Are YOU a Big-Hands Encourager?

More than half the class.

I couldn’t believe it.

When asked if people in their lives uttered phrases (imagine a whiny voice here) like:

“Why do you want to do that? Why are you going back to school? You failed the last time. What do you think, you’re better than us?”…more than HALF the class raised their hands.

Sad.

Many of these young people live in cities which have struggled with poverty, drugs and crime for decades. They are doing their best to rise above, to not be statistics, to help show the way for those who have lost hope…and they’ve got people crapping on their dreams.

In this new video, I explain why life resembles an old wooden roller coaster, and how negative people like this can ruin the ride for us all.

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QUICK QUESTION: Think back to your most recent human interaction.

Were you ENCOURAGING?

Did you praise, give hope, support, offer a kind word…or at least smile?

Every day, there are people in our lives who are just trying to make it through another day.

Does this mean we heap undeserved praise, scream puff-ball motivational quotes from the rafters or wear fake pasted smiles all day long?

Not at all.

I believe we need to be real with the world, but we also need to find the tiniest bits of hope and inspire the souls of others to take those sparks into flame.

Someone in your path needs encouragement today.

You could:

make a phone call
send a text or e-mail
write a note
send a card
make a positive comment (or at least a ‘like’) on a social media page
give a hand-shake, hug or high-five
share your favorite memory or characteristic of that person

There are many ways to encourage, many ways to be a Big Hands Person (see video above for the definition).

The world already has enough Big Feet People stomping all over it.

Park your pavement-pounders for the day and focus on where you can add encouragement.

Think of those students.

Half the class.

Encourage.

Big hands.

How Did You Jumpstart Your Day?

There was another debate recently.

No, I did not watch it.

Why not?

Because I’ve got better things to do than watch two circus monkeys have a sh*t-fling across every major TV network.

I am informed. I know the track record of each. I know what their positions are on the major issues, simply by looking them up on-line.

There should be a skull and crossbones shown at the beginning of each debate saying “Side effects of the following program include anger, resentment, de-friending on social media, the tossing of TV remotes and a complete loss of rational thought and reasoning”.

Many people begin THE NEXT DAY in a bad mood, and blamed it on the debate, forgetting that while we all have to listen to the noise, it is up to EACH OF US how we react to it.

Here’s how my day began:

1) assembled the weekly bag lunches for a local homeless veterans

2) took a beautiful photo of the bright foliage and the barn next door at sunrise

3) thanked my friends for sharing my latest video on their social media pages

How did YOU jumpstart YOUR day?

Did you intentionally do something positive, listen to your favorite music, read something inspiring, watch something funny, share a hug, have a kind word with someone?

By the way, as I was making the lunches, I was doing my best Mick Jagger/Keith Richards combination of moves, rockin’ around my kitchen…wearing a great big smile.

People say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

I believe what you intentionally plug into your heart and mind before you make that breakfast is even more important.

How did you start YOUR day?

Do you need to improve on it tomorrow?

Will you?

Gratitude…and Go-Giving!

Now in my 12th year as a professional speaker (just over half-way to ‘Overnight Success’) and in my 23rd year as an entrepreneur, I am often asked for tips and resources that helped me survive this long.

There are a handful of books I recommend (as I respect their authors a ton), which have served to inspire me or give me a swift kick in the butt, whichever I needed most at the time.

Here is the list, my gift to you, that falls out of my head at a moment’s notice:

Mark Sanborn: “The Fred Factor”

Joe Calloway: “Becoming a Category of One”

Scott McKain: “Create Distinction”

Larry Winget: “It’s Called Work for a Reason”

Randy Pennington: “Make Change Work”

For those not in-the-know, these gentleman are collectively known as The Five Friends, and I am grateful to each of them for what they’ve taught me.

I highly recommend you check them out. Every book listed above can help make a great BIG difference in your results, if you’re paying attention and taking action.

Anyway, back to my list. There is one additional book I need to mention. One that I have read (okay, listened to) more than any other book ever written: “The Go Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann.

This video includes the exciting results of several of the book’s ‘5 Laws of Stratospheric Success’ and also serves as a THANK YOU to my most recent clients who helped make a bunch of our friends (human and fuzzy-faced) very happy.

Click here for Steve’s “Gratitude and Go-Giving” VIDEO

Who are YOU surrounding yourself with these days?

Are you investing your time, and your mind, in people who are helping to make good things happen?

Do you regularly recognize moments of goodness in your life, and thank those who help to make them happen?

How can you include GIVING and GRATITUDE on your path to success (whatever that looks like for you)?

Be Positive on Purpose (Store Clerk)!

I love being a positive person, on purpose.

I like making people laugh and realize that they matter.

I like creating moments that people will (hopefully with a smile) remember at the end of their day.

Sadly, not everyone shares this intention.

As we get closer to the holidays (ugh…okay, I realize the leaves are still on the trees), one thing I am reminded of each year is just how rude and impatient some people are.

Don’t think it’s a that big of a deal?

Go to YouTube and look up ‘Rude Customers’.

Yes, I do realize that you can also look up ‘Rude Customer Service’ and see the negativity come flying across the counter from that direction as well.

From my personal observations, there are more rude customers than employees.

Why is this?

Again, from my personal opinion: because customers know they can be rude and the employees are not allowed to be rude back to them.

It’s a bit of bullying…victim can’t fight back (without risk of being fired, in many cases).

Somewhere along the line, someone coined the phrase ‘the customer is always right’…which I believe is a power-shifting pile of crap.

This is one thing I love about being self-employed.

Have I been verbally abused by people at events over the years, as a DJ or a professional speaker?

Yes…on both.

What I finally began to do was ask: “Do you have any idea how rude you are?” to those who felt they could say anything they wished to me without reprecussion.

You should see their faces when that greets their ears…priceless.

Sorry, I don’t pay myself enough to put up with their crap.

The people I do my best to encourage are convenience store clerks.

They are stuck behind the counter with the lottery tickets and slow-rolling hot dogs, listening to some peoples’ rudeness all day, every day, as if they are at the center of everything that is wrong in their customers’ lives.

Does this approach work every time?

Nope.

Some people will look at you like you’re an idiot.

Some might actually be rude.

It happens.

So, we pick our battles…and do our best because it is the right thing to do.

We seek out those who look like they might benefit from a smile, those who appear beaten down, those who look like they could use a bit of encouragement.

It can be as simple as looking someone in the eye and saying “I hope your day gets better”.

Go ahead. Try it.

You might just discover that the day that improves most…is yours.

Are You Taking EVERY Step Toward Your Success?

I don’t know what your goals are…but I hope YOU do.

It doesn’t really matter what they are, as their achievement boils down to some pretty basic steps.

This is the part of the article where some gurus will give you a special link to their ‘Super Secret Formula’ for success, with ‘Sweet Baby Ninja’ Access for just $97…but wait there’s more!!

I am IN the personal development industry, and many of those offers drive me nuts.

Did I recently go through an experience that taught me all the basic, necessary steps to achieve a goal?

Yes.

Was it on a cloud-ringed mountaintop in Tibet with a wise, bearded guru-dude?

Nope.

It was in the woods at the far end of my Dad’s property in Dunbarton NH (elevation: 825 feet above sea level, no nosebleeds here) while cutting firewood for the upcoming winter.

What was my goal?

A shed full of firewood (about 1.5 cords) for the upcoming winter.

It’s important to quantify our goals as well as knowing what they look like.

Not everyone gets that step right.

Too many people just say “I want my life to be better!”

When asked how (or even why), too many have no idea.

That’s sad, in a way, because knowing what you DO WANT is the first step.

After that, the others line up like this:

   2) Find Your Resources: Where will you start, what will you need to achieve?

   3) Invest in Tools: What skills or products will you need, who do you need to meet?

   4) Plan Your Strategy: What steps do you need to take, in what order?

   5) Take Action: This is where those who simply ‘Hope Wish & Dream’ fail!

   6) Collect Your Winnings: Gather your successes, appreciate, make room for more.

See? No secret formula, program or expensive weekend event.

Here is a VIDEO which accompanies this message.

Just something that is working for a regular guy like me who learned something valuable and wanted to share it.

If you’ve got something in your life that could use some improvement (goals, money, job, relationship…anything), I sincerely hope this simple message can be helpful in getting you UN-stuck and on the way to something better…whatever that looks like, for you.

Thunder or Lightning…Which One are You Bringing?

If you haven’t heard the controversy yet, you’ve probably been binge-watching your favorite Netflix series safely ensconced in your couch pillow fort the last few weeks.

San Francisco 49ers back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick has decided, as part of voicing his opinion on police-civilian race relations in America, to sit down during the playing of the National Anthem.

While some defend his right to do this by the simple freedoms we all enjoy, others are criticizing him for disrespecting the country which enabled him to make millions of dollars per year. Some have gone so far as to air videos of his jersey being burned in effigy.

 Here are my thoughts, in less than 5 minutes:

“Thunder or Lightning: Colin Kaepernick?”

My bottom-line question: will he bring the lightning…or simply rumble his thunder?

Many people talk…fewer still WALK THEIR TALK.

Which one are YOU doing in the world every day?

When you point your finger at an injustice, do your actions back it up?

The world already has enough thunder. We need more lightning.

Will YOU be the one to help make some happen…today?

Simple Inspiration…or a Role Model?

Role model.

Wow, that term gets thrown around a lot.

According to the Merriam Webster on-line dictionary, a role model is defined as “someone who another person admires and tries to be like”.

Where the line gets blurred, for me, between being a good role model and being a really great ‘inspiration’.

For example, take a look at some of the professional athletes who get worshiped by kids.

While they may hit home runs at will and excel in all phases of the game, some of them (being imperfect human beings as we all are) let their arrogance cause them to act in ways detrimental to the game on and off the field…and kids unfortunately pick up those things as well.

The first time I saw video of a Little Leaguer standing and watching his batted ball go over the fence instead of running to first base, I heard my Dad’s voice (he was my first coach) yelling “You hustle…out…EVERY…hit!”

Professional athletes, celebrities, rock stars (and anyone who excels in his or her field, actually) are certainly inspirational and bar-raising…but there are a precious few whom I’d actually consider to be role models.

Here are 5 of my current favorite inspirations from the Rio Olympics:

CLICK HERE for Steve’s video

Are they good role models?

Maybe.

I hope so.

They’ve each just done something nobody has ever done before, and I hope they bring that energy back to their home countries and inspire the next generation of Olympians.

Even better, I hope they live their lives as role models of fair competition, respect, compassion, solid work ethic and more.

Am I a good role model?

Not sure.

I certainly fall short of perfect.

Are there parts of my life which people have told me were inspirational to them?

I am honored to answer that question in the affirmative.

It makes me happy that *I* picked good role models and inspiring people to emulate.

Wherever you are, and whatever you do in this world, I sincerely hope you are doing your best to find your inspirations and to seek out role models who not only inspire, but walk the talk of a true champion in the game of life.

And don’t forget to *be* one yourself, as best you can.

You never know who is out there today, desperately in need of a new hero, some inspiration…or maybe even a role model.