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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Introvert or Extravert: Become the Best You Can Be




'Revel in the tension between fear and optimism. If your goal seems impossible, it's probably worth going after.' Larry Romero
 
What Are Your Life Challenges?

 Whether introvert or extravert, we are all capable of being good at anything we choose to master. But we tend to favor some ways of dealing with life over others. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your preferences, some aspects of managing your life will excite you and others will stress you.

Perhaps:

  • You're sociable and fun once you know a person, but you feel awkward and anxious about starting a relationship.
  • You're a great finisher whose excitement goes up the closer you get to the finish line but your stress goes up before you start a job.
  • You prefer to lay a plan and stick to it and your stress rises when someone asks you to be more flexible about changing those carefully laid plans.
  • You excel at working independently and you get stressed by working with others.

Like others, you may be interested in understanding whether you are an introvert or extravert--and what that means to you.  But who you are and how you prefer to deal with life goes much further than whether you prefer introversion or extraversion.
 
The true beauty of understanding how you prefer to deal with life is it allows you the freedom to become the best you can be--first through accepting who you are and second through choosing to consciously and deliberately do things differently.
 
Fifteen years ago I chose to improve my time management skills to get more out of my life.  Since I was a great starter of projects I decided to consciously refocus on the opposite of what I do best--finishing. I discovered by refocusing on the word 'finish' when I started a new endeavor I took things to completion sooner. Today it's almost second nature for me to finish what I start.

 Refocus with a Single Word

You don't need to know the whole truth about who you are to become a better you. Whether you want to be more compassionate or less judgmental, loosen up, be timelier, or relate better with others--you can begin to master your less preferred ways to manage life by refocusing your attention with a single word. It's that simple.

If you want to become a better you, choose a starting place to redirect your focus so you attend to what you want to master. That's what choosing a single refocusing word is about. 

Deep inside, you know what that one word is for you. You know if you were to consciously embrace one less preferred aspect of how you deal with life you would be more balanced and your life less stressful.

So what is it that would make your life more balanced, and what is the single word that could serve to easily refocus your attention on what you want to master?

Is Your Critical, Judgmental Nature Getting in the Way?

Perhaps you are too critical and judgmental towards yourself and others. You want to be in a loving relationship, but your critical and judgmental thinking is getting in the way.

A healthy relationship requires an equal amount of courage and compassion. If you are too critical and judgmental you may demonstrate lots of courage to speak your mind and not enough compassion towards others and yourself.

Refocus your attention with the word compassion to guide you to soften up and lead with more heart, than head. An added bonus to focusing on the word compassion is you will be kinder to yourself—and have more courage to let go of the fear and be yourself.

Struggling to Learn a New Skill or Job?

When you're struggling to learning a new skill or job you can feel overwhelmed by where to begin. If your reaction to being overwhelmed is to avoid stepping into the learning process, you may want to choose the word 'start' or 'small' to cue you to just jump in and take the first small step.

Become the Person You Already Are--Only Better!

Don't worry about picking the perfect word. Pick one word to guide you daily--and start using it.  If you need to change your focus, do it. Just keep it simple.

I was always a person who was flexible and adaptable. By focusing on finishing, today I am a flexible and adaptable person who is easy to work with--and who finishes projects and meets deadlines.

Whether introvert or extravert, by choosing to focus on one word to help you manage your life better, you'll become the person you already are--only better!

Refocusing Words--Choose One

  • Start
  • Finish
  • Follow-through
  • Tenacious
  • Persistent
  • Patient
  • Adaptable
  • Flexible
  • Compassionate
  • Courageous
  • Flexible
  • Decisive
  • Enjoy
  • Engage
  • Relate
  • Open
  • Suspend (Judgment)
  • Choose
  • Happy
  • Active
  • Action
  • Pro-active
  • Describe (don't judge)
  • Trust

'If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.'  Lao Tzu

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Forget Motivation--Just Do It!




"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 exercising. 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 overthink 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! Forget about motivation! Just Do It! 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 or job application.
  • Ask for help. Pick up the phone. Send the e-mail.
  • Practice learning a new technology skill now.
  • 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.
  • Go to the gym.
  • Find a new job.
  • Research school options
  • Make and maintain contact with good friends.
  • Find a mate. Put yourself in the environment where you'll meet potential mates.


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If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Connect with Susan on Twitter, and LinkedIn. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Practice Happiness: Train Your Brain to Accent the Positive




Inspiring others towards happiness brings you happiness
Inspire Happiness

'Recalling days of sadness, memories haunt me. Recalling days of happiness, I haunt my memories.'
Robert Brault

 
Get out of Your Negative Rut
 
Do you find yourself focusing on things that aren't going well during your day, or perhaps the piles of things you failed to get to? Do you beat yourself up over striking out with that woman, messing up at work, or failing to get that job interview?

Take a lesson from Tommy Lasorda, former Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers:

"If you're worried about that last at bat, you're going to be miserable--you're only going to get depressed. But if you put a picture in your mind that you're going to get a base hit off him the next time, now how do you feel? I try to put positive pictures into the minds of my players."

 
Stop beating yourself up over what goes wrong in your day--Learn to pay more attention to what's going well instead and--as Tommy said--create a positive picture of how you're going to get a hit next time.

To 'practice happiness', the goal is to train your brain to shift the focus to your achievements by taking an inventory of your day with four questions and to create a positive picture of your future success.
 
You Can Train Your Brain to be More Positive in 3-5 Weeks
 
Take a daily inventory. Choose to focus on what's going well in your life and you'll retrain your brain to accent the positive. It may feel awkward or forced at first, but do it anyway. In just three to five weeks you'll learn to do what doesn't come naturally.
 
With consistent focus on the good stuff in your life you'll shift out of that 'naturally' negative groove into a positive channel. Set aside 15-minutes each day to focus your attention on the good stuff and to create a positive picture of your future success.
 
Re-focus by writing. Okay, so it doesn't feel natural to write it down either. But if you only do what comes naturally, you'll fail to get out of a negative mindset. 

The natural tendency is to focus on the negative in your head making it difficult to shift your thinking towards the positive. The negative track is just too deep. It's essential to redirect your thoughts by writing it down. Choose to be uncomfortable.
 
The physical act of writing down the questions and your answers centers your attention as it moves you into a different part of your brain. Get a notebook or journal to collect your positive actions and life experiences--and to create a positive picture of your future success.
 
Ask yourself these four questions to accent the positive:  

What is working well for me in my work and life?
 
What have I accomplished I've failed to acknowledge?
 
What is the most meaningful thing I did in the last 24 hours?
 
What is one meaningful step I could take today?

Picture This Daily

Think back to a time you had a positive, successful experience. Visualize it, then describe it in writing. Describe the experience. Describe how you felt. Now, picture a future success--what does it look like?

You Can Do This

You are the only one who can change your mindset from the negative to the positive. If you are unhappy with where your life is right now--do you care enough about yourself to be uncomfortable fifteen minutes a day to 'practice happiness'? You can do this. You're worth it.
 


'One day, in your search for happiness, you find a partner by your side, and you realize that your happiness has come to help you search.'
Robert Brault





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If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Connect with Susan on Twitter and LinkedIn. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.

 
 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Leading Meetings? Never Miss a Good Chance to Shut Up, Says Will Rogers




'Never miss a good chance to shut up.' Will Rogers

Tired of standing in front of Monday morning meetings sounding like the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off ? "Beuller? Beuller? Beuller? Anyone?" If you're leading meetings people can't wait to get out of, use these trainer tips to turn your meetings into lively and engaging discussion groups that promote team work and produce employees fully-invested in the discussions.

Stop Talking. Do you think you control the meeting and message by doing all the talking yourself? Not true. When you’re the only one talking you're the only one listening. While you're enjoying the sound of your own voice, everyone else is entertaining themselves doodling, making lists of what to get at the store, and passing notes. All they hear you say is "blah, blah, blah, blah….any questions?" To gain control, you must give it up—starting with the need to hear yourself speak.

Start Listening. If you really want to get something done, redefine meetings as a place where you listen while everyone else interacts. Set up the discussion then shut up. Nothing makes you look more brilliant to others than when you artfully set up meetings so everyone is actively engaged in presenting their ideas.

Make it easy to speak up. Even the most outgoing professional may be reluctant to speak up in a large meeting--especially if put on the spot. To make it easy for attendees to fully participate, break the larger group into discussion pairs. Give people five minutes to discuss an issue in duos before asking them to engage in a large group discussion. Ask for volunteers to speak up and share what they think when you reconvene. You may be surprised by the free flow of ideas. When people are engaged in their own discovery process, the meeting is never boring.

 

'If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.' Will Rogers

Make it easy for colleagues to want to attend your meetings

 
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If you're interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, join the Lightarted Living mailing list. Connect with Susan on Twitter and LinkedIn. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

Would you like to Host a Lightarted Event?

For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.