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But don’t just take MY word for it—know that science also tells us that investing in others is really an investment in ourselves.

magician brad montgomery

As an organization that trumpets positive thinking, we want to look at how optimism affects human nature, suffering and adversary. The power of happiness is universally recognized. You can see it lettered in the subway, in motivational posters, in pop songs and in books, in conferences and symposiums. It’s infectious and it’s effective.

But why? Think back to the last time you experienced a loss or went through a hardship. Did you respond by venting? Did you dwell on the disappointment? Or did you look for meaning through the adversity? Did you bounce back?

Freud Wasn’t Always Right

Freud stipulated that people simply needed to express their anxiety and anger. For many years, psychologists followed this line of thinking. But new research says otherwise. Positive emotion does a better job at undoing a stressful negative experience, thereby leading to happiness and positivity. It’s more than positive thinking; it’s resilience.Distech.whatMakesHappyA positive outlook in the face of hardships is the most important predictor of resilience. It helps people quickly recover from difficult circumstances and bounce back. People who are resilient are more optimistic and are better able to regulate their emotions through the most trying times.

The Importance of Optimism

To illustrate, consider how a study examined 750 Vietnam war veterans. These brave men were held prisoners for six to eight years, tortured and kept in solitary confinement. The study found that unlike other veterans, they did not develop posttraumatic stress disorder or depression. They were resilient, optimistic, and altruistic. They derived meaning from trauma and grew wiser about it.

Although this situation is not likely to occur in our target niche, we are simply stressing how important optimism is in whatever circumstances we are facing in life. Whether it’s a challenging time for your market or a difficulty in the workplace, finding the silver lining is the first step to finding the light.

Let us show you how to find the light and how to keep it. Contact us today.

Happiness at work matters, but not just because it creates a stable corporate culture. For the most part, this positive attitude makes demanding work less stressful, contributing to better profitability. It is the ultimate productivity enhancer, as happy people are more optimistic, creative, and healthy, and tend to make better decisions.Mosaic.2013.96

The sad thing, however, is that most Americans are unhappy at work. According to a research from Gallup, only 13 percent of employees feel engaged by their jobs. The vast majority, about 63 percent, are unhappy and not engaged. These employees put little energy into their tasks, with some just working for the weekend ride. The remaining 24 percent are actively disengaged, or pretty much hate their jobs.

Not Just Unhappy

The problem with disengaged employees is that they are not just unhappy at work. The worst part is, they are also busy acting out their unhappiness and negative attitude. Most days, these employees undermine what their happy colleagues accomplish. A report from Good.Co notes that disengaged workers cost the country between $450 and $550 billion each year in lost productivity.

The High Cost

When your business is full of dissatisfied and disengaged employees, the cost can be really high. This can lead to resignation, with major repercussions on productivity and sales. Those who choose to stay, on the other hand, will just continue working with mediocre performance. The consequences are also alarming, as workers may not meet quotas and deliver only poor output quality.IMG_3355

Create the Right Atmosphere

The negative effects are interconnected. As disengaged and unhappy workers lack creativity and innovation, productivity suffers, with high rates of product defects and rejects. It is important to create team-centered atmosphere to motivate and retain top employees. Workers need to feel connected to other team members to increase collaborative efforts, boost enthusiasm, and reduce conflicts.

There are different ways to engage employees and win their hearts and minds. Brad Montgomery believes that workers need the right motivation to be inspired and happy. As a reliable keynote speaker, he can inspire the whole team and help you develop close bonds with your staff members. Contact him today and find out how he can inspire your workers through motivational speaking.

Motivational speakers make a living out of encouraging people to do the things they have always wanted to do to become successful. Even with all the confidence and energy in the world, motivational speakers are still human and need a pick-me-up once in a while. What do motivational speakers do when they need motivation?

One of the most important keys to becoming successful is to keep a reminder of your goals. People often lose the will to pursue their dreams when they forget what they are working for in the first place. The ones who give up on their goals do not really lose the passion they once had; they are just not looking in the right direction.Distech.whatMakesHappy

Better than Cat Posters

Goal reminders can come in different forms; it depends on what speaks to the person the most. Some try a motivation board, where people cut out pictures representing their goals and stick it on an attention grabbing section of a wall. These boards are different from generic posters, because there are specific items there that people can latch onto.

The Happy Bucket List

A similar technique is the motivation list. This strategy is a bit more specific, as it needs to outline observable results before anything can get crossed off the list. The list works best for people who like itemizing their priorities and accomplishing tasks one at a time.

A person needs to include how they plan to achieve that goal with sub-points; the more specific the better.

Motivate Yourself, Literally

One tactic that is growing in popularity because of its powerful effect is the video reminder. People record themselves before they begin their foray into the world, stating the reasons they want to do what they want to do, and then keep it safe. Every time they feel discouraged, they can look at the video and feel the optimism they once had surge through them again.

There are many ways for people to motivate themselves and keep doing what they’re doing; they just need a little re-focusing. That is not an easy task to do alone, however, so contact us today if you want to know more about how you can recapture the passion that helped you get this far.

As we spend more time in our workstations, we work even harder to achieve that mythical “work-life balance.” We take lunchtime walks, adjust our time commuting to avoid traffic, switch jobs to ones we actually like, and make changes (big and small) just for the sake of being happy.

Many do not realize, however, that the biggest mood booster could be sitting in the workstation right next to you.

For the Love of Work

A recent study by Virgin Pulse identified what employees love most about their jobs. Respondents said it’s not the office or the work, but the company we keep that makes the 9-to-5 gig enjoyable. Nearly 60% of the respondents said their positive relationship with employer boosts their focus and productivity at work, and 44% say it lowers their stress levels.Mosaic.2013.11

The results of the study reinforces something many have long been following—that showing some love to employees and making it clear the company cares for them is a great way to boost engagement and win them over for the long haul.

This is what our presentations always emphasize. We give talks during meetings and events to help organizations improve in terms of leadership, marketing, motivation, and productivity. We do this because we understand that a happy workplace is a productive one; that the secret to having a competitive edge relies on how well your team performs; and that a little motivation can go a long way.

Time Spent Well

The average American worker spends about 47.5 hours a week in the office, with some spending more time with co-workers than with friends or family. This just shows the importance of keeping everyone happy and motivated in the workplace.

Social connections are essential to our health and well-being, especially at the office. Employers are starting to see the importance of these connections, with many taking steps to reinvent the workplace and make it more productive.

Camaraderie and motivation at work have been found to not just make for happy employees, it also makes for a more effective business. Employees that share closer bonds have an easier time dissolving dissatisfaction, which then makes them more likely to work productively and stay in their current position longer. This is one of the things our services can help you with.

We may log more hours in the office than we do at home, but at least we have colleagues who make it worth our while. Giving them a morale boost through our presentations could definitely make it worth their while.

Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help in making your organization a happier one.

Often, minimal expectations result in maximum happiness.

I almost ruined my family vacation;  but it ended up being one of the best experiences we’ve had as a family. And I think I know why.

Let’s start at the beginning: I suck at advance planning. Ok, maybe I don’t suck at planning.  I suck at putting time aside to plan for vacations.

Leading up to summer vacation things had been hectic and chaotic … even the day before the vacation we had no idea what we were going to do.  No tickets.  No plans.  No nothing.  The day before we were to leave we were clueless.

Let me be clear:  At about 11 PM the night before we were to leave — theoretically —  we had exactly zero concrete plans for our vacation.  What we did have is a couple of stressed out parents.  “I’ve ruined the vacation before it started,” I thought.

My wife was hacked off at me, as she’d been trying to pin me down on vacation plans for several months.  But I was really busy with work, and on the road, and kept putting her off.  I’m sure I had a couple of dozen excuses, though they escape me just now.  ”I’m an idiot” I thought.Expectations-happiness

To my credit, I didn’t start planning at 11…don’t be silly.  I started in earnest about 5pm.

Ok, let’s think this out.  Clearly, without airline tickets it was going to be a driving vacation.  But where? Yellowstone is cool — let’s go there!

After just a dozen calls and a few web searches, it was becoming clear that we were never going to find a hotel anywhere near Yellowstone — or any other popular destination — because we were so late in planning.  Everything was booked.  It’s summer vacation.  Normal people plan ahead.   Check that:  everybody plans ahead.  Except for me.

To make things worse, this was the week before July 4th… Vacation spots were booked up months ago.  On the bright side, only a couple of hotel people I talked to that evening laughed at me.  Only one of them was downright mean.

Oh!  I have an idea!  Around midnight, I decided to check out renting a motorhome:  if we’re gonna drive, let’s make it fun!  If we are driving a hotel, we don’t need to book one.  Right?

At about 2am, unbelievably, I was able to reserve our very own motorhome for the next morning. (I didn’t learn until the next day just how lucky we were. Apparently getting a motor home literally last minute for the week before July 4 is a little bit like winning the lottery, except that it requires a large down payment and a valid drivers license.  I was told the next day by the rental agent that many of the other customers had booked their motor homes over 1 year in advance. I got ours about 7 hours in advance.)

Sometime after securing the motor home rental, I started looking into where to drive it. Again, the really cool spots like Yellowstone were clearly going to be an issue. Camping spaces and camping areas in the popular places like National Parks were totally gone. Apparently the camping people are as organized as that hotel people.

So yet again, we had no plans for the vacation that we had already begun.  Yeah, we had a motor home.  But unless we were willing to park it in WalMart parking lots around the nation, I still had a pretty huge problem.

Ok, we can’t go where everybody else wants to go.  Where are people NOT going?  So instead of looking west (Rocky Mountains, National Parks, Yellowstone), we looked east.  And almost directly east was a giant state we knew little about.  So we decided to drive to Nebraska. Yeah, Nebraska. (I’m not knocking any of you who live in Nebraska but come on! Even Nebraskans don’t vacation in Nebraska.)

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Yes. A Motorhome.

But here’s were things started to get good. Knowing little-to-nothing about Nebraska made it easy to have zero expectations for the trip. What is there to see or do in Nebraska?  Are there awesome state parks or camp sites or….what is in Nebraska anyway besides corn and cows?

We didn’t realize it at the time, but having no idea about where we were headed, what it would be like, what we would do, and even why we were going to Nebraska, was either a disaster waiting to happen, or was a darn good recipe for a great vacation.

By noon the next day, we had packed our clothes into the motorhome, we were headed east towards Nebraska … we still had no plans:

  • Where are we going to stay?
  • What’s it like to camp in a motorhome? Can we do this?
  • Is Nebraska boring?

You may be surprised to find out that we had an incredible family vacation after all:

  • We tubed down a river …  An insect-ridden, snake-filled river criss-crossed with barbed wire and lined IMG_8197by dead trees with jagged branches waiting to impale the unwary.  The Dismal River (that’s its real name).  It was horrible… And we all loved every minute of it.  (Well, almost every minute of it.  Did I mention the snakes?)
  •  My daughter lost the keys to the motorhome in the Dismal River (see above) which caused a little bit of excitement. But it turns out that we got to spend some time in a teensy little town we liked, we learned a little bit about breaking into motorhomes, and found out that locksmiths in Nebraska are ridiculously kind and generous.  (Without the keys, we couldn’t drive anywhere, but hey!  We had our house with us!)
  • We went to a tractor pull—I never would’ve searched to a tractor pull, but we sorta found one by accident.  It was crazy. It was loud.  Really loud.  We didn’t understand it. I have no idea why it was fun. We loved that too.  (Ok, so my wife and daughters didn’t love it so much.  But my son and I thought it was really cool.)
  • We swam in a cool swimming hole lined with cottonwoods and wildflowers.
  • We saw Carhenge.  Google it.  Somebody made a model Stonehenge with old cars.  Very bizarre and very cool.
  • We drove through the Sand Hills of Nebraska, a beautiful area of rolling hills and cows, which was unusually bright green with grasses from all the recent rains.
  • We ran the side of the motor home into a tree in Scotts Bluff and met some really nice motor home IMG_8127repair guys who worked on it for at least an hour without charging us.  (We bought them beers.)
  • We shopped at the original Cabelas outdoors store in Sydney, NE.  It was huge with an even huger parking lot for all the motorhomes, campers and trailers.
  • We camped in the Nebraska National Forest, which is an actual forest, hand planted one hundred years ago in the Nebraska prairie and which is now home to numerous different species of trees and plant life, used for both research and recreation.  Who knew?
  • We saw Chimney Rock, a noted landmark for pioneers crossing the prairie in wagons along the Oregon, California and Mormon trails.

I think the reason our trip to Nebraska was such a good experience was because we were able to be in the now, because we had no expectations. We had nothing riding on the vacation; we had no hopes or anxieties, no fears, and no anticipations. And to be honest, we were at least a teensy bit grateful that we were able to get out of town at all.

Unlike the The Holidays, which are filled with expectations and hopes, memories from the past, and an unending stream of images in popular culture of how it’s supposed to be, we knew absolutely nothing about Nebraska.  Knowing nothing helped us really focus on just experiencing what was happening.

We were ready for a good time, so we found one!

One of the most overused clichés we hear all the time is “Live in the present.”   Yeah, it sounds nice.  IMG_8050But what does it really mean and how do you do it?   Here’s my take:  living in the past is distracting and unhelpful.  It’s filled with regrets and remorse, and it sometimes sets unreasonable expectations. Living in the future is also a recipe for failure, and tends to fill us with anxiety and sometimes fear. The only reasonable answer is living in the current moment..   And what our trip to Nebraska taught me was that living in the moment is easier when you have as few expectations as possible.

What does this mean for you?   All of us want to be happier. We want to be more satisfied and content. One way to do this is just to try to open ourselves up for whatever happens.  If we can just allow ourselves to go with it and abandon any expectations – good or bad – our chances of successfully enjoying ourselves go up exponentially.  So let it go.

How is this day gonna go?   That meeting you are geared up for?  The interaction you are a little nervous about?   Who knows?  Let it go…. Enjoy the fact that you don’t know;  it makes you better.

Nebraska speaker

Putting pennies on the train tracks in Nebraska.

Looking for a Nebraska motivational speaker?  Or just a speaker who really likes tractor pulls and small-town-diner-pie?  Brad Montgomery is a funny motivational speaker — who only sometimes is found driving around rural America.  Contact us here.

I’ve heard that it takes twenty-one days to make a habit, so I decided to try it out myself. I eventually decided to make the habit of exercising, specifically cardio. Exercise for me is one of those things that I know makes me happier and makes me feel better but I always come up with excuses not to do it because, quite honestly, after working sitting on the couch watching tv with my family or reading a book in bed sounds a lot more appealing than going for a run. So I got to thinking: how do I get myself to do the things that I don’t really want to do? The twenty-one day idea sounded like a good start.

scroll down for videoI am now on day twelve, but when I sat down to write this blog, I found with the help of google that the idea of it taking twenty-one days to form a habit is actually a myth. I kind of felt ripped off that I was more than half way through of what was supposed to be the formation of a habit of exercise. And then I sat down and thought: maybe it wasn’t all for nothing. Because when I contemplated not going out running for the night, two questions popped into my head. And now with further thought, these questions are ones that are essential in getting people to do things that they don’t really want to do.

 

  1. How are you going to feel after you do the thing you don’t want to do?
  2. How are you going to feel if you don’t do the thing you don’t want to do?

 

How do I feel after I exercise? I feel proud of myself. I just went out and exercised. I did it even though I don’t like exercising.

However, it is the second question that I believe to be the more important question. How would I feel if I didn’t go out and exercise one day? After all, I am more than halfway through my goal. When I asked myself that question today, I felt motivated again. It was a way to get me out off the sofa and out of the house. If I gave up today, if I had given up after even one day or five days, I would feel like crap and bad about myself. Both of those are enough motivators to get out out doing whatever it is I should be doing.

Doing things that can make you feel better about yourself isn’t just limited to healthy habits like exercising. You could make a special effort to say hi to everybody at work. You could make one more sales call every day, you could even interact more with your family. It’s not up to me to decide! Take the time to think to yourself about an action that will have an impact on yourself and those around you, and then ask yourself how you are going to feel after you do it and how you would feel if you didn’t do it. Those two questions are important!

Brad Montgomery is a professional motivator and speaker who uses various formats to engage audiences, including keynotes, break-outs, and more to different associations around the country. If you need a person who can connect with your audience, then Brad is your guy. He will make your audience laugh while teaching them valuable techniques increase productivity in the office. Call or email for a free consultation today!

303-691-0726

[email protected]

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Hanging out with people makes you better is important.  We all know this basic fact, but the question for all of us is, “What are we doing to nourish the current people in our lives that improve us, and how do we meet new friends that make us better?”

The answer can vary but the bottom line is basic:  you better be strategic about keeping and earning new friends.

The concept  of “Strategic Friendships” was made clear to me by my dad on his 80th Birthday.  It turns out my dad is a hipster with a ton of cool friends.  A ton.  And he’s 80!

At his birthday party — which featured a ton of booze, friends, and food — but not a single motivational speaker motivational speaker — my big brother and big sister and I were standing around looking at his huge collection of friends and we all admitted that were totally impressed not only at the number of his pals, but the quality of his friends.  These weren’t just people accepting free food;  they were pals.

Dad’s secret is that he’s been really strategic.  For the past 15 years, he’s had standing lunch groups.  On the first Monday of the month he meets with friends from his college, the 2nd Monday it’s pals he used to climb mountains with, then the 3rd Monday it’s a bunch of friends who just like each other. They call it Discussion Club.

The details aren’t important;  what is important is the lesson.  He meets regularly with people.  He’s invests his time because it’s a strategy.  It’s on purpose.  It’s a thing!

What does that mean for us?  It means we should do something today to nourish old friends, and cultivate new friends.  We should know it’s going to take a while.  That means that it takes time;  it takes years.  We saw the results at my dad’s birthday party one and a half decades after he started.  It takes patience.

So pick up the phone right now.  Send a text right now.  Go to lunch.  It’s worth it, and the long term pay off in your own happiness will amaze you — and your grown children.

Looking for a way to be happier?  In general?  Have more happiness at work?  Of course you would!  Make sure you have friends who make you better.  Start investing in those friendships now.  Brad Montgomery is a motivational speaker and keynote speaker who works across the country and around the world.  If you want to make YOUR meeting or convention epic, give us a call.  303.691.0726

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This post is easy.

Gratitude works.  It makes your life (and your job) better.

Ok…it’s not that easy, because many of my business clients dismiss gratitude because it seems too fluffy.  (See also Unicorns, Rainbows and Lollypops.)  I sense that because this tactic has been adopted by everybody from Oprah to the self-help-guru with the long beard (Ok, I made that one up, but you KNOW there are a few!), that it can’t be for them.

Just give in.  It works.  It’s been proven by Harvard.  Stanford.  Oxford.  You can deny and blow it off all you want, but this stuff is a  proven tactic for improving your quality of life … and your bottom line.

So what does this mean for you?  It means start having and noticing things, moments and people for which you are grateful right now.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/qgJRV5ImZG0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Here are the instructions.  Easy Peasy.

1.  Notice 3 to 5 things every day for which you are grateful. All you have to do is quietly label them to yourself. E.g. “I’m really glad we are nearly done with the Acme project.”

2.  Remember that the degree of gratitude doesn’t matter for the brain science to work.  in other words, being grateful that there was a short line at Starbucks works just as well as being grateful for your good health. So go ahead and get petty… It still works. E.g., “I’m grateful that I get to go home at 5 PM and not 6 PM.”

3.  Do it regularly.   The pay off is very fast… It makes you scientifically happier starting TODAY.  But for even greater success make this a habit and notice the change in three or five days.

4. Give in. I know many of you think this technique is to light and fluffy to be relevant for you. But do you really want to deny the studies carried out by Ivy League PhD’s? Of course you don’t. Just get on the bandwagon and do it.

That’s it!   It is so ridiculously easy that this proven happiness technique seems to lightweight to be useful. But it’s easy. It’s something you can start immediately and quietly this instant. And best of all, for some skeptics like me, it’s backs in credible science from multiple sources.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_masonry_media_grid element_width=”3″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1463770499425-fda2f362-6f1c-4″ include=”5983,5982,5981,5984″][/vc_column][/vc_row]