May 24 2011

No one MAKES you do it!

FEELING: Angry? Depressed? Embarrassed? Happy? Sad? Disappointed? Frustrated? Anxious? Afraid? Lonely? Poor? Dumb?







Nah!  That’s not possible,” you say?  Hey, it’s not only possible, it’s true. And it’s true  100% of the time! 

We CHOOSE our behavior. 

No one makes you mad.  You choose to feel mad about something someone says or does or thinks.

No one embarrasses you.  You choose to feel embarrassed about something you or someone else chooses to do or not do or say or not say or think or not think. 

And it IS your choice

Anger. Depression. Embarrassment. Humiliation. Envy. 

Jealousy. Guilt. Hatred. Fear. Loneliness. 


These feelings don’t just fall down from the sky and land on your shoulder.  You, we, all of us, choose these emotions and we also choose the time-wasting behaviors that come along with them. 

So, maybe you don’t like hearing that, or thinking about it because you don’t want to have to admit that you’re that wimpy, wussy, weak-willed, fragile, malleable, and stupid. So you conjure up all kinds of defensive excuses and scenarios to discount the validity of it. But you can’t. There’s no discounting the truth.

Maybe you didn’t choose to get in that car accident, but you did choose to get in that car. You knew there was a risk associated and you knew that other drivers were not always as careful as you, and you chose to drive or ride anyway. But you had to BE someplace else. Wasn’t that a choice also?

It’s not that we make bad choices. Everyone on Earth does that. It’s that we convince ourselves that bad stuff is not the result of making a bad choice. We didn’t make a bad choice; circumstances were bad. Ah, but we chose to put ourselves in those circumstances by either direct or indirect choice. We did! At some point in time, it was a choice. 

I mean why would anybody CHOOSE to feel angry?  It’s much easier to blame others for the upset negative feelings we have and the accompanying nonproductive behaviors.  Isn’t it? 

That moron cut me off in traffic!  He’s a jerk!  He makes me so angry I think I’ll race up alongside him, give him the finger, and then cut HIM off!  I’ll show him!  Hey, that’s great . . . the stuff road rage heroes are made of, right? 

Why not instead choose to STOP for just a minute and take a deep breath, collect your self-control and mentally step back from the nutcase driver who just prompted you to choose to feel angry, and, instead, think to yourself that:

     A)  He’s in some kind of emergency situation or under great duress, or

     B)  I am not going to choose for that nut-job to cause me to choose to feel upset.  He’s not worth it!  

Since many choices are in the unconscious mind, when you find yourself choosing negative and upsetting behavior, pinch yourself, take that deep breath, remind yourself that you are in fact making a choice.  Change the channel in your brain from “Bad News” to “Mellow, Happy Music.” 

Remember that you always control your own brain.

(Ask any POW survivor or cancer survivor about that).


No one reaches inside your brain and causes you to think or act or react in a negative or unsettling or upsetting way.

You do that to you.


You can just as easily choose for something hard to be easy, something risky to be safe, something maddening to be calming, something impossible to be possible, a problem to be an opportunity, the glass to be half full . . ..

Go ahead and run the risk!

Choose to overcome the negatives by bringing in the (There’s a really old song my parents used to sing: “E-limi-nate the neg-ative, ax-cen-tuate the positive…”) awareness that you need only blink and then choose –instead of creating or adding to an uproar– a positive, productive behavior, thought, action, response.

Go for it! The more you do, the easier and happier it gets. Hey, it’s your choice.


# # #

Hal@Businessworks.US or 931.854.0474

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Feb 19 2011

Defeating Depression

Consciously or unconsciously,


every entrepreneur somehow


chooses to fold him or herself


into a depression sandwich…



Then what? Withdrawal? Repressed anger? Heart attack? Stroke? Suicide? Not much of a payoff for being depressed, is it?

So what’s a poor, struggling, depressed entrepreneur to do? My suggestion? Take a page from my favorite “go to” book, BORN TO WIN by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward. It’s 40-years-old and as true to the moment as if it’d been written this morning.

[If you don’t have a copy within arms distance, you’re either a masochist and enjoy suffering, or you are the poster-girl or -boy for emotional stability and perfection. This book will help you grow, sell, communicate, love, forgive yourself, be inspired, and win.]


Whenever you make a move toward autonomy, old feelings and behaviors may remind you of how you “used to be.”

Being aware of how you feel, even if it doesn’t seem rational, gives you a chance to change.


Here’s a sample of some how-to suggestions the book offers us for first-hand, realistic dealing with depression. What have you got to lose for trying? You’re not going to be doing anything else important until you get yourself out of the funk you’re in anyway, right? So try this recipe (recommended to do in private, and out of others’ earshot!):


1. When the blues start, take a good look at yourself in the mirror.

  • Study your face carefully. What do you look like when you’re depressed?
  • Now look at your entire body. How are you holding your shoulders? Your hands? Your abdomen, etc.?
  • Do you resemble how your mother or father or some parent figure looks or used to look?

2. Now exaggerate your symptoms of depression.

  • First exaggerate your facial and body expressions.
  • If you tend to withdraw and sulk, curl up in a ball, cover up your head, stick out your lower lip, and sulk in a big way.
  • If you cry, get a few imaginary buckets, and fill them with imaginary tears.
  • Exaggerate any symptom you’re aware of.

3. Now become aware of how your body feels when depressed. 

  • If you feel uptight around your shoulders and neck, try to discover whether the tenseness is related to a specific person.
  • If it is, say softly, “Get off my back.” If this phrase “fits,” say it louder and louder, increasing your power until you are shouting.

4. Now ask yourself

5. Next, reverse your depression symptoms.

  • If your eyes look sad, your mouth droops down or something similar, reverse your expression.
  • If your head is hanging low and your shoulders are drooped, raise your head high and pull your shoulders back. Thrust your chest forward and say “I am not responsible for everything and everybody!” or “I’m OK.”

All five of these steps will be enhanced and even more productive for you if you toss in a sprinkling of deep breathing. You’re worried about appearing foolish? Imagine how foolish depression looks on your pleasant face and positive posture. Bottom Line? You’ve got nothing to lose, except depression. Have a great day!


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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”   [Thomas Jefferson]

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Jul 12 2010

Living on the edge . . .

You’re the boss, but 


are you a happy camper?


     If you’re not a professional athlete and you need energy drinks to keep afloat, or nine or ten cups of coffee every day just to stay alert, on track, and in control, you are definitely not a happy camper.

     You are fighting with yourself and not sleeping much.

     But you’re not alone. You definitely don’t want to hear the latest findings about unhappy work situations, depression, anxiety, stress, illnesses, accident-proneness, and insomnia.

     Just know that the numbers are staggering enough to underscore that you’re in good company, or perhaps bad company as it may be (?).

     Just an awareness of how common these issues are should prompt you to pursue your options.

     But odds are —like a student I remember telling me didn’t think he had enough time to take my time management course — that you continue to manage to sidestep alternative ways of thinking. What’s that “Got Milk?” thing? Uh, got excuses? 

     Sidestepping is an art form all by itself. Sometimes it’s in your own or others’ best interests. Sometimes it’s not.

     Sidestepping is not in your own and others’ best interests when it puts your life or the lives of others on the edge . . . hanging precipitously on the cusp of the kinds of physical, emotional and psychological ailments itemized in the third paragraph above.

Suffice it to say that being overworked, unhappy in relationships, constantly worried about money, jacked up on caffeine, and never sleeping enough is a description that probably fits — at least in part — the majority of Americans in today’s workforce.” 

     Sidestepping is not in your own or others’ best interests when you foster or nurture worklife environments that breed these kinds of symptoms.   Are you breathing?     

     Does this mean you need to be the Sheriff of Civility, and fire offenders, or put them behind bars? Silly, huh? Well how silly is it that you consistently choose to set yourself up to get whacked out by stress, and become the poster-boy or poster-girl for serving up on-the-job heart attack appetizers by setting a lousy example?

     What if you came in to work tomorrow morning and drank juice or water instead of Red Bull or whatever it is that presently floats your boat? (Careful to wean off the caffeine unless you enjoy headaches.) Would people notice? Of course. Would they tease and whisper? Of course. Would it prompt them to think twice about their own caffeine-loading habits?  Of course.

     And would choosing to change that simple behavior be a good thing overall for productivity, customer service, sales,  operations, and your own well-being? Of course. Will it happen overnight? Now, come on, how long did it take to work up to nine or ten daily cups of coffee, or get everybody hooked on energy drinks? 

     This isn’t about three or four cups of coffee a day, or getting into occasional bad moods, or interfering in people’s personal lives. It’s about closing the floodgates.

     This is about recognizing you have a chance to help others to live more enjoyable and rewarding lives by making the conscious choice to help yourself to do that, and setting an example . . . it’s about making that choice over and over every day.

                                                                                                      or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America and our troops. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

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Jun 29 2009

In Response to Dealth and Dying

The World’s Greatest Expert


on Death and Dying–


Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD


–Points to Five Stages:

  • Denial and Isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

     She said we –all of us–  must experience each of these five stages to one degree or another in the order they are shown above with every loss experience. The only exceptions being instances where people get stuck in a given stage and never get beyond it.

     So as business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs, some of us experience bits and pieces of these five stages everyday with daily losses.

     Kübler-Ross said that losses are not limited to human death, and can  include the loss of a limb or faculty, or ability… loss of a valuable possession (a home, a car, a business), loss of companionship (including divorce and separation), loss of freedom (including jail), loss of a job, loss of a client, loss of a prospect or opportunity, loss of self-esteem, loss of authority, etc., etc.

     And to a lesser degree, we even experience these stages when we lose a dollar, a photograph, a letter, an address, a contest, and so on.

     So what’s the point? Healthy successful people do everything humanly possible to channel all their energies and mental focus on reaching the level (or “Stage”) of ACCEPTANCE as quickly as possible, and on maintaining themselves at that level as permanently as possible.

     Everything else is non-productive. Everything else leaves us feeling deflated and defeated and negative. Some people stay in these places their entire lives. Some are institutionalized. Some do themselves in.

     Stages 1-4 are pure torment. We must go through them, but the goal needs to be to move through them as rapidly as our minds and bodies allow us to. Getting through the maze may take friends and rescuers to stand by shoulder to shoulder. We have all performed that function for someone else, but perhaps have forgotten?  

     Keep always in the front of your mind that no matter how out of control it may feel to be stuck somewhere in denial and isolation, or in anger, or in a bargaining position, or a state of depression, it IS a matter of choice!

     The minute we choose to accept loss, the quicker we can get on with a happy and productive existence and make the most of the short time we each have here on Earth…make the most of the relationships we’ve been blessed with: with other people and places and purposes.

     We need not choose to lock ourselves into suffering and misery. Life and business life are way too short to have wasted time and energy with anything besides being happy and healthy and in active pursuit of our dreams.  

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Input welcome anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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May 20 2009

STRESS Kills Sales Quicker Than The Economy

“I’m Sick of Worrying!”


     An important followup note on last night’s blog post topic: “Worry” as noted comes from being too over-focused on the FUTURE, which ignites weapons of self-destruction fuses and pulls the pin out of expectation grenades that inevitably breed disappointment, followed by negativity, depression, stress…

     This is all true, but as I re-read the post, I see that I failed to include being too overly-focused on the PAST as a worry trigger as well. Consider getting caught up in giving either too much attention to future plans and expectations, or in over-and-done-with past events, as “partners in crime.”

     These “bad guy partners” are out to get you, and you can stop them short, before either one ever gets close to delivering harmful effects to you, your family or your business. Success means simply that you need to exercise more of your brain power to deliver increased personal awareness and increased self-control to your SELF! (Considering Einstein reportedly only ever used 10% of his brain power, just imagine what’s possible.)

     Thinking about the past can be productive, relaxing, and instructional, but not once it reaches the point of dwelling on past events. As with allowing future thoughts to become worrisome, our balance and stability as humans is equally threatened by dwelling on the past. 

     The past is over and cannot be changed. Worrying about and dwelling on it is a nonproductive (actually counter-productive) waste of time and energy. Conscious or unconscious, the fact remains that paying over-the-top attention to either the past OR the future—instead of the (much-healthier) present—is a choice.

     To get past the “points of destruction” in your mind, you need to be a detective about yourSELF. Figure out what it is that trips your circuit-breaker, that gets you “lost” in past or future thoughts and issues. Once you know what your “trigger” is, then every time you are aware of it coming to the surface, let it serve as a reminder to pinch yourself or feel your pulse or heartbeat, or take a deep breath…and return yourself to what’s going on right in front of your face.

     Oh, but that’s hard and I don’t know how to do it! It’s hard if you CHOOSE for it to be hard. You can just as easily CHOOSE for it to be easy. As for how to do it, just start paying closer attention to your own behaviors…how you respond and react to others, to situations.

     Keep track of your words and actions. Write your observations down someplace and review your notes every few days. Keep asking yourself what you are learning about yourself right this minute.

     You’ll surprise yourself. And odds are you’ll far exceed your own expectations of what you believed to be possible for your own physical, mental, and emotional health and happiness. Try it. You’ll like it! But don’t wait too long. There’s no time like the present!      

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Input welcome anytime: (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar              # # # 

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