Sunday, September 30, 2007

Disagree Agreeably

I am currently taking a Dale Carnegie Training Course. Last Wednesday, I learned a very beneficial lesson in my life, how to disagree agreeably. I notice myself turning people's ideas down constantly. How do you know if you are disagreeing with someone's opinion? Well, if you EVER use the words 'but', 'however', or 'nevertheless' in your sentences, then you are opposing one's idea. For example, Phil said "Hey Kamil, I like that new song on the radio by Matchbox 20," and I respond "I do too Phil, BUT......" Notice how everything I say is worthwhile until I use the word, BUT, then I end up disagreeing with everything Phil has just said.
So, while in training I learned to never use the word but : here is a small table of how disagreements should and should not be delivered :
Step 1) CUSHION : After the person speaks you cushion their opinion by saying "I hear you saying...", "I understand...", or "I appreciate your view..."
Step 2) USE : The words "and", "also", "in addition", or just a after your CUSHION.
Step 3) EXAMPLE : Use an example to let the person know where you're coming from with your opinion.
Step 4) YOUR OPINION : Deliver your open-ended opinion, after you have used all of the three steps.

Prior to 'Step 1' you should think about what you're going to say. Always ask yourself before speaking, "What do I think?" "Why do I think that?" "What evidence do I have?"

Once you become good at this process, I am guessing that you will be more open-minded to many ideas, since you will be thinking about what the other person is saying.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My focus determines my mood

Whatever you are consistently focusing on, determines your mood. Majority of this theory has been taken from Anthony Robbins and flourished with my thoughts/ideas.

For example, pretend that you are at a party with a video camera, and you are constantly video-taping a couple fighting with each other. The moment you leave that party, you will think to yourself, "man, that party was intense everyone was fighting, no one got along." Or, if you record people doing keg-stands all night, you will leave the party thinking that it was a debacle.

Another example that strengthens this theory is the following: For the next 20 seconds, look around the room, and look for everything that is brown, then close your eyes. Although, you probably can't read this with your eyes closed, after you look for everything brown, name all the things that you saw that were green. You got tricked. This is the same principle with focus. When you focus on the brown in life (the feces) you will miss out on the green (the real life).

What does this mean you ask? It means that when we focus on one thing so intensely, we delete other things, and put ourselves in the state of what we are focusing on. We tend to delete or just forget about things that we are not focusing on. So, how should you start focusing on other things? The answer is simple, ask yourself the right questions.

Have you ever been in a situation where you ask yourself, "why do I have to do this" or "why me"? Well, these diabolical 'why' questions only put you in a deeper state of frustration and anger. Next time you are in one of these situations, ask yourself, "how do I complete this job, and learn from it?" or "how can I enjoy this process?"

Whatever you ask your brain, it will find the answer to.
Negative Question : Why am I always so tired? Answer : Cause I stay up late every night.
Negative Question : Why am I always late? Answer : Cause I don't have my priorities straight, and can never make up my mind in what's important.
Positive Question : Why am I so lucky? Cause I have a positive attitude and am willing to take risks.
Positive Question : Why do I have such great friends? Cause I am very selective about who I associate with, and am a great judge of character.

Therefore, if you want to learn from every situation, ask yourself the positive questions. What can I learn from this situation? What do I respect about this person? What's funny about this that I don't notice? Why is my life so great?

Have fun with your mind, and enjoy.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Who Am I? My 5 Greatest Successes.

My name is Kamil Chmielewski and I was born in Dabrowa Bialostocka, Poland, where both of my parents were doctors. My family decided that it would be best to flee communism and escape Poland.
In 1988, my family escaped to Palma De Mallorca, Spain, hoping to one day end up in the land of freedom, the ol' US and A. We stayed in Spain for two years and lived through poverty as we ate sugar sandwiches, and had the fortune to eat 25 cent popsicle-sticks every Sunday. In the interim, my dad was a painter and my mom was taking care of the three of us. Monika, my beautiful, intelligent, older sister and my younger, evil-plotting brother, just kidding Seb. After two years of struggling, we received a Polish church sponsor in Canada and took the opportunity to move there.
We moved to Oakville, Ontario at the end of 1989, where we would grow up in a healthy, caring and loving family. During this time, my father would have to re-take ALL medical exams and re-start from scratch in order to become a doctor again. We were all raised playing sports, and keeping out of trouble for the most part. Aside from my prankster brother picking up poo and throwing it into bars, and me getting intoxicated, and caught, at a high school dance.
November 16, 1998 came before we knew it, and my father was offered an MD position in College Station, TX. This would be a great opportunity for me because I could take my basketball game to the next level (no offense but Canadian basketball was a little weaker than US b-ball).
After high school, I received a basketball scholarship to Saint Xavier University on the South Side of Chicago, where I would have to transition from being a shooting-guard my entire life to becoming a point guard. The transition was not very easy, so I spent a lot of time on the bench learning life's lessons. I was a undergraduate major in Computer Science because I always enjoyed math, and solving problems. Being in Chicago, and away from my family, has helped grow a great appreciation for my parents and siblings, which have had a great influence on me. My father has created the drive in me, my mother has created the caring, my sister has created the openness and harmony in me, and my brother has created the computer-scientist in me. For this, and them, I am grateful.
Afer graduation, in 2004, I applied to a few universities for my Masters education in Computer Science, and was surprisingly denied at Texas A&M University, but accepted at The University of Chicago. I decided to pursue my masters education at UofC; freakishly, I learned more about Computer Science in 13 months than I did in four years at SXU.
I am currently, and have been since November 2005, a web programmer for Bank of America. It is a position that has taught me a great deal. Moreover, I have learned more about myself and what I want to become in the last two years, than I did the first 24 years of my life.
My interests, passions and enjoyments include, in no particular order : people, self-improvement, improvement-of-others, basketball, learning, programming, music, and Yoga.
Whenever you are feeling down, or low in confidence think back of the 5 greatest successes in your life, and why you should be energetic, and vitalized. The 5 greatest successes of my life include : 1) Playing University basketball; 2) Receiving a Masters degree from The University of Chicago; 3) Receiving a phenomenal programming job with the Bank of America; 4) Living in 4 countries, and being able to adapt to any living situation, especially living alone after high school; and, 5) success of staying healthy and having a great family, and caring, close friends.
What are your 5 greatest successes? Have they made you who you are today? Do you sometimes forget them and take them for granted? Feel free to talk about yourself also.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I have a few random thoughts today, but will finish up with what I really want to talk mention.
I apologize for being rude and not introducing who I am and what I do. I will post a post....ha....discussing my history, interests, and background this weekend. In addition, I wanted to mention that a lot of the material that I write about is not my own work. It is probably an audiotape I am currently listening to, or a book I am reading. As my good friend Rick Pitino once said, "try to improve every day, if you are taking your wife on a date, pretend that it is the first date you have ever been on together." Well, I improve every day by reading/listening to something and then writing about it.
Anthony Robbins believes that every person he meets is his superior to him in some way, and vice versa. As we grow up, we focus on certain tasks and become skilled and specialized in them. In which skills are you Tony's "superior"? Personally, I am Anthony's superior in technology. I am a very good programmer, and problem solver when it comes to solving Object-Oriented design (programming lingo).
Anyways, about confidence. Confidence is a state of mind, and not an experience. Can a person be confident in something that they have never done? Definitely. For example, focus on something you've never done before, like flying a kite. Do you feel confident that you could fly a kite? The answer is probably yes, even if you've never done it. Why? Well, you can probably picture someone flying a kite, whether it is a cartoon or in real life, and remembering that it is not a difficult feat.
A confidence exercise I recently learned : Stand up and raise your right hand until it is parallel to the ground, and point forward with your index finger. 1) With your feet planted in one place, turn your body clockwise until it doesn't turn anymore, without hurting yourself of course. 2) Return your body to the original position and lower your hand. 3) Close your eyes and without actually doing it, in your mind, picture yourself raising your hand and turning your body clockwise but this time move a little further, then come back to original position. 4) Still with your eyes closed, picture yourself doing the same thing but turning your body 3/4 around, then come back to center. 5) Next, still with your eyes closed, visualize yourself raising your right hand and turning clockwise all the way around, yes a full 360 degree circle, and come back to center. 6) Finally, open your eyes, and now actually raise your right hand again and turn your body clockwise as far as you can, and then come back to center.
What did you notice? Majority of people turn 1/3 further than the first time. What does this mean? It means that when you visualize something, you can become more confident without even knowing so. Whenever you are doubtful in a situation, just visualize yourself in the situation and go through the motions if you were to execute through the situation FLAWLESSLY.
In other words, if you are afraid of approaching the opposite sex, and the situation comes up. Just picture yourself in the situation, and imagine what it would be like if you approached him/her and the conversation was flawless. When you're done visualizing, open your eyes back up (some people in the grocery store may think you're weird, but that's okay) and JUST DO IT. Thus, visualization boosts confidence because it brings us one step closer to success.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Personal Goal #4 - Self-Development Blog - How and Why

Have a Blog On Self-Development - How and Why

Fast-forward to 888 :
I have been writing in a self-development blog for one year. I have posted information on social, financial, career and other miscellaneous improvement. People have been a great motivation to my writing because I want to reach out and teach them. However, you know which people enjoy being taught, and vice versa.

Back to September 12, 2007. 10 reasons Why I Write In a Self-Development Blog
1) Learn from others on different subjects
2) Teach others the material that I am learning on a daily basis
3) Will help me retain the information I am learning b/c I am writing about it
4) Realize a new lesson as I am writing about a particular subject
5) Create a positive pressure on me, where people see my goals
6) Love talking, and writing, about self-improvement
7) Improves my confidence when I can open up to others
8) Improve my writing skills
9) Acts as a good conversation topic
10) Allow to hear other people's opinions/advice/questions on self-improvement matters
11) Contact people I haven't heard from in a long time

Well, that's it for my Four Yearly Goals. I will print these on an 8x11 sheet of paper, frame it, and hang it on my wall. I am determined to achieve all four of these goals. Stick around and see.

888. 1) Cameesa. 2) PM. 3) Own a home. 4) Self-Development Blog On A Weekly Basis.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Personal Goal #3 - Owning my first place in Chicago - How and Why

Own my first place in Chicago - How and Why

Fast-forward to 888 :
I own my first place of residence in Chicago. It is a spacious bachelor pad, with a large balcony that overlooks the gorgeous Lake Michigan. It is a 2-bed & 2-bath, with a large living room, modern kitchen, a play-room, and an education-room. I have a 21' x 21' bedroom, with a king-sized bed, a Mac with a 27" monitor that is used both as a television, and my work/personal computer. The residence is entirely carpeted and people have to take off their shoes when they enter the home. We hold an annual barbecue to celebrate our health, friends, and happiness. After our barbecue, we go out for a night of dancing at the Green Mill, and then, of course, have a huge slumber party, South-Side Chicago style.

Back to September 11, 2007. 10 reasons Why I Want to Own A Home.
1) Great investment
2) Stop paying for rent
3) Start my permanent life in Chicago
4) Owning my first home
5) Will feel 1 step closer to success, in terms of wealth
6) All fixes, and upgrades are done for a benefit
7) Make my own rules, and renovate how I want
8) Learn about real estate investing at an early age
9) Self-pride out of owning a home
10) Higher confidence
11) Feel more successful

888. 1) Cameesa. 2) PM. 3) Own a home.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Personal Goal #2 - Becoming a Project Manager - How and Why

Become a Project Manager - How and Why

Fast-forward to 888 :
I am the Project Manager of a small team of people. We are a intelligent, dedicated, self-improving and provide under-budget solutions in a timely manner. I have taken a class in Project Management and have read numerous books on the Agile Process. The team believes in the agile process strongly because we feel that it allows everyone to participate in the process and keeps a tightly-knit group. Everyone has an opinion and the group benefits from this. The group is unstoppable and there is not a single task that we cannot achieve together. A concept that we strongly believe in is the concept of synergy : the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Let us know if you need any type of software solution and we will provide it.

Back to September 10, 2007. 10 reasons Why I Want to Become a PM.
1) I am an extrovert
2) A PM position matches my 5 strengths (positivity, harmony, relation, consistency, and woo)
3) I want to have more of an influence on a team and its environment
4) I want to meet more people
5) I greatly enjoy creating software solutions as a team
6) I will learn more people-focused lessons
7) I will be more responsible for developing others
8) The position is more interchangeable across industries
9) Create pride in people and boost their self-confidence
10) Provide personal/social solutions for the group

888. 1) Cameesa. 2) PM.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Personal Goal #1 - The Company (Cameesa) - How and Why

Thanks to your input, I have decided to a) explain my goals in detail, b) explain why I want to achieve my goals, and c) change my deadline for my yearly goals.
Simple things first : I want to change my goals deadline to August 8, 2008 (8/8/8) because it is a more memorable number, and I think it'll help both my conscious, and sub-conscious.
Next, I would like to explain each of my goals in detail, and why I want to achieve them. I will write these explanations as if today was '888' .

The Company (Cameesa) - How and Why
I am the co-owner of a small, web-based company that facilitates graphical designers in promoting, and profiting from, their art-work. This company, Cameesa, has a phenomenal work environment, a user-base of 100+ consistent users, and an unforgettable user community experience. Cameesa understands, and runs, its daily operations with all sectors in mind : technology, marketing, finance, operations, and law. We trust each other, our customers, and our partners heavily. In addition, we understand that our primary goal is to make our customers happy, and have a WIN-WIN attitude for all parties involved.
Our company environment is very lenient and stresses that family, spirituality, and personal needs should usually come before work. Every employee in the company has a personally-written statement of what their contribution, goal, and role to the company is; also, how their position fits with Cameesa. This personal statement takes months, if not years to write, and is framed, and hung, by the employee's work place where they see it every day. Moreover, they employees revise the statement on a monthly basis if they choose to. Our company has every Friday during the summer off, and recommends for each employee to take 25% time of their work-day, and use it for self- or company-development.
Cameesa is very open, always enjoys a challenge, and is constantly stimulating the mind. "Cameesa : create, invest, buy"

Back to September 8, 2007. 10 reasons Why Cameesa?
1) Giving us freedom to do whatever we want
2) Providing us with great financial benefits
3) Creating our own work hours
4) Giving us a great sense of pride that we have created our own company
5) Working, and making decisions for ourselves
6) Creating our own work-environment
7) Respect
8) Working together to make decisions
9) Developing others, and ourselves
10) Strong community
11) Taking care of our own baby

There it is. How, and Why? See you before '888' Cameesa.

Also, since I'm talking about Cameesa I will run a quick promotion. ha.

Let us know if you know of any phenomenal graphic designers, including yourself, that want help in promoting their artwork...we promise them......drum roll.......fame and fortune.

Happy beautiful Saturday.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

My Four Yearly Goals

So, I'm sure we've all heard about having to write down our goals, and also giving them a deadline. Question : Why is writing our goals, and giving them a deadline so important?
Well, writing them does not mean "writing them and putting them in your dresser", it means writing them and being able to see them EVERY DAY. Why? Looking at your goals every single day will embed them into your smart little brain, actually your subconscious mind. And what happens when something gets into your subconscious? You start to feel it, live it, and believe it. The day that you start dreaming about your goals will be the day that they get into your subconscious mind (which is a good thing).
I don't quite understand the deadline aspect just yet, do you guys? I think that deadlines form a sense of urgency, and help measure progress in the future.

Anywho, today is September 6, 2007 and I have been thinking of different areas of my life that I would like to improve.
By September 6, 2008 I will :
- Own a company (Personal)
- Be a Project Manager, currently I am a web developer (Career)
- Own my first place of residence in Chicago (Fun/Materialistic)
- Write in a self-development blog on a weekly basis (Contributing to Society)

I have spent many weeks trying to discover what these goals should be and have finally come to the goals aforementioned. Think of the following different areas : 1) Personal, 2) Career, 3) Fun/Materialistic, 4) Contributing to society; and write one major goal for each that you will have completed within one year. Remember to write it down and display it where you will look at it every day. In addition, if you want to put a little positive pressure on yourself post on this blog, and write about your progress.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Power of Why

In 1953, a study was performed at Yale University graduate school, just before the students embarked on their careers. The students were asked a series of questions about their careers. The most intriguing question addressed whether the students had clearly written goals, and plans for these goals. Of the entire class, 3% of the people had written goals with plans to back them up. Twenty years later, the graduate students were found and asked about their lives. Many of them lead happy, successful lives. However, an amazing fact was that the goal-oriented 3% made more money than the remaining 97% of the class. The moral of the story is that if you follow your dreams, the money will find you.
Why do people give up on their goals, or forget about their goals? Because they don't understand why they clearly want them. People don't want money for the sake of having money, what good is a green piece of paper? They want money because of the life that they think it will bring them : freedom, happiness, and many other pleasures.
Designing your goals, your reasons come first, and the answers come second.
Why do goals work? 1) Because whatever you focus on consistently, will come true in your life. 2) Because you begin to understand that where you currently are is not where you want to be. There is a sense of dissatisfaction. After all, if you were totally satisfied, there would be nothing to improve on, and you would not have any goals.

What am I not satisfied with in my life, and what types of beliefs would I have to have if I wanted to achieve my goals?
I am not satisfied with my confidence-level when it relates to speaking to others. I have a fear of approaching others, so I try extra hard to do matter how painful it may be. I know that this is a fear that many people have but I truly think that I need to get over it. In order for me to overcome this fear, I would have to not care of what other people think. I would also have to stop over-analyzing situations and blowing them up in my mind. It's easy to say but seize the day. Not sure how many people can actually say that they follow their dreams and goals.

What are you not satisfied with in life? How would you have to start thinking if you wanted to overcome this dissatisfaction?