Trust is in your hands…

Let me start by saying, what I am writing is contrary to the teachings people have heard in their personal and professional life.  It is something that impacts us 24/7 and is an underpinning of every facet of our lives.  It may sound like I am exaggerating, but it truly is.  What I am talking about is TRUST.   I have a different perspective.

You have heard the statement – “trust is earned”. There have been numerous books that talk about earning trust and how important trust is – How to gain trust in others and what it takes to earn your trust.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that trust is crucial to any relationship – personal or professional.  However, I think it is sad that we are being taught to take a negative perspective as a starting point.  I have grown up with more of a positive attitude which leads me to the perspective that people are generally good and wake up in the morning, just as I do, wanting to be the best person they can be.  I truly believe that it is a small percentage of the population that is out to undermine others or do “bad” things.

From a business perspective, if we all agree that having trust in an organization is our goal and distrust in an organization negatively impacts the overall performance, why would we start with the negative side of the equation?  Distrust automatically drives a level of suspicion which in turn makes a relationship less effective.  If we start a relationship with the perspective that “trust is earned” and not habitually given, we are automatically accepting a level of ineffectiveness until actions are taken to “earn” the trust.  While many actions can be taken to speed up the level of trust in a relationship, as Stephen M. R. Covey outlined in his book “The Speed of Trust”, I am convinced that initiating a relationship with trust will minimize the time it takes to build trust even at warp speed.  If you are willing to accept anything other than assuming trust from the outset, you are willing to accept a cost to the business for at least a period of time.  While distrust may feel like a level of protection, it is more than likely destructive.

“The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.”

Mahatma Gandhi

The negative impacts to a business can be huge from paranoia to micromanagement and the establishment of bureaucratic processes.  Additionally, when employees don’t believe there is a level of trust in their ability or intention, they will tend to be more apprehensive in taking action.

While I don’t believe that people will outwardly project this immediate distrust, it is an underlying trait that we are teaching people with the current – “trust is earned” – mantra.

There will be times when trust is broken and repair is needed.  However, it is at this time that books providing actions to be taken to build trust can be utilized to save the relationship.  My perspective is expecting trust as a base, we will be more productive overall and actually happier at the same time.

When I have shared my perspective with others, they generally ponder, but tend to agree with the premise and then begin to put it to use – for instance, why would you hire someone if you didn’t trust them?  Maybe this means it is situational and there are levels of trust that can be given immediately while other situations require more verification (trust, but verify model).  This may be true, but I‘d still rather start with the positive view on trusting others.

All I ask is that you try it and see how it changes your perspectives and effectiveness.

6 Things Dogs Can Teach Us About Happiness

Our dog’s name is Aria and she has a wonderful influence on the family.  She loves to play with the kids and is excited and happy whenever any of us walk in the door.  She adapts to each family member’s mood and has enough love to spread among everyone in the family with some left over for visitors.  As I learn and write about happiness, I noticed she already knows most of what I am learning and provides great examples for how to be happier.


  1. Gratitude comes natural to her.  She is grateful when we get home, grateful when we take her on a walk, grateful when she gets fed and really grateful when we throw a ball she can chase and bring back.
  2. Positive Relationships – she connects and gives unconditional love to anyone who is willing to spend a few minutes with her, as long as they pass the sniff test.  She notices people’s moods and adjusts her actions to fit their mood.  When we are excited to see her, she shares that excitement and when we are quiet and thoughtful she lies down and patiently waits. Her expectation is that she will love and be loved back, so she ignores any actions that don’t support that belief.
  3. Forgiveness – she never holds a grudge.  No matter how forgetful or thoughtless we are, she will immediately forgive us and be ready play and love and just hangout.
  4. Positive Attitude – She believes everything is going to turn out right and ignores any evidence to the contrary.  She never stops and worries, what if they don’t feed me.  She just keeps expecting that at some point she is going to be fed.  If someone in the family is in a bad mood, she waits patiently with the expectation they will eventually transition back to a good mood and she does everything she can to help them get there.
  5. Owns Her Happiness – If we are not around or are too busy to play, our dog will sit in the sun, chew on a bone, or chase squirrels as they jump from tree to tree.  She finds a way to be happy and enjoy herself no matter what the circumstances.
  6. Higher Purpose – she knows her purpose in life is to make us happy.  You can see in her eyes the joy she gets from making someone in the family smile. The happier we get, the happier she gets.  She is never angry or upset.  She stays focused on her purpose; making us happy and being happy with us.


So, if you need a quick reminder about how to be happy, talk to your dog.  Her response will be happiness itself.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schulz

What have you learned from your dog about happiness?


My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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