July 2007 - Let Freedom Ring!
- What is Freedom?
- Why is Freedom so important?
- What can we do with the Freedom to
control our thoughts?
- Workplace tips
- What will you do with the Freedom you have?
- Resources (links, books, articles, the
In the United States, we celebrate our independence on
July 4th every year. It often is celebrated with fireworks,
loud celebrations with friends, family picnics, fun, play activities and
Freedom means different things to different
people. To some, Freedom means being wealthy and free of financial
worries. To others, Freedom means the ability to pursue their dream.
To others, Freedom means being able to say what they think. To others,
Freedom means living without fear and oppression, and being able to move about
freely. To others, Freedom means having their own business and not having
to listen to a boss tell them what to do.
No matter what your definition of Freedom may be, one thing
that is common to all of us — where ever we live
— is the freedom to think
what we want to think. We can choose to think happy thoughts or we can
choose to make our selves miserable and everything in between.
Some people right now might be questioning whether our
thoughts are really free choices. I believe they are. I believe that
we can control our thoughts and therefore, we can control our destiny —
regardless of our physical environment, our race, our ethnicity, our economic
status, our job, our culture, our country, our political views or our religious
If we are mad or angry or sad, we can
choose to focus our attention on something
that makes us feel better. Or, we can wallow in the bad feelings. Sometimes, that is appropriate. At other times, we can let
ourselves be sucked into negativity and give up our freedom. Or we can
choose to change our thoughts to focus on our hopes, our loves, our joy, our
bliss and our dreams for the future.
In truth, no one can get inside our head
and make us think anything. People can persuade, they can beg and plead,
they can bribe, they can train and they can threaten. But, no matter what
they try to do, no one can change our thoughts nor change our feelings nor
change our beliefs. We are in control of those. And, even more
important, we are the only one who is in control of our mind and our
thoughts. At times of high stress, we may feel like we are out of control,
and that is also our choice in that moment.
Our fore-fathers and mothers left their
homeland because of the faith and belief that they could create a better life
for themselves and their children. We are the children, grand-children and
great-great-great-grandchildren of those early pioneers —
living products of independent spirits who had a drive to succeed based on the
strong beliefs that we are truly free to control our thoughts and
therefore, we do control our own destiny. Those strong beliefs created a
country that prides itself on Freedom and Independence, a country that revels in
the diversity created by that Freedom in spite of the many challenges it gives
us every day. Those strong beliefs created a country that so values
freedom of speech that we wrote it into our Constitution as the First
Amendment. Those strong beliefs created men such as Patrick Henry who in 1775 proclaimed,
"Give me liberty or give me death."
Ultimately, our happiness depends on our
ability to be free to determine our own destiny. If we feel out of control
or powerless to control our lives, we will follow along with whatever someone
else does and our lives will be chaotic without direction. If we feel
confident in our ability to control our thoughts, we can freely choose whether
to go along with someone else's ideas or to pursue our own dreams. And, we
grow stronger as we learn how successful we are in making our own
We can choose to be happy or we can choose to be
unhappy. We can choose to follow our bliss or stay where we are
unhappy. We can choose to be creative or to allow our creativity to
rust away from dis-use. We can choose to teach our children to be better
people and give them the strength and courage to follow their own beliefs when
they grow up, or we can set a bad example for them. We can choose to help
our employees learn successful techniques for self-managing their jobs or we can
try to control them by coercion until they rebel.
We can choose to feel resentment because Mary or Marty
got a promotion that we wanted. Or, we can choose to do the very best job
we can every day with our own talents and gifts. We can choose to
congratulate Mary or Marty on their promotion and ask them to teach how they
became so successful. We can choose to learn more about our field, to
experiment with new ideas, to do research on our own about new methods or new
systems or new products that might make our jobs easier.
We can choose to complain about XYZ policy or XYZ
manager or XYZ co-worker or XYZ company until we are miserable and make everyone
else around us try to avoid us. Or, we can choose to mind
our own tasks, make our own work better, make our own environment more
attractive or work on improving our own relationships. We can see our glass as half full instead of half empty. We
can feel gratitude for the good things we have experience in our workplace, for
the fact we have a good job and we can compare ourselves to less fortunate
of those who have something we don't. We can appreciate the simple things
in life - food, shelter, sunshine, rain, fresh air, freedom to move about
freely, people who love us, work that interest us or the infinite variety of
experiences that we have barely tapped.
Some of 7.5 on-the-job things you can do to keep a
positive focus - adapted from the Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude:
1. Stop blaming circumstances for your
situation. It's not the rain, or the car, or the phone, or
the product. It's YOU. You have a choice in everything you
do. Choose a better way. Don't blame the path
— change the path. Don't blame the situation
— change the situation.
2. Stop blaming other people for your
situation. Take responsibility for
yourself and your actions. If you are consistently blaming other
people, guess what, Bubba, get over it — it
3. Know your customer or prospect better.
Knowing your customer is just as powerful to prevent problems as it is to
handle them. If you can't get the prospect on the phone, it's your fault
for not knowing the best time to reach him. Know the right time to
call. Know when a decision is to be made. Double confirm every
4. Persist until you achieve closure. People
respect those who care enough to follow up. If someone doesn't call you
back when they said they would, call them. Instead of waiting for
someone to respond after it's been a few days, ask them if there is anything
you can do to move things along. People forget, get busy or get
distracted. E-mail messages and phone messages get lost in the great
mysterious unknown ethers. Your priority is not necessarily their
priority. If you just sit back and wait, many projects will never get
completed. So be bold, take the next step, check on the status, ask
questions, follow-up, create reminders for yourself, do whatever it takes
until you get closure. People really notice someone who is good at
follow-up. Do you have what it takes to get the job done and done
well? [#4 was changed from the book]
5. Know where you are or where you should
be. Manage your time. Have lunch
with a customer, not a friend. Keep perfect records. Know enough
about your prospect or customer that follow-up becomes easy and fun. Are
you organized to get to the tenth exposure and have the situation under
control enough to make the sale?
6. Work on your skills every day.
Books, CDs, seminars. You can never read enough books or listen to
enough CDs. I challenge you to do for an hour a day. One hour a
day, seven days a week, for one year is equal to more than nine full weeks of
work. The next time you mindlessly turn on the TV, think about what you
could be doing to improve your focus and your knowledge base.
7. Become solution-oriented.
Instead of griping or wallowing in your problem, why not spend the same amount
of time working on solutions? Being
solution-oriented has done more for me and my path to success than any single
strategy. Every obstacle present an opportunity —
if you are looking for it. If you're too busy concentrating on the
problem, the opportunity will pass you by.
7.5 Think before talking. People
speak without thinking, only to regret what they said. Every time you
are about to engage someone else, think qu9ckly about what it is you are about
to say. How will the words be received? And what else could you be
saying that might create a more positive expression? The goal is a
positive response or result. The action seems simple, but it requires
the most self-discipline. Try it a few times. You'll be amazed at
The choice is (and always has been) yours. Are
you missing opportunities because you are too focused on obstacles?
The choice is yours. You have Freedom of thought and that is a Freedom
that no one can ever take away from you.
Will you use your Freedom to make your life
Will you choose to see your situation at work as one of
Will you see opportunities for improvements everywhere you
look and do what you can to make things better where ever you find yourself?
Will you choose to think happy thoughts as often as
Will you choose to let go of negativity in your thoughts and words?
Will you choose to make someone's day by giving them a compliment or helping
them with a task?
Will you do something to make the world a better place than
you found it?
Have a great month and enjoy your
Freedom in whatever way brings you happiness.
- Little Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep a YES!
Attitude for a Lifetime of SUCCESS, Jeffrey Gitomer. FT Press,
0131986473 ISBN-13: 978-0131986473
- The Secret (book based on the DVD seminar), Rhonda Byrne (Editor).
Atria Books/Beyond Words, 2006. ISBN-10:
1582701709 ISBN-13: 978-1582701707
- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Ecker. Piatkus Books,
0749926287 ISBN-13: 978-0749926281
- 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work, Dave Hemsath, Leslie Yerkes, Daniel
McQuillen. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1997. ISBN:
- Think Like Tiger: An Analysis of Tiger Woods's Mental Game,
John Andrisani. Putnam, 2002. ISBN-10:
0399148434 ISBN-13: 978-0399148439
- Think Positive Thoughts Every Day: Poems to Inspire a Brighter Outlook
on Life, Patricia Wayant. Blue Mountain Arts, 1998. ISBN-10:
088396466X ISBN-13: 978-0883964668
- The MillionaireMaker: A Complete Guide to Financial Freedom,
Matthias Schmelz. Fenix Lusitana, Lda., 2007. ISBN-10:
9729948917 ISBN-13: 978-9729948916
- 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work, Dave Hemsath.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1997. ISBN-10:
1576750191 ISBN-13: 978-1576750193
- Think on Your Feet: The Art of Thinking and Speaking Under Pressure, Kenneth Wydro. Prentice Hall, 1981.
0139178074 ISBN-13: 978-0139178078
- Freedom at Your Fingertips: Get Rapid Physical and Emotional Relief
with the Breakthrough System of Tapping, Joseph
Mercola. Inroads Publishing, 2006. ISBN-10:
0972767134 ISBN-13: 978-0972767132
- The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes.
Murine Press, 2006. ISBN-10:
0975309382 ISBN-13: 978-0975309384
- Beyond Positive Thinking: A No-Nonsense Formula for Getting the Results
You Want, Robert Anthony. Morgan James
Publishing, LLC, 2004. ISBN-10:
0975857096 ISBN-13: 978-0975857090
Related newsletter articles:
May 2007 - The Law of Attraction
September 2004 - Stress
Busters: Managing Stress in the Workplace
June, 1997 - Basic
Human Needs (Freedom)
October 2002 - Reducing
Stress in the Workplace
2002 - Stress: How It Affects the Roles We Play
July 2001 - Balancing
Life and Work
The Lighter Side
Carefully watch your thoughts for they become your words.
Manage and watch your words for they will become your actions.
Consider and judge your actions for they have become your habits.
Acknowledge and watch your habits for they shall become your values.
Understand your values for they become your destiny.”
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
with conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
a mighty woman with a torch
whose flame is imprisoned lightning,
and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand glows
her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor
that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands your storied pomp!"
cries she with silent lips.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) - a engraved on plaque at the Statue of Liberty in New
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