Start your day with comedy. It makes a big difference.

Chances are you have not regularly started your day off by laughing, but what if you did? I’m a huge fan of live comedy shows, but all of the live comedy shows I have gone to take place in the evening. Fortunately, there are ways to consume and enjoy listening to comedians any part of the day either via the internet, Sirius radio or any of the cable comedy shows you can queue up on-demand. The best thing about listening to comedy is that the majority of the time, I find myself laughing about what the comedian is talking about, and generally feel much happier and better after I do.

Comedy is a great stress relief, and sometimes you might begin your day with more stress than you expected. So, a quick remedy for this is to shut off the news, and instead find a comedian to listen to instead. I’m not saying you need to listen to comedy for hours, as the positive effects of listening and laughing can be gained in as few as 5-10 minutes.

If you think about it, comedians are a bit like food, as they come in so many different varieties. Finding the type of comedy you like can be a fun experiment, and if I’m still leveraging the food analogy, there is no concern about consuming too much of it. It’s all good for you, kind of like eating healthy.

Over the years my comedic genre has varied, but there are a few comedians who have always made me laugh, such as Steven Wright who has an incredibly dry sense of observational humor everyone can relate to, followed by Jim Gaffigan who is self-deprecating and has a variety of interesting personas he works into his routine. Nick Di Paolo is also one of my favorites, as I started listening to his humor when we were both students and friends at the University of Maine. However, Nick’s humor is not for the faint of heart, and if you do not mind a large dose of crudeness and a complete absence of political correctness commentary served up as humor, then you will appreciate why he makes me laugh.

As we know, workplaces are generally serious places. However, in my opinion, and based on what I have observed over the last two decades, I seriously believe there should be either dedicated or impromptu time carved out for people to have a chance to enjoy humor, or have some fun which allows them to laugh. As I mentioned earlier, you do not have to listen to comedy for hours to laugh, and sometimes you can watch comedic YouTube videos, read comedic stories or cartoons to have the same impact.

Since most businesses are for profit organizations, they are highly focused on achieving financial metrics which will allow them to reach profitability. How each business goes about reaching their goals is what separates the strong performers from the ones who come close to only breaking even or achieve only marginally impressive financial gains. The companies I have been involved with who have been enormously financially successful, are the ones who have a healthy blend of being serious about their achievements and splicing in the right dosages of fun and humor. This is typically driven by company culture, and I have written about the importance of developing the right company culture to assist with financial success as a key performing indicator.

If you have not considered weaving in a bit of humor at the beginning of your day, or at work, I strongly encourage you to consider doing so. Try this for a minimum of two weeks personally, but commit to infusing fun and humor into your business for at least a quarter. There are not guarantees in life, but I strongly believe you will take new delight in seeing what the end results are…financially. Have you already tried this? If not, what are you waiting for? Get going.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Regardless of the industry you are in, or the business stage you are at, Market Me Too expertly bridges  teams and provides companies with proven techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our results speak for themselves. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Baggage Handling – Physical and Mental

Helping my family recently move made me realize how easy it is to accumulate items. When I was in the process of unpacking many them, I kept thinking do they really need this item, and will they miss it if it never makes it onto the shelf or into some new junk drawer? What if the item simply disappeared? Would they miss it, and is it more of a sentimental token with no real intrinsic monetary value? These same questions can be applied to mental baggage, but I think it is harder to actually get rid of this type of clutter.

Have you ever experienced the feeling I get when I go into a home that has been staged for sale, or perhaps into a freshly designed office or hotel room? I’m referring to the feeling of not being encumbered by sheer clutter and an overwhelming amount of physical stuff. Yes, the stuff has a physical weight to it, and there is also a mental weight you can experience when there is too much of it. The same is true with mental clutter. It too has a weight value, but it is harder to quantify. However, if you had to quantify the weight value, there are definitely mental topics which are heavier than others, and you know what they are.

I realize thinking about mental clutter can seem ethereal, and we do not often talk to one another about this, but it can be really toxic if we are not careful with monitoring the levels of it. Sometimes our mental clutter feels more overwhelming than other times, and typically there are topics or situations which will enhance this negative feeling. In a business environment, the mental heaviness can come from a number of places, but it is generally coming from the top of the organization and trickling down through the management team. When this happens, it’s as if the managers who should be acting as “filters” or “drains” are not doing their job. When this happens, the toxic mental baggage they are dealing with is not being properly filtered or drained, and their teams are getting a straight dose of their mental baggage which they are paid to deal with.

So, if you are in a role which serves as a filter or drain, do you know how to make sure you are doing your job well enough to keep the mental baggage and clutter from not clogging? Whether you do or don’t, here are some ways you can help to ensure both the physical and mental baggage you get paid to keep control of stays in control.

  • Just like actual drainage systems, you too need an outlet to ensure that your filter and drainage systems are not in need of human Draino. You can accomplish this by making sure you monitor the human pulse measurements on your team are at the right gauge level (e.g., take the proverbial temperature of the person or team you are managing to see that it is at a healthy level, in other words, talk to people and ask them how they are doing).
  • By keeping your communications open and transparent, you will also prevent mental blockage.
  • Offices are plagued with stuff. Whether it is office equipment, personal items strewn about a person’s work space or actual physical piling up of discarded office items (e.g., paper, chairs, broken or unused equipment). By taking the approach that each week is ‘spring cleaning’ time, you will help to keep the levels of actual clutter from getting to the point of causing the space to feel heavy. When an environment feels heavy, people are less productive and less motivated to work in that space.
  • When you give physical things away, you will literally feel lighter and happier. Having too much stuff bogs us down, but giving it away, especially when we are not using it anymore, is highly effective in terms of lightening our emotional baggage attached to physical items.

Commanding more control over both your mental and physical baggage is a goal I strive to reach on a daily basis. Some people are far better at this than I am, but when I do feel like I have a sense of control on baggage of either type, I am much more satisfied professionally and personally. See if you feel the same way by taking on the challenge of reducing your physical and mental baggage.

 

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon. Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift for upcoming college graduates, but it is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers, as the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best. In support of gift giving, for a limited time, Wisdom Whisperer’s price is currently $16.99.

Believe in yourself. It will all work out.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a situation that does not appear to be going in the right direction and thought, how is this possibly going to work out?

If you have not, I don’t believe you, as this happens to everyone. Or, perhaps you have had more than your fair share of luck, or have been living in a bubble. Either way, a majority of humans have had both life and business scenarios with which to contend.  Those that don’t seem headed towards a favorable conclusion.  But then, lo and behold, the outcome is far better than expected.

So many people spend an enormous amount of energy worrying about factors they cannot control, or consequences which are not likely to happen.

I know a number of people who worry obsessively about everything.

I have a hard time relating to this, as I try my best to do the opposite, and guess what?

Things usually turn out better than I anticipated.  Sometimes fabulously so.

In the meantime, I do not expend any energy concerning myself with factors I cannot control or that will not realistically happen. For example, I’m pretty sure nobody will actually faint from nerves in the middle of a presentation.  Okay, maybe. 😉

Of course, there is that self-fulfilling prophecy thing, but I prefer not to succumb to the negative, and think about what good things could happen instead.

When you adopt the approach of spending less time worrying about negative consequences, you free yourself to apply all of your energy to much more productive work or activities. This is a far more desirable approach.

Once you begin to implement this concept, you will start to see more positive outcomes from this paradigm mind shift.

Visualization is a technique that can be overlapped and practiced along with more optimistic thinking. Using visualization simply requires you to close your eyes and imagine what you are worried about having a positive outcome. Many athletes and executive level business people leverage this, and agree it is enormously helpful. When you are able to envision the outcome of what you are attempting to do before it happens, is a way of essentially practicing how to have success or the outcome you desired.

There is another concept called The Secret, and without getting too deep into this method of thinking, I am a firm believer this concept also can contribute to having a desired outcome from any situation you can imagine. I know this because I have practiced it and am always amazed by the results. I encourage you to look further into this concept, because it essentially taps into leveraging powers you were not aware of, but that you have to work with.

If you do not believe me, give it a try, as you having nothing to lose and so much more to gain. I have coached people on how to leverage The Secret concept, and 100% of the time the outcome has surpassed what the person was expecting. The trick is to allow your mind to be open to the concept, and then wrapping your brain around letting go of any worries you have, or anxiety to allow the power of this concept to work for you.

Imagine an hour, half a day, or weeks of not worrying about whether fill-in-the-blank is going to work out. How would your life be different if you thought this way?  What if you had more energy to invest towards improving your life, career, or anything you desire to have more positive outcomes from? I know you can embrace at least one or several of these concepts. Trust and believe that in the end, everything will work out the way it is supposed to.  Even being fired could lead to a whole new, better-paying, more satisfying career.  It could happen!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon. Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift for upcoming college graduates, but it is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers, as the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5) Tips – Improve How to Get Along with Others

Like most folks, you probably did not realize just how important that first year of school was and why would you, as you were a five-year-old with limited life skills. But, as Robert Fulghum, author of ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ proclaims, we really were all taught some critical life skills – like how to get along.

Sometimes I wonder if some people skipped Kindergarten, or were napping through the ‘how to get along with others’ lessons, or were too distracted with anything else going on at that time. If you did not pick up on the fundamental getting-along-with-others skills you missed, let’s review a few examples of how you can teach yourself, and learn the lessons that passed you by in Kindergarten.

Have you ever stopped to consider how you actually meet people?  How you have maintained the friendships and relationships you have made? Chances are, you learned these skills a long time ago from both your parents and primary school teachers, yet you were blissfully unaware of the fact you were developing these abilities.

There are fundamental elements associated with how to get along well with others, but sometimes people either forget them, or, perhaps they did not learn them well. If you have ever wondered why some people seem to be gifted with being able to get along with others, I will let you in on a little secret. It is really not that hard to do, but you will have to make a genuine effort.

Most humans have a pretty well-developed fraud meter, and can easily tell when someone is not being sincere. We have all encountered people like this. It is uncomfortable to be around them, but I also feel sad for these phony baloneys. Why? Because they are unaware of how they are perceived, and likely wonder why they do not have many genuine friends.

Have you heard of the expression “Play nice in the sandbox?”  This is one of the fundamental elements associated with getting along with others, and consists of being polite and respectful of others. Savvy senior executives know that if they don’t follow the simple lessons they learned in Kindergarten, they risk getting thrown out of the sandbox.

People who have not been taught manners and the reasons they should be respectful to others, run the risk of doing something wrong in their quest to get along. So, if you happen to be one of these people, or know someone who seemed to miss the fundamental building blocks to learn how to get along with others, here are a few tips to get you started, or back on track.

  • When you meet someone, ask how they are doing, and really pay attention to how they answer. Most people will be polite and give you a brief response, but this will give you the leverage to advance the conversation.

 

  • Given the chance, and if time permits, ask the person, where they grew up, and what led them to where they are today, either professionally or personally. People love to talk about themselves, so leverage this opportunity. I am always amazed by the fact that once I get someone talking, they may not realize they have not asked me any questions. This is OK, but it also points out they have not fully developed their ‘getting along’ skills.

 

  • Ask the person you are interacting with if you can help them in some way, especially if you are their colleague. They may not take you up on your offer, but if you start asking with what they are challenged right now, you can seize on the opportunity to tell them how you may be able to help. When you assist someone professionally, even if it is something as simple as making an introduction, they are more appreciative of this than you might imagine. Why? Because this is an example of being genuine, and you come across as being sincere.

 

  • Do something nice for the person you have met, or the people you work with or are getting to know. It does not have to mean you go out and buy them something extravagant. It could be that you share an article or YouTube video with them related to the work you are doing. Don’t just do this once, send them a couple of them over the course of a few weeks. Just don’t overdo and be thought a stalker! There are plenty of other examples of what else you can do which are nice gestures. The point is to be creative and do something for others that demonstrates how you are a genuinely nice person. This makes you more approachable and likeable.

 

  • Consider meeting people an opportunity to see the ‘diamond’ beneath the surface. Don’t get caught up thinking you need to be best friends with everyone. You do not, but at the same time, look at every encounter a chance to uncover another layer of your co-worker’s personality. You will find that most people with whom you work are incredibly interesting, gifted in their own way, and have a great deal to offer.

The bottom line is that you simply need to invest time in learning how to get along with others. Doing this is one of the most important skills to have in order to increase your future career options, and have access to an incredible network of fascinating people, some of whom you will cherish having in your life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon. Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift for upcoming college graduates, but it is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers, as the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.