choose

Find Meaningful Work, Part 1

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career
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How does one find meaningful work? Start with knowing what is meaningful. We choose to give meaning to something by noticing and appreciating it.

In your career, the trick is not to somehow find work that is meaningful. The trick is to choose confidently whatever you choose to notice and appreciate. Then find all the work (for there will be many things to choose from) that matches that and pick the one (or ones) that delight you the most.

It’s all in you.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: So direct, so simple, it’s easy to miss.

 

Today’s photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc

What To Do When You Just Can’t Get Organized

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

Sometimes, no amount of tools, tricks, habits or systems are enough to get us and keep us sane and organized. When that’s the case, the issue may be with all the things we think we should do.

Things that we think we should do–or that we have to do–come from other people: bosses, spouses, kids, parents, clients, etc. It seems that they constantly have something they need from us.  They may ask, demand, or say we should. But we are the ones who unthinkingly turn their requests into our burdens. And we can change that.

The key is to remember that you are the sole authority on what you will do, won’t do, and when, if ever, you will do something. Choose what you do at any moment. When you feel burdened, ask yourself, “What do I want? And what outcomes am I committed to for this other person? What do I choose to do now?”

Choosing changes burdens into purpose. When you see everything you do as a choice you’ve made, you are free. Then you can choose to become even more effective with whatever tools, tricks, habits or systems make sense for you.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We are never as trapped as we think. We can choose now. We can consciously re-choose anything we may have unwittingly accepted as a “should.” And we can renegotiate any choice or commitment that we want to change to accommodate life as it happens.

 

Today’s photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

pollyanna

Pollyanna

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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To be a Pollyanna is to be irrepressibly positive amidst the realities of life. Those who haven’t figured it out yet use the term pejoratively. They say, “Face the realities of life! Don’t try to pretend everything is great when it clearly is not. Don’t be such a Pollyanna.”

And we say, “Of course we face those realities. Then we find the good, the fun, the light, the helpful, and the profitable in it all. Because, you see, we know that the realities of life tend to bend to our attitudes, good or bad. So we opt for the good.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Have a nice day. Really.

PPS: Try searching for the positive before or during your next meeting, sales call, interview, or family event.  It’s most fun to watch how things change because you did.

 

Today’s photo credit: Nuno Barreto via photopin cc

glade

Freedom of Choice

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

“Should I get a(nother) degree or start a new company?”

“Should we acquire this company, double down on that technology, or increase dividends?”

“Should we get married? Have kids?”

“Should I stay or should I go, now?”

Go deeply…no, sorry, much deeper than that…into an important decision. You will have to press past the thicket of pros and cons and across the river of data. Though everything will to tell you to turn back, push through the swamp of habitual reactions.

Soon, things become lighter. You first will feel a gentle relaxation then the warmth of home. As you enter the glade, you can sense the sweetness of all life.

Here there is no right or wrong, no better or worse. Decisions–which require all that calculus–give way to choice. In choice, there is freedom to pick any direction. From this clearing, you know that any choice will be fine. And the only criterion to use is, “Which option would be the most fun?”

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: You do not need to come here for every decision (“Boston cream or maple glaze?”), just the important ones.

 

PPS: If this note doesn’t make sense yet, try taking a stroll in nature then coming back to it. Or, try Effectiveness Habit #2 and any of the feel-better tools like the flip, the ladder, telling yourself a different lie, the keep-or-toss, focus on the good stuff, and this is me.

 

Today’s photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources via photopin cc

rock and hard place

Neither A nor B

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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“Option A is bad and Option B is worse.”

We can get stuck thinking there are only one or two ways out of a given situation.

Consider closely for a moment anything you struggle with. Within that struggle, you likely are entertaining a false dichotomy: “It’s A or B.”

We can break out of this mental trap by remembering that there is always another way. And by remembering that fretting about an apparent rock-and-hard-place is a great way to prevent us from finding that other way.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: missjustine via photopin cc

life

Happen to Life

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
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Most of the time, life happens to us. And that is fun, interesting, and safe. Sometimes, though, we need to happen to life.

If we keep thinking thoughts like, “When will I ever get there?” or “When will X ever happen?” or “When will I finally have Y?” then that’s a very good sign that life is actually waiting for us. It wants us to choose.

Make a choice about what you want to be, do, and have. Set aside the “yeah, buts” that say you can’t choose or that you can’t be, do, or have what you choose. Remain open to having your choice come to life. Then feel how gosh darn, “Wow!” your choice feels.

That “Wow!” is a good sign that you have just happened to life.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Nothing to lose on this one. Give it a whirl.

 

Today’s photo credit: caribb via photopin cc

 

Your Choice

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1

If what you need from another is that they are self-sufficient, confident, creative, and working well with others, then encourage them with love, patience, trust, and your time.

If what you want from another is fighting, procrastination, resentment, anger, and hurt, then push, criticize, minimize, or reject them.

Your choice, as always.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Of course, this works perfectly well at work and at home. Bonus!

Happiness Is Not The Goal

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

As we prepare to enjoy some holiday or end-of-year festivities, it is important to remember something about happiness. Happiness is not a goal or result of our effort. Happiness is a state we can enter or not, at will.

When we see it as a result, we strive and struggle. We say, “If I do this, if I get that, if this other thing happens, if they change in this way, then I’ll be happy.” While we can occasionally achieve a sense of happiness this way, it fades quickly and we won’t know why. We then go back to disappointment, struggle.

When we see happiness as a state, everything changes. We get to choose to be happy now or not. This instant. Every instant. Even when circumstances would seem to be against us. We are not locked into some bargain with the future. Happiness is right here.

I know you know this is not a new idea. It is one deserving our attention because of our habit of seeing happiness as an outcome and believing we cannot be happy at will.

Choose happy here, now. Pass it on.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: In case you’re wondering, this perspective does not shut down our desire to achieve, do, or have anything. It focuses our desire, guides it, and gives it meaning. Wanting something more while choosing to be happy is a fun, free, and creative way to go about things.

When to Refresh

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Success
Reading time: 1

Daily and weekly refreshes keep your Effectiveness Habits going strong. As described in Habit #6, refreshes make sure your lists stay current and you generally stay calm and in charge.

Here are some options for when you might choose to do your refreshes.

Daily Refreshes: at the end of your business day, before bed, upon awakening, at the start of your business day. Some people successfully do more than one refresh per day.

Weekly Refreshes: assuming your weekend includes Saturday and Sunday, suggestions for weekly refreshes include: at the end of your business week (e.g. Friday afternoon), Sunday evening or night, some other quiet time over the weekend, or Monday morning. Some people prefer a mid-week refresh instead of or in addition to a weekend refresh. For your weekly refresh, book the time in your calendar each week.

In fact, it doesn’t really matter when you choose to do your daily and weekly refreshes. Choose to do them consistently and you will find yourself staying on top of your to dos.

 

To your continued success,

 

Mike