Category Archives: Balance

living with authenticity

“Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason. It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.”
― Scott Edmund Miller

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What does it mean to be authentic?

Just answer that question.  What would need to change in order for you to be fully authentic?   Being authentic means being honest with your talents, your strengths, your weaknesses and your assessment of yourself.   Too often people focus on what they think is wrong with them to such a degree that they hide their strengths and abilities.    Give yourself some time to do an assessment and find out what your authenticity score is.  In fact take this assessment (Authenticity Assessment) and see how you are doing with your own personal authenticity.

Why be authentic?

What happens when you pretend to be someone you’re not?   It usually results in an intense personal conflict that shows up in how you work with others, your quality of relationships, your career success and happiness and just about every other area of your life.   People don’t want to be fakes and feel like they have to be fake in order for others to like them and inside they feel like something is really missing.

Living authentically means revealing your true self to the world around you.   It means peeling away the layers that have been built over time to protect the ego.  The authentic you can become the happy you.

What would happen if you could really enjoy the relationships you have with others and restore broken relationships from the past.  How would that feel?

How would it feel to get the job that really matches your abilities and the way you want to work?   For most people it would be a huge relief to do work that had meaning and made a real difference.

Go ahead, take the assessment and evaluate where you are.   What do you want to change?  Take the (Authenticity Assessment) today, it will just a few minutes.

 

job related stress

“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.”
― Tina Fey

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Are you among the many who are feeling overwhelmed by the expectation of work and home? Do you feel there is never enough time to complete all the things that are being asked of you? Do you feel like you are only able to do mediocre work? If you are you are not alone.  More and more people are feeling like work expectations are growing ever higher.   Employers are demanding more from their workers, more time, and more results without any new forms of compensation.   Employers  realize that they can squeeze more out of each person especially when there are so many people looking for work.

Fear drives the actions we take in many cases.   Stress increases, frustration increases and life satisfaction decreases with each  new thing that is being asked of us to take on.   When will it all stop?

Where does stress show up at work?

The Wall Street Journal (March 5,2013) shows the following:

32% of women and 30% of men find that there isn’t sufficient opportunities for advancement.

33% of people are challenged to balance work and life.

31% of women and 27% of men don’t think employers have plans to help manage    stress.

39% say that there is too much to do.

38% of women say they aren’t compensated well for their work.

Stress is rising.    Stress is taking a toll on women at greater numbers than ever before.      Some people quit their jobs rather than having stress create health issues.   Some people move to places where there is less stress, jobs with less stress and perhaps lower pay.

Pay helps reduce stress to some degree, but if the work demands are too great the pay doesn’t compensate for the stress.   Look at your life.  What is working for you and what isn’t.   What is the cost of stress in your life?

Understand what works for you.  Know what you are good at.   Know your purpose and live that out.  You’ll find that happiness is worth a lot more than a big paycheck in the long run.

Take time to smell the flowers.   Take time to look around and observe the beauty.  Be kind to yourself and stress less.

the inspiration age

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho

The industrial age may be dead yet many are still living in that era.   The industrial age lived by the notion of perfectionism.   The industrial age perfected the art of manufacturing reducing defects so that there were the fewest defects possible.    The age of no-defects infected our schools where achievement blocked the door to inspiration and innovation.

To grow is to fail.  In the industrial age to grow meant to not make mistakes.   When the predominant thought and action is to reduce mistakes, to stop mistakes from occurring we limit our ability to grow and learn.

The education system is based on mass production, minimal failure and following a prescribed set of instructions. The mass production mindset must shift to new consumer demands which is based on experience rather than massive quantities of stuff. The era where material goods were supposed to create happiness is coming to a close. What people are demanding now are enjoyable experiences (Look at FarmVille, World of Warcraft, or Angry Birds).  It doesn’t mean that a whole life will be spent in the pursuit of entertainment, it means that the world of work will need to shift to work life of experience rather than mass production.

What does experience based work look like.

1.  Life without cubicles

2. Work without command and control

3. Worth of people over worth of work

4. Flexibility to meet family demands

5.  Gender equality

6. Dynamic work roles  (as opposed to just one job a variety of interesting work)

7. Meaning in the experience

8. Collaborative contribution

9. Dynamic leadership

10. Work becomes play

What do you think the innovation age will bring?   What will work look like?  What will life really be like in a few years?

Look at this model as explained by one of Google’s employees, would it work in the age of innovation?

Health

“Time And health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.”  Denis Waitley

Health and happiness are tightly woven together.   People who exercise are going to benefit from the post-exercise benefits for as much as 12 hours according to an  article in U.S News and World Report.   Twelve hours of positive benefits from moderate exercise (20 minutes) per day helps increase brain mood, or happiness.

How much exercise are you getting on  a daily basis?


Another important factor is sleep.   Regular, routine sleep of 7-8 hours.  That makes a big difference.   People with adequate sleep experience less stress and are able to handle stress better.   The Huffington Post gives 11 reasons why sleep is beneficial.   Creating new sleep habits, having regular times for sleep will provide long-term benefits.   Instead of reading one more email, watching one more movie or doing one more extra thing at the end of the day, stop and go to bed instead.   Getting the sleep you need will have long-term and short-term benefits and will improve your happiness as well.

How much sleep do you get each night?

Finally, diet.   How many times in an average week do you find yourself at the counter of a fast food restaurant and most food chains qualify as fast food?   In the US obesity is an epidemic.   Cheap high calorie food for those who sit more at work and at home is contributing to increases in lifestyle diseases such as type II diabetes.   In one report it  is estimated that the current generation of kids  is likely to have a shorter lifespan than their parents, reversing a long trend of longer lifespans.    Eating cheap, available high calorie foods is not helping our kids, our families or our health.   It may be convenient to stop and get a quick meal in the rush to cram a little bit more into a day, but eventually there is a high price to pay, and that will be quality of life.   Lifestyle diseases are not easy to or cheap to fix.   It pays to spend time preparing and eating healthy meals.

How much fast food is in your diet?

Health is a choice, getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, getting enough sleep per night and eating the right foods are all choices people make.   Some people make those choices without thinking about the long-term consequences of those choices.

Being healthy leads to greater happiness, and it also leads to a higher quality of life.   Think about your health habits, what could change to make your life better?

mediocre me …

“People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.”
Andrew Carnegie

mediocre – lacking exceptional quality or ability; “a novel of average merit”; “only a fair performance of the sonata”; “in fair health”; “the caliber of the students has gone from mediocre to above average”; “the performance was middling at best”

Maybe you know someone that lives a life of mediocrity.   What has that life brought them?   Is the mediocre life the kind of life that you would want to live?

Take a look at mediocrity, is this what you want?

People what to live extraordinary lives and at the same time rarely take the steps to live outside of mediocrity.   Think about the tons of self-help books that exist and the tons of self-help programs that are available and think about the vast ocean of self-help CD’s.   People buy the programs, read the books, listen to the CD’s and return to mediocrity.   What are you doing to live a life that is beyond mediocrity?

When was the last time you talked to someone who would work with you to move towards an exciting, positive rewarding goal?   When was the last time you took your life seriously?

What can you do to move beyond mediocrity?

1. Turn off the TV.  There is nothing on TV that adds value to your life.  What is there subtracts value from your life. 
2. Get the right amount of rest.   Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.  Sleep is necessary to be fully alive during the day, mentally and physically alive.
3. Start exercising.  Even if it is just for a few minutes get out and start a regular program of exercise.  Find someone who can exercise with you if exercising alone isn’t your thing.   Moving is important for mental and physical capacity.   Life is stressful as it is and exercising is just one way to lower the stress.
4. Eat the right foods.   So many of the problems people face today are lifestyle choices.   Diabetes is a lifestyle choice for the most part.   People can either choose to eat low cost high calorie diets or they can choose to eat foods that are healthy. 
5. Create a plan for your life.   Mediocrity stems from drifting through each day.   There may be a goal but in most cases it is just getting through today and then doing it over again.  It is no wonder that people are “checking out” and finding TV as a way to get away.   Create a plan and start working on those goals.   Start with a 5 year plan and define what it is and where you want to be in five years.
6. Improve you.   Spend the time and energy to improve who you are and the skills you need to be successful in the world today.   The “old” world, the old way, are gone.   It takes new skills, new abilities and new ways of thinking to compete in today’s global economy.  Become an expert.  Sometimes it takes digging deep into who you are to find out what it is that really makes you come alive.  Find out what it is and then start moving forward.
7. Read.   Reading is an easy, inexpensive way to improve your personal results.    Start reading the kind of things that improve your value to yourself and others.

8. Get help.  Work with someone to push you towards higher levels of performance.  Doing it by yourself isn’t working is it?   Getting more out of life in this fast paced world isn’t going to happen if you have to do it alone.  Maybe a few people are able to push through the briars and thorns but most people aren’t able to move in the direction they want alone.

9.  Make the time.   So many people say, “I don’t have the time to ….” and it’s true.   There is less and less time for “you” because of all the distractions that you can sign up for.   It takes time to go to the gym, it takes time to prepare meals, it takes time to get ready for work, it takes time to do the household chores, it takes time for everything but “YOU” and “YOU” are important aren’t you?   Make the time to take the time for you.   If it is one day a week, take that time to focus on bettering you.

10.  It costs too much.   It costs too much to be mediocre?  Improving yourself, either with coaching, attending programs, and working on being excellent will improve your life.  It takes time and it might cost money.   If you can pay for cable TV, if you can pay for “extras”,  if you can pay for things you don’t “need”, then it isn’t about the costs.  It is about the priorities  you are making for yourself.

In 5 years where do you want to be?   Do you want to be living a life of mediocrity?   Make a choice and start living beyond mediocrity today.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be.   If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”  Mahatma Gandhi

hijacked

Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may bet better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge now exists to make things better.”  King Whitney Jr.

 You started your day off well and things were just clicking  when suddenly something happened and you were emotionally hijacked.   What happened when you thoughts shifted from having a great day to being plundered by a series of negative thoughts.   With the pressures of daily life increasing stress is taking an increasing toll on people.

With an estimated 30% of Americans feeling extreme stress in their life and feeling like there is little they can do about it, it is no wonder that it is easy to be emotionally hijacked.  There just isn’t enough time to decompress and relax.

People are worried about their finances, their jobs and the economy.  Concerns about the future and aging are starting to ripple through the Baby-Boomer generation.  

Stress is showing up in poor eating habits, less exercise and less sleep.  Those three items are foundational for dealing with the higher levels of stress and at the same time as stress increases the more people are likely to eat poorly, sleep less and exercise less.

While creating healthy habits is a good idea and most people would agree that more exercise, better eating habits and a good nights sleep are important they don’t do the things they should be doing to live a better life.  

We live in a society where stress is only going to increase and for many people that means increasing the bad habits even when they know that those habits aren’t good for them.   What do you do?

It takes structure and focus to create or recreate the habits that are necessary for maintaining the core foundations for healthy living.  Being accountable to some person who is going to support your efforts to get life back under control is one way to start reducing stress.   Coaching is one of the better tools to use to start creating healthy habits.  

If you find yourself being emotionally hijacked during the day, look at your stress levels.  Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 = low stress, 10 = extreme stress) and if you score yourself higher than a 7 you might want to consider getting your stress under control.    Start today!

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.”
Doug Larson

at the crack of dawn

Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail.”    Og Mandino

Sometimes the early morning comes to early for some.   Early on May 11th a program aired that gave the viewers some insight into the power of coaching and how coaching can transform the way people interact with the world.  

Coaching is transforming businesses so they are more efficient and effective.    With coaching employees are more engaged and more productive.

Individuals that receive coaching start to make great progress towards the achievement of their goals.   Coaching provides the accountability people need especially in the world we live in today where change is happening at breakneck speed and getting faster.     Coaching clients can learn how to manage stress, reduce anger and understand what triggers their emotions and coaching can help people live a more positive and inspired life.

People with ADD/ADHD can learn coping skills that will allow them to perform at much higher levels.   Overall coaching is a process that can make a great impact in all areas of life.

Find out what coaching can do for you.