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The Power You Cannot Buy | Byron Pulsifer

DENSDOME– Who do you know who has a lot of power? Maybe you know some famous business leaders who own and run large corporations worth millions of dollars or you may know some famous politicians, successful authors, or individual speculators in real estate who have made it big. Each of these types of people probably have buying power beyond what you ever imagined, or professional power to influence the policies or events of a country, or even the power to make or break careers as they see fit. 

A Different Kind of Power

But, I want to talk about a different kind of power and one that I believe is worth a lot more than you may realize. 
This is the kind of power that successful people know about from first hand experience, and the kind of power that cannot ever be taken from you. 
It is the kind of power that can change lives for the better, or make an everlasting mark on the well being of many around them. So, what kind of power is this? Where can you get it? Is it available to only the chosen few? 

A Short Story To Demonstrate 

Let me tell you a short story to demonstrate what this power is and is not. 
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to conduct a two and one half day seminar. This was a motivational and life-changing seminar basically designed to assist people in changing their lives, breaking through their own personal barriers that were preventing them from achieving what they really wanted from life. 

It was always fascinating to see and meet the seminar attendees. Some of them couldn’t wait to get started, others were skeptical about what they would get for their money, and others attended reluctantly often being coerced or brow beaten to attend by spousal pressure. 

This last group was always the most challenging to work with – you probably know the type. They sit there with arms crossed (a negative body language signal) and with what was a seemingly permanent scowl on their face, and forever looking around without seemingly focusing on what was being said or, minimally participating in any of the specific exercises meant to help them build positive mechanisms and behaviors to conquer old habits and thoughts. 

And, at the end of this particular seminar and as was the usual practice of asking for feedback on a feedback form, and after all participants had left the seminar room, I started to look through the evaluations paying particular attention to find the form submitted by one of the attendees who had seemingly demonstrated less attentiveness than the rest of the participants, and one who constantly challenged me on almost every point I made. And, to my disappointment, in this case, there was no form. At the very least, I was expecting negative comments or something even more pointed. I left the seminar room that day thinking that I had failed this person – thinking that I hadn’t done enough to get through, or my seminar had no positive impact at all. 

As I went about my business and preparation for the next seminar over the next two weeks, one day I received a phone call – I had no caller ID so I never knew who was calling me or for what reason. When I answered the phone, a somewhat familiar voice resonated in my memory – I couldn’t quite place the voice but I knew I had heard it recently. To my surprise, the caller identified himself by name after a few moments as the person who had not submitted their evaluation form. As soon as I heard the name, I was prepared for a verbal harangue or even a request for a total refund. 

What I heard from him, though, was something I was unprepared for. He took his time to explain that he didn’t want to talk with me at the end of the seminar because he was so unused to being affected the way he was – that is, in a very positive way. He went on to tell me how much the seminar hand meant to him, how much it had already helped him change his ways, and how much more comfortable he was with himself now that he knew how to overcome his own personal barriers to success both personally and professionally. Wow, was I surprised – and glad all at the same time. 

The Point Is This

We all have personal power to affect the behaviors of others and this is the power you can’t buy, beg or steal. 
It is the power in your words and actions to influence others but this power can also be negative if you use it wrongly or improperly. 

It is the power to give respect to a homeless person on the street by acknowledging that you see them by saying a simple hello; it is the power to influence some one to keep moving forward with a difficult task because you believe in them and tell them that; it is the power to comfort those who have lost a loved one because you know the value of love; and it is the power to speak out for those who can’t speak out for themselves. 

Power – you all have it – use it wisely because you never know what impact you have on other people even when you think otherwise. 

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The Cheese Cake That Lied |Byron Pulsifer

​It was a day that quite hectic and demanding. There was too much to do, not enough time. Everything had to be done in a hurry for the local community hall for the fund raising event for a local singer who had fell on hard times. 

I had to prepare a couple of prizes that were to be given away as part of the fund raiser and my wife had to make the decorations to string around the hall. 

The Day Arrived, But . . .

The day of the fundraiser arrived and we both got up early. We were both still busy getting the final touches ready so there was no time to waste. Just as my wife was about to hurry out the door, she turned around with a terrible stressed look on her face and told me in a stammering voice that she had forgotten to make a cheese cake that was also to be part of the auction. 

I looked at her and froze. Now what do we do? We couldn’t go into town and even buy one at the last minute or we would be terribly late to decorate. I suddenly had an idea. I told my wife that I would make the cheesecake. After all, I had been making cheesecakes for a long time so I was sure I could whip one up in a big hurry. I had just enough time to make it, cool it, and bring it to the hall in time for the auction. My wife wasn’t in any mood to argue because she had a lot of decorating to do to get ready. So, I was on the hook with a stern warning that I better get it done and there on time. 

Working Together 

So, off she went and off I went to get all the ingredients rounded up, and the cheesecake pan and oven ready. Now, for those of you who know how to make cheesecake, you know that you need a crumble base usually made from crumbling up Graham crackers. Well, I got my cream cheese out of the fridge lucky to have enough already in hand. But, when I looked for the crackers, there was none. Not good! 

So, now I was really in a panic. I was expected to bring a cheesecake to the hall pronto. Oh boy, would I get heck if I didn’t deliver. I had to come with something to use as a base for my cheesecake but what to use? I had to come up with something that would be substantial enough so it couldn’t be soda crackers – but what about dog treats? 

Using What We Had 

I knew I had a bag of dog treats, you know the kind – milk bones. I’m sure I had enough to make my cheesecake but obviously I had to be the one to buy the darn thing at the auction so it wouldn’t fall into someone’s hands. Oh well, I figured I could get away with it – after all, I would be there at the start of the auction – so, what the heck -nothing ventured nothing gained, right? 

So, thus the cheesecake was created with good old milk bone and turned out to be a delight to behold. After cooling it in the fridge, I set off to the hall. I placed the cheesecake on the table for the auction and went to find my wife to tell her what was happening. I found her, told her, and I thought she was going to faint. I told her not to worry – I’d buy the darn thing at the auction. I returned to the auction table a few minutes later leaving my wife with a wide open mouthed shocked expression on her face. I had no time to waste so that was that. 

I Would Buy It, But …

Oh no! As I approached the auction table, the cake was gone. Wholly smoke – where did it go? It was gone – it had been purchased by one of the other club members before the auction even opened to the public. Oh no!! 

The very next day, my wife was invited over to one of the female members home for a game of euchre with a couple of the other ladies. So, she decided that she needed a break from the hectic running around the other day so off she went. As soon as she stepped into the living room that was set up for the game, she spied the cheesecake sitting on a side table along with dishes for dessert. The hostess said that after the game was finished, she would treat them to cheesecake and tea. After the game was over, the hostess got up and said she was going to make the tea. My wife was ready to bolt out of her chair and go to the kitchen to tell her about what was really in the cheesecake. 

It Doesn’t Pay To Lie 

But, before my wife could get up, one of the ladies said, “What a great looking cheesecake.” The hostess turned to them and said, “I really hope you like it – I made it myself.” 

A little white lie – my, my, how it can backfire! 

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Do Not Take It Personally (Byron Pulsifer)

​All of us meet hundreds of people during a lifetime and some of these people are memorable, some we really like, and some who seem to be forever in their own space most often ignoring or unaware of their own attitudes either consciously or unconsciously. 

How Do You React?

And, for a lot of us, the actions, or reactions of these types of people can certainly annoy us or aggravate us and lead us to take their behaviors personally. 

What About These Situations

For example, how many times have you been driving to work when another motorist has cut you off, made a dangerous lane change without signalling, or nearly rear-ended you because they were tail gating you? I’m sure this has happened to you. How did you react? 

Did you react emotionally by blowing your horn incessantly, speed up to catch them and give them a rude gesture, or did you just sit there boiling over? In other words, did you take this action by the other driver personally? Well, at one time or another, we have all probably felt this way and allowed this inconsiderate motorist to ruin the rest of your day. So, what have you done? You took their actions personally. 

What about the technological marvel of the modern day computer that quits responding, or develops a glitch so that you cannot get to that critical assignment? 

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Do you think that this inanimate object was designed to foul up your day just when you really needed to get that task done for the boss? No. It’s just a piece of machinery – it has no mind, it has no soul, it has no personality. So, if you take its’ failing as personal, you have made it human. Do not take it personally. Realize that you are assigning power to this computer it does not have – you again have given it power that it does not possess. You have given it power to control your emotions. 

And, what about that colleague who is never wrong, and where you are never right? Is this kind of person telling you more about yourself, or are they really making an unconscious statement about who they are, and their own need for ego enhancement? Do not take his or her actions personally or you are allowing someone else to tell you who you are and what you are worth. 

The Choice Is Yours

The message should be clear to all of us. We are human beings full of emotions and behaviors but we all have a choice to make our lives what we want; our perceptions and reactions can be controlled if we understand that there are hundreds of inputs everyday that call us to respond. How we respond is not dictated to us as if we are programmed to respond a certain way; we are not robots. Choose your reactions based on who you are not on some extraneous event or someone else’s needs. 

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