Special Request from Jim – What did you learn in 2020?

What did you learn this year?  In a normal year it is a common practice to look back to reflect on accomplishments before looking forward to plan for the next. Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings and endings, represents this duality. As this Dumpster Fire of a year blessedly draws to an end, I’m looking forward to 2021 and …

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Strategies for Personal Change

Civility, Where Art Thou?

I’ve traveled extensively in the past month, adding stamps to my passport from Netherlands, Czechia, Japan, and Singapore – and of course the US when I returned. The experience of passing through Customs and Immigration in those first four countries was fairly pleasant. “Hello, how are you? How long will you be in our country? Purpose of visit? Thank, enjoy …

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Strategies for Personal Change

More Tiny Wisdoms

My focus on six-word wisdoms last month generated much positive reaction, quite possibly because our attention spans have shrunk to under nine seconds – less time than it’s taken you to read this sentence aloud! Here are a few more, for fun: Ask, “In what ways might I?” You’ve been trained your entire life to focus on problems as barriers, …

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What Beer Taught Me About Mindfulness

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Relaxation, Mindfulness, and Meditation Many of us suffer from FOMS (Fear Of Missing Something) so we approach life as series of manic, highly active episodes thinly sandwiched between inadequate layers of sleep. We continually pump our systems full of adrenalin and cortisol (and when those fail, more caffeine), and when those chemicals build to toxic levels we turn to pills …

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Leadership and Workplace, Strategies for Personal Change

EAT LESS, MOVE MORE, SLEEP WELL

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  I love to play with tight language, which is why Haiku has always been my favorite poetic form (17 syllables and rigid rules, yet infinite possibilities). I also love the brutal simplicity of six-word essays, a format over which I obsessed in high school (see https://www.sixwordmemoirs.com for more) Since January I have attended 28 classes in my global Health …

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Leadership and Workplace

GET AHEAD WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND

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Yes, You Can Get Ahead Without Losing Your Mind! I got this question from one client, but it’s a question I hear frequently. If this resonates for you, please share! Q: I want to move up in my organization, but in this culture you’ve got to move fast and always be producing. It’s very stressful! How can I be ambitious …

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Read more articles like this one in: Communication, Executive Coaching, In the workplace, Leadership, Leadership and Workplace

ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHAT YOU SAY?

Story:  I’m sitting in a coffee shop, writing.  Background music creates a white noise, masking multiple streams of conversation I only half-notice from within my envelope of concentration. Whenever a new customer walks in, the bright-eyed, caffeinated barista asks, “How are you this morning?” Most respond with a simple “fine,” or “okay.”  Some brave a “great!” or the oft-obvious “I …

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WHAT TO DO WHEN LIFE KICKS YOU IN THE BUTTOCKS!

In the past eight weeks I’ve spoken at conferences in six states, slept in ten different beds, flown four different airlines, negotiated three different time zones, and lived in two different homes. Yes, it happened. We finally moved into our new home…   …and a new, multi-generational living arrangement.       For over a year I’ve managed to fit …

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19 Reasons Why You are Already Failing at Your Resolutions

Are you already failing on your resolutions?  Here’s why: The world often places obstacles on our path to happiness in life and work. But you know what? We often do a lot more to mess up our own happiness. I see this in my coaching clients all the time, and you are probably doing some of these things to yourself. …

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We Gotta Make Our Own Happiness

I got up this morning feeling very unsettled. My week has been busy. I was a bit short on sleep and when my alarm went off all I could feel was bone-tiredness. So I turned off my alarm and skipped my workout (this is a big deal for me — I live in the assessment that I MUST exercise six days a week…).

Even with the catchup sleep, however, I still felt ‘on edge’ once I got up and functioning. I went in to my office to start work, and could not focus or sit still. I kept wandering around inside and outside the house, and eventually found myself out on my deck.

It took a while for me to realize that I’d been standing there — just standing in place — for a couple of minutes, just listening to the wind chimes.
That’s when I noticed that, for the first time in several hours, I felt calm. So, I sat down in a spot of sun on my deck and let go of needing to do anything else.
I sat there for… Oh, I don’t know; maybe ten minutes?
For ten minutes I sat in just that moment. I savored the symphony of wind chimes. I felt the cool breeze on my body. I drifted with the songs of chirping crickets as they waxed and waned. I reveled in the brilliant blue sky, cloudless and crystal clear. I watched two squirrels chasing each other up and down a fence and across the neighbor’s yard. I wondered at the beauty of the shasta daisies, crisply white and yellow against a sea of green, as they bobbed and swayed in the breeze (I even took this picture!)
And I breathed. Just breathed it all in. I sat in the middle of an absolutely spectacular moment on a perfect late summer day and… and nothing. I just sat and enjoyed being fully present.
My tank felt fully recharged after that.
Confession: I experienced a moment of guilt as I gathered my thoughts and came inside to my office. I’ve got so much to do, so many things on my desk. What was I doing?
I wasn’t Doing. I was Being. We gotta make our own happiness. This was one of my moments.

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