Dave Willis says that we should, "Show respect even to people who don't deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of ours." Yes, it's hard to respect someone that we have issues with. But, "who we are" must be greater than the problems and issues that we face with others. Being disrespectful in a heated situation is similar to fire, it grows hotter when feed. Let's look at some ways to build our respect.
3 Areas of Respect
1. Internal Problems – I had a car that I spent hours washing to make shine. I had the interior and the exterior spotless. But under the hood was an internal spot that I didn't want to address. The transmission was slipping. Since it was still moving fine, I continued to drive it on a prayer, hoping it wouldn't let me down. But, as we all know, all unaddressed problems tend to show up when not needed. And it did. Our lives can be the same way, if we fail to address our internal problems of respect, we can find ourselves in some really messed up situations.
One way you can spot internal slippage is when you see your respect for others drop. If you are saying and doing things to others that you wouldn't want to be done to you, there are some key respect issues that need to be addressed. Take some time to analyze what you do, diagnose why you do that, and optimize your actions by finding ways to improve your behavior. Work on improving your internal respect for others with clean positive motives.
2. Short List – I recently was being pushed to a point of anger. I was losing respect for the person I was talking to. I felt that I needed to express what I was feeling inside and it was not pretty. But as I took a moment to breathe I was able to see that I was connecting old hurts to the issue. I was not being fair to the other person. The author of "Anger: A Practical Guide to Anger Management", Hal Goldblatt says it this way, "It is not whether we have anger—everyone has anger. Rather, it is what we do with it that makes the difference between an angry person and a calm one." Anger can blind us to many things. We should be careful not to dumped our past on others. We must continue to work on the current issues and keep our past experiences as points of reference.
When you are dealing with hurtful things, it is good to have a short list of past hurts for yourself and others. The past viewed negatively can easily bring a need to be disrespectful. Work to allow the initial feelings of past hurts and resentments to be erased so you can be able to effectively handle what's current.
3. Add Chemicals – In the kitchen, I have noticed that some old messes on the stove required more than elbow grease to remove. They need an additional cleaning agent to help break down the hard stuck on messes. Fixing our disrespect is not a one time wipe and it's gone. Becoming respectful requires changing the way we think. Disrespectable people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. If we see ourselves showing signs of disrespect we must work to replace our negative thoughts with more rational ones. This is applying the chemical of positiveness.
In your life, like mine, there are some hard messes that have been around for a while and are stuck pretty hard. The chemical of positiveness is probably far from thought when in the heat of the moment, but if allowed to penetrate it can break a lot of tough issues. True respect is not based on what others say or do; it is based on what you value. Allow your values to affirm what you think, say and do. Remind yourself that getting angry is not fixing the problem, it's actually creating more work for you to clean up in the long run.
Summary - Proper thinking before responding defeats disrespect. You can justify disrespect just like most of us, but to achieve a higher level of success requires you to remember that the world is "not out to get you" and you can only increase the respect you receive by change you. Life is full of messes that are loaded with people you might not respect. However, when self-healing starts, self-respect is boosted and in-turn respect for others is valued.
Increase your respect by searching internally, keeping a short list of past messes, and adding the chemical of positiveness. Allow the present to be a gift that you cherish. Each day is an opportunity be a better person with everyone.
I see improvements, modifications, and developments happening all around. People are building and upgrading things. I'm sure they have good reasons for investing in change. In life, improvements are not only needed but necessary for success. There are areas in our lives that require specific repair on a constant basis. Let's seek them out successfully with these three "E's"!
3 Steps to Successful Improvements
1. Evaluate – An assessment is normally made before repairs are started to calculate what needs to be kept, added to or removed. During this phase even what looks good is assessed to see if it can handle the upcoming needs. Our lives are similar. We too must evaluate our lives to see what will work with the upcoming goal. Whatever the case we should have an attitude like Lowes, to "Never Stop Improving!"
Find out what’s going on in your life. It is easy to get into a grove or habit that really isn’t the best for you. Step back and ask yourself, "Is this something I need to be doing?" Work to develop your internal voice by looking at everything through the lens of your ultimate purpose. Self-evaluation is the place to start with self-improvement.
2. Exonerate – This is a big word that means to forgive. When improvement needs to take place we must stop reliving the past. Mistakes are common on the road to success. What was done yesterday is history that can't be undone. We must stay focused on the objectives for making things better.
Exonerate (forgive) and learn from your past. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and past problems. John Maxwell says it this way, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn." Learn from your past failures and improve who you are each day. Keep in mind that failing is not a pass card to irresponsibility but an opportunity to refocus yourself for improving. Exonerate (forgive) and love yourself for who you are improving to become not for who you use to be.
3. Esteem – A building will not get needed updates if the changes are not regarded as a high priority. When improvements are a must, time and resources are given to make it happen. We must see self-improvement as mandatory.
Put being better high on your list. Take time out to invest in your dream. If you don't, no one else will. Loving yourself is like strengthening your muscles. The stronger and bigger you want your muscles, the heavier and more intense the weights must be. So to have stronger self-love requires some heavier loving of things that improve you. As you esteem to be more loving of yourself, the better you will be able to love others in the same regard.
Summary – Improve your life by first evaluating it and then exonerate the mistakes. When that is done you can esteem into action the points that will help you be more effective at life's greatest challenges.
Satisfaction is a forever moving target. We are never truly satisfied. But with an attitude of reflection, I think we can learn to appreciate the lessons learned and the struggles overcome. Let's face it, like it or not, we are in our present situations because of our past choices. And the places we will be tomorrow will be because of where we decided to go today. Whatever your status I feel that we can gain contentment from a proper focus on our past. In the end, success isn't always about what we have accomplished but more about who we've become on the journey there. Let's look at three points to reflect on pursuing.
1. Values – Our attitudes reflect our values. Each day we spend countless hours thinking and doing things that we consider important. I believe that if we were told we had 24 hours to live we could sum up our values on one hand. We would probably find ourselves trying to maximize those final moments with specific people, places, and things. Those are the people and things we should be content with reflecting and building on daily.
Work to pinpoint your values so you can have clear reflections and directions. Clear values will be those strong physiological guides that are needed to make it through life's difficulties. Your true values might not be lengthy or complex but they will be those simple precise principles that enable you to push through frustrations. Once found, reflect and build strength there.
2. Beliefs - What we believe about life is what we reflect on often. These crucial thoughts cause us to respond productively or unproductively with our lives. Whether by choice or not we formulate our attitudes on the outcomes we believe are going to happen. We find ourselves talking about it, dreaming about it, and ultimately living it.
Direct your beliefs to reflect the truth. Clear and purposeful beliefs that's accurate will escalate you into a clearer focus for success. Pursue what you believe. But know the facts behind them. A solid foundation that you believe is a good reflection to look to during the difficult times of life.
3. Expectations - What we expect is a gauge that determines the direction of our future. High goals result in an attitude that pushes for them to happen. Low goals result in an attitude that's satisfied with whatever happens. We can't have a positive reflection if we have negative images of ourselves and our goals.
Make your expectations realistic but big enough to push your limits. Then set your attitude to reflect positively about reaching your goal. You are the one that determines your outcome. If success is what you expect, settle for nothing less.
Summary - Having a positive teachable attitude is key to succeeding on all levels. Make sure your attitude is focused on what you value the most, rooted in true beliefs and set with realistic expectations that reflect an ultimate objective of long-term goals. You will arrive at the place where you reflect your attention, so reflect positively.
Life is full of delays, denials, and devastations. If we live we will encounter all of them at some point. However, back-to-back problems tend to make us question life's purpose. This month's challenge gives you a boost to stay positive in the face of challenges. Let's look at some ABC tips to help boost your attitude in the face of adversity.
1. Attention – It may be a secret to some but an extra boost is given to the things that demand your attention. When something grabs your attention you tend to loose focus on all surrounding things for that moment. For example, if you were walking on a straight line and put your eyes in another place other than the line, you would drift in the direction of your focus. The same is true in life. Your delays, denials, and devastation could be due to distractions that are holding your attention.
Be smart. Boost yourself by regularly realigning your attention to your goal. Remember, your reality will only convert to becoming the destiny you desire because you have given your undivided attention to your goal.
2. Believe – Every now and then you and I can get into the "I can't help it" mode. But I've come to realize that if my behavior is missing the mark, I need to check what I really belief. You see, your actions always flow from what's believed. If you believe you can, you probably will. Your goals won't happen if you don't believe in yourself. Don't wait for someone else's approval to act on what you know is 100% right for you. It's your goal that you're required to fulfill not theirs.
Be confident in your strengths but be humble enough to know your weaknesses and ask for help. Remember, life works on principles. So continue to turn the odds in your favor with a persistent effort of doing the right things.
3. Character – Who you really are is the person you display in the absents of opposing consequences. And striving to do what's right when no one else agrees is the epitome of good character. An Albanian Proverb says, “Ability will enable a person to get to the top, but good character is what will keep them from falling.”
Experience a boost in your character by deciding to be consistent in all areas, not because it's easy but because it's right. Continue to work on your character being top notch in the face of life's challenges. It's those tough times that the true you is seen and your character is developed.
Summary – Getting a boost to overcome life's obstacles can be as simple as ABC. Put your attention in the right spot, believe that you can accomplish your goal, and make sure your character aligns itself to what's right. It's doing what you should on the days you don't feel like it that count and position you for long term success.
You can't be successful with the weight of negativity pulling you down at every step. You and I must work to have a forward focus mentality about ourselves at all times. This doesn't mean reality is ignored. It's just not where we have put our focus. To be successful requires us to focus on accomplishing the future goal over the real current problems. Here are three tips to help push the cancer of negativity out, to obtain the destiny you envision.
1. Ungrateful – It can be easy to think things should be okay without showing appreciation for the small things. But recognizing what happen or was done with appreciation is a sign that you value others and you need their part in succeeding with your goal.
One writer put it this way, “It is not happy people who are appreciative; it is appreciative people who are happy.” Have a grateful attitude by showing that you value others time and efforts they give to your successes no matter how small.
2. Chaotic – Life is full of stressful situations but your attitude doesn't have to display a messed up demeanor to go along with it. Each day has a new set of opportunities and challenges. Focus on maximizing your energy on being a problem solver, not a problem finder. Who you become on the journey is always more valuable than just arriving at the end.
Turn your chaos into order by reach beyond the problems and seeing the strength that comes from persevering through. "Pain is temporary. It may last for a while but eventually, it will be replaced by something else." (Lance Armstrong) Keep a positive attitude through the chaos of life, it will help you make better decisions and build personal value for a successful future.
3. Complaining – Life will always have problems. So to achieve the next level of success work on what your mouth says about problems. Choose words that build up instead of tear down by looking for the good in every situation.
Confront your problems with optimism and hope. Don't be so quick to throw in the towel with your words. Keep your negativity low, no matter how big the problem. Growth comes from finding ways to overcome life's problems with connection before correction.
Summary - Negativity is like cancer, it will take over if not dealt with. Work to be grateful for the small things, look for the solutions in the chaos, and keep your words encouraging. This is the medicine that can combat the cancer of negativity.
The way you and I perceive things is the way we make it through the day. However, when our attitudes are not stable we tend to live in chaos every day. I believe that if we are rooted in truth we can see our lives succeed in all circumstances of life. It is said that our “attitudes determine our altitude”. In other words, the way we view life and handle it determines where we go and how successful we can be at it. Here are some tips to help you be stable.
1. Learn – Your attitude is a learned behavior that you have picked up from your surroundings - parents, friends, teachers, etc. Like it or not, you act like someone that you know. The good news is, although you might have learned how to have a negative attitude you can learn how to have a positive attitude too. Maya Angelou said it this way, "If you don't like something change it if you can't change it change your attitude."
Break the negative attitude by learning from positive examples. Learn how they deal with the stresses of life. Ask them questions - "How do you stay positive during tough times?" Learn how to implement stability into your life by making positiveness a requirement.
2. Clarify – What you see might be your reality but if your sight is blurred your reality is also blurred. To clarify a blurred vision of reality requires a perception that doesn't change like the wind. That universal perception is the truth. When you clarify your reality based on truth it can give you an attitude that's stable in the midst of sensitive feelings and emotions.
Keep in mind that your reality is real, full of real emotions and real feelings. But that's information, not instructions of how to react. Clarify your attitude to resemble what is true. With that clarity, you will possess an attitude for success.
3. Forward – Success requires you to keep hope alive for the future, even in the midst of tough mess ups and challenges. Learn how to grow from setbacks. Be optimist about another chance to get it right. Your failures aren't your destiny they are just a step required for you to make it to your goal.
Control what you do with failure. Position it to work for you instead of against you by framing your mind to learn how to move forward from a knockdown. Always have the will to get back up no matter how hard you're hit. Stability comes from never quitting.
Summary - Stabilize your life by learning how to stay positive from others with positive attitudes, gain clarity by looking truthfully into reality, and getting up to move forward after every fall. The stability of your attitude will determine the level of your success.
For more than two decades Lemzel Johnson has proven to motivate others to have hope on the job and in life. His high energy and passion for life, challenges others to be better today than who they were yesterday. Self-development and Team Development are just a few of the offerings that are afforded through his array of skills.