February 20th, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

Just got home from Durant, the Magnolia Capital of Oklahoma, where I spent the evening speaking to the the Durant Young Professionals group. DYP is a social/professional organization for anyone in the Durant area who would like to become more involved in the community, network and grow their leadership and business skills. They do this through 3 types of events

1) Experience Events (Fun gatherings for dinner, sports events, trivia… where members can “experience” social events together)

2) Engage Events (Where members engage in civic activities and donate their time to groups such as Boys and Girls Club, Local shelters and food banks)

3) Emerge Events (Where members get leadership and business training via professional speakers and business owners.)

I was asked by some of my long time friends Katie Garrett, Paige Scott and Sarah Jane Smallwood; to keynote their first Emerge event. We had an absolute blast and I appreciate the pro-active role that the Durant Young Professionals Steering Committee and the Durant Area Chamber of Commerce is taking in turing community members into community leaders.

One thing I shared with the group was focused around the word “Emerge.” Emerge comes from the latin word “emergere” which means to plunge. In order to be an effective community leader or business owner we have to first make the decision to take the “plunge” and commit fully to something bigger than ourselves.

It is obvious that the leadership in Durant is committed to helping its residents, businesses and schools Experience, Engage and Emerge.

If you live in the Durant area and would like to know more about Durant Young Professionals or get involved with the Chamber you can click here to visit the web-site.



How are you thinking?

January 11th, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

Quick Task…

1) Grab a pen and paper.

2) Take 2 minutes and write down every word you can think of that describes emotion. Go!

3) Now, divide the list into 3 categories. Positive – Negative – Neutral.

4) How many are in each category?

I am making a prediction that most are negative. Am I right?

Dr. Robert Schrauf, associate professor of applied linguistics at Penn State University, did an interesting study. He took a large group of people from different ages, races, locations and socio-economic backgrounds and had them do the same task you just performed. The study found that half of all the words that people produce from their working vocabulary to express emotion are negative. And 30 percent are positive and 20 percent are neutral.

Over the past decade of working with individuals and teams I have noticed that negativity and skepticism have become habits. We wake up thinking that today is going to be another bad day. “I hate going to this class it is so boring and I never learn anything.” “I don’t know why I am even making this sales call, they are not going to buy.” “My child doesn’t listen to a thing I say, I don’t even know why I try…”

When it comes to people and situations, we always find what we are looking for. Focus on the positive and you will find it.

Andrew Carnegie was once asked by a reporter; “How is it that you have so many successful people working for you?” His response was spectacular… he said; “I develop people like you mine for gold. When you mine for gold you go in expecting to sift through tons of dirt, rocks, trash and debris to find just an ounce of gold. But, you don’t go in looking for dirt and rocks and trash and debris. You look for gold and you don’t stop until you find it.” There is no wonder why he was one of the most successful industrialists of our time. What are you looking for in the people you encounter and the situations you are in?

What we think about comes about. Start looking for the positive things about your job, your co-workers, your marriage, your circumstances… and don’t stop until you find them. You will be amazed at how easy it is to find them and how many there are.

The late Zig Ziglar once said; “Having a positive attitude will not allow you to do everything but it will allow you to do everything better.” Try it, what do you have to lose?



New Year – New Habits – New You

January 8th, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

The gyms are packed, self help books are on back order and people are chanting “this is the year!” It is easy to be excited about your goals at this point but as we all know, in a few weeks, the tread mills will be vacant, books will become coasters and “I will do it later” will be the mantra. Here are some tips to keep you on the winning side of your goals.

1) Put it on paper.

This is one of the most important and most overlooked steps in accomplishing your goals. By writing your goals down you make a commitment or challenge to yourself. On paper and on purpose!

2) Be specific.

Don’t set a goal to lose weight. Set a goal to lose 5, 10 or 25 pounds. Don’t set a goal to save money, set a goal to save a specific amount and by a specific date. If my goal is to save $5,000.00 dollars by June 15th and I am starting on January 7th… all I have to do is save

$1,000.00 a month or…

$222.22 a week or…

$31.64 a day…

I am not saying it is easy but it is simple. Do X for X number of days and get the result you want. This leads to the 3rd step…

3) Set benchmarks.

There will be challenges, hiccups and set backs along the way. It is going to happen so accept it and plan for it. By setting bench marks, a time for you to sit down and analyze where you are and what adjustments you need to make, you can ensure that you do not stray too far away from your goal. Remember; our goal is small progress. Robert Collier said; “Success is the result of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

4) Remind yourself why.

It happens to everyone. There are going to be times when you want to take a day off, hit the snooze or stop altogether. These are the times when you must simply remind yourself why you are doing it. I love what the late Zig Ziglar said about positive reinforcement:

“You don’t pay the price for good health, you enjoy the benefits of good health. You don’t pay the price for a good marriage. You pay the price for a bad marriage.” It is impossible to beat the man who refuses to quit.

5) Celebrate!

There is a chance you will not accomplish all of your goals for 2013. A big chance in fact. However, when you set out to accomplish something great and give it your absolute best, you become great in the process. Accomplishing the goal is just the cherry on top.

Good luck and I hope 2013 is the best year yet…And then some.

Valuable Communication

July 23rd, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

I truly believe your quality of life is a result of your relationships. When you really think about it, everything we receive is a result of our relationships. Most people get a job because a friend recommended them, told them to apply or served as a reference. I met my future wife through one of my best friends, Brock Arnold. We join civic organizations, churches, softball teams… because of our friends or colleauges and through those, we meet more people and get afforded more opportunities.

So, here is a simple concept to remember:

“Valuable conversations lead to valuable relationships. Valuable relationships lead to a valuable life.”

Don’t let your conversations be controlled by negativity, drama or non-sense. Make it a habit to add value.

A Simple Legacy from Dr. Stephen Covey

July 17th, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

A quick overview of the simple yet profound legacy that Dr. Stephen Covey left behind.

Habit #1 Be proactive

This is the ability to control one’s environment, rather than have it control you, as is so often the case. Self determination, choice, and the power to decide response to stimulus, conditions and circumstances.

Habit #2 Begin with the end in mind

Covey calls this the habit of personal leadership – leading oneself that is, towards what you consider your aims. By developing the habit of concentrating on relevant activities you will build a platform to avoid distractions and become more productive and successful.

Habit #3 Put first things first

Covey calls this the habit of personal management. This is about organizing & implementing activities in line with the aims established in the second habit. Covey says that habit 2 is the first or mental creation; habit 3 is the second or physical creation.

Habit #4 Think win-win

Covey calls this the habit of interpersonal leadership, necessary because
achievements are largely dependent on co-operative efforts with others. He says that win-win is based on the assumption that there is plenty for everyone, and that success follows a co-operative approach more naturally than the confrontation
of win-or-lose.


Habit #5 Seek first to understand and then to
be understood

One of the great maxims of the modern age. This is Covey’s habit of communication, and it’s extremely powerful. Covey helps to explain this in his simple analogy ‘diagnose before you prescribe’. Simple and effective, and essential for developing and maintaining positive relationships in all aspects of life.


Habit #6 Synergize

Covey says this is the habit of creative co-operation – the principle that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which implicitly lays down the challenge to see the good and potential in the other person’s contribution.


Habit #7 Sharpen the Saw

This is the habit of self renewal, says Covey, and it necessarily surrounds all the other habits, enabling and encouraging them to happen and grow. Covey interprets the self into four parts: the spiritual, mental, physical and the social/emotional, which all need feeding and developing.

Music For Activities

June 19th, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

Attached is a list of my Fast, upbeat playlist I use in all of my programs. Enjoy!

FastPLay List


April 23rd, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

“Hope is what changes people. Encouragement is the fuel on which that hope runs.” ~ Zig Ziglar.

This great thought is often misunderstood.

If you are hoping your child gets better grades don’t just encourage them to study more; encourage them by helping them study.

If you are hoping for a better relationship don’t just encourage your partner to be better; encourage them by being better yourself.

If you are hoping for a better salary don’t just encourage your boss to pay you more; encourage them by doing more than is expected.

People are more likely to do what they see us do, not what they hear us say.

Personality Test

April 2nd, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

Is there really a need for one? If we were honest, would we agree that our answers are sometimes a “desired” representation of us as opposed to an honest one? I am a fan of personality profile tests if we are honest but the key point is simple if we just think about it. Whether you are gold, blue, orange or green… a dolphin, a lion, an eagle or a platypus… a motivator, an analyzer, a togetherness or an enterpriser; the lesson is simple…

75% of the world sees things differently than you. Seek first to understand someone else’s point of view.

Before talking about someone walk a mile in their shoes. If nothing else, you are a mile away and you have their shoes.

If Only…

March 19th, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

Don’t be an “if only” person.

An “if only” person has a list of things they wish they would have done. “If only I had traveled more.” “If only I had learned to play the piano, ran a marathon, went back to school…” These are the regrets that they encounter after it is too late to go back and do them.

Hopefully, for you, it is not too late to stop existing and start living. What memories do you want to make? Write them down. Don’t take a few minutes, take a few hours. Take the time to invest in you and make your life a story others will want to hear about. People spend more time deciding what they are going to wear than they do deciding how they are going to live.

Long before the movie “The Bucket List” was made, a 15 year old boy named John Goddard sat down at his kitchen table and wrote out his “life list.” There were 127 goals in all and they were BIG! Some were out of this world in fact. If you click on the link you can see them all and see what he has accomplished. It is truly amazing. What separates John Goddard from most people is not his financial situation or all the free time he has to do them; it is his drive. The 127 items he wrote down were not just goals, they were priorities.

I am sure your goals are difficult, hard to reach and they will result in some failure but remember there is no effort without error or shortcoming. Success is not in the achievement but in the try. If you do fail, at least you fail while doing and not from the sidelines wondering.

In 20-30-40 years will you have a head full of memories or a heart full of regret.

The greatest regret in a persons life is not to say they failed; it’s to say they never tried.

Go do the things you have dreamed of and then some.

Start With Why

March 14th, 2012

by: Kelly Barnes

If you set goals for yourself do you ever ask why? What are the reasons for wanting to accomplish them? There is power in the why. The why gives you the desire to start, the ability to persist and most importantly it is the barrier that keeps most from accomplishing anything.

Why do you want to lose weight, get a promotion, start a business or (fill in goal here)? If I were to ask you the reason why I could tell you, with confidence ,whether you are likely to accomplish the goal in the first place. I have found that most people set goals for negative reasons.

I want to lose weight because I am tired of being fat.

I want the promotion because I am tired of being broke.

I want to start my own business because I hate working for someone else.

When the reason you set the goal is negative you will look at every aspect of that goal in a negative way. Ask why and find the right reason.

I want to lose weight becasue I know it will make me look, feel and act 10 years younger.

I want to start my own business so I can build something that I and my family can be prooud of.

I want to get a promotion so I can have more financial freedom and make memories with my family.

Changing the why is a small change but makes for a big difference. Have a goal? Make a list of why you have it?

Remember; you dont pay the price for losing weigth, you enjoy the beneifts of being healthier. You dont pay the price for getting a better job or higher salary, you enjoy the benefits that come with it. When the WHY is there, the TRY will follow.