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I had an interesting conversation with a woman in network marketing yesterday about her aversion to “closing the sale.” Nothing new. Lots of us have the issue. But something she said made a light go on in my head. I suddenly understood why so many people fear closing, and what they’re telling themselves that’s JUST PLAIN WRONG! If you get this distinction, you’ll be on the road to the cure for your close-o-phobia…so check this out now!

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“I don’t have time for you”…How does that feel?

by Steve Taubman on April 28, 2014

Last night, I wrote a Facebook post out of frustration at not being able to reach a few colleagues and potential business partners after repeated attempts. I was blown away that these people were able to completely ignore my communications, and I shared my reaction to it.

Upon venting my frustration on Facebook, I received close to a hundred responses in just a few hours; mostly from people agreeing with me that such behavior is rude and uncalled for. Others wrote in defense of the non-responders. Then, there were several people who wrote with a fairly balanced and untriggered view of the whole thing.

Anyway, the robust dialogue made me want to spend more time on the topic and see if I could shed some light. I think most of the responses (my own included) were thoughtful, but also lacked a full appreciation for the whole issue and its effect. So, here we go…

What’s reasonable to expect?

One person wrote back saying that he doesn’t walk around glued to his phone or computer, and people shouldn’t expect him to always be there or respond immediately. I agree. We all lead busy lives, and we all appreciate that to be true of others. I think the answer is to pick a rule and live by it. For me, that rule is The 24 hour rule. If someone reaches out to me, I’m committed to giving them some kind of response within 24 hours.

What’s a reasonable response?

It doesn’t matter how long your response is. If you write back to someone who’s requesting your attention and simply say, “Got your message. Can’t talk now. When is good for you next week?” you’re covered. Just don’t let people think you’re ignoring them.

But I’m really busy…

So are Apple and eBay…but when you contact them, they always respond within 24 hours. If you’re too busy to do that, it’s time to hire a support person.

People understand I’m doing the best I can…

No, they don’t. I used to fool myself into believing that my fame was a cushion I could use against responsibility. I really thought that people understood how busy I was and had no judgments about my poor response time. Turns out, I was wrong. They were definitely miffed.

If you aren’t getting back to people, they DON’T think you’re just too busy. They think you don’t value them. And, they’re judging you. They’re seeing you as uncaring, self-important, and rude. If you don’t believe me, go back and read some of the hundred Facebook posts on this topic.

People shouldn’t take it personally…

You’re right, they shouldn’t. But after 30 years of meditation practice designed to help me let things go, I still get tripped up by this behavior. I can hear anything from somebody and accept it. But silence is in a different category. I can read all sorts of things into it. They don’t like me. They don’t respect me. They’re out of touch with what it means to be human and caring. They’re trying to send me a message, but I don’t know what it is. And on, and on, and on.

Silence in this context is cruelty. You’re forcing others to make assumptions on your behalf, hoping their assumption is that you’re too busy but that you still care. But, you’re leaving them to suffer through the more human emotions of rejection and frustration.

Well, that’s their problem…

OK, if you want to play it that way, you can. But understand that there are consequences. Remember the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How do you expect you’ll be treated by others when it’s your turn to reach out? As the Buddhists say, Karma is a bitch!

How do I change this behavior?

Make a commitment. Your word is the most powerful thing you have. Once it’s been made strong by integrity, what you say just begins to come true. My commitment is to be there for those in need. I live by it and will continue to do so until the day I die. This week alone, I’ve had about ten people who are enrolled in one of my programs reach out to me, and TO THEIR SHOCK, I called them all back. Some got to spend up to an hour on the phone with me. Others got a quick response or an idea of where to turn for the answers they sought.

Where did that time come from? After all, I’m on national stages over 100 times per year, I write at least 50 articles every year, I have over 20,000 fans worldwide, and I have a life beyond all that. The answer is that I created it out of intention. My intention is to be there, so I am. Somehow the time appears.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Be a mensch! That’s a Yiddish word meaning a person of character. Do the right thing. Don’t let yourself off the hook and assume everyone understands your constraints. They don’t understand, and they really don’t care. Give people what they want and need, and you’ll be rewarded in ways unimagined.

Find a system that frees you up and still allows you to be responsive. For example, Dana Wilde, a top name in the network marketing world, just responded to my email saying, “Hey Steve, super busy, but I’d love to catch up. Can you use this link (to her scheduling software) to pick a time I’m available, and we can talk then?”

How did that make me feel? Exactly the opposite way I’ve been made to feel this week by those other people who were “too busy” for me. Instead, Dana’s ten word email (how long did that take her?) made me feel appreciated, respected, cherished, and acknowledged.

So, how do you want to make people feel? Decide that and then have your actions support that decision. If the message you want to send is, I’m too busy for you, do nothing. But if you want to make people feel important rather than making yourself seem self-important, it only takes a few words to break the silence (even if they’re, “Sorry, too burned out to respond now. Later?”)

What do you think? Please respond, and guess what, I’ll do the same!

 

 

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Giving…the highest purpose

by Steve Taubman on December 12, 2013

There’s no doubt in my mind that giving is the highest purpose. There’s so much we can give, whether it be material, intellectual, spiritual or energetic. Even when we’re poor in resources, the act of giving elevates us and reminds us that we’ve got far more that we realized. In fact, the act of giving is one of the most reliable ways there is to recognize the abundance that is ours.

For me, the thing I feel most moved to give is an experience of joy. I truly believe that my effort to elicit  smiles, laughter, astonishment or mental ease is the best forms of giving there is. First, it’s easy. To make others smile or laugh, all I need to do is infect them with my own enthusiasm and playfulness. It literally takes nothing from me, and after giving, I’m richer for it. Second, it’s self-regulating. The only reason I wouldn’t infect others is if I myself am not currently infected with that state of mind. And if I’m not, the experience of having nothing good to give is the ultimate reminder to take care of myself.

In fact, if I simply live my life with the one guiding principle of giving joy, laughter and love, everything else falls into place. I instantly know where I stand in terms of my own level of consciousness, and I can quickly use the experience of negativity as a springboard to quickly get back into the state that most serves me and others.

When we come from the intention to be giving and loving, our only concern is for the well being of others. And in service to that, the only possible challenge we face is the recognition that there are mental barriers which occasionally stand in the way of our being in the giving spirit. As long as our intention remains, we’re constantly being motivated to be the best us we can be. We’re constantly noticing from a tolerant, loving place which of our buttons are being pushed that interfere with our generosity and joy.

And, when we stay in our intention to serve, those buttons become reminders of the parts of ourselves that need work. For every one of us, the natural underlying urge is to serve, but for many of us, the presence of our buttons becomes our chief obstacle. Those of us who are burdened with many buttons find it difficult to remain loving towards others, since our emotions are often being triggered, and we’re living in a state of perpetual reaction. Those of us with less buttons feel freer and are naturally more consistently giving. Those with no buttons are called “enlightened.”

What if we all lived our lives with the intention of reaching enlightenment? Then, those who push our buttons would become appreciated reminders of the work we need to do on ourselves. After all, if my goal is freedom, I should thank anyone who points out the bars on my cell, so I can go about dismantling them.

The fear is that we can’t remove our bars or won’t rise above our buttons. But that’s only from a lack of knowledge. When we learn the tools and techniques that give us power over our buttons, we begin to welcome the reminders of our limits. We begin to dismantle them, grow past them, and emerge victorious.

And then, the fun begins. Free of mental traps, we become a reliable source of joy and comfort for others. We make them laugh, gasp, giggle, sigh and beam. And, in so doing, we not only provide them with what they need, but we enhance our own enjoyment of life.

It’s a foolproof system, and it’s there for us all. I invite you to make giving your highest purpose, use your moments of lack and limitation as signposts of where you need work, and joyfully continue to grow your ability to make a difference in the world. Only you can give the unique gift you were put here to give….and it takes no worldly wealth to be a source of love. Create a field of warmth around you, and bask in the glow of what you’ve created and what’s being reflected back to you by those you’ve inspired and uplifted. It’s a GREAT way to live!

 

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Mindfulness and the frustration of being a step ahead

by Steve Taubman on December 10, 2013

Years ago, while I was a chiropractor, I studied nutrition from the cutting edge research being conducted largely at universities and hospitals in Europe. America had yet to place any emphasis on the importance of nutrition.

Medical physicians and leading “authorities” in the US scoffed at the notion that your diet could affect your well being. Those that had some belief in the importance of nutrition often still hadn’t the slightest notion of what constituted a healthy diet.

Back in those days, we were talking about the importance of eating lots of vegetables, lean meat, essential oils from fish and flax seed, drinking lots of water, and leaning more heavily on whole grains than white flour; but even minimizing the consumption of any dense carbs.

Sound familiar? That’s probably what your doctor and every major health magazine is saying now. Not then! At first, there was nothing. Then, there was the low fat craze. Then the high protein craze. Then the “eat LOTS of grains” phase.

Anyway, the point is that I was part of a community which knew thirty years ago what was common knowledge now. We knew it because we followed the research and didn’t wait for the FDA to tell us we were right. We knew it because we used the principles on our patients and they benefited. We knew it because we were open minded enough to study the truth.

Now that it’s common knowledge, do those of us who knew it years ago get any credit? No. In fact, the authorities simply frame this as a new discovery that they’ve made.

Now let’s look at mindfulness. Although there’s been a growing body of evidence for the value of mindfulness and meditation developing over the last couple millenia, we here in the smart, research based western world have either ignored or denigrated it for decades.

When I first decided to make mindfulness the topic of my presentations ten years ago, I was told by almost every major speaker in the industry that it was “too soft a topic” or that it “had no tangible benefit” or that it was too general and couldn’t be applied.

Now, we see mindfulness coming into its own. It’s front and center in the media, and researchers here in the US are proudly proclaiming that they’ve discovered the latest new thing. For those of us who have been practicing, teaching and advocating this for decades, it’s simultaneously irritating and gratifying.

It’s gratifying that something as important as mindfulness has finally come into its own. It’s irritating because, rather than acknowledging the closed mindedness that prevented those authorities from valuing what we’ve been saying all along, they steadfastly ignore the existence of the very community that created the groundswell which ultimately led to them being forced to look at this.

OK, now that I’ve acknowledged my irritation, I have the benefit of knowing how to witness myself, accept the feelings, breath into the sensations, and let it go. I’m so grateful that I have the good fortune to have been introduced to a tool and a lifestyle that helps me move through feelings of frustration, even when that frustration is related to my connection to mindfulness!

I find it interesting that even those of us on a path of self-discovery can be entrapped by our egoic minds, often by the very things that we use to try to get free. We can grow righteous about what we know, and we can be defensive about the validity of our path. We can become spiritually materialistic, as Trungpa Rinpoche said.

We must always endeavor to witness ourselves and rise above our egoic tendency to have to be right. Even where mindfulness is concerned, we must remain humble and grateful. We must use our irritation as what Ram Dass would call grist for the mill. Every frustration, every irritation, every indignation is proof that our egoic minds have taken charge, an invitation to go back into the witnessing mind.

So, I for one, plan to cherish the process by which the status quo takes its time about embracing an obviously good idea and then ignores the source of its discovery. Because that process inherently aggravates me….and that is a welcome wake up call for me to continue doing my work!

 

 

 

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Tiptoeing back…

December 1, 2013

OK, my friends Kevin Marino and Bob Doran of North American Power, have shamed me into getting back on here and providing some fresh content. Many of you remember my swan song last December, when I said I needed to take an indefinite period off from sharing wisdom, thoughts and ideas…because at that time I [...]

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Combining Entertainment and Inspiration

May 31, 2013

I’ve been “off-the-grid” social media-wise for the last five months while I’ve been lovingly recrafting my message so it fits inside an hour or so of entertainment. I think I’ve nailed it! The result of my efforts is a really neat combination of entertainment, inspiration, and education. I’ve been performing a hypnosis show first, which [...]

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Big Change Alert!!!

December 17, 2012

Hello Dear Friends, By now, I hope I’ve given you YEARS of wisdom to ponder and use. Most has been the result of my personal reflections on life, seen through the lens of my own struggles and conclusions. I like to live inside the notion that from great suffering comes great wisdom, and I make [...]

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Fix the mood before the mess

December 10, 2012

“This human tendency to look for outer causes for our moods is the greatest addiction on our planet.”    -Richard Rudd I’ve been teaching an acronym for quite some time called STOP. It says, never try to solve a problem, make a major life decision or resolve a conflict when you’re SAD, TIRED, OVERWHELMED or [...]

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