Monthly Archives: July 2012

Finding a purpose …

It seems that many people are caught in a life that seems to have little purpose or direction.   These people want a change, a change of career in most cases so that they can do something that aligns with who they are.   People are tired of doing work that isn’t motivating or engaging or fulfilling and they want to stop living a life that doesn’t have a purpose.

Here’s what some people say, “I need to find some direction on where I should take my career.”

” I have been trying to figure out what I “want to do” with my life. I have tried a few different avenues, but have yet to find something that I truly enjoy and love doing.”

The story of finding something that says “want to” rather than “have to” suggests that many people are seeking a life of meaning versus a life of just doing work to make a living.   People seek coaches to help them find that purpose and then to find the career that works best for they are.

Years ago Rick Warren wrote a book called the “Purpose Driven Life” and addressed the issues of purpose.   What is it that you are the best at so that you can  contribute to  humanity your best?

The idea is of course finding a real purpose using your strengths every day and for many people using their strengths towards a purpose is a goal rather than a daily event.   How are you using your strengths daily?

What would it mean to live a great life?   What would you do to live out your passion?

Larry Smith (an economist) explains why you won’t pursue your greatest self.

People look for life/career coaches to help them unpack their dreams, to pursuit their greatest  strengths, and to start living the life they want to live.     It makes a difference and if you are feeling like you are stuck in the wrong career you may want to consider using a coach.

What are you tired of?

Where are you stuck?

How energetically do you approach your vocation each day?

What barriers stop you from the success you deserve?

What would free you to be the person you were meant to be?

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managing conflict … how do you do it?

“Its complicated, on one level. On another, it’s the same old stupid story – we aren’t enlightened. We disagree, fall in love, and hate each other, the whole spectrum of human experience. We have differences of opinion, and sometimes, we can’t resolve those differences peacefully. If a disagreement goes for long enough, and is important enough, people start to take sides. Once people start to take sides, conflict is inevitable.”
Zachary Rawlins, The Academy

Conflict – a difference of opinion?  A difference of values?

What is conflict?  Certainly conflict involves your emotions and causes something to trigger a response in your body that creates a physical change.   Some conflict is beneficial if that conflict results in creating positive outcomes.   Far too often conflict results in negative outcomes where people find themselves unable to create an inner story that is peaceful.

What do you do when you find yourself in a situation which creates conflict for you?

At first conflict may look like irritation, where you start feeling a tenseness in your body, perhaps your stomach is starting to tighten and the muscles are preparing to take an action but you don’t know what that will be.  There is a threat, yet unidentified you sense that there is something wrong.  If the pressure continues your body not only senses a threat it starts producing in quantity the hormones that are going to provoke an action.  Just one more thing and the body says, “Enough” – “get out of here or react”.

Let’s look at the five phases of managing internal conflict.

1. The initial reaction – something happens and the body wants to react.  Your first step should be to announce the feeling, the emotion you are experiencing.   Say out loud the emotion you are feeling.  “I’m scared that something is going to happen”.

2. Release the energy – After you acknowledge the emotion the next step is to discharge that energy and you can do that by taking in a deep breath and releasing it.  Focus on relaxing and continue to do deep breathing until that wave of emotions has subsided.

3. Get back under control – Downshift your energy/emotions so that you can get the nerves and energy under your control rather than being under the control of your emotional center.

4. Refocus – This is when you can ask yourself the question, “What needs to be done next?”   When you have regained control and released the emotions shift the internal conversation to a cognitive one and look for a positive action.

5. Action – Take an action, this may be re-engaging with the situation and bringing a sense of logic and control to your whole body.

With practice these five steps can be done in a matter of seconds.   When you are in control of your emotions in a conflict you are in control.

How does conflict start? Take a look.

What could have been done differently?

pro-cras-tin-ation … can’t it wait one more day?

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
Pablo Picasso

It can wait!

And it slips one more day, just one more day.  I still have time.

I’ll get to it … really I will.

I have time …

In just a few minutes …

What can wait?   What should wait?

It isn’t going to go away.

What is it that you are saying to yourself?   Can you wait another day?   Is it worth it to wait?

The thought of doing it is so painful at the moment that surely it can wait another day.   The energy it takes to even think about doing it now is too much.   Where is that energy going to come from?

At some point there is the shock of reality … it has to get done now and there are these other things that have to get done now too … now what?

 

What’s your deadline?

when leadership matters …

A firestorm of epic proportions

It was a test of leadership.  It was a test of courage.  It was a test of perseverance.  It was a test of character.  It was a test of humility.  It was a test of bravery.  It was a test of compassion.  It was a test and a difficult test to watch unfold June 26th 2012.

As the mountain side in Colorado Springs erupted in a fireball of fast-moving sparks and flames people rushed to gather their most important possessions and fled the ash and cinders that rained down from above.   It wasn’t an easy day for those people who left their house in such a hurry.  It wasn’t an easy day for those  in charge of managing the fire.

Unpredictable.  Unprecedented.   Unspoken.    It was unheard of until those flames reduced to ashes over 340 homes.

For some people it was clear they didn’t trust the leadership, the people who were trying to develop strategies to hold back the flames.   It is in those times that remarkable leadership steps up and answers.   The leaders held together creating a common front to all of the issues they faced.

What does it take to be an effective leader?

1. Discipline

2. Character

3. Courage

4. Confidence

5. Consistency

6. Compassion

7. Flexibility

8. Concern

9. Teamwork

What do those nine characteristics do you have?   How do you live that out in your life each day?   Which of those nine leadership characteristics are you willing to strengthen?   What is your plan to develop yourself so that you can lead when you care called to lead?

Behind the red glow are stories, thousands of stories and acts of bravery and courage. For some it will be a test of resilience and determination to plant once again their lives and stories in an area that links urban living to the fabric of the forest.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”  Mary Anne Radmacher