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Entries Tagged as 'Don’t Let Your Work Stress You Out'

Puerto Rico Stress Reduction Speech


I had the opportunity to speak to a group of surgical tech instructors at a conference in Puerto Rico.

They are a team of dedicated, caring professionals that deal with and work through many daily stressful tasks. It is their job to teach the students what they need to know to pass the certification testing and what is needed to do to become a competent surgical tech professional.

One of the instructors I spoke to prior to the event said, “I do everything but underwater basket weaving.”

I was their opening keynote speaker sharing several tools on how to work through stress in the workplace.

We discussed what stress is and why some stress is good for you.  We shared stress reduction tips including healthy breathing techniques, daily practical fun activities they can easily implement and why humor and laughter is a healthy way to reduce stress.

Here are some pictures from the event and all the fun we had sharing and learning how to work through workplace stress.


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You Will Be Missed

I have been in the event and entertainment business for forty years this March 27, 2015.

We have booked bands for bars and lounges, weddings, corporate events and park concerts. Over the last twenty years my event and entertainment team has expanded our services offering different kinds of entertainment and event concepts.

Many of my clients and I have brainstormed ideas and ways to turn simple summer concerts into Disney style family friendly events. When I first met Richard he was an assistant superintendent of a Metro Park. Through hard work and dedication he worked his way up to park superintendent, managing three parks.

Richard and I worked together over twenty-two years creating and lining up entertainment for his park’s  Country Fest, Motown Shows, July 4 Celebrations, Big Screen Movies and Family Fun Days. He loved to try new things and wasn’t afraid to step out of the box.  His attention to detail and the way he worked with his staff taught me the value of customer service, and why it is so important to go the extra mile.

Over the years Richard and I formed a strong friendship. He would offer me constructive criticism, and I would offer up marketing ideas. He would share positive parenting skills, and I would offer up public speaking techniques and ideas.

Just yesterday I found out my former client and friend Richard has left this world.  I will miss the many mastermind/lunches, his advice, and his ability to inspire me to be better at what I do.


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We can learn from The Ground Hog



Today is February 2, and this is Ground Hog Day. I know it is a silly holiday that very few even remember or even observe, but as business professionals we can learn from this little woodchuck.

The Ground Hog has one goal today and that is to predict the next six weeks. Is it going to be a long winter? Or is spring around the corner?

This little guy has a lot of pressure put on him one day each year. Just like the local and national weather people, if he gets it wrong he is in the dog house with a lot of people who really care about his prediction.

He is also a politician who has to make a tough decision, either way he is going to have a group of people mad at him.  How it works is that if doesn’t see his shadow, spring is around the corner, and the people who like winter will be mad at him. If he sees is shadow there will be six more weeks of winter, and the people who love spring and summer are mad at him.

So you can see that being a Ground Hog can be really stressful. Every year he has to believe in himself and stand up and say; “this is my decision, I know can’t please everyone, but this is how I see it. I hope that you will learn to respect my prediction.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Babar

In our businesses and/or in the workplace we are asked to get out of our comfort zone. Sometimes we are put in these Yes/No spots, which can be stressful. Like the Ground Hog we need believe in ourselves and our decisions even when there are staff members that disagree.  Great leader don’t try to please everyone. Like the Ground Hog we need to work through our fears and go for what we feel is right for your company, and our organization.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller

Look at me  I stepped out of my box and I wrote a business article about the Ground Hog. If I can step out of my box you can too. Now go out there, make some predictions of your own and you will eventually achieve great things.

You Can’t Reach Every Star

We are all afraid of something. I believe it’s ok to give in to your fears and turn around when it doesn’t feel right or comfortable to move ahead. I was in Florence, Italy my family and I purchased tickets to climb the famous, historic Duomo Dome. I have a fear of heights and I thought I could face it and overcome it just like the many stories I have read and heard. I climbed up 200 steps and there were two hundred to go, when we walked the hall inside the church dome I could not look out into the church below.  I was terrified, my heart was pumping and my body was shaking. I was numb, unable to think or comprehend what my wife and family were trying to say to me. The stress reduction breathing techniques went out the window and so did the laughter.  It was obvious to me that my fear had taken over my mind and body and the only thing that was working was my fight/flight senses telling me to get out of there.

When I came upon a break in the steps with an opportunity to exit and give up, I did. My wife felt bad and wanted to come down with me. I remember telling her to keep going. “Don’t give up because of me, just go!”

Going down the winding steps were even more terrifying. Slowly step by step I made my way down. No rails just walls to try to hold on to. You may be thinking that I am being dramatic, but for me this was one of the worst feelings I have experienced in my life. When I finally got to the bottom dizzy and still shaking I thought to myself I don’t care if I gave up it was my decision and it was the right decision for me.

From this experience I am reminded that we all get stressed out about different things; some we can easily handle and work through, other things we can’t. Others may push you to move on or offer their opinions but the final decision depends on you. Only you know what is good or bad for you and how much you can take before you lose it. Only you know whether or not it is worth it to move forward or to turn back.

Many years ago I talked to an autoworker who was taking advantage of the UAW/Ford Motor Company’s college Management program. He received his Master’s degree and was working toward his Doctorate. I was impressed with his willingness to want to learn and move forward in the company. He said he was offered his dream management position and after eleven months he realized he hated the job.  He explained that the books and tests never prepared him for the amount of stress he had experienced. He said the demands, long hours and paperwork was over-whelming.  He tried everything from meditation, breathing and even laughter but his fears took him over. He was stressed and getting sick all the time. He said, I remember one of my old co-workers telling me, “piece of mind is worth something.”  That’s when he made the decision to go back to his former position, pay cut and all.

Some may say he gave up but I say at least he tried. At least he knew how to monitor himself to figure out what is best his own wellbeing. Getting back to my Florence, Italy experience, did I get to the top and see what others describe as an awesome view?  No, but I made it up and down from 200 stairs and that works for me. Did my auto worker friend make it to the top or to a higher position in the company?  No, but at least he tried it out and realized it wasn’t for him.

From this experience as a speaker who promotes stress reduction and laughter I now realize you can practice your breathing techniques, your laughter and meditation, but if your inner fears take over your thought patterns the only logical thing to do is to follow your instinct and get the hell out.

Like my autoworker friend, take the steps go for it and when you get there if it’s too overwhelming follow your instinct move in another direction that fits you.  The point is, you may not be able to win at everything or get or hit every star, but at least you can say, “I gave it my all and did my best”.

I believe it’s so much better to try then not try at all or you will never find out what fits for you.


Richard Paul

Copyright Richard Paul 2014