Choices  By: Alison Loyd

Choices By: Alison Loyd

Have you ever spent the majority of a day in the airport? I had that experience not long ago, on my birthday no less! It was enough to come unglued, but thanks to the tools I received from The Journey Training, I made the most of that birthday!

I was excited to fly from Atlanta to Tulsa on my birthday to enjoy time with friends before a glorious weekend of serving with The Journey Training. The weather wasn’t so glorious though – tornado watches and severe weather predictions throughout the southeast and other parts of the country. I prepared for a delayed flight and allowed for a slow commute to the airport.

I wasn’t surprised when the flight was delayed, but the cancellation threw me for a loop. I mean, I understood, but I’ve never experienced it. I’ve only heard horror stories. I got in a line that was about 20 people deep. There were a lot of cancelled flights. When it was my turn, the agent looked at my options and got me on a flight, also connecting in Houston, several hours later.

Shortly before boarding time, there was another delay. In the best-case scenario, I would just barely have enough time to make my connection in Houston. But it wasn’t the best-case scenario, at least not while looking at it from the current perspective. Frustrated and tearing up, I considered my options. I then heard God say to me, “Stay the course. Call Stacey, a friend in Houston who I had not seen in 8 years. So, I call. Stacey answers! Yes, she is in Houston! Yes, she’ll pick me up! Yes, I can stay with her!

Not only did I not sleep in an airport or get a hotel room, I got to spend the final moments of my birthday with a long-lost friend. It was a great way to end the day! At 7:45 the next morning, I was on that first flight to Tulsa and we could now resume regularly scheduled programming!

Yes, it’s quite a story but what I hope you hear in this story is how the choices I made played a role in that day. I couldn’t control the weather, traffic, cancelled flights, or even if a friend could change their plans for me. Yet I still had choices every step of the way.

What did I choose?

  • I chose to be prepared for bad weather.
  • I chose serenity when I couldn’t change the weather, lines, flights, or crews.
  • I chose to make the most of my time in the airport.
  • I chose to go with my gut and stick with my flight to Houston.
  • I chose to ask for help.
  • I chose to embrace an impromptu reunion.

We all have choices to make, no matter what the circumstances. In The Journey Training, I learned that no matter what happens to me, I still have a responsibility to choose how I will respond to them. And that can lead you to serenity!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Risks and Rewards

Risks and Rewards

Everyone has heard the phrase “risks and rewards,” and most of the time people associate it with money and riches. Please don’t get me wrong, though; it does have its place with money and riches, but that is not always the case.

Every day we have to take risks to get rewards. Some of us think “I am not a risk taker,” but that is not really accurate. Think about what your average day looks like, how many risks do you take each day to get simple rewards.

Most of the time it does not stop us, is fact most of the time we don’t think about it.

  • Odds of getting hemorrhoids – 25 to 1… but we don’t stop using that part of our anatomy do we?
  • Odds of getting in an transportation accident – 69 to 1, but we don’t stop driving.
  • Odds of slipping in the shower – 1 in 2232, and please, PLEASE don’t stop showering.
  • Odds of having an accident using fireworks – 1 in 19,556, but it does not stop most of us from blowing stuff up.
  • Odds of getting hurt in an amusement park ride – 1 in 257,000, and we still do it.

Every time we step out of our house we have risk. But, we also have reward.

Everything in life has some kind of risk vs reward.

The question is, how many opportunities do we have in our lives that we choose not to step out a take a risk to achieve. Many of us live in fear, and we may not realize it, but we let it control us.

Here are 5 tips to moving forward despite risks:

  1. Stop and breathe. According to an article at “Why Does Deep Breathing Slow You Down?”
    Deep breathing relieves stress and anxiety due to its physiological effect on the nervous system. Breathing slowly and mindfully activates the hypothalamus, connected to the pituitary gland in the brain, to send out neurohormones that inhibit stress-producing hormones and trigger a relaxation response in the body. The hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system, which secretes the hormones that regulate all activities throughout the body.
  2. Look at the options. Weigh out all the risks. Much of the time when we slow down and look at the options, some of the risks really are not as scary as we think.
  3. Write it down. Look at the reason this is a concern. Even making a positive or negative list may work. Just sit down and write it.
    I once read a University of Chicago study that shows that writing down our negative thoughts or worries about an upcoming important event has a calming effect on us. The actual act of writing our thoughts down forces us to give coherence to stressful thoughts, which not only lessens the intensity of these thoughts but can even negate them. The study has shown that pressure-filled situations can deplete a part of our brain’s working memory and make us less effective to remain calm and think clearly.
  4. DON’T over analyze it. We can get very caught up in the “what ifs”, but if the “what ifs” take over, then you will never launch. That’s why the 1st three points are crucial. If you are over analyzing, go back and do one of 1, 2, or 3 again.
  5. Pull the trigger. If you have ever fired a gun, you know that when you have a gun all lined up, there is a point where you say “I’m pulling the trigger now,” and your brain releases chemicals that rush through us, and now you feel yourself pulling that trigger. This “rush” happens the second you make a solid decision to make a move.

What reward are you looking for today that you need to evaluate the risk on?

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What I learned when I found Myles Munroe’s iPhone

What I learned when I found Myles Munroe’s iPhone

A few years ago, I was on a quest.  I was proving a point, I was getting off my ask.  

It started with a trip I wanted to go on, and asking everyone I knew for $25 for the trip.  I told everyone that I had the money, so I could afford to go, and I don’t have to go. All the same, I asked if they would give me $25 so I can go to the Bob Harrison Increase event seminar in Hawaii.

Taking action in life is something few do.  Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, says “taking action is a true measure of intelligence.” There countless books on the concept.

My time with Myles Munroe was a perfect example of this.  

One of my goals during that trip was to have lunch, breakfast, or dinner with every speaker of that conference, so I had to look for opportunities to take action. I knew it certainly would not happen by accident. If I was looking for it to be an accident, then I needed to make that accident happen. I first saw Myles Munroe at the airport, and introduced myself at the luggage pickup.  I did not feel our relationship was at the point to ask him yet, though.  So I waited.

Later in the week, I found a iPhone on a table, ringing, but with no one answering it. So I picked it up and looked at the pictures.  It was Dr. Munroe’s. When I went to give it to him, I used that opportunity to ask him to lunch.  He graciously said yes, so we set a time. 

On the day of our visit, it ended up being quite the group. I had not specifically asked for a private lunch, and Myles had invited 11 other people besides the two of us for a total of 13 at lunch that day. During that time, I found out many incredible things about this leader.  

I asked him how he spent his time.
I asked him about some hard decisions.
I saw his interaction as a husband since his wife was there.  
I saw his interaction as a father, since his daughter was there.  (I found out she loves our Polynesian sauce and since she lived in Bahamas, she did not get much anymore, so I pulled an Arthur, and mailed her a case)

At one point I excused myself to go to the restroom, and gave the waitress my credit card, ensuring I would cover the bill.  At the end of the lunch his protege was confused, and was not happy that he did not get to pay.  He was kind of vocal about it.

Then it happened. Here is the biggest thing I learned… 

The gentleman said that Myles was his mentor, and even in this event he has not been able to get time with Myles alone. When he said it, it seemed that he might be irritated specifically at me. Without missing a beat, Myles interrupted him and said something that I will never forget.

He said to his mentee, “Here is the difference, You did not get time with me alone because you did not ask. He asked,” and gestured to me.  Then he continued “And he paid the bill because he made it happen.

Sometimes we just do things automatically, without thinking it through completely or analyzing it.  We just do.  

This particular meeting sealed what I already knew to do. Ask. It validated to me that many of us do not get the opportunities because we do not ask or seek out opportunities.

Myles Munroe knew how do this.  

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Josh and the Giant (Get Off Your Ask)

Josh and the Giant (Get Off Your Ask)

I hired Josh when he was a young man, and although he didn’t work for me long, he was always respectful.  He eventually had to quit due to commitments at school. A few years later he started a snow cone business.

  “I started the shack because I had worked at a snow cone stand for a little while and loved everything about the business.”

Over the last 9 years his business has grown from one Josh’s Sno Shack to four Josh’s Sno Shacks along with two mobile units.  It’s not unusual to see people camped out for snow cones at the opening of the season, or to see regular lines of 15 to 30 people! His special blend of snow cone goodness has been recognized as the best in Tulsa by just about every news outlet in the area, and his social media presence is very strong, especially with teens.  Recently a grocery store chain purchased a number of other grocery stores in the area, including where the original Josh’s Sno Shack was located.

Here’s how it went down according to Josh Juarez:

“Early September I got asked to move my shack by October 6th for repaving. The initial conversation was with a district manager. I was fairly adamant about my concern and desire to get a new contract before I moved the building. She said they were too busy and to just try to contact them later in February. I asked if there was anything I could do to talk to the person making the decision and she told me to email her my information, what I was wanting and that she would forward it to the CEO. I did this and a couple weeks went by with no response. I randomly ran into someone who gave me the name of the individual who was in charge. I called Reasor’s corporate and left a couple of messages for him. No response. I guessed the email address and sent the guy an email. Later that day I got a call from the district manager. She said they were not interested. I pleaded but she couldn’t do anything. I called the individual in charge and he finally answered. He said that he could not do anything and that ‘they had a policy that restricted snow cone stands from being on their property.’ After pleading and trying to show how we could benefit Reasor’s, I respectfully hung up. We posted the information on Facebook and closed (for what we thought was our last day) October 4th. We asked people to write/email Reasor’s and request that we be allowed to stay. People went crazy and the support was insane. Monday afternoon I got a call from channel 2. They did the story about the situation and it aired Monday night at 10pm.Throughout the interview I remained positive towards Reasor’s. Tuesday morning I got a call from the COO of Reasor’s. He said they wanted to figure something out and work around the policy. We had a contract by Thursday and my shack was back the following week.”

This is a classic case of a situation that seemed insurmountable. It looked as though there was no hope and the ship was sinking. Most people would give up, but Josh took a different approach. He applied the “get off your ask” principle.

How often do we see the captain go down with the ship, when all they need to do is persistently ask for help? Instead, they choose to not ask for help.  It could be one of a number of reasons, but the end result is they go down with the ship when they may not have needed to.  Is there something in your life that you may need to ask for help to achieve your goal?

In The journey Training, we teach that there are an infinite number of possibilities to get what you need, and the most basic – yet often overlooked – is simply asking for it.  Maybe it’s pride, or embarrassment that can cause you to let the ship sink. Isn’t it time you get off your ask? You just might find, just like in The Journey Training, that there are people that want to help you get where you need to go!

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Getting Off Your Ask at Work

Did you know that over 50% of people who ask for a raise get it?
Here are a few tips on how to get a pay raise when you know you deserve it.

Talk value, not need.

Most of the time your boss doesn’t care that you’re finishing school, that you’re supporting another child, or that your spouse just lost his job. Don’t lead with why you need more money. Instead, make a case for how you’ve helped make the organization better. Have you taken on responsibilities that added value with measurable results? If you’re responsible for increases and have knowledge that is critical to the operation of the business, then your boss will likely be favorable toward the idea of compensating you for your contributions.

Timing matters.

When you ask is important. Some favorable times include:

  • When the company releases higher-than-expected quarterly earnings.
  • When you’ve been publicly recognized for a job well done.
  • When your boss is in a good mood.

Someone on my team pointed out that I am always in a better mood when I am wearing a white shirt. I didn’t know that nor do I know why that may be true, but it was a great observation on her part!

Get another offer.

The bottom line is that you are worth what someone is willing to pay you. This can ultimately only be proven by actually having someone offer you more. Only use this approach if you’re willing to follow through by leaving (or staying based on the strength of the counter-offer). Sometimes its worth discovering what someone else would pay to know what you’re worth in your industry.

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