Tuesday, January 12, 2010



I woke up this morning NOT wanting to go to the gym. I justified my not going by promising to plug in my new Denise Austin yoga DVD during my lunch break today. Got a cup of coffee, turned on my computer and received this email of the day from Brian Tracy:

"Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed." -- Cavett Robert


One of the areas I’m strengthening this year is my ability to communicate so that everyone I’m connecting with feels heard and valued for their opinions and desires. I also want what the other person hears to be exactly what I intended to say. I mean, I’m always clear on what I say…but that’s not always the point in communicating with another person, is it?

A book called, “The Two Sides of Love” by Gary Smalley was recommended to me. I’m on page 62 and I have to say, it’s pretty good so far. It explains how to find a healthy balance between the protective, consistent “hard side” of love and the tender, understanding, “soft side” of love.

According to the authors, personalities can be broken into four categories for the purpose of understanding how we communicate—and survive—differently. The four categories are Lion, Beaver, Otter and Golden Retriever. Every personality has strengths, but these strengths left unchecked? You guessed it—they can become weaknesses.

Those of you who know me will find no surprise in the fact that I am indeed a Lion. Strengths of a Lion are:
• Lions are born leaders. My earliest memory of this was in second grade when I talked everyone in my class into staying on the playground after the bell rang and to pretend we didn’t hear it. It worked until little Dianna Thompson told Sister Mary Stephen what we were up to and who instigated it.
• Lions like to accomplish things with immediate results. I thought this had more to do with my short attention span…
• A lion’s time frame is NOW. Duh.
• Lions are decisive.
• Lion’s want Reader’s Digest-length communication. I apologize to you now if I’ve ever asked, “And your point is?”while you were in the middle of telling me what matters to you.
• Lion’s often feel challenged by questions.
• Lions are not afraid of pressure or confrontation. If I had a quarter for every time I said, “Let’s just get this out on the table!”

Recently, I was in Las Vegas with a group of Top Achievers and we were competing in the Amazing Race. This was a competition/scavenger hunt that was about 6 miles in length and took us through about 10 hotels/casinos. We were given hints and had to take picture of our activities along the way. We were graded on creativity of our pictures, some silly trivia questions we had to answer prior to the race and, of course, the order in which we ended the race.

I must have been in a group of Lions because all we heard was the word, “race.” So we ran the entire event (Kim Barnes, Kelly Janes, Barb Berkowich and I). Barb Berkowich, was wearing heels the entire time—so creds to Barb! (Though I have to ask…Barb, what were you thinking? “Amazing RACE…heels?”) I want to go on record as saying we crossed the line FIRST. We were way ahead of the group who crossed the line second. Our focus was totally and completely on being first.

We didn’t win, though. The other groups were more creative…their pictures were sooooo fun! One group stopped to drink and another decided to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. They saw things we didn’t see because they took their time and focused on the fun. Poor Barb had never even been to Vegas and, after our 6 mile run, could still probably say she hadn’t seen Vegas!

When this was all over, I had a moment of clarity. This “race” wasn’t about winning or crossing the line first. It was about having fun, being creative, taking in everything around you, laughing and finding the humor in what you’re doing…and knowing how to find Elvis. The people who did this were the winners.

So, where do I miss the fun and the relationships and just BEING because I’m so focused on the achievement at hand and getting it done NOW? That’s an eye opener for me. How about you? Where do you lose the focus of living and just being instead of constantly trying to achieve?

The next part of the book tells me how to increase my “soft side” and how to communicate with those who have a stronger “soft side.” At this rate, I’ll be done with this book by tomorrow and will be able to tackle the next one on the shelf! [Uh-oh.]

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