Previous month:
October 2011

November 2011

Finding Contentment

Being content is a wonderful place to be. To me it implies perfect inner piece, a state of mind where "It's all good."

But are we ever really there? Can we ever be?

Yes, we can, but like all things worthwhile, being content requires work ... inner work of the mind and soul.

Finding and maintaining contentment requires constantly cultivating an attitude of gratitude. It requires a mindset change, which is harder for some to do than for others, although most of us to some degree long for something that we do not have.

We can all learn to be content.

One approach to develop your contentment "muscle" is by being aware of how many times you complain about your circumstances. To change your mindset, try one of the following this week:

  1. Each day this week write down 10 things you are thankful for. The catch: Don't repeat any of your items.
  2. Keep a complaint journal each day for all the complaints (thoughts or spoken words) you have about your life. At the end of the week look at your journal and write down something you could be thankful for to counteract each of your complaints.

Finding contentment takes practice but it can be done with a little discipline by retraining ourselves to be thankful in all of the little things. No matter who we are, we've all got something to be thankful for.

What techniques do you have to develop an attitude of gratitude? Share your thoughts with us in a comment by clicking the comment link below!

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Life

Having the right perspective works wonders for our outlook on life. An accurate perspective overrides emotional responses, brings forth optimism in bad circumstances and gives us confidence to move forward. How accurate is your perspective?

It isn't always easy to gain an appropriate perspective when we are in the thick of an emotional or stressful situation, but it is possible. When you find yourself rattled, following are four types of perspectives you can use to reframe a situation:

  • The Big Picture - How does this relate to the whole of my life? How important is this in the grand scheme of things?
  • The Objective Bystander - What would a person not emotionally attached say about my situation?
  • The Comprehensive Exam - How might all of the other people involved see things differently?
  • The Whole Truth - What do you need to know to be confident in moving forward?

Sit down with your situation in mind and thoughtfully write out the answers to these questions. If you still need some help, gaining perspective is a key reason people seek to work with a professional coach.

If you can't get an unbiased and trusted opinion, the above questions don't resonate with you, or you don't want to hire a coach, take my mom's advice and just tell yourself "Things could always be worse." That's another way to reframe!

On the other hand, if you are considering hiring a coach, why don't you contact me for a free consultation? You'll be glad you did. Click the following link to schedule your appointment now -->

Me vs. Me: The Battlefield of the Mind

Have you ever felt as if you weren't normal because you seemed to fight with yourself all the time? For instance, you might battle between making a quick decision and wanting more data. Or you may be the life of the party and then later wish you hadn't been so trusting when you divulged all of those funny stories about yourself.

Worry no more about having a split personality.

There is nothing wrong with you, you just have inner or "Me-Me" conflict.

I often see conflicting behavioral and/or motivational styles on my clients' assessments and experience plenty of my own inner conflict between goal achievement (tasks) and relationship building (people).

The good news for the mindful conflicted soul is that inner conflict makes it easier to see things from a variety of perspectives.

Embrace your inner conflict as a strength that helps you adapt easier than others!

When it comes to personalities, with or without inner conflict, the most important thing is knowing ourselves inside and out so we can adapt our behavior when necessary to obtain the best outcomes. Self-knowledge is power, especially in the heat of the battle of life.

How well do you know your instinctive behavioral patterns? What are you doing with that knowledge to leverage who you are, where you are? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

If you want to learn more, a complimentary consultation might benefit either you or your team. What are you waiting for? Click the link below to schedule your consultation today.

Leadership Development Carnival - November 2011

The November 2011 Leadership Development Carnival is now available for your reading pleasure, hosted over at Dan McCarthy's Great Leadership blog!  Great leadership indeed!

While there is no theme this month, the 45 posts from leading leadership bloggers on the web will give you quite the menu of options to help you develop in your role as a leader. I'm happy to say that I made Dan's list this month...and even more excited to know that only 50% of blog posts submitted to the carnival get selected.  Happy reading! 

Learning Through Teaching: Schooled By the Class

How satisified are you with your job? If you are one of the bored majority, have you ever thought about how you might make your job a little more fulfilling rather than relying on someone else to do it for you? Try this: Look at your job from a student's perspective, as a classroom for learning new things about life and leadership. Then find someone to whom you can teach your new lessons.

We are all students in the classroom of life. Teaching others is the best way to learn and become a better leader...on so many levels. When was the last time you intentionally learned something new? When was the last time you taught someone else what you learned?

I spent a lot of hours in a literal classroom this past year as I took on the adventure of being an adjunct "professor", teaching Management Theory to MBA students at a local college. I'm in the middle of teaching my third cohort now, with many to follow. Here are some lessons I learned that we can all learn from:

Lesson # 1 -We can be our best and our worst simultaneously when we try something new. While we should always strive to improve on our current body of work, our best effort at a new endeavor is still worthy of celebration. What achievement can you celebrate today?

Lesson #2 - When times becomes chaotic, slow down to speed up. While this seems counter-intuitive, slowing down to plan so we can respond rather than react reduces stress and increases productivity. When was the last time you stopped doing to plan?

Lesson #3 - Inefficiencies abound without a formal new-hire onboarding process. My experiences as an adjunct professor give me recent first hand experience to the importance of a formal new-hire process. What is your process for starting a new job or hiring a new leader?

Whether you are an official teacher/professor or not, when you start viewing life as a classroom, it will get more interesting for you. What life lessons have you learned recently? What can you do in the future to apply what you've learned? Share you comments below and then turn your learning into practice and put it into action today.

Note: If you'd like some help designing action steps to move forward, click here today to schedule your complimentary consultation.