A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mom


By Susan Ford Collins

When my daughter Cathy was in grade school, she wanted me to be “a chocolate chip cookie mom” like her friends’ moms who had cookies waiting on flowery plates when they got home. I was hardly that. Divorced and struggling to be “mom and dad”, I woke up at 5 and stayed up till my pen squiggled meaningless marks on the page! Unlike those “stay-at-home moms” who had “go-to-work dads”, I was working to make a living, take care of the three of us, and be the best parent I could... all at the same time. But how?

When I was a girl, my mom was an alcoholic and my dad was a workaholic so I knew I couldn’t go on automatic and do what they did. What could I do to help my children succeed? When I began my career as a researcher at NIH, I committed to shadowing Highly Successful People (HSPs) so I could discover the skills they were using, and start using them myself. I had just initiated my research when my husband was offered a job that was too good to refuse and we moved out of the area… and away from my job. A few years later my husband and I divorced and the reality of being a single mom set in. I would have to put my research on the back burner and devise a new plan. I decided to go back to school to earn a teaching certificate. Working in my daughters’ school would mean we would have the same schedule, plus holidays and summers off together!

Sad to say, my girls could only understand how my plan affected them at the time. They were the only kids who wore house keys around their necks so they could let themselves in after school, eat a snack and watch TV till I got home. They couldn’t yet see how my “being a different kind of mom” would help them in the future. As they grew, I was able to devote more and more time to my research. Over the years since then, I shadowed HSPs, developed and taught The Technology of Success Training in over 3,000 corporations across the country.

When my daughter Margaret finished college, she went to work for The Upjohn Company. One morning her director called to ask me to speak at their regional sales conference. After we pinned down where and when, he said he had something special to tell me. "We will be honoring your daughter Margaret as our top sales rep that day. When we told she won, we asked what her secret was. She said it was the 10 Success Skills that you discovered Highly Successful People use consistently, the 10 Success Skills Margaret saw you use her whole life. We want you to teach your skills to rest of our team. There’s just one thing… we don't want them to know you're Margaret’s mom till it's over." I chuckled and agreed.

At the end of the day, I was standing in a crowd of participants when I heard her director announce, “I’ve asked our award winner Margaret Collins to say a few words.” And my younger daughter slowly stood up and pointed her finger straight at me, "That's my mom!" The room went silent for a moment and then everyone shouted, “No fair, Margaret. No wonder you won!” You’re lucky that your mom taught you the Success Skills we all need!

Fortunately life is long and our childhood perspectives continue updating as we become breadwinners, parents and spouses. Cathy is happily married and has never personally experienced the pain of divorce or of supporting her family and parenting alone, but some of her close friends have. When she began seeing her “chocolate chip cookie” days from a new perspective, her old childhood disappointments started melting away. We giggled that she had become a “chocolate chip cookie mom” herself. Cathy is known for nurturing everyone who needs it with a tray of her now-famous vegan chocolate chip cookies.

This Mother’s Day, as Cathy’s son was about to graduate from college and her friends were finally living new and fulfilling lives, Cathy texted me an even more up-to-date perspective, “You are a great mom. Thank you for all of your sacrifices. I know there were many. I love you.”

And I cried. I had always hoped this day would come, and it had.

****

Susan Ford Collins is the Founder and President of The Technology of Success and author of The Joy of Success (#1 Best Seller Kindle), Success Has Gears, and Our Children Are Watching. “Susan Ford Collins is America’s Premier Success and Leadership Coach”- CNN.

Our Children Are Watching: Ten Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success

By Susan Ford Collins

“This may just be one of the most important books you will ever read in your life, important for you and for your children. A positively stunning book, Our Children Are Watching captured both my heart and my mind. It could revolutionize the way we live in the world, and, quite possibly, revolutionize the world itself. Susan Ford Collins shares insights that will help us remember and revitalize our dreams. She speaks of learning to create the life we truly want, a life that serves our deepest selves and brings true success. To her, success is learning to live a life that springs directly from our hearts, a life that nurtures our relationship to our soul and its deepest longings; and, as parents, isn’t this what we all seek to teach our children? Collins’ writing is infused with vitality. In plain, direct language, Collins explains step-by-step the ten skills that lead to success, skills that apply to any situation or any person, whether a child or a CEO.

I read hundreds of books every year and I can count on one hand how many books I have ever read that hold the potential to transform lives as deeply as this book does. Without any hesitation, I give Our Children Are Watching my absolute HIGHEST recommendation. Whether you read it for yourself or for your children, it has the power to change your life forever, if you are willing.

—Chinaberry Book Service

"Don't Play With Matches" and Other Dangers of Negative Campaigns


By Susan Ford Collins

Appealing to the anger and upset of a nation has been a tried-and-true political strategy to earn votes and win elections. But sadly, knowing what we don’t want does not lead us to what we do want… unless we take a vital extra step.

Years ago I was a consultant to a government organization that was charged with creating a now-familiar sign. They were considering two choices: In case of fire, do not use the elevator, leaving frightened people confused, upset and undirected. Or going further, In case of fire, use the stairs plus providing maps to nearby stairwells. After several tests, it was clear which choice worked better to quickly lead people to certainty and safety.

Words are “sensory packages” we learn to recognize and use as children. Fire = red, hot, danger. Elevator = a large box that moves up and down a building. Simple. Direct. We see, hear, feel, taste and smell words and take action.

The word not is different. Unlike fire and elevator, not is a marker that adrenalizes us to make a new choice: If not this, then what?

As soon as not is added to an instruction, two steps become necessary in order to take appropriate action: Step One- Our brain senses fire and elevator and… revved up, heart pounding… we prepare to climb inside and ride down to safety. Until Step Two- we remember there was a “not” in that instruction… an X through it so to speak… so we must quickly formulate a new plan. Unfortunately, when we are afraid or upset, we frequently get caught up in our upset and fail to take that vital second step before speaking. Here is a story that tragically reinforces this danger, especially with kids.

Don’t play with matches while we're gone

Kevin and his wife were leaving their son with a sitter for the evening. As they pulled on their coats, she said emphatically, “Bobby, don’t play with matches while we’re gone. Promise me you won't.” Kevin thought this was unusual because Bobby was afraid of lighting matches, but they were late so he let it go. When they drove away, she told him she watched a TV show that afternoon about children who set fires while they were with sitters. Those scenes of badly-burned kids and flashing emergency lights kept playing over and over in her head so she felt she had to say something to keep their son safe. They enjoyed dinner and headed home. When they turned onto their street, they saw fire trucks on their lawn. Bobby had followed her “don’t play with matches” instruction and set fire to the drapes. Their sitter called 911 and they rushed Bobby to the hospital where he was being treated for severe burns.

Sadly, don’t play becomes do play… until we create and communicate another way. What could that frightened mom have said and done to keep their son safe? She could have created an action plan, specifying videos, games, or puzzles to play, and talked that plan through with her son and sitter before leaving home. And put all the matches out of reach, of course. As leaders, we cannot count on children or upset people to take that second step themselves.

Unfortunately knowing what we don’t want is where many of us have stopped. Like that mom, we have seen scary scenes on TV, been adrenalized by movies or speeches. But until now, many of us have failed to recognize a life-changing/life-saving truth… we must each take the all-important Second Leadership Step… imagining and communicating, in detail, what we do want instead, for ourselves and others.

Clinton or Trump… at this point in the presidential election cycle, instead of focusing on what we don’t want and screaming even louder, we each need to stop and ask ourselves: What do I want for my community, nation and world? Who do I sense is most able to develop and execute a plan to safely and effectively get us there? Then we need to begin pressing her or him to share the details of that plan so we can ask even more questions, knowing that the more detailed a plan is, the more power it has. And the more people who align on these details, the greater the power and impact the plan will have.

Susan Ford Collins…“America’s Premier Success and Leadership Coach”-CNN… is the creator of THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS, the powerful leadership system used in more than 3,000 training programs in major corporations, startups and turnarounds. Audiences begged Susan to write about the 10 Success Skills so, after shadowing Highly Successful People (HSPs) for 20 years and coaching them for 20 more, she wrote The Joy of Success (#1 Best Seller Amazon Kindle ), Success Has Gears, and Our Children Are Watching. www.susanfordcollins.com or www.technologyofsuccess.com

Why Most People Can’t Think “Outside the Box”

By Susan Ford Collins

As entrepreneurs we discovered how to think “outside the box,” or we might not have become entrepreneurs to begin with.

Now we need to look at what is holding our organization and investors back, and determine what we can do about it.

First, a quick look at how “The Box” was created

When we were kids, we needed “a protective box”… a parent or teacher there beside us to program “basic life rules and limits” in our minds and bodies so we could safely try and fail, try again and succeed… always look both ways before crossing the street; always follow the rules; always ask permission; and never question authority.

Our leaders repeated our “start up programs” over and over, rewarded us when we used them, and punished us when we didn’t. Their rules and limits kept us safe as we learned and grew. (And, much to our surprise, we keep our kids safe the same way.)

Cows in “electrified” pastures

Like cows that live in electrified fences, we soon figured out how to avoid getting zapped. We learned to stay in our safe area by limiting what we tried, what we wanted, and what we imagined. We made “their limits” “our limits”, at least for a while.

As we gained skills and experience, our parents and teachers began updating our start up programs. “Never speak to strangers” evolved to “Sometimes you have to talk to strangers”. “Never say anything bad about anyone” morphed to “you need to speak up when someone does something that could hurt you or others.” Little by little, our parents expanded “our limits”, and we started expanding some of “their limits” ourselves.

But here’s the problem… always and never

By attaching the words always and never, our caretakers locked some of our programs and never made time to unlock them. And we didn’t update them either. So now some of “their electric fences” are still charged in our bodies and minds… unconscious structures that give us the chills, turn our stomachs, or make us run and hide when we think about doing things we need to do and have the ability to do now. As adults, it’s up to each of us to take a good hard look at what we’re avoiding and why.

Today we live in even more highly-charged fences… money fences

As adults, instead of cookies and lollipops, employers offer financial rewards to incent employees to do what they want them to do, the way they want them to do it, and do it more-better-faster-cheaper. It’s intensely time- and-energy consuming and squashes our creativity and innovation so badly that so some of us “risk the zap” and venture out to start our own businesses.

As entrepreneurs, we seem to be operating “outside that box”, but we aren’t. Now we have investors and payrolls and employees and sub-contractors who depend our making our projections, collecting funds and paying them on time. Now as leaders, we need to learn to recognize when and where we are being limited… and our organization is being limited… and what you can do to optimize our results and theirs.

Success Has Gears

Here is a new perspective on success and leadership that is essential for entrepreneurs.

As we drive, we use gears to move ahead, slowly at first, then more rapidly and easily. As we succeed, we use gears too. No gear is better than any other. All are essential—each one has its own timing and use. Like skilled drivers, we must shift up and down as circumstances require.

1st Gear is for starting and restarting, for becoming effective at anything new. It’s accompanied by a long list of familiar limiting keywords … always/never, can/can’t, safe/dangerous, possible/impossible, right/wrong, good/bad, should/shouldn’t, have to and must. (Keep in mind, the word familiar comes from the word family.)

2nd Gear is for accelerating our productivity and honing our competitive edge, for deleting unneeded 1st Gear rules and developing short cuts. Keywords include… more-better-faster-cheaper, quantity/quality, win/lose, produce/compete, longer hours/higher stress, injury and burnout.

3rd Gear is for moving past the familiar and previously-productive to creativity and innovation. For imagining and intuiting, trusting hunches and embracing chance and serendipity so we can make breakthroughs and discoveries, invent new products, services and approaches.

Leadership has gears too

Each Success Gear has a corresponding Leadership Gear designed to meet the needs of individuals and teams operating in that gear.

When we lead in 1st Gear, we are responsible for supervising, or have others supervise, our employees’ learning, for building self-confidence and enthusiasm. We need to closely supervise their progress and quickly intervene to turn around errors and setbacks and rebuild their self-confidence as needed.

When we lead in 2nd Gear, we manage from more distance. We describe specifically what we want them to accomplish and provide regular appraisals.  Even though we’re not there all the time, we are still in charge, managing by numbers, charts and graphs.

When we lead in 3rd Gear, our job is to support our team’s creative ideas, to help them find expertise and build a powerful start up team. And hold their dreams with them… and even for them… when unexpected setbacks wipe out their dreams temporarily.

Who is responsible for shifting gears? It depends…

1st Gear Leaders are responsible for determining when we’re ready to shift to 2nd. They train, supervise, test, graduate, certify and license us. We learn early on to wait for their permission to gear up. But the shift from 2nd to 3rd is one we must make ourselves, in our own timing. To be ready, we have to update enough old limits and build enough self-confidence and experience to trust our creative ideas and our ability to explore new territory, and lead others there with us.

In today’s business world, most of us spend most of our time accelerating in 2nd. And most of our coworkers are accelerating in 2nd with us, squeezing out the time needed to gear up to hothouse new ideas and approaches (3rd), and down to learn and relearn skills, information and technologies (1st).

Over the years we’ve developed gear-habits

In your organization, which people prefer 1st Gear where rules and limits are clearly set and closely supervised? Which ones prefer doing more-better-faster, working long and hard to earn promotions and bonuses… sometimes making productivity and competition more important than future thinking and creativity? Which people in your organization are ready to gear up? And which ones need to gear down to relearn? Or start elsewhere?

As leaders we have gear habits too, underusing or overusing one gear or the other to the detriment of the organization as a whole. When financial “push comes to shove”, instead of leading individuals “out of the box”, listening and supporting new ideas, do you sometimes subtly… or not so subtly… incent your employees to stay inside? Do you over-reward or disproportionately bonus more-better-faster 2nd gear behaviors? And under-reward the 1st gear learning and relearning your organization needs to keep up? What incentives and support systems does your organization have in place for nourishing the new ideas and approaches you will need for success in the future?

Where is “your box”?

Throughout our lives, we expand and contract “our boxes”… in illness and injury, when relationships begin and end, when unforeseen circumstances knock us for a loop. The key question for you now is: Is your box, and organization’s box, BIG ENOUGH to include room for all three gears? For success now… and in the future?

Susan Ford Collins…“America’s Premier Success and Leadership Coach” CNN… is the creator of THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS, the powerful leadership system used in more than 3,000 training programs in major corporations and organizations, in startups and turnarounds. Audiences begged Susan to write about the 10 Success Skills so after shadowing Highly Successful People (HSPs) for 20 years and coaching them for 20 more, she wrote The Joy of Success, Success Has Gears, and Our Children Are Watching, all now available on Amazon. www.susanfordcollins.com or www.technologyofsuccess.com

 

Glass Ceilings Aren’t Holding Us Back… It’s Old Habits and Misused Gears

By Susan Ford Collins

Did you ever wonder why women… without whom none of us would be here and none of our progeny would be either… are so under-recognized in our history and under-paid in our economy?

How many male corporate heads can you name quickly? Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeffrey R. Immelt, Rupert K. Murdoch, Leslie Moonves (Oops, he’s a man.). How many female corporate heads come to mind? Carly Fiorina, Sheryl Sandburg… why is this question so much harder?

Even going by a male name can give a woman an advantage. Outstanding writers have used pen names… male or ambiguous names… so their femaleness wouldn’t get in the way. Mary Ann Evans, the author of Silas Marner, called herself George Eliot, while Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin called herself George Sand. And, just in case you think this only happened in the past, J.K. Rowling, author of the fabulously successful Harry Potter series, was told by her publisher to use her initials instead of her first name (Joanne Kathleen) because boys wouldn’t read a book by a woman!

Today women lead top major corporations and create billion dollar startups, but most people still unconsciously think “a woman’s place is in the home.” But now, “a man’s place is in the home” too! And we’re trying to figure out how to divvy up the responsibilities to everyone’s advantage… especially our kids!

To succeed, a society has three gear-like functions

1st Gear is for starting and restarting… new lives, new skills, new methods and technologies. Familiar 1st Gear keywords are: safe, dangerous, right, wrong, good, bad, can, can’t, should, shouldn’t, have to, must, always, never, possible, impossible… words we remember hearing our mothers and fathers using! (Keep in mind, the word familiar comes from the word family.)

2nd Gear is producing and competing, for providing enough goods and services to meet everyone’s needs now and in the future. 2nd Gear keywords are: more, better, faster, cheaper, quantity, quality, win, lose, deadlines and profits.

In today’s money-oriented, fast-paced business arena, most of us spend most of our time accelerating in 2nd so it’s hard to slow down to listen, or to imagine another way. But, every once in a while, a creative thinker, male or female, comes along and introduces breakthroughs.

3rd Gear is for creating and innovating, for supporting new ideas, methods, and approaches, new products, businesses and technologies so we can prosper now and in the future. 3rd Gear keywords include: aha, discover, create, invent, innovate, and startup.

Historically we’ve thought of women as mothers, teachers and nurses, so even today, we don’t immediately picture women leading boardroom meetings, or heading billion dollar startups, entertainment and government entities, but they are! Marissa A. Mayer is president and CEO of Yahoo!; Sheryl Sandburg is COO of Facebook; Janet Napolitano is Secretary of Homeland Security; Margaret Hamburg is Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; And Oprah is a multi-billion dollar entertainment mogul.

Lesser-known women inventors have made our lives easier and safer. Marion Donovan created disposable diapers; Patsy Sherman devised Scotchgard to repel stains on fabrics; Mary Anderson invented windshield wipers; and movie star Hedy Lamarr co-invented a “Secret Communications System” to stop the Nazis.

What produced these drastic changes? It was nothing less than war

With our men fighting in Europe and Asia, women went to work in factories and, took over their positions temporarily, like the fictionalized Rosie the Riveter. After the war, returning soldiers, backed by the GI Bill, cranked out The American Dream.… with a home for everyone and more children than usual to fill them, plus washers, dryers, refrigerators, cars, TVs instead of radios, and stay-at-home moms. Then in 2008, the housing boom slowed and The Great Recession pushed male-oriented manufacturing jobs overseas… to China and India. Wives went back to work again to stabilize family incomes… leaving displaced men at home, unprepared, and frequently unwilling, to take on 1st gear childcare, cooking and homecare.

Societal gears needed to shift but they didn’t

“It’s not my job” is a hangover from the homemaker-breadwinner/”Father Knows Best” division of labor many men were brought up on and still unconsciously expect their wives to provide… even though their wives’ lives have changed drastically.

Struggles and resistances led to divorces and divided families, and the number of single mothers accelerated. In 2011, there were 13.7 million single parents in the U.S. raising 22 million children. But contrary to stereotypes, 76% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed. According to the U.S. Census, poverty isn't the norm for most single parent families, even though custodial single mothers and their kids are twice as likely to live in poverty as the general population.

Today 50 % of women work outside the home. And 40% of working women are the primary breadwinners

According to the Harvard Business Review, women are starting businesses twice as fast as men.” Why? The Wall Street Journal reports it’s “to seize control of their time and schedule at work.” And no surprise, “The women who make it to leadership roles perform better than their male peers. And more women are C-suite executives (CEOs, COOs, CIOs, CTOs and the like) than at any time in our nation’s history.” Some women started making more money than their husbands so Innovative couples decided to “change traditional places”… leading to the advent of stay-at-home dads. Other men have moved into formerly female professions such as nursing, healthcare and education.

Today “women’s work” is “men’s work” too. Busy-working-mothers are teaching their busy-working-husbands how to use the washer and dryer, how to manage lunches, homework and bedtime, how to share drop offs and pickups and care for elderly family members. To handle the squeeze, men and women are getting creative. Jessica Alba is CEO of a billion dollar Unicorn (a Unicorn is a start up that reaches one billion dollars!) The Honest Company evaluates the safety and quality of everything that touches your family; Adi Tatarko and husband Olon Cohen, cofounders of another billion dollar Unicorn, Houzz, share online what they learned when they decorated their own home.

And “men’s work” is “women’s work” too. Ginni Rometty is CEO, Chairman and President of IBM; Marillyn Hewson is CEO, Chairman and President of Lockheed Martin; Indra Nooyi is CEO and Chairman of Pepsico; and Ellen Kullman is CEO and Chairman of DuPont; and Mary Barra is CEO of Barra, our nation’s largest auto-maker; Alison Overholt is the new first female Editor-in-Chief of ESPN The Magazine; and Linda Cohn recently made history for hosting SportsCenter for the 5,000th Time.

Glass Ceiling or Gear Errors?

No, it isn’t a glass ceiling that’s stopping us. It’s men and women failing to gear up, and down, at the right time… pressing ahead in 2nd when they need to shift to 1st to nurture and teach; or working longer and harder in 2nd when they need to shift to 3rd Gear. It’s employers and managers mistakenly over-incenting, over-salarying and over-bonusing 2nd Gear activities, squeezing out the time needed for 1st Gear learning and relearning, and 3rd gear creativity, innovation and startups.

The stalling, lurching, and cracking glass is because we’ve been “gaming the workplace”… paying Success Gears and sexes preferentially. And it’s costing us our health and our wellbeing, and our children’s. Now that you know how and when to use all three Success Gears, you can be a more skillful “homeplace and workplace driver.” And a happier and more balanced example to your coworkers, families and kids.

Susan Ford Collins…“America’s Premier Success and Leadership Coach” CNN… is the creator of THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS, the powerful leadership system used in more than 3,000 training programs in major corporations and organizations, in startups and turnarounds. Audiences begged Susan to write about the 10 Success Skills so after shadowing Highly Successful People (HSPs) for 20 years and coaching them for 20 more, she wrote The Joy of Success, Success Has Gears, and Our Children Are Watching, all now available on Amazon. www.susanfordcollins.com or www.technologyofsuccess.com

The Workplace Squeeze: Is There an App for That… Or Do We Need Something More?

By Susan Ford Collins

I was sitting in the office of one of America’s top CEO’s when his phone rang and a male voice started yelling and I couldn’t help but overhear.

Afterward that CEO-Dad said, “I need to apologize… not for my son who was upset because I told him I would be at his championship game this afternoon but I have a product launch and can’t go. No, I need to apologize for myself. My son had every reason to be angry with me. I let him down, again. ‘I hate you Dad. You never keep your word!’ were painful words to hear but they were well deserved. I have to do better.”

Having raised two daughters as a single mom and encouraged them as they pursued their careers and raised families, I am all too aware that… despite our best efforts…working moms aren’t always able to keep our word with our kids either. We too are getting caught in the ultimate dilemma: Will I succeed at work and fail at home? Or will I succeed at home and fail at work?

History has relied on women for birthing and caring for children, for educating and nurturing their new ideas. When marriages lasted for a lifetime, women worked at home and men provided for the family, but today the game has changed. Women are not only competing in the workplace (successfully I might add) but trying to do everything else… without extended families or “stay-at-home-husbands” to pick up the pieces for dropped clothes and forgotten lunches, mortgages, and credit cards.

It’s not that women want to be taken care of, it’s that we want to be treated equally, and we’re not. We’re underappreciated, undervalued and underpaid. And, disappointed in ourselves for not being able to do the impossible… do it all.

Historically, most women never wanted to work outside the home; they were busy with kids, meals, gardens, and canning. But world wars pushed us into making airplane parts and packing parachutes and some women stayed on in the workplace. Then the Great Recession started moving their husband’s jobs overseas to China and India, and women went to work to maintain their family incomes. As the economy recovered, homes got bigger and so did mortgages, and the cost of all the stuff we thought we needed to feel good about ourselves, so more and more women started working 9 to 5.

Then something even more life-changing occurred. Cell phones and the internet made the workplace 24/7, eating up the separation between days, weekends and evenings… time that used to be reserved for families, friends and whew… ourselves. Now even when we make it to our kid’s ballgames, we’re not all there… still getting calls from work and stepping out to handle them… a more subtle but just as powerful rejection for our kids. “Did you see that great play I made, Mom?” “No I’m sorry, honey, I was on the phone.”

What our kids really want most is our undivided attention… every once in a while. And what we all want as women and men is the support we need to give it, and to have a moment of undivided attention for ourselves.

Teens told me they didn’t want to be successful

I did a study of 1,250 middle school students, parents and teachers and asked a whole auditorium of kids how many wanted to be successful. We were all stunned when less than a quarter of them raised their hands! When I asked why, they answered, “If you’re successful, you never have time for family, friends or fun, and your boss is always calling and asking for more.” After watching us being squeezed, is there any surprise our kids don’t want to do the same thing?

Today women work by choice and by passion too. They want to do a great job at work and at home, and they don’t want to have to choose. How can they find balance?

What is success anyway? Its’ time to redefine that word

Webster’s dictionary says success is “getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame” and that’s what most people think it is, but the Highly Successful People I shadowed for 20 years used a very different definition. For them, success has three essential parts. Without using them all, at the right time, our lives and our society can quickly slip out of balance.

(1) Success is Completion… Yes, it’s the accomplishment part that’s included in the dictionary. But (2) success is also Deletion, knowing when to say no, when to stop doing what we’re doing, the way we’re doing it. And (3) success is Creation… inventing new ways of dividing up the functions our society needs to run smoothly and be healthy… not just according to old familiar rules and habits, but according to how women and men are living today… given where we are in history.

None of us handle it all unassisted. It’s time to look at what we can do to support each and every woman, and man, to nurture and educate our next generation, and care for our previous generation. To produce and compete so we can provide financially, materially and emotionally. And to create and deliver the support systems we need now, and fund the startups by both men and women we will need in the future. Cell phones, the internet, and social media are spawning new business opportunities and providing new services to help us rebalance our lives.

Is there an app for that? Or do we need something more?

Technology can help us do tasks more easily and quickly, providing online services for finding trustworthy childcare, home care or companionship for elderly parents. For decorating our homes by following a billion dollar plus startup, created by a wife and husband who decorated their new home and share what they learned online. Plus phone apps for finding grocery stores, take outs, and emergency care, as well as directions for quickly getting there from wherever we are.

But even more important, we need to rethink our priorities… to let go of old success measures that make us feel we’re coming up short, when we ‘re not. Old dreams we had as kids, teens, newlyweds or new employees. When was the last time you sat down to ask yourself whether what you thought would make you happy, is making you happy now… or what would?

As I wrote this I called and texted many times with my daughter Margaret, a busy neuroradiologist, and she reminded me to tell you something I taught her as she was growing up. Like the Highly Successful People I shadowed, we each need to Success File each day… setting aside time to acknowledge ourselves for what we’re completing, deleting and creating: the lunches we pack, the foods we choose to eat, the support we give and receive, the old habits we eliminate, the problems we solve, the decisions we make, the new ideas we generate, and ultimately the difference we make wherever we are. Big successes are simply an accumulation of tiny ones.

Today we are in the gap between how it used to be… what success meant then… and how it is now… what success means to you now… this is The Squeeze. By redefining success for ourselves, our coworkers and families, we can begin experiencing the joy of success we set out to share.

Susan Ford Collins…“America’s Premier Success and Leadership Coach” CNN… is the creator of THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS, the powerful leadership system used in more than 3,000 training programs in major corporations and organizations, in startups and turnarounds. Audiences begged Susan to write about the 10 Success Skills so after shadowing Highly Successful People (HSPs) for 20 years and coaching them for 20 more, she wrote The Joy of Success, Success Has Gears, and Our Children Are Watching, all now available on Amazon. www.susanfordcollins.com or www.technologyofsuccess.com

 

Mom, I Want to be a NASA Astronaut

By Susan Ford Collins

I was speaking about the power of children's dreams, and the even more awesome power adults have to make or break them, when a woman in the audience raised her hand. "Susan, I've got the perfect story for you to share."

"When our daughter turned five, she told us that she was going to be a NASA astronaut when she grew up. She would sit mesmerized in front of our TV during every space shot. And while her father and I were sipping our soup at dinner one night, we realized simultaneously that she actually saw herself as a member of the crew.

Suddenly we moved beyond the glaze of day-to-day living long enough to realize that we were at a crucial decision-point: Was this a passing fancy or her mission? We could continue silently pooh-poohing her dream as something a boy could do but not a girl—a feeling we both knew was definitely there inside us. Or, we could line up with her.

We decided to line up with her. So when she asked us what she needed to do to become an astronaut, we took her seriously and found out. When she needed help completing elaborate science projects, we made time to support her. When she wanted to go to science camps instead the camps her girl friends attended, we remembered her dream and continued to nurture it."

"And you'll be happy to know that our daughter is a NASA astronaut. She was aboard the last shot. And as the roar of the rockets blurred our words that morning at Cape Kennedy, my husband and I shouted agreement that we had made the right choice."

Our children's dreams are the seeds of the future, precious future solutions to the problems we face today and tomorrow. As we build our children's self-confidence, the second most important thing we can do is to nurture their dreams—agreeing with their possibilities, arguing for their success... not their failure, and appreciating their greatness in advance.

(c) Susan Ford Collins, 2016. All rights reserved.

* For more on Success Skills 3 and 4, Dreaming and Co-dreaming, read The Joy of Success or Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

The College Admission Process is Underway… and Your Kids Are in the Gap!


By Susan Ford Collins

Your seniors are half way through their last year of high school and the college-selection | student-selection process is racing ahead. Applications and essays are in, but chances are the tension is higher than ever! And if your kids are juniors now, you’ll be going through it next year.

First-round college choices have already replied. If the answer was yes and it was your senior’s top choice, hurrah! But many students are caught in the emotionally straining and self-confidence draining gap between being turned down or deferred… and finding out which college wants them. A rough period for students, and for parents! What will the next four years really cost… tuition plus expenses? And how will you pay for it?

Your senior, who was probably diligent last semester, may have come down with a serious case of “senor-itis”… that energy-draining disorder that sets in after three and a half years of long hours, hard work and after school sports when the accelerator was constantly pressed to the floor. But now it isn’t.

What to do now: Two all-important steps

Here are two things I learned by studying Highly Successful People for 20 years, and teaching The Technology of Success in major corporations, schools and universities for 20 more! Two things you need to do with your kids now. Or support them in doing on their own.

Step One: Make time to Success File

There is still time left for you and your kids to learn and practice the First Success Skill: How to “Build and Rebuild Your Self-Confidence”… a skill your kids will need more and more in the years ahead. First you will need to create a file… an old-school manila folder or, better yet, a computer file or One Note… bottom line, a place where you can permanently store your kids’ successes and they can continue adding them on a daily basis. A place they can quickly access when the going gets tough… and from time to time it will, like it or not.

But first, here is a key question: What is success?

Most people have never asked themselves what success is. And most students and teachers haven’t either. But this is a question you and your kids need to consider before they enter college and have to maintain their self-confidence and enthusiasm, courage and determination without you there beside them. Or when a phone call can’t reach you.

Success has three essential parts. Colleges want to know that you have the ability to produce all three kinds.

1-Success is Completion: Yes, this is the part of success most people know about… accomplishment. Starting, doing and finishing what we set out to do, and others set out for us to do. Colleges predict future success by looking at past success. They want to know you’re a “completer” not just a starter, a contributor not just a taker, so it’s smart to start filing times when you completed something most kids would have given up on. Or a painful experience you turned from a loss to a win. Times when you helped someone else win. Or when you led others at school, sports, in your family and community.

2- Success is also Deletion: Sometimes success is not doing, knowing when to let go of what no longer works for you: old habits, methods and relationships, foods that make you revved up and racy or stuffed up and sleepy. Friendships that encourage you to wander off track. Colleges want to hear about your Deletion Successes because they tell them about your character, your ability to make vital choices and avoid needless injuries, detours and mistakes. What have you let go of that could have ruined your life or another’s, but didn’t? Some deletion successes may seem too private to share but revealing them in a positive light in essays and interviews shows colleges that you’re willing to share experiences that can help you and others in the future.

3- Success is Creation: Success is being able to go beyond what you’ve been taught, beyond the methods already in use. Success is coming up with new ways. In the world you are entering, it’s no longer enough to succeed by only by completing and deleting, you also need to be creators and leaders. Your ability to create and innovate is what colleges and future employers will be looking for, first and foremost.

Do you know who Jeff Bezos is? Have you ever ordered anything from Amazon.com? Then you know Jeff Bezos; he’s Amazon’s creator. Do you know Blake Ross? Have you ever used Firefox? Then you know Blake Ross. He co-founded Firefox at 16 and appeared on the cover of Wired Magazine at 19. Then he became Director for Product at Facebook. More and more top innovators start their life work at your age! Who else can you think of? How about in fashion, music and dance? Do you know Julianne Hough? She is a highly successful young TV and movie star who is asking Miriam Webster to redefine success in their dictionary so kids won’t get caught working longer and harder and never feeling satisfied the way she did. This is an important topic I will be giving a keynote on at the Redefining Success Conference at Smith College in April.

Two Laws of Success Filing you need to remember now and forever:

*** When your Success File is full, you feel Success-Full. When you Success File is low, you feel dependent and needy. And you tend to lie around, eat, drink and procrastinate too! So fill up that file now.

*** Success is your past gives you confidence in your future. And, success in your application, essays and interviews gives colleges and future employers the confidence they will need to tell you YES! And to stick with you in the years ahead.

STEP TWO: Dream Your Future Now… in full sound and color

Your parents’ world of science fiction will be your reality! Here’s what’s already underway… Bioprinted ears (in 3 years) and bioficial hearts (in 10) made from extra fat from around the recipient’s own stomach so rejection will be avoided. What will you create that will change the world? What is your passion and mission?

Prelive your future success… like skiers do who are about to successfully head downhill, or golfers about to make a crucial putt, or exams you are about to pass with flying colors, or jobs you will want and earn. Start imagining and filing future successes as well (yes, add them to your Success File past and future now. What do you want to do and be in your life?

Start creating your life like a movie producer would… with that much color and clarity, that much sound and emotion, all the completions, deletions and creations that will make life worth dreaming and living. And inspire others to succeed too.

c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

 

$14.95 paperback | $3.99 eBook

 

Home-Based Professionals Need to Understand More About Success Than Their Big Corporate Counterparts!

By Susan Ford Collins

Working from home gives you the freedom to forgo exhausting commutes or be there for your kids, but it also means you need to understand success and leadership in more detail. Everyone needs this information today, but most of all you!

Success has gears

As you drive, you use gears to move ahead, slowly at first then more rapidly and easily. As you succeed, you use gears too. No gear is better than any other; all are essential. Each has its own timing and use. Like a skillful driver, you must shift up and down as circumstances require.

The 1st Gear of Success is for starting and restarting, for becoming effective at new skills and technologies. 1st Gear is signaled by familiar* keywords:can, can’t, safe, dangerous, right, wrong, good, bad, should, shouldn’t, have to, must, always, never, possible, impossible, rules, test, retest, certify and permission. (* Keep in mind, the word familiar comes from the word family.)

The 2nd Gear of Success is for producing and competing, for deciding which 1st Gear rules you can eliminate to become more efficient. Keywords include: more, better, faster, cheaper, quantity, quality, win, lose, produce, compete, deadlines, irritation, longer hours, frayed nerves, missed deadlines, higher stress, injury, illness and burnout. The 2nd Gear of success is for winning new clients and satisfying those you have, for making more money by getting more work done… on time at top quality. Most business people spend most of their time in 2nd Gear, but regularly gearing up to 3rd Gear is essential in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing world.

The 3rd Gear of Success is for creating and innovating, moving past what used to be productive to what will work now, and in the future. For trusting hunches and embracing serendipity so you can discover new approaches your customers may not know they need yet, but they do. Keywords include: aha, realize, breakthrough, discover, create, invent, innovate, and startup.

Leadership has gears too

Each Success Gear has a corresponding Leadership Gear designed to meet the needs of individuals and teams using that gear.

Your greatest challenge as a home-based business is to be able to shift out of the gear you’re in… into the gear someone else needs you to be in…your customer, your provider, your spouse or your child. If you can’t shift immediately, you need to make an agreement to shift in a few minutes or at the end of the day. And then keep your agreement so they’ll believe you next time and they make, and keep, similar agreements with you!

When you lead in 1st Gear, you supervise new learners, building and rebuilding their self-confidence and enthusiasm, monitoring progress and intervening quickly to avoid injuries and setbacks. You are responsible for deciding when learners are ready for the increased decision-making and quality/quantity standards of 2nd Gear. (A quick reminder: Next time you meet with a new customer or provider, be sure to shift into 1st Gear and allow yourself plenty of time to learn about their outcomes and requirements, and share yours in detail.)

If you’re home-based, you need to remember that children are in 1st Gear most of the time. So if they’re around, you’ll be starting and restarting, supervising and supporting a lot! Sometimes their needs will conflict with your customers’ needs, especially when your kids are sick or on vacation from school and you’re pressing to meet deadlines. Or when someone you count on can’t come as expected. “Oh no, I don’t know that program! Where is the manual?” Even though slowing down from 80 mph to 15 is hard, once a solution is found, you’ll be ready to speed up again.

When you lead in 2nd Gear, even though you’re not physically working beside them, you are still in charge, managing their performance… in advertising, social media, design or accounting… via weekly reports, phone calls, emails and texts. You manage from more distance, explaining the job, answering questions, and providing timely feedback. (Be sure that you teach your collaborators how to use these gears too so they will know when they need to gear up or down! And ask you to do the same.)

When you lead in 3rd Gear, you are responsible for nurturing creative ideas, yours and others’. For finding the support and expertise needed to bring “out of the box” thinking into reality and profitability. And for holding dreams when setbacks wipe them out temporarily. (Remember, your customers want you to help fulfill their dreams so they especially appreciate when you remember details they forgot, or add features they have never even considered… creating a new sale and a delighted customer.)

It’s time to break a business-destroying habit… waiting for permission!

What keeps most people from gearing up to creativity is an old habit. As you grew up, you had to get permission to shift from 1st Gear control to 2nd Gear independence. But the shift from 2nd to 3rd is one you must make yourself… in your own timing and according to your own instincts. You don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission. Simply stay alert and gear up when a great idea presents itself out of the blue!

Most business people spend most of their time accelerating in 2nd and most of their coworkers… hearts pounding, nerves jangling… race along with them. But this overuse eats up the time you need to gear up to create new approaches (3rd) or down to learn and relearn skills, technologies and information (1st). Bottom line: Spending too much time in 2nd Gear makes business development and people development, including yours, next to impossible.

Who do you know who is constantly doing more, better, faster, pushing longer and harder to earn promotions and bonuses… sometimes making productivity and competition more important than future thinking, creativity and growth? Who do you work with who needs to gear down to relearn and restart (keywords: missed deadlines, stress, frustration, illness and burnout). Or gear up to create a new dream?

When financial push comes to shove, instead of listening to and supporting creative ideas, do you sometimes subtly, or not so subtly, incent yourself and others to stay “in the box”? Do you over-reward or disproportionately bonus more-better-faster behaviors? Or under-reward the learning and relearning your business and life needs? What support systems and incentives do you have in place for nurturing new approaches that could bring you, and your customers, greater success in the future?

Home-based business professionals need to understand more about success and leadership than your Big Corporate Counterparts do! Gear Flexibility is vital for those of you who have to be CEO, head of sales, admin, advertising, marketing, training and maintenance… all in one day! And who work with kids nearby, requiring you to stop, listen, get stuff, and refocus on the task at hand in between. So, especially for you, using the right Gear of Success and Leadership at the right time is essential for your sanity and future success as well!

********************

Susan Ford Collins is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and the founder of The Technology of Success. She began her career as a young researcher at the National Institutes of Health with a radical idea: to focus her research on healthy, highly successful people (HSPs) rather than dysfunctional ones. Her Technology of Success book series includes: The Joy of Success: 10 Essential Skills for Getting the Success You Want, Success Has Gears: Using the Right Gear at the Right Time in Business and Life, and Our Children Are Watching: 10 Skills for Leading the Next Generation to Success. Find Susan Ford Collins on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and www.technologyofsuccess.com.

To Create Anything Life-Changing, You Have to be Willing to Look a Little Crazy Up Front!

By Susan Ford Collins

Feeling stuck? Here’s something you need to know.

On Independence Day 1994, Jeff Bezos resigned his Wall Street finance position, flew to Texas with his wife Mackenzie, picked up an ‘88 Chevy Blazer and headed for Seattle. Why? To start something most people thought would be a surefire failure at the time… an online bookstore. That spring Jeff learned that Internet usage was increasing at 2300% a year and he saw an opportunity for a new sphere of business.

Mackenzie drove while Jeff typed a business plan for the company they would name after the South American river with seemingly uncountable branches. They started their new company in their two-bedroom house, using three Sun Microstations perched on $60 worth of Home Depot doors and powered by extension cords running to the garage.

 “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew
the one thing I might regret was not trying.”
Jeff Bezos

On July 16, 1995, Jeff opened amazon.com to the world and asked 300 friends who had beta-tested it to spread the word. And they did! In 30 days, with no press, Amazon sold books in 50 states and 45 foreign countries. By September, sales were $20,000 a week. Early naysayers thought Bezos would lose his shirt and his family’s, but by 2015 Forbes Magazine listed his net worth at $50.4 billion!

The road to dreams isn’t a straight line

Like the Amazon River, it’s curving, meandering, and unexplored. But before you can start the journey, you have to let go of two action-approaches we were taught as kids… don’t start anything unless you know how to do it, and don’t do anything unless others agree. But we’ve outgrown our need for these rules.

An “adult truth” about success… success has three gears

1st Gear is for starting and restarting, for becoming effective at life, new skills and technologies. Keywords include: always/never, can/can’t, safe/dangerous, possible/impossible, right/wrong, good/bad, should/shouldn’t, have to/must, and agreement and permission.

2nd Gear is for accelerating productivity and honing your competitive edge, for deleting 1st rules and developing shortcuts. Keywords include: more-better-faster, win/lose, produce/compete, quantity/quality, longer hours/lower costs/higher profits, burnout, stress and injury. This is the gear most people spend most of their lives in, but if you can’t gear up to 3rd to dream, or gear down to start over, you can’t fulfill your unique mission.

3rd Gear is for moving beyond the usual; for noticing ahas, for creating and innovating, for new thinking, products and services. Keywords: aha, discover, create, invent, innovate and start up.

To create anything life-changing or earth-changing, you have to be willing to use all three gears of success as needed… even though individuals, who are stuck in 1st or 2nd gear, won’t be able to gear up with you until the world comes to agree.

Have you bought anything online lately... books or anything else? Clothes, shoes, cameras, or groceries? Sounded crazy in 1994, but it doesn’t sound crazy now!

 

Heads up CEOs… Success and Leadership Have Gears!


By Susan Ford Collins

Are you and your organization using the right one at the right time?

As we drive, we use gears to move us ahead, slowly then more rapidly and easily. As we succeed, we use gears too.

Success has three gears

1st Gear is for starting and restarting, for becoming effective at new skills and technologies. Keywords: always/never, can/can’t, safe/dangerous, possible/impossible, right/wrong, good/bad, should/shouldn’t, have to and must.

2nd Gear is for accelerating productivity and honing your competitive edge, for deleting startup rules and devising shortcuts. Keywords: more-better-faster-cheaper, quantity/quality, win/lose, produce/compete, longer hours/higher stress, burnout and injury.

3rd Gear is for moving beyond the previously productive; for creating and innovating, inventing new products and services. Keywords: aha, discover, create, invent, innovate and start up.

Each success gear has a corresponding leadership gear

When you’re leading in 1st Gear, you are responsible for supervising, or having others supervise, new learners, for developing new skills, building self-confidence and enthusiasm. We need to supervise closely and intervene quickly to turn around setbacks and rebuild self-confidence. To assess and certify their readiness for 2nd Gear.

When we’re leading in 2nd Gear, we need to manage from more distance, describing specifically what we want them to accomplish and providing regular and accurate appraisals. Even though we’re not always with them, we are still in charge, managing by numbers, charts and graphs.

When we’re leading in 3rd Gear, we need to support their creative ideas, help them find expertise and resources to build a powerful start up team. When setbacks wipe out their dreams temporarily, we need to hold their dreams with them, and even for them, until they get regain their vision and enthusiasm.

How are “your gear-habits” impacting your organization?

Which people on your team prefer to operate in 1st Gear? Which ones prefer doing more-better-faster, working long and hard to earn promotions and bonuses? Which ones are generating new ideas and a? Who is ready to gear up, and who needs to gear down to relearn, or start elsewhere?

When financial “push comes to shove”, instead of leading individuals to creativity and innovation, do you sometimes incent employees to stay in one gear or another? Do you over-reward or disproportionately bonus more-better-faster 2nd gear behaviors? And under-reward the 1st gear learning and relearning your company needs to keep up? What incentives and support systems does your organization have in place for nourishing the new ideas and approaches you need for success in the future?

The Greatest Challenge Trainers and Leaders Face Is Shifting Gears


By Susan Ford Collins

New employees head into training sessions with great expectations about promotions, bonuses and creative contributions. But they are unaware of the leadership glitches they may confront as they transition from classroom to cubicle, manager to manager.

Trainers are well prepared to teach basic skills. They are organized and supportive, willing to answer questions and provide detailed answers until testing reveals their trainees are ready. But to succeed in the next phase, employees must traverse the sometimes treacherous crevasse between classroom-leadership expectations and the expectations of busy, numbers-oriented managers and CEOs. Let’s examine these transitions from a new perspective.

Success has gears

As you drive, you use gears to move ahead, slowly at first, then more rapidly and easily. As you succeed, you use gears too. Like good drivers, you must learn to recognize which gear is needed, and when and how to shift up and down.

1st Gear is for starting and restarting, for learning new skills and technologies. Keywords: try, can, can’t, possible, impossible, safe, dangerous, right, wrong, good, bad, always, never, rules, practice, test, retest and certify.

2nd Gear is for becoming productive and honing your competitive edge by deleting unneeded 1st Gear rules, devising shortcuts and developing efficiency. Keywords: quantity, quality, more, better, faster, longer hours, higher stress, higher profits, win, lose, prizes, promotions, bonuses, burnout and diminishing returns.

3rd Gear is for moving beyond the methods and systems in use; for inventing new methods, products and services. Keywords: breakthrough, insight, aha, discover, invent, innovate and start up.

Each Success Gear has a corresponding Leadership Gear

As a leader you must learn to identify not just which gear you are in, but also which gear others are in, and what kind of leadership they need.

When you lead someone in 1st Gear, you are responsible for teaching skills step-by-step, closely supervising progress, clarifying mistakes, testing, grading, and building self-confidence and enthusiasm.

When you lead in 2nd Gear, you manage from more distance, detailing what you want, providing feedback, accurate appraisals and career development steps. Even though your employees are working independently, you are still in charge, managing their productivity by numbers, charts and graphs, and building their self-confidence by rewards, raises and promotions.

The Shift to 3rd Gear Leadership is far more subtle and business-changing

You are responsible for providing a nurturing environment for innovation and invention--the very assets you need for the next phase of your business and industry. Day by day, you must be on alert for new ideas, listen to their creators and support them as they flesh out proposals, locate resources, and develop start up teams.

But not all leaders recognize which gear is needed or shift up, or down, at the right time.

Gear Shifting Errors cost time, money, and well-trained-experienced employees

Andrew was number one in his training class! But when his new manager completed his quarterly appraisal two weeks later, he said, “As far as I’m concerned, Andrew has not produced any results” and gave him the lowest performance score. But Andrew had performed at the highest level in the gear he was in… 1st Gear.

That manager’s low evaluation impacted his career until his 4th manager gave Andrew the highest performance score and asked why he wasn’t at a higher pay grade. He read Andrew’s past performance evaluations and gave him a raise to bring him to the compensation level he should be receiving, given his outstanding performance from the start. Fortunately Andrew stayed with his company but many employees leave and take their training with them.

Bob confronted a different but equally career-devastating Leadership Error... a manager who failed to downshift to support a top employee in crisis. A few weeks after Bob returned from SMB’s national convention, where he was invited to speak on “How to be a Top Sales Rep”, his manager announced they had lost the contract with a major healthcare provider over of profit margins. But instead of meeting with Bob, knowing losing that account loss would eliminate one quarter of his income, his manager tagged on the annual 6% increase and told him to “make up the difference however you can.” Bob was staggered! Now, just to make plan, he would have to produce a 31% increase!

At the convention the following year, Bob failed to receive a single award or acknowledgment, despite consistent hard work and steady progress,. And, most devastating of all, that year’s winner only exceeded plan by 10%, not 31%!

Having lost faith in his leaders, months later Bob accepted an offer from a competitor and, using the training, experience and information he had gained at SMB, Bob rapidly rose to the top of their sales team and bit off a huge chunk of SMB’s business.

The most devastating Gear Shifting Error of all… the loss of the next generation of ideas and leaders

One of the most profound expenses corporations face is the loss of their most creative thinkers because their leaders failed to gear up to support them. Michael Bloomberg persistently told Salomon Brothers that investors wanted real-time data and analytics and pushed for desktop computers instead of mammoth mainframes. But instead of utilizing his ideas, his bosses demoted him to IT. When Salomon merged a few years later, Bloomberg was dismissed and created the phenomenally successful Bloomberg Terminal which transformed the financial world.

Why most people can’t think “outside the box”?

When financial “push comes to shove” instead of leading individuals to creativity and innovation, do you or your leaders incent employees to stay in 2nd? Do you over-reward or disproportionately bonus more-better-faster behaviors? And under-reward the 1st gear learning and relearning your company needs to keep up? What 3rd Gear incentives and support systems does your organization have in place for nurturing the new ideas and approaches that will generate success in the future?

Shifting Success and Leadership Gears, at the right time, is a skill we all need to use and model at work and at home with our kids.

c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

 

Dreams Are Destinations in Your Internal GPS!

By Susan Ford Collins

Here’s something you need to know about your brain… and the brains of people you live with and work with… as you head into a new day.

Like the GPS in your car, your brain contains a Search and Find function. When you head somewhere, first you enter the details of the location you wish to reach.

When you head for a destination in life, you must do the same thing… first enter in your internal GPS (your Reticular Activating System) … not the city, house number, street and zip… but the precise sensory details of the experience you want. So when you get there, you’ll know “You’ve arrived.”

A word of caution up front… not all of the destinations you enter in your internal GPS are where you really want to go. All too often, we unconsciously program in destinations we don’t want to reach… fears, failures, arguments, upsets… mistakenly thinking our brain will somehow magically translate that input into what we do want instead. But it can’t and it doesn’t so we keep “arriving at the same unwanted destinations” again and again… job situations we dislike, relationship issues we don’t want.

And we also mistakenly keep programming what we don’t want in other people’s brains too… our spouses’ and friends’, our employees’ and kids’ … don’t be late, don’t play with matches, don’t drink and drive, like don’t forgot to call … thinking our strongly stated “negative destination” will head them in a positive direction. But it won’t. Here’s why…

Like it or not… we have a Positive Command Brain

To the human brain, all statements are positive. Don’t think about a pink elephant immediately becomes do think about a pink elephant. The not is deleted so the thought can be understood.

So if you hear yourself saying I don’t want to be late, you need to quickly catch your mistake and turn your instruction around… I want to be on time. Then, with a positive destination in mind, your inner computer will begin producing that result. Instead of don’t play with matches, we need to say play with your new video game. Don’t drink and drive needs to become… if you choose to drink, select a designated driver to take you home safely.

What positive destinations do you have in your life? What negative destinations do you need to rethink and restate?

Are you as clear about the details of your dreams as you are about the destinations you enter in you GPS?

From now on remember this…

What you think is what you get, like it or not.

So make sure youthink about what you do want… instead of what you don’t want.

And make sure you communicate what you want in detail too.

Then your brain will direct you, and others, there and, like your car’s GPS, it will suggest alternative routes too. Recalculating… recalculating…

Something else life-changing for 2016

Take some time to consider this vital life-changing question: Are the destinations you have in mind really your destinations? Or are they destinations other people have in mind for you… your parents’, your teacher’s, your bosses’, your spouse’s. Are they destinations you never wanted before and don’t want now either?

It’s time to grab the steering wheel of your life, reset your Internal GPS, drive, and arrive, where you really want to be! Where you will find the joy of success!

c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

Listen to Caroline Dowd-Higgins interview Susan Ford Collins on Your Working Life.

DREAM Passionately*… And Your Dreams Will Lead You There, If You Let Them!

by Susan Ford Collins

Are you feeling stuck? Here’s something that will get you moving again.

To create anything life-changing, or earth-changing, you have to be willing to look a little crazy up front!

Early in 1994, Jeff Bezos left his secure New York finance job, flew to Texas on Independence Day, and headed for Seattle by car to start what most people thought was a sure-to-fail venture, an internet bookstore. His wife Mackenzie drove while Jeff typed a business plan. They named the company Amazon after the South American river that has seemingly endless branches. They started in their two-bedroom house, using three Sun Microstations set up on desks made from Home Depot doors powered by extension cords running to the garage.

“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew

the one thing I might regret was not trying.”

Jeff Bezos

On July 16, 1995, Bezos opened amazon.com to the world and asked 300 friends and acquaintances who tested it to spread the word. And they did! In 30 days, with no press, Amazon sold books in 50 states and 45 foreign countries; by September, sales were $20,000 a week. Early naysayers thought Bezos would lose his shirt but in 2015 Forbes listed his net worth at $50.4 billion!

Thanks, Jeff and Mackenzie, for moving ahead through investor-payback concerns and “the unexplored jungle of internet-business.” Our lives would be quite different without your committed action! Today many of the things we buy, read and view are delivered via Amazon, Kindle and Prime.

Here’s something most people never fully appreciate… the road to dreams isn’t a straight line.

Like a river, it’s curving and meandering, treacherous and unpredictable. To reach our imagined destinations, we must constantly recommit and keep taking action. What we were taught as kids… to not do anything unless we know how for sure… is holding us back now as adults.

The same year high up in the Palomar Observatory, Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker and David Levy had been spending months getting ready to photograph something historic… the first collision of two solar system bodies ever photographed by man! A comet had been drawn into Jupiter’s gravitational field and fractured into 21 pieces that were about to strike Jupiter’s surface like a string of nuclear bullets! They were committed to capturing that sight on film. The Shoemaker-Levy team was ready to start shooting when they discovered someone had accidentally opened the film box and exposed the film. It was overcast so seeing the comet at all was highly unlikely. Doubt set in.

They found themselves at a crucial choice point all of us face some time in our lives: Quit or Continue? Committed to capturing those images, they decided “to go for it anyway” and started shooting using film exposed along the edges hoping it would be usable farther in. And it was! When Carolyn viewed the film later, there was the comet in the middle of the first shot!  In honor of their skill and persistence, the history-making comet was named the Shoemaker-Levy.

Call it prayer or intention… either way, the ability to hold an outcome and turn obstacles into opportunities is one of the astounding powers our human brain gives us… if we can learn how to use it.

Are we are sending ourselves, and our kids, the wrong message about creativity?

Creativity isn’t carefully planned and detailed out up front. Creativity is messy! It’s coincidences and accidents; it’s chemicals overheated or mixed incorrectly and hands left unwashed. Any one of these unexpected errors can lead to a breakthrough if an alert observer notices and seizes the opportunity… like the Johns Hopkins University researcher who noticed the bread he made for dinner tasted unusually sweet. Wondering why, he remembered that he had forgotten to wash his hands after handling a chemical in his lab so he started experimenting and patented saccharin.

Not all new projects turn out the way their creators expect… like flickr that began as a game but thrilled its inventors by becoming the most-used site for sharing photos online. Or potato chips that became a taste sensation because an annoying customer kept complaining that his potatoes were too thick and soggy and an irritated chef cut his potatoes thinner and thinner. Once you create a dream, you need to let it lead you, even if where it takes you is beside, above, below or beyond where you thought!

The “real power” of dreams… this story can help you and your kids realize your dreams!

During the Korean War Stanford University neurosurgeon, Dr. Karl Pribram was operating on shrapnel-injured soldiers when he observed something unexpected. The science he’d been taught in school proclaimed that specific memories were stored in specific locations in the brain. If that part of the brain were destroyed, that part of the memory would also be destroyed. But it wasn’t! These brain-injured soldiers were remembering things they shouldn’t have been able to remember! The memories were less clear than usual, but they were still there! Something was wrong with “the old science.”

Soon Pribram stumbled upon an article in a scientific journal about something newly discovered, Holograms. In a flash he realized this was a clue. Memory, he concluded, is stored holographically… whole in each part … instead of photographically, part in each part. Suddenly his war findings made sense! He proposed Holographic Brain Theory to the scientific world… to much initial disagreement of course! But to a Nobel Prize nomination!

Pribram discovered something else you need to know!

Thoughts generate an electromagnetic forcefield that is measurable. Thoughts it turns out are quite literally magnetic!

The more detailed a thought (or dream) is, the more attractive power it has.

The more senses are involved, the more attractive power it has.

So dreams that make you feel like you’re already there are quite powerful indeed!

Virtual Reality Googles

Now science has presented us with Virtual Reality Goggles that we can put on to experience being and doing virtually anything, anywhere. And experience it from all sides, in full color and sound. That let usbe there in our brains… the very thing we need to do to create powerful dreams and seize life-changing opportunities. And  Microsoft has just introduced their new HoloLens.

It’s time to tell yourself “a new holographic truth”… not all dreams you follow are yours!

Whose dreams are you pre-experiencing in your brain as you approach life day by day… your dreams, your parents’, your teachers’, your bosses’, your society’s? Or some complicated, interacting, inter-conflicting mix that is pulling and tugging at you, adding and subtracting from your brain’s attractive power?

Do you really want the dreams you are pursuing consciously and unconsciously, or it is time to weed old ones and create new ones? Ones that are truly yours now, ones that make you eager and excited about life.

The Case for Teaching Ignorance

In Jamie Holmes's New York Times op ed,The Case for Teaching Ignorance, neuroscientist Dr. Stuart J. Firestein reveals a truth most people don't understand: Unlike the neat, linear process most people imagine, discovery usually involves "feeling around in dark rooms, bumping into unidentifiable things, looking for barely perceptible phantoms." Social scientist Michael Smithson draws us a new map, "The larger the island of knowledge grows, the longer the shoreline — where knowledge meets ignorance — extends." The more answers emerge, the more questions need to be answered... good news indeed for students and researchers!

It’s time to let go of old limits and impossibles and feel our way into new dreams and possibilities!

Let’s take a minute to update the title of this article from… DREAM passionately*… to DREAM holographically* in vivid sensory detail… to see your dream in advance, hear it, feel it, smell it and even taste it. To live it in virtual reality! Don’t worry about knowing exactly how yet. You will be shown how… if you pay attention to what’s coming in and you are willing to continue taking action.

It’s time to tell yourself “a new holographic truth”… not all dreams you are pursuing are really yours!

Whose dreams are you pre-experiencing in your brain as you approach life day by day… yours, your parents’, your teachers’, your bosses’, your society’s… or some complicated, interacting, inter-conflicting mix that’s pulling and tugging at you, adding and subtracting from your brain’s attractive power?

Do you really want the dreams you’re pursuing consciously and unconsciously, or it is time to weed out old ones and create new ones that make you eager and excited about life? Dreams that will lead you to the joy of/the-books/ success!

c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

What Colleges Really Want… in Essays, Apps and Interviews

By Susan Ford Collins

I began my career as a researcher at the National Institutes of Health. After a year, an idea began waking me at night. What more could we learn if we started studying healthy, successful people as well as ill and dysfunctional ones? Are they using skills the rest of us are missing or misusing? Finally, after numerous restless nights, I stood up and presented my idea at one of our prestigious weekly conferences. But, instead of becoming excited, my colleagues all laughed!

Red faced, I had to make a life changing decision on the spot: Were they right that I was wrong, that my idea was laughable? Or was I onto something BIG they just didn’t understand yet? I decided to trust myself and my dream.

I spent the next 20 years shadowing Highly Successful People (HSPs) and discovered they were using 10 Success Skills consistently, the skills I have taught in more than 3,000 training programs in major corporations and universities, and numerous books.

Are others right that your ideas and dreams are wrong? This is a decision you too will have to make over and over! Seniors, you are no doubt already in the thick of writing essays and applications so it’s a perfect time to begin using HSPs skills. Juniors, you’re lucky! You’ve still got a year to master them. So let’s get started…

What is success?

Most people never ask themselves this crucial question, but HSPs have. Here’s what they told me. Success has 3 essential parts… and colleges want you to have the ability to produce all three kinds.

1-Success is Completion…   Yes, this is the part of success most people know about… accomplishment. Starting, doing and finishing what we set out to do (or others set out for us.) Colleges can tell a lot about your future successes by your past successes… your grades, accomplishments and contributions to date… so they want to know what you have accomplished up till now. They want to know that you’re a completer, not just a starter, so it’s smart to include a story about something most people would have given up on, but you didn’t. Or a painful experience you turned from a loss to a win.

2- Success is also Deletion…. sometimes success is not doing, knowing when to let go of what no longer works, old habits, methods and relationships, foods that make you wild and crazy, stuffy and sleepy. Colleges want to hear about your Deletion Successes because they demonstrate character, tenacity and follow through. What have you let go of that could have ruined your life, but didn’t? (Some deletion successes may seem too private to share but revealing them in a positive light in essays and interviews shows colleges you’re open and willing to share experiences you’ve had that can help others.)

3- Success is Creation… success is being able to go beyond what we’ve been taught, beyond the methods that are commonly in use. Success is coming up with new ways. It’s no longer enough to succeed by just completing and deleting, you also have to be creators and leaders. Your ability to create and innovate is what colleges and corporations are looking for, first and foremost.

Do you know who Jeff Bezos is? Have you ever ordered anything from Amazon? Then you know Jeff Bezos; he’s Amazon’s creator. Do you know Blake Ross? Have you ever used Firefox? Then you know Blake Ross. He co-founded Firefox at 16 and appeared on the cover of Wired Magazine at 19. Next he became Director for Product at Facebook. More and more top innovators start at your age! Who else can you think of?

Your parents’ Science Fiction will be your reality! Here’s what’s already in the works… Bioprinted ears (in 3 years) and bioficial hearts (in 10 years) made from extra fat from around the recipient’s stomach so rejection will be avoided. Connecting your brain to the internet or downloading a 500 page book in a second by 2020. What will you create that will change the world?

Here’s something HSPs do each day you probably don’t. HSPs Success File. Yes, they set aside time each day to acknowledge their own successes instead of waiting for others to do it for them. Why? Because they plan to do big, creative, impossible things! (Keep in mind, impossible simply means that no one else has done it… so it could be you!)

HSPs don’t want to be dependent on others’ agreement and acknowledgment. Success Filing gives them the Self-Confidence they need to keep going no matter what obstacles beset them or who laughs or disagrees as they venture into The Potential Zone. They rewind to the beginning of their day and recall the things that were able to do and be, all their completions, deletions and creations. They know BIG SUCCESSES come as the result of millions of tiny daily successes. And millions of tiny corrections!

You can Success File alone or with a supportive parent or friend, teacher or guidance counselor. They will probably point out successes they noticed and you didn’t. It’s important to“success yourself up” before writing an essay or going into an interview!

The Two Laws of Success Filing:

*** When your Success File is full, you feel Success-Full.  When you Success File is low, you feel dependent and needy. And you tend to lie around, eat, drink and procrastinate!

*** Success is your past gives you confidence in your future.  And, success in your application, essays and interviews gives colleges you apply to the confidence in you they need to tell you YES!

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

Your Working Life: Caroline Dowd-Higgins interviews Susan Ford Collins

An Unexpected Christmas Visit and a Sparkling Jewish Star

By Susan Ford Collins

Two weeks before Christmas, my friend Sharon came to take temporary refuge in my home. She and her husband had ended their ten-year marriage under very painful circumstances, and she was feeling lonely and abandoned.

I was having a hard time helping Sharon through it all until suddenly early Christmas Eve morning, I was awakened by an unusual voice. "Susan, I need your help."

Was I dreaming or was I awake? Either way, standing in front of me in the dim light was Sharon’s beloved father-in law who had died several months before. "Susan, I need you to do something special for me. I want you to find a Jewish star to give to Sharon for Christmas. It needs to be old and silvery like me," he chuckled, "but alive and sparkly like her. Please wrap it beautifully, as I know you will, and attach this note: "Merry Christmas from Lou. I love you dearly, Sharon, now and always and I am grateful for the openness to Judaism you showed our family so I want you to have this Jewish Star." I was startled by this extraordinary visit and grateful that I had met him shortly before he died.

I was eager to do this favor for Lou, but I had no idea how I would find the old silver, sparkly Jewish star he had described… and do it on Christmas Eve! Wide awake, I quickly got dressed and started rushing around getting everything ready for tomorrow’s family celebration at my home until an electric-charged feeling alerted me to head for a consignment shop a few blocks away. The sensation was so urgent that I immediately put aside my tasks and got in my car.

The shop sold used clothing so it seemed like a long shot, but I was way past thinking logically at this point! When I got there, I walked around the shop several times slowly remembering Lou’s description, looking up, down and around until I finally saw exactly what Lou had described—a silver marquisette Jewish star—in a glass case almost completely buried under a pile of old newspapers. "I want to see that piece! I think it’s exactly what I’m looking for.” The owner took it out and told me about the young woman who’d left it there the day before. With my brain pounding, I quickly paid, asked for a box, and headed home to finish my Christmas preparations… making fresh cranberry-pear sauce, mashing sweet potatoes, prepping vegetables, thawing turkey and making pies.

On Christmas morning when everyone had arrived, I told the kids to tell their parents to sit down in the living room so they could start opening their stockings and presents. As the kids tore the wrappings off their gifts, Sharon sat quietly until I pointed out “a small box under the tree with your name on it.” Earlier I had whispered to everyone that there was a surprise present (shhh!) for Sharon so the room fell silent in anticipation. With a stunned but delighted look, Sharon quickly walked over and picked it up. Before she opened it, I asked her to read the note out loud for all of us. With tears in her eyes, Sharon listened as I told everyone about Lou’s early morning visit and the words of love and gratitude he wanted me to give her.

In the months that followed, whenever the pain of Sharon’s disrupted life overtook her and the unclarity of her future overwhelmed her, she held Lou's star to her heart and no longer felt alone. She knew somewhere, in another realm, the man she considered “her true father” was still with her.

Are energies in other realms able to reach out to us? Lou's present that year was the answer to that question. Yes, they can. And they still love us dearly.

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

A Thanksgiving Ritual… Little Things That Really Mattered to Me!

By Susan Ford Collins

In our family, Thanksgiving is about much more than just food! Oh yes, every year I make homemade cranberry sauce, a huge rice-stuffed turkey roasted till golden brown with onions, mushrooms and carrots, plus neatly trimmed broccoli “trees” for the kids and a mouth-watering array of regular as well as gluten-free pumpkin pies. But most delicious of all (tucked inconspicuously among the silverware and napkins on the long cloth-covered table) we enjoy something more. A ritual!

Little 3” x 3” slips of colorful paper are set under the napkins beside each person’s plate… along with small stubby pens… so when the meal is over and we’re still too full for desert, we can write each other messages about “something you did or were this year that really mattered to me… a phone call at just the right time, a welcome word of praise, a hug or smile that was desperately needed; the kind of mother or friend you were; the example you set that made the way easier for someone else in the family. Something you probably don’t even remember, but I do. And I want to thank you for doing it or being it.” Then we share our notes with everyone else at the table.

On Thanksgivings when we have lots of guests, instead of writing our messages, we go around the table sharing them out loud, generating smiles, hearty chuckles and even grateful tears. Spoken words are wonderful, but words written have an advantage… They last! In the months that follow, we’ve all noticed these saved “things that really mattered to me” slips of paper posted on refrigerator doors, pinned on bulletin boards or neatly creased and folded in bowls of seashells, sea glass and other memorabilia. These tiny notes serve as powerful reminders too. On particularly challenging days, it’s wonderful to reread what was said about us and, even more heartwarming, to recall what was said about our kids. To know about the kind deeds they’ve done for others that we would never otherwise hear about, or be able to enjoy.

And, now that these notes have become a family ritual, we’re on the lookout all year for experiences we can write on next year’s colorful Thanksgiving notes! But we frequently deliver them long before knowing there’ll be lots more by then!

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

Your Working Life: Caroline Dowd-Higgins interviews Susan Ford Collins

 

 

Success is an Inside Job

By Susan Ford Collins

We’re all too familiar with the long hours and hard work of success. But what happened to the joy of success… that soaring feeling we felt earlier in our lives, when others planned our lives for us, told us what to do and how to do it, awarded and rewarded us?

Relying on other people to plan and acknowledge our successes for us works when we’re brand new at something… a new skill or a new job… but to feel successful longterm, we must take over these responsibilities ourselves.

But most people don't. Why?

The answer is simple… habit.

As children, we were trained to feel successful when our parents and teachers gave us smiles, hugs and treats, good grades and prizes. Or they quietly took us aside and promised, "I'll give you a hundred dollars when you..."

They called it motivation. But the motivation to do what?

The motivation to do the tried, true and familiar? Or the untried and unfamiliar, the new, unique and unexpected?

Creativity is scary… but it's where you find personal satisfaction and fulfillment!

Creativity isn’t agreed with. And it’s far more uncomfortable than most people can tolerate! Especially parents, teachers and employers.

If we don’t break this deeply-ingrained, success-seeking habit and start praising ourselves, we will have to spend our lives completing other people’s dreams and values, but not our own. That’s a huge price to pay for an outgrown unconscious habit that makes us dependent on other peoples’ opinions, values and reactions! Like driving from the passenger side of our car instead of grabbing the wheel ourselves and steering to the destinations we uniquely hold in our minds and hearts.

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback$3.99 eBook

Successful People Don’t Brag to Others. They Brag to Themselves!

By Susan Ford Collins

Highly Successful People (HSPs) don’t tell everyone around them how successful they are. Instead they make time each day to tellthemselves what they are accomplishing.

This is the Success Skill that makes them Self-Confident

HSPs know BIG successes are made up of tiny successes. Yes, tiny daily successes count, and count BIG. Ones like… ate a good breakfast, stopped to buy gas, or remembered to return a phone call… can make the difference between dozing off in an important meeting, coming in conspicuously and embarrassingly late, or missing out on a time-sensitive opportunity.

HSPs regularly make time to have daily self-to-self, truth-telling conversations. “I said I would and I did. I said I would and I didn’t. I said I would and I still want to, or I don't.” On good days they build their self-confidence. On bad days... when their dream seems to have been shattered into a million pieces by negative feedback or unexpected setbacks... they rebuild their self-confidence. They review and reexperience their successes and others'… the boldness of them, the excitement of them, the energy and momentum of them. Regularly building and rebuilding Self-Confidence empowers them to feel they can do the impossible (which they know simply means the “not yet done.”) Then, re-confident and re-inspired, instead of avoiding taking action because of pre-experienced failures, they move themselves and others ahead into the dream… into the realized and enjoyed!

Most people aren't Self-Confident. They're Other-Confident!

Why?Here are two reasons you need to understand.

1- Most of us never saw people around us… parents, teachers or adults we knew… setting aside time to acknowledge themselves for actions they took that moved them toward their goals and dreams. In fact, we probably didn’t even know what their goals and dreams were because they rarely shared them with us!

HSPs don’t expect to reach their goals in one giant leap…like jumping over the Grand Canyon. They know they'll reach goals and dreams by taking millions of tiny actions, and making millions of tiny corrections. Acknowledging daily successes is something HSPs do consistently. And, once the "I'm dependent on my leader" learning phase is over, it’s something we must all begin doing to build, and rebuild, the Self-Confidence we will need to be productive and competitive enough, creative and innovative enough to live ourown lives. To change our world, and others' worlds.

2- Many of the successes we created for ourselves were seen by our parents and teachers as" failures." Failures to obediently use their thinking and methods. Failures to fulfill “their dreams for us."  "Our successes" may have been forbidden or punished or only allowed after so we did so many other things that we stopped wanting to do them at all. So, like it or not, to earn the rewards and privileges we needed, we had to learn how to do what they wanted, according to their standards. Then they gave us stars and allowances, threw parties and “bonused” us.

We spent our early years depending on others to tell us when we were succeeding and when we were failing. So Other-Confidence became a habit… an unconscious lifelong approach most of us don’t even know we have! But one that means we rarely feel happy and satisfied. Bottom line, the reason we rarely feel The Joy of Successour success, our way.

Build your Self-Confidence now… here's how to Success File

Starting today, set aside a few minutes to “file” your successes. Mentally rewind to the beginning of your day. What happened step by step? I sat up in bed and previewed my day, I went for a run, I helped my kids learn their spelling words, I stopped to get the dry cleaning, I had an idea for a new approach I shared in a meeting.

You can record your successes on paper, in a computer file or on your cell phone. Ideal times to Success File are in a car, at dinner time, or just before you go to sleep. Stop to rethink and reexperience your day and “pat yourself on the back” for completing all the actions that moved you in directions you want to go… whether phone calls, or emails, or you accidentally bumped into someone in the hall and seized the opportunity. Or you put two and two together and, instead of four, you got something brand new and realized what you could do with it that others had missed.

HSPs have redefined Success. For them, Success has three essential parts… Completion, Deletion, and Creation.

When you’re Success Filing, be sure to include not just actions you completed but also actions you decided not to complete... old limits and impossibilities, unworkable relationships and methods you chose to let go of. As you file past successes, you can also file future successes… ones you really want to create and experience. Ones that will inspire you and others. And give you all joy!

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…

the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

$14.95 paperback  $3.99 eBook

Who is changing the world? Rule Followers or Rule Challengers?

By Susan Ford Collins

As kids, we were rewarded for doing things by the book, following directions carefully, and sticking to the rules. But if we keep this up as adults, we will fail to explore our own values and dreams… and the world will fail to enjoy the benefits of our unique passions and imaginings.

People rising to the top today are the exception makers… individuals who discard “old impossibles” and create “new possibles.” The daring ones who venture into the “unknown” and make it “known." Those who don’t wait for permission and agreement but who follow their intuitions and passions… regardless of what age they are, where they are in their organization, or how “science fiction” their idea sounds to others.

At 19, Blake Ross was on the cover of Wired Magazine

At 10, Blake built his first website and started asking his parents to give him programming books for presents. At 14, he told them he wanted to do an internship in Silicon Valley and they aligned with him, flying back and forth to help him find a place to live that would also allow his cat. Two years later, his mom signed his work papers for him because he was three days short of 16. Bi-coastal, Blake graduated from high school in Miami while simultaneously working in California. Still a teen, this self-taught coder co-founded Mozilla Firefox, sparking a global phenomenon. The first day Firefox was downloaded more than a million times!

Wired Magazine featured Blake on the cover with these prophetic words: "Watch your back Bill Gates!" To date the Firefox download count has climbed to over one billion, biting into Internet Explorer's dominant market share as predicted! At 20, Blake had to buy his first tux to attend Time Magazine's dinner for "The 100 Most Influential People of the Year." In 2007 he became Director of Product at Facebook till he resigned in 2013 to dream about what’s next for him. In 2015 Blake turned 30!

Direction changing ideas can come from anyone, anywhere in an organization... if leaders listen

When the El Cortez Hotel in San Diego planned to install a new elevator system, the project engineers proposed cutting a shaft through all of the floors. They had already drawn up the plans when a janitor heard what they had in mind and offered a suggestion: Instead of closing down for two years and creating all that mess, how about keeping the hotel open and building the new elevator on the outside of the building? At the time, an outdoor elevator had never been built, but engineers investigated his idea and it proved workable. Today, we find outdoor elevators on buildings worldwide and enjoy great views as we ride up and down… thanks to that insightful janitor!

Science fiction is the new reality... 3D  bio printing

Here's a truth most people never dare to notice… or own. What we can do, and be, is only limited by our imaginations. And now science is proving it.

Take 3D bio-printing for example. At Cornell University Dr. Jason Spector and Dr. Lawrence J. Bonassar are working on external ear replacements made from the recipient’s own cells. “The process is fast,” said Dr. Bonassar. “It takes half a day to design the mold, a day or so to print it, 30 minutes to inject the gel and we can remove the ear 15 minutes later.” The cartilage is then given three months to grow. Doctors Spector and Bonassar expect to have transplantable ears available within three years. These bio-printed ears will become living parts of the body, bypassing the life-threatening dangers of rejection.

Instead of artificial or donor hearts The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute in Louisville, Kentucky is working on bioficial hearts built from regenerative cells found in extra fat surrounding the recipient's own stomach. "You take tissue from a patient, isolate the cells… put those cells into a machine, hit a button and it will print out a heart," says Dr. Stuart Williams whose parents both died of heart disease. Two golf ball sized pieces of fat can provide enough cells to rebuild all the heart's major blood vessels. The Institute expects to have bioficial hearts available in ten years. Too bad they weren’t available for his mom and dad. But, if he ends up needing a heart, they will be there for him. Or for you or your family!

How about connecting your brain to the internet by 2020! Or “downloading” a 500 page book in your memory in less than a second? What else can we imagine?

The island of knowledge is surrounded by the sea of ignorance

Here's good news for students and researchers: We don't know it all! And probably never will. The larger the island of knowledge grows, the longer the shoreline with ignorance also grows. The more answers emerge; the more questions need to be answered. That's why there's plenty of room for your creative ideas and approaches!

Heads up innovators: Columbia University neuroscientist Dr. Stuart J. Firestein provides an important clue. He says the path to discovery, instead of being clearly planned and laid out, usually involves "feeling around in dark rooms, bumping into unidentifiable things, looking for barely perceptible phantoms."

It’s time to let go of old limits and impossibles and feel our way into new dreams and possibilities!

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email susanfordcollins@msn.com

* For more on Dreaming and Codreaming, read Skills 3 and 4 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

THE TECHNOLOGY of SUCCESS Book Series… compact, concise and powerful…
the perfect toolbox for today’s “always-on” global world.

 $14.95 paperback  $3.99 eBook

www.technologyofsuccess.com or susanfordcollins *at* msn *dot* com

Your Working Life: Caroline Dowd-Higgins interviews Susan Ford Collins