Author Archive


Here are some words for you to use in your conversations today that will produce different results.

Impress your friends:

Lactomangulation (lak’ toe man gyu lay’ shun) n.

Manhandling the ‘open here’ spout on a milk container so badly that one has to resort to the ‘illegal’ side.

Peppier (pehp ee ay’) n.

The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking diners if they want ground pepper.

Telecrastination (tel e kras tin ay’ shun) n.

The act of always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you’re only six inches away.

Impact their lives:

Thank you!

I love you!

What can I do for you today?

You have made a difference in my life!

I believe in you!

I need you!

Notice no definitions needed?

You choose: impress or impact?  You know which word I will use!

And these are just my thoughts on a cold Thursday afternoon!


Steve Siemens, CSP

Fairy Tales

I read a fairy tale entitled: “I’m The Perfect Leader” and then I realized it was just a fairy tale.

Then I read another one, “I’m the Perfect Speaker” and then I realized it was just a fairy tale.

The next, “I’m The Perfect Husband” and you guessed it – it was a fairy tale.

Tried one more: “I’m The Perfect Dad”.

There are fairy tales and then there are realities.

The reality is, I’m not perfect in any area of my life.  I don’t have to be; I just need to be in the pursuit of excellence. Isn’t it amazing that we can still be anything we want and we don’t have to be perfect?  Even with our imperfections, we can offer something of value to others.

The next time you start to criticize someone for their imperfections, stop and remember: It’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it!

And these are just my thoughts on a Monday morning!


Steve Siemens, CSP

The Other Twelve-Step Program

The Pork industry has done a good job in their marketing of pork.  It’s the other white meat! I’d like to suggest the Other Twelve-Step Program but this one is for people building skills.

1. Treat people with respect.  Treat others as you wish to be treated.

2. Don’t believe anything you hear, okay, don’t believe 98% of what you hear.

3. If you repeat stuff you’ve heard about others, you’re a gossip.

4. Look for the best in other always.  Please remember: no one is completely worthless, they can always serve as a bad example.

5. Listen with your eyes.

6. Find ways to encourage people around you on a regular basis.  You might choose to do it daily, weekly, monthly or occasionally but as Nike says….!

7. Honor people.  See and speak about their value and worth as a person.

8. Be patient, kind, and keep no record of wrongs.

9. For me, it is important to look at others through the eyes of Jesus.

10. See MMFINA on every person’s forehead:  Make Me Feel Important, Needed and Accepted.

11. Work daily to help others succeed.

12. When in doubt, see # 1.

And these are just my thoughts on a Tuesday evening.


Steve Siemens, CSP

Do Vampires Still Live?

They do!  Just when you think they are gone, they come alive on the movie screen. They also can be in your life every day.  Not Vampires from the Twilight Series,  negative energy vampires.  Toxic people!  Pot stirrers!  Basement people!  The Vampires that try to sabotage our lives and relationships.

§    The people you don’t look forward to seeing.
§    The people who have a tendency to stress you out.
§    The people who make you feel like what you have to say is not relevant…it’s all about them.
§    The people who talk negatively about you behind your back and then to your face, they are your best friend.

You know whom I’m talking about.  You can name them right now. We all have them.  I’ll just use a fictitious example, and call one of these toxic people, Jane.

So how do you handle the “Janes” (remember, just a fictitious example) in your life?  How you choose to deal with these kinds of people in your life will have an impact on how you physically and emotionally feel.

Isn’t it amazing that we try to get these people to like us?  Isn’t it amazing that we argue with these people?  When you argue with a fool, chances are he or she is doing just the same.

What’s the solution?

1)    Always take the high road.  Treat people the way you want to be treated even when it’s not the natural response.  Confucius says, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

2)    Respond properly. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best; “No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them.”  If you let those “toxic people” spread their toxicity to you, it’s because you let them do it!  You are in control of your response.

3)    Leave them alone.  When possible, don’t be around them.  When impossible, rise above them.  Be kind, be courteous, and make the interaction one that maintains your integrity and character.

4)    Confront only when it will make a difference.  You cannot change them, nor should you try.  Sometimes, when a trusted friend breaks confidence or the rumor mill carries some unbelievable stuff, confront them if it will make a difference.  If it will not, adjust.  One of my leadership principles: it’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.

5)    Practice FIDO: Forget It and Drive On!  I have a good forgetter.  I’m happier because I have a good forgetter!  Do yourself a favor, the next time you encounter a toxic person, encounter a nasty event, or deal with someone who has treated you unfairly, FIDO.

6)    Find the positive.  Regardless of the person, the situation, or the event, look for the positive.  It will help you keep balance and perspective.

7)    Don’t talk about these people to others.  Toxic people attract toxic people.  You talking negatively to others about these people will only prove how “toxic” you have become.

We all have a choice.  I won’t be toxic, I won’t be negative, I won’t be a pot stirrer, and I won’t be a basement person.  Just as Edward protected Bella in the movies, if I have to be a vampire, I will be a good one.

And these are just my thoughts on a Monday afternoon.


Steve Siemens, CSP

The ABZs Of Powerful Living

In the alphabetical list of ingredients for powerful living is found a “G” word.  It is the difference maker in so many things.  G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E!  It is a word that needs to be practiced more today than ever.

We stand in front of full and overflowing closets and say, “I have nothing to wear!”  We get in our car and travel miles away and complain our butts are sore.  We board a plane and go places our ancestors would have never dreamed of going and complain about delays.  The garbage disposals in most restaurants eat better than 30% of the people in the world.

The word gratitude according to the dictionary means

* An appreciative attitude for what we have received
* A warm or deep appreciation of personal kindness
* A disposition to express gratefulness by giving thanks

Characteristics of a Grateful Life:

1.  A sense of purpose in their lives.

Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.  They have a reason to get out of bed each morning.  Their gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions.  Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.  They understand life is not fair, they don’t expect it to be fair and they learn lessons in all things.  When you have developed a crystal clear understanding that all things work for the greater good no matter how seemingly bad things may appear, it becomes much easier to stay in a state of gratitude.  The greatest pain is pain with no purpose.

2. An appreciation for the people around them.

Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods knowing that success is not measured in terms of possessions accumulated.  They are less envious of others and are more likely to share their possessions with others.   They love people, not things.  They value their friendships, both new and old.

3. A willingness to actively show the gratitude they feel.

People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others.  They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks. (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002)

“To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action.  Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course.  Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you.  Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.”  Albert Schweitzer

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  Melody Beattie

Just make up your mind that if you have nothing to be grateful for, there is something wrong with you.

Do you want to live powerfully?  Live with gratitude.  It is a choice!

And these are my thoughts on a Wednesday morning.

Steve Siemens, CSP