It’s that time of year to think up some great resolutions on how next year will be better. The top five resolutions are based on a poll taken and are as follows: (1) Spend more time with Family and Friends (2) Get Fit (3) Tame the Bulge (4) Quit Smoking and (5) Enjoy life more. Number 9 is Help Others and 10 is Get Organized. Out of order here and for the point of this article is number 8, Learn Something New.
When we read the list, we don’t see anything directly related to work. I guess if you quit smoking, you will become a more productive employee because now you won’t have to take those long ten minute smoke breaks that annoy all the non-smokers. But let’s be real, now you’re just going to focus on the new habit you replace the old one with until January 15thwhen you have that really hard day at work and before you know it you’re bumming a light and inhaling the pack away. Sorry, but just being positive?
Please don’t get me wrong, I am trying to remain positive and my goal for this New Year is to start it off on a positive note. My goals are to be a better overall human being. This is not just focused on my family (which is important to me) or myself (which is also important to me, because if I let myself go, I won’t me much use and might become a burden to my family) but I am also focused on being a better employee.
Because let’s face it, we spend more alert time working than we do other things during or daily lives. If you’re lucky enough to just work an eight hour shift, more than likely, according to resent studies you will spend almost 27 minutes commuting one way in Seattle. But in reality we know it’s longer. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Country=United_States/Commute_Time
Add on the hopefully 8 hours of sleep your getting, only leaves four hours a day with your family, loved ones, or even to yourself. Oh did I forget that during those four hours you might eat two meals. Not a lot of time for you to accomplish some of the items on your resolution list. In fact, while you sit in traffic, you’re more than likely to start smoking or eating junk food. Because of your lack of time at home, you are more likely to indulge in that quick “would you like fries with that order” dinner.
So am I just depressing the day lights out of you and making you just want to crawl back into 2010 and stay there. Now here is the good news and I hope you are with me on this. You can help yourself attain your goals of life changing importance, but to change a behavior, you have to want to do it. As humans we want to do something when we see the quick return on our investment. Quitting smoking or even working out does not always show us those. In fact, all those people who hit the gym on January 2d end up visiting their doctor’s sometime right after for pain medications. The reward is sore, aching muscles so you stop going to that gym you just paid a year’s membership to (because it was such a great deal). Smoking, well you just pulled your hair out and you are now not so friendly to everyone around you and you’re pretty sure you just threw your cat out the window because you thought she was purring to load. No reward.
So Mr. Know it all, how can I keep my resolution about being a better person in 2012 and do it quickly? Let’s start with the place you can make the biggest impact quickly, your employer? Now I am not saying run in Monday morning and tell your boss and co-workers “I am going to be a better person.” Talk is cheap and you might as well eat a candy bar and smoke while you doing it. What you do is start taking the steps on becoming a better human being. But how do I do that?
Honestly, I cannot tell you because I don’t know you. You need to find someone who does, but I can give you a hint where to find that person? They are sitting right in front of your computer screen and all they have to do is start looking for the answer. Great, now I have to look for the answer? Trust me; this part is easy and fun because this is not quest across deserts and across hostile lands. You don’t have to climb the mountain to speak to the wise man. All you have to do is open your mind and accept that you want to be a better person and realize that if you start being a better person in the place you spend most of your time, with the most amounts of people, you my friend can be a better person.
Now if you have not slammed your lap top down and stormed off to light one up, here is how you can begin. I am not a paid spokes person for any of the following nor do I accept money from them for this endorsement, but I will tell you this, they work. What am I talking about? Why won’t I just tell you what it is? Because if the answers were that simple, no one could bother and when you hear the answer, you’re going to feel like one of those actors in the V-8 commercials, but please don’t hit yourself.
Our technology today is very helpful, but sometimes even the old ways are better. But today you can find this help on your computer, you can down load them to your IPod, Kindle, Mac Book, or even old school it and buy them on CD to listen too. What am I talking about, self help books. Now before you say I am just another weak person and you don’t need some rich jerk making money off me by sending three easy payments of $19.95 for his solution to everything. No my friend, self help books are published and popular for a reason. They do help people. They are not the answer to all our problems, but they are not called “Answer to all our problems books” they are called “Self Help.”
I did not believe in them at first, I was a Marine. As a Marine, self help was just doing more pushups, but when I was exposed to the world of other people’s experiences in published form. It was amazing because sometimes these books actually give you hope and a way to think positively about yourself, your job, your life, your co-workers, bosses, employees, and your family. And here is the best part and were people go wrong. Don’t rush out and buy the latest, greatest and most expensive only available for a limited time programs or specials. They will be on the book shelves in six months for a fraction of the cost. Honestly you can go to your local Goodwill, or used book store and find them for a fraction of the cost. Now I am sure these authors and masters of Self Help may not like this, but again I state, I am not a paid spokes person or advertiser for their products, I am about helping you help yourself to help others at your place of business and life.
Some classics that you may not realize are of course the classic of positivity Dale Carnegies “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” If you want and easy read but is going to be the most helpful and uplifting book ever written, this is the one. The next, which I will warn you, is not an easy ready but it’s sold over 18 million copies and is used by thousands of companies and people, Dr. Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Successful People.” This has been extended to an 8thhabit and is referenced in just about any self help program today. Another great series of books on personal and professional leadership and how to be a better person are publications by John C. Maxwell. But there are many more out there, so don’t limit yourself, especially since you can find many of them for pennies on Amazon.com.
There are more options out there than just the late night televisions series that you might have considered, but just did not want to commit that much money too. I understand, especially in this economy. But you cannot go wrong this way. You can also look on EBay and find a lot of these books for fractions of the cost. Remember those college days; used books were just as good as the new ones at half the cost, and you thought you did not learn anything in college.
I highly recommend this if you are one of those who spend too much time commuting to work. You will be able to find them in download and audio formats; they are a great item to listen to before you go to work and on the way home. They are uplifting and instead of listening to that blow hard AM talk show host whose only ambition in life is to get your blood boiling before you go to work or arrive home at your family, turn the outside negativity off and turn on something positive for you. Let these proven experts help you learn how you can become a better and more positive person in your workplace which will then reflect on how you are in home life. Because don’t we all feel bad when we come home after a horrible day at the job and take it out on our family.
Now let’s be honest with ourselves, this past couple of years have been overflowing with very negative energy and information. The economy crashing, millions losing their jobs, homes foreclosing, and the ugly and very dirty politics of the last election have left us all exhausted and defeated. The news media seems to thrive on the nectar of depression. You would almost think every talk radio host is on the payroll for Anti-depressant companies. We could all use something positive and help in uplifting our attitudes and personal behavior. Once we have started helping ourselves, the natural step is to begin to helping us is help others, our Co-workers, employees, bosses, and then our customers and clients. We begin to focus less on ourselves and more on the environment around us. We become more pro-active and progressive in our approach to how we conduct business and this does lead to greater personal and professional success. This then leads to more opportunities, because remember what your Physics teacher tried to teach us back in high school, positives attract. Happy New Year.