Archive for the ‘Self-Growth’ Category

Getting Back that First-Day Feeling

Friday, January 15th, 2010
© Sodimages |

© Sodimages |

Remember your very first day on the job?  Your shoes had a shine like the tiles on the Space Shuttle and the crease in your slacks could have diced celery.  The air was somehow fresher, the birds chirpier.  You had been hired.  You’d been given a chance to excel, a chance to make a difference.

Now contrast that with this morning.

Most people who signed up for the Big Game end up making one compromise after another until they’ve resigned themselves to mediocrity.  It’s darned hard to keep that first-day buzz going. 

BUT…there’s no reason you can’t choose to recover a good measure of that first-day feeling, that striving for excellence, and put it to good use in the service of everyone whose lives you touch on a daily basis.

It’s all about making the choice to do it.

Have you ever met a two-year-old who wasn’t enthusiastic?  We come prepackaged with it.  And then…

What happens to us?

What happens is that we make a choice.  Some of us choose to make the effort to stay in touch with our inner enthusiasm.  Others find reasons to lose touch with it—boredom, responsibilities, challenges, fatigue.

But here’s the problem:  Enthusiasm is the lifeblood of all success.  Without it, nothing great happens.  If you choose to lose touch with your inner enthusiasm, you are choosing mediocrity.  It’s really that simple.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons to curb your enthusiasm.  But there are just as many reasons to find it again—to celebrate your incredible good fortune, and in the process, to make that fortune even better.

Start with the fact that you’re not dead yet, that you were born at all, that you have a job, and that compared to a lot of folks, you have a pretty darn good job.

Now take a close look at the circumstances of this good job you have.  Write down your five biggest complaints and spin them into positives.  For example, “My boss micromanages me” can be reframed as “My boss cares enough about me to step into my work when I need help.”
If you’ve truly committed to finding your first-day buzz again, you should be an awful lot closer to it now than you were ten minutes ago. 

All this rethinking and reframing has removed a HUGE energy drain from your life—one you were probably unaware of.  It takes massive amounts of energy to continually reinforce your own sense of victimhood.  Excellence is MUCH less expensive.  Now that you feel lucky instead, what on Earth are you going to do with all that energy?

How about playing the Big Game you signed up for?

What you’ve just filled yourself up with is a lion’s share of this precious thing called the human spirit, and the human spirit will not invest in mediocrity.  So play the meaningful, bighearted game you always dreamed of playing, and leave the mediocrity to others.

TGIM e-Zine: July 27, 2009

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Welcome to the TGIM e-Zine!
Transform your team from “snooze-button hitters” to “rock-star performers” and create a buzz-worthy environment your clients will love.

Issue 36 Topics Include: READ NOW

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Is Your Word Your Bond?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
© Scukrov |

© Scukrov |

One of the absolute keys to a workplace that works is a level of honesty that encourages the truth when someone isn’t pulling his or her weight, candor between employees about each other’s efforts, and the straight stuff from everyone when it comes to feedback that can make a workplace improve.

When you agree to do something and then get hit with an obstacle, do you assume all bets are off? Or do you give yourself a moment to figure out how to get back on track because your integrity is at stake?

There’s no shortage of people who believe every promise is conditional on everything going right. “Yes, I know that was my quarterly goal, but the economy…”

“Yes, I know I said I’d finish that project, but I forgot that our family reunion was coming up that weekend, and I had to help plan the kids’ activities.”

“Sherri didn’t get her part of the report to me, so I wasn’t able to finish my part.”

Nothing will hold you back from success in life more than giving up when you hit a hurdle. (more…)

TGIM e-Zine: July 13, 2009

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Welcome to the TGIM e-Zine!
Transform your team from “snooze-button hitters” to “rock-star performers” and create a buzz-worthy environment your clients will love.

Issue 34 Topics Include: READ NOW

  • Values as Your True North
  • Values Check for Job Changers
  • Discover Your Impact and What it Really Could Be?

Not signed up for the TGIM e-Zine?
Sign up today and receive the TGIM e-Zine and Weekly Audios every Monday morning!

Are You a Distance Runner—or a Hamster in a Wheel?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

An old friend crossed my mind the other day.  Once in a blue moon we check in with each other, so I dropped her an email. She replied telling me why she hadn’t been in touch, then said,  “Well, I wish I had time to get together for lunch, but I’m a hamster on a wheel this week, and next.  Some day.”

Some day.  Riiiiiight.

We’d been going back and forth for over a year.  I scrolled down to our previous brief exchange, three months earlier.  Her last sentence said:  “Wish I could chat more, but I’m just slammed right now.”  Four months before that she said she was “completely over my head at the moment. Busy busy busy.”

I made a mental note to sit this girl down with a bottle of red and five words of advice:  STOP BEING SO DARN BUSY.

Oh, I knew what she would say.  Wouldn’t that be nice.  If only I could.  Fat chance. But the fact is, there’s a big difference between having a full workload and being SO DARN BUSY.  The first one is a fact of life.  The second is a mindset—and not a good one.

Close your eyes for a minute and picture meeting a friend on the street or a colleague in the hall.  Your friend or colleague asks how it’s going.  If you feel words like “swamped” or “overwhelmed” or “slammed” or “hectic” rising in your throat, STOP.  Don’t buy into the self-destructive mindset of busyness.  Find a way to sit calmly and happily before the full plate that life, thankfully, has a way of dishing up.

Here’s how:

1.   Stop talking about being overwhelmed. It only creates more overwhelm.  You must DECIDE to be in the flow and welcome the challenge with a “bring-it-on” attitude.  The first step in that journey is hearing the Henny Penny squawk in your head and squelching it before it can dictate your attitude.

2.    Take an evening or Saturday completely off. Don’t touch work or think about it.  No email, no voicemail, no “just checking” on a project.

3.    When back at it, make a list of the 5 key initiatives and the 5 key results for your job.

4.    Make sure you have an iron-clad, step-by-step plan to hit all targets to make those initiatives and results happen.

5.    Bring a plan to your boss outlining how you will make those happen and ask to be released from the busy work not attached those.

6.    Have your weekly plan in front of you at all times, listing the activities to make sure you hit all your weekly results and numbers.  Be massively accountable for RESULTS—not activities!

7.    Drop several of the key activities for the week into each day. Complete one before moving on to the next.

8.    Smile and DECIDE to enjoy it. It’s a choice between victimhood and living powerfully. YOU get to decide!

There’s a world of difference between working hard and “being busy.”  The hamster on the wheel is awfully busy.  But it’s only when we step off the wheel that we can see the absurdity of it and actually get something done, engaging life joyfully and bringing ourselves fully to our work.

Once you step off, you’ll NEVER go back.