February, 18 2006
Computers...They are our best friends and worst enemies at the same time. So, pardon me...I'm going to philosophical here for a minute. To be truly happy, we need to accept the world as it is -- not as we wish it could be. I see eyes rolling already. She is probably going to tell us to be pleased about something rather than angry or frustrated or miserable. And that's right. Computers are machines -- sophisticated though they are. And they encounter mechanical problems. Mine chose this week -- not a good one to do it, of course -- to totally break down. It had a problem -- problem wasn't fixed properly -- got worse and worse and worse. And I'm now without the darn thing for who knows how long. I'm currently writing this on an OLD laptop, which has its own issues. Anyway, like any business issue, we need to expect the unexpected. We need to know to have back-up plans. We need to find solutions -- ALWAYS -- that's the key. Last time my computer was down I couldn't access my calendar or addressbook. Now I have a Blackberry, which provides both easily and efficiently. It's not without an expense and that needs to be built into the business model too. I haven't used the Blackberry for e-mail so I'm in the process of figuring out how to get that too. It's a matter of looking for the answers not focussing on the problems. If you have a computer, you will have a problem -- guaranteed. We can either figure out ways to go on, which may take some patience (I'm always in short supply of that) or money (limits there too) or creativity or outside support -- the list goes on. It's definitely an obstacle and in the overall scheme of things -- my gosh...we know it could be worse! May your technology run smoothly today!
February, 06 2006
One of my favorite poets said: "To be nobody but yourself in a world, which is doing its best -- night and day -- to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which human beings can fight and never stop fighting."
cummings was such a genius and yet that phrase showed that he on occasion struggled with his creativity, self expression and uniqueness just like the rest of us.
Please think about his quote. Then think how it makes you feel.
I recognize that for decades I have been trying to get this square peg (ME!) to fit into a round hole that someone else has created. And I see many of my friends and clients having varying degrees of success in fitting in to other people's expectations. Some of my colleagues (those that I might envy the most) are happy because their expectations and others are the same. Others strain to be what others want them to be.
If I could encourage everyone I meet and know to do one thing -- it would be to do what you do your way. I suppose that there are better and worse ways to do many things -- but so what! I have seen people make huge sums of money by doing something that someone told them would NEVER work. You know that too. What made that person go forward and some of the rest of us go back. (Go back to the cummings quote for the answer)
It takes strength and a strong will to move forward against what might seem like sage advice. It also takes some practice because we are programmed from childhood on the RIGHT way to do stuff. So, my friends, practice and act and have fun on the journey.
January, 30 2006
I am writing on "taking bold action" because I have had two clients recently, who know they should take action -- will likely eventually take action -- but are resisting taking actions that are obviously in their best interest. In both cases, these individuals KNOW that they must leave their current jobs and move on. In BOTH cases, money isn't the deciding factor in their staying. They both feel responsibility to their employer and that's a good thing. But they could give notice and still complete their tasks if the employer agreed, which it is likely to do. So what's the hang-up? These folks are like all of us at times. They want to get their ducks in a row before putting anything into action. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Well, it's not. Many years ago, Tom Peters wrote in one of my favorite books, "Search for Excellence," a whole lot on the premise of "Ready, Fire, Aim." Yep, that's right. You get ready (often by just recognizing that the time is NOW to act and coming up with a little plan) and then you do something in support of your decision and then finally you fine-tune your activities. See, most of us go ready -- aim -- fire. And when we shoot if we don't hit the target, we chastise ourselves because we think we didn't do the "aim" part right. Nope. We just got things a bit out of order. We MUST be bold! We MUST take action...that's it! BOLD ACTION. If you are looking for work and you have resources, release yourself from your current job and go full steam ahead into the creation of your new line. One of the individuals I mentioned has redone her resume, is searching the papers, is going on interviews and making contacts -- all clandestine so that the employer doesn't yet discover what is up. Sounds reasonable, yes? What I recommended is giving three months notice (her organization would accept that -- this person even agrees with that assessment). Take the first two months to find the replacement and also whip up a great resume and cover letter and start calling people with the words, "I have given notice and I'm seeking a management position that better serves me geographically." Enlist the help of associates and vendors and friends from the get-go. No need for secrecy here. There's a difference in energy level when we are up front and obvious about our needs rather than going under-cover. One procedure is laced with fear -- the other is borne of confidence. Neither person recognizes his power, strength or potential contribution or the action would reflect it. I think I'm all for reasonableness but not when it is a cover-up. Sounds harsh doesn't it? It's really not. Friends don't let friends hide behind their insecurities. It doesn't serve them and it doesn't produce results. Instruct on BOLD ACTION and then be there during the bumpy times, which will still be better than being sympathetic. REALLY.
January, 22 2006
Last week -- at the last minute -- I was asked to pinch hit for a coach/speaker (like myself) who had to drop out due to a family emergency. The group asked if I could speak to the topic of "Finding Balance in One's Life." This is not usually something that I think a lot about since I have divined a life for myself right now that is very much in balance. However, it hasn't always been that way. Sometimes I think we have to live through certain circumstances because as we get to the solution we might be able to help someone else. I was surprised by how smoothly the talk came for me -- with just a few notes, I seemed to hit many responsive notes in the audience -- and I came up with some tips, which I'll share now. First -- be in the moment. While we may be great at multi-tasking, when we concentrate on the task at hand, we can complete it with ease and move onto the next job, but if our mind is on EVERYTHING that needs to be done by a certain time, we feel that resistance within us, which is called stress! Also, it isn't necessary to overanalyze every step we take. I know that I can put myself over the edge talking about what I need to do rather than just DOING it. Next tip: plan your day even down to the amount of television you will watch, time you will spend on the computer, and other activities that may be considered leisure and stress-reducers. TV and computer can numb us and we can sit in front of both for very long periods of time and then wonder how the hours disappeared. Do more with consciousness and clarity of purpose. And then remember that [b]time is on your side[/b]. It often works for us even when we think it's working against us. Listen to your inner voice: if you start out late, you start talking about being late and what you'll say and how you'll behave, etc. Rather say to yourself that you choose to be at the desired location at just the RIGHT time and that you will accomplish all that you need to in just the RIGHT way. Program yourself for success. Don't WORRY with excuses. And finally turn off the worry machine in general -- worrying dissipates your energy and accomplishes NOTHING...EVER...And, finally, be as solution-oriented as possible. Think not a second more about what has happened that's in the past -- you know that you cannot go back. That's over and what is before you represents an exciting opportunity. Next! What can I do to be excellent in the coming task or event? THAT is the question!