Shakespeare Said…

May 11, 2011

by Christi Borden

Shakespeare's Philosophy for Life

Shakespeare said: I always feel happy, You know why? Because I don’t expect

anything from anyone, Expectations always hurt.. .Life is short… So love

your life… Be happy… And Keep smiling… Just Live for yourself and:

  • Before you speak »Listen
  • Before you write »Think
  • Before you spend »Earn
  • Before you pray »Forgive
  • Before you hurt »Feel
  • Before you hate »Love
  • Before you quit »Try
  • Before you die »Live

This is my personal philosophy for life and my secret to happiness.

This was shared on Facebook today so I do not claim to be the author. Thank you, Bill-Necmettin Erbil – wherever you are!

Social Media… Manners Matter!

February 19, 2011

by christiborden

Social Media Sandbox

Where is Emily Post when I need her?

In the time before Social Media, long before Facebook and Twitter, we all knew or should have known the rules of engagement. Someone holds out their hand; you shake it. A stranger smiles at you on the street; you smile back. A woman stands next to you on the bus; you render your seat. Someone sneezes; you bless them. When so many of our relationships now exist outside of the physical world, how do we translate the old rules for today? And have they really changed?

I read a great post by Erica Johnson addressing the etiquette of “commenting” on blogs (read here), which led me to ponder (as I often do) about other areas where we may all need a little direction.

Facebook: Stop the sales pitches, please. I love my many friends on Facebook, but I have painfully started to “de-friend” them when the only thing they bring to the conversation is a sales pitch. Imagine attending a cocktail party and starting in on the “pitch” the second you are introduced to a stranger. No…we strike up conversation, find common ground, add to the discussion and then maybe, if invited, hand them our card and tell them what we “do”. Real life rules apply here, too.

Twitter: See comments above. The sales pitches are even more annoying when squeezed into 140 characters. I think Twitter is best used to share information with like-minded followers. Yes, we can link to our blog or web site. But let the follower decide to follow instead of ramming our business/service/product down their throat with every Tweet. And please turn off the auto-responder. I would rather hear nothing than a canned comment (which usually includes a sales pitch).

IM: How in the world do we end a conversation politely? On the phone, I can say “I have to go, good-bye” and hang up.  But online where they can see I am still “there”, how do I tactfully let go? I end up saying goodbye at least 5 times before the connection is severed. I welcome comments here because I have not yet figured it out. Also, can we in good grace ignore a Facebook IM when we are otherwise engaged? Oh, the guilt…

Games: While I am not a big game player, I do enjoy the faux Scrabble Words with Friends. I recently had someone I know well “decline” to play me. Gasp? So, does this mean right now or forever more? Did I do something so heinous that I have been permanently banished from their Scrabble world? Don’t worry, I can still sleep at night but perhaps an explanation would have been nice rather than… “Declined”. Ouch:).

Frankly, I see Social Media as a huge sandbox filled with lots of wonderful, interesting kids all trying to get along and play together. Some follow the rules and some do not.

How well do you play with others?

Superbowl … A Lesson in Living The Dream!

February 5, 2011

Today is Superbowl Sunday and, like everyone else, I have my mind on the game. However, it isn’t the game but the athletes themselves that interest me. Okay, the commercials, too but that is best left to another post.

I love learning about their individual stories and how they made it here. How they started playing the game as little boys, and continued to define their strengths, refine their skills, and struggle through years of injuries, hardship and courage to become these men at this time in history. Amazing, when you when you think about it.

Consider the immense number of people in life who start playing, training or studying to prepare for their desired area of expertise, and then consider the number who actually make it. What are the odds? What makes the difference? What is it that gets them from novice to Superstar while others, with similar talents, flounder instead of flourish?

Training: They are always training and have been since they first picked up a ball. I can tell you that the Ben Roethlistberger’s and Aaron Rodger’s of the world never stopped training once mastering their talent. In fact, they never believe it to be fully mastered.

Tenacity: They never give up. Injuries may sideline but still they press on. Even to their physical detriment, they continue to play with broken bones, bruised muscles (and egos), rain or snow, heat or cold. Something deep within drives them to continue when others are given the permission to rest.

Coaching: Every single professional has a coach and this is not limited to sports. The gifted require this external element, whether they are writers, actors, singers, and even Realtors (my field of play). A coach is someone who can clearly see where the athlete needs to be and knows how to get him there. He studies the the strengths and weaknesses and creates a plan of action that is specific to that individual. There is no one-size-fits-all! They develop a continuous push/pull dynamic to their relationship. The coach provides the roadmap, monitors the progress and constantly encourages, presses, cajoles, maybe even threatens to ensure action. An effective coach will not fall for excuses or procrastination. If the athlete is tough, the coach must be tougher.

Desire: They can see it, taste it and smell it, even when it exists only in their mind. What might seem daunting to most will only feed this desire further. Ask a true believer what their goal is and you will be astounded by dreams that appear unattainable at best and possibly even bordering on delusions of grandeur. Could it be we lack the belief system and vision to go there or maybe we never had it in the first place? There are no self-induced limits on their ability to achieve… and what they lack, they go back to the first three items above and create it, fix it or improve it.

So while you watch the game today, pay attention to the back-ground stories that the media uses to fill dead air time. Listen to proud parents as they portray their son’s childhood. Ask yourself; what was unique about the seed planted in the “Sapling” of the kid that helped him grew into this mighty “Oak” of a man? If you took a poll of each player on the field and asked what he wanted most as a kid, he will tell it is today. It is this one moment in time. It is to play in the Superbowl!

Win or lose, they are all champions and should be honored for truly “Living the Dream”!

A Life Lesson from Groundhog’s Day!

February 3, 2011

Did you watch the movie last night? I caught it on its final cycle and remembered why I love it so. It is a timeless movie: well written, well cast and just plain funny!

The central character is a grumpy, ego-centric, curmudgeon named Phil (Bill Murray not the groundhog) who finds himself caught in the nightmare of repeating the same day over and over again. No matter what he does, he wakes up at 6:00 am to find himself right where he started the day before. The entire movie is spent watching Phil’s reaction to this phenomenon and how he is changed by it.

It is when Phil Connors has the epiphany that he is truly happy with himself and his life as it is “now” and does not care about tomorrow, only then is he allowed to move forward.

Are you happy? Are you living in the “now” or are you waiting for your life to happen to you some day down the road? 

What will you find tomorrow when your alarm goes off and your day begins. Will it be different or just a repeat of the same?

If you love what you have today, then you will have it again. If not, only “you” can decide to be happy and discover a new day.

Don’t you love it when Hollywood gives us a postive message for a change?

A.A.A.D.D. – Know the Symptoms… Please Read!

February 3, 2011

Thank goodness there’s a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better even though might have it!!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. –
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
and notice that the can is full.

So I decide to put the bills back on the table & take out the garbage first..
But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table,
and see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking.

I’m going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Pepsi aside
so that I don’t accidentally knock it over.
The Pepsi is getting warm.
I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold..
As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye..
They need water.
I put the Pepsi on the counter and
discover my reading glasses that
I’ve been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I’m going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote
someone had left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I’ll be looking for the remote,
but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs.
But first I’ll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers.
Quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn’t washed
the bills aren’t paid
there is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter
the flowers don’t have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can’t find the remote,
I can’t find my glasses,
and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done,
I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day,
and I’m really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
and I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check my e-mail…..

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
because I don’t remember who the  heck I’ve sent it to.

(The author is unknown to me as this was shared by a friend, thanks John. If you wrote this, please let me know so I can give you credit… that is if you can remember writing it in the first place).

Liar, Lair, Pants on Fire!

January 21, 2011

Do you remember as children using this little string of words to describe someone who told a fib (defined as an insignificant or childish lie)?

What would you do today if someone were to call you a Liar? Would you be indigant at the statement or would you pause to think about it a moment?

Aren’t we all just a little bit guilty of telling a lie? Ask yourself if you have you ever:

  • Told a little white lie?
  • Played a bit with the numbers on your taxes?
  • Wiggled your way out of a speeding ticket? 
  • Wiggled out of anything you just did not want to do?
  • Bragged on the fish that got away?
  • Embellished a story for a laugh?
  • Made a conscious addition, deletion or revision of what you know to be “the truth”?

And if so, doesn’t that make us by definintion – Liars? What is the truth and is it always best to tell it?

Professionally, honesty is always the best policy. In fact, in my business (real estate) the laws surrounding disclosure and truth are hardfast and unwavering, as is the punishment for failing to do so.

But do we always look our clients in the eyes and tell them exactly what they need to know as opposed to what they want to hear? Do we present our products and services in the harsh, full light of day or do we filter them through what we think they ought to be?

Are there shades actually of the truth and who gets to decide what they are?

On a personal level, I think there are some truths that can be hurtful. We can think them to ourselves but if the damage done by sharing them outweights the benefit of the truth being known, what is the point? Who benefits? Are we a hero for speaking the truth or the villain for the hurt it has caused? I know people who feel it is their duty to say everything that is on their mind. While they may mean well, what they really need is an internal regulator to signal the need for silence.

Example, recently I attended a party and was asked by a friend on more than one occasion that evening if I was “tired”. I did not feel tired when I left home. I did not feel tired as I entered the room. I thought I had applied my make-up and fixed my hair with my usual flair. What was it that prompted the question? Was it concern for my well-being? Was it a gentle reminder that I needed to visit my nearest plastic surgeon? Was it that there was nothing else to say?

Who knows but I can tell you how I felt as a result of her inquiry …..”Tired”.

If am so Happy … How Can I Feel Blue?

January 21, 2011

or “What the Funk?”

I recently enjoyed an evening out with “the gals” and our conversations led us many strange and wonderful places… as it often does. We finally landed on the fact that we were all experiencing an unusual emotional “Funk”, which became our momentary mantra and the subtitle of this post. We are truly an upbeat and rosy bunch (rowdy, even) so it was interesting that we should notice the same subtle “Blah-ness” since the beginning of the new year and this week, in particular.

In case you missed it, this past Monday was declared the most depressing day of the year. You can read more in an article published on January 19th by the JAMA. However, I refuse to feel less than wonderful just because some scientific study says it is so.

But what’s a gal to do when not really depressed… just a bit blue?

We decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and delve into what was casting a haze over our normally chipper and sunny selves and to take immediate action. No wallowing in self-doubt or pity for this group. So, after hours of deep thought, three glasses of delicious wine and a steaming bowl of Gumbo, we finally hit on the following steps to get ourselves back in high gear. You may find that “expertise enhanced by wine” is more profound in the making, but I will share our thoughts, nevertheless.

Weather: We have had overcast, drizzly days for weeks now with only intermittent sunshine and this truly can keep you from performing at your best. We need sunshine and we need it now. Today, the forecast is sunny and cold for Houston but more clouds are expected to roll in by the weekend.  The weather is beyond our control but we can be mindful of the negative effect it has and how it plays with our moods. Check out SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to find out ways to counter this issue.

Check-Up: You might want to make an appointment with your doctor to confirm there is not an actual physical reason for the doldrums. This could be anything from an oncoming cold, hormone or thyroid imbalance or pre-mental pause… yes, that is how I look at it now that I am fast approaching that fun and wonderful time in my life.

Volunteer: Get out there and do something positive for someone else. Volunteer for a charity, mentor a child, take in a stray pet… whatever floats your boat but get out there and do it. It is very hard to be down when you are busy giving, whether of your time, expertise or knowledge. This can be one of the most satisfying experiences life has to offer and will lift the spirits of both you and the lucky recipient(s) of your generosity.

Pick Up a Book and Read: Yes, it is that simple. You can delve into a wonderful book and be swept far away from today’s troubles all the while improving your vocabulary and usually learning something new in the process. A word of caution: Be very careful what you read. Taking in other people’s deeply disturbing problems can be detrimental to an already delicate psyche so chose something powerful and uplifting. You can always go back to the darker subjects later when you are on better footing. Just because a book is on Oprah’s list does not mean it is a good book to read when feeling blue.

Create: Do something you love that is creative. For me, writing is my catharsis. For you, it could be painting, photography, cooking, sewing, knitting, et cetera. Whatever you enjoy, just get out there and create something new and wonderful. Want to feel even better? Give your creation to someone that needs a little sunshine, too.

Exercise: Nothing gets the body in better spirits than giving it what it needs. Whether you choose yoga, running, walking or a simple stretching exercise, this will do wonders for your disposition. If you do it in the presence of others, you get to socialize as well.

Socialize: Finally, gather around your pals and figure out how to have fun. Warning here… make sure you hang out with the right friends. If this turns into a pity party, you end up worse than before. Look for the most positive people you know to socialize with for they will be your strength when you need it.

I am feeling better already. How about you?

Networking… Love it or Hate it?

January 8, 2011

by Christi Borden

I absolutely love networking. This is one of the things in life that I know I do really well.  I always have. It is as much a part of me as my arms and legs and as effortless as breathing air. If you put me in a room with just one or one hundred other living souls, I can guarantee you I am networking – and usually not for business. I do it for pleasure. I truly enjoy meeting new people and getting know now more about them. The fact that my business benefits, I assure you, is purely accidental.

Alternatively, I know it is something that I scares the pants off of many others. I think one reason is the word “networking” has gathered a negative connotation throughout the years… Bringing forth dark and dreary visions of pushy salesmen, pyramid schemed promotions, and endless and painfully boring functions.

But can I ask you to look at it another way…

It really is something we have done all our lives. Of course, when we were kids, we called it “playing “. When we grew to be teenagers, we called it “hanging out”. As we became young professionals, we called it “Happy Hour”. So, now that we are finally grown ups, we find ourselves using the dreaded word “Networking” to describe the simple act of getting out there, meeting new people, making new friends and hopefully building relationships along the way. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

So have you decided: Love it or hate it?

“How can I be lost… If I’ve Got Nowhere to Go?”

January 5, 2011

by Christi Borden

Okay, my kids will absolutely fall over laughing that their boring mom is quoting Metallica (“The Unforgiven III”, I believe)… but it is January and again, I find myself in the middle of goal setting and planning. This song verse reminded me how important it is to actually have a personal and professional goal. In other words: a plan or a roadmap. Otherwise, how will you realize where you want to be and what road to take to make it.

So many times we plod through our lives with nothing more planned than where we want to eat for lunch and what we want to watch on TV. That is not a goal. A goal is something that should be written, long-term, far-reaching (meaning a bit out of our reach so that we have to stretch to get to it) and something meant to be shared.

I am pretty good when it comes to professional goals. It is the personal ones that somehow get pushed to the way side and only reviewed this time of year.  I am committing to several things this year and sharing:

One is this blog. I have committed to posting every day and here on Day 5, I am truly enjoying the process.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Another is education: I am working toward the Master’s sessions of my Certified Negotiation Expert series – a necessity in my business. I am also an avid reader and plan to read something (whether serious or silly) everyday and chose to fill my mind with words rather than television. I watch so little of it now but truly plan to tune it out this year.

Personally: To be a better wife to my husband, a better mom to my kids, a better master to my dog and a better friend to my pals.

What about you?  Have you got somewhere to go? Share….