Take It One Step At A Time

As a first step into doing things differently, I would like to share with you a few thoughts, maybe a few resolutions to take on a new year’s eve.

I’d like though to make this as simple and easy to use as possible. I have started so many books, without finishing them, that at one point I am wondering if there is an end to any books…. It cannot be that I am the only one to do that. Doesn’t that happen to you: you pick up a book that sticks to your fingers as long as you are discovering the plot, the players, the environment, the setting… Then half way through the book, you already start to see the direction it is taking, and very fast, the novelty is over, the pages turn almost automatically without bringing you any new information… and all of a sudden you realize you are reading and cannot remember what you are reading about. Your mind is already elsewhere.

So when I decided to share those short notes, I decided to make it a lazy exercise: a sum of ideas, expressed by a couple of pages each. There is no sequence, no order, no correlation between chapters.

You just pick the book up when you wish and read whatever you want, for however you want. It’s reading on the tap. You decide to open or close the tap.

Why this book? Well I think it is time for me to share a bit of my experience in terms of cultural diversity and personal management.

All my life I have lived away from my home country, and I have my parents to thank for that. I have never been a preferment student, again always looking for shortcuts. What I did have was the taste for people, and a permanent thirst for movement. So very naturally I follow the momentum my parents give me by expatriating myself, and having to get adapted to foreign environments.

In this book, I will share with you a few pointers, which if you decide to implement them will probably help you to overcome some of your inner fears. I recently read one other author calling them your invisible fences.

1) Look around, be curious?

Far to often, we spend our time, with the nose in the handle bar, not realizing that there is a whole world revolving around us.

As I spend most of my time traveling, I spend a great deal of time in the airport and on the plane.
As much as I don’t like to be disturbed when I am sitting in my seat on the plane, I do spend a lot of time observing others. Looking at life around you will bring you a wide speck of behaviors and might enable you to either discover and reinforce ethnic common behaviors or identify some individual attitudes that make some people outstand others.

I find that in my travels, I regularly meet the same kind of people. You have you typical stereotypes.

Those, chances are, you can actually avoid observing them, they will not surprise you. But then there are some characters that will totally surprise you and you might in a security waiting line, or a check in, or as you are sitting on the plane, get lucky and make that one encounter that will validate all the time you have spent observing and analyzing people in your own way.

You are also allowed to engage people. My recommendation, make people smile. If you try to engage them on a serious note, chances are, either you will end up with a slap across your face, if she is very pretty, which tends to put a little damper on your confidence, or they will look at you like if you had 2 heads, and will run away from your.

Instead, my recommendation, and it works all the time (almost): make them smile, or even better, make them laugh.

This has quite a number of advantages. The first one is obviously to start to create a relationship on a positive note. For you, it’s a great training ground to interact with strangers and fight your fears. And at last, you never know…. You might get lucky!

At any rate, it is always easier to spend time having a good time with others, then just being bored in your corner, all alone.

I would relate this to my sales career. Even to the date, whenever I visit a client, or a prospect in an office building, I make it a rule to check out all the other companies in the building. It is quite easy as you usually always have a board at the entrance, listing all the companies floor by floor. By doing this, you not only get familiar with the environment, but you can also discover new companies to visit r rediscover people you know and had lost sight of.

Bizarrely enough, it is said that people who are short sighted tend to be more curious because they spend their life forcing their eyes to see always more… I don’t know if that is true, but one thing is for sure, I always go through life noticing a lot of details. And that has served me in many occasions.

Keep in mind that curiosity is one of the manifestations of listening. It’s a little bit like paying forward, Curiosity is like listening before…. It gives you a step ahead on situations.

2) When in the elevator, face the crowd, make their day.

3) Learn one new thing every day

4) Wake up early

5) Make Their day

6) Look good

7) Give a hug

8) Greet “genuinely” your colleagues

9) Write post cards

10) Please yourself

11) Please someone else

12) Write your book

13) Plant a tree

14) Choose your favorite music

15) Choose your attitude

16) Play

17) Start your day on a high note

18) Surprise them

19) Live every day as if it was the last one

20) Conquer your greatest fear

21) Make a resolution

22) Write your lines

23) Take an hour off

24) Go to a movie

25) Give yourself a daily pat on the back

26) Challenge your Conventional

27) If you Cannot state it clearly, then it is not clear in your mind

28) What goes without saying, goes better by saying it

29) Reinvent yourself

30) Don’t let the idiot at the door keep you from getting into the wonderful house

31) Take a trip

32) Empty your table

33) Be aware in the present moment

34) Turn off the noise in your brain

35) Learn a new language, one word at a time

36) Don’t care about the outcome

37) Have a fantasy, but realize your SMART dream

38) Use positive energy to enlarge your circle of influence

39) Work out daily

40) Develop your personal foundations

41) Practice your smile

42) Listen, listen, listen

43) Make yourself attractive

44) Don’t give anything for free

45) Despise the free lunch

46) Take the first step

Dr. JP Bonnifay
CEO & Lead Consultant
HPI Sdn. Bhd.

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