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Wall Flower? Unskilled? I Don’t Think So…Build Your Self-Confidence and Make The Right Impression!!

I recently attended a networking event and had the pleasure of meeting a dynamic young woman who was just starting out in her sales career. I personally love attending networking events and go with the intention of just making “business relationships”. I look forward to hearing what others do, what they are creating and how they are doing it. I make it my point to talk to at least 5 people I haven’t talked to before. Not because I want to hammer them about what I do, and score a sale, but to make real “connections”. I advise you, if you are attending networking events to go with the same attitude.

When I first saw this young lady, we’ll call her Ann for the sake of the story, she was sort of off to the side–a proverbial wall flower. Ann was in her late 20’s and was dressed in an appropriate suit, her highlighted hair pulled back severely into a low pony tail, heels that were maybe a bit too high, and jewelry that was made for a much older woman.

There were about 30 other people who were waiting for the main ballroom to open, all getting acquainted with each other. It was obvious some knew each other well and some that were jumping right in with others they had never met. It was a room that was filled with greetings and laughter and it was that positive, open, increasing noise level one would expect from a networking event. Ann wasn’t making eye contact with any of them, she had scurried off to the side as quickly as she could after checking in and retrieving her name badge from the registration table and honestly, didn’t look at all interested in doing so. Ann leaned up against the wall closest to the restroom while rustling through a black leather portfolio, while scrolling through her Smartphone. She had brochures and cards, notebook paper, pen, a large handbag and she was juggling them all better than a clown in a circus!

I decided to approach her first because it was obvious she wasn’t very comfortable and I didn’t want her to be on that wall alone for very much longer. When I approached her, and introduced myself, it startled her, but she looked up quickly with a nervous smile and an exuberant handshake. We all know what happened then…YEP! The portfolio and brochures as well as the Smartphone and cards flew in the air and fell with a clatter to the floor. About 10 of the other attendees who were around us turned quickly to see what had happened and then realized it was a minor situation and turned back to their conversations. Ann quickly dove toward the ground on the wobbly high heels, while tugging at her jacket and pushing back a piece of hair that had come out of the pony tail and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe this happened. I so wanted to make a good first impression.”

I knelt down to help her and said with a reassuring smile, “I’m the one who is sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

As we were collecting her things, she let me know that this was the first time that she was attending a networking event on behalf of the company she worked for. She was a brand new sales representative for a small, local company, and her employer had asked her to attend. Prior to working for her new company she had done retail sales for about 3 years, but the retail hours were killing her family and though she loved sales in that environment, she wanted to advance her sales skills. Ann had convinced the small business owner that because she had done high-end retail, she knew that she could learn and take that consultative approach forward with her company. Ann’s boss believed her, saw something in her, and Ann appreciated the opportunity to move into a sales role that was business to business and account management.

The only thing that was lacking was Ann’s CONFIDENCE! After we gathered her things, the doors opened shortly after. We sat at a table with a few people I had met before, though wanted to get to know better. I introduced her to the group and she calmed down very quickly. As we dined on our roasted “event” chicken and roasted potatoes she shared more about her experience. We found out that she was a college graduate, she was married and had a small child. She told us about all the customers that she used to work with and how she “got to know them before ever suggesting a thing for them to buy”. People had told her that she was a natural-born salesperson and that she was too good for the store. I could see as she settled in how likable she was, knowledgeable she was, and how passionate she was about her current company.

Hasn’t that happened to all of us at one point or another? We know we have skills, we know that we can learn, we know that we can be excellent for our clients, but something inside just grabs a hold of us and we totally lose it? Prior to Ann even getting to that event she was already wondering and doubting. She started ruminating, over thinking and wondering if she was out of her league or if the other people at the event would see her as the professional she knew she could be. She had over-inflated their roles because they had titles, and had successful track records in their fields–or so she thought. She made assumptions without knowing anything about the people who were there.

Though she didn’t have a great deal of experience in her current position, Ann tried to “play the part” and cover all the bases with the outfit, the professional hair, the brochures and cards, but none of that could stop the doubts from racing through her head. That lack of confidence kept her from engaging with the people who were there with the defined purpose of networking. Wasn’t that the exact reason WHY she was there? By not engaging and running to the wall, she was telling everyone in the room to stay away. She was acting unapproachable–rustling through the brochures, playing with the phone. That’s a sure-fire way to not get rejected, but it’s also the best way to come away from an event with no new contacts, which perpetuates even lower self-confidence.

I recently heard that you have 7 seconds to make a good first impression. If that is true, how many people made an assumption about Ann that was not only inaccurate, but would mean loss of business for Ann’s company? And why did they get the wrong impression? Because of Ann’s lack of CONFIDENCE…not her lack of being a GREAT business contact. I can’t wait to work with Ann more. She is so awesome and it’s going to be a blast to watch her skyrocket to the top of her field!

As I work with sales professionals, especially women, I find this to be an ongoing theme. I work with many to just change that one aspect and their careers SOAR! The results after we work together can be astronomical and they go on to achieve great new heights, and achieve what they really want…just by making the CHOICE, TO TAKE THE CHANCE, and MASTER THEIR CONFIDENCE!

When Does “Customer Service” Start?

When does “Customer Service” start? “Customer Service” has for many meant giving someone your time, expertise and care AFTER A SALE IS MADE…I couldn’t disagree more! I believe that “Customer Service” starts from the minute you pick your head off the pillow in the morning–from the first interaction you have with another person! Every single interaction you get to have with another person is CUSTOMER SERVICE and CUSTOMER CENTRIC. Everyone in your life is a “Customer” of some sort, and whether or not they trust you enough to buy YOU or your products may have everything to do with how you made them feel before they bought anything from you…as well as how successful in business and in life you will be.

Recently, I received a sales call from an acquaintance. I was surprised, but happy to hear from her as we only usually see each other at our mutual friend’s get-together’s. I started to ask how her family was and I was abruptly interrupted with the following, “Pam, I’m sorry to cut you off, but the reason for my call is to tell you about my new business. I think the products would be great for you, and of course I know you have been successful in home business opportunities before, and think the extra income could be a great solution to you and your family! Wouldn’t it be nice to drive a Mercedes and move into a larger home?”

Well, I was dumbfounded!

First of all, there was no connection with me, period. Let alone a connection made with me to her product. She definitely didn’t connect her opportunity to anything that matters to me! The pictures of “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” don’t mean fiddly-diddly to me. I have different motivations for being successful. I politely asked what products she was selling and with which company. She proceeded to go into all the details about several products and then said, “Are you ready to get started now?” I let her know that I didn’t think the products would be anything I would be interested in at this time as I had just purchased a similar product that I was happy with. I also explained that I am not pursuing a home business at this time as my coaching of Sales Professionals was my focus. Now you may be wondering why I didn’t offer my services to her in that instant and site just every mistake she had made in the process. I probably would have, but just as I was about to continue the conversation, her other phone started ringing and she said, “I’m sorry you don’t see the value in what I am offering, if you decide you are ready to move forward, let me know. I really need to go take this call on the other line. Take Care, I’ll see you at Sally’s next event”. And off the phone she went.

She should have saved us both some time and just said, “I don’t really care about you…we’ve never really had a relationship before…if it wasn’t for my need to make money I wouldn’t be calling you…I really don’t care about what’s important to you, or how my products may be able to help you…I just want to make money because a Mercedes and a bigger house is what’s important to me!” It left me feeling bad about her, her products and her opportunity. Remember that saying, “People may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel”? Well in sales it’s something that had better be at the front of your mind at all times, especially BEFORE someone does business with you—or if they are never going to do business with you.

It’s funny, she never did try to reach me again, send me a brochure, or any follow up. Since that initial call, I ran out of the product that I was using, and guess what? I didn’t call her to try what she had to offer. I went and bought what I had been using before. She lost a sale. No sale, no opportunity for “Customer Service”.

Always remember, every interaction that you may have with another person, who has feelings, needs, goals, desires and dreams IS your customer. You may not have been paid in dollars yet…but you will be paid in their evaluation of you as a person. They will choose whether to be friends with you, work with you or REFER you in the future based on the way you took care of them. If they feel that you are ONLY nice to them, interact with them or “Like” you when you are feeding them, they will take their loyalty, business and friendship elsewhere eventually.

Be a CUSTOMER SERVICE PRO and have them making deposits into your reputation bank by talking about what a caring, authentic, integrity-filled, thoughtful, loyal, person you are…The person who has time for them…the person who makes them feel that nothing is more important than being present with you. SHOW THEM your genuine interest in building a long term relationship, compassion, understanding, and a true desire to make a positive impact on their life. That’s what “CUSTOMER SERVICE” IS. If you aren’t there for them before they buy YOU, what makes them think you will be there to work through problems or challenges with them? They buy YOU first, and if you want to be as happy and successful as you have dreamed, then put Customer Service in every interaction and make it PRIORITY #1!

The Lost Art of the Love Note

Today on the Rachel Ray Show, her guest was Garth Callaghan. You may remember his story, as he is the dad that was diagnosed with kidney cancer who decided to write inspirational notes to his daughter, on napkins, and put them in her lunch. If you haven’t had the chance to hear the whole story, Google him and read this not only inspirational, but touching story. He wanted to make sure that his 14 year old daughter had a note, everyday, in her lunch until she graduated from high school. With the uncertainty of his cancer, he wanted to make sure that she had his thoughts, his quotes, and the ability to still have a part of him should he pass away before she graduated.

This reminded me of something my parents used to do. When I was growing up, my dad worked first shift and my mom worked second shift. In order to make sure that they had solid communication, they would sit down and write each other a note, before they would leave for work. This was a note separate from any daily updates or “Honey-Do” lists. It was always signed, “XX, OO, —“.  I believe this is one of the things that kept their marriage vibrant for nearly 40 years.

How many times do we take the time posting to Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites? Do we ever take the time to sit down, with pen in hand and write a “Love Note”? Let’s not wait to tell those we love how we feel. Let’s take time each day.

Over the next 40 days, I am going to prepare and give a “Love Note” to my husband and kids, to not only let them know how much I love them, but to tell them why. I am going to challenge each of you to do the same. You can write your note to anyone–parents, siblings, best friends. Anyone that you choose that is important in your life. I’m going to use Post-It Notes rather than a napkin, but any unique canvas–lunch bags, notecards, etc., could work! If you drop a note in the mail everyday, because you don’t see your loved one daily, that will work too! Get creative!

Let me know how you are sharing your “Love Notes” and how they are being received. Let me know how it’s changing your relationships! Let’s see how many people we can get to participate in this “Love Note” challenge! Share this blog with all your family and friends!

Remember, it’s the Choices that you make and the Chances that you take that can make all the difference in the world!

Time for an “N’T”-ectomy

“I can’t”, “I won’t”, “I couldn’t”, “I shouldn’t”, “I wouldn’t”, “I don’t”…

I realized today that what stands between most people and the realization of their goals, dreams, and aspirations is “N’T”. If we expand it to it’s full form, it’s the word NOT. As in “I can not”, “I will not”, “I could not”, “I shall not”, “I do not”.

Most road blocks or excuses that individuals throw into their own paths usually start with one of these phrases. Think about how many of them we use on a daily basis.

“I can’t get to the gym because…”, “I won’t be able to go to that seminar because…”, “I couldn’t get that book you told me about because my internet was down…”, “I shouldn’t stop making phone calls, but…”, “I wouldn’t want to bother anyone…”, “I don’t want to, I’m not comfortable…”

If in fact, we are not serious about reaching our goals, and the “N’T”‘s keep coming up, be honest with yourself, take the pressure off of yourself, and understand you really don’t want that goal, need that goal, or have any desire to achieve that goal…and create new goals.

If however, you are just not willing to remove the “N’T”‘s from your vocabulary, but you truly want to achieve your goals, you have officially found yourself at a cross roads. It’s impossible to tell yourself “you can’t”, “you won’t”, “you couldn’t”, “you shouldn’t”, or “you don’t” and reach your goals. Just like it’s not possible to SMILE and speak a negative statement. Or scowl and speak a positive statement. The brain is solid that way–positives can’t support negatives and negatives can’t support positives.

If you want to get positive, get results, reach your goals…it’s time of an “N’T”-ectomy! NOW!

If you are scared, doubtful, lacking confidence, it’s up to you to psyche yourself up! No one can do it for you. This is where your chatter in your head has to support you and what you are trying to achieve. Your thoughts and how they affect you, the rest of your team, your family, your income, can only be changed by and controlled by you.

Be quick to identify with what is causing you to want to throw in an “N’T”—put the feeling out there, then put a big, old, BUT before any “N’T”—watch what happens…”I am doubting my abilities right now, but I know I CAN…”–REPEAT…REPEAT…pretty soon, the first part of the sentence will get dropped, because you can’t believe you CAN and doubt at the same time. It takes practice and discipline…but doesn’t everything? Know your thoughts, know your beliefs, be conscious with your choice of words, then you will take your results to the next level.

How many times have the “N’T”‘s kept you from reaching your goals? Go back and see if you talked yourself out of your own success with just the “N’T”‘s…Practice removing them from your vocabulary starting NOW!

It’s the CHOICES that we make and the Chances that we take…even with one little word that can make all the difference in our world!

OH YES YOU CAN…AND YOU MUST!

You may have wondered what yesterday’s commentary about generations had to do with how we make Choices and Chances in our lives.  Well, let’s pick up today’s discussion where we left off.  It is logical to recognize that what we have experienced in our lives will have an effect on how we handle situations in our lives.

Our income status as a child will affect how we view money, how we view education, how we budget our income, what causes stress for us, what defines comfort.  The list is almost endless. 

How we have been disciplined as children, can effect how we discipline ourselves and our own children.  The value placed on family will affect the structure we create in our own homes.  The marital status that we observed in our parents will have an effect on the beliefs we form about marriage.

As we’ve discussed before, our mind is a huge storage, data, bank of information, experiences, feelings, behaviors, values and beliefs.  But how we use that information is critical to the way we design our lives. 

It is not possible to recount every experience, every feeling, every belief that we have formed in a lifetime all at one time, everyday;  but the information guides us.  The data base is being referenced, even when we are not thinking about a specific event,  as we react and respond to situations we deal with daily. 

I notice that many of my expectations, that I have for my children, about their behavior, were created out of how I was disciplined and what was expected of me as a child growing up.  For example, when I was young, there was not an avenue made available to debate a parental decision.  If my mom said, “No.”, then she meant NO, and there was no discussion.  On the few occasions that I would decide to attempt to inject my opinion, it was usually met with a consequence for what she thought was an act of defiance.  I learned, through those experiences, to accept whatever decision was handed down to me.

Since having my own children, I have noticed that sometimes, when I have made a decision, and my children try to present their opposing view, I have to RESPOND with a reminder to myself that they are not being defiant.  They are  just trying to get me to see their point of view.  I don’t want them to think that just because an authority figure has made a decision  for them, that they have to accept it.  I have encouraged my children to offer their side if they really feel that their side has not been considered or could present a better outcome for all concerned.  I often felt when I was young that my feelings were not considered in some of the decisions my parents made.  Based on my experience I decided to start an open discussion opportunity for my kids so that they did know that I appreciate their feelings too.  They are just as important as mine. 

 I have had occasions where I have overturned an earlier decision after hearing their point of view.  There have been times when I have not.  I have also had knee-jerk REACTIONS, if they decided to passionately oppose my decision.  I have felt the anger swell up inside me when their tone went from controlled to frustrated and upset.  Because of my experience, these feelings, and that tone can strike me as defiant or disrespectful.  I have sometimes even instituted a consequence.  It isn’t a pretty situation.  They are confused, feeling disrespected, AND wondering “What the heck is wrong with her??”.

In nearly each one of those reactionary times, I have had to back pedal, review the presentation, and most every time, apologize for my reaction and reverse the consequence.  They were not trying to be disrespectful, but only voicing their opinion and disappointment for not getting what they want.  It was me that instituted the policy of allowing them to share their opinions after all.  That is what I really want to create in my household.  But, it was that very same “baggage” that created the opportunity for them to open up, that caused the REACTION.  

Where does it come from?  I wasn’t allowed to speak up, why should they get to?  If I did speak up it was considered disrespect, so they are disrespectful?   I didn’t get my way, why should they?  All of the above?  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t have any relation to what my child is saying, in that moment.  It’s all about a past experience of MINE.  I did not keep my cool, evaluate the circumstance and create an appropriate RESPONSE that applied to the present and my child.

In each split second, of any given circumstance, we make CHOICES; but do we  RESPOND or REACT? 

A response is more thought out, more calm, more positive, more deliberate in being respectful to all parties, considering the exchange between oneself and another. 

A reaction, is sometimes more negative, more self-centered, not as well thought out, it can lack focus on achieving a desirable outcome  for all.  It can be a defense mechanism in direct relation to feelings associated with a past experience.   Reactions may be equated to “flying off the handle” or acting impulsively, responses may be equated to “making sound decisions”.

When one reacts, and then says,”I can’t help it!”

I say…”OH YES YOU CAN…AND YOU MUST”.  

Other people in your life have not had the same experiences as you have.  Others can not relate to what you have FELT in the past…the positive and negative.  

If you really are intent on being able to CREATE THE LIFE YOU CAN”T WAIT TO LIVE, then you must learn to RESPOND so that you can get the outcomes you truly want and keep your family/friends loving you–really!  Having a more deliberate approach, gives you the ability to create peaceful, WIN/WIN, love-filled, situations for yourself and those around you!

Identify areas in your life in which you react, based on past experiences.  How would you like to change those to responses?  What would those responses be?

KIDS THESE DAYS!!

February 8, 2010

I was reminiscing about my grandmother last week.  She passed on 19 years ago, but I still miss her so much.  I was with my uncle one afternoon, talking over coffee, about what she experienced at her point in history in America, how she was with her family, her profession as a seamstress, and so on.  Sharing in memories of how she lived always leaves me feeling close to her, even though I’m not able to be with her each day.  It also leaves me in awe because of what she did and accomplished without today’s technology.

I often find myself thinking how every bit of progress each generation makes, it seems that some things are lost.  Maybe it’s because we didn’t have the same life experiences.  It wouldn’t be possible for me to connect on a personal level with what it was like to be an immigrant, to come to a country not able to speak the language, what it was like to be a woman in the 1930’s, what it was like to wash clothes with a ringer washer, what it was like to live through the depression, what it was like to be widowed with a young family. 

Now just as much as I can’t relate to those experiences, I try to understand how my children sometimes can’t relate or appreciate experiences I have had through my life.  My children can’t understand what it was like to have a phone that hung on a wall, instead of in a pocket.  My children can’t appreciate what it was like to have one car per family, to not have a computer, to walk to school, to have 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and about 1,000 square feet of living space for a family of 6.  But yet, somehow I still expect them to understand where I am coming from as I relate to them–to have the same appreciation for things as I do.

Oh my gosh!  This is one of those, “I am becoming my parents moments”.  I often find myself saying that the current generation just doesn’t get it—“kids these days!”.  Then I realize, as sad, and as wonderful, that thought is, at the same time, it isn’t possible for a generation to fully appreciate a previous generation because we haven’t experienced THAT LIFE for ourselves. It’s pretty unrealistic to think that we could transcend generations–because we don’t have any of the same points of reference.

I am thankful for the many things my children can’t relate to such as segregation, the draft, paddling, boys being told not to cry, litter on public roads and waters, etc., but I feel sorry for them for not being able to relate to stores being closed on Sundays, only having 6 TV channels to choose from, thinking going out to dinner meant the family went to McDonald’s for a burger and fry, being able to play outside with neighborhood kids before 5pm outside of a daycare setting, getting one or two special and cherished gifts for a birthday or holiday, having to share rooms, working together in the yard as a family on a Saturday, being completely entertained laying on the front lawn with their best friend finding the shape of a puppy in the clouds, laying in bed on a hot summer night on sheets that hung in the sun that day, listening to the sound of the crickets outside the bedroom window as they drift off to sleep.

I think technology has changed much of the way we and our children experience life.  With all the advances in technology over the decades that have made our lives more comfortable such as air conditioning, chain restaurants, cell phones, video games, lawn services, 24 hour shopping, it seems that we have lost the sense of appreciating the simple.  We can’t expect our children to appreciate what it was like to have to sit out on the front porch on a hot summer day because it was just too hot in the house—because most of them have grown up with whole house air conditioning.  They don’t have a point of reference for that experience. 

Unfortunately I think technology has prevented the younger generations from tapping into their senses and emotions.  They haven’t been encouraged to use their imaginations, be patient, be creative, associate the good feelings that come from chatting on that porch while sipping cool, sweaty glasses of iced tea.  Technology and home services do so much we aren’t encouraged to work collaboratively, have manners, be polite, open our minds to the ideas of others and the bond as families–machines don’t require that type of effort.

When I was younger, we didn’t have a lot of money, I didn’t get a lot of stuff, but when I think back to what I did get…love, appreciation, gratitude, a sense of taking care of what I did have, love of a family…I think it was all PRICELESS!

I think my generation has the opportunity to bridge the gap.  I believe we can appreciate the values and simplicity of the past generations and the technology of the present/future generations–because we have lived with both.  I believe that we can offer the benefits of both worlds to preserve the “FEELING” in the world by teaching our children and living lives that allow technology to enhance our lives–not rule it. 

What are some of the things you remember about being young and growing up,that your parents and grandparents did that helped create the amazing person you are today?   How can you allow technology to help you so that you can spend the time doing the same things with your kids to help them develop that attribute as well??

You Must Obey!

Obedience is probably one of the most difficult components in What and Whom we HONOR.  The reason being, it requires us to focus outside of OURSELVES.

If you’ve ever had a child, you will know what I mean.  A child wants what it wants because when they are young, it’s totally all about themselves.  As parents, we set rules for our children.  Some are for their safety, some are so they build morals and values, some are so they can learn how to interact socially and develop a sense of being a part of a family, a group and the world.  They realize through obedience that it’s not all about them. 

When the child learns they will be rewarded if they decide to do what they want to do, within the rules, they start gravitating toward those CHOICES.  When the child chooses to act selfishly and go outside of the rules, the parent will impose consequences until the child decides they just aren’t going to do that anymore.  They don’t like the feeling of the consequence. 

Obedience is not a FUN concept for most of us.   It tests us, restricts us, limits us, denies us.  We may perceive that it’s uncomfortable, stifling our creativity, leaving us feeling like we are missing out.  If you have a teenager you can watch the angst the development of obedience creates daily!

 As we grow up and mature we learn how to appreciate OBEDIENCE in ourselves and others.  We learn that we like REWARDS that make us feel good and we avoid consequences that make us feel bad. 

When we make CHOICES on how we are going to live, including Whom and What we HONOR, we look at why we BELIEVE in them, and what it is about them that we want to bring to our life; what we are willing to become obedient to, in order to design our lives.   

In general, no one does or believes in anything if they aren’t going to get something physical or emotional out of it.  And, if we don’t feel the payoff is worth it, chances are we are not going to believe it, honor it, or ever become disciplined enough to think we could get it.  We have all learned the concept of “what we reap, is what we will sow”.  

If we Honor God, we value the vision of living in Heaven in the next life.  If we honor our parents, we value the loving relationship that we grow.  If we honor our spouses, we are rewarded with intimate love and the life built from it.  If we honor our profession, we are rewarded with integrity and the fulfillment of working with purpose.  Whatever we find value in, we will become obedient to get the payoff.

Let’s face it, we all wish we could be FREE SPIRITS, able to do what we want when we want and reap all the JOYS of this life and the next!  I’m not saying that we can’t… just that there are parameters.  When we realize that with every FREEDOM comes a  SELFLESSNESS RESPONSIBILITY and discipline in discerning our choices.   Now you might be saying, well that’s not really FREEDOM then.  But the contrary is really true. 

If everyone just did whatever they wanted, with no sense of order or regard for anyone else, this world would be absolute pandemonium.   We would be reduced to chaos, mayhem and all kinds of social distress.  We would be more enslaved than we could ever imagine.  But if we found JOY in the obedience, focusing on the desired outcome, we would all enjoy the effort a whole lot more. 

Let me give you an example.  I love fast cars.  I have wanted for so long, to just get in a Mustang GT, pull out on a long stretch of  open road and just  light it up with my foot and the gas pedal to the floor.  Now if I just did that, chances are I would end up making all kinds of problems for myself and a whole lot of innocent bystanders.  But, if I were to RESPONSIBLY take that same car to a racetrack, and do the exact same thing, within the parameters of the track–I can drive as fast as I want…FREEDOM!! 

Here’s another one.  Let’s say that you HONOR your spouse…you made that CHOICE when you took your vows.  In HONORING your spouse you agree to LOVE them, CHERISH THEM, CLING TO THEM, SUPPORT THEM, AND BE FAITHFUL TO THEM.  If you choose to take them for granted, attempt to control them, ignore them or take your affections to someone else…you are NOT honoring them or the marriage.  So how do you think that they would or should  REWARD you for your choices??  With their LOVE, AFFECTION, HONOR and RESPECT in return??  Probably not.  

What if you decided to do all those same things WITH them instead of outside of your marriage.  What if you were loving to them, supportive of them, paid attention to them, showed gratitude toward them?  Same exact thing, just within the perameters YOU CHOSE and BELIEVED IN.  Now how do you think you will be rewarded? Probably with the outcome you wanted when you got married.

For those who believe in the Promises of Eternity/Heaven…God requires a certain Obedience and if you say that you HONOR Him, then you must CHOOSE to follow his RULES.  If you have envisioned the rewards you want to receive after your Earthly life, you value them, and HONOR them, then be obedient the way the Lord has guided you.  Keeping  that vision of Heaven at the front of your mind as you move through this Earthly life, makes it a whole lot easier to CHOOSE to live by His word.  If you lose sight of the REWARD, then you might develop disdain for His rules or choose to live selfishly.  If you CHOOSE not to follow them, then don’t expect the REWARD. 

Remember, WHAT YOU GIVE IS WHAT YOU GET…In all these examples, when it becomes all about YOU…that’s where we start facing serious consequences of  compromised integrity, loneliness, property damage, broken relationships, no joy, lack of eternal peace, etc.  So, the idea that obedience is a drag is really contradictory and the thought of believing that we could somehow be happy without being OBEDIENT really seems absurd. 

Thoughts?