Word-Of-the-Week #985: Compulsory

June 22, 2023 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #985: Compulsory 

Compulsoryabsolutely required & mandatory.

How many things do you deal with on a daily basis that is absolutely mandatory? When people tell me to “Have a nice day” my response is always “It’s pretty much compulsory! No other option.” Always causes a smile and most times gets a laugh.

Steve Strauss, author of STEVE’S 3-MINUTE COACHING, once again has great insight to share.

Quote: Fun

(Quotes are capsules of information, reinforcement or enlightenment.)

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun at what they are doing.” – Dale Carnegie

Coaching Point: I frequently come across people who believe they must strive, struggle, stress, effort, or suffer to achieve outcomes. When quizzed about their approach to life they say it’s the model they learned long ago. Pressed further they report it’s “always” been that way. In other words, they got imprinted with the struggle model before they had a chance to choose. They are being run by their 3-year old self!

On the other hand, happy highly successful people talk of enjoying what they do and almost chuckle at being paid for it. Furthermore, many have lectured me (gently, lovingly, but pointedly) that it is insane to believe that a journey which is not fun can lead to an outcome which is.

Do you have fun at what you are doing?”

See all past issues and subscribe here Steve’s 3-Minute Coaching

— Copyright 2023 Steve Straus. All rights reserved. —

And speaking of FUN, yesterday June 21st was the official start of summer. Are you going on vacation? Have you already started planning? If not, just remember…it’s COMPULSORY!

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Word-Of-the-Week #959: Credit

December 22, 2022 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #959: Credit 

Creditwhat you take when you have done something that deserves praise.

How good are you at accepting praise for a job well done? Do you have a tendency to deny or play down your achievements? Does it make you feel uncomfortable to get credit when you deserve it?

This week we follow up on the Bryan Falchuk, Inc. “Don’t let negative self-talk hold you back.”  He writes, “How can you possibly be successful if you see yourself as mediocre or worse? The answer is obviously that you can’t. However, you can change the situation. 

Here is the exercise I give people I work with. I call it… 

Stop the “But” 

Say something good about yourself or something you did. As soon as you feel the word “but” forming in your mind, stop yourself. Just say the good part without moving onto anything to downplay it, take away from it, or negate it. Just allow the good. 

Here are a few examples from people I work with. 

The first is from working with a woman who was so caught in her not being smart enough for the job she wanted, she thought they made a mistake or there was something wrong with the company when they offered her the job. 

So I asked her about how she did in college. She said, “I got good grades, but…” 

I jumped in there and cut her off by saying, “Stop. You got good grades. Leave it there.” 

But she could not do it, and responded with, “No, that does not matter. It was so long ago. And what I studied is not relevant to what I want to do. So who cares?”

The point is just to allow the good thing about you to sit unchallenged. Of course that good thing may not be relevant in every situation, so why bother naming specific reasons for it to be invalid in any one context? Good grades are also not relevant to whether she is good at basketball, can fly a plane, or any number of other unrelated things. So choosing one to focus on to discredit the good is no more rational than just letting the good be as it. 

Another person was having trouble getting along with his boss, and was broadening that out to a general issue with people, and then catastrophizing that he was unemployable, and his career was doomed.

So I asked him, “Do you have friends?” 

He said, “Of course I do. But–“ 

I cut him off right there. “You have friends. People who were not born into knowing you actively choose to be connected to you. Are they close friends or just acquaintances?” 

“Good friends. In my circle of friends, I am kind of the go-to person when people are really struggling with problems in their job. They all turn to me.” 

I said, “Ah ha! So people are specifically turning to you for advice about career issues. People have made a decision based on the kind of person you are to do this. And they want your advice about what you think you are afraid you are not good at. Doesn’t that seem disconnected?” 

Through this exercise (which we repeated a few times) he stopped seeing himself as doomed because of his inability to be a relatable person, but rather realized there are people he does get along with well and others that may take more work. And then we focused on doing that work so he could improve, which he has. 

This is something I have people do daily to start to counter-act the years of negative self-talk they have been engaging in throughout their lives, let alone their careers. 

If you want to be successful, you have to allow for the possibility that you are actually good at things and capable of success. You cannot discredit every little attempt to credit you with a win and expect to have hope that you can achieve what you aspire to in your career.

This week’s focus is on taking credit. What are your three top attributes at work? How many things are you good at doing in your personal life? Now, how would it feel to say “Thank you. I appreciate that.” when someone gives you credit for a job well done?

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Word-Of-the-Week #934: Routine

June 30, 2022 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #934: Routine 

Routine – what you do every day that is habitual, unvarying, and unimaginative.

How much of your day feels habitual, unvarying, and unimaginative? How would it feel to instead have everyday filled with interesting and enjoyable experiences?

This week features the 5 Benefits of an Inquiring Mind from “The Power of Curiosity. Discover how cultivating an inquiring mind can help you lead a happier, healthier life,” by Todd Kashdan. His follow up excerpts, “Curiosity is something that can be nurtured and developed. With practice, we can harness the power of curiosity to transform everyday tasks into interesting and enjoyable experiences. We can also use curiosity to intentionally create wonder, intrigue and play out of almost any situation or interaction we encounter. It all starts with wanting to know more.

5 Benefits of an Inquiring Mind

Curiosity, at its core, is all about noticing and being drawn to things we find interesting. It’s about recognizing and seizing the pleasures that novel experiences offer us, and finding novelty and meaning even in experiences that are familiar.

When we are curious, we see things differently; we use our powers of observation more fully. We sense what is happening in the present moment, taking note of what is, regardless of what it looked like before or what we might have expected it to be.

We feel alive and engaged, more capable of embracing opportunities, making connections, and experiencing moments of insight and meaning — all of which provide the foundation for a rich, aware and satisfying life experience.

5 of the important ways that curiosity enhances our well-being and the quality of our lives:

  • Health – In a 1996 study published in Psychology and Aging, more than 1,000 older adults aged 60 to 86 were carefully observed over a five-year period, and researchers found that those who were rated as being more curious at the beginning of the study were more likely to be alive at its conclusion, even after taking into account age, whether they smoked, the presence of cancer or cardiovascular disease, and so on.
  • Intelligence – Studies have shown that curiosity positively correlates with intelligence. In one study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2002, researchers correctly predicted that high novelty-seeking (or highly curious) toddlers would have higher IQs as older children than toddlers with lower levels of curiosity. Researchers measured the degree of novelty-seeking behavior in 1,795 3-year-olds and then measured their cognitive ability at age 11. As predicted, the 11-year-olds who had been highly curious 3-year-olds later scored 12 points higher on total IQ compared with low stimulation seekers. They also had superior scholastic and reading ability.

Other studies have shown that high levels of curiosity in adults are connected to greater analytic ability, problem-solving skills and overall intelligence. All of which suggests that cultivating more curiosity in your daily life is likely to make you smarter.

  • Social Relationships – It is far easier to form and maintain satisfying, significant relationships when you demonstrate an attitude of openness and genuine interest. One of the top reasons why couples seek counseling or therapy is because they’ve become bored with each other. This often sparks resentment, hostility, communication breakdowns and a lack of interest in spending time together (only adding to the initial problem). Curious people report more satisfying relationships and marriages. Happy couples describe their partners as interested and responsive.
  • Happiness – In one of the largest undertakings in the field of psychology, two pioneers in the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, PhD, and Chris Peterson, PhD, devised a scientific classification of the basic human strengths. This system was the end result of reading the works of ancient philosophers, religious texts and contemporary literature, then identifying patterns, and finally subjecting these ideas to rigorous scientific tests. Their research eventually recognized 24 basic strengths. And, of those 24 strengths that human beings can possess, curiosity was one of the five most highly associated with overall life fulfillment and happiness.

There are other important relationships between curiosity and happiness. In his book Stumbling on Happiness (Knopf, 2006), Harvard University psychology professor Daniel Gilbert, PhD, shows that, while we think we know what will make us happy in the future, we are actually less likely to find joy as a result of a planned pursuit than by simply stumbling upon it. It follows that by cultivating curiosity and remaining open to new experiences, we increase our likelihood of encountering those surprising and satisfying activities.

  • Meaning – If we are going to find a meaningful purpose or calling in life, chances are good we will find it in something that unleashes our natural curiosity and fascination. Indeed, curiosity is the entry point to many of life’s greatest sources of meaning and satisfaction: our interests, hobbies and passions.

While being passionate about something naturally renders you curious to know as much as you can about it, it also works the other way around: The more curiosity you can muster for something, the more likely you are to notice and learn about it, and thus the more interesting and meaningful it will become for you over time. The greater the range and depth of our curiosity, the more opportunities we have to experience things that inspire and excite us, from minute details to momentous occasions.”

This week is all about creating a routine of curiosity. Would you like to be smarter? How about having better health as you age? How willing are you to being more open to new experiences?

Stay Tuned! Next week 4 strategies to help you “Tune in to Your Curiosity.”

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Word-Of-the-Week #832: Unprecedented & WOW 16th Anniversary!

July 16, 2020 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #832: Unprecedented & WOW 16th Anniversary! 

Unprecedented never before known or experienced. 

This week I am celebrating the 16th anniversary of my WOW – Word-Of-the-Week! Time really does fly by. And sharing thoughts from longtime friend and fellow speaker Sam Horn of the Intrigue Agency regarding these unprecedented times.

Can You Believe This Year is Half Over?

“Charles Bukowski said, “Time races by like wild horses over the hills.”  Does it seem like time is racing by – or does it feel like it is standing still and you’re just waiting for these times of Covid19 to be behind us? 

When sheltered-in-place, it’s easy for days to look the same. But they’re not the same. As the Buddha said, “Each morning, we are born again.”  

Life is much too precious to take for granted. One way to make the most of our days is to “Socrates” them – to examine, imprint, and appreciate the highlights and lessons learned.  

These questions can help you do that. We featured them in our SOMEDAY book club because a participant said in disbelief, “Can you believe 2020 is already half over?!”  

Exactly. You might want to print out these questions and talk through them with a friend or family member – in person or virtually. It can make for a meaningful conversation – and help you focus on what’s been right about the first half of this year. 

Review of the First Half of 2020:

1. What is a favorite place I discovered, explored, or spent time in? What made it special?

2. Who is someone who really impacted me? What did they do or say that made a difference?

3. How did I change – for better or for worse? What beliefs or behaviors did I adopt – or abandon?

4. What’s a meaningful achievement or skill I learned that I’m proud of?

5. What happened that was unplanned, unexpected, or surprising? How did it affect me?

6. What will I remember about my health from the past six months – and why?

7. What was my biggest challenge? What did I learn about myself – and others – as a result of it?

8. What did I NOT find time for – that I wish I had?

9. What is the best book I read? What is the most interesting movie or TV program I watched? What made it special? Why did it resonate with me?

10. What experience and/or person am I most grateful for? Why?”

Copyright © 2020 Sam Horn, All rights reserved.

This week’s focus is about dealing with these unprecedented times. Have you learned any lessons from all of this? Have you had any meaningful conversations with friends or family about what has been right about the first half of this year?

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Word-Of-the-Week #797: Attraction

November 14, 2019 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #797: Attraction 

Attractionthe magnetic power of the Universe that draws similar energies together.

How lucky are you? How much of it are you creating? Are you fully engaged and aware with what is going on around you?

Once again, Steve Strauss, author of STEVE’S 3-MINUTE COACHING, sent a very thought-provoking piece!

Distinction: Attract vs. Make Happen

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

“There is plenty of satisfaction to be received from making things happen. You can get your emotional needs met, accomplish meaningful outcomes, prove your self-worth, and stand out from the pack by bowing your back and taking up the slack! Woo-Hoo! I made it happen! I’m a winner! 

On the other hand, we also can be people who have things simply show up, seemingly by magic. You know the people I’m referencing. They’re ‘lucky,’ ‘in the right place at the right time,’ ‘the chosen ones,’ and such. We look at them with either awe or disdain. 

Beyond merely lucky what they are is – in the flow of their life. They resonate with the flow. In harmony. And most importantly they have removed the obstacles to experiencing that flow. 

The other folks who are busy making things happen are doing so by efforting over their own hurdles. 

Keep in mind that people who attract may also be very busy dawn-till-dark workers. They are engaged. Attraction is not passive. And people who attract what they want also use what they attract. That’s why they attract it. It fits into and supports the flow of their journey. 

Coaching Point: What are you attracting?”

See all past issues and subscribe here Steve’s 3-Minute Coaching

Copyright © 2019 Steve Straus, All rights reserved.

This week’s focus is on attraction. Are you one of those people who just seems to always be “in the right place at the right time”? Are you in harmony and fully experiencing the flow of your life? Are you attracting what you want?

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