Active Listening (c) B. Sherman 2013

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Listening is one of those things that can be taken for granted. Everyone wants to be heard but listening back is something people take for granted.

It is important to remember in our high-tech, super-fast world that listening is key.

Just because we can easily function remotely and have multiple conversations via social media all at once do not forget that we are all still human. We are social creatures who thrive on interaction between each other (not just a computer or tablet). No computer ever made will make up for a living, breathing human being.

Here are some tips for active listening…

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1) Slow down and breathe – don’t hurry them. You may miss an important point or make the person fell unimportant if you are in a rush.

2) Focus on the person you are listening to – Make listening the only thing you do. Stop multitasking! This way you make the person feel comfortable with you and not like they are a burden. Listen to all the words they say. Watch them form the words. Really be interested in what they are saying.

3) Make eye contact – look the person in the eyes, let them know that you are absorbing what they are saying.

4) Do not interrupt – Let them say what they have to say. Do not put words in their mouth and do not try to assume you know what they want to say.

5) Ask questions – be concerned, really LEARN about what the person is trying to tell you. Be interested.

Don’t expect to be a perfect listener from day one. Listening is something that you need to work on daily and keep reminding yourself about. If you feel yourself start to take over a conversation take a deep breathe and slow yourself down.

Be conscious of how your listening skills effect your relationships with other people. You will be amazing at how open people become when they realize that you actually care about what they have to say.

Try it out yourself and let us know how it works for you!

After the Harvest

You can change the world!

Today I witnessed a black Volkswagen Jetta completely run a stop sign without slowing down, turn left into the oncoming lane of traffic, and continue down the road for a good thirty seconds before lazily shifting back to the proper lane. All right in front of me and there was nothing I could do!

Thankfully there was no oncoming traffic – phew!

 

After the Harvest

In a world where instant gratification comes from everywhere and our world is being fast forwarded by impatient people it seems that there is no room to slow down.

Slowing down is exactly what people need. 

Now when I say ‘slow down’ I do not mean grab some munchies and spend the day on the sofa playing video games. Not in the least! Truly slowing down means finding the enjoyment in every moment – taking the time to actually stop and smell the roses.

All too often we race through our lives without so much as a glance to where we are. Before we know it years have passed us by and we are left in a daze wondering what happened. Don’t let this happen to you.

Instead of just driving to work in the morning actually travel; notice the beautiful sunrise, the scenery changing with the season, how the road twists and turns. Take a different way to work just to keep your senses heightened – you never know what you may see!

For lunch break take a walk. Stretch your legs and your mind!

Visit a local art gallery or museum. Perhaps stop at the library and find a good book to read.

Make each day unique and keep your creativity alive! This will not only help add spice to your life but it will help you become more creative in your daily work as well.

When we live our lives at warp seven we lose sight of things that matter. This is especially true in our relationships with each other. In this age of technology and connecting via the internet many people have lost their ability to connect face to face. Don’t let this happen to you!

Make sure that when you see people in daily life you take the time to see them as a person and genuinely become interested in what they have to say. Open your heart and your mind; you will be surprised in the change you will see in your relationships with others.

Take pride in your job, know that you are making a difference in someone’s life everyday. Be aware of how your words and actions could help other people.

A smile and a kind word from you may be all that a person needs to turn their horrible day around! Yes it is that simple to actually change the world!

Now, I ask that you do one thing…

Today remember to slow down and be mindful of the world around you. Please share with us below – what is your favorite way to slow down?

Do you have the correct mindset?

Mt Katahdin, Maine (c) B. Sherman

I can go anywhere – I can do anything!

As long as I have the correct mindset; a freedom-based, entrepreneurial mindset.

Isn’t it amazing how powerful our mind is? Have you ever stopped and noticed? When someone with a bad attitude enters a room and you can feel it? That sudden shift from happy and light to gloomy and abrasive? And it all stems from the sour person’s mindset!

The great thing is that mindset is something that we have the power to change! And it will make a striking difference in our lives! 

We all have that nagging voice in the back of our minds that takes any opportunity that comes to bring us down and make us feel worthless. This is NOT the voice of reason – don’t listen to its negative words! Instead quickly silence it by telling yourself, “That is not the person I am. That is not how I think.” Stop and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones: focus on the present, the now.

We all live in the present – not the past, not the future – yet we are always focused on what happen yesterday or what will happen next week. How often do you stop and just enjoy the moment that you are in right now? Stop and ponder the sunset, take a look around at the beautiful colors of the season, smell the crisp fall air. There are wonders all around us to be enjoyed right now, this world is amazing!

I know it may seem crazy to talk to yourself but this actually works!

Sometimes all we need is to do is remind ourselves of our intentions by overcoming our dark thoughts. Now, this will take time – it is not a simple one time fix. Positive thinking is a skill that must be worked at. There will be times that you won’t be able to silence that inner voice, but please don’t fear. Everyone has those times – it is normal.  We are only human. We are not perfect and that is a GREAT thing because we are all such interesting individuals! Everyone has their own story and experiences unique to them. What a wonderful world we live in!

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To have freedom in business and adventure in life is a goal that we should all strive for. Who said we cannot do these two things? Where in the history of our lives has it been written that we MUST work our lives away for naught?

I dream of being able to use my time wisely – to not let a single second waste without enjoying it! On a daily basis I try to accomplish this feeling, granted some days are always harder than others. I have discovered that I am truly happy when I am helping others, something about their gratitude and the feeling of accomplishment. If I can make just one person’s life easier today just by being myself I have accomplished so much!

What would your life look like if you were free from the clutches of “The Daily Grind”? Please share your thoughts below! I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

A new beginning…

Every day people drag themselves out of bed, through their morning routines, and commute to their respective jobs. There they trudge through the grind of a 8 to 9 hour day, with only about 3 hours of actual productive time, before punching the time clock at 5 and heading home to prepare for the same routine again tomorrow.

Isn’t that the normal life, you say? Isn’t that what our parents and grandparents worked hard for all the years of their lives? To provide for their families and live for the weekends until eventual retirement? Back when the only way to work is to work long and hard so you could retire after 50 years of service; used up and tired.

The days of career jobs with security and pensions are a thing of the past. Why should we let the true golden years of life pass us by? We need to live NOW instead of ‘working for the weekend’. Why do we need to work at a ‘normal’ 50+ hour a week job for base pay? Why do we let out creativity and energy be stolen from us? For employer paid insurance? For 3 weeks of vacation? For paid sick leave and a steady paycheck each week?

WAKE UP!

Now is the time to change. Now is the time to gain your life back.

I am here to help with that. My goal is to help people to see that there is more to life then work, especially work that is not meaningful. We are here on Earth to enjoy life and to live it to the fullest; we were made to look forward to each day with excitement and possibility.

It is possible to enjoy life and to enjoy work. You just have to find something that you love to do and you will never work another day in your life.

Please join me on my journey to break out of the 9 – 5 doldrums and start living my life the way I want. This is an experiment that I am conducting in my life. I have started this blog to show people that there is fun and adventure everywhere and to always ask why. I want to help the average, everyday person to find the amazing, exciting, adventurous person inside them! Don’t worry, that person is not far from the surface. 🙂

I have started a journey with Natalie Sisson of The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

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With this challenge I hope to flex my writing muscles and learn some tips on creating a working blog. I want to reach out and help people on a daily basis. I want to make a difference in the world on a daily basis. And, most importantly, I want to look forward to each day and the adventure that it will bring!

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost

Excellent Craft Beer & Home Cooked Food

Vermont2013

When visiting Burlington, Vermont where do you go to grab a great Chicken Caesar Salad and an exceptional craft brew?

The Vermont Pub & Brewery of course!

Not only is this brew pub one of the oldest breweries on the East Coast it is the oldest craft brewery in Vermont. What better place to make a visit to then this historic building full of exquisite beverage and food! Stepping up on curb just outside of this large, brick building you can feel the atmosphere before stepping inside.  On a corner diagonally across from the park you can choose to sit outside on the brick patio beneath umbrellas in the open air or move inside to the deep, inviting wooded dining room and bar. The warm wood boasts newspaper clippings heralding the history of this great pub and brewery. There are so many things on the walls to look at and to read that it is easy to get sidetracked before finding your seat.

We found our way into a greenhouse-like corner room with ample views of the corner and the park across the intersection.  A beautiful sun shining day made this room perfect for enjoying lunch and a cold craft brew after a morning of traveling the countryside. Ficus trees in the corner stretched tall towards the sun sharing a happy canopy of green life overhead. The stone tiled floor and massive carved wooden tables brought warmth to this room.

On November 11, 1988 The Vermont Pub & Brewery was the first craft brewery to open its doors in Vermont since prohibition. This is completely because the founder – Greg Noonan – spent three years in deliberation with the Vermont government to finally open the first craft brewery in the state since prohibition. We are definitely thankful for his persistence! From humble beginnings has come a legacy of beer crafting like none other! On the cusp of innovation Noonan introduced beer style to an America that originally thought being a brewery meant you made Budweiser.  With beginnings as a home brewer Noonan essentially wrote the book on home brewing, quite literally, with Brewing Lager Beer”. This was one of the first books to be written on the art of home craft brewing and opened many people eyes to their ability to create their own unique flavorful beers. This really jump started the now mainstream of small craft breweries – most all of these craft breweries started small right in people’s homes.  A committed owner much of Noonan’s success and popularity of his restaurant and brewery can be attributed to this fact. He saw the importance of happy employees which in turn insured happy, returning patrons. He has researched and written many books and seminars on the craft.  Also being a mentor to many home brewers helping them with their start in turn leading to bigger and better things.

Sitting down for lunch at this Burlington hot spot you can feel the calm, relaxing atmosphere.  If you want simple, home cooked food and amazing craft beer at reasonable pricing Vermont Pub & Brewery is the perfect choice.

“Quick to smile and almost as quick to laugh, he brought brewing to life in person.” – written in a fitting tribute and brief biography by writer Stan Hieronymous that appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of The Business of Beer magazine.

“Our beers are fresh and wholesome. All of our beers are unpasteurized, unfiltered, and unadulterated. The pub brews with artisanal imported malts and fresh hops and we do not cheapen the product by rushing the process. We are famous for a reason: Quality.”– www.vermontbrewery.com/about

Photo by B. Sherman (c) 2012 Down by the river – Stowe, Vermont

A Simple Start…

This is the first step in my quest for world domination.

My goal for this blog is to help you to find ways to bring adventure into your ‘normal’ life. To each person, of course, normal means something very different. By ‘normal’ I am talking about the 9-5 job, the housework, the errands, and all that necessary stuff that makes the world go round (or at least our small individual worlds). Because, let’s face it, without that 9-5 job we would be poor, without the housework we would live in filth, and without errands we would have no sustenance!

Millinocket Lake with Mt. Katahdin in the distance.

My goal is to bring the adventure back into the ordinary. I want to help you make time for it! I know life is busy but there is always time for adventure no matter where you are. This could be just taking a moment to drive a different way home or it could be taking a trip to the other side of the world.

Life is about the little things. Life is about being happy.

Life is about being adventurous!

Photo by B. Sherman (c) 2009 Looking out over Millinocket Lake at Mt. Kahtadin