a summer challenge

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.”
José Ortega y Gasset

Stress.  It is an issue.

Stress is a result of a conflict with your values.   When you live a life that is inconsistent with what you value your emotional triggers are stirred.  At some point some issues presses you just hard enough.  You’ve had enough.

What do you value?

What are your values?

How would you write your value statements?

Are you honoring your values?   If not, why not?

When you experience more of what you want out of life then you’re likely living in a way that is consistent with what you value.   If there is something you value highly and you’re unable to satisfy that value then life isn’t going to be as good as you’d like it to be.

What is your level of stress?

What are you doing about it?

Master Your Stress

distracted – disturbed – dismayed

“Ten thousand flowers in the spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.”
Wu Men


More and more people are feeling that they have extended their physical and mental resources beyond what they can sustain and it is resulting in greater stress, burnout and distress.   The demands for using every minute of time in some endeavor has robbed people from taking a moment to just step back and relax and recover.

Electronic distractions are so common place that it has become fashionable to always be connected to some type of media and that is disconnecting people from reality.   The window to the soul is clouded by the window of the always-on lure of technology.

Burnout, stress and malaise is increasing and more and more people are looking for ways to restore their vitality as the increased pace and demand for more being done is impacting physical and mental health.

How do you break free of the pattern of life and work that is creating more distractions and resulting in a more disturbed way of living?

1. Pause and breathe
2. Exercise, talk a short walk every hour, move.
3. Meditate, even for 5 minutes, breathe in and exhale slowly.
4. Sleep, getting enough sleep so that you can think and work effectively.
5. Take time out to do nothing.  Just observe, watch and reflect on something of beauty.
6. Slow down.  Eat slowly, drink slowly and experience eating.

Observe what your life is like.  Is it getting filled with more and more stuff?  Are you feeling strained to meet all the requirements of work and life?   Are you spending more time just watching TV and numbing the brain?

Turn off the electronic devices.  Create an electronic device free zone and time and start getting your life back.

Find a way to get more harmony and peace into your life so that you have a life.

one more thing

“Just for today, smile a little more. Just for today, ask someone how he or she is really doing. Just for today, remember, while some may have it better than you do, there are others whom definitely have it worse than you! Just for today, just let go, just for today….”
― James A. Murphy



That is the call of the world.  More of you.  More time at work.  More time for everything but you.   Have you felt like you have given all that you can give and there is no more to give?  If you have you aren’t alone.

If you stepped back and looked at your life how would you rate your sense of well-being on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = Need Help Now, 10 = Living ideally)?   What is your score?   Are you living the life you thought you’d be living now?  Debt free?  Enough time to do what you love doing?  Finding peace and tranquility in your life?

Have you slipped into the exhaustion funnel and are slowly watching your life spin out of control?  Many people have and are deciding that working 12 hour days isn’t the kind of life they envisioned for themselves.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that job stress poses a threat to the health of workers.    Nearly 25% of employees view their jobs as the main stressor in their lives.  Health issues are increasing and they are being driven by on the job stress.

When job expectations are not in alignment with employee expectations stress will occur.   When managers expect more from people and use threats (and the fact there are many others seeking work) many employees feel powerless to ask for changes to be made.   Over time the stress leads to more illness, less productivity and more conflict.

Signs of stress include:
– Headaches
– Irregular sleep
– Short term
– Difficulty focusing and concentrating
– Upset Stomach
– Job dissatisfaction

What do you do if you find yourself at the limit and not willing or able to take on one more thing.

One way to combat the stress of work and life is to take time out of your day to do some mindfulness exercises.  Even five minutes of deep breathing every couple of hours can have a dramatic impact in reducing the level of stress  you feel.

– Stop and take a deep breath, count to six on inhale and exhale counting down from six.   Do that for 3 to 5 minutes.

Learn mindfulness  and learn how to reconnect with your feelings and become aware of your feelings, stress and anxiety , feel the sensations in your body and identify them.  What are you feeling and experiencing?   What emotions are most present?   Write down what you are sensing?

Can you let go of those feelings?
Will you let go of those feelings?

Let yourself feel a sense of calm and peace come to you.  Notice what it feels like.  Relax and let the stress go.

Take just a few minutes each day to let go of the stress, the anxiety, the worry, the fear and the noise.   Just let it go.


Focus on fewer things in your life.  Let things go.   Turn off the phone, TV, radio and just relax for a few minutes.

the daily routine

SONY DSC“Most of our faculties lie dormant because they can rely upon Habit, which knows what there is to be done and has no need of their services.”
― Marcel Proust

An enormous amount of your time is managed by the habits you have.  Habits can replace cognitive thinking with programmed patterns.   Driving to work can become a habit and so much so that act of driving to work becomes a non-experience.  Have you ever lost sense of driving to work?   Most people have.

If a habit like driving can be programmed into the mind, how many other daily activities have been replaced by a habit.  How you interact and greet other people can become a habit, the same phrase used over and over again.    Work could turn into a habit as well, routine, ordered and structured.

Have you noticed what things have been become routine at work?   What about other areas of your life?

If you decide your habits are not helping you grow or do things in a new way then it might be time to evaluate your habits and determine how they are impacting your life.

– Monitor your day.
– See what things are routine.
– Determine what things should be routine and what things should be changed.
– Start something new.  Do something different.  Be bold.
– Test the ideas.  Are you doing something better than you did before?

There are many things you can do to break a routine.  Take a different way to work.  Eat at different time.  Take a class rather than watching TV.

Interrupt the “normal” way of life.  It isn’t always easy.  Making changes allows you to grow and growth is good.

work as practice

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”
― Martha Graham


How well do you do you work?   Do you do it as well as you’d like to do it?  Are you given the chance to really practice your skills or are you just doing the work without practice.

If you watched the “NCAA Basketball Championship” then you noticed that the winning team was only able to their results through hours and hours of practice.  A winning team needs a lot of practice, lots of working together, working on understanding how others communicate and to learn the strengths and abilities of the other team members.

How much time do you spend learning about the other people on your team?  What are their weaknesses?  What are their strengths?   How would your team function if you could maximize the strengths of each of the team members?

In your role, what would you like to be more practiced in?   What would help you perform at a higher level?   How would you establish a program to help you improve your work and get more practice?

living beyond the ordinary

“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible”
― Cherie Carter-Scott


What kind of life are you living right now?   Is it the kind of life you really want or are you looking for something that would make your life more than just ordinary, plain, a dull grey rather than a life that is wonder filled, exciting and full of color.

Which column of words below describes your life?

Ordinary Extraordinary
Comfortable Uncomfortable
Reactive Proactive
Fearful Fearless
The easy way the right way
Self-centered Other-centered
Risk adverse Risk tolerant
What’s in it for me We all win
Closed Minded Open Minded
Resigned Engaged
Victim Creator
Stingy Generous
Judgmental Acceptance
Waiting Acting

What are you intentionally doing to make your life better?

What are you taking charge of?   What will it take so that you can start living an extraordinary life?

Step outside of your comfort zone and explore living  with feeling, with zest, with abundance, with a sense of being alive and with a sense of excitement.  Think about where you are right now and where you could be, what is it that you really want?  Set the intention and take action today.

support or challenge

“If you are facing a new challenge or being asked to do something that you have never done before don’t be afraid to step out. You have more capability than you think you do but you will never see it unless you place a demand on yourself for more.”   Joyce Meyer


Are you being challenged at work and in life?   What are you challenged by?   Now, by challenge think about in the sense of growth and learning rather than hardship and stress.

Leaders create challenging environments for followers.   The provide roles or opportunities that challenge the skills, intelligence and strengths of their followers.   You may have seen that in some aspect of your life where you were given challenges that forced you to grow, what was that like?

Some people who act as leaders provide too much challenge and that challenge is in the form of intimidation, too many rules and threats.   These types of leaders are often unaware of their behaviors and the impact they are having on their followers.

“We live by encouragement and die without it — slowly, sadly, and angrily.”
― Celeste Holm

Leaders also provide support, the kind that is encouraging and motivating as that fuels accomplishment.   Do you remember a time when someone supported your dreams and desires and encouraged you to seek after your dreams?   A leader will recognize your strengths and challenge you to fully realize them.

The danger for a leader though is not to provide so much support that there is no challenge or no opportunity to grow.   To much support and result in laziness or complacency.

The leader is seeking to understand how great a challenge and how much support each of their followers needs and creates a vision that empowers the followers to achieve great things.

When was the last time you felt supported and challenged in your endeavors?