Our Power and Purpose

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1 min.

​[W]e are torn this way and that. Social and business pressures push us, and we go along, but the spark within is hard to extinguish, and even as we hurry to conform we may pause to wonder if this is all there is to life, and we glance uneasily over our shoulders (once a week or more), wondering vaguely if we haven’t forgotten something, a cheerful word perhaps, a quiet moment, a little love – could it possibly be ourselves we have forgotten?

– Robert S. Hartman, Freedom to Live

We can not only remember ourselves, we can bring that spark to our social and business worlds for their benefit and ours.

So good, yes?

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: How? Find your SweetSpot and build upon it.

PPS: Shall we? Yes, let’s!

 

Today’s photo credit: SimonWhitaker Sky high via photopin (license)

This Statement

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

You deserve and are perfectly equipped to live a fully happy, rich, and meaningful life.

This is not a trite fortune cookie message. It is powerful perspective that many of us are missing and that all of us can adopt and realize. Despite what we may have heard, no one gets hurt if we believe this statement. In fact, everyone benefits when we do.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Yes. All of us.

PPS: Many of us will tumble into a fit of “yeah buts” (such as, “Yeah, but I’m too old now,”) upon considering this statement. All our “yeah buts” are baseless. Others will misinterpret it to mean that we somehow have to leap into action to make stuff happen. Nope.

PPPS: Start by appreciating how true it already is.

Today’s photo credit: Josh Kenzer strangers. via photopin (license)

How to Break Out of the Activity Over Results Trap

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

It’s very easy for us to fall into the “Activity Over Results” trap. In this trap, we unconsciously judge ourselves and others by how much activity we generate. But, deep down, we much more value achieving desired results. We spend a large amount of our time on lots of low-value activities including most of our email, Slacks, and meetings. We see every day how volumes of these activities fail to deliver the results we want.

Here is one good method to shift things.

First, we commit to weekly and daily review times. We use this time to get atop any messages or notes that may have potential tasks within. We put all those potential tasks into our Not To Do list. Next, we scan our calendar and survey our lists of on-going projects and longer-term goals. Then, if this is our weekly review, we select and write down four big things from our projects, goals, and Not To Do list that we want to accomplish this week. We next select and write down four things we want to accomplish today. Then we start doing those four things.

Will this Review-Plus-Fours approach eliminate the messages and meetings? No. But it returns to us the focus we need. And we will be much more likely to achieve what we want.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Claudio Jofré Larenas cc

Following the Script Too Closely

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Career
Reading time: 1 min.

[There’s a video bonus with today’s Note. See the PS. -m.e.]

“You’re good at {insert school topic here}, you should be a {insert some well-admired job here}.” “This is the typical career path in this industry.” “That’s how everybody does it? Oh. Okay.” “To pursue my dream I have to take a serious pay cut.”

If we follow the script too closely, our work and lives will fall rather short of meaningful.

Mix it up. Go for whatever propels and supports you. Our world is plenty big and rich enough to accommodate you.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Watch this 1-minute video that Alex Gladwell at Rainbow Scontayo created. It’s of me riffing on this idea. Also via YouTube or Facebook. Thanks, Alex!

Today’s photo credit: “My right to choose. Perhaps my very life.” via photopin (license)

Irresponsible Optimism

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

Is it irresponsible optimism to say, “Yes, I acknowledge the obstacles. We are going to succeed nonetheless.”?

Perhaps.

And it is the only way anything meaningful ever happens.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Nothing is inevitable unless we say so.

PPS: Does saying so guarantee it will happen? Nope. Not saying so pretty much guarantees it won’t happen, though.

 

Today’s photo credit: Annette Dubois cc

How Meaningful Is Your Career Right Now? 

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1 min.

Meaningful careers are those where we are doing:

  1. Something that we are good at,
  2. Something that motivates us,
  3. Something that satisfies our needs, wants, and desires (e.g.ideal work environment, income, lifestyle), and
  4. Something that solves the problems that others have and that we find compelling.

When our work satisfies all four of these criteria–when our work is meaningful–we feel good, we are confident, and we can handle all the ups and downs. If something is missing, we will be (a little or a lot) uninspired, drained, stuck, unsure, and at the mercy of the ups and downs.

What, if anything, needs to shift so that your career can solidly match these criteria?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: r. nial bradshaw cc

listen

The Clear, Strong Voice

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Many truths about ourselves will be discovered in consciousness directly or not discovered at all.

– Sam Harris

When we spend all our time looking for others to define who we are, to say what matters, or to judge whether and how we belong, we miss the clear, strong voice within us that already knows.

Listen.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: RV1864 cc

meaning

The Source of Meaningful Work

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

Deficiency, or rather the elimination of it, is our source for meaningful work.

We tend to see life, work, the world, and (secretly) ourselves as deficient in one or more of only these six ways.

  • There is too much ignorance. Life, work, and the world would be better when we pause to understand before acting. We are driven by understanding.
  • There is too much lack (of time, money, or anything, really). Life, work, and the world would be better when we set goals, take practical steps to get there, and measure ourselves along the way. We are driven by utility.
  • There is too much ugliness (of things, systems, and ideas). Life, work, and the world would be better when we drink in the beauty of life and design everything (concrete or conceptual) for completeness and enjoyment. We are driven by aesthetics.
  • There is too much separation. Life, work, and the world would be better when we realize we are all in this together and we choose to help each other out. We are driven by unity.
  • There is too much weakness. Life, work, and the world would be better when we coordinate and consolidate our power with strong leadership. We are driven by power.
  • There is too much tumult. Life, work, and the world would be better when we find, live & work by, and encourage others to live & work by the same, time-tested views, truths, and approaches. We are driven by tradition.

Our own career and our organizations’ strategies are most meaningful, compelling, and rewarding when we help other people and groups of people to correct those of these deficiencies that we notice the most.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We can apply these insights with some inquiry. We can explore how our careers (self) and strategies (organization) already align with the things that drive us the most. And we can ask, “What can we keep doing, start doing, and stop doing to be more aligned with those things?”

 

Today’s photo credit: Sandra Fauconnier cc

poetry

Meaning of it All and the Poet

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 2 min.

At work, at home, and in general, we sometimes need to know the meaning of it all. (So, here goes…)

We walk through the apparently very real, engrossing, confusing, and painful-and-pleasureful landscape of life. As we do, we struggle. Then, slowly, with the careful and gentle help of the The Poet, we become aware that existence is more than this engrossing reality of our work, family, friends, and world.

We see that The Answers are not found “out there” in that reality and certainly not in anyone else’s explanations of existence, meaning, and reality. We find it for ourselves–each of us through our own Self dancing with that reality. And, as Rumi echoes Burgham and Eliot:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, and even the phrase “each other” don’t make any sense.

But who is The Poet? In our drives to do well, to love, to live life, the make a buck, and make a difference, we are both the poet and the poetry–for ourselves and each other.

Vive le poète et la poésie!

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: Yup, we all may need to take a minute or two with this one.

 

Today’s photo credit: Dean Morley cc

deep

Go Ahead, Look Deeper

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Success
Reading time: 2 min.

Why are you doing what you are doing in your work and life?

If we scratch just beneath the surface of our answers to this question, we see something remarkable if not a bit unnerving. Many of our reasons for why we do what we do are imported. We have adopted our answers to the question, “Why?” from our parents, peers, and the public-at-large.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by or taking our motivation cues from others. It’s when we do so unwittingly or exclusively that we run into trouble.

You see, we each have a mind and heart that knows what’s really meaningful to us. From within come our own passions, talents, desires, and our hopes for the world. If we look just past our inherited reasons why, we will find and embrace these creative, delicious, and fulfilling sources of meaning.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Have no fear to go deeper. Some worry that learning what really makes us tick will mean we have to give up some parts of our lives that we love. Nope. Not these days, anyway; we are long past the time when a life of meaning meant sacrifice. As we look deeper, we will likely see that our families, our friends, our position, our house, car, and other trappings take on even richer meanings. Go ahead and look.

Today’s photo credit: Mark Strozier via photopin cc