The Day I Found My Dad

I have two memories of my biological father. I remember him beating me with a belt as a young child for not drinking my milk and I remember my mother sobbing after his abuse. He left when I was seven. I never knew why. I didn’t care.

The man I refer to as dad is my stepfather. He was caring, kind and supportive. He was also an alcoholic, which caused some chaos and problems in my life. But, on balance, I was so fortunate to have him as my dad.

My fondest memory is the day my mother, who managed the money and was very frugal, gave dad the money to go buy a new pair of shoes. He desperately needed them because there were holes the size of quarters in the soles and he used cardboard inserts to prevent walking on his socks.

Later that day he returned by bus, since we had no car. I saw them coming down the street my brother Randy riding a tricycle and my dad pushing a used two wheel bike for me. No gears. No fancy brakes. But to me it was beautiful. It is also the best gift I have ever received.

My mother was furious. And my mother knew how to do furious. She loved my dad and felt he needed new shoes way more than Randy and I needed bikes. Of course she was correct, but this was about more than a bike, or shoes.

Until that day I had wondered if I was just part of the package when my dad asked my mother to marry him. I felt like I had never had a dad. Not really. That day I knew my step-father loved me. If he was willing to make the sacrifice of the shoes and the wrath of my mother, he had to care. I was twelve, and finally, I had a dad.

A short time later, in 1959, my dad asked to adopt me. I said yes in a heartbeat. Melvin Wesley Anderson officially became my father and dad.  My dad wasn’t perfect, who among us is? But he loved me and always had my best interests at heart.

He died in 1974, at 61, from cancer but he lives on in my heart.

Homecoming

Sometimes letting someone else have their moment makes you feel better than having that moment yourself. Kindness has its own reward – it’s how it makes you feel.

Homecoming, posted with vodpod

 

Faith in You

One of life’s greatest treasures is someone who believes in you. Especially, when you are having doubts. Having someone who is always in your corner that’s devotion. It is a precious blessing.

Faith In You!, posted with vodpod

 

Winning Isn’t The Only Choice

Sometimes winning seems like the only important thing we strive to achieve. Then a moment presents itself to do something different, to make a difference, to reach out to someone else. It’s a choice that has its own rewards.

 

The Importance of Listening

 

It is amazing how under appreciated the skill of listening is. Listening is important in personal relationships, business and personal development.

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

— Henry David Thoreau, Author

In personal relationships having someone listen to you, really listen to you, without advising you, without waiting to provide a response, but simply to hear you, to understand you, is rare. It is also a wonderful gift.

How many times has someone really listened to you without an agenda? How many times have you listened to someone, just to hear them?

“We listened to what our customers wanted and acted on what they said. Good things happen when you pay attention.”

— John F Smith, Former CEO and President General Motors

To listen to your customers intently to understand their wants, their problems or needs and their expectations is the most important market research you can do. Early in my career I was a top salesman. From experience I can tell you that the most important sales tool is the right question and the ability to listen to and understand the answer. Selling, is after all, problem solving. Once you understand the customers problem you can provide the right solution. It never ceases to amaze me how many salespeople are anxious to present me their solution before they understand my problem.

Do you ask questions to understand the problem before presenting your solution? How could you improve your questions and your listening?

“Listen to the chorus of voices in your own head. If they express worry, doubt, or fear counter them by asking yourself empowering questions to reframe your thinking.”

— Vivo Saggezza, mentor

Ask yourself, “What can I learn. Who can I get to help? How can I reduce risk? How can I increase my confidence? Who do I know who has done this before?

You will find answers that empower you. Your thinking will change to the action you can take to achieve your objective.

Better listening can improve your personal life, your business success and your personal development. What can you do today to improve your listening?

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