The Power of Being Present

Last week, my sister and I went into the town of Pittsford, NY to the Ben & Jerry’s store for some ice cream on a beautiful Friday night. The excruciating decision between Karamel Sutra or Imagine Whirled Peace almost doing me in, it was a relief to get my ice cream and head outside to sit on a bench.

Shortly thereafter, a little girl about 5 or 6, her brother and parents head out of the store with their ice cream. They sit down on the curbside near my bench. As the family is enjoying the ice cream, the little girl asks her parents “Why do they call it Mango, Mango Sorbet?”

“Because it’s made with Mangoes” her father replies somewhat impatiently.

“Then how come it isn’t called Mango Sorbet? Why Mango, MANGO Sorbet?”

At this point, my sister and I are laughing at the reasonable questioning of this little girl. Her parents went on with their conversation. This wasn’t the first or last amusing thing this little girl came up with but her parents seemed too preoccupied to notice.

I mentioned to my sister that it’s sad that many parents seem too busy, distracted, or just plain tired to appreciate some of the things their children come up with. My sister – having raised four children all two years apart from each other – replied “that’s just the way it is.”

That answer left me, and still has me, bothered. It’s not that I am blaming the parents for doing anything wrong or different than the rest of us do. It’s just that I thought it was sad. This little girl couldn’t have been cuter or more entertaining but her parents’ conversation took precedence. And from what I could hear (okay, eavesdrop) it had to do with gas prices!

The worldwide webcast of Eckart Tolle and Oprah (from Tolle’s book The New Earth) had as one of its themes “being present”. While watching these webcasts, I realized how much of our time is spent in the past or future – but rarely in the present.

Just monitor your thoughts and conversation for an hour. See how much of the time you are truly present. It’s not necessarily negative or positive thoughts but sometimes just neutral thoughts that take us out of the present.

In Yoga some weeks when I am supposed to be meditating – I’m off making a grocery list in my head. “Don’t forget the strawberries, oh and get some milk”.

As the aunt to 10 nieces and nephews and 5 great nieces and nephews (and one on the way!!!), I have done a lot, A LOT, of babysitting in my life. One thing I always noticed was that the only time the kids misbehaved was when I wasn’t paying attention to them. If they had my attention, there was no reason for them to act up.

But as soon as I was on the phone with a friend or watching something on TV, all hell would break loose. Now when I see children acting up, I look to see what the parents are doing. Every time, the parent is distracted and not paying attention to the child.

Am I saying that children should be the center of a parent’s attention every single minute of every day? No, because that would be unrealistic and impossible. There is work and chores and other things that have to get done. But I would wager to say that many parents would admit to rarely being completely present with their children and therefore, not enjoying their children as often as they would like to.

The next time your child is annoying you, stop and think about what you’re doing and if you were to redirect your attention to them, even for a short time, would they calm down?

If you’ve ever seen the show “Super Nanny” one of the first things the Nanny encourages parents to do is to set up a schedule for the home. Included on this schedule are specific times for each parent to spend some quality time with each child with no distractions. Play time. The beautiful thing is that when we are truly playing – guess what – we’re in the present.

Whether you have children or not, look for opportunities to be completely present with those around you.

Impact Presentations for Board Rooms Considered

If you are going to give a presentation to the corporate board of a large company, you have to understand that they’ve already seen many presentations in their career, probably hundreds of them. They’re not going to be easily swayed by tricky lighting, or over-the-top power point presentations. They want facts, they want the reality, and they want you to answer every one of their questions to their liking.

If you fail to answer one of their questions you are doomed, and even if you answer the question, but you didn’t answer it correctly or you misinterpreted it, you will find yourself the brunt of their frustrations, and that could be a deal killer. The tone of your presentation and the tempo are very important, yes it’s important to dress nice, have professional literature, and be clear and concise with your presentation, but there’s more to it than that.

If you have the best product in the world, and you can prove it, even a boring presentation may get more play than a flashy presentation with no substance. However, if you can have the best of both worlds, that is to say an incredible impact presentation, along with a group of incredible folks with an abundance of industry knowledge, you can get to the heart of their questions, and answer them without missing a beat. Indeed if you can’t do this, you shouldn’t be there.

Put yourself in their shoes, if you had to listen to hundreds of presentations over the course of the last five years, would you want to listen to BS, monotone speech, or anyone who couldn’t answer your question? Patience may be a virtue in your church, and in your family life, but it isn’t in the high powered world of corporate boards.

Every question matters and everyone in that room’s opinion matters. So bring on the high-impact presentation, but don’t be na├»ve into thinking that you can come unprepared. You have to be on your best day, and you had better know what are talking about. Please consider all this.

Have You Tried Credit Card Debt Negotiation? A Do-It-Yourself Credit Card Debt Solution

Credit card debt negotiation can be a very tough task. If not done carefully it will clearly not lead to the desired result. To pay off a huge debt is a hard job to accomplish, and who would not want a negotiation on the debt that has to be paid? But there are a few rules which one must keep in mind while doing the credit card debt negotiation.

There could always be chances that one might get their interests negotiated unlike what many people think. Always remember that some people have the ball in their court and not the company. They want money back from you at any cost and that is their primary motive which is also their weak point that one must target. Another factor that could help you, the customer, is that there is a lot of competition in market. Some companies want you at any cost as the money they make from the interest that you pay is tremendous. The company wants to make as much money as possible and would want as many customers as possible. They would have to maintain a good reputation in the market and this is how the competitiveness can work in the favour for your credit card debt negotiation.

If one has being paying off credit card debts for some installments, there could be chance for the credit card debt negotiation, the bank might give you lower interest rates. These can range from 1-2% less than the average interest rate of the country. Also one can negotiate for better repayment plans than the existing ones. Obviously the bank would prefer that their money comes back to them slowly rather than money not coming back at all. However, this credit card debt negotiation works only if one has not been paying the previous installments. If one is good at negotiation then one could get rid of the late payment fee, using ATM fee etc. But there are of course a few companies which will not budge on the ground rules they have. One should always keep their eyes open for various offers like zero interest rates, lowering of interest rates on existing loans or on balance transfers. Never get onto these offers directly as they can be used as a weapon at a later stage. Always first ask for lower interest rate and then slowly jump onto these plans. This could definitely be one of the ways to get out of credit card debts.

If none of the above works then one can lure the bank that you can take another card and get your balance transferred to another card with a lower interest. The best way to get away with this one is to keep an alternate card offer with you. If one does not have any, then you could research on them and then go for the negotiation. Credit card debt negotiation is a very tricky work. But keeping in mind some of the tips mentioned you can definitely pay off credit card debt more easily and quickly.