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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Deal with Criticism and Keep Your Ego Intact

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."Winston Churchill

Raise Your Hand if You Like to be Criticized

When you hear someone say, "I hope you don't mind, but I have some criticism of your work I'd like to give you", does it give you the warm fuzzies or the icy chills?

Like most people you probably think of criticism as a negative ~ something to be feared. But did you know the original Greek word 'Kritikos' meant a neutral appraisal?

Criticism: A Positive Tool

Criticism can and should be thought of as a positive tool to enhance your personal effectiveness and improve your relationships. No kidding.

By simply changing your view of criticism from a negative to positive evaluation, you improve your  coach-ability, provide more meaningful and useful feedback to others, and improve your relationships. It all starts with creating positive intentions for receiving and giving feedback.

In his book, 'Nobody's Perfect", author, Henry Weisenger, defines criticism as 'to communicate information to others in a way that enables them to use it to their advantage and benefit.'

Used properly, with a positive intent, criticism is used to communicate, influence, and motivate. Used improperly, with a negative intent, criticism is used to belittle, demoralize and shut up adversaries.

How to Use Criticism to Communicate, Influence and Motivate

Get Clear on Your Intentions

Abraham Lincoln said, "He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help. " When you start with the proper intentions ~ to help others use information to their advantage and benefit ~ you'll speak from the heart, and you're more likely to be heard. When people know you care about them, they're more open to listening to, and being influenced by you.

Decide to Live in a Friendly , Not Hostile, World

When you're on the receiving end, be intent to make a good use of all feedback. Make a choice to be open ~ Ask for feedback ~ welcome feedback  ~ and above all, always thank others for feedback. Be coach-able ~ and don't give others anything to push against.

But what if you're on the receiving end of criticism, and the criticizer's intentions are not so good? You can't do anything about the other's negative intent, but you can be the master of your own soul, and influence your personal development, by deciding to accept all feedback as good. This doesn't mean you must take in everything said. It means you stay open to hearing, without resistance. You choose to suspend judgment so you can decide later what to keep and what to let go.

Your view of the world around you---as a friendly or hostile world-- will determine how you respond to everything else. Make a conscious decision to see the world as a friendly place, one that supports your health, happiness and well-being. Choose to step around the intentions of those who mean to do you harm. Stay focused on creating your own, positive, friendly world.

Get the Facts
If your intentions are to keep your relationships intact, always check out your assumptions with  other people. Start feedback conversations with a soft opening like, 'Do you have a moment to talk?', then gently move into the heart of the issue, engaging in open, honest, direct communication. Ask clarifying questions and listen intently. Seek to hear and understand the other person's intent.

We all need two things to engage in open, honest, direct communication ~ courage and compassion. Some of us have plenty of compassion and we need more courage (we're too nice), while others have plenty of courage and need to develop more compassion (you're too blunt). A balance of compassion and courage is needed by all of us.

No one does conflict perfectly. And no one communicates perfectly. We're all just practicing every time we engage with other people.

Where Can You Apply in Your Own Life?

Has someone criticized you recently? How can you turn that information into beneficial feedback that helps you develop?

Where do you need to use your courage and compassion to engage others in open, honest, direct communication that could benefit both you and them?
"Difficulties mastered are opportunities won."
Winston Churchill

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eight Tips for Making Failure the Key to Your Success

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill

What's happening in your life right now? Do you feel like you're failing in some aspect of your life? Are you harboring a secret failure you're hiding from others in shame? Off licking your wounds?

Listen up! You're one step closer to achieving success.

What do you think separates achievers from nonachievers? Education? Intelligence? Luck? In with the Boss? While each of these can help open the doors to achievement, they are not the key. Knowing how to fail is.

Do You Know How to Fail Successfully?

Years ago, the B.C. cartoonist captured the essence of how many of us view failure in one of his cartoon definitions:
 "Flail: The opposite of slucceed."
As the B.C. humorist insinuates, failure is often a crime worthy of a mental flailing. After we beat ourselves up, it may take days, weeks or months to get over the pain of that mental flailing. And while we waste time feeling guilty, frustrated, and sorry for ourselves, we fail to take the next step.

How do you view your failures? Are you so afraid of failing you have a hard time starting something new? Do you expect no less than perfection from yourself? Do you have a difficult time taking risks because you must guarantee success before you take the first step?

Psychologist, Terry Paulsen, says 'perfectionist thinking leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis'.  If you're so afraid of making a mistake, you'll never take a step.

Don't let the fear of failure lead to perfectionist thinking and ultimately to getting stuck. Learn to use your failures like the top achievers do ~ as learning experiences. Let the following tips guide you to turn failure into success.

Eight Tips for Turning Failure into Success

1 Choose to see failures as learning experiences.
When things don't turn out the way you want them to ~  make a list of everything you learn from your experiences. Ask yourself questions and spend 10 minutes a day logging your answers.
What went wrong?
What could I do better next time?
What can I improve upon NOW?  What's the most important question for me to ask myself NOW? How do I turn this into a beginning, not an ending?
What's the greatest lesson to be learned from my experience?
Expect and welcome learning experiences. You're stagnating if you're not failing some of the time. Practice taking risks in less crucial areas of your life ~ make a game out of it. Become a game changer.
"The only difference between winners and losers," says Terry Paulsen, "is winners lose more often....but they stay in the game."

3  Choose to learn from people who enjoy their imperfections.
Is there a person in your life who doesn't let failure get her down? 
Watch her ~ Talk to her ~Get advice from her.
 Let nonperfectionists influence your thinking.

4  Take a step without worrying about the results.
Paul Clayton, a speaker on change says we waste a lot of time aiming for the perfect step. When we want to change, we get ready, then we aim, aim, aim, aim, aim.....and maybe shoot. His recommendation?

Change to ready, SHOOT, aim.
Take a step, any step, then adjust it afterwards if necessary.

5  Let your failures be an inspiration to others. 
In 1984, William Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His award-winning book, Ironweed was submitted to ~ and rejected by~ thirteen publishers before being accepted for publication.
Your failures and struggles make your success more inspiring to others.
Don't hide your struggles; share them with others.

6  Become a strong person who makes mistakes.
It takes a strong person to admit his mistakes and accept himself in the face of failure.
Richard Needham, a Canadian Humorist, said, "Strong people make as many and as ghastly mistakes as weak people. The difference is strong people admit them, laugh at them, and learn from them. That is how they become strong."

Let your failures strengthen you.
Former President Richard Nixon said, "Life is just ninety-nine rounds, just ninety- nine rounds. The person left standing at the end is the winner."

8  Turn Your Huge Public Failure into a Huge Public Success

Meet Dave Dahl, successful creator of 'Dave's Killer Bread'. His previous life was one fat failure, including  jail time for burglary and an addiction to major drugs. Dave turned his life around and went public with his personal failures by putting them on every package of Dave's Killer Bread. His bread IS Killer Bread (very tasty and nutritious) ...and it tastes that much better for his story of overcoming public failure.

Check out Dave's Story and Bread

Dave Dahl's turnaround let's us see that no matter how bad the fall from grace, if we chose to learn from our failures and are willing to take the next steps, we can recover a good and satisfying life. Take a cue from Dave--

Don't Dwell on the Past, Create for Your Future

Stop Dwelling on the Past. Get Busy Making Your Future
"Life in the fast lane is like driving a car with no brakes, no reverse, and you can't turn it off. That is why it is important to keep your rearview mirror smaller than your front window. Far too many waste time dwelling on the past instead of getting busy making the future." Terry Paulson, Ph.D.
Your Bonus Tip

Dr Terry Paulson has some great resources available to you. If interested, click link below to take a look.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Face to Face with the Second Step? Three Tips to Get You Unstuck

Face to Face with the Second Step

I was first introduced to Richard Stine's simple black and white line drawings at a Westwood art fair while I was at UCLA attending graduate school. His series, 'Smile In A Mad Dog's i' , brought a smile to my own eye and made me laugh. While I lingered at his booth, lusting after his drawings,  I was a poor graduate student and I just couldn't pay $30 for a simple line drawing.  I walked away without buying anything.

Over the next year, every time I found myself stalled and frustrated after starting a school or work project one of his images, 'Dog face to face with the second step',  kept popping into my head.

I could clearly see that silly, flat-faced, wire-haired black dog with his eyes glued to, and staring at, the second step of the stairs. I was that dog. And that was exactly how it felt---I was face to face, not with the first step, but the second.  And when I looked closely,  I could clearly see the second step was in fact larger than the first.

I began to see how my work life was going to progress. Just as I was congratulating myself for finally getting the latest project off to a good start, I had to look out for that big second step stopping me in my tracks.

But over time, the light dawned and I began to see the second step in a positive light. Rather than the second step being a time for getting stuck and giving up, I came to see it as an opportunity to pause and assess where I was in the process, re-commit to my vision,  and regain the energy and motivation to move on. Instead of being pushed off-track by the unexpected obstacles, I learned to expect the unexpected and turn that potential ending into a fresh start.

WOOF!  Be the Dog ~  Paws and Assess

What have YOU been working on that you suddenly find yourself face to face with the second step? What dream or vision have you been working on that suddenly feels stalled? How long have you felt that churning and simmering in your head, pulling you towards taking the next step? What's stopping YOU? If you were to turn that ending into a new beginning, what would you do next?

What's Got You Stalled?
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of public failure
  • Too busy at work
  • Don't know where to start.
  • No money.
  • Work exhausts me and uses up my creative energy.
  • I focus on helping other people, then am too tired to help myself.
  • I don't believe I deserve to achieve my dream.

In the last year, I've been on a quest to move my face-to-face business on-line. My ultimate goal is to create e-books, and have coaching, facilitation and writing services easily available through my own website.

My first step was to start this blog. I was proud of myself when I overcame the inertia of the first step--establishing Lightarted Living, posting weekly musings and including affirmation hearts and other art on the site. I'd been congratulating myself for moving with such grace and ease past the imaginary barriers to getting started.

But then I came face to face with the second step, and stalled, before I moved on to writing for ezine articles. Once again I basked in my quiet success of stepping in to learn how it works.

But here I am this morning, face to face ~once again~ with the second step. I've felt it coming on for sometime. I know what that second step is--I need to decide what step to take next---learn to set up a website or publish an e-book, then take action.

So today's the day--I'm going in! Why not join me and make today the day you choose to move  past YOUR second step?

Three Tips to Get You Unstuck

  1. Make Yourself  #1. Give yourself the first part of the day. Get up 1 hour earlier to devote yourself to your dream. Don't let yourself be distracted.
  2. Choose.  Choose the one thing to focus on NOW.
  3. Act today. Put your thoughts on paper, and convert those thoughts to do-able actions.  Choose to act on one step today.  

Richard Stine

The following year I made a beeline for Richard Stine's booth at the Art Fair and bought the store out, including Face to Face with the Second Step. His images have been influencing my psyche ever since. If you'd like to see Stine's 'Face to Face with the Second Step' (newer colored version) click on link below.

Managers Listen Up!

Ten Minute Treat for your Soul: The Surprising Truth About What Really Motivates You

If you could choose anything to do with your life, what would you do? Click this link to find out the role challenge, purpose, mission, self-direction. self-mastery and autonomy play in your motivation.

Dan Pink--RSA Animate
This guy is amazing!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bored with Training? Take a Twaining Tip from the Master

"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way." Mark Twain

A Little Twaining Never Hurt Anyone

Mark Twain can evoke an image like no other and bring it home to rest. Today's Twain-ism elicited a full out belly laugh in me, swiftly followed by the image of carrying a cat by the tail searing into my brain.

While I've never actually carried a cat by it's tail, I know exactly what it means ---and you do too.

The Shocking Truth

We often choose our learning lessons, by bucking the the wise counsel of others or our own better judgment. Sometimes we just have to step in and experience that wild ride for ourselves. We suspect what we're about to do is not a good idea, but we're going with it any way.

As a kid growing up surrounded by cow pastures and orchards, I spent a lot of time running around with neighborhood kids exploring the world around us. One day a pack of us decided it would be fun to touch an electric fence with all of us holding hands just to see what would happen. The person at the front of the line touched the fence with a single piece of wet grass and that current whipped through our bodies, zapping us with a wallop.

Did I suspect it was a bad idea? Yep. Did I do it anyway? Yep. Did I do it again? Nope. Like carrying a cat by the tail, I learned first hand why that wasn't such a good idea--and I've never forgotten the experience.

Twust Me, Twaining is Easy!

But not all 'carrying a cat by the tail'  twaining experiences go against our good judgment. They're just great up close and personal experiences, like my shocking experience, that pack their own wallop--meaning relevant, interesting and fun.

A full 75% of the population in the United States learns best through experience. And the other 25% of us who just imagine and learn? We, too, benefit greatly through hands-on, interactive learning. Nothing gets something into our memory and enhances our learning like hands-on, cat-by-the-tail experience--and a good story.

Don't expect to just read that instruction manual and expect to retain the contents. It's boring. Do something with the information instead ~ something  interactive ~ it'll stick better. And if the way you interact with the information creates a great, outlandish image or story, all the better for helping you remember the details.

Mark Twain was the master of outlandish. And that's why we remember so many of his sayings. So liven up your  daily 'Twaining' experience by taking a cue from the Master himself. Find your own outrageous way to shoot that needed information into your brain.

Design Your Own Carry-a-Cat-by-the-Tail  Twaining

Where in your life do you need to step in and gain first hand experience?
What outlandish image, story or experience can you create to make the learning experience more relevant, meaningful and fun?

On Herding Cats

For a fun, visual of that all time favorite Herding Cats experience, click on the link below

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kick that Critic out of Your Head!

Who's Your Critic?
  • Who is that critic living inside your head?
  • What are you attempting to do right now, but you're afraid to take the first step because the critic threatens you with public failure?
  • What or who has you feeling stuck or blocked?
Perfecting the Critic's Image

When I first started publishing 30 years ago, I had quite a crowd of critics roaming around my head. I'd been told I couldn't write for many years.

From elementary through high school teachers consistently red inked 'run on sentences' across my papers. No one ever told me what a 'run on sentence' was or how to fix it. I just knew it was wrong.

In college I was forced to take 'bonehead english' my first year, further confirming my perceived lack of writing skills. The very aged school marm who taught the class would soon form a perfect visual for all the other critics in my head.

It didn't help she had a hearing aid that constantly failed. Even though the student she asked to to spell a word like 'cat', spelled it correctly, she couldn't hear it and shouted out, 'NO!', while pointing to the next person to spell it. Hair pulled back in a bun, glasses hanging on the end of her nose, pursed lips and pinched brow, she easily moved to the head of the critic's class inside my head.

Paint a Caricature of Your Critic

I know, I know ~ that school marm image sounds too cliche to be true. But it's true! 

See what you find when you take a look at the faces and posturing of the critics in your own head. Chances are they're cliche too ~ strict, heavy pinched brows, face pinched in scowl and disapproval ~the expert ready to shoot down your great ideas or show you exactly where you're wrong and misguided.

To kick the critics out of your head you need to show them for the ridiculous characters they are.  Paint a picture of the full caricature with as much embellishment as you can muster, then have a good laugh. Make a list of comments you'd like to say to your critics face to face ~ comments you'll never say, but comments it sure feels good to think about saying. Now kick them out of your head.

Kick the Critic out of Your Head!

I learned a little secret from speaking before audiences and writing for readers. You can just as easily conjure up a clear picture of your friendly, interested audience to replace your off-putting critics.  Imagine who would be interested in your idea, and create with them in mind.

Go one step further and zero in on the face of one person you know would give you a friendly reception, and replace your critic with your new confidant. Make the friendly, interested confidant's image as strong as your critic's was ~ only much nicer!

Befriending My Dragon

In my early years of writing I adopted a ceramic confidant to cheer me on. A friend gifted me this ceramic dragon that looked down on me from his perch above my workstation. With his kind eyes and paws resting on his potbelly he looked at me as if to say, 'And what else would you like to to say?'   He was always a great listener, and he never criticized or made fun of my ideas. He knew I would always find the right way to communicate my ideas all by myself. I just needed to lighten up.

Find Motivating Mentors 

As a toddler, my daughter, Tracy, was afraid of sleeping in a dark room by herself. One night she called out, "Mommy, I need you NOW." When I went to her room with Ginger, the dog I said, "Here, let Ginger sleep with you." She quickly replied, "NO! I need someone with skin!"

If like Tracy, you need 'someone with skin' to sit with you (a ceramic dragon just won't do), consider what person could mentor or coach you.  Like the ceramic dragon, your mentor doesn't need to give you feedback. Your mentor needs to listen. You have all the great ideas in your head. You just need to lighten up to let them out.

Life as a Run-on Sentence

I have learned what a run-on sentence is ~ and now I realize I live my life as a run-on sentence ~ one activity running into another ~ without commas or periods between. It's okay. I like it that way.  I can accept my tendencies and laugh at them instead of letting them block my good energy.

Our lives are movie pictures not static snapshots. Just because at a point in time we need to learn how to do something like write, speak, or use new technology, it doesn't mean we can't learn how to do it and become proficient in it. Choose to become great at whatever it is you are passionate about.

Get those critics out of your head so you can regain a sense of flow in engaging with the world around you.

 Questions to ask yourself :
  • What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
  • What great ideas would YOUR dragon hear from you?
  • Who is your mentor or friend?
  • Who will just listen to you so you can sort your own stuff out?
Make a List

  • Make a list of things you would do you won't show anyone.
  • Make a list of far-fetched things you would like to do with your life.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I will not refuse to do the something I can do

You can text REDCROSS to 90999
and donate $10 to Japan's earthquake/tsunami relief

"I am only one,
but still I am one.
I can not do everything,
but still I can do something.
I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
Helen Keller

I was so proud of my son, Sean, when I opened Facebook to see his post:

'You can text REDCROSS to 90999 and donate $10 to Japan's earthquake/tsunami relief.'

Although he is only one, he stepped in and did the something he could do.

Be the Someone to Help

Too often we read about of these disasters, shake our heads in disbelief and hope someone is going to do something.

We are the someone. There is something empowering and satisfying when we reach out and do the something we can do ~ no matter how small.  This is especially true if we don't have a lot ourselves.

Ten Dollars Multiplied by Millions Adds Up

Ten dollars multiplied by millions adds up to a lot. Ten people pooling a dollar each multiplied by millions adds up to a lot. Asking ten people to share this message on their facebook page multiplied by millions adds up to a lot.

We all have our private bout of life we're dealing with---illness, layoffs, loss of home and loneliness.  But If we do nothing when witnessing such devastation, we're left with an undercurrent of helplessness and fear for dealing with our own lives.

Let Your Feel-Good Hormones Spike in Your Body. Do Something to Help.

When we rise above our own situation to help others we tap into our humanity, thus experiencing our own strength and ability to act in the world to make a difference. It lifts us up and lets us know we belong.

Reaching out to others in need is deeply fulfilling ~ and heals our soul.  Let those feel-good hormones spike in your body with an act of goodwill. Do something NOW.

'You can text REDCROSS to 90999
and donate $10 to Japan's earthquake/tsunami relief.'

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.

I am perfect as I am

'Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.'

Wow. Great quote passed on to me by my brother-in-law, Jeff. When I asked him where this quote originated, he wrote, 'Ancient Chinese Secret'.

Whether it is an ancient chinese secret or an ancient Jeff secret, it is profoundly simple and useful.

Tension is who you think you should be

This week I heard from a reader who had just started a new job. She woke up not wanting to go to work. Why? She was tense thinking about how she should be perfect already. She was only a couple of weeks into the job.

Another friend was in too bad a mood to talk with me the other night. He, too, was overwhelmed by a new job with enough work for two people. Being a person who likes to finish and complete jobs, he was wound up because he was unable to leave work feeling satisfied he'd accomplished anything.

And what about you? Think back over your last week. What caused you to be tense? How did it relate to who you think you should be?

Tension is Useful

We all wage our private battle of bringing together where we currently are with where we want ourselves to be. The  battle creating tension isn't the issue. It's what we choose to do with it.

Too often we think tension = bad and relaxation = good. The truth is, used properly, they're both good.

Tension will wear your body down if you fail to pay attention to it. But when you pay attention, you raise your awareness of  what's causing the discrepancy between where you are and where you want to be, thus freeing yourself to make conscious choices about it.

Relaxation is who you are

My reader in the new job chose to pay attention to the tension and address it. I responded to her stressed-for-success story encouraging her to relax:

"Working a new job can be intense. Give yourself time to ease into it. Show up, do your best, find a way to relax into it".
By the end of the day she had replied with:

"Susan, Odd you should say show up, do your best, find a way to relax into it. I talked with the woman who hired me about my stress and she said, 'Quit trying to do everything now. You have plenty of time. Stop stressing."
Funny almost the same thing happened for my friend in the foul-mood . He met with his new boss the next day who just laughed that he was trying to 'get it all done'. He told him to relax, and do his best in the job-without-end.

So there's the message for us all: relax. Relaxation is who we are.

Oh, and a Final Prayer

From website with prayers for MBTI types:
ISFJ: Lord, please help me to be more laid back and help me to do that EXACTLY correctly.

Moral of the story: If you can't give up being wound up, at least find a way to laugh at yourself. You can not be relaxed and stressed at the same time. Laughter relaxes you, and helps you be who you are.

Thanks to Jason Kalra for sharing the site with MBTI prayers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Four Feel Good Minutes of Puppy Love

Today I was treated to four feel good minutes of love-- with no strings attached.

For the price of clicking a link sent by a friend,  I witnessed a video clip of the incredible relationship between the orangutan and the hound. Oh, I'm sure you've seen the pictures of their story. But before you say, 'been there, done that', invest a few minutes in your heart strings.

I love that my friends think to share stories like this one with me. I know they care. We can all use more tender images in our brains letting us understand on a very deep level,  Love IS everywhere.---and we are loving and lovable.

So go ahead, click on this link to enjoy your four feel good minutes of amazing love between the orangutan and hound.!Wisdom/OrangutanAndHound.html

Who are you in your relationships---the Orangutan or the Hound?
Who are your friends you can freely frolic with?
Who do you have in your life you can be completely yourself?
Who in your life makes you smile and laugh?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Secret to Stop Procrastination: Begin Simply, and Simply Begin

"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."
Mark Twain

Okay, come clean. What's the thing you've been thinking you need to do you just haven't gotten around to doing?

Come on, you know what it is!  It's the very thing~ that if you did it~ it would have a great impact in the way your life worked, or  would help you achieve a life goal, or help you live your life mission. Sometimes it's just something that would make your day-to-day life easier.

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

The thing is, you know there is something on your mind that continues to show up for brief visits every morning, weekend or evening before it disappears as you return to your work, or other such distractions.  And you also know, until you take care of it, it will continue to irritate you.

Years ago a cartoon featured the lovable cat, Garfield, considering the task of getting out to exercise. He thinks, "I probably should get up and exercise, but my feet will start to hurt and my heart will pound. I'll get out of breath, start to sweat, and I won't be able to make it back home. Exercise isn't so bad," he says, "But the anticipation is killing me!"

Like Garfield, the thing you need to do probably isn't so bad, but the anticipation is killing you! That small first step could potentially have a large impact on your life so you over-think it. The anticipation leads to procrastination, killing your motivation to take a step.

Begin Simply, and Simply Begin

To overcome the inertia to taking the first step, begin simply, and simply begin! Consider Mark Twain's philosophy:
"Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."

Brian Tracy in his book, 'Eat That Frog!', plays off Twain's quirky quip to create 21 ways to stop procrastinating. Tracy equates your 'frog' to your biggest, most important task, the one likeliest to have the greatest positive impact on your life---yes, the very THING we've been talking about!

Tracy goes on to lay down the first two rules of 'frog eating'

'If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.'
'If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn't pay to sit and look at it for very  long.'
Apply the Rule of Frog

Basically, the rule of frog says stop anticipating, and start each day by doing the most important thing that needs doing before you do anything else. Don't sit around thinking about taking that first bite of frog. Bite into the hardest, ugliest task you've been avoiding first thing in the morning ~ and do it every morning.

Leap Frog Your Way to a Satisfying, Productive Life

Begin simply: make a list of 'frogs'. Then simply begin to jump through those self-imposed hoops, leap frogging your way each and every morning to a more satisfying and productive life.

 Why wait to get started? Jump in NOW. Choose something from the list  below...or use the list to jump start your own list.

Frogs to Eat First Thing in the Morning
Make a list of your frogs. Choose an ugly one.
Make that phone call.
Start that school application.
Drive to the Credit Union. Set up Automatic Deposit.
Ask for Help. Pick up the phone. Send the e-mail. Write the grant.
Organize your tax documents. Call for help. Pay your taxes.
Practice learning a new technology skill.
Spend one hour in language lab. Pass the class.
Make a dentist appointment. Put your self-care first.
Make a doctor appointment. Put your self-care first.
Call a sick friend.
Write a letter to someone in need.
Set up a retirement savings account. Start contributing.
Increase the amount contributed to your retirement savings account.
Go to the gym.
Find a new job.
Research retirement options
Research school options
Actively Manage Finances.
Make and Maintain Contact with Good Friends.
Find a Mate. Put yourself in the environment where you'll meet potential mates.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Feeling Pressured? One Simple Step to Regain Your Mojo

Do You Trust Everything will Work Out?
Think back over the last three days and ask yourself: 
  • How many times did something happen to make me worry something in my life wouldn't work out?
  • How many times did I respond to that fear by relaxing and letting myself know instead that life always has a way of working out in my favor?

When Life Gets Challenging, Lighten Up

These days, there's certainly lots to worry about. But when life gets more challenging, that's the very time you need to be more nimble and flexible in your thinking. In short, you need to lighten up and change how you think about situations you find troubling.

Do You Feel Pressured or Challenged? It Makes a Difference!

Your view of your situation determines if you'll have limited or more expansive choices for responding to life. The good news is you can change how you think, and therefore open up options for yourself. You're in control of choosing your role in difficult situations, and therefore your response.

When you sink into feeling pressured, fearful or worried about a situation, you downshift into your lower, or reptilian brain, where only low level flight-or-fight responses are available to you--the extremes of fighting and withdrawing--outbursts, yelling, arguing, quitting, ignoring, denying, running away and pulling the covers over your head and never going back. It's not a very empowering or engaging place to come from, and leaves you feeling weak, threatened, out-of-control and unsuccessful.

By switching your view from feeling pressured to feeling challenged, you move up to your higher brain, or cerebral cortex, where conscious, critical thinking is possible.  Now you're in control. It is from this place you are capable of considering calm, clear, focused choices, and listening to your inner wisdom.

Chose the Self-Satisfied Calm of Knowing You Can Handle Life

Give up the adrenaline rush of feeling pressured for the self-satisfied calm of knowing you can handle whatever life throws your way. The next time you feel the angst of your situation, consciously choose to say 'I feel challenged' in place of 'I feel pressured'.

No, things don't always go as you planned. But you do have what it takes to successfully move through life's challenges. So switch it up and regain your Mojo! Look for the challenge and give up the pressure.

"Relax and begin saying, Everything in its perfect time. Everything is unfolding. And I'm enjoying where I am now, in relationship to where I'm going. I'm content where I am, and eager for more."