Following Your Best Instincts

I once met the famous U2 spy pilot Francis Gary Powers whose jet was shot down during the cold war by the Soviet Union.

He was working for the same company I was working for – the great Buckley Broadcasting.

At a cocktail party at the Buckley rep firm in New York, I will never forget what he told me.

In short, it was to never fly in anything but a fixed wing aircraft because unlike a helicopter, you could always have a chance to bring it down and land safely.

Powers was a traffic reporter for Buckley’s LA area station at the time.

So you can imagine my reaction when I heard that Francis Gary Powers subsequently took a job with flying a helicopter for an LA TV news operation.

And how shocked I was to eventually hear he died in a helicopter crash – the very thing he feared and warned me to avoid.

Our instincts are usually always right.

What’s wrong is that we are often out of touch with them.

As Agatha Christie put it, “Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.”

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Suffering

The author Viktor Frankl who was incarcerated in a prison camp during World War II was a psychiatrist who concluded that suffering is pain that has no meaning.

Frankl said at the moment suffering finds meaning, it ceases to be suffering.

If we are suffering, we need to search for meaning in that suffering.

Child birth is suffering without the meaning that it brings a beautiful new life into the world. 

Chemotherapy is often suffering for cancer patients until they discover that this therapy may extend their lives or at the very least give them hope that a cure can be found.

A painful divorce or breakup of a relationship is unbearable unless and until the aggrieved parties can accept the loss and see a better future someday with someone else. 

Suffering is a part of life but what makes it bearable is hope.

The hope that this suffering will bring us something better.

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Working with Millennials

There are 86 million Millennials between the ages of 18-35 and they our co-workers and even our bosses.

As a college professor, I watched how Millennials interacted with each other to observe the maximum results.

These interactions give clues as to how to relate to this wonderful, kind generation that has grown up on instant gratification and social justice.

Do not confront.  Look for consensus.

Teams, the popular management trend at the moment, are not such a good fit for Millennial workers unless they get to choose the teams and make up the rules. 

It’s about them, not you.  This may be hard to swallow but Millennials are as self-absorbed as Baby Boomers can be authoritative.

They are the same as every other generation when it comes to praise, giving and receiving appreciation, fair play, equal opportunity.  If you have these same characteristics, be yourself.

Be authentic.  Millennials don’t care about age; they care about whether the people they work with are real.  Remember, they fell in love with Bernie Sanders, a 74-year old self-proclaimed socialist because they perceived him as being authentic.

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Banishing the Blues

Never in the history of civilization have there been more anti-depressant pills prescribed for dealing with depression.

Still, depression keeps increasing as a modern day malady of life.

Sometimes medication and therapy work, then meds are changed or therapy refocused.  It can be a life commitment to battle the blues.

No matter what the approach, one thing seems to work when applied frequently.

That is conjuring up and expressing gratitude not only for the big obvious things in life but more importantly, the little things.

When we are focused on gratitude, we are less focused on what makes us unhappy.

Today, we can choose to find the good in people, in our situation and in ourselves as a non-medicinal form of banishing the blues.

And the extra benefit is that once these patterns of found gratitude are repeated over and over, they change the brainwaves that affect our moods.

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How to Make People Like You

Talk about them – not you.

Their interests.

Their input.

It’s not necessary to weigh in with your own reaction to something they are saying as much as it is important to draw them out and let your ears do the work.

Over the ages and continuing today in our connected technological generation, the number one way to get others to like you, is to not talk about “you”.

Talk about them.

And then a miraculous thing almost always happens.

At some point, the other person leans forward and asks about you.

Proving again that you had them at “you”.

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