We’ve all heard it before – “follow your passion,” and “your values will guide you towards your purpose.” This guidance works really well when life’s circumstances are optimal, or at minimum, functional. You know, the times in life when our outlook is constructive, our actions feel effortless, and most things are humming along pretty easily. These are the ideal times in life when we feel the strongest, most capable and creative – when finding areas of passion and connecting with values not only makes sense – it can be fun!
There are also those other times; you know the ones – the inevitable tougher times. These periods stimulate a more critical outlook, when our actions feel restrained or forced, and we generally feel less capable of connecting with ideals and possibilities. In fact, we may not even believe they exist. Most of us would rather pledge immunity to these times – we certainly aren’t broadcasting about them on our social media channels. Yet, all of us are familiar with the ups and downs of joy and pain, and we often ride these currents the most during periods of career or life transition. Read more
I’ve noticed something really interesting over the last several months. It has to do with the energy, time and motivation I have for people who are appreciative. Now, while this may sound like an extremely obvious idea, which perhaps has taken me forty years too long to grasp, I’ve also noticed that many of us have a tendency to place far too much attention on people and activities that just don’t appreciate.
Note the duel meaning here; by appreciation, I’m talking about both an expression of recognition and gratitude, as well as an increase in value. As founder of the Happiness Studies Academy, former Harvard Professor in Positive Psychology and author of the book Happier, Tal Ben Shahar states, “when you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”
So, what does it mean to “appreciate the good”? Is it as simple as passively taking note of the things that make us grateful, and perhaps even stating them out loud, and writing them down for ourselves? Or, could more be done in the form of appreciation? Is it possible that more of the finer things in life could appreciate, like love, deep friendships, rich conversation, success, wealth and overall life satisfaction, if we took more time to actively express our appreciation of others? Read more
I don’t think there’s a person reading this who couldn’t benefit from adding this goal to the very top of her/his 2018 Goals List: GOAL # 1: Double down on gratitude.
Think of how often we tend to set goals on the basis of escaping our current reality. We naturally deduce that “if x happens, then we will surely achieve happiness.” Yet, much like a large bonfire cannot burn without a spark, we cannot achieve happiness without first acknowledging its existence within the present moment.
In other words, energy attracts like energy, so in order to find momentum and motivation to take action towards the things we want, we will want to figure-out how to experience the feelings we want, right now, without allowing another minute to slip away from us. Here’s where gratitude offers the best starting point. Read more
As a career and executive coach, I’ve spent hundreds of hours working with many clients who have dealt with, or are on the verge of burnout. I’ve also dealt with burnout myself, and I can speak firsthand about how draining, disappointing and frustrating it is.
It’s frustrating because more often than not, burned-out employees are enthusiastic about contributing their talents and value, and yet, they become completely drained and disappointed, when they realize that the work environment they support is not nearly as dedicated to them, as they are to it.
Burnout is typically addressed with a focus on what individuals can do to avoid it themselves. And, while these types of approaches are helpful, there’s still more to the burnout equation. So, let’s face the elephant in the room. A person’s ability to create healthy work habits, involves her/his company’s support.
This begs an important question – how can employers take more responsibility for providing healthy work environments? To assist with some answers, I’ve written a letter. It’s addressed to companies who could benefit from learning why their most valued employees may be on the verge of burnout.
If you think your company is ready to have an honest dialogue about what it will really take to minimize burnout and turnover, then feel free to adjust this for your own use. I double-dog dare you. Read more
When we attempt to avoid discomfort, we actually make things even more uncomfortable than they have to be. Sometimes all it takes is one uncomfortable conversation to solve a problem, or better yet, implement a brilliant idea. The bottom line is that our ability to get comfortable with discomfort, not only raises our own effectiveness; it also separates true leaders from followers.
True leaders are willing to confront discomfort with ease, while those looking at the back of their heads would prefer to uncomfortably shy away from discomfort. So, what are the signs that you, or someone you know, chronically avoids discomfort and how do others perceive it? Here’s a list of what I like to call, the all too common “discomfort avoiders” Read more