Burnout is a thing. It almost feels like depression, and you might feel just a bit anhedonic, which is the technical term for the inability to feel joy. This past year has taken a lot out of each of us. It’s felt very personal, and it’s been overly politicized. We’re coming out of a PAN-Demic, meaning that it was global… wide spread… around the world… and therefore, not personal.
Still, we stare at the same four walls, having gotten accustomed to working somewhere between 11 and 14 hours a day (so say the statistics). It’s easy to get up and flip on the computer to “just check email really quickly.” The rationalization is that if you can clear some emails out before breakfast, then the rest of the day goes more smoothly.
That’s not how it works. Burnout comes from feeling like there’s no end in sight mixed with a sense of questioning why this even matters.
The bottom line is that YOU LOST...
The topic of Excellence is particularly near and dear to my heart. It’s a value I seek in others and one I hold dearly for my personal life and my brand.
A little while back, during a casual conversation over a sushi dinner with a friend and client, I sought information about expectations as I prepared for presenting for his team the following day.
“John, what expectations do you have for me in my presentation tomorrow?”
“Excellence,” came John’s reply.
“Challenge accepted,” slipped from my lips as I smiled, lifting another sushi roll piece with my chopsticks.
I know, you might be lost at the sushi part. I happen to enjoy it, okay?
My friend mentioned that he expected excellence and I felt my body come alive.
The thing is that my friend wasn’t challenging me. I took it as such. I took his comment as a push to level up even further.
What I didn’t know is that he was endorsing...
I grew up the nice guy.
My super-power as a kid was in knowing how to placate, how to “make nice,” and make sure that everyone else was okay. I did a lot of going along to get along. And that meant that the me that could have been didn’t really show up.
We all go through the existential search for self. “Who am I, really?” is an age-old question. The problem was that I didn’t ever pause to ask that question until I became an adult.
The good news is that once asked, it led me on a quest to help myself and others.
I was so “nice” that I was dumped right before my senior prom in high-school and told I was a “good sport” for going anyway. I got into management and was threatened with being fired because I was being too nice.
Is it possible to be too nice?
I was smart, affable, funny, and… nice. Wasn’t that okay?
I’ve since learned that yes, nice matters.
Isn’t it great to share experiences with other people? When you’ve had a great vacation or enjoyed a great movie or meal somewhere, you want to let others know about it.
In an effort to connect and share in the experience, great conversations get hijacked and turned into something that actually serves to disconnect rather than to engage. We interject with a shared experience and the comment of “me too” doesn’t build the sought rapport.
“I can’t wait to get back to traveling.”
“Me too! Disneyland is my favorite and I can’t wait for it to open fully.”
(Obviously, this isn’t about the hashtag me too movement. That’s important for solidarity and awareness.)
Here, “me too” serves to take away from the other’s experience.
Instead, try inquiry.
“Traveling is great! Where do you want to go first?”
That step serves to...
Past, Present, and Future
We humans are funny creatures. We have wonderful imaginations and use them so poorly. Think about all of the trouble we’ve had. The truth is you’ve come through 100% of the hard times you’ve had.
You’ve survived. At the very bare minimum, you’ve survived every single one of the hard times you’ve had in your life. And yet…
If you’re like most people, you carry the past with you. You cringe at old thoughts as waves of guilt course through your body. The trouble we had in the past we can’t fix. We can make amends today, but we can’t go back to change what was.
That goes for wishing for a different childhood.
And it’s true for any transgressions you might have had.
Guilt is there to remind you that you have choice. Guilt itself is your way of continuing to pay the price for something. You’ve already experienced the “wrong-ness” of...
To be clear, you must focus on the right thing. Each thing you focus on gives a new meaning.
So you must put the EmPHAsis on the corRECT SyLAHble!
What you focus on matters.
Let’s look at a simple sentence and you can extrapolate that concept to pretty much everything in your life.
Do I Need To Do This?
DO I need to do this? I mean do I? Is this a thing I need to do? DO I need to do this?
Do I need to do this? Can anyone else do this or do I need to be the one to do it?
Do I NEED to do this? Sorting the pantry, taking out the garbage, watching NetFlix, getting lost in TikTok videos… Do I NEED to do that? Yeah, think about priorities!
Do I need TO do this? Is it something that’s coming? Something to look forward to?
Do I need to DO this? Is it something to think about or take action on? And when?
Do I need to do THIS? I mean, there are a million other things to do. Is this the...
The idea that life is a Worthy Struggle became the foundation for my first book. I thought about how important it was that we each engage in our passionate purpose, each day, every day, in whatever way we could.
In committing to doing so, we will enjoy victories. Yet with victory there’s a price. The price of practice, of defeat, of perching on the precipice of something big while knowing it could evaporate at any moment. Facing daily challenges is a worthy struggle.
And I set out to write that book.
As I wrote, I found myself being dragged down. I had to define and describe the struggle before noting how worthy it was. Everyone has a different sense of strife. And what was really hard yesterday isn’t so difficult today.
I changed the writing. I focused on the message. I didn’t want to celebrate the struggle and the focal point was leading there. So, I changed the core message to how to become better every day. I wrote and...
I recently lost my father.
I mean, it’s not like I lost my car keys. I know where we placed him… he passed away. Dark humor, I suppose. He might’ve even appreciated that.
Here’s what I know about loss – it’s very personal. Very. We each process it differently and in our own time.
When my mom passed away fifteen years ago, I was devastated. Crushed. Done. I thought I’d have more time to see her. She had been bravely battling cancer for five years and I told her I’d see her soon. I felt guilty for a long time. I had grief-storms in my closet; I was fine one minute picking my clothes for the day and the next second I was flooding with tears. Those blew in and out for about a month.
When my dad passed away last month, I had a rush of feelings all at once. I was sad, angry, depressed, relieved, confused, and curious. The feelings didn’t rock me. They swept through me. I experienced,...
Well, I’m back to feeling like my old self.
I used to strive for that.
I felt “off” and would want to feel “normal” again. I’d eat better, drink more water, and attend to my sleep.
I recently realized that I was headed in the wrong direction to want to be back to some former self.
I’m getting used to feeling different, like I’m being pulled toward something bigger.
The whole journey of “finding my purpose” is both scary and exciting.
Now I KNOW there’s no way that I’d want to be “back to my old self.”
You know what a toddler looks like running down hill? They’re excited and petrified at the same time.
Legs moving fast, arms up and flailing, a wild grin growing wider…
There's a lot of talk about the big Why.
When you fall into SHOULD it's easy to lose your sense of what it's all for.
We lose our sense of purpose when we feel like we’re doing it for someone else.
We return to our purpose when we remember that we positively affect the lives of others.
When you deliberately, actively, positively® affect someone else’s life, you’ve made the unconscious drudgery of getting through another day something much more conscious and unfathomably priceless.
Priceless – unbelievably valuable – you showing up…
Do you have a lot going on in your world right now?
It’s weird, right? We’re seeing the same things over and over and yet, as you read this, your day is probably scheduled far beyond what you want it to be. What...