Archive for the 'positive living' Category


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

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

Remodel Your Thinking

Mary Kay Ash said it best when she said, “If you think you can’t, you’re right!”  Dale Carnegie said, “Remember happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have: it depends solely upon what you think.”  And Shakespeare said it this way, “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

There is no such thing as a bad day.  If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.   You might label your job as boring. Sixty percent of the people in America today don’t like going to work according to the radio show I was listening to.  You might label something demeaning, ugly, bad, or a problem.  Remember Shakespeare?  Stuff isn’t good or bad – it’s our thinking that determines the assignment.

The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to grow mentally every day, who love good conversation, listen to good music, read good books, focus on beauty, and have amazing friends.  And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others.  Why?  Shakespeare?

So in a world where ninety-five percent of what you see, hear, and read is negative, maybe it’s time to remodel our thinking.  Maybe it’s time to stop assigning the “negative” to the situation.

The following parable offers a good example of why it’s important to remodel our thinking:

A wise old farmer was considered rich by the villagers because he owned a horse. One day the horse ran away and the villagers said to the farmer, “How unfortunate, your horse ran away.” He responded, “How do you know it’s unfortunate?”

The next day the horse returned bringing with it a wild horse, thereby increasing the farmer’s wealth. The villagers exclaimed, “How fortunate!” Which, in turn, prompted the farmer to again respond, “How do you know it’s fortunate?”

The following day the farmer’s son, while trying to break in the wild horse, was thrown and broke his leg. The villagers again commented, “How unfortunate!” Once again the farmer responded, “How do you know it’s unfortunate?”

The next day, the king’s men rode through the village conscripting all the young men for service in the army. They didn’t take the farmer’s son because of his broken leg.

The lesson of this parable is best explained by its author, Paul Jacobs, M.D., who said, “Things are not always as they appear to be. Life presents us with situations and conditions that, in themselves, are neither good nor bad. We assign meaning to these conditions, thereby creating our own fortunes and misfortunes.”

According to the Bureau of Standards in Washington, a dense fog covering seven city blocks to a depth of 100 feet is composed of less than one glass of water.  That amount of water is divided into about sixty billion tiny droplets.  Yet when those minute particles steal over a city or the countryside, they can almost blot out everything from your sight.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we “remodeled” our thinking?  Think of the meaning we would get out of life and our situations.  Think of the fog that would be lifted.

Stay tuned for some “blueprints” for those who are serious about remodeling.

And these are just my thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon.

The People Builder,
Steve Siemens, CSP