Past, Present & Future – Learning to Move Past Regret!

The process of learning to love life is one which involves the detoxification of elements which hinder your personal growth. Many people believe they are happy and fully content with it all, but when you peel back some the layers of the surface, they hare hoarding feelings deeply seeded in past regret.

How do we move past regret? The truth is regret originates from the growth process itself. With time and experience, we gain the knowledge and wisdom, which creates feelings of anxiety over past decisions today. I call that the “what if” syndrome. We often say “what if I had done that, what if I stayed in that relationship, what if I had stayed at that job or what if I could find that person”. The truth is those ‘what ifs’ are taking up precious time in your life.

Learning to let go of the past is difficult, I understand, but it is essential. You must trust your past decisions as they were at that time regardless of how you have reevaluated the situation in the present. The decisions we made in the past help us to grow and understand our mistakes. When you made a decision over a decade ago, you cannot rebirth the outcome. Learn to accept the outcome as a lesson that has enhanced your life in a positive way regardless of how you view its effect.

In the present, stay away from the elements that serve as the source of your regret from the past. For example, if you let your brother borrow $500 from you ten years ago and he never paid you back, if he asks you today to borrow $500 today, would you let him borrow the money? The past experience has shaped the way you think today. Today, you make conscious decisions that will not create the same result as those in the past. Why? Because your past has shaped your thought process for you avoid the same outcome. You can face situations with confidence and create effective plans based upon experience.

But in the future, the reality is you must prepare for change and further growth. Take a moment to evaluate the outcome of today’s decisions and its potential effect on your future. In the scenario provided, if you lend your brother another $500, do you think he will pay you back? Do you think that it will cause conflict in the future if he did not pay back the debt? Do you think that he will wait another ten years to borrow more money? The choice is yours.

Your past is the past and there is nothing that can change past circumstances, however, learning how to overcome past regret is the key to developing a healthy mindset which will allow you to experience growth in every aspect of your life. And remember, now is the time to leap out on faith and dare to live out your dreams…..

Continued Prosperity!

I am a serial entrepreneur who is committed to working with others to dream big and give up the idea of a ‘can’t do’ mentality. By the age of 26, I was operating my first business out of my living room. I learned the art of networking, marketing and life skills by surrounding myself with people who represented success and the principles that I was seeking. I eliminated all of the negative forces that gave up on my vision and created an inner circle of winners. Today, I carry these same principles throughout every aspect of my life and I am committed to coaching others who are ‘pregnant’ with a dream on how to transition in to the birthing process. I live by the principle that it is time to leap out on faith and dream big!

Presentation Skills – 5 Must Read Tips For New Presenters!

Ok, you have done the preparation, planning and practice so your presentation (or training session) should be fantastic, fun and fulfilling right? Maybe, but chances are you have not thought long and hard enough about managing the audience for results. Here are five tips you should read before presenting for the first time.

1. Focus on the audience

‘All about me’ is not going to invigorate your audience. Spend time understanding each of the audience members, asking them questions and getting to know their needs and motivations. Do not underestimate this step. This can make all the difference to how you present your information and how the audience responds.

2. Avoid speaking to fast

A common mistake when presenting is speaking to fast. This is often a result of presenters worrying that they will bore the audience. The problem is that the audience take time to digest new information. It might be easy to you; after all it is your area of specialty right? You have been doing it for years. Do yourself and the audience a favour and slow down, pause and allow them time to take on the new information. You will be surprised at the results.

3. Engage the audience

Get them involved. The techniques for this are endless. The basics include, asking them questions, doing activities, group work, using visuals, stories, quotes and humour to help keep their interest. Their understanding will greatly increase using this method so get creative!

4. Show enthusiasm

Is the audience bored, sending text messages or checking their watch? Perhaps you are not showing enthusiasm for a subject. If you are passionate about a subject (even if it is the hundredth time you have delivered the presentation, your voice tone will vary as you speak. This will make a world of difference. If you do not do it now, get practicing. Fake it if you have to! Your audience will be forever grateful.

5. Know the material

The best way to increase your confidence and ability to focus on the audience throughout a presentation is to know your material and your presentation inside out. Once you do this, the focus is back on the audience. See step 1.

Follow these tips and you will be five steps closer to a good presentation. It should be noted that these tips work very well for group training sessions as well. Good luck!

Negotiate to Your Advantage

The hardest and most important part of any negotiation is knowing when to walk away.

Few things are sweeter than a successful negotiation session where both parties leave the table with a winning solution. That’s because the stakes are high: Negotiate too hard and you lose the deal; be too timid and you may not get what you want.

The three most important concerns in any negotiation are the relationship, the risk, and the value–the real decision criteria underlying any future business transactions. So whether you’re negotiating a salary increase with your board or a contract with a vendor, before beginning the process it’s critical for you to cross three essential mental bridges:

1. Clarify the relationship. “What is the current real and perceived business and personal relationship, and what is its true value to my credit union’s future?” Far too often people hold on to the past not realizing that they need to let go to be free to reach out for something better.

Carefully consider what could be lost in this negotiation, but also what new doors may open should there be successful negotiation. Too many business leaders continue with existing relationships beyond their prime simply because it’s easier and more comfortable than striking out to develop a new relationship that better suits their organization’s future.

2. Clearly structure the outcome both parties desire. Very often, people enter a negotiation with the drive to win, but they never commit to paper beforehand precisely what that means. Yes, they have a general idea (to place the contract at the best price or cost); however, they haven’t defined the optimal combination of price/cost and all other terms that reflect both parties’ best long-term interests.

Identify what it will take for all parties to believe they’ve been treated fairly. Outlining what each party should view as a “great deal” often leads to the optimum win-win agreement. After all, negotiating is merely a more formalized variation of common marketplace bartering. It’s all about give and take and each party’s perceptions of value. You offer. They counter. You respond. And so it goes.

3. Determine your walk-away point. The hardest and most important part of any negotiation is knowing when to walk away. Decide when you’ll walk away from the deal before the negotiation process, because it’s difficult to identify it in the heat of the negotiation.

It’s important to approach your walk away point calmly, as negotiators truly need to understand what each side requires to make it a “great win-win” agreement. Then, if the other side becomes unreasonable and prevents your desired outcome from happening, weigh the predetermined value you placed on the relationship as well as ask the question, “Do we really have a mutual relationship or merely one party taking undue advantage of the other?”

Once you’ve laid out the previous three steps you can begin negotiation, realizing that at times the process requires the patience and confidence to be still. For example, if the other party precipitates a long silence then wait, say nothing, and let the other party break the silence.

While it’s important to hold out firmly for your high priority/risk issues, holding out for a lost cause isn’t in your best interest. Know when to give in on a point. If it’s not a walk away issue, then concede and negotiate onward.
Most important, realize when you’re approaching the walk away point. That will help you try and steer the negotiations away from falling unnecessarily into a downward spiral, where relationships deteriorate and from which it’s often impossible to recover.

Copyright 2005 by John Di Frances.