Do You Need To …


ImageDo You Need To Go To Your Happy Place? 

Your co-workers, family and friends will thank me for this!

You know you’ve said it to someone else… “Go to your happy place…” hoping that they would some how magically transport themselves there and never come back.  We are constantly surrounded by people who get frustrated- a lot- and never seem to be able to get a grip, or find any kind of positive perspective.  

And what about you?

How often do you need to take a mental vacation?  

Stop right now and count how many times today you have criticized, sighed, moaned, rolled your eyes, grunted, hurled an expletive, became emotional on any level about something minor…

Ahuh, not pretty.  I know, I know!  Our work environments and our lives are filled with constant frustration after frustration.  So how do you manage it and when possible, dispense it all together?

1.  Quit Trying To Change People
I love the saying that  says “Until your own door step is immaculate, don’t try sweeping mine.”  Need I say more?

2.  Quit Wasting Your Emotional Energy
Ok, so the pencil sharpener won’t work!  Does it REALLY deserve that much of a reaction??  Really?  It’s such an investment in something you can’t control AND it won’t change the outcome AND you’re bothering everyone around you AND your blood pressure just went up AND it’s never really the pencil sharpener anyway is it?? 

3.  Quit Juggling
I have never in 20+ years working with teams met someone who was good at multi tasking.  Prioritize for productivity, PLEASE!

4. Quit Trying To Be Perfect
Aim for growth. Aim for better. Aim for improvement.  You will live in a constant state of frustration if perfection is your goal – and you will never achieve it. 

5.  Quit Comparing Yourself To Others
It can lead to motivation, but typically, it doesn’t so tread carefully and run your own race.

6.  Quit Being Impatient
Stop trying to be Donald Trump by next Tuesday.  It amazes me the years and years we spend behaving a certain way (physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally) and yet become angry that we aren’t on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue two weeks into the diet. Be realistic!

7.  Quit Relying On Other’s to Get You There
It’s great to have support and encouragment from others, but be personally accountable for your own results.  Don’t be totally reliant on others to get you there (where ever “there” is) 

Stuff happens.  And we can’t always control it, but we can control ourselves.  Ready to return from “your happy place”?  I hope so.  The trick is to make right where you are more peaceful.  Although an occasional mental trip to Turtle Island isn’t a bad thing….

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Make Your Meetings Memorable


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According to surveys by Wharton Center for Applied Research, managers report that only 56% of their meetings are productive – and that 25% would have been more effective as conference call, memo, or voicemail.  Conclusion: the cost of misguided meetings is high.Meetings are the window to the soul of your business or team.  If developed and managed correctly, meetings can give you insights, ideas and direction that can propel your goals and objectives into another realm.  So how do you keep our meeting from becoming a universal joke about useless and ineffective meetings?  Here are 4 tips that will help and, create results you’ll love!

1.  Let Them Contribute
This is the one thing that will  make or break a meeting.  It’s so hard to do and absolutely must be a rule you follow to keep ideas flowing and to allow people to contribute in their way without a filter being applied or any kind of judgment on their ideas.  You shouldn’t moderate anything in an effective meeting and really anything goes.  All ideas.  Weird, difficult, unrealistic and any other ideas must be allowed.  These, in fact, allow people to be comfortable with the creative process and you want to promote and encourage ideas, not instill fear of blurting out a dumb idea.  There is no reason to have any criticism in a meeting (or anywhere else for that matter) and if you see that happening at any time, put an end to it and reinforce that you welcome weird, and what even seems like bad ideas.

2. Let Them Talk To Thy Neighbor
Encouraging participants to idea build during your meeting can substantially increase outcomes.  NO IDEA IS OFF LIMITS (see #1 above) and all thoughts should be received well and listened to.  You never know when that magical moment of playing off each other’s idea is going to spark the next big swing in direction your team moves in – so squelch the Shhhhhhhh’s and watch the creativity fly!!

3. Let Them Think Ahead  
How many meetings have you attended that started out with the meeting facilitator passing out a ream of handouts or projecting a PowerPoint slide for discussion.  The mere thought makes me cringe – it’s uber frustrating!  A group read along is hardly productive for goal accomplishment.  For MAX productivity and assurance of results – send all participants the PowerPoint deck 48 hours before the meeting time and let them prepare AHEAD for your discussion.  Allowing your participants to do pre-work on charts, graphs and reading material is a sure fire way to gain maximum engagement in your meeting and will hands down give you the “Best Presenter of the Day” award.

4.  Let Them Focus
When at all possible, get them out of their natural office surroundings.  THINK DISTRACTION FREE!  You may think that being “close to home” is the way to go and will cut the cost of your meeting, but email, phone calls and co-worker interruptions COST YOU AND YOUR MEETING PRODUCTIVITY more than a day at an offsite.  Find venues that know how to cater to your meeting objectives and agenda.  Those venues are worth their weight in gold.

Meetings aren’t going away (we don’t think they should).  They are a necessary part of our every day work life.  Creating effective meetings however, take time and a little creativity to improve morale, increase productivity and substantially increase engagement.  When those three benefits happen – you’ll never go back to that boring old PowerPoint deck again (Thank goodness!!)

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The Whole Is Much Greater Than The Sum Of The Parts


There’s a saying: “I prayed for God to protect me from my enemies, and all my friends disappeared.” I know this sounds harsh, but surrounding yourself with negative, draining people regardless if they are friends or family, raises no one to another level. Let them go, or severely limit your time with them and love them from a distance.  Jim Rohn (mentor to many of the personal development greats such as Tony Robbins and Darren Hardy) said, “You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with in all areas, mood, outlook, finance, character, body shape and importantly, your health!”  Who are you spending time with?

Success can only flourish in the realm of possibility.  Negative people can quickly deflate, demoralise and rain on your parade. And they will – to make themselves feel better about not reaching their potential.  Don’t ask them to be excited for you, help you, or even understand your excitement about success.  They aren’t capable of it and will only try to magnify your doubts.

Early on in my first entrepreneurial adventure 21 years ago, a mentor gave me the above advice and it took me a long time to heed it.  It felt mean, uncaring and disloyal to those I thought were my friends.  When an misunderstanding happened and alienated me from them (their doing)  I was devastated.  I realise now, ending our friendship was the best gift they ever gave me, and I have since soared!! When I see them periodically, they are still talking about the same pathetic issues they were talking about 21 years ago.  I cannot fathom, that had they not severed ties, would I still be in the same place right along side them?  Are you?

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, who allow you to grow, flourish, blossom and affirm you as a winner. Choose people who have similar goals and aspirations and spend time with them. Something magical happens when you do this, the energy grows bigger as the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts.

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Resolve: It Ends Before It Begins


We are 3 days into the new year.

Are you still jazzed about your resolution?
Have you hit a bump?
Have you cheated or slipped?
Have you experienced at setback?
Has it been difficult?
Are you still determined?
Are you excited?

It’s all inspirational on New Year’s eve at 11:58 pm with a glass of champagne in your hand and all is right with the world, but quickly, reality sets in and we start to experience trials.

Is it going to be easy? Nope! So is it over? Or does the real challenge begin?

How are you overcoming challenges? I’d love to hear.

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Push Through The Umph


I’m a sports fan.  Have been since I was 7 years old an NFL girl (GO DOLPHINS!) And while I pledged my heart, eternal love & devotion  to the Mi Ami Dolphins all those years ago, I am truly a sports fan in many areas. Seriously think I am going to learn a little about hockey this year….but I digress….

 Let’s talk Olympics.  I love the inspirational effect of the Olympics.  The opening ceremonies and the lyrics of the songs the create for that event.  The compelling human interest stories that come with every athlete.  The moment of glory.  The crowing of a champion.  It is compelling to watch, to celebrate with them.  But so often, as I get caught up in a particular story or moment of excellence, I find myself wondering about the behind the scenes part.  The part we don’t get to see in an athlete’s journey. 

Most people only see or experience the end of someone else’s journey or victory.  But is that where a champion is made? On the highest podium, bending to be adorned with gold at the MOMENT of victory?  Uh, not even close.  The champion is made in all the moments we don’t see.  Ever think about that?  Ever think about what happens the four years in between the Olympics?   I call it, the “umph” years.

It’s been said that “The difference between try and triumph is a little extra umph”. The longest part of any journey is the time spent between the decision to TRY and the actual TRIUMPH.  It’s this UMPH section I am referring to. 

What happens in the “umph” section?  TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS.  Adversity happens. And here is the big news.  The reason it happens is to reveal to you what your true values are.  You think those athletes had it easy getting to where they are at the moment of glory?  NO WAY!  They have had to persevere in the “umph” section.  Dig deep.  Find purpose.  Believe without evidence.  They had to BECOME a champion.

Trials & tribulations hold you hostage and it demands your faith, your health, your determination, your belief in yourself or even your life to overcome them. Your reaction to trials & tribulations illuminates your true values and adversity in the “umph” section should never betray what your true values are.  Adversity strips away the pretense and self-delusion and shows you what you treasure the most and where your heart truly is.  Whatever you are not willing to sacrifice is your greatest treasure, and wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So give thanks for adversity.  It gives you a chance to see yourself as you really are and to make corrections before it is too late.  Do not grow weary for you will win if you don’t lose heart – and that makes the journey through trials & tribulation the ultimate TRIUMPH!

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Whatever It Is You Do…Give It All You Got!


I am pretty sure there are some things in life I don’t have to experience to know that I would not enjoy them.  In fact, on the top of my list is wearing a costume – of any kind.  Hugely dislike.  Won’t do it. Really, REALLY not something I would enjoy.  So, wearing a costume of a gigantic slice of pepperoni pizza, is most definitely, unequivocally, with out any doubt something that is not going to happen in my world.  Not for any amount of money (ok, I am not being completely truthful there about the money part…but you get my gist.)

Wednesday night I decided – at the last minute – to go listen to a great band playing at The Taste of Peoria.  I was just in the mood for a beautiful evening outdoors while listening to really fun music.  I had no intention of it being anything life altering or even blog inspiring but then, I saw PizzaMan.

PizzaMan (pictured above) was an unexpected, attitude changing event in and of himself.  In fact, so much so that I am not sure I even heard the first set the band played.  I was fixated on the performing giant slice of pie.   

PizzaMan was passion – dressed in pepperoni.  He was enthusiasm – encased in dough.  He was commitment to a purpose – cloaked in mozzarella.  Hundreds of us watching his unending energy laughed.  We poked fun (all in good fun) and the band even mentioned that not even if he caught on fire would his huge energetic attitude be squelched. PizzaMan danced with the crowd, did back flips, smiled incessantly and had an aura about him that could be felt from yards away. He was a scene stealer and a darn good one at that. I am not sure I have ever witnessed a higer level of employee engagement, EVER.

You see, I just said it.  He was hired by an owner of a pizza place to “sell pizza”.  Would you do that?  Would you don a life sized costume of pizza and “sell pizza”?  More than that – would you do it with all the joy you had in you in front of hundreds of people knowing that you were being laughed at & joked about? 

Most of us blessed enough to be employed in these difficult economic times should apologize to our employers for perhaps, our terrible attitudes, the long hours and the constant dumping of more onto our plates.  I don’t know PizzaMan’s situation, but I do know, by his actions and example Wednesday night, he was elated to have the job he had – and I was inspired to be grateful for mine.

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One Bad Apple


Donny Osmond knew it!

Everyone has a purpose in your life. 

Some people’s purpose in your life is not necessarily in your best interest.  They are dead weight, providing no value.  Eliminate them.  Harsh?  Perhaps.  But that’s the thing about the truth.  Sometimes harsh, always fair.  Eliminating the toxic people (I call them “blessing blockers”) will open up room for free flowing favor!

Emotionally toxic people can ravage us from the inside out. Yet, what exactly defines a toxic person depends on who you talk to. In my life, I’ve found toxic people are those who:

  • take and never give in return
  • constantly complain
  • gossip
  • put others down to make themselves feel better
  • make others feel guilty
  • can only criticize
  • have no joy or laughter

What all toxic people have in common is that they always leave us powerless, vulnerable, and depleted. Feeling this way for long periods of time is devastating to our physical and emotional health. Toxic people don’t help us, they harm us.  So how do you clean up the poison?  Simple.

If You Allow Unhealthy Relationships To Stay in Your Life, You are a Volunteer, NOT a Victim.

STOP THE INSANITY!  (Where is Susan Powter when you need her?) And guess what, only you can CHOOSE to stop it.  On your time, on your terms!  And when you are READY, it won’t be hard.  The quickest way out of victim mode?  RESPONSIBILITY! Accept that you are allowing what you’re allowing.  You’re not forced to have this person/situation in your life.  And until you GET that, you will continue to go on volunteering for the drama, unhealth and misery.

One final thought?  Are you the person some one else needs to remove from their life? Just a little food for thought .  But hopefully of not the bad apple type.

 

 

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