Monthly Archives: June 2011

don’t you wish

“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”   Richard Bach

Wisheswishes …more wishes …

I wish I had a new job.

I wish I had a new car.

I wish I had more money.

I wish I could go on vacation.

I wish I could have _______________   (fill in the blank).

What are you wishing for?

What would you do if you could find a way to make those wishes come true for you?   What would it feel like to find a new job, to patch a relationship, to earn more money?   Not through some quick fix program that promises more than could ever sound real, like how to be a millionaire in a few easy steps.

Getting results for you comes at a price and that price is commitment to a goal, a passion to improve and a desire to the real work that is necessary.  All to often people are looking for a quick way to get to their goals and the real answer is that it takes work and time.   There is no “secret” answer to success.  There is no “secret” formula that will make you rich.   Darren Hardy wrote this,  “No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future.”, and that summarizes everyone’s future potential.

If you are wishing for something then start taking steps towards making that wish come true.   What steps would it take?  What new skills would it take?  What would it cost to get your wishes to come true?   Taking a realistic, objective and introspective look at who you are and what you want to do will start the process of making positive lasting change.

 

Identify,

What do I want to change?

When do I want to make the change?

What are the benefits of the change?

What am I scared of?

I have heard from people this, “When I start to change I always go back to where I was before and it looks like the same old thing.   Time after time I have tried to change and I get nowhere, what do I do then?”   It is frustrating to start to make a change and end up right back where you started, it is tiring to make attempts that don’t produce results.

I usually ask people what was their level of commitment to the change and how did they follow through with the change.  I ask them who was holding you accountable along the way.   I ask them what small steps that they were taking and how did they celebrate success as they moved forward.   In many cases people don’t celebrate success but they do take time to say, “I am not good enough”, “What an idiot”, “Who did I think I was to attempt change”, I guess I better just quit it’s not going to work anyway”.   Those phrases thought or spoken just pull a person down into a very negative place and that causes most people to quit.

So, what separates a person who does succeed and those that don’t?   The successful people push just a bit harder when the going gets tough.   Successful people work through the challenges and stand firm in the face of resistance.   (It doesn’t mean being foolhardy, it means being strong and creating opportunities to win).

What are you wishing for?   What do you want to do with your wishes?  When will you start making your wishes come true?

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement”  Napolean Hill

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treadmill of life

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them. ”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you running on the right track?   It seems that there are many people who are guessing which direction to go in life.   Some are just getting out of college and are now asking the questions, “where do I go from here?”   Others not quite out of college are asking, “where do I go from here?”

There are adults in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond that are asking those same questions, “Am I on the right path?”   People are asking if they are going in the right direction in large numbers.   There is a general sense of dissatisfaction with life as it is.

There are people who have worked in a job for over 20 years and are now thinking this isn’t worth the price I pay to do this.   The stress is overwhelming, the pace is dragging people down and there are manager’s who are still living in yesterday’s paradigm and haven’t made the leap to leadership.

Disengaged, disenfranchised, lost, confused and wandering seems to be the story so many people are writing these days.   As the commercial says, “Want to get away?”, and there are many people who just want to get away.

What can you do if you are on a path that isn’t bringing you any joy or happiness?

Here are two ways to look at the problem.

1. Decide what you really want to do and do it.
2. Make the best of what you have now, make a choice to be happy.

Let’s talk about happiness for just a few minutes.

About 60% of our happiness comes from our genetic makeup and  our circumstances.  The remaining 40% comes from our choices.    That is if we can take the reins of our own thoughts we have the ability to create our happiness.  The belief that someone else can make you happy is an erroneous one, it is your choice to be happy or not.

Happy people choose to be grateful for what they have even in difficult circumstances.  People who are happiest tend to exercise, diet and get the right amount of sleep.

When I work with people with ADHD/ADD one of the things that comes up is their dissatisfaction with their current situation.  It is too stressful, too overwhelming,  and there are too many interruptions.    Inattention to what needs to be done is a stress point for people with ADHD and that alone lowers their happiness.   While most people can focus on a single thought, people with ADHD have a tendency to lose focus quickly and jump from thought to thought especially if there is any gap in what they are doing (listening to people speak is one of them,  slow speakers allow the thought of an ADHD person to wander away).    In other words the ADHD symptoms impact happiness and it takes more effort for those with ADHD see the greater happiness in their lives.

The point is if you aren’t happy with where you are in life you do have a choice.   You can make the choice to be happy in the current circumstances or you can change the circumstances.

What treadmill are you on?   Will you make a choice to be happy or do you want to make a change and find happiness?

Where do you want to run to?   What are you hoping to find?

 

quiet desperation … overwhelmed?

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. ”  Henry David Thoreau

I was working with a person who described his life as a constant state of being overwhelmed.   There was work to be done a long list of things that could be, should be done and yet the action needed to make that list go down wasn’t happening, it was overwhelming.    Have you experienced a sense of being overwhelmed at some point in your life or is it a daily occurrence?

The sense of being overwhelmed is a characteristic of those who have ADHD/ADD symptoms.   Lists become too large, the disorganization too much and finally the feelings of being overwhelmed take over and stop progress.   When an ADHD person reaches their tolerance for getting the list done activity halts  (the brain can’t focus on just one thing but shifts around and around and around the many things that have to be done and nothing gets done) as the mind tries to make sense of the things that need to get done.    It becomes a frustrating and upsetting process to know that there are things to be done and all you see are the  things  that aren’t getting done.   For some people that constant inability to get things done leads to depression or withdrawal.   People in work situations people with ADHD experience the stress of meetings, deadlines, and the list of things that should have been done yesterday and can become overwhelmed.

One way to create balance and focus in each day is to break down the list of things that “need” to be done into three categories.   Get a sheet of paper and  create 5 columns,  one for date, a done column and a minimum, acceptable and ideal column.

Minimum column:  What is the minimum that needs to be done today.  These are high priority items that need to get done today.   If you get these things done today you will have had a “good” day.  This is the minimum to get done.

– Acceptable column:  If things are going good and you get the things done on the minimum column the items in this column are ways to improve the outcome for the day.   It would be great to get these things done and getting these done would allow you to feel successful in terms of accomplishments.

– Ideal column:   This column would contain items that you would really like to get done and it would take a day where things just clicked and the mind stayed focused and interruptions were minimal.   If you accomplished this amount of work you would have an “outstanding day”.   If you don’t get these things done it doesn’t mean the day was bad or not a good day, this is what could get done if your day was ideal.

Each day separate the items into the three columns “Minimum”, “Acceptable” and “Ideal”.   If you are successful in getting the work done in any of the columns create some reward mechanism that you will give a sense of accomplishment (healthy snack, a short break, 5 minutes of meditation).   Yes, celebrate success.   Getting things done is great, and rewarding that effort is an important part of the process as well.  Perfectionists would tend to think that the only way to get through the day would be to get all the items on all three lists done and if they didn’t they would believe they didn’t have enough on the list (is that true, perfectionists?).

AIM to make each day ideal but be happy to get the minimum done.

Each day produce this chart and before you start the day define what has to get done vs. what would make an ideal day in terms of output.   Make the lists realistic.    Estimate the amount of time it will take to do the tasks and then prioritize the tasks in terms of energy required to complete the task.  If the task is something you don’t want to do, get that done first.   Get the hard things out of the way.  Why?   Most people have more energy early in the day and have more time to focus.   Find a period of time that you can focus 100% of your effort on getting the work done, preferably when there are no distractions.    Create a new list each day don’t just pull from the previous day’s list unless it is necessary for those things to get done.

If you happen to have ADHD,  getting your day organized is usually one of the biggest challenges.   If you just charge off into the day and “do” things you may be doing things that aren’t important.   If you just sit there and look at how much has to get done and get overwhelmed then that isn’t going to help you be successful either.    For ADHD people an organized assault on each day is necessary.   It takes practice and diligence (a difficult commodity to find in the ADHD world) to get through each day.

Now, the list has to be somewhere where it is in your face.  It can’t be in a pile or under a pile to be useful.   If you are a computer user (and many people are) get that list right in front of you.   If you aren’t doing the kind of work that is 80% computing work, get a while board and organize it with the columns that are shown in the picture above.   Each day write down the what  needs to get done.   Make sure the whiteboard is in a place you can see and use easily – make it front in center.   If it is in your office make it your task board and don’t cover it over with other materials.   Make it your focal point.    For children with ADHD, a white board may be useful (unless it turns into an art project) if it is in a place where it can be seen and has all the tasks they need to do for the day.

Making it routine.   The hard part for ADHD people is getting lists, or task boards to be part of their regular daily routine.    It has to be “fun” in some way and it has to turn into a habit just like many other daily routines.

Start today – start making the big list into smaller bite sized lists and start celebrating success and feeling better about who you are.

“There are times when we each have only enough strength to complete those assignments that we are fully convinced are important.”  Goethe

when will the pain go away …

“Pain can be endured and defeated only if it is embraced.  Denied or feared, it grows. ”  Dean Koontz,  Velocity

Pain can be endured, denied it grows.   So many people are enduring pain and it grows each day and life seems to be all about managing pain rather than living with happiness.   Some people only see pain and nothing much else.

Not long ago I had a conversation with a person who believed the world was totally against her.   Her friends weren’t being friends.   Her life was in shambles and everything looked hopeless.   There was no energy to change.  Misery felt like a safe place because the thought of change was even more miserable.   “What if I failed again”, might be the words that would be uttered.   “Who cares about me?” and “There is nothing for me here?” .

What is your world like?   What are you experiencing?   Are you looking at the world in a  hopeful positive way or is it a world that seems to be pushing in on your very being with relentless pressure.

Emotional pain is something everyone faces and it is a matter of  how that pain is dealt with that makes a difference.

Emotional pain can be seen in all facets of daily life, anger, violence, withdrawal, grief, sadness and living as a victim.

One of the tools for addressing emotional pain is EFT or Emotional Freedom Techniques.   This is a simple, no cost method, of reducing or eliminating emotional suffering.   The method works with a variety of emotional issues.   It works for most people.  Those with severe emotional trauma the recommendation is to seek professional guidance before trying EFT.    EFT is something to look at if you have been dealing with emotional issues for a long time.

For parents with children with ADHD, EFT may offer a simple quick way of managing the ADHD symptoms.   While EFT isn’t a cure for ADHD it may prove effective when many other forms of ADHD management haven’t.

Where would you rate the emotional pain level in your life on scale of 1 – 10, 1 = none or very little to 10 = extreme?    If you are experiencing emotional pain above a 6 you may want to seek some help.   At the minimum consult with a professional and see if there are some techniques that will help you reduce your emotional burden.

How have you managed emotional pain?

 

 

 

going confidently

“The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do,
an unwavering desire for excellence  in the way they think and the way they work.  Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning,
and through your day with a spring in your step.” Jim Collins

CONFIDENCE

The lack of confidence may be the number one roadblock for achieving the success you desire.   Sometimes it feels like a lack of motivation, lack of energy or a lack of desire, but digging a bit deeper it turns out there is usually a lack of confidence that is stopping success.

Lack of personal confidence may look like:

1. I am not good enough
2. I am not loved
3. My job is terrible
4. I weigh too much
5. My life is a mess
6. I should get organized
7. I need to exercise
8. Everyone hates me

The lack of confidence shows up most often as victim talk.  What is being said is often filled with “should”, “ought”, “need”, “have to”,”not”, “can’t”,”could”, “would”, or words that point back to another source outside of you.

A victim is controlled by the environment, a confident person controls the environment with their actions and words.

Some people are more susceptible to creating an internal world that doesn’t allow them to feel confident.   People with ADHD/ADD tend to see themselves in a negative light.   People who have received very little positive feedback feel that they are not “good enough”.   People who have lived in abusive situations, especially where they thought they were the cause of the abuse think less of themselves.

In most cases the lack of confidence isn’t true for the individual.  Thomas Edison fought through failure after failure before he reached the formula that led to a light bulb  that worked well.    Abraham Lincoln faced many setbacks in his career and yet he pushed forward always picking himself up after each defeat.  Confidence.

Of course if it was easy to go from unconfident to confident in 15 minutes everyone would be very confident.    Self-help books have all the information for someone who desires to become more confident achieve results yet less than 3% of people make lasting change through self-help books.  One reason for that is it takes more than words in a book to affect change.    It takes a sincere desire and a plan that includes some level of weekly accountability.

Lack of confidence isn’t about ability.  Most people are capable and able but they don’t believe that they are capable and everything they hear from others confirms to them they aren’t able.   This is the case of seeing what we are looking for(negative confirmation) and instead of seeing what we have accomplished we focus on what we haven’t been able to do.   If we make two steps forward and slip back one we conclude that we are a failure.   Is that really the case?

Take any high level athlete and watch them perform, they make the sport that they are in look easy.   What we don’t see is the many failures, the many times that they have  fallen and picked themselves up and continued on.

What can you do to build confidence?

1. Think positively about yourself
2. Take charge of your emotions (own them)
3. Believe you are capable
4. Practice, get up and practice some more.
5. Encourage someone (build others up)
6. Be aware of your emotions
7. Take compliments and be thankful for them
8.  Take criticisms and learn from them (what is it really about?)

In many cases it is the lack of confidence that inhibits people from taking the very actions they desire.   Make today the day that you will push through the barriers.

Henry Thoreau said, Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”, so why not start now.   Start taking the actions you need to take to move towards your dreams.

 

If you struggle with being accountable and achieving the goals you desire perhaps having a coach would help you reach your intended goal.

Make today the day you will go confidently into your world.

living with greater transparency

“Transparency means radical authenticity, free from ego defenses and impure motives. It’s the ultimate challenge to the ego. You could sit on a meditation cushion until you dropped dead and never have your capacity for radical transparency tested. The real test, for all of us, is in relationship. Come together. When there’s radical transparency and the ego steps aside, each single individual in that extraordinary collective context has access to the power and depth and clarity of the enlightened mind. And that’s when enlightenment really starts to take on new meaning and significance for us all.”  Andrew Cohen

What does transparency in life mean?
What does lack of transparency cost?

Like the iceberg most people only expose a small amount of who they really are.    Being transparent is being honest, it is being authentic, it is being genuine, and it is being open.   That may sound like a lot to do, to be transparent, to be real.

Transparency matters in any relationship and without it trust erodes and when people hide more and more of themselves  they eventually destroying the relationship.   For some there is a belief that if they hide just one thing no one will ever know and that they can keep this secret to themselves.   As Rep. Weiner found out transparency (being honest, being forthright, being open) is important.

What does the transparent leader look like?

or

What does the transparent man or woman look like?

Maybe it looks like,

a. Acknowledge any mistake, find out what the lesson is.
b. Examine what there is to learn from a mistake or misjudgment.
c. Recover from the mistake gracefully, and make things right.
d. Forgive  yourself, let go of the past.
e. Let it go.   Mistakes happen, learn, recover, let go.

What would it mean to others to say, “I made a mistake”?

What would it mean to others to say, ” I am here to listen not to judge”?

Transparency lets others see what is below the surface, it lets them see who you really are.   Transparency is stronger than the fear of revealing any flaw or crack you may have in your character.   The person who is transparent will be stronger than those that aren’t, because when everyone can see who you are and there is nothing to hide there is also nothing to expose.

People who come to a coach want to work through an issue so that they can move forward have to be willing to be transparent.   Being open, being honest and being vulnerable allows the client to grow.    When a client knows they won’t be judged for being transparent it means that they are  free to get to the core issue that is stopping them from achieving their goals.

Being transparent allows you to grow.

What is the lack of transparency costing you?

 

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”  Maya Angelou

 
 

find your strengths

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . .  You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

It seems more and more people are going to work in disguise.   That is they are going there and using their weaknesses or just suffering through the day and work isn’t fun.  It could be bad management/leadership but more often than not people are in jobs they shouldn’t be in.   Work shouldn’t be painful to do, it should be engaging and even fun.   Work should be “hard” but not “hard to do”.

The experts would say, use your strengths and so often we don’t get to use our strengths each day most of the time.   We get to use our strengths some of the time and when we are not using our strengths it is like someone just stole all your energy.   You tend to feel drained and incomplete when you don’t get to use your strengths.

Marcus Buckingham, probably the lead “strengths” guru, has found that using your strengths matter.   Now what do most people do then?  They focus on what they aren’t good at and beat themselves up over it or their manager says, “Here, you can improve on this”, and “this” is your set of weaknesses.  How do you feel working on your weaknesses?   You are probably not too energized about improving your weakness.

What if you could strengthen your strengths?   Wouldn’t that be energizing, to work on what you love to do, of course it would.   We don’t live in  a society where working on what you are good at is emphasized that much unless you are an athlete and then you are working with a coach to refine the goodness of your strengths.

So, what do you do?  How do you find the strengths that you already have?

1.  List what you are naturally good at.

2. Check to see if you are using those strengths/gifts/talents most of the time.

3. Examine where you could put your strengths to use.

4. Create a plan, a strengths based utilization plan.

5. Execute the plan and see what happens, measure the results, measure the effort, measure the joy.

What if you can’t figure out your strengths?  There are a couple of ways to do that.    Martin Seligman has a website which has a free strengths test on it and you can start looking there.   You can purchase a copy of Strengths 2.0 by Tom Rath and use the code inside the cover of the book to take the Gallup version of the Strengths test.

Take the first step and find out what you are really good at.   Then create a plan so that you can be the best you can be.  You will be happier in the long run when you are living a life that is congruent with your strengths.

“Always remember, there is more strength in you than you ever realized or even imagined. Certainly nothing can keep you down if you are determined to get on top of things and stay there.” Norman Vincent Peale