By Scott Sheperd
In a previous work-life, one of my main jobs was hiring speakers for audiences of 500-700 sales people. That task required me to preview literally hundreds of videos and attend a myriad of live events to pre-screen prospective presenters over eight years.

Frankly, after doing so, I became somewhat jaded noticing that many were saying the same thing, using each other’s stories. It became a real challenge to discover someone fresh and new or an find an old pro who still had a terrific message.

Last week I attended a Des Moines Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) luncheon. It was a pleasant surprise to see and hear Scott Shepherd, PhD. An author, therapist and speaker, I would have hired him in a heartbeat if still in my old position. He was funny, serious, interesting, and challenging. Out of habit, I took notes during his talk which follow in bullet point form. Although I can’t truly do justice to his work, you will get a flavor for his message. Although the bullet points from his 45-minute speech may seem a little disjointed, my hope is that you will pull out a nugget or two for reflection. It is not important whether you agree with Dr. Shepherd. The important thing is that you think about what he says and decide for yourself whether he is right or not.

Shepherd’s Words of Wisdom

“Sometimes I can’t believe how much bad stuff can happen to one person. Then I see how they somehow get through it all and it makes me a big believer in the human spirit.”

“Because you smile when you are complaining does not mean you’re a positive person.” “We think like victims—but we’re in denial. You can’t get out of prison when you don’t know your in there.”

“Stress is the most overused word in the English language. We avoid responsibility for our own lives. (Referring to volatile stock market) Don’t be at the mercy of the numbers. Don’t refer to it as ‘managing’ stress. Don’t even use the word stress. Words create rather than describe situations.”

“The power in life is not in the event. We bring the meaning of life to the events.”

“You don’t get overwhelmed by the event. You become overwhelmed by what you do with the event. You decide how to deal with an event.”

“Instead of asking someone, “How was your day?” ask, “How did you handle your day?”

“Learn how to see the world through new eyes. Hang around with kids. If you don’t have one, rent one.”

“Change your attitude by changing your vocabulary. Instead of saying “STUFF” happens—say “Rainbows happen.”

“We dwell on the crud. Pretend that the crud is a jacket and say to yourself that you’re gonna take this jacket (crud, problem, hurt, bad memory) off and not put it back on again.”

“Saying that something is terrible does not make it so. Terrible is an opinion.”

“Power is about choices. If you don’t see the choices—you don’t see the power.”

“Don’t waste words. If you say that spilling ink on your new shirt is terrible and then you say that 9/11 is terrible there is something wrong with your choice of words. Spilling ink on your new shirt is unfortunate. 9/11 is terrible.”

“We get off on day-to-day suffering. Adults whine all the time.”

“Forgiveness has little or nothing to do with the other person. It all has to do with you.”

“We confuse not having choices with not having the choices we want.”

“We get into ruts. Repetition deadens awareness. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth of the hole.”

“Share stories with others that touch your soul.”

For more on Scott Sheperd, click here.

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