Hey! There’s a New Year creeping up on us. As much as we’re tempted to just get 2020 behind us, isn’t it amazing at how fast this year really has flown by? It was eight months or so ago when the news was all abuzz about some “Novel Virus.” Not so new to us now, eh?
What we’ve learned is that there’s a lot more to our lives than getting up, going to work, and coming home. Few of us are now “working for the weekend” at all, especially as the days have all run together. We’re tired of being on video calls while, at the same time, we’re grateful that video calls have brought us together.
And somewhere in the past year we began to reflect on what we valued. We faced challenges we didn’t know we’d face. We were knocked down and we stood back up. We endured losses that were unthinkable last year at this time. And somehow, here we are trying to be normal.
Since “a new normal”...
With just days from Thanksgiving here in the U.S., we need to remember the heart of the message. No, not the fictitious tales we were all taught in elementary school about some feast, but what it means to be truly grateful.
Look around, look at your life.
Has there been hardship?
Has there been tragedy?
Yes, for most of us there has.
And yet, here you are, reading this on a phone, tablet, or computer.
We made it to this point which means we have been resilient.
Your New Year starts now.
It starts in gratitude.
DO NOT WAIT until January to decide to have a different 2021. You begin that process now. What you do today, and tomorrow, and the next day affects your New Year.
Think about what you were doing in August and September. How did you eat, sleep, move? What did you study? What connections did you make? What intentions did you set and keep consistently?
What you did in August and September is showing up today, right?
My recent TEDx talk focused on how we each not only get a chance to make a difference in others’ lives, but that we really NEED to. You get the opportunity to do so every single day.
It takes conscious thought to engage.
That’s what being deliberate is. When you deliberately seek to connect with another human, just one other, you become conscious of the connection that you make.
And that’s not a passive practice. It’s Active!
At the grocery store, people still look down. It’s almost as if to say, “If I look down, you can’t see me. And if you can’t see me, I can’t get COVID cooties on me.” The truth is that now, more than ever, it’s important to connect.
On your next video conference, instead of staring at the screen, stare into the camera when you speak. When you’re at the grocery store, look people in the eye. And at home – the people you pass in the...
You’re here. That makes you a leader.
When I write about leaders, it doesn’t matter what title you have, someone is watching you and you have the opportunity to model what excellence looks like.
That starts with your values. Are you clear about what you value? It sounds like an odd question and it’s easy to give the “of course” answer until you stop to think about that.
What you used to value (think back five or ten years) isn’t the same as what you currently value. And, you can actually choose to value something to live into for the future.
The first C to think about is Clarity.
When I work with leaders across the country (and around the world), one of the first places to start is focusing back on values. Who are you now?
More important, who do you want to become?
Clarity of your values opens the way for your strategic direction. You suddenly have a filter for what’s IN and what’s OUT of your life as you...
Ahhh… the beginning of the holiday season.
We’re faced with multiple challenges for the holiday season, especially as the pandemic wears on. So often we put on emotional armor in an effort to protect ourselves from the horrible conversations or confrontations that come up over the holidays. They don’t have to, but all too often, they do.
What happens that you’re thrown off by the holidays?
How are holidays different than the not-holidays?
Here’s a little truth for you:
Whether you’re running a business or running your family, you can’t do either well, if you’re not running yourself correctly.
The scripts play out in our heads, “She’ll say this. Then, I’ll say that. Then so-and-so will chime in and then xyz will happen and then the whole day will be ruined.” Hmmm, now what kind of cranberry sauce shall I make?
The TRUTH is that you’re as much about...
I have the pleasure of speaking with senior leaders across the country. Sometimes themes arise and I feel compelled to pass these along. If there’s something going on for two or more of my clients in different parts of the country, there’s something people need to focus on.
Most people think of redundancy as a bad thing.
In fact, many definitions point to something that’s redundant as something that’s no longer necessary or needed.
So how is redundancy in your personal and professional life akin to duct tape, something that holds it all together? Let’s take a lesson from engineering and the tech sectors, shall we? Redundancy is noted as being components that aren’t necessary for the running of the thing, but are used as backup in case of failure of the thing/system.
As I type this, I have my iPad near me. It has a Bluetooth keyboard. So, if my computer went out, or if the keyboard I’m using went out, I have a...
Just hold on loosely
But don’t let go
If you cling too tightly
You’re gonna lose control
- 38 Special
That’s it, really. If you’ve ever tried to manage something and felt like you were losing control, it’s likely that you were holding on too tightly. That you were trying to manage every little thing. And that’s the most wonderful balancing act you’ll ever do with your business or with those you care about.
You have to hold on, it’s your business or family or friendship. And if you feel like you’re being pushed back on or worse, ghosted or ignored, it’s probably a sign that you need to lighten up.
So how do you keep track of the things you think you need to track?
You ask what is needed to get to the outcome.
Did you ever notice how easy it is to get through the day and really not say much to other people? Sure, you engage. There’s work to be done. Niceties are exchanged. And at the end of the day, did you really connect with anyone… really?
In my history, I’ve worked as the HR Director at Whole Foods (NorPac Region), I’ve worked with senior leadership at AAA and Pride Institute doing Organization Development, and I’ve been the interim director of the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. I look back at some of the stuff I’ve done and marvel at the experiences I’ve had. And that list isn’t complete by any means.
There’s one job I had that taught me a lot. I ran a locked psychiatric facility for five and a half years. I learned a lot about management. I learned a lot about leadership. And I learned a lot about myself. (I can apologize to my team now. I’ve learned so much since that time a couple decades ago, I...
As you read this, pause for a second. You’re good, right? Your life is good, mostly? I mean if it stopped right now, look around at what you have, if your life stopped right now, you’d be okay. Wouldn’t you?
So many people I work with have such a shocked response to that. They swing from looking at all of the negatives and will talk about how life isn’t that good to talking about what is left undone. There’s so much that isn’t complete yet.
True, negatives are out there.
True, there’s a lot left undone.
And if you could put your life on “pause” for a moment, just to take inventory, you’re okay, right?
Those that want to push back have a point. Those that are able to pause for a moment, understand that it’s only a moment.
And this is the crux of living happily dissatisfied.
If you paused your life right now, you’d have A LOT to be grateful for. A LOT....
Yesterday was my birthday. (Thank you… thank you…) That makes it my New Year. And, for you, tomorrow starts Q4 of 2020. The year is not over. I know you are painfully aware of that. The good news is that you’ve found a pace that actually works for you. You found out that you’re resilient in ways you didn’t know you could or would be. And, you recognize that even with everything falling down around you, you’re strong and you still have choice.
That is the magic you bring to the world: your strength, your resilience, your courage to face another day of unknows. And that’s your story. Unique and powerful.
You might be asking where the Happy New Year stuff comes in. Two places, actually!
First, I use birthdays to do a personal inventory. It’s my personal New Year. So I look back at what goals I had. I reflect on my journey over this year. I look at what I did and what I didn’t do. And I look at whether my...
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