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9/18/09

Moving On Down the Road

After forty years in the wilderness, Moses proclaimed “You have stayed around this mountain too long.” What wilderness have you been in far too long? How did you get stuck? Why did you stay stuck? More importantly, how can you get unstuck? Here are some insights and suggestions to aid you in moving on down the road to success.

How we get stuck: Our emotions hold memories we may not consciously be aware of. Life experiences write on the background of our mind and continue to play out in the everyday world. Our unawareness leads us to avow that everything is okay, when in reality, it is not. We are stuck.

Why We Stay Stuck: Following are some feelings that can hinder progress and affect our relationships, healing and success. Although I have chosen to look at the emotions separately, they rarely work independently.

Fear - Fear is a multifaceted emotion in both positive and negative to keep us in a locked in a familiar rut and stops life exploration. The fear of failure may equally be related to the fear of success. Acknowledge the fear and answer the door with faith. Faith looks forward to the unknown possibilities.

Anger – Anger is a secondary emotion after fear. Whereas fear stops us in our tracks, anger propels us forward, only often in hasty and ineffective actions. Anger is rooted in hurt over injustice or having been disavowed. Acknowledge the reality that you are a person of infinite worth and value with gifts and talents to offer and give yourself room to grow. Trust your dreams and insights. Through assertive behavior show yourself to be an individual of strength.

Guilt – True guilt is a fact that you have harmed another in some way, either thoughtlessly or deliberately. Acknowledge it, repent, apologize and make needed restitutions. This sets you free to move beyond the act. False guilt is the feeling that you have not lived up to expectations, either your own impossible standards or those of others. Accept your humanity. Try, fail, learn and try again.

Resentment – Resentment is disappointment taken to extreme. It is the most damaging of relationship emotions. Resentment leads to feeling things are pointless and teaches one to become helpless. Accept their humanity. Everyone in your life will disappoint you at one time or another. Respond with grace and mercy.

Getting Unstuck – Awareness is a key factor. Carry a small notebook with you and record every thought, feeling and reaction you want to let go of. Accept the emotion (rather than deny it) and make a deliberate decision to overcome.

Moving beyond – Dreams, goals and growth are marvelous motivators. In your notebook, make a section for appreciations, celebrations, thankfulness, positive interactions and successes. Purposely dwell on these. Personal development and peace is a work in progress.

Moving on down the road does not mean leaving mate/family or quitting the job. It means to get in touch with your authentic self so you can be the best you possible. In the process, the family and job situation will improve and no longer seem stale. As you lovingly and humbly accept and believe in you, you flow in positive influence of others.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/11/09

Creative Conflict Resolution

There seems to be two constants in life: change and conflict. Conflict comes from the Latin words con (together) plus fliere (to strike). Conflict is to strike together or together to strike. Conflict is an ongoing state of hostility between two or more people or groups of people. To bring a satisfactory end to the conflict takes creativity, not necessarily something never tried before, but something you have not yet put into practice.

My definition of resolution is "to find an answer". “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6
Conflict may seem inevitable but does not have to be permanent. Resolve comes from a Latin word meaning “to loosen”. Thus, conflict is solved when we loosen our grip and allow a decision to be made.


There is a big difference in an answer and a comeback. A comeback engenders the "big but" syndrome. Resolution – decision to find an answer. Answer vs. comeback. "Big but" syndrome.
Creative – construct, give birth to, originate

You can buy matches that are "strike anywhere" and others that will strike only on a certain surface. The reasons for conflict, in a word is differences. Differences attract. Differences compliment.

Differences help retain identity. Differences lead to disagreement. The greater the emotion in the disagreement over differences, the wider the difference gap becomes.
Emotion Tense Action
Resentment Past Revenge
Anger Present Justify
Fear Future Withdraw/Push Away

1. Determine your real objective.
Is it domination or win/win. Ask yourself, "Am I willing to not win?"

2. Ascertain what may be clouding your vision? We cannot see clearly when controlled by preconceptions. Be willing to overlook some misbehaviors and differences.

3. Be willing to accept compromise for the good of the whole. What is more important,
being right or relationship? Do not be offensive. Do not be defensive.

4. Develop several options. Recognize there are multiple nuances. Consider other solutions.

5. Evaluate outcomes of winning, losing and compromising. What is a stake here? For you? For them? What have you really won? What have you really lost? How much? You can win a battle and still lose the war. You can win the issue and still lose a relationship. Is it really worth it? Will it matter next week? Next year?

6. Clarify communications. Have I effectively communicated my choices and reasoning? Have I painted understandable word pictures. Has my position been received? Have I listened to his/her choices and reasoning? Have I acknowledged his/her input? If you think communication is all talking, you haven’t been listening.

7. Explore commitment. What else do I need to do to work out this situation? How much do you appreciate the other side’s hard work to resolve this issue? How much do you value the relationship with the individual or appreciate the job? Is this issue totally incompatible?

There are two constants in life: change and conflict. I suggest the more adept we are at being flexible, the less we will engage in conflict.


9/4/09

Taking the Mystery Out of Scheduling

To the uninitiated, scheduling may seem like a daunting task. Truth is, what gets scheduled gets done. It is that simple. What seemed like a mystery becomes magical as the secrets are discovered and applied.

Finish the day off right. Plan tomorrow before leaving the office and before going to bed at night. Prepare for the next day today, then set everything aside and get a good night’s rest. Awake refreshed and raring to go.

The seven most important things. Seven is considered a complete number; it cannot be divided. There are seven major aspects of life that encompass our whole being. Each area should be considered and joyfully incorporated into your daily living. In a nutshell, they are:

Survival – health, rest, exercise, nutrition, protection, relationships
Spirituality – appreciation of the sacred, connectedness with God, morality and ethics
Purpose – drive, calling on your life, the reason for being on planet earth
Family – relations, descendants, ancestors, lineage
Financial – means of exchange, career choice, spending habits and attitude toward money
Community – the public, society, neighborhood, co-workers, the world
Mental – attitude, education, interests, outlook

Tame a racing mind. People frequently say, “I have a million things to do”.

No, you do not.

Do not exaggerate. You may have a lot of demands, but not a million. A million is not doable; six to ten are. Take all the scattered thoughts running through your head and put them on paper. Just write them down. Organize this random list by separating the main tasks from elements needed to accomplish the main task. This makes things more manageable.

Teach others to cooperate. To teach is to stimulate the appetite for. If you are telling, demanding or coercing others, I suggest the wish to please you has not yet been kindled. Work on relationship by being a good finder – notice and comment on positives. Be sincere, not coercive.

A word about deadlines. Some people declare that deadlines motivate because they work better under pressure. I suggest it is not the pressure but rather the limited time frame forces focused attention. Choose to devote focused attention at the beginning and revel in the flow of completing the project before deadline. A missed deadline is probably not fatal so cut yourself some slack and commit to improved time management. Feel good about what you have accomplished so far and recommit to the goal.

You will never rise above your calendar. Get more accomplished by scheduling in the task and outlining steps. Take the pressure off by going for 80% completion.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”

9/3/09

Fighting Fair

In an episode from Lesson from Little House on the Prairie, Laura admitted to her mom, “I meant to be hurtful, but it didn’t stop my hurting.”

Her Ma gave sage advice: “Nothing is solved by shutting off the other person’s argument. Quarrels would never last long if there was only one person at fault. Don’t be afraid to hurt. Hurt is a part of life. Hurt is a way to measure happiness by. It is a lie to try to change yourself to make someone else happy. Somewhere deep down inside there is a trueness in all of us, telling us who we really are. Find it.”

Use feedback as information only. The person is giving his perception. Take it at face value and do not read a hidden agenda into it. Take yourself out of the middle and evaluate the information from a non-emotional stance. Take what is important to you and make changes that will result in personal growth.

Be approachable. Make the confronter feel that it is okay to share with you. Do not become defensive, argumentative, animated or push back. Disavowing another’s right to speak into your life may cause him to shut down verbally but he will act on his feelings anyway.

Respond rather than react. Reacting had a negative aspect, whereas responding is problem solving. Prevent a blowout so you can focus on the issue. Be calm, non-confrontational and rational. Address the issue not the personality.

Divide and conquer. Divide a legal page in half. Take a minute and write down all his/her offenses in the left-hand column. In the right-hand column, write down how you react to the offense. Tear the sheet down the middle and throw the left side away. Reflect on the right side – your reactions - and change your behavior. Change the only thing you can change – you – and stand in amazement at how the relationship improves.

No comparisons. Do not try to make yourself out to be better than others, or your mate to be worse. Justifying your actions by comparison to another is not helpful. Each person is responsible for his/her behavior. Accept your weaknesses without judging another. Accept your mate’s flaws without character assignation.

Avoid destructive criticism. Pointing out the weakness of others is a weakness. When it is necessary to address an issue, make the person feel safe, not threatened or abandoned. You have got to let her know her welfare is your top priority even when discussing concerns.

When, like Laura, you come to the conclusion that your anger was a deliberate attempt to hurt another, the wisdom of living the trueness of whom you are becomes a reality.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Please feel free to use this article in your newsletters and include these links www.monadunkin.blogpost.com and www.monadunkin.com. Drop me a note about using an article or anything you would like me to cover in an upcoming blog. Blessings. Mona