Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why I'm glad to Celebrate My 50th Birthday

I had my 50th birthday yesterday and here are 5 personal reasons why I was happy about it:

  1. My friendships at 50 are fulfilling. It is important to periodically take inventory and evaluate whether some of your relationships are toxic. In our 20's and 30's, we learn about trusting people, about whether people are looking out for our best interest (as well as theirs), and we tend to be focused on building our careers, our families, and our lives as adults. Now that I am at this stage of life, I nurture the relationships that have weathered the good and the bad. I'm better able to smell who just wants to ride piggy back. I know who is only there during the good times. It is more fulfilling for me to have a circle of friends who see the "Susie" in me and like that about me. I'm blessed with friends who are the family I choose.

  2. All three of my boys live in my home and will be launching into their own independence within the next few years. I had my first child at age 33, my second at 35 and my last one at 37. If I had children in my 20's, I admit, I would not have been the best mom. Graduate school with kids was hard for my peers and I waited to have children so I could be more focused for my family. I knew that it would be important to "be there" when my kids were teenagers. Well, I'm "there" now and I'm proud of myself for positioning my boys as my number one priority. You will not hear me saying, "How did they grow up so fast?" I won't regret or waste the time I have with them. I enjoy every day and moment.

  3. I'm a lifelong learner. Working for Dr. Phil, he always said, "You don't know what you don't know" and it is true! I don't apologize for it and never will. While media use me as an expert, I'm the first to tell you that I have a lot to learn. That's a good thing. That means that our abilities and interests can shift. Our likes and dislikes can change. What gives us energy can increase. I want to always learn something new.

  4. The alternative to living to 50 is passing away in your prime. Each day is a gift and let's all work hard to be present and live each moment...and that's what I call, "Living Smart in the Smart Zone."

  5. Divorced at 50 isn't ideal but it's an opportunity, in my opinion. It's an opportunity but there is no other choice. I was married for 17 years. The first 10 were pretty good. I'll leave it at that. In our home, I display a picture, of our then family of five, that was taken moments after my youngest son, Sam, was born. It was an easy birth (as the third child usually is) and I looked pretty good for a woman who just gave birth. It was a really happy time and a really happy day. At 50 I'm excited that I get to do "love" again. That's part of living in the moment and welcoming your opportunities. I'll keep you posted.
Turning 50 is a good thing. Thanks for letting me tell you why.

If you are interested in booking me to speak at your meeting or conference please email Zan Jones or call her at 214-536-6666.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to Help Others Trust You

One of the most unbelievable examples of lack of trust occurred last week when a Texas mother was arrested for, allegedly, letting her kids play outside unsupervised. The story gained national attention and I was asked to comment on it on the local FOX 4 channel. Here's the footage:

In this case, there was lack of trust among the police, the mother and her neighbor. Obviously there is more to this story, but it's important to know that trust is attainable in any relationship at work and at home.

To stay in the Smart Zone and strengthen the platform of trust use these Smart Moves:

  • Be predictable, caring and faithful. Don't be moody because that makes you unpredictable. Being caring and faithful will help you build loyalty.
  • Address and right the wrongs. Blaming others is one of the fastest ways to burn yourself in the trust department. Do what is necessary, even when it inconveniences you. If it's your responsibility, fix it.
  • Be loyal to others when they aren't present. People will trust you when they have confidence that you can be trusted when they aren't present, and that may not happen until they experience you behind the backs of others.
  • Be clear with expectations and hold people accountable. When supervising people be deliberate about the outcomes you are expecting and, when possible, make them measurable or set timelines.
  • Build your self-regard. Self-regard is how you see yourself and how others see you. It isn't self-esteem. Your self-regard is what lets people know whether they can trust you to accept feedback, manage criticism, and be honest with them in return.
  • Demonstrate respect for those you work with. This is one of my favorites on Stephen M.R. Covey's list of the 13 Behaviors that Earn Trust. One-sided respect in relationships is temporary and delicate, yet over time it builds into respect that is reciprocal. 
  • Follow through on your commitments. People can smell insincerity when a commitment is not followed through. When you have the reputation that you can't be trusted to do as you say, you face a hard uphill climb. 
  • Be the same in public and in private. When people can count on you being the same in private as you are in public, they'll trust you to be who you say you are. They'll also trust that what you say today will be consistent with what you say tomorrow.

If you are interested in booking me to speak at your meeting or conference please contact Zan Jones.