Thursday, May 26, 2011

Who Needs Wisdom?

This is my favourite definition of wisdom:

“good sense; the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience"

Note that good sense requires personal knowledge and experience in order to be effective. Wisdom cannot grow and flourish in isolation. When one operates with poor or potentially harmful personal knowledge or under the influence of a wealth of negative or destructive prior experience, the concept of good sense generally goes right out the window.

This explains why the great leaders of the world and those we hold in high regard are almost always people who have lived positive, ethical lives. We admire them because they bask in positive light. Conversely, imagine how damaging it is for the careers of celebrities, politicians and business leaders who disregard the good wisdom they have learned over a lifetime, while performing in negative or unethical ways. They seemed not to understand that not only must wisdom be learned over time...it must be utilized for a lifetime!

We have all borne witness to the widely publicized indiscretions of a beloved golfer, a famous actor and a respected Governor that have graced the covers of tabloids and news media over the past few months.

Had the golfer, the actor or the Governor utilized the good sense and accumulated wisdom that they had at their disposal, they would not be in the respective predicaments they find themselves in now.

The three I mention are not the only people who have committed indiscretions or done something horrifically wrong that they lived to regret later. The world is full of people who from time to time, refuse to listen to the good sense that most human beings have in their minds and hearts and instead listen to the dark side of their souls where evil lurks and common sense is unwelcome. In fact, all human beings are prone to having occasional wisdom-defying thoughts. We all think negative things about other people and we all consider doing or saying inappropriate things from time to time.

None of us is free from an occasional bout of overt imprudence or internalized unkindness.

Right now, as you read this, there is someone in your life that you hold in high regard; someone you admire; someone you envy, and someone you love. Each one of those people could become someone who disappoints you, someone who disgusts you, or someone you are embarrassed by in the blink of an eye. The second they drop their guard, forget about the wisdom they know they should uphold, and perform an indiscretion, you will have the culturally acceptable right to turn your back on them. Because they have not used their common sense or acted sensibly you will probably feel the need to shun them and of course if the indiscretion is sensational enough, the media will have a salacious field day with their lives despite all the good they might have done prior to defying wisdom.

Who needs wisdom? We all do!

We all need to think about what is right and what is wrong as we make our way through life. When we decide to push our values or the values of society out of our lives, we open ourselves up to rejection, ridicule, desperation and despair.

No matter what your position in life, how you present yourself to the world and how others see you will have a deeply profound influence on the quality of your life. Think about this each time one of those very human, wisdom-defying thoughts enters your mind. Think about the other people in your lives and think about yourself...think about how much better your life will be if you simply do what you know is right!

Oh, and try to practice forgiveness when someone in your life defies his or her own wisdom. Accept that they are human and they are part of the majority of people on earth who make mistakes from time to time. Don’t dwell on the indiscretion and don’t drag out rejection and ridicule for long periods of time. Those folks feel bad enough already and they don’t need your criticism to add insult to their injury and embarrassment.

As the old adage goes: To err is human-To forgive divine!

I wish everyone a life of wisdom and good sense with only inconsequential indiscretions and a large measure of forgiveness. If you utilize your unique wisdom at all times, you will be assured a life of happiness, respect and love.

All the Best

Wayne Kehl

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Managing Your Time In The Cyber World

There is a lot of talk about time management these days. In fact, in these times when technology is bringing new and better innovations to every person on earth at lightning speed, most people have trouble finding time to do everything that is available to them. Business leaders are always on the lookout for new ideas to increase the success of their companies and because there are so many great advancements flying around in cyberspace, they are bombarding their people with more and more information every day. So much information, in fact that people are buckling under the load of it all to the point that workplace stress is rapidly becoming one of the most common reasons for employee absenteeism.

We all must accept that because of the amount of information flying at us every day, we will never be caught up!

It is impossible to get caught up on reading and digesting everything we receive on our computers, so don’t even try. Before we can move beyond the inevitable information overload that technology brings, we must accept that if we don’t learn how to filter the data that we are exposed to, we will never avoid the challenges of the cyber world. As much as the great loads of knowledge that we are subjected to daily will never cease, we must become quite ruthless in the ways we handle it. We must have the courage to discard the useless or almost useless information and retain only that which truly matters to our work. Try this: If you can’t use it to assist you in your job in the near future, don’t read it...delete it or file it immediately!

Technology brings procrastination!

Even the most technologically handicapped of us can sit down at a laptop, a PC or one of the new tablet devices and find ourselves spending hours surfing and socializing. Technology has given us some completely new ways of wasting time that are quite subtle and frighteningly seductive. Facebook, Twitter and Linked in give us outlets for our social needs while also providing valuable information to help us with our jobs and our personal lives. There is a blog available for almost every concept, culture, occupation or opinion in the world and every company on earth that sells anything has a website. The challenge or more appropriately, the goal, should be to eliminate everything that is merely a pleasant pastime and focus on the things that we can actually use to improve our immediate, real-world environment. If you find yourself running out of time, review your day and remind yourself how much time you spent working on your job and how much time you spent staring at your monitor.

Email is time management death!

What did we do before email? ... We sent memo’s on paper via snail-mail or picked up the telephone and spoke with other human beings about our issues. Because both of those options were somewhat laborious and time consuming, we tended to do more things ourselves without outside intervention. Now, with access to cyberspace, whenever we have a question or a thought we spin around in our chairs and send an email. Often we will cc or blind-cc a bunch of other people just to make sure we cover all the possible bases. Then the person who is the primary recipient replies to all and adds a couple of more people to the distribution list just to make sure all of the stakeholders are in the loop. At that point all of the people on the combined distribution lists also reply to all and add a few of their favourite people to the list...And the next thing you know our one, simple question has spawned literally hundreds of emails that are flying around in cyberspace, wasting the time of countless people...some of whom we have never met and never will.
Not only do we waste time reading emails, we waste time waiting for replies to them. In the days before cyberspace when we needed to know something, we took the direct route of a personal visit or a phone call. Now, I find people putting important work off because the person they need information or permission from has not returned their email. When I ask, “Why don’t you just pick up the phone and call them?” I am often told that they don’t want, or will not take phone calls...they prefer to correspond by email. During the past decade I have found myself on several occasions explaining some weighty business subject over the telephone only to be rebuked by the person on the other end, saying something along the lines of, “That’s great. Send me an email explaining what you want and I will be happy to deal with it!” Arrrggghhh!!!

Don’t even get me started on emailed jokes, ads, or chain-letters!

The bottom line is that we have time management problems these days because we allow ourselves to procrastinate and waste time on computer-generated junk mail, spam, indecisiveness, and delays. If you want to move closer to well-managed time, turn off your email, resist the urge to surf, and focus on the job at hand. If you are a leader, impress upon your employees, the need to focus on their work and filter out as much unnecessary cyber-junk as possible. Hey, and here’s a novel idea...Instead of sending multiple emails, pick up the telephone and talk to someone!

There is no shortage of time...we just need to manage it better!

All the best
Wayne Kehl

Monday, May 2, 2011

You are not who you think you are!

We all wake up each morning with a personal vision of ourselves. We look in the mirror and see ourselves staring back, with bleary eyes and messy hair. When we see the way we look, we immediately set about improving our appearance. We shower, shave, wash, comb our hair, put on makeup if we are women, and make ourselves smell good. Before we leave the house we put on some appropriate clothing and head out to face the day. Because we have done all the right things for our physical being, we believe all is well with the world...
But what about our emotional and psychological beings?

We all have a personal vision of how we present ourselves to others. We think we are forceful, bashful, aggressive or nice. We see ourselves as smarter than some but not as bright as others. We think we are just a little bit better at our jobs than the guy in the next office but not nearly as innovative as Bill Gates or the guy who invented those handy little sticky notes. We like ourselves or we hate ourselves...or somewhere in between. We think we are highly regarded by all or wonder why we never seem to get respect from anybody. We laugh when we are hurt and we smile when we are insulted. At the end of each day, many of us have not accomplished everything we wanted to and most of us cannot understand why everyone didn’t agree with everything we said.

We all know what we look like, but most of us really don’t know how other people see us.

Only those closest to us will tell us what they really think of us but because they are close to us, they will generally only say nice things, slathered with big gobs of positive bias. Hopefully, they really care for us and are happy to overlook our shortcomings. Everyone else on earth is thinking that we are this way or that. They might think we are pushy, obnoxious, stupid or silly. They might respect what we have done but they might not like us at all for who we are. We can’t understand why some people are more popular than us even when it is clear that we are smarter or funnier than them. We trick ourselves into thinking we are popular with lots of fans, when deep in our hearts we know we really are not.

For the most part, our own personal vision of ourselves is carved in stone and nothing on earth can be said or done to change our minds about who we are.

Most of us have built a vision of ourselves that is based on who we want to be...not who we really are or even, who we are capable of being. We create our personal vision in our minds and try valiantly to live up to it. Often when we fail to live up to who we want to be we soldier on anyway, telling ourselves that we are as great as we thought we were. We find fault with the system, a product, other people, the company, the Government or whatever external thing is closest to the situation that made us fail. We are never wrong! Our vision of ourselves must not be tampered with at any cost and we will fight anyone who tries to tell us otherwise!

Unfortunately, if the results we are getting do not match up with the way we feel about ourselves, there is a hole as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon in the way we view ourselves.

If we are not willing to accept that there might be something wrong with the way we present ourselves and that we might need to change, we will be doomed to a life of frustration and disappointment. If people look the other way when we come towards them, refuse to make eye contact when talking to us, disagree with us regularly, don’t invite us to events we think we should be at or don’t return our phone messages, there might be a problem. Now is the time to face up to it and deal with it!

It is possible that your vision is flawed and you need to look into the mirror again. This time look into your soul and tell yourself the truth about who you really are!

Get a coach.

The road to true happiness is paved with self-awareness! The best way to find it is to talk to a coach. The coach can be anyone you trust to listen to you intently and tell you the truth about who you really are, without reservation. Listen to her, discuss what changes you might make to improve the way you present yourself and most importantly, trust your coach. Never aggressively challenge him and never suggest that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. All you will do is drive her away or eliminate the value of her counsel. If you give your coach the permission to be honest with you, and choose to work on the things he or she recommends, your life will improve immeasurably.

Take an assessment.

There are a lot of computerized assessments on the market that will tell you clearly and concisely what motivates you, what sort of behaviour you are likely to exhibit in any given situation, how you feel about yourself. They will also tell you how you fit into your environment. These reports are dead-accurate and I recommend them highly. Contact me for more information on where to find the best ones.

Look in the mirror! There might just be a greater person looking back than you ever imagined!

All the Best
Wayne Kehl