Your Future Determines Your Present (How Your Vision For Tomorrow Effects Your Happiness Today)

“How your vision for tomorrow affects your happiness today”

You’re sitting quietly in your corporate cubical that seems today not much larger than a postage stamp; your only light is a fluorescent that is blinking its way to “burnt out”, much like yourself. The stack of paper work piled on top of your “in” basket would make your desk buckle if it weren’t one of those old crappy metal desks that weigh just under a ton.

Earlier in the day your boss emailed you a terse note about a project that went south and though you only played a small part in the process, she has chosen you to be the scapegoat, lest her image be tarnished to upper management.

To make matters worse, just moments later she walks by your cube smiles, pats you on the back, and wishes you a happy day, confirming your suspicion that she in fact deals with a multiple personality disorder.

You decide to go have a cup of coffee but two things deter you, first of all, the coffee in the pot looks and smells, as if it was made last week, secondly, all of the cups are dirty and piled in the sink, and there is nothing to wash them with.

Your need for caffeine is intense enough for you rinse and wash a cup using your hand, pour yourself some black mud and just as you turn to head back to your desk, mid sip, the brown-noser from two cubicals over, who is flirting with the receptionist, runs into you splashing coffee all over your new white shirt. He feels bad and says, “O super sorry”, and finishes with, “lucky I didn’t get any on me, this is a new shirt”

You do your best to rinse the coffee stains, pour out the remnant left in your cup and head back to your desk caffeine deprived.

You sit down and notice that despite all the horror of this day, you are smiling.

Strike that, you are giddy with happiness.


Because it is Thursday and in just 24 hours you will have officially started your vacation where for 2 weeks you will do little more than lay in the sun, drink those happy drinks with little umbrellas in them, eat food that other people prepare for you, walk on the beach, go to sleep and wake up whenever you want, read and spend time with the one you love.

You are presently in cubical hell, but nothing can kill the emotional buzz that your future vacation is providing you.

Because your immediate future is determining your present state of mind.
The converse is also true

It is the last day of your vacation; you are working on the finishing touches of the tan that you have so carefully crafted (with the help of the sun). Dirty Martini in hand, a warm breeze caresses your skin and the love of your life is breathing softly as she sleeps soundly on the sand next to you.

But you are feeling stressed, your chest feels tight, your mind is spinning with thoughts of deadlines and unfinished tasks at work…. And why?

Because in less than 24 hours you will be back in that dank cubical with the flickering light and the pile of unfinished work, that no doubt, has grown in your absence and even though you are physically in paradise, your mind is in hell.

Because your vision for tomorrow is affecting your happiness today.

Do you have a “vision” for your future?

A vision is a picture?

A picture of yourself down the road a bit….. five years from now, ten years from now, thirty years from now.

If we were sitting in my living room you and I could exchange stories of people down through history who grew to be amazing contributions to the world around us against tremendous odds, only because they chose to see their future before it materialized. It became the prime motivator, the daily inspiration and the purpose for their living.

This ability to dream of “what could be” is a powerful and amazing gift given to each one of us. Our ability to visualize a future filled with what it is that we want out of life is paramount to curbing the negative energy that wants to kill our joy and excitement for each new day.

Take some time to sit down and think about what it is that you want for your life.
Picture yourself involved in various activities included in that future. What is it that you like? What sorts of people will you meet in this possible life? Will their lives be impacted for the better because of what you are doing?

And then write it out, write it out, write it out….

And then do whatever it takes to get you there. Do you need more schooling? Do you need funding? Do you need a friends help?

No matter your age, your experiences (both bad and good), your gender, color or creed. You have a God given inner strength that can change your world and bring peace and good-will to you and to all those around you.

Take a picture with your heart and mind, a picture of your future and review it every day.

The Number 1 Most Effective Presentation Skill: Rise Above Your Competition and Get Rave Reviews

We’ve all been exposed to a terrible presenter or instructor. The minutes drag by while the presenter seems oblivious to the reactions and needs of the audience. As an educator I know that there are several elements that are essential in creating a successful presentation. One of the most important is pacing. You should strive for a pace that moves quickly enough to maintain interest but allows enough processing time for the audience to comprehend the information. Processing time is the secret that will set your presentation apart from most of your competition.

Let’s use a 50 minute presentation as an example. Unless you’ve been hired as a keynote speaker you never want to spend the entire 50 minutes talking non-stop. Your presentation needs to be broken up into segments. This helps your listeners retain much more information than they would otherwise.

All parts of your presentation are not equal in terms of audience attention and retention. There is a natural ebb and flow to how we listen. We tend to remember best what we hear first, second best what we hear at the end and remember least what comes just past the middle. This is not news. We’ve known this for over 100 years, but like with many things, just because we know the right thing to do that doesn’t mean that we do it!

Talking to a group for 50 minutes or longer is common practice in school and business settings. We know better, yet we continue to do it. There is a better way and one that makes you an in-demand, effective presenter.

When you start preparing your presentation think in terms of dividing it into 3 segments. In a 50 minute presentation there will be two segments of optimal learning and a time when learning is lowest. These are referred to as Prime Time 1, Prime Time 2 and Down-Time.

The first segment is Prime Time 1 when retention is highest. Present new, important information here when your audience is fresh and most receptive. Don’t waste a lot of time talking about the weather, telling jokes or warming up the audience. You do need to create rapport but you can do this within the context of your material. Seminar presenter Fred Gleeck, says he always gives his most important piece of information in the first few minutes of a seminar. After about 12 minutes, retention starts diminishing. At 20 minutes it’s time for something else.

We now move into the second phase: Down-Time. The brain gets full of the new information and the mind starts to wander. Now is the time to have participants put their new knowledge to use. Set up a quick activity that allows participants to process the material in some way- talking to a partner or a small group or journaling. This gives the audience a break from new material, a chance to talk with others and hopefully move around a bit. It also lets your previous information “sink in” so it will be remembered. This activity will last roughly 8-10 minutes.

Now you are ready for Prime Time 2. This is the second best time for learning and retaining material. Use the last several minutes for review and closure.

If you follow this method your audiences will remain interested, retain more information and rave about your effective presentation skills. If you don’t give your audience time to process you will waste their time and your time.

How To Win More Negotiations – Focus Your Thoughts – Negotiation Tip of the Week

To win more negotiations, you should focus your thoughts. That’s to say, you should be very thoughtful of what you’re thinking during the negotiation, why you have such thoughts, and where those thoughts might lead. To do otherwise could mean you’re led haphazardly towards a negotiation outcome that doesn’t serve your goals of the negotiation. Observe the following to increase the focus of your thoughts in a negotiation.

Breaking News: Do you take note of how and when TV News organizations flash that moniker across/on the screen? At that moment they’re attempting to grab your attention from what you were focusing on and directing it to what they want you to focus on. In most cases, the breaking news is nothing that would really demand you lend your attention to, but they’ve captured your focus, which was their intent. If you raise your awareness to what’s being attempted by such ploys in a negotiation, you’ll focus your thoughts on not losing your focus per what’s important to your negotiation effort.

Be mindful of when timeouts are called:

When timeouts are called in a negotiation, note the reason cited for the timeout and assess the reasoning validity. As an example, if you happen to be winning the negotiation or a point in that process, and the opposing negotiator asks to take a break, he could be doing so to slow your momentum, take the time to gather additional insights/thoughts, and/or to refresh himself. All such insights will give you guidance per what may be occurring in his mind, as to the reasoning he called a timeout. Thus, it may or may not behoove you to grant his request, depending on how hard you wish to push at that time and/or what your next move is intended to achieve. The point is, be aware when there’s a shift in the negotiation and what may have occurred to cause it.

Diversions – Sizzlin’ Korean BBQ:

Take note of what the opposing negotiator is asking you to focus on. Question yourself, and possibly her, why she’s asking you to lend your attention to the point she’s highlighting. Note the same when you make a point and attempts are made to divert it. Ask yourself, why was my point given less credence? Why doesn’t she want to address my point and what implications does that have?

In a negotiation, the other negotiator may not tell you how to think, but he may attempt to direct your thoughts by suggesting what you should think about. In so doing, he’s controlling you and the negotiation. To the degree that you think of what you’re thinking about, why you have such thoughts and how those thoughts are aligned with the goals you seek for the negotiation, you’ll combat his efforts while promoting the outcome you seek.

By focusing on what you think about and why you have such thoughts, you’ll be in more control of the negotiation, which will allow you to win more negotiations… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!