Blog Topics, From the Editors, Relationships - Monday, June 3, 2013 9:00 - 11 Comments
I moved to Texas at the beginning of 2013 to start my first full-time job post-college. After a 6-month paid internship directly after graduation (THREE CHEERS FOR THAT!), the stress of the unknown had ended. And with three cross-country moves in less than one year under my belt, I could finally think about settling. Yikes.
As the chaos of another move and starting a new job subsided, it hit me: I was thoroughly sick of myself. With no family in the area and no children or pets to take care of, my only true responsibilities were to stay on top of: rent, bills, groceries, laundry, and…well, that’s about it. So. Hip hop class? I was there. Spontaneous concert? Check. Chocolate chip pancakes for dinner three nights out of the week? Clearly. But all of this fun was for my benefit. And after a while, the self-centeredness was becoming unfulfilling. A sense of guilt had started as well. This can’t be it, I knew.
The pull to help other people, to feel connected and part of a community, would be my resolve. Volunteering. HOWEVER, I would approach it differently than I had ever approached volunteering before. Previously, I was forced to volunteer. I did not choose where or who I volunteered with. I had no personal connection or investment. So how much was I actually benefiting those I was serving…or myself?
- Meeting Pete Cashmore, or, How to Prepare for Meeting Your Hero
To many, founder and CEO of Mashable Pete Cashmore is, as Contributing Editor Chris Raymond calls him, a “rare bird.” To me, “rare bird” doesn’t even begin to describe someone of his stature who started out as a 19-year-old blogger living in rural Scotland. Rare bird? More like pterodactyl. As someone who has been blogging [...]
- Why We Are Like Earworms, and What to Do About It.
Earworms are the songs you can’t get out of your head. They crawl in when you hear them, or when you see a word or hear a phrase that makes you think of them, or in a moment of stress, or when you’re happy. The threat is constant. For me it’s Everybody Dance Now by [...]
- Make Time for Gratitude in Business
The other day someone asked me how to best stay in touch with people while getting my day-to-day work done. Two answers immediately come to mind: 1) Always be ready. 2) Always look for opportunities to be appreciative. We all have 1,440 minutes in each day. This comes out to 96 periods of 15 minutes [...]
- Difficult Conversation? Try It Again, This Time with Feeling
There’s an assertiveness technique that’s known by many names, but I know it as The Three F’s. The letters stand for Fact, Feeling and Future, and the technique is useful when you’re feeling too anxious to deal with someone about a subject that’s bothering you. Let’s say it’s the boss you need to deal with. [...]
- Meeting Zig Ziglar
by Michael Levin The next-to-last time I saw Zig Ziglar, I was one of 17,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, where he was speaking as part of a program of superstars, including Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Joe Montana. He was onstage accompanied by his daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman. On April [...]
- Take My Mantra, Please!
By the time my taxi reached the portico of the elegant colonial mansion where I’d be running an executive communication workshop with 40 international bankers, I’d chosen my mantra. I repeated it to myself as I bumped my drag bag up the broad front stairs. Inside the bag were 40 copies of my book on [...]
- Success Through the Eyes of a 90-Year-Old
Helen Johnson was a big success, though you’ve never heard her name. She was my mother-in-law and the beloved matriarch of a large, close Texas family. Like Nora Ephron, who we just lost, Helen believed in “being your own heroine.” Helen passed away unexpectedly at 90 years old last week. You may ask how this [...]
- The Problem with Children
I was asked by my esteemed online editors to write a blog about the experience of moving, one of those off-the-stress chart experiences I am currently in the middle of. As in, I have been living in an apartment in Texas and “commuting” home to New York every other weekend to see my husband and [...]
- My Dad’s Unwritten Letter to My Children
While celebrating with my two little ones on Sunday, I read a dozen or so wonderful Father’s Day tributes on the Internet. Many of you probably did the same. A couple were from famous men writing notes to their grandchildren. That afternoon I sat down and imagined what my father, who passed away in 1999, would [...]
- High-Fiving Your Way to a Championship
With the NBA playoffs in full bloom, I’m looking for something a little different as I try to assess who might win this year’s title. I’m looking for high fives, butt pats and chest bumps. During last year’s championships, The Wall Street Journal wrote about a study done by researchers at Cal-Berkeley. The VERY academic [...]
- Check Your Ego at the Door
Every Saturday during the college football season, millions of fans tune in to ESPN’s College Football GameDay. On the set are four of the most well-known faces in all of college football. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, former Heisman Trophy Winner Desmond Howard and Lee Corso entertain fans from their traveling desk—usually at the best game [...]
- Conference Confidence: No Wallflowers (or Gossips) Allowed
I have a confession: For years, I attended countless conferences and industry functions. Only after dozens and dozens of events did I start to wonder why I wasn’t getting anything out of them. I did a little analysis and realized I’d always bring someone with me—a crutch—and we’d stand in a corner talking about everyone, [...]
- How a Homeless Man Reminded Me of My Why
In the discussion about chasing greatness, there really is a starting point. Anyone who is in the pursuit of a champion’s life has to know their “Why.” No one has ever sustained Greatness without a strong sense of why they were driven to it. Week in and week out, I will tell you some great [...]
- Things My Dad Taught Me
My dad is on my mind again. The last three nights, I’ve had dreams about him. One night, I was Karate-chopping my stepmother. Another night, I ran into his arms sobbing. The third I have a hard time remembering, but I understand why my dad’s been on my mind. His birthday is coming up on February [...]
- #MonsterinLaw Live Tweetchat
Movies, sitcoms, and horror stories are written on the subject —terrible in-laws. SUCCESS’s own Mel Robbins tackles this controversial subject with her new show on A&E TV, Monster-In-Laws. Airing Mondays at 10/9pm central, Mel attempts to open lines of communication, understanding and a deeper sense of love for the families involved. Want an insider’s take of [...]
- Shed Your Uniform and Show Some Personality
For roughly 325 days a year, we look exactly the same—basic slacks and dress shirts in standard colors of black, grey and muted tones. You might show your personality with a fun print or colored tie, but for the most part, your clothes are the same daily. That is, until October 31st, Halloween… and the [...]
- If Art Imitates Life, How Does Life Inspire You?
Listening to Pandora internet radio just now, this song came on.
- Winning People Over: Persuasion & Influence (2 of 4)
"No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness." —Aristotle
No discussion on the topic of influence and persuasion is complete without a few words on Aristotle's famous dialectic on what he calls the three levels of persuasion: LOGOS, PATHOS and ETHOS.
In each installment I will boil it down to a single action item for you to walk away with in order to make this new knowledge have power in your own ability to persuade and influence others.
Let's start with LOGOS—which can be understood as simply logic.
So the first form of persuasion has to do with convincing others through the use of logic. I interviewed Dave Lakhani recently (grew up in a cult, now best-selling author of Persuasion: The Art of Getting What You Want). Here is how he put it: "Persuasion is helping people come to their own most logical conclusion which happens to be one we share." He goes on to say, "Persuasion is about being a more effective communicator and getting the best outcome for everyone involved."
"Persuasion is helping people come to their own most logical conclusion which happens to be one we share."
So, in LOGOS, we use logic and reasoning to persuade others to see things in a new way.
Let me give you an example; this is how I lay out the argument for why someone should… CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF POST
- You’ve Got 16 Weeks
I was on the phone yesterday discussing sales projections and strategy with one of my coaching clients, and he said something that startled me, “but Mel, there’s only 16 weeks left in the year.” 16 weeks?! The kids just went back to school! How is that possible? That’s not a lot of time. I have [...]
- Winning People Over: Persuasion & Influence (1 of 4)
Eat or be eaten. Influence or be influenced. Someone is always selling and someone is always buying (consciously or not).
If you open up your medicine cabinet, or your dresser drawers, your pantry or your garage… or just look around the room you are standing in right now, each item you see is a war trophy, representing somebody’s or some company’s victory—who got you to trade your hard-earned money for their product.
How did they do that? What tools did they use?
That is what I will teach you in this four-part blog series—the all-important skill of influence and persuasion.
Make no mistake. There are legions of influence agents operating around you everywhere, all day. Sometimes it’s in the form of a TV commercial, or a phone solicitation, or grocery store announcement, bus bench or billboard, and other times it’s in the form of a solicitation or request by a child, spouse, employer, priest, friend or co-worker.
A friend of mine once tried to count the number of direct attempts to control his thoughts and behavior that he encountered in a single day. This included people requesting him to do things, forcing him to do things, asking him to buy things, telling him to pay for things, showing him where to stop and when to go, suggesting how he should think about things, offering him slogans to repeat, songs to remember, attitudes to change, and ideologies to believe. He doesn’t even read the newspaper, listen to radio or watch TV! He gave up by 10:30 a.m., as he lost count somewhere around 500. Research calculates that the average person receives more than… CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF POST
- Now You’re Speaking My Language
In his best-selling book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Gary Chapman defines love languages as the “five ways people speak and understand emotional love.” Take a look at the abbreviated definitions, and see if you can identify your love language. Words of Affirmation: Words matter. This person treasures hearing, “I [...]
- The Biggest Kid-Problem: Entitlement
Many SUCCESS readers answered our poll asking what is the biggest problem or challenge faced by kids (and their parents) in today’s world. (click here if you missed it).
The results were quite remarkable! Of all the parents who participated in the poll, the clear majority were most worried about the sense of entitlement that kids seem to have today. Take a look at the top six vote getters:
- A Sense of Entitlement (53%)
- Excessive Technology and Gadgets (16%)
- Peer Pressure (14%)
- Drugs and Substance Abuse (8%)
- Bullying (7%)
Readers could only vote for one problem and yet “Entitlement” still gets 53% and wins as the biggest problem by a landslide. And the second-place finisher (with about 16%), “Excessive Technology and Gadgets,” is really about entitlement too—kids who think they are entitled to all things electronic.
Combine those top two answers and we have…Click Here to Read More.
- Sometimes You Have to Unplug to Find Your Outlet
I never knew my dad’s outlet until just now. Driving into work this morning, I felt blank. Void. I didn’t have any words to say outwardly, but I needed to express myself inwardly.
“I need to write,” I thought, making a mental note to post that as my Facebook status. “That’s my outlet, my thing—writing.” Already I was feeling better.
That got me thinking about other people’s escapes. My husband’s outlet is sleeping. When things overwhelm him and he feels stuck, he sleeps. A lot. Then he wakes up, literally and figuratively, and feels better.
My best friend’s outlet is music. Loud, house music of the club persuasion. He’s this big, beefy Englishman and yet he loves a poppy electronic tune to get his day going.
My late father-in-law’s outlet was us. His new wife and child were demanding, but laughing and going out with his sons and me was the escape he needed, although he had hell to pay when he got home.
What about my father? He was a… Click Here to Read More
- You Can Be Right or Happy…
…Usually not both (particularly in your marriage).
It was Friday night (Date Night!) and I was flying home after a long exhausting week on the road. My wife, Georgia was picking me up from the airport and she had made reservations for us at this new restaurant in downtown San Diego we were excited to try.
To make it special, earlier in the week I called ahead to see if they stocked our favorite French champagne. They did not, so I arranged to have a bottle shipped to the sommelier at the restaurant to be presented at the table as a surprise (along with another small gift I picked up on the road).
Georgia had arranged a surprise as well, knowing I would be coming off a long flight she had bought me a new shirt, had it pressed and waiting in the car when she picked me up. Oh boy, this was going to…
- This Ain’t Your Parents’ Marriage
I have to admit, I am that little girl who adored her parents. While my friends’ parents were all getting divorced, my parents were still together and happy about it. I held them up as the standard for marriage. But after a year of marriage I can tell you with certainty, this ain’t my parents’ marriage. I have come to realize being a newlywed in the 21st century is significantly different than it was for my parents.
First, you should know that my husband and I met online, MySpace to be exact. Now, granted, we had a previous connection, having gone to the same high school, he graduated a year before me, but still our relationship was born from technology. And technology has since been a staple of our relationship, as it is for so many younger couples. Text, instant messenger and sites like Facebook or Twitter are often the main means of communication—certainly not the case for people like my parents. So how do you establish a meaningful, fulfilling and, most important, stable marriage, when texting is your primary means of communicating with your spouse?
Honestly, it’s not easy, and I can’t say that I have completely succeeded. But with my husband working twelve-hour days, and me working five days a week at an office I drive an hour each way to get to, we have to “make it work” (as Tim Gunn would say).
First I think ground rules should be established. For example, you should both agree
- Are You Connecting or Just Communicating?
It seems the networking series really seemed to connect with many of you. To continue the discussion and to introduce you to our May issue of SUCCESS with the social network star Mark Zuckerberg on the cover, below is my Publisher's Letter from the issue. They key point is, you don't need 1,000 'friends' or even 100… see how many below…
But recently I spent some time sorting and categorizing my database of more than 10,000 "contacts," and I had a startling realization. While I might be communicating with tens of thousands of people every day, outside of encounters with my immediate family and business team, I am not really connecting or fostering very many real relationships at all. I'm what's called a mile wide and an inch deep, and that's not how you strike oil! I've been mistaking communication for connection.
Since having this epiphany, I've noticed how many other people suffer from this same affliction, mistaking the time they spend transmitting and receiving information with time spent making meaningful connections. Don't get me wrong—both communication and connection are essential today, but one simply does not equate to the other.
With the pace of business and life today, it's so easy to fall victim to this way of thinking; we must move quickly and convey as much information as quickly as possible to stay competitive, or so we think. With all the opportunities technology provides—enabling us to work from just about anywhere and to expand our reach, quite literally, around the globe—it also has become a crutch in some ways. I think true connection happens… CLICK HERE TO READ REST OF POST
- Gershbein: Take Control of Your LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile content drives your actions on LinkedIn; your actions on LinkedIn drive your real-world outcomes. You can be an absolute master in navigating the site, exemplary in your approach to connect with others, and a sparkling conversationalist in the groups, but if you have poor, inaccurate, irrelevant, or underdeveloped content in your LinkedIn profile, it’s a deal-breaker. The highly professional environment of LinkedIn provides you with unique opportunities for name recognition and targeting specific audiences for the selling and marketing of products, services and enterprises. A LinkedIn profile that frames you as the subject matter expert (SME), broadcasts an openness to collaborate, and inspires others to take action relative to your service offering is your absolute best marketing in today’s digital world.
Success Secret No. 3: Construct a Remarkable LinkedIn Profile
- Gershbein: Are You a LION or a Lamb on LinkedIn?
Everything that we do in business today is predicated on our ability to establish a set of ground rules and operate within them. When we fail to set boundaries, we open ourselves up to confusion, indecisiveness and self-doubt that can paralyze us. What governs your activities on LinkedIn? LinkedIn achievers draft a blueprint for success and carry it out to the letter. By adhering to a personal code of ethics and setting realistic limits in using the site, you will stay on course in reaching your objectives.
Success Secret No. 2: Define Your Rules of Engagement on LinkedIn
How we circulate, connect and communicate on LinkedIn is a matter of personal preference. These are the core activities on the site and those for which LinkedIn achievers have defined their rules of engagement (ROE)…
- The Divine 9 Success Secrets of LinkedIn Achievers
Like anything else in the success realm, achieving on LinkedIn finds its point of origin with mindset training. By embracing a positive attitude and conditioning your mind for success, you can achieve anything you seek in business and in life. Such is the gospel of many great business leaders and sales trainers and the hallmark of the SUCCESS enterprise. These principles translate beautifully to LinkedIn. Once you take the leap of faith and begin to work LinkedIn with purpose and conviction, things will quickly gel and you can expect positive outcomes. You somehow—almost magically—gain the insight you need and, slowly but surely, you advance out of your comfort zone. You will develop a sixth sense for how people interact and communicate on LinkedIn and your own social networking style will emerge.
Success Secret No. 1: Develop an Empowering LinkedIn Mindset
To understand the role of mindset training, consider the barriers (whether real or perceived) that inhibit or prohibit many people from even getting started on LinkedIn—let alone using it productively—and how LinkedIn achievers break them down.
1). Fear of Technology. Well, you don’t have to be a Ph.D. from M.I.T. to maneuver around LinkedIn. You do, however, have to be comfortable at the computer and commit a few basic skills to memory. LinkedIn is very well laid-out and extremely easy to navigate. Any aversions to today’s technology that a LinkedIn achiever may have had prior to creating an account are quickly dispatched…
- Gershbein: Ask Yourself, Why Are You on LinkedIn?
At every speaking engagement, I usually ask the question of my audience, “Why are you on LinkedIn?” After a brief period of silent contemplation, I stroll about the room, meet their innocent stares and, after a bit of gentle prodding, they begin to shout out their answers:
“To connect with other people”
“To research companies in my target market”
“To share information in my industry”
“To become known in my field of expertise”
These are all valid reasons. Invariably, there is one response I’m looking for that is never offered (or is held back) until I drop a few hints. Ultimately, someone blurts it out: “To make money!”
Why are we so reluctant to admit that—on a social networking site devoted to business—we are looking for business? This is what Reid Hoffman and the founding fathers of LinkedIn envisioned when they spent their first venture capital dollars in 2002 and built the site. Since its launch in May 2003, an entire cottage industry has sprung up around LinkedIn training and consulting (as with all social media). The Internet is swollen with LinkedIn tutorials and blogs that take you through the how-to of social networking. There is so much content out there it will make your head spin. Everyone is quick to tell you what you should be doing and how to do it without shooting yourself in the foot. The key is to not get bogged down in minutiae…
- How Well Are You Using LinkedIn?
There is a resounding difference between saying, ‘I want to be successful’ and declaring with fist-thumping conviction, ‘I will do whatever it takes to become successful!’
Success in navigating the popular business networking site, LinkedIn, and using it to meet business objectives operates under the same premise. The road to becoming a LinkedIn achiever is paved with ongoing learning, constant observation, practice and application.
Since 2006, I have worked with thousands of top executives, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and job seekers to help create branded content for their LinkedIn profiles, designing customized LinkedIn sales and marketing strategies, and translating their efforts on the site into positive results. My greatest joy is taking someone new to LinkedIn under my wing and watching them grow and develop into a poised, confident communicator and social networker – in other words, a LinkedIn achiever.
Who is the LinkedIn achiever? What does he/she do that is different from the casual user? I can tell you that the LinkedIn achiever doesn’t log in sporadically. He/she has an action plan.
I define the LinkedIn achiever as one who attaches value to the time and energy spent on LinkedIn, presents well on the site, respects best practices in using it, and considers this work to be an integral component of daily business prospecting.
In my humble opinion, people who are on LinkedIn but claim they don’t have time to work on it, have not made the conscious decision to explore its possibilities. Perhaps there’s something else holding them back (e.g., fear of technology, lack of faith in the medium). The LinkedIn achiever has overcome these psychological barriers to success, sees the potential and is empowered by a positive mindset.
- Eyre: Bursting “The Bubble”
For years, we had the stress of trying to fulfill the holiday and birthday wish lists of nine children. I remember one particularly stressful Christmas was spent standing in a long line for the desire of our 7-year-old daughter Shawni’s heart: A Baby Alive doll. Just as I got to the front of the line, much to my chagrin, the woman in front of me got the very last doll. I was devastated trying to figure out how to tell Shawni that Baby Alive was dead!
Then there was the time when we discovered at about 2 a.m. on early Christmas morning that the “Santa gift” for our little 6-year-old Jonah was gone. The gift, which was a little robot that could sweep the floor (six inches at a time), had been stored in the garage in a black garbage bag for several weeks, and had somehow apparently been inadvertently thrown away. Great idea to put it in a garbage bag… in the garage, right?
One year when our house was full of teenagers and kids down to age 10, we decided that enough was enough. The last thing we needed was a bunch more “stuff.” We knew that our kids were living in a bubble with no realization of the real world or the situation that many living in poverty faced every day of their lives.
After careful deliberation we took a deep breath and told the kids that what they would be getting for Christmas that year, in lieu of all the gifts and paraphernalia that previously permeated Christmas, was a ticket to Bolivia, for a project sponsored by a great humanitarian group in Salt Lake City called CHOICE Humanitarian.
On Christmas morning…
- Eyre: No One Ever Said Raising a Family Was Easy
We have been writing about families all over this country; now let us introduce you to our family. I (Linda) remember days when I rolled over at 6 a.m. with a groan wondering how in the world I was going to survive the day. There were mouths to feed, music lessons to practice, homework to finish, myriads of sports events to cheer for and the never-ending orthodontist appointments. (I think our funds to correct those genetic buckteeth built our orthodontist a very nice house.)
But the family traditions made life so fun! Days like burying Richard in a ton of leaves on his birthday every year at Liberty Park and writing on adding machine tape a list of things we were thankful for on Thanksgiving morning made all the hard stuff a blur in the background. Our life was full of mayhem and a lot of minutiae, along with some moments of pure magic…
- Hardy: The Head Games of Happiness
That’s a serious question… maybe one of the most important questions of your life. But did you know most people can’t answer it correctly?In his book Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard professor Dan Gilbert explains that most of us think we know what makes us happy, but typically we are wrong.I have found there are three major traps in which you might be unknowingly making yourself unhappy.
The first unhappiness trap is postponing happiness. The “when I (fill in the blank), I will be happy” syndrome. The reality is happiness, isn’t something to be acquired in the future. You are either happy now or not; “then” never arrives. Living and striving for “then” results in a constant state of unhappiness. Now is the only time you have to be happy. If you can’t be happy now, you most certainly will not be happy later.
- Eyres: The Beauty of “Just Enough”
One day each year, preferably in early November, we ride horses down the incomparable Kolob Canyon of Zion National Park in southern Utah. We enter at the park station close to the wonderful little town of New Harmony, and ride along the base of the Five Fingers—massive, sheer, monolithic red cliffs that jut up straight and impossibly high from the golden cottonwoods that grow along the clear, babbling La Verkin Creek.
Eyre blogIt occurred to me (Richard) this year that one reason I love it so much down in that canyon is that it is the desert. The dry, crisp, still warm air is part of it, but it’s also the sparseness of the desert. There aren’t that many trees, so you can spend a moment just focusing on one single tree, standing starkly in its autumn glory, with a huge red cliff as its backdrop.
It was back in college when I first started to appreciate the desert. I read Edward Abbey’s Deseret Solitaire and loved his descriptions of a single flower, or a cactus with one bloom, or a few blades of grass emerging from the sand—appreciated because they were so sparse and so stark and so unique.
- Eyres: Do Your Kids Live Too Far Away, or Too Close?
If you’re an empty-nester now, or if you will become one soon, do you want your grown children to live right next to you? Or would you like some space?
One of the results of traveling so much with our children when they were young is that they now think they can live anywhere they want in the world.
When our second son Jonah and his wife Aja moved to New Zealand, we complained about taking our grandkids so far away. “Just fall asleep on the plane Dad,” Jonah told me, “and when you wake up, you will be here.” (Yeah, sure, if flights were only free!) Aja added, “Besides, you will probably Skype us more often now.”
- Entitlement: The Biggest Parenting Problem of This Generation
We are sending in this post from Mexico City, where we are meeting with a wonderful group of parents. Over the last couple of years, we have spoken to parents in 50 countries on five continents, and wherever we go, the common concern is the sense of ENTITLEMENT that our children are growing up with.
It is a problem of major proportions, because feeling entitled to whatever they want, whatever their friends have, and all without conditions or consequences or any price to pay or effort on their part is robbing our children of the joy of work and of delayed gratification, and of the chance to develop initiative, motivation and a sense of personal responsibility…
- There Comes a Moment When You Know: It’s Time.
What are you waiting for? Last week, almost 30,000 women and men in Long Beach, Calif., and countless more via the Web, have heard the call: It’s time. It’s time to take action on your dream, or against the dissatisfaction you feel. It’s time to move forward… to stop waiting.
I’ve attended The Women’s Conference for the past three years. Each time I leave with renewed hope, inspired to take another step toward the life I desire. As I write this on the flight home, my mind is buzzing with excitement and energy (and exhaustion). I’m overwhelmed with the ideas and inspiration Maria Shriver, the conference team and the speakers generously pour into this forum for women.
Attending a conference is only worth the time and expense if you actually do something with what you’ve learned, and follow up with the people you’ve met. So, as I review my 30-plus pages of notes, gather my thoughts, and make my personal action plan, I thought I’d share just a few of the comments and moments that resonated with me. I hope they’ll inspire you, and that you’ll hear the call to action. It’s time.
Grow and give despite (or because of) pain…
- Eyres: Help Your Children “Own” Their Money
“Chosen and earned ownership” is the antidote to entitlement. When one chooses to earn and own something, it can bring a kind of pride, independence and initiative that overcomes the laziness and boredom of entitlement. To rescue our children from entitlement we must give them opportunities for true ownership.
Last blog, we discussed the profound problem of indulgence and laziness among our children (click here to read that post).
And, predictably, the question that came in over and over from readers like you was: How do I overcome their sense of entitlement?
The answer almost sounds too simple: We must find a way to replace entitlement with a sense of chosen and earned ownership.
- Overcoming Children’s Sense of Entitlement with Responsibility
Never before has there been a generation with such a sense of entitlement as our kids today. Their tendency to think they should have whatever they want and do whatever they want whenever they want lies at the root of most of their problems (and most of our parenting problems).
As we travel the world, speaking to parents in audiences large and small, the questions and concerns we get from them are always the same:
Why do my kids sometimes make such obviously bad and foolish choices?
Why don’t they put in the effort at school to reach their full potential?
Why won’t they pick up their clothes or put away their toys?
Why do they think they need to have everything their friends have?
Why is it so hard for me to influence my kids… and so easy for their friends to influence them?
Why can’t I get them to set some goals and to start feeling responsible for their lives?
Why can’t I get them to work and why won’t they follow through on their tasks?
The cause for each of these problems—for every one of them—is one word… and the word is entitlement…
- Getting Rid of the ‘Gimmes’: How to Establish a Family Economy
It is a day I remember well, because it was the first day that I realized that “allowances” were working against us and that money was helping me spoil my kids much more than it was helping me teach them anything. It was a Saturday morning, and I was trying to catch up a little on sleep. I was awakened by loud knocking on the locked bedroom door. Groggily, I got up and opened it to find three little kids with their hands out saying “Gimme my money, gimme my money, its allowance day.” To my sleepy eyes, it all looked a bit like a welfare line. I had just opened the window, and here were the people with their hands out, collecting the dole!
We had created an economy in our house all right, but it was an entitlement economy! My kids, I realized in that brief epiphany, saw no connection between performance and reward, they perceived no real ownership in the money we gave them or the things they bought with it, and they were learning the antithesis of initiative and responsibility rather than the essence of it.
Over the next several months, we worked with some other parents who had some of the same concerns, and developed…
- Eyres: Family Laws and the Development of Discipline
All great and lasting institutions have a legal system, and a good family is no exception. When there are clear and simple laws in a family, parents can be less emotional and more matter-of-fact, and obedience becomes more about keeping laws and less about a power struggle and parents trying to get kids to obey them rather than laws. Give your children the chance to have inputs as to what your family laws are and what punishment goes with the violation of each law.
With hindsight, we can see that our own first effort to set up family laws was rather comical. As young parents with our three young children, we tried to create a list of family rules by nomination. (I think, back then, we still thought a family was a democracy!) The kids chimed in with everything from “Don’t hit anyone,” to “Never plug in plugs—you could get shocked.” We dutifully listed every one on a big chart and we soon had 37 “family laws.” No one really remembered them or paid much attention to them, and one day our 7-year-old complained, “Dad, even in the Bible there’s only ten rules!”
Over the years we figured it out. We needed…
- Family Traditions: Why They’re the Glue of Great Families
Everyone, particularly every child, needs an identity larger than himself—something he or she belongs to, feels part of, and gains security and protection from. It is kids who do not get this identity from their families who are drawn to the rituals, “colors,” and traditions of gangs or other identity substitutes for families.
Strong traditions exist in every lasting institution—in schools, in fraternities, and certainly in families. Traditions are the glue that holds families together. Kids love and cling to family traditions because they are predictable and stable in an unpredictable world.
Almost all families have traditions, at least subconscious ones, often centering on holidays or the special occasions. But some parents come to realize the importance of traditions and the ability of good traditions to teach values to improve communication, to give security to kids, and to hold families together. Such parents can refine and redefine their family traditions and give them true and lasting bonding power.
Review and Re-evaluate Your Traditions
Start by assessing and analyzing your own family traditions. What do you do on each holiday? Each family birthday?
- Eyres: How to Create a Strong Family Culture
Hello and welcome to our blog! Over the next six weeks, we have the opportunity to think together about our families, our children, and our marriages—the most important and lasting parts of success! We hope, in a cyberspace sort of way, that we get to know each other and trust each other.
Family Culture and Infrastructure
To begin, let’s realize and acknowledge that our families exist and our kids are growing up in the midst of some strong and often negative cultures—the Media culture, the Peer culture, the Techno/computer/gadget culture, the Celebrity culture…. If we want our kids to survive and thrive amongst all the noise, we have to create a family culture that is stronger than all of the competing cultures—a family culture with our values and our standards that can supersede all the others!
A family culture involves turning our homes into solid, predictable, lasting institutions that give confidence and identity to its members. Like any institution that is intended to last and to give esteem, a family must have a…
- Set Your Relationship Goals with Richard and Linda Eyre
Richard and Linda Eyre have focused on families as the key unit of society, marriage as the key commitment of life, children as the key element of happiness, parenting as the key skill of personal growth, family-prioritizing as the key to life-balance, and family relationships as the key component of success. The Eyres are thrilled to share some of their “keys” in this blog series which will run twice a week for six weeks.
So that you can anticipate and implement, here is the line up…
- Flip Flippen: The Gift of Presence
I recently attended a meeting and only half the people who were there were really there. What’s worse is that it was an important strategy planning meeting.
Then I thought about my wife, Susan. I had recently had a discussion with her about the same thing… except that she was sharing about how much it means to her when I am “present” with her. I have come to learn that it’s important to her for me to focus on her. I have also come to understand what it means when I am not really there.
The connection between the two meetings could not have been clearer to me. The problem is that we aren’t there when we are there. How many times have you had a discussion with someone who wasn’t there? I remember a politician who was running for office and, even before he shook my hand he had already moved on to the next person—he wasn’t there.
What does it mean to be present…
- Brogan: Why Social Media Aids Success
You’re hearing about social media everywhere. First it was blogs. Now, you’re being told that you have to be on Facebook and Twitter and a whole bunch of other services that don’t exactly make immediate sense. Wasn’t LinkedIn supposed to be the one-stop business site of choice? What’s the answer? How can you use social media to improve your success?
- The Stuff of Legends: What sports greats are truly made of
As I sit down to write, I imagine our contributing editor Don Yaeger on assignment: Deep in South Louisiana, he’s swatting mosquitoes in the swelter of this July afternoon. He’s sweating. Every once in a while, he has to stomp a foot to keep a fire ant from climbing up his sock. And he’s loving every minute.
- The Deeper Your Relationships, The Stronger Your Leadership
Leadership is a people sport. The best of the best understand that people do business with people they like. People do business with people they trust, and people do business with those who make them feel special.
- Flippen: You Can Learn a Lot While Standing in Sewage
One of the most defining behaviors of consistent high performers that we study such as Gary Kelly, president and CEO of Southwest Airlines, is internal drive. I know that may not surprise you, but let me tell you how critical it is. On our proprietary executive assessment tool, Gary’s self-assessment and his 360-degree assessments were above the 90th percentile, which means he is well above average on his need to accomplish tasks, to go above and beyond, and to spend his time wisely.
- The Art of Chitchat
I hate chitchat. Hate it. I know I am probably (not probably, definitely am) an overly intense person. I want to be engaged in something that is meaningful and “on purpose” at all times—even when I am “off” and not working. To sit around and shoot-the-(well, you know) and talk about the weather, football scores [...]
- You are part of our family.
Ever wonder what it takes to get SUCCESS magazine into your hands each month? Well, welcome to the first edition of the Editor’s Blog, where I’ll be giving you a peek at what goes on behind the scenes and into each issue. Our editors, writers, copy editors, photographers, designers and production artists work hard to [...]
- Don’t Mess With Texas!
Texas is my dog… my other dog. Lucy was such an inspiration to everyone I thought I would introduce you to the teachings of my other dog, Tex (for short), he is our Jack Russell Terrorist (no, not a misspelling). I went to buy a cowboy hat before going into the rodeo in the stockyards [...]
- I Love Lucy
Lucy is my dog. I want to be more like Lucy. My wife’s friend Marilyn stopped by with her friend Gayle. The visit was intended to be brief as they had been at the hospital nearby all day. Gayle’s husband has had a grueling battle with throat cancer for the past 18 months. Gayle had [...]
- Pick a Fight
The phrase “life balance” is malarkey. Here is another one: “LOVE is all there is.” Ah, no, there is HATE too. Everyone needs an enemy. Luke had Darth Vader. Batman had the Joker. David had Goliath. Twenty-somethings rage against “The Man.” Rush Limbaugh has the liberals. Lance Armstrong has cancer. Apple has Microsoft. Rocky had [...]
- Don’t Stop Asking So Many Questions
A few years ago I took my boy on a trip that we make together every year. We left the house at 6 a.m. on Monday and got home at 9 p.m. on Thursday. That is just 87 hours. However, that is 84,293 questions! I mean, 10-year-old kids can ask questions! They are question machines! [...]
In honor of this Sunday’s celebration of Father’s Day, I wanted to take a look at three very famous fathers. Joe was a very good basketball player, known on the rugged Philadelphia playgrounds as “Jellybean Joe,” a 6-foot-9-inch forward who possessed the skills of a point guard. At one point in his professional basketball career, [...]
- 7 Keys for Joyful Living!
If there were one thing I could wish for my family, friends and readers, it would be for them to experience joy in everything they do. Here are some thoughts for finding joy in your life. Know your purpose. Nothing will bring you more joy than knowing why you are here. Not knowing brings sadness, [...]
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