Word-Of-the-Week #754: Intention

January 17, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Intentiona course of action that one intends to follow.

Is the life you’re living satisfying and fulfilling? Is there any part you would like to change? Are your personal and business relationships as harmonious as you would like?

I sent this over seven years ago and felt compelled to revisit it since we are at the start of a brand new year. Steve Strauss, author of STEVE’S 3-MINUTE COACHING writes, “Occasionally you hear, ‘I’ve set an intention.’ Or, ‘I have a powerful intention.’ Or, ‘My intention is strong.’ Or even, ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ In this light intentions sound like something you do, actions on your part. There’s another view.

Intentions simply are. They are to be discovered, not set, played with, not labored over. Intentions serve you rather than the other way around. If this is so, what sort of shift might you make? And why would you?  

Where do intentions come from? They come from a soft, gentle, quiet place. They come from your life purpose, your journey, the why-you’re-here place.

Can you make an intention up and then work at it really hard? Sure. But that’s probably based on some unmet need, a perceived ‘missing’ in your life, or some other feeling of not having enough. You’re using an intention to try to accomplish something which may not even be related to what your life is really about. Visit with some old people to learn the wisdom of this. They tell stories of efforting toward what turned out to be empty outcomes. 

A real intention is much cleaner than that. And simpler. Intentions come from your future, the unfoldment of your journey. Intentions pull you toward them. Intentions encourage.  

Useful goals, desires, and objectives each probably have an embedded intention. Discover the intention within and let it guide.

Coaching Point: Have you yet learned to listen to the soft voice of your intentions?”

Copyright 2011 Steve Straus. All rights reserved 

I don’t know about you but the first week of the New Year was crazy busy for me. While I am not complaining it reminds me that when I am well prepared ahead of time it makes for a lot less stress and more FUN! So that is one on my intentions for 2019.

This week is about creating an intention. Do you know what your life purpose is? What course of action do you intend to follow to make that happen? The clearer and more specific you are regarding an intention makes it that much easier to achieve!

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Word-Of-the-Week #753: Virtue

January 10, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Virtuea good quality or way of behaving. 

How would you rate your ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset? What percentage of the time do you think and do what is right and avoid what is wrong? 

This from HealthDay News by Len Canter is a great follow up to last week’s WOW on Patience.

“You’ve no doubt heard the expression “patience is a virtue.” Now researchers are learning that this virtue can be good for your health and well-being. 

Any given day can be filled with a series of frustrations that cause you to lose your patience, like waiting for your assistant to finish a report you need or for your kids to clean up their rooms. Or you might be impatient due to a serious life event, like needing to find a new job or managing a slow recovery after an illness. 

Experts say that by handling these situations with patience, you’ll replace frustration with tranquility and be happier for it. 

Baylor University psychologist Sarah Schnitker, who has been studying patience for more than a decade, found that people who are more patient also tend to be more hopeful and satisfied with their lives. And they’re less likely to be stressed or depressed or experience health issues, like headaches and ulcers. 

Studies on patience training show that patience is a skill you can learn, often by making changes to how you react to frustrating situations. Many people get impatient because they see waiting as time lost, so your first strategy is to redeploy that time. 

If you’re stuck on a line or standing idle because your kid’s soccer practice is running late, use your smartphone to read and answer emails or do some online shopping. At work, if you’re at an impasse with a project, put it aside and jump to another one to make inroads there. 

Next, tackle the emotional aspect of impatience so that your energy isn’t zapped by negative thoughts. Diffuse any anger with deep breathing. But instead of just counting to the number 10, count off all the things that are really important to you to reframe your outlook.”

This week’s focus is on virtue. What do you think your good qualities are? Is there any behavior you would like to change? How would it feel to make that your goal for 2019?

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Word-Of-the-Week #752: Patience

January 3, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Patiencegood-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence. 

How would you rate yourself on patience? Do you stay good-natured when dealing with delays and incompetence? Are there people in your life who have taken advantage of your patience?

My dear girlfriend (and sister from a prior life) sent me this in December and it only seemed fitting to make it my New Year’s Resolution. When I did a web search I found it here I No Longer Have Patience.”

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me.  

I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature.  

I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.  

I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate.  

I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. 

I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance.  

I do not adjust either to popular gossiping.  

I hate conflict and comparisons.  

I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities.  

In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal.  

I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement.  

Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals.  

And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”   

Meryl Streep quoted it as words she lives by!

Update: originally written by José Micard Teixeira.

This week’s focus is on patience. Did any of the quotes resonate with you? Have you wasted time with what displeases you or hurts you? Is there anyone who does not deserve your patience?

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Word-Of-the-Week #750: Decompress

January 2, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Decompress to relax;unwind.

How often do you take time to relax and unwind? Are you feeling “stretched” and stressed with commitments over the Holiday Season?

To keep this short and sweet I am taking excerpts from Catherine Price’s “Take a holiday from your cellphone.”

As the whirlwind of the holidays descends, you may find yourself wishing that you could slow down time. Here’s the thing: You can.

You just need to put down your cellphone. 

I first discovered this myself a few years ago when, as an experiment, my husband and I took a 24-hour break from all our screens starting at sundown Friday. Saturday morning we accomplished more by 11 a.m. than we’d normally get done in an entire day. We cooked. We talked. We cleaned. We read. I practiced guitar. We played with our daughter. I felt like I’d unlocked a time-stretching superpower that I hadn’t known I possessed.

Since then, I’ve heard many similar reports from people who have taken up my suggestion to try a 24-hour phone fast — what I like to call a “phast” — for themselves. It turns out that this is the result of a real psychological phenomenon. 

From now till the end of the year, I’ve resolved to plug my phone into an out-of-sight charging station the moment I walk in the door in the evening.

Although phones can make hours seem to mysteriously disappear, the good news is that the opposite is also true: By putting digital devices aside, you can make your perception of time slow back down. As Greenfield explains, “Putting down our phone places us back in what I call ‘real time,’ and this is where life is really lived and experienced.”

Indeed, the way we spread joy during the holiday season ultimately comes from our presence. I recently met a man who’d given his young son a coupon book of activities they could do together. The father was touched and, he admitted, disturbed when the first coupon his son chose to use was “a day together where Dad is not on his phone.”

A 24-hour phast (or two, or three) from sundown to sundown is also a good way to decompress from too much holiday stimulation. You are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms — I certainly did — especially the first evening. But most people I’ve talked to about their own phasts are surprised by how refreshing and empowering they feel.

This week is all about making time to decompress. How would it feel to truly relax and unwind? How often are you “totally present” with your family, friends, and co-workers? Who knows you just might like your “phast” and may want to make it one of your New Years resolutions?

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Word-Of-the-Week #751: Exhilarating

December 27, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Exhilaratingbeyond exciting; joyful; cheerful.

How has the Holiday Season been for you? Did it make you feel cheerful and joyful? How often would you say that your life is “beyond exciting?”

This week’s a good time for reflection and making decisions that will affect the coming New Year. Today features excerpts by Tony Schwartz from The Harvard Business Review on “The Exhilarating Power of Purpose.”

“I had just woken up in a hotel in San Jose, California, last week and I was brushing my teeth when I suddenly felt a powerful wave of something I can only describe as joy. Perhaps oddly, it was about my work. I love what I do, virtually every aspect of it. That amazes me, because what I do is run a business — a consulting business — which is something I never imagined myself doing.

I became a journalist, right around the time Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate story. I wanted to break big stories, rock the establishment, expose injustice, and make a difference. 

I rarely felt my work was making much of a positive difference in the world. In several instances, I took on assignments simply to make money. I rarely loved what I was doing, and over time, I got to like it less and less. Eventually, I concluded I didn’t like writing itself, and that I’d chosen it mostly because I was better at it than anything else. 

Finally, in 1999, I switched careers entirely. I’d always been deeply interested in human behavior, and especially in how and why people grow, develop, and perform at their best. The career change was an opportunity to work with a sports psychologist named Jim Loehr, who had come up with fascinating ways to help athletes perform better under pressure. 

In 2003, I went off and founded my own company, The Energy Project, with a broader mandate to help organizations do a better job of energizing, engaging, focusing, and inspiring their employees, not just by better meeting their needs physically, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 

I’ve met relatively few people in any corporation who feel passionate about their work, and only a handful of leaders who communicate a strong sense of purpose to employees — who make them believe that what they’re doing really matters. 

There are many companies whose products and services don’t add any discernible value to the greater good. But that doesn’t preclude individuals finding a purpose — a way to add value — and feeling energized by it. 

  • “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make the big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to the big differences we often cannot foresee.”              – Marian Wright Edelman

If you’re a leader, what do you and your company truly stand for and how can you more powerfully communicate that mission to those you lead? 

If you’re an employee, what can you do to invest your work with a greater sense of meaning and value?   

This week’s focus is to examine what is exhilarating for you. What things make you feel cheerful and joyful? What are you doing that gives you a sense of purpose? What would you like to do that would be beyond exciting?

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