Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

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

My Plan For This Holiday Season

Here is my plan for this season: Rather than trying to have a good Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m going to make sure that everyone around me has one. My plan is to quietly live out my deep gratitude for life, family, faith, friends, and show it like I’ve never shown it before.

To Earl, the man who picks up our garbage each week, the man I help load it when I’m around, the man I look forward to seeing every Tuesday morning, I’m going to make sure he has a good one!

To Becky, my flower lady, who helps me send “thank yous”, “pick-me-uppers” all over the US, I’m going to make sure she has a good one.

To my Pastor Scott, a person who has taught me, challenged me, prodded me, and who is my friend, I’m going to make sure he and his family have a good one.

To Don and Doris, friends who are a part of our family, who share Thanksgiving and Christmas with us because they don’t have family close, I’m going to make sure they have a good one.

To some very important friends, you know who you are, get ready, it will be like no other!

And for my wife, kids, their spouses, their children, my grandkids, just you wait.  It begins on Black Friday and it will be a Thanksgiving/Christmas like you have never experienced.

From now until the New Year, the people around me are going to have a good one as I quietly express my gratitude!

“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

It would be a great time to be a part of my family or a friend!!!

And these are just my thoughts on a Tuesday afternoon.

Steve Siemens, CSP


The power of words is not only amazing, it is powerful. It is a power that many people don’t understand or use properly.

Words begin a marriage and words finalize a divorce.

Words create a mental picture and words destroy the image.

Words win an election and words lose the race.

Words cause people to support and they cause people to withdraw.

Words start a war and words end a war.

Words create action and lack of words creates apathy.

Words reflect the person and the person reflects the words.

Here are five principles to remember when you are thinking about words and their power.

Wisdom is not in words, it is meaning within the words.

“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you can get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” –Tom Stoppard

Carefully choose your words focusing more on the meaning than the word. The goal of every person should be wisdom in words. You become a very powerful communicator when the words mean what you say.

Observe your tone, timing, and total picture.

People often respond to our attitudes and actions more than our words. Many petty conflicts occur because people use the wrong tone of voice. Timing is best summed up by Lady Dorothy Nevill: “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right things in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Resist saying everything you know or think.

A saying that sits on my desk reminds me daily of this point: “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.” If you say everything you know or think, you’ll think you know way more than you do plus the people you are speaking to will know the truth.

Deliver your thoughts.

To deliver your thoughts the best and in the most effective way, ask, don’t tell. When you ask questions to deliver your thoughts, people will tell you what you would have told them, only it came from them, not you. When people think it is their idea, they buy it.

Remember “the delivery” percentages: 7% is verbal; 38% is vocal; and 55% is visual, or body language. Work hard to deliver your thoughts using the right delivery.

Speak less and listen more.

As a society, we can’t stand silence. We thrive on noise. That makes us think we must fill in the pauses of silence. If you don’t believe this, just evaluate all the noise in your life. How many of us fill the silence using radio and television just for noise?

Two ears and one mouth should be enough of a visual reminder for us to get it. Since many of us don’t, we need to know that listening is a learned behavior and it’s a behavior worth learning.

Words are remembered long after actions are forgotten. Don’t underestimate the power of words. Don’t over-estimate your ability to use them properly. Comfort or discomfort comes from how we use them, how we communicate them, how we hear them.

Words make the difference or words cause the difference. Understanding the difference determines your power.

And these are just my thoughts on a Friday morning.

Steve Siemens, CSP
The People Builder


The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised, and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.  After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.
“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room … just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied.

“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind.

I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up.

I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away just for this time in my life.  Old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from what you’ve put in.  So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my memory bank. I am still depositing.”

Remember five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

And these are just my thoughts on a Monday morning!

Steve Siemens, CSP