start

All Change Demands Thought and Action Both

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1

Some of us are action junkies. Some of us are devotees of the Think System.

Yet whenever we want to make a change, we must do both the inside work (thoughts) and the outside work (actions). Thought without action leads to spinning. Action without thought leads to frustrating results.

So our thoughts about the future must be clear, compelling, and as complete as possible. And our actions must flow–inspired by that vision–without pushing or fearful delay.

Ready, steady, go.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: While we personally win by focusing on both thoughts and actions, teams that run on good-feeling, aligned vision and concerted, natural flows of activity benefit tremendously.

 

Today’s photo credit: tom_bullock via photopin cc

error

The One Success Error We All Make

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

To be successful, we must first define success. Looking inside ourselves for definitions of success leads to satisfaction, creativity, energy, happiness, and/or meaning. Looking outside leads to empty achievement, perpetual dissatisfaction, learned helplessness, burnout, superficiality, frustration, and regret. Ouch.

We know this. We see how externally-defined success leads us and others to chase money, fame, stuff, titles, and accolades in the dire hope of being happy.

Yet we make an old error that has us abandon our internal definitions and default to external ones. This error has two parts. We first conclude that, because an externally-driven life is bad, we must become saintly abstainers. Second, because that sounds rather dull, we conclude that an internally-driven life is yucky or impossible (for us) so we might as well chase what everyone else is chasing.

See the flaw? An externally-driven life is bad. But a life lived in the world is delicious.

We need neither withdraw from the outside world nor allow it to be our master. We will embrace the outside world to show and let us play with things we like and things we don’t, with splendor and squalor, with light and dark. We will constantly draw from the outside world to inform our internally-generated goals and definitions of success.

That balance, mes amis, corrects the error.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: We use this internal + external balance to find your personal SweetSpot-based career.

PPS: We also use it for your business. Where you see things like perpetual dissatisfaction or burnout in your organization, you are seeing the symptoms of the whole place chasing externally defined success. (I know, right! Mind=blown.)

PPPS: The really good news is that succeeding based on internally-defined measures generates all the externally-noticed-and-appreciated success you or your organization could ever want.

 

Today’s photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos via photopin cc

balance

Clearing the Three Roadblocks to Work-Life Balance

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Here are three work-life balance roadblocks and ways to clear them:

  1. We see “work” as something we struggle through. We see the grind, the guilt about tasks not yet done, the politics, the commute, the conditions, and everything we “have to do.” Instead, let’s choose to work from within our SweetSpots. Things happen with more ease when we are doing whatever is most compelling, rewarding, and meaningful to us.
  2. We don’t know what we mean when we say, “life.” What, exactly, do we want to balance with “work”? Typically, we think of the things we or others say we should do: go to the gym, be home on time to make dinner, get enough quality time alone or with the family, etc. “Shoulds” always feel bad. And these often unexamined ideas can be too rigid or too vague. Instead, let’s make specific, realistic commitments to our relationships with our bodies, homes, partners, families, etc. “I am committed to a strong, healthy body. And to a family life where we all feel supported in our goals and enjoying each others’ company.” With this clarity, we can make clearer choices day-to-day about what we will focus upon and do next.
  3. We treat “balance” as an adjective: Balance is something we do, not something we are. If we could ever be balanced, we and life would instantly conjure something new to do and upset the balance.  Instead, let’s think about balance as a verb. “Today, based on my commitments, I will balance by choosing what I will focus on from among everything I could focus on. I will continue to balance and re-balance today despite any curve balls thrown my way. I will choose again tomorrow.”

No struggle, no shoulds; balance.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: origamidon via photopin cc

 

The Magic and the Mundane

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1

Like a well-trimmed sailboat, we best balance on the edge between all magic and all mundane.

Seeking to be all magic defeats the purpose of this game we call life. It’s like getting the cheat codes. No challenge. No growth. No fun.

Seeking to be all mundane invites lots of (oh, so much!) struggle.

Blending magic and the mundane helps us play this game in a really fun and light and interesting way.

Let’s play.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Balance is not a goal. It is not a noun. When we speak of it here, it’s a verb.

PPS: Kids embody this blend of challenge and magic. Adults can, too.

PPPS: You get to define magic however you want to.

rock

Certainty

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 1

Your certainty as a leader is a great asset. We need to maintain the focus on where we are going.

Your certainty as a leader is a great impediment. We need your flexibility and trust so that we can take things off your plate.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Yup, it’s a yin-yang balance sorta thing. Makes sense, though, doesn’t it?

 

Today’s photo credit: kathrynvjones via photopin cc

Reduce the Resistance to Your Growing Lists of Tasks

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action
Reading time: 2 min.

How many outcomes (a.k.a. projects) are you tracking in your effectiveness system of lists? As of today, I am tracking 88 active outcomes in my system. If you have been using your system for more than a month, you probably have lots, too.

Tracking many outcomes makes it harder to do your daily and weekly refreshes; there is so much more to review. And they can make your system seem overwhelming. You might notice a growing resistance to keep using and benefiting from your system as it grows.

Here are three things to do and one thing NOT to do to better manage your outcomes.

DO

  1. Move to you back burner list any outcome that you have not acted upon for several weeks and likely will not act upon in the next week. See How Do You Spell Relief? for more insight.
  2. Remove any completed outcomes. Delete them or, if you prefer, move them into an archive.
  3. Group your outcomes by different areas in your work and home life. Grouping helps you work on related ideas together. You also use grouping to get a feel for how you are balancing your life. Example: I group my outcomes into these realms: Business Development, Work for Clients, Administration, Sales, Home, and Personal.

DO NOT

  • Remove or refuse to record any active, unfinished outcome that you are even a bit committed to deliver. It is far better to have a longer list of outcomes or doables (tasks) than to leave anything off your lists. Why? Because you’ll try to keep track in your head anything that is not on your lists. In your head is not the place to store these things. See Effectiveness Habit #1: Get it Out of Your Head.

 

To your continued success,

Mike