Tag Archives: barbara sher

Complain, Complain, Complain… then Find Your Goal. It’s a Gift. Write it down!

Inside every complaint is the gift of a goal not yet realized…

If you find yourself repeating the same complaint over and over again, and people are asking you to stop, maybe you should. Stop. Write down that complaint and take a look at it. What are you unhappy about? Your job? The weather? Your spouse? Write that down.

Photo by Cappixx

Now, take a look at what you’ve written because there’s a gift in that complaint. Yes, you read that right, there’s a gift in every complaint, a special gift, just for you. It’s called “a goal.” The goal is what you do want. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves what we don’t want before we arrive at what we do want.

You see, we’re told not to complain because other people don’t want to hear about it. Complaining can make us and everyone around us feel pretty bad. Who wants to listen to how bad things are all day long? Certainly not me.

Photo by Cappixx

However, complaints can be very helpful if you look for the gift within them. It’s the gift of knowing what you don’t like about the world, about your world. Unhappy with your job? What kind of job would you like? Not sure? Not sure what you want out of life? Well… Take a look at your complaints. In fact, complain away! Yes, I’m suggesting you complain! Not to other people, of course, but to yourself.

Photo by Cappixx

Write that down. I mean, write down that complaint. If you have lots of complaints, then great! Write them all down in as much detail as possible. In fact, write them down everyday if you need to. Keep writing until you find the gift. The gift is… THE GOAL.

Ta-da! You thought I was being facetious or silly when I suggested you complain, complain, complain, didn’t you!

Nope, I’m telling you what you need to hear if you are genuinely suffering in a life that you don’t want, a life you didn’t choose. Maybe you are working at a job you hate, living with others with whom you are not compatible, in a city where you’re very unhappy, or heaven forbid, your health is not what you’d like it to be.

Complain away! (But not to other people. Complain to yourself.) Why? Because when we complain, we’re telling ourselves what we don’t want, and that can be very useful because it leads us toward finding out what we do want. It also informs us that we’re unhappy with something, so we’d really like change, but we feel powerless to create that change. That’s why we complain. We complain because we don’t think things will change, and we’re hoping someone else out there will help us by, at least, giving us some sympathy.

Painting by Meria Cairns

Honestly, I wish someone would magically appear and help you if you are unhappy so that you could be happy. Not just because I’m a nice person (although I am… but then I’m also pretty biased in this self-judgment. Ha ha!) But I personally believe that when people are happy they are at their best and are less likely to cause problems in the world. Frankly, the world is a better place when most people are happy. (This should be common sense, but, judging by the many injustices of this world, it is, apparently, not common sense, so it must be stated here.) A happy person is not likely going to burn down another person’s house, or to rape, rob or kill anyone. Happy people tend to be peaceable people. For all you people out there who value money over people: Happy people save our society money! Yes, a happy person is more likely to take care of her health and not to cost our insurance companies or hospitals as much money. Happy people are more likely to work honestly and do the best job they can. They make better employees, better spouses, better neighbors, better friends. Happy people are easier to be with because… ehem… they tend not to complain.

Huh? But you said…

Okay, just hear me out. Read on, my virtual friend.

So… how can you be one of those happy people?                                              Click here to read the rest of this awesome blog!

Know When to Roll with the Punches–Sometimes the Best Offense is to Run Away, Regroup, Renew and Let it Roll…

Know When to Roll with the Punches–Sometimes the Best Offense is to Run Away, Regroup, Renew and Let it Roll…

The best defense is not always a good offense. In boxing, when one is attacked aggressively by an opponent, a method of defense is to avoid the punch by moving your body away from it.

https://youtu.be/3xPtgJZG-dU

Someone tries to hit you and, instead of blocking them with your arm or fist, instead of hitting back, you just move your body out of the way so that it doesn’t get hit. Yes, it may seem like a passive move but it is a necessary move in some instances because that punch is going to hurt if it hits your body.

The expression “roll with the punches” applies this strategy to real life situations.

http://dearsportsfan.com/2015/09/24/what-does-it-mean-to-roll-with-the-punches/

It doesn’t mean that we need to passively just accept the attacks life throws at us but that we need to know when aggression cannot be fought with further aggression. Sometimes to best diffuse an aggressive act, we need to take a step back and just avoid being hurt by it.

This typically applies to things we cannot control, like aging, for example. I met an elderly woman of about 70 who lamented that she was no longer able to do some of the outdoor work that needed to be done around her house. Now, she had to hire someone to help her with it. Being someone who always seeks ways around obstacles, I began to think about this.

On the one hand, aging is inevitable. If we’re lucky enough to live for a long time, sooner or later we’re bound to have health problems that may create limitations for us.

On the other hand, in today’s rapidly changing society, technology is making it increasingly easier for us to overcome obstacles such as the aging process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ElNcufrQ8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKJaZDGVNWA

 

Considering the Entrepreneurial Spirit (Pt. 2)–Finding the Right Business Idea

Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It involves finding a product or service you can provide that potential customers want or need. (Some people think they can convince potential customers to want their product or service. I disagree. That strategy may appear to work at first, but most customers will feel conned and coerced. My experience is that people don’t like that. They want their needs—not yours—to come first.)

It may not be necessary, but it’s a good idea to find your passion before starting a business. Why? On the surface, it appears that shouldn’t matter, that one could work hard and succeed in any business. That may be true for some people. But most people aren’t going to put in the time, effort and work into something we dislike or are neutral about. When we’re passionate, we’ll naturally work at it, even when we don’t have time, are too tired, hungry, depressed, or sick with the flu (okay not a good idea, but some of us will continuing working ‘cause we like what we’re doing so much.)

No question about it, when we love what we do, we’ll do it because it cheers us up when we’re sad, strengthens us when we’re ill, energizes us when we’re tired.

In a way, it’s like dieting. (Yes, life can be a lot like dieting. In fact, dieting is a big part of my life!) When we tell ourselves we can’t eat the foods we love and we have to make ourselves work hard at the gym, we might succeed temporarily. Our diet-workout plan might last a few days, weeks or even months before we slip back into old, comfortable and more satisfying habits.

But if we find healthy, low-calorie foods that we actually enjoy and an exercise routine that’s fun, we’re more likely to stick with it, right? Slimming down takes time, so we need a diet and exercise routine that will stand the test of that time. We may need to stick with that routine for a lifetime.

Similarly, starting a business takes time and discipline. Think about something you love to do that you could do all day long—even if no one paid you to do it. Something you’re passionate about. Something you can’t stop thinking and talking about. Does this something also interest other people? Who are those people who share your interests? Those are people who will benefit when you do what you love and share it with them because they love the same thing. When people benefit from what you are doing, they will want to help you succeed because your success will benefit them too.

Also when you’re passionate about something, you’ll naturally want to sell it to others. People are drawn to passionate, enthusiastic people too, so other people will come to you and you won’t have to work so hard at attracting them to you. (This is usually a good thing…) Often they envy your passion and will want to be a part of it.

When you love what you do, you’re likely to get good at it. Without even realizing it, you’ll spend a lot of time reading about it, learning as much as you can, practicing, rehearsing, seeking out experts who’ll often assist you with information because they share your passion too. Before you know it, you’ll become an expert and probably won’t even realize that’s what you’ve become. People will be impressed by your knowledge and enthusiasm and will start coming to you with questions, and you’ll help them without expecting anything in return. Your expertise becomes a gift to other people, and people love gifts. We have a tendency to want to reciprocate when others give to us. So you won’t need to work so hard at being a good salesperson or finding customers.

The tricky part is finding a way to transform your passion into something people will pay money for, a business. This can take some soul searching as well as trial and error. What is it that involves that thing you love to do that other people will pay money for?

If you’re a musician, for example, you can teach lessons. A musician could entertain guests at a wedding or other event. A musical messaging service might be an option. One could buy, sell or repair musical instruments. But there are other possibilities too. And that is the hard part: we need to put ourselves in the walking shoes of other people and ask ourselves when, why and where would other people pay us money to do what we love?

Whatever business idea we choose, we need to consider the customer. What does he/she want or need? This is not the same message you’ll receive from some sales people who’ll insist that other people need to be convinced to want or need something. I’m suggesting we discover what potential customers truly want or need, regardless of what we think they should want or need. Most people don’t like being told what to do, convinced or coerced into anything. Frankly, we could order someone to do something she doesn’t want to do and she might purposely do something she doesn’t want to do just to spite us! Some people dislike being told what to do that much!

So considering the customers is important. Who are they? What do they want? What do they really need that I can provide them? What can I do really, really well that customers need?

If you notice that your piano students want to learn their favorite pop songs then no matter how much you prefer Beethoven or Bach, you’ll need to teach them what they want to learn if you want to keep them paying you money. (If you don’t need money, then, I suppose, that may be a different story.) Catering to the customer can be the hardest part of entrepreneurship and the reason why some people decide not to become entrepreneurs.

But if you keep your eyes open, keep looking around for ideas, you’re bound to discover a healthy way to channel your talents into a small business of some kind—one that offers customers what they are looking for without forcing you to sacrifice your integrity.