Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and ranchers

February 6th, 2015

by: Kelly Barnes

Just returned from a short trip to Indianapolis, IN where I keynoted the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers state conference. I had an absolute blast speaking to over 600 members of YF&R and their family members. Some of the highlights included a family night gathering, breakout sessions, live auction with a “Frozen” themed pedal tractor and fellow speaker Mark Mayfield was the evening entertainment. I want to thank Meggie Foster and the Indiana Farm Bureau for having me out and a very special thanks to @boilermakerag for the wonderful write up on my Keynote “Great moments more often.” You can see her article here…

This story is a perfect example of how to pack an extra sandwich. Some people still choose to do good for goodness sake. Follow the link to figure out how they did it.

Pack An Extra Sandwich

N-A-N Spells Love

November 14th, 2014

by: Kelly Barnes

Some people just make you feel special. Patty Lawson, affectionately known as Nan, is one of those people for me. Actually, she is that person for a lot of people. Although Nan is my Grandmother by marriage she treats me like one of her own. Just hearing the word “Nan” makes my day because N-A-N spells so much more than Nan.

N-A-N spells love. It means a warm hug and a genuine smile. It means you are in the presence of someone who truly cares for others and has spent a life modeling that for her family and friends.

N-A-N spells support. It means baked potato soup when you are sick, a Band-Aid when you are cut and a prayer when you are in need. It means “come here, tell me all about it. Nan will make it better.”

N-A-N spells family. It means everyone gathered around the table eating the food that no one can cook the way Nan does. A meal cooked with love and attention and a lot of the things we rarely find during our hectic lives.

N-A-N spells happiness. It means being thankful for the things we have. It means being present with the ones we love and cherishing the moments we spend together. It means laughter and joy and a sigh of sadness when you know it is time to leave.

N-A-N spells peace of mind.
It means knowing that there is someone who loves you unconditionally. Someone who will always look for and bring the best. It means a good pep talk is only a phone call or a short drive away.

It is easy to take these things for granted and I certainly do at times. You spell love differently. Maybe you spell it M-O-M, D-A-D or F-R-I-E-N-D.

One of the ways I spell love is N-A-N and I sure hope Nan knows.

13 things to remember when life gets rough.

July 30th, 2014

by: Kelly Barnes

Came across a great article by Carol Morgan. Dr. Morgan is a Professor at Wright State University.

We've all gone through hard times. And we all get through them. However, some get through them better than others. So what is their secret? Most of it has to do with attitude. Here are 13 things to remember when life gets rough:

1. What is, is. Buddha's famous saying tells us: "It is your resistance to 'what is' that causes your suffering." Think about that for a minute. It means that our suffering only occurs when we resist how things are. If you can change something, then take action! Change it! But if you can't change it, then you have two choices: (1) either accept it and let go of the negativity, or (2) make yourself miserable by obsessing over it.

2. It's only a problem if you think it's a problem. Many times, we are our own worst enemy. Happiness is really dependent on perspective. If you think something is a problem, then your thoughts and emotions will be negative. But if you think it's something you can learn from, then suddenly, it's not a problem anymore.

3. If you want things to change, you need to start with changing yourself. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Don't you know people whose lives are chaotic and stressful? And isn't that largely because they feel chaotic inside? Yes, it is. We like to think that changing our circumstances will change us. But we have it backwards-we need to change ourselves first before our circumstances will change.

4. There is no such thing as failure-only learning opportunities. You should just wipe the word "failure" right out of your vocabulary. All great people who have ever achieved anything have "failed" over and over. In fact, I think it was Thomas Edison who said something like, "I did not fail at inventing the light bulb, I just first found 99 ways that it didn't work." Take your so-called "failures" and learn something from them. Learn how to do it better next time.

5. If you don't get something you want, it just means something better is coming. That's hard to believe sometimes, I know. But it's true. Usually, when you look back at your life, you will be able to see why it was actually a good thing that something didn't work out. Maybe the job you didn't get would have made you spend more time away from your family, but the job you did get was more flexible. Just have faith that everything happens exactly the way it's supposed to.

6. Appreciate the present moment. This moment will never come again. And there is always something precious about every moment. So don't let it pass you by! Soon it will just be a memory. Even moments that don't seem happy can be looked upon as something that you might miss someday. As the country song by Trace Adkins says, "You're gonna miss're gonna want this back. You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so may not know this now, but you're gonna miss this..."

7. Let go of desire. Most people live with "attached mind." What this means is that they attach themselves to a desire, and when they don't get it, their emotions plummet into negativity. Instead, try to practice "detached mind." That means that when you want something, you will still be happy whether you get it or not. Your emotions remain happy or neutral.

8. Understand and be grateful for your fears. Fear can be a great teacher. And overcoming fears can also make you feel victorious. For example, when I was in college, I feared public speaking (one of the top 3 fears of all humans). So I find it humorous now that not only do I speak in front of a group every day by being a college professor, I also teach public speaking! Overcoming fears just takes practice. Fear is really just an illusion. It's optional.

9. Allow yourself to experience joy. Believe it or not, I know way too many people who don't allow themselves to have fun. And they don't even know how to be happy. Some people are actually addicted to their problems and the chaos in them so much that they wouldn't even know who they are without them. So try to allow yourself to be happy! Even if it's just for a small moment, it's important to focus on joy, not your hardships.

10. Don't compare yourself to other people. But if you do compare yourself, compare yourself with people who have it worse than you. Unemployed? Be grateful that you live in a country that gives unemployment compensation, because most people in the world live on less that $750 a year. So you don't look like Angelina Jolie? Well, I bet there are more people who don't than do. And you are probably way better looking than than you think. Focus on that.

11. You are not a victim. You need to get out of your own way. You are only a "victim" of your own thoughts, words and actions. No one "does" something to you. You are the creator of your own experience. Take personal responsibility and realize that you can get out of your hard times. You just need to start with changing your thoughts and actions. Abandon your victim mentality and become victorious. From victim to VICTOR!

12. Things can-and do-change. "And this too shall pass" is one of my favorite sayings. When we are stuck in a bad situation, we think that there is no way out. We think nothing will ever change. But guess what? It will! Nothing is permanent except death. So get out of the habit of thinking that things will always be this way. They won't. But you do need to take some sort of action for things to change. It won't magically happen all on its own.

13. Anything is possible. Miracles happen every day. Really-they do. I wish I had enough space to write about all the miraculous things that have happened to people I know-from healing stage 4 cancer naturally to having their soul mate appear out of nowhere. Trust me: it happens all the time. You just need to believe it does. Once you do, you have won the battle.

Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University. She is also the host of 'A Walk on the WOO Side' radio show, a motivational expert on the TV show 'Living Dayton,' video expert for, keynote speaker, and a member of's Expert Network. You can subscribe to her blog, get some life/relationship coaching from her, and check out her books at

parents must read this

May 27th, 2014

by: Kelly Barnes

If you are a parent, have parents or can spell parents you should read this article…


What I want to tell my kids…



be more productive in 2014

January 7th, 2014

by: Kelly Barnes

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow”

~Mark Twain

We are one week into the new year and if you are like me you need some tools, tips and a little motivation to keep you focused on making 2014 a productive year. Use the following tips to help you avoid procrastination.

1. Have a to-do list.

It seems simple but I am talking about the right kind of to-do list. The to-do list for your business should not have items such as “do the laundry” or “DVR the new Modern Family.” Make sure your to-do list has…

  • Actionable items. Things you can actually perform.
  • Priorities first. I always ask “if there were only 3-5 things I could do today what would they need to be?”
  • Been completed the night before. Resist adding to it throughout the day as this will distract you from your priorities.

2. Be in charge of your time.

Most people let their time and schedule dictate their actions. Personally, I get the least done when I have the most time to do it. If I have a day where there are things I need to do but nothing I have to do, I will schedule any appointments, calls or meetings early so I don’t have time to waste away. Remember; a body in motion stays in motion while a body at rest stays at rest.

3. Productivity Windows and Gap Time

My good friend and speaking associate Rhett Laubach (Click here for Rhetts site) is one of the best when it comes to getting things done. Rhett teaches the importance of these two tools:

1. “Productivity Windows.” These are the most productive “chunks” of our time. Find out when those are for you and use them.

2. “Gap Time.” These are the moments we have everyday that are usually waisted. The 3 minutes in line for coffee, 20 minutes on the bus or the time you spend waiting to get your car serviced. Plan ahead and use these moments to respond to e-mails, write thank you letters or return phone calls. I am sure you can find a few hours each week that you waste in 5-15 minute periods.

Think about how much more time you would have to spend with your friends and family if you just utilized your gap time.

4. Stay Focused.

I read a study that says on average we are distracted from our work about every 11 minutes and that it takes about 25 minutes to get our mind back to that same level of optimum performance. Put the cell phone away, turn off the notifications on your computer and focus intensely on your work.

Make it a habit…

How to end your work day

November 1st, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

Recently, I have been working with an insurance company for an upcoming personnel training. They have asked me to do my “Exit Better” presentation. In my preparation I came across this great read. Found it to be a good way to end your work day.


The Best Way To Use The Last Five Minutes Of Your Day

(from the article The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Day)

It only takes a few minutes. About five actually. A brief pause at the end of the day to consider what worked and what didn't.

Here's what I propose:

Every day, before leaving the office, save a few minutes to think about what just happened. Look at your calendar and compare what actually happened – the meetings you attended, the work you got done, the conversations you had, the people with whom you interacted, even the breaks you took – with your plan for what you wanted to have happen. Then ask yourself three sets of questions:

  • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do – differently or the same – tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?

This last set of questions is invaluable in terms of maintaining and growing relationships. It takes just a few short minutes to shoot off an email – or three – to share your appreciation for a kindness someone extended, to ask someone a question, or to keep someone in the loop on a project.

Courtesy | Peter Bregman |


1. Think about yesterday.

Think about the good things you did for yourself, your business, your family or your friends. This will give you the energy to do more of the same.

Think about the learning lessons (mistakes) you had and how you will keep from doing that again.

Think about one great thing someone did for you and return the favor to someone else. I call it the 1-1-2 rule. Do 1 thing for 1 person 2DAY. This may be a thank-you letter, a note of encouragement or congratulations or even a small gift or favor.

2. Think about Today.

Make a list of all the things you need to get done. Select only the ones that must be completed today and finally rank those in order of importance. Try to work in 50-10 increments. 50 minutes of dedicated work with a 10 minute break to send an e-mail, make a phone call or just get up and move around.

3. Think about tomorrow.

Think about what you need to be doing to make your personal life or business life better for the future. Take note of some new ideas or goals that you have for yourself this week, month and year. What projects do you need to get started? What events do you need to be attending? What memories do you want to make?

It is important to live in the now but eventually today will become tomorrow.

Take 10 minutes every morning and do this. It will make your day more purposeful and effective.

Want To Be Happier?

April 23rd, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

Want to be happier? Do these 3 things today.

1) Change your input.

What movies are you watching? What books are you reading (US Weekly and People are not books!)? What music are you listening to? Is it positive or negative? Does it make you smile or grimmace? If you feed your body good food you feel better and the same works for your brain. Six Piece Nugget doesn’t lead to six pack abs. Same goes for what you feed your brain. Zig Ziglar said; “you are who you are and where you are because of what you put into your brain and you can change who you are and where you are by what you put in your brain.

2) Change your associations.

If you constantly find yourself in a bad mood take a look at who you are spending time with. I have noticed that happy people usually hang out with other happy people. Find those people! Do the 30 second test. In the first 30 seconds of a conversation with a friend does the conversation head toward the positive or negative?

3) Change your focus.

When it comes to people and situations, you will always find what you are looking for. If you focus only on the negative things about your job, your co-workers, your circumstances; they will consume you. For those of you who would say that everything about your job, co-workers or circumstances is negative… try this exercise: Make a list of all the positives.

Do they pay you to work at your job? There are a lot of people in the world today who don’t have an income.

Do your co-workers get under your skin at times? Think about the things that would be more difficult for you if they didn’t come to work. And remember; if you think that everyone you work with is a “jerk”; you may be the root of the problem.

Training yourself to always focus on the positive is a habit…the more you do it the easier it becomes, and more you do it, the happier you become.

To help with this I would recommend “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews.



Make It A Habit,





February 25th, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

If you have 7 minutes check out this TED Talk about the surprising results of your smile.

Click here