Be Intentional About How You Tell Your Own Story

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telling your own story

I was talking to a young man the other day and we were discussing his life.

“How is school going?” I asked him.

“It’s going fine.  But I am dropping out,” he said with his head down.

“Okay.  What’s next?”  I asked.

His head rose back up.  “I am finishing this year of school and then I am joining the Air Force.”

We continued to chat about the transition.  He talked about going through MEPS and when he might leave for Basic Training.  He was finishing another semester and then moving on to the military.  The thing is, he seemed excited about the new chapter, but there was something that bothered me about the conversation.

“Stop saying you are ‘dropping out,'” I told him.  “You are not quitting and you did not fail.  You spent a year learning in school and in life.  You discovered this was not the right path, but you did not disgrace yourself.  Joining the military, going to work, heading back to school, getting a new job or whatever…these are not reasons to be embarrassed.  They are the next step.  You did not drop out.  You found the next right step.  Be proud of yourself.”

I think there are a couple of lessons in here for all of us.

Be Careful How You Talk To Yourself

There is no one that talks to us more than ourselves.  Our self talk is so critical in the quality and happiness of our lives.  Make sure you don’t spend all of your time giving yourself the wrong message.  That young man will not have “dropped out.”  Instead, he finished a year of school.  The amount of school is exactly the same.  The message is wildly different.  One of these messages knocks your confidence down.  One lifts it up.

Be Intentional About How You Tell Your Own Story

The same is true with how you tell your story to others.  I am not recommending that you life, or even embellish.  But the way you tell your story is up to you.  Be intentional about it.  Own it.

I am proud of the “next right step” he is taking.  I hope he is too.

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He Said She Said Podcast Episode 29

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It’s time for Episode 29 of the He Said/She Said Podcast with Hasseman Marketing!  This podcast is designed to give an inside look at being married and being entrepreneurs and the projects we are working on and the challenges we are facing!    We talk about business, family, community and more. So listen in and let us know what you think!

On this episode we talk about…

Trending Topic

This week Kirby and Amy discuss the explosion of “Hallmark” Holiday movies.  They talk about why people seem to be hooked on them…and why large corporations are making more and more of them!

Weekly Whirlwind

This week in the Weekly Whirlwind Kirby talks about what December means at Hasseman Marketing.  He is spending time on video and print.  And Amy gives another “so close” update on the building at 539 Main Street in Coshocton.  It’s not all sunshine and roses.

Lesson In Life

This week in the “lesson in life” Kirby and Amy talk about being intentional and “living in the now” during the holiday season.  Amy reminds us to “put the big rocks” in first and how this is a challenge all year long.

Shout Outs

Each week we want to give a shout out to an organization or an individual doing good work.  This week Amy gives a shout out to the Retail Warriors during this holiday season.  Many folks are out there working hard to help us bring joy to our loved ones.  Kudos to them.  Kirby brings up the local business 6th Street Tatoo, who has put a coat rack in front of their business to make sure everyone can stay warm during this cold season.  Love this!  Listen in to learn more.

So that’s a wrap!  Thanks for listening to Episode 29 of the He Said She Said Podcast!   Any feedback will be welcome as we try to provide you value!  If you want to subscribe you can do that where you normally get podcasts…or you can head here to follow on Soundcloud.

Thanks so much for listening!  If you have any topics you want Kirby and Amy to cover, please comment and let us know!  Oh…and if you like this content, check out this page where you can find all of the content we create!  

You Can’t Help Me

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you can't help me

One of the most frustrating things in the world can be trying to help someone else work through a problem.   That’s because, without emotion or history, the answer to their problem often seems very clear.  You have the distance to see the problem for what it is, and the clarity to see how to fix it.

Sometimes, you have even been where they have been.  So you not only see the problem, but you know the solutions and the pitfalls.  From your vantage point, the problem they are facing (or the goal they are chasing) is simple.

So you make the necessary suggestions that come to mind.

  • Read this book.
  • Here, listen to this podcast
  • This is what you need to say.
  • This is the work you need to do.

But often, it seems, despite your well meaning intentions and your well researched suggestions, the instruction falls on deaf ears.  They seem unwilling or unable to do what seems simple to you.  It’s just a reminder that “simple is not the same as easy.”  When you strip away emotion and history, problems can seem straightforward, but that is not how problems come.  They present themselves (often) completely lathered in emotion and with history baked into the core.

So while you can diagnose a problem, and you can suggest solution, you can’t make me do it.  You can’t help me.

Regardless of whether we are talking about fixing a relationship, education, growing a business, building an organization, or amending a behavior, there is only so much you can do.  You can show me the way.  You can provide a light on the path.  It’s even possible to shout encouragement from the sideline.  But you can’t help me do the work.

Doing the work is up to me.

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Ask Bigger and Better Questions

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ask better questions

Asking the right questions is incredibly important.

When you first meet with a new prospect, asking the right questions can help you better understand them.  (Here are a list of 20 great questions).  Asking great questions can help you be a better listener.  When you take the time to ask great questions of others, good things can happen.

But it’s important to ask yourself the right questions too.

When you ask yourself a question, you are giving your subconscious mind a puzzle to start working on.  In the background of your conscious thoughts, your subconscious brain will keep spinning to think through every potential solution until it reveals itself.  That’s why most of us have had an epiphany about solution when we are not thinking about the problem at all.  The solution just appears when we are mowing the lawn, or taking a shower, or going for a run.  This happens each time we ask ourselves a question.

Thats why it’s important to ask yourself bigger and better questions.

Don’t simply ask, “how can I have enough?”  Instead ask “How can I impact my community?”

If you want to have a more vibrant and interesting life, ask bigger and more interesting questions.

We continue to try and ask interesting questions.  We cover them here with content on our blog.  You can find that here.  And if you want to sign up and make sure you never miss an update, sign up for our VIP newsletter here.  We send one email per week with all of the content in one place.

But That’s Not Fair!

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but it's not fair

I wrote a post recently about Colin Kaepernick and the idea that his actions and words did not align.  He has been saying (for nearly 3 years) that he wants a job in the NFL, and when given the recent opportunity to workout for teams, he pulled out at the last minute and did a workout on his own.  To me, his words were saying one thing, but his actions said another.  The lesson for the rest of us, I thought, was that we need to make sure our words match our actions, if we want to be successful in our goals.

While the post was met with lots of positive feedback, the push back came in from the respectful (saying I was misinformed) to the insulting (saying I was a knucklehead and a racist).  In short, most of the disagreement came down to a simple message.  “It’s not fair.”

Let me be clear, there has been so much bad blood between the NFL and Colin Kaepernick, that I could not cover it in this blog.  It would take a book.  Kaepernick supporters will tell you that the NFL has not acted in good faith.  They were not transparent.  Indeed, the NFL had other motives all along.  The NFL, after all, is the bad guy here.  In other words, “It’s not fair.”

To that I respond with a simple question.  “So?”

I stand by my statement that, at the end of the day, Kaepernick says he wants a job with one of the 32 NFL teams.  If you really want that opportunity, you do what it takes to get it.  You go to whatever interview.  You workout when asked.  If your words say you want the job, your actions need to match them.  That is all.

Life is not fair.  If you want to reach a goal, you go after it anyway.

It never seems fair when the largest company in your space has more buying power and more leverage.  And yet, if you want to compete, you have to go to market anyway.

When my oldest daughter wanted to be a professional dancer, she drove 2 hours to an audition, was allowed to do an 8 count of dance with 60 other dances, and was dismissed.  It wasn’t fair.  There is no way they could have really known her ability in those 6 seconds.  And yet, if she wanted to be a professional dancer, she had to suck it up and go to the next audition.

It’s not fair that a small local competitor is willing to undercut you on every bid.  Despite the fact that you provide better service and quality, it’s not fair that your customer sees you as equals!

You may look at the the system and decide you don’t want to compete.  You may feel the need to change the game or get out entirely.  A select few might want to re-think their tactics and try to compete in a different way.  It’s your call.  But the market does not care if “it’s not fair.”

When it comes to chasing your goals and dreams, the lesson is simple (but not easy).  Go after it.  Show up.  Do the work.  Or don’t.  It’s your call.

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Bring Me Another Thought

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bring me another thought

Have you ever told your brain to “Bring me another thought?”  Here is a statement I have found to be true:  “You cannot consistently act inconsistently with your thoughts.”

It is old wisdom that says, “As you think, you shall be.”  It’s one of the reasons that I spend a lot of time and energy trying to manage the very beginning of my day.  I find that most people spend a lot of their day living in the past or in the future.  They are frustrated with yesterday or they are worried about tomorrow.  This is not a happy way to live, and it’s not particularly productive either.

In his book, “Solve For Happy,” Mo Gawdat spends a great deal of time talking about this.  He says that if you look at nearly every negative emotion in our life, you find a common theme.  They are not rooted in the present moment.  If you look at anger and frustration, for example, they are usually reminding us of something that happened yesterday.  The tension of worry and anxiety usually come from projecting what might happen tomorrow.  The past is over and the future is not (yet) real.

Unless you are in pain, Gawdat explains, the best way to be more joyful is to live in the present moment.  I talk about living in the “IS” here.

Bring Me Another Thought

Another concept in the book that I found helpful was the idea that “we are not our thoughts.”  Though we are flooded with thoughts all day long, we have the ability to separate from our thoughts.  We don’t have to take every single thought that rolls through our head as “fact.”  We get to choose.  Gawdat says that when he finds that the thoughts in his head are negative and not helpful, he will simply say “Bring me another thought please.”

It may sound silly, but it is an intentional act where you take control of your thoughts again.  At first, I was a bit uneasy about this idea, but I have found the act of saying these words out loud actually make me smile.

As I said, you cannot act inconsistently with your thoughts.  If that’s the case, it’s time to choose better thoughts.

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