The people you love and what they mean to you is a great way to start.  For me, any time I’m feeling off or uncentered, I reach out to my youngest son.  We live on opposite sides of the country so our phone conversations are precious to me.  At 21, he is one of the happiest people, and best at manifesting, that I know.  When our daughter says that everything just comes easy to him, I have to point out that he follows his heart and focuses on his own happiness which pulls people and circumstances to him that are in alignment with how he is feeling.  Like attracts like.  A fact we tend to forget.

My third suggestion is to focus on lifting up someone else.  When we put our attention on helping another, we tend not to focus on our own issues so much.  We can be the person who raises another’s vibration.  So what will inspire you today?  Or will you provide inspiration to another?  It’s all about the choices that you make.  Decide well.

If you want to find other ways to increase your personal vibration, go to my website and sign up for the free newsletter.  christiebakeman.com

A Great Memory Can Be a Detriment.

Let It Go Iyanla Vanzantchristiebakeman.com

I had an epiphany on Mother’s Day about myself and how much room I had for spiritual growth.  I’ve always been proud of my memory.  The fact it was good wasn’t just my opinion, co-workers quickly discovered I didn’t forget much.  It didn’t matter if the subject was dates, events or policies.  My mind connected enough dots to allow recall on demand.  The same is true regarding personal relationships, as I would recall conversations, feelings and behaviors.  This is especially true for those connected to a date or holiday.  Hence my soul searching adventure on Mother’s Day.

We were having dinner at my in-laws and I suppose the expression on my face was a bit melancholy.  “Why do you look like that?  You heard from both your boys and we both told you happy Mother’s Day this morning” says hubby.  Well that was all it took for me to recall in great detail the past few Mother’s Days and the inaccuracy of his statement.  Down the rabbit hole I went emotionally.  A few minutes later I felt the need to correct him as I pulled him aside and pointed out that my step-daughter has never wished me greetings on this day.  Not to mention her lack of acknowledgment of my birthday, which of course I did mention.

There lies the epiphany.  The quality of life isn’t about what others do or don’t do, it is about how we think about the situation.  Do we label it as a positive or a negative?  Any event is just that, an event.  It isn’t until we assign it a label within our mind that it produces any type of emotion.  I know this.  I write about it.  However there are times that I forget what I know and I react without objectivity and follow the river of my emotions.

Later, on the drive home, I found myself defending my step-daughter within my own mind.  I know she loves me from what she says and does during the course of daily life for the three years we’ve lived together.  Maybe she feels it would be disloyal to her own mother to demonstrate appreciation on a special day.  The fact that she would prefer to live with her mother and it isn’t possible weighs on her soul.  Where mothers day is special to me, it may be a torment within her.  These are things I must consider for both of our benefit.  Along with the fact that I know she wouldn’t intentionally hurt me.  Within a blended family there are wounds that are unseen, yet must be tended to.  As a parent, we must set the example and recognize what is important to our children to allow them to flourish.  That may mean seeing life from their point of view instead of our own.

Sometimes having a great memory prevents us from living in the present moment.  When we are thinking about what has happened in the past we aren’t focused on the here and now.  We miss the joy of the moment.  The fact is that all of us have painful memories, big or small doesn’t matter.  When we put our attention on those we prevent something different from manifesting in our lives.  Like attracts like.  Sometimes you just have to let things go.  Being grateful for what is currently in your life is a good start.  For me I need to be less proud of my memory and develop a pride for living in the moment.

Please feel free to comment on this or any other blog.  I’m interested in your opinions.

Consciously Choose The Type of Day You’ll Have

You have a choice

Do you ever forget that you have a choice of how your day goes?  I have to remind myself of this every school day.  I wake up my sixteen year old a minimum of three times before she rolls out of bed.  As a person who is usually early to all appointments, this drives me crazy.  I find myself getting more aggravated each time she tells me she is up when she is still in bed.  Yet, when I step back and take a look at it, I have no reason to be aggravated.  If she wants to take only five minutes to get ready for school, what does it really matter?  In the end she gets to school so the only difference is how I feel about the situation.  These are the kinds of simple choices that we have each day that make an impact on how our day goes.

How many times have you been getting ready to leave for work, dreading the day ahead?  Maybe it has to do with a meeting you must attend, or possibly you know you have a difficult situation that has to be dealt with.  Whatever is ahead doesn’t matter.  The deciding factor of how your day goes is your attitude.  Your thoughts about any subject are the precursor to your feelings.  You get to choose what those thoughts are.

I used to have a boss who would say “it is what it is”.  That statement brought up negative feelings within me because I didn’t want to accept it.  The fact is that no situation is good or bad until we label it.  We decide whether a circumstance impacts us positively or negatively by the thoughts that we have about it.  Let’s say a key employee resigns unexpectedly.  Many managers would see this as a negative situation as they focus on the knowledge leaving the company plus the hassle of replacing the person.  However that same manager could choose to see this as an opportunity to place someone in the position with a different set of skills that would bring a new perspective to the organization.

Understanding the basis of your thoughts and how to change them to improve your results is what I wrote about in my book, It’s Your Life…..Own It!.  If you have been reacting in the same manner for years, you are operating off beliefs which may or may not be benefiting you.  Changing those beliefs is possible, and I show you how.  Order it today.  It will be the best $9 you’ll spend this week.  Order Book

Choose the type of day and week you are going to have.  Rather than reacting to what is happening around you, decide how you are going to determine your results and watch a beautiful day unfold, even if your teenager wouldn’t get out of bed.

Expand Your Skills By Teaching

Master Sharing

ChristieBakeman.com

We’ve all heard variations of the joke; those who can’t do – teach.  There may be a few individuals that applies to, however the best managers, business owners and spiritual leaders all have one thing in common; they teach others what they know.  They share their experiences, their knowledge and their educated opinions with those they come into contact with.   When we hear the word teacher, we conjure up the memories of being a student when there was a particular teacher or professor that inspired us.  They taught us to view the world and ourselves differently.  It’s only with life experience that we realize teachers have many titles; parent, neighbor, minister, friend or co-worker.  These are people we have to thank for life’s lessons.

An old friend sent me a message that contained a letter his cousin, Brenda, wrote for his parent’s retirement party.  I read the heartfelt letter written about Brenda’s first job.  Her words were about what she learned from her first boss which also happened to be my first boss.  He was the franchisee for a fast food chain and he was a teacher.  She talked about working the fry station and when it was noticed that she wasn’t weighing the fries, he showed her how to use the scale.  As I read, my first thought was cost control (years spent in management does that to you) but that wasn’t the lesson he was teaching.  Brenda was told to weight the fries because she appeared to be shorting the customer and they should be getting what they paid for.  What a great lesson for a young person to learn; provide value and live up to the customer’s expectations.

How many lessons have you learned from a boss that were so much more than a simple directive?  How many of those lessons did you go on to share with others?  Thirty years ago, I had a district manager named Darnell when I was a store manager for Best Products.  As we walked the sales floor we were discussing merchandising and how to get the customers to pay attention to displays.  Evidently some of them didn’t make much sense, so he told me to make an open fist and look through the hole like I was looking through a camera lens.  Did the picture make sense?  Was it a single theme that drew your eye to products we wanted to sell?  I know it seems a bit silly but that one lesson taught me to merchandise end caps, vignettes and floor displays which drove sales.  When I was the president of a decor company, I used this method to develop the merchandising guidelines for our stores.    I also taught hundreds of others to examine their creations through the lens of their hand. They in turned shared with others.  By Darnell sharing a small tidbit, his idea spread to thousands.

When we examine our own motivations for doing whatever we do, at the base is usually wanting to make a difference.  Oh, that gets lost as we focus on spreadsheets and profit margins, employee challenges and market share.  Yet, somewhere in the back of our minds we know that there was a point in our lives when we were idealistic and believed we could make a difference.  I’m here to tell you that no matter what your current job or position, you can make a difference, by teaching others what you know.

There’s a wonderful result for you, when you share what you know by teaching others.  You become better.  Your skill evolves.  Your self-confidence grows.  I was talking to my son who is a dance instructor.  When he began this job a year ago he didn’t know how to dance, however he was athletic and personable so he followed his dream and applied for a job with Arthur Murray.  On Saturday he told me that he is teaching the majority of the time now and has found that his skills are improving faster by teaching than just practicing.  When I watched a video and compared it to some from just a couple months ago, I could see marked improvement.  That got me thinking about what made me good at my job and I realized that I grew and improved faster when I had the responsibility of training others.  When we teach, we must anticipate questions, we must find solutions that will allow our student to succeed.  Teaching, by it’s very nature, makes us stretch and expand our own self imposed boundaries.

The opposite of this is unfortunately found across corporate America.  Those individuals who feel threatened in their position, who believe that if they teach others what they know they will lose out, and they watch as their co-workers flounder.  They rejoice in keeping knowledge to themselves, their warped way of thinking operating off the belief that they are safer by keeping others in the dark.  Wow, that sounds like our political system.  Anyway, it is the people who refuse to teach who are the losers for they miss out on all the benefits that teaching provides.

True leaders, no matter what their field of expertise, understand that teaching others must be at the top of the priority list.  Assisting others in their journey requires the giving of oneself.  The giving of your time, your knowledge and your life experience to those who desire to learn sends ripples out into the universe.  Who knows, like Darnell, you may provide a tidbit that ends up reaching thousands.  So what is it you are going to teach today?

Teaching is one of the skills that true leaders make a habit.  To develop all of your leadership skills to your full potential, check out my Leadership Online Class .  Many blessings to you.

 

 

A Habit To Create: Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude Brian Tracychristiebakeman.com

I’ll admit it, I’m not grateful as much as I should be.  I know the power of gratitude, sincerely being thankful for the people, situations and things in my life.  Yet somehow when I’m dealing with life, I forget to focus on all the wonderful as I’m worried about the challenge at hand.  I know that I may remember more often than others but it isn’t about being better than someone else.  My desire is for thoughts of gratitude to become second nature….the habit I can’t seem to quit.  I wrote about it in my book, It’s Your Life….Own It! and I talk with others about it.  Even so, I know I can improve in finding the joy in all situations.

I was thinking about this as I was in the car pool line at the high school.  I was running through a list in my mind of the things I’m grateful for.  A boy walked across the street and down the sidewalk and as I watched him I got tears in my eyes.  He was probably 15 or 16 and he had a prosthetic leg that attached at his upper thigh.  I felt foolish and embarrassed about some of the things I had concerns about.  Upon seeing him, I immediately was thankful that my children were healthy.  Then I thought of the boy’s parents.  I don’t know if it was an accident or disease that caused the loss of his leg but I was sure that his parents were grateful that he was alive.  As devastating as the loss of a limb would have been for the entire family, there’s no doubt it could have been worse.

When we are going through a difficult situation in our own life, often times our focus in on the challenge.  As we think about that, we attract more and more similar thoughts.  Pretty soon we are feeling overwhelmed.  Our friends and co-workers tell us to “keep our chin up” or “think positive”.  We give them a half smile and say I know.  But inside we are screaming, “how the hell am I supposed to do that?”  It seems impossible but it isn’t.

The key is to think or do something that makes you feel better.  I’m not suggesting that you can go from feeling overwhelmed to being happy but you can move in that direction.  Finding a thought that provides you some relief is a step in the right direction.  That could be as simple as recognizing you don’t have to deal with the situation this very moment.  It helps, when dealing with a crisis to identify in clear terms what your desired outcome is.  Once that is done, you can identify one small piece of the situation that you can be grateful for.  You can decide if there is an action that you can take, no matter how small, that will move the situation forward toward the result you desire.

Then there are situations that appear to be so dire in our minds we simply can’t find any thoughts of relief.  These are the times you need to redirect your focus to something you are grateful for, even if it is unrelated.  For your own sake, you need to feel better.  You are responsible for how you feel and only you can change it.  The wonderful part of this is that it doesn’t take much for us to change how we feel.  It could be a phone call to a friend.  You could take a walk in a park or spend a few moments playing with your pet.  Whatever works for you is appropriate.  Everyone has something that they are grateful for and activities they enjoy.  Turn to those to help clear your mind and move your emotions to a place where you can take action.

What are you grateful for right now?  Give yourself a couple minutes to focus on that and improve the rest of your day.  Many blessings to you.

Care Enough to Hold Others Accountable

Holding Accountable

christiebakeman.com

In today’s world of political correctness, it’s much easier to not take responsibility for addressing issues for fear of being criticized.  I’ve seen this turn into dishonest communication so others don’t get upset.  In other words, telling people what they want to hear whether it is true or not.  When did we stop caring so much about our own integrity and frankly truly caring about others?  In my book, It’s Your Life…Own It!, I provide practical ways to improve honest communication.  All of us have to handle situations we’d rather avoid but there are ways to achieve an outcome that works for everyone.

Recently I stopped in a store managed by a former employee of mine.  She was an awesome manager with excellent results so I was shocked to see her store in disarray.  I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask why she was operating a store so far below her capabilities.  She told me her boss always told her the store looked great.  My opinionated, former manager self pointed out that she knew that wasn’t true so why wouldn’t she take more pride?  She told me if the boss doesn’t care then why should I?  Really?!?  Rather than leave her in a state of “not giving a damn” we discussed an action of plan for getting back to, both her and her team, having pride in their work.  You may be thinking it was none of my business, however I love this woman and want her to do well.

Holding people accountable shows you care.  I’m not talking about criticizing for the sake of punishing or demoralizing others.  Honest communication allows people to recognize where they are and how they can improve and grow.  People are happier when they are learning and growing.  If you care about individuals or people in general, you can be the catalyst that points them in the direction of pride and self satisfaction.

Whether you have been in a management position for five or thirty years, it is likely that you’ve experienced terminating an employee from your company.  This is the extreme end of holding someone accountable but there are times it is the best for all concerned.  Even this action can be done with a caring attitude.  I recall a manager, we’ll call him “Norman”, that I had to terminate for sexual misconduct.  No lines of grey with that type of offense.  However I made sure he was clear on why I was taking action.  After about a year passed, he reached out to me to say thank you.  His losing his job made him take an honest look at his behaviors thus making the needed changes in his life.  Norman sent me Christmas cards for the next ten years.  Not something you’d expect from someone you fired.

I’m not suggesting that holding others accountable is always easy.  It isn’t if you allow yourself to focus on your own fears.  Will they argue, will they quit, will they point out your own deficiencies?  If you care about others you don’t want to make them feel bad.  However, if you truly care you should set aside your own thoughts and focus on that person and how you can best help them.  It doesn’t matter if you are their boss, their friend or their coach.  People want honest communication.  Step up.  Unless you are afraid of being held accountable yourself.?.

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