“Don’t let the fear of falling keep you from flying.” — Unknown
The one constant in life is change, and with change comes transition. For me, and many of my friends and clients, we have found ourselves in the theme of transition…and while much of it was seemingly forced upon us, all of it can be taken with a positive and grateful mindset to make that transformation one of good. Whether you are changing jobs or positions, moving somewhere new, embarking on life-changing endeavors, or letting go of something after many years, remember: it is transition that leads to transformation.
Let’s take the analogy of skydiving; it is when we are in a transition that we are most completely alive. Transitioning is similar to jumping out of a plane, especially if the idea scares the living daylights out of you. To those that jump, no explanation is necessary; to those that don’t jump, no explanation is possible. From that first moment when you jump from the plane into the expanse of the sky, you are solely in charge of your life.
Skydivers have full control over their parachutes, just as we have the power to respond to or react to our situations, make good choices, and determine the next steps to lead us to where we are headed. Skydivers have to trust their skills and equipment, know the atmosphere, and pull the right chords. How well are you tracking the air currents? Do you know which chords to draw in response to changing conditions?
There are many suggestions out there for different stages of transformation. While many of them are valid, I feel a simplified, three-point ideology resonates most with me:
Realize The “aha” moment. The beginning of a big change feels like a stirring inside of you, one which you are simultaneously fascinated and petrified by. This stirring is a small voice deep inside that tells us about ourselves and our decisions.
This is standing on the edge of the plane, simultaneously wondering, “What the eff am I doing?!” and thinking, “This is amazing, I cannot wait.”
Release This stage is characterized by uncomfortable growth, shedding and self-reflection. Remember that proverbial “bag” I talked about packing when entering a New Year? That ties directly into this notion of release. When we are faced with shifts within ourselves, our career or livelihood in general, it is so common to feel a longing for the comfort that was. That feeling of uncertainty needs to be the exact one that encourages you to shed what no longer serves you: relationships, identities, dependencies, business practices, etc, so that you can grow and create space for your refresh. In the transition from the free fall, we need to lead with our strengths and draw from experiences to stay on course. Transition is the process of changing from one state or condition to another. Transformation is a marked change in form, nature or appearance. Subtle, yet important differences.
Now is the time to be mindful, to pay attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. If you force understanding during this process, you create a heavy load and waste your energy. There is a time to guide and a time to let go or wait and watch. Transformation is the drop zone or the end of the transition, sometimes you can’t see it clearly; it is right under you, but you aren’t there yet. You don’t know what this is going to be, but you know that it is exciting to experience something new, being at the forefront.
Reinvent You’ve accepted that change is happening, and you’ve taken steps to make space for it, and now this empty space begs to be filled with new choices, behaviors and purposeful and productive habits. You can now rise above any previous hesitations and begin to trust the process and your power to take it in any direction that you want. Rather than focusing on the negative thoughts of “Why is this happening to me?” or “What can I do to get back to normal?” you can instead begin to think, “How can I contribute to making a positive impact?”, “What can I do to move forward?” and “I will be successful because I am prepared for it.”
Transitioning does not come without having to adapt and modify as you descend towards your goal, the drop zone, to land safely on your feet in a clear, open area, free of hazards. As in any transition, you have to adjust and pivot to the next place on your own two feet. It is these adjustments that help to guide you to where you need to be. Whether on a small or incomprehensibly grand scale, we all go through it; change is inevitable. Even if the transformation is unintentional or forced upon us, there is still opportunity to intentionally transform and grow into what you want. Take charge of your professional development as you navigate the challenges of transitioning from an individual contributor to a leader. Through realizing, releasing and reinventing, we can set firm intentions to become better leaders, better business owners, stronger communicators, and simply more healthy and powerful versions of ourselves.
Whether on a small or incomprehensibly grand scale, we all go through it; change is inevitable. Even if the transformation is unintentional or forced upon us, there is still opportunity to intentionally transform and grow into what you want. Take charge of your professional development as you navigate the challenges of transitioning from an individual contributor to a leader. Through realizing, releasing and reinventing, we can set firm intentions to become better leaders, better business owners, stronger communicators, and simply more healthy and powerful versions of ourselves.
Perhaps many of you have noticed, I too have been in the space of transformation. I have been working on adapting my business and myself within this transformation. You cannot pivot into a whole new world in one big step. You must take small steps to realize this massive makeover. I am learning to be patient with the process and trust that each step forward is creating a new and better opportunity. These past few months have been taking me on a journey that has felt, at times, scary and overwhelming, incredibly exciting and rejuvenating as its all-new.
From a website facelift to downright terrifying social media presence, learning new systems and platforms, and overall putting myself out there more, I have realized myself as a bold and integrative business coach. I have built a strong foundation that the relationship between you and your business is symbiotic. For your business to excel, all facets of life must be addressed to reach your highest success. These beliefs are emphasized by my strongest core value: gratitude. Over the past several months, this transition has brought renewed and new connections, new clients, new experiences and new aspirations.
What will your transition bring you? How can I help shift your mindset, and utilize your talents and abilities to seek the changes you want in your life? How can I help you move forward, to push past what is holding you back? Now is the time to find your alignment and your solutions so that you can take action.
Keep making it happen, Arianne
P.S. Part of the reason I’ve been able to move towards my own transformation is by taking risks to seek the assistance I need where I am not the strongest. By partnering with the right people, I have made myself resistant and durable, like Tyvek 😉
“Bringing a coach on your personal support team is one of the strongest moves you can make to assist you on your life journey, career to clear, expand and transform…and it’s a lot of fun, too.”
Never work just for money or for power. They won’t save your soul or help you sleep at night.” — Marian Wright Edelman
REIGNITE YOUR ENERGY
How many times have you been told to “follow your passion”? We’re told this time and time again throughout life. While the path to find your passion is entirely subjective, some things do help navigate this age old buzz phrase.
What has me excited about this time is how people are positively pivoting in all sorts of ways to make the best of a not-so-ideal time. There is so much innovation going on all around us that I feel I am witnessing the industrial revolution right before my eyes (one of my favorite topics as a Modern European Historian). I am someone who sees that there is a positivity in covidity. I have been continuously impressed with what people are doing to move through, and how driven they are to succeed, during a time of uncertainty.
Over the past twenty-five years in my career and life, I have worked with many solopreneurs, small businesses, and professionals, who at some point, sense a creeping malaise in their chosen work. What I am seeing all around me is how many have reignited their passions. But still, the question for many remains: How do we pursue our passion?
Passion is not something one finds, but rather,it is something to be developed.
What I once loved to do isn’t what I love anymore. What I had thought was my interest and expertise is not something I want to do anymore. Now what?
Let’s face it, after 10, 20, 30 years of all-too-familiar work: you’re good at your job. However, you might not feel challenged or particularly satisfied. Bosses can be unpleasant, your favorite project is scuttled, and work starts to stagnate.
Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed because running your own business is a lot of work: covering for employees who don’t show up, functioning for managers who don’t have all of the skills honed in, etc. You may feel like you’ve been reduced to reports, meetings or are experiencing Zoom fatigue. You are, subsequently, living a little less because of it all.
When your job is no longer enjoyable or meaningful, your energy sags, motivation lags, tasks go undone, and you make mistakes. You think about switching jobs – about how your passion would be a great business plan. These thoughts are scary and risky and are often shoved under the rug, but on the quest for passion, a common misconception is that it is fixed. Passion is not something we discover or happen upon; instead, it is something that takes time to develop, along with skills, confidence, and relationships.
If you’re one of those who quickly dismiss creeping stagnation, pay attention. The longer you ignore the warning hints that your career lacks passion, the worse it can get. Reemerge and reignite your energy.
Coaching for passion Staying in a job that’s going nowhere, filled with mind-numbing work, can mean resigning yourself to a lack of growth and meaning. It doesn’t have to be that way. Not if you’re working with a coach. It may be time to explore work/life issues of purpose and meaning. Loss of passion is one of the primary reasons to utilize a coach’s perspective.
Most coaches will advise you to look inward before making a drastic decision to change your career or business path. What if the problem lies — along with solutions — somewhere inside you? If so, you can change your thinking, beliefs, or engagement level as you strive to make work more meaningful.
Now is an excellent time to review your values and purpose with your coach. You may be surprised by your answers to simple questions such as: “How did work used to excited you?” and “Identify your core values”. Tap back into your early enthusiasm. Rekindle your drive to reignite your energy.
Know your strengths Few people are well aware of their strengths. With a coach, you can take advantage of the opportunity to take some assessments. Assessments provide a snapshot to see where your pulse is, identify and apply your greatest strengths, and elevate your energy around what you do or want to do. The wisest people use their feelings of malaise to find out what drives them, their strengths and use coaching to rekindle their spirits.
Learn about your strengths through feedback from others. Spend the most energy on developing strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses. The key to knowing yourself well is to receive feedback from peers, formal assessments, or a mentor or coach. Self-knowledge is essential. In business, nobody will manage your career if you don’t. How can you rekindle the passion for the work you do and/or the business you run? Try to connect with your values and highest purpose every time you walk into the office, chat with a client or coworker, and even complete routine tasks like paperwork. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a zombie-like routine and forget what you love doing and are good at making happen. Reignite your energy and remind yourself: This is why I’m here.
In an ideal world, we’d all be working with passion in jobs that bring out our strengths and talents to achieve the greatest good in organizations and the world. But that doesn’t always happen the way we envision. Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to go where we can develop and express our strengths if we genuinely want to make a difference.Being aware of this and talking with your coach before you conclude that you need to redesign your career, change fields, or pursue reduced workloads is essential. Try to find your passion, doing work that is truly meaningful and satisfying.
Does passion make you fearful? It’s easier to talk about what you want to do than actually do it. We can plan for an endless amount of hypothetical ideas, but unless we take action, its all pointless.
What do you need to pursue your passion?
Keep making it happen, Arianne
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.
Halloween—the entire month of October in fact—has become a time of spooky, scary, and creepy excitement. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; I love carving pumpkins, roasting the seeds, and finding the perfect costume. I delight in answering the door for all the trick-or-treaters and seeing the vast array of costumes, and I finding extra joy in handing out something tasty (meaning, not a box of raisins). One of my favorite parts of Halloween is attending music festivals and seeing everyone dancing their socks off in their best costumes. Regardless of how you celebrate Halloween this year, it will undoubtedly be different from the norm for all of us.
In honor of this monthly theme, I thought it would be fun to share some of the scariest things that I see business owners do. Hopefully, you and your business can avoid these haunting experiences and go from fright to fortune.
#1 Spook: Lack of prioritizing / self-discipline
“I wish I had more time.”
This is something I repeatedly hear from business owners. The struggle is real. When unsure of how to manage time, creating space to organize necessary tasks often fall by the wayside. This results in a twofold problem: inability to prioritize or to practice self-discipline.
This is a slippery slope to slide down when accountability falls solely on you. Because you are your own boss and calling the shots, you can take time off whenever you feel like it. When these absences are unplanned, you’ll likely have to play catch up when you return due to time management and planning failure.
Running your own business means that you only answer to yourself (and your customers/clients). One of the most incredible things about being in business for yourself is that you have complete control over all decisions: both the good and the bad. This is all great unless you don’t have a handle on managing your time. If you lack discipline, being in business for yourself can quickly feel less like freedom and more like wrangling a monster. Being overwhelmed by competing priorities, stressed about not making strides in what matters most to you, and distracted by unimportant interruptions (often self-inflicted) inevitably leaves you struggling to stay on track to meet deadlines.
Think about how are you reacting. How are you responding? How are you behaving? All of those things are within your control. Prioritizing allows you to focus on the most important tasks first—be clear about what you have to do. Create items and paths, and then milestones for those items. You are on course, and you have to reach particular milestones.
This slope gets more slippery as you get distracted by the less important/more fun tasks over the necessary ones—often feeling less and less urgency to take care of what needs to get done. You get distracted but still feel a sense of accomplishment at having done something, anything, even if the achievement isn’t valuable. Also, the more of these nonessential tasks you finish, the easier it is to push the essential ones to the periphery.
Give up some free time or flexibility? Doesn’t quite make sense. I want all owners to be agile and flexible. This is a crucial skill as an entrepreneur, but sometimes, the flex is in being more disciplined, focused. Being a dedicated business owner requires this from time to time, especially when you are starting out or during the high season of your business. You do not have to be a martyr; just work smarter!
Prioritize your tasks: Work backward from what is most important.
Commit to setting deadlines for your projects, and complete them within the time frame you set for yourself.
Be realistic about your deadlines and goals.
Overestimate the time it will take to accomplish each task, as we often underestimate our ability to get it done.
Note how long a job took to become more aware of your time.
Turn off your devices/notifications.
Schedule your time off as you would if you were working for someone else.
Practice self-care: Check-in with yourself, and find ways to nurture yourself before your tank is empty.
#2 Scare: Not establishing good habits and routines
One of the best perks of being your own boss is establishing your own rules, with your working hours being one of those highlights. You can take as many breaks as you want, for as long as you want, and if you feel like blowing off the day to play, you can without anyone coming down on you (other than your own conscious). All of this is awesome until it catches up to you, and you find yourself wondering where your time went, how your projects backed up, how employee issues emerged. Suddenly, it seems, you are out of balance.
This doesn’t need to happen to you. One of the biggest pitfalls I come across is allowing this flexibility to derail you from your responsibilities to your customers, your employees, and yourself. When things get challenging, business owners tend to avoid the issue, brush it under the rug, or throw in the towel altogether. While taking a step back is good practice and allows for a fresh perspective, complete avoidance is not a good thing. Out of sight does not equal out of mind; problems do not go away, and they become an energy suck.
Get the support you need: You may have the knowledge and skills to perform your business’s necessary functions, but it may not always be the best use of your strengths or time. Finding the guidance you need to enhance your business skills with candid feedback on the progress and growth of your small business can be a priceless investment. Enlisting other professionals to help guide you with areas if weakness allows for greater effectiveness and efficiency. For example, hiring the right employees is a challenge for most businesses. Many small-business owners have little to no hiring experience, and they are unfamiliar with the differences between onboarding, training, and developing an employee. Getting help selecting, screening, and interviewing an employee is crucial. You may also need administrative support, IT professionals, or marketing specialists who can help take your company take its next steps to grow the business. Many business owners mistakenly think they can do it themselves, that they will save money and costs in the long run.
Create a schedule and stick to it: Even if you’re working from home, this will give you the structure to accomplish what matters most for your success. Setting aside time creates boundaries for everyone, including yourself.
Know when and how to “turn off”: Schedule downtime, and plan your time off.
#3 Creep: Falling behind in bookkeeping and tracking
Keeping up-to-date on business financials seems to be a challenge for almost everyone. This often stems from poor financial planning at the onset of your business. Let’s face it, having a system for bookkeeping and expenses isn’t the sexiest part of owning a business, and though it feels great to count the money that comes in, it is difficult to see what goes out. Staying on top of invoicing, records, and balancing your books saves valuable time and money down the road. These practices give you the information necessary to make smart decisions and grow your business.
Often, business owners will mix personal and business finances. Keeping these two entities completely separate makes for much easier accounting, budgeting, and reconciling the two sets of books to determine actual profits and losses. Mixing finances also means that come tax time, there will be a lot of confusion and likely many headaches.
COVID-19 has shed glaring light on many business owners’ lack of bookkeeping—paying little attention to trends and patterns until you see a dip in revenue is not an efficient way to manage your numbers. Many have dealt with penalties, having allowed interest to accrue with the IRS and the state. Being occupied with the day-to-day management of finances does not mean neglecting tax responsibilities. Paying taxes quarterly on your income will avoid surprises when tax season rolls around.
Schedule time each week to do your accounting and invoicing.
Reach out to staff to address financial strategies.
Utilize accounting software, like Quickbooks.
Know your POS system, its features, and how to reconcile and utilize its reports.
Create a clear delineation between financial boundaries, primarily to protect personal assets.
Pay yourself compensation.
Be prepared for a rainy day: Keep a safety net of two months of operating costs. COVID-19 likely depleted these funds. Force yourself to rebuild!
Hire a monthly bookkeeper/accountant: Professional assistance can help you get back to the aspects of running your business that you enjoy. Working with an expert saves time and money down the road. They can advise on operating your business in the most tax-advantageous way possible and increasing your business’s revenue potential. A monthly accountant provides a measurable impact and the results you need to stay competitive and grow. Shortcutting on professional help always catches up—take my word for it.
Establish a business entity, like an LLC or SCORP.
Pay your taxes on time.
Owning your own business doesn’t have to be scary! Avoid the everyday horrors by being mindful of your priorities, establishing good habits/routines, and keeping up on the not-so-glamorous back-end responsibility of accounting. The root of these scary things can all be boiled down to one noxious potion: avoidance. Avoidance of the obstacles mentioned above will only bring pain and a nuisance for you and your business.
By implementing these not-so-scary solutions, you can avoid the potential horror that could come to haunt you and your business. I offer the gift of perspective to lighten the burdens of these common business nemeses. Reach out to me so that we can implement change to reach your utmost success!
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald
Reset | Reenergize | Renew
This COVID-19 crisis has radically disrupted and changed all of our lives, and for many of us, it is all we can think about. Remember, you are not alone. Because what is DIFFERENT here is that everyone has been impacted: your neighbor, mom, boss, and friends, as well as your counterparts around the world, are all going through something similar. The pandemic has created a lot of distractions that overwhelm and shift priorities. Massive disruptions interfere with your attention span and ability to focus. When your world is turned upside down, your day-to-day life schedule can become unrecognizable overnight. Not only are the demands higher but also the risk of health and economic upheaval are looming and real.
The economic uncertainty and rising awareness of social inequity and injustice are occurring. It’s a new world that will require individual awareness and effort, along with leaders and businesses willing to abandon outmoded behaviors, systems, and processes. And for all of us, it’s going to require clarity of focus, courage, and compassion.
Now more than ever, it is crucial for us to take time to focus on what is most important for our well-being and to make it happen. It is up to us to become what we want and who we want to be. How can we rest, reenergize, and refocus, and move from surviving to thriving so that we can prepare to enter into 2021 more resilient and ready for better times?
It’s important to remember that, as a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor,
Viktor E. Frankl noted,
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.”
This is the challenge each of us must rise to!
Fall is the perfect time to reset, re-energize, and renew
from the carefree summer days.
Typically, fall is the time of year when kids go back to school. I always loved the first day of the school year—wearing a new outfit, sporting new shoes, and writing my name and subject in the left corner of a brand-new notebook. These back-to-school rituals gave me a fresh slate, another chance to begin again. I realize that this school year is looking very different, and the start for many has been rocky with the kinks of online education, organization of student pods, and alternative class structure. Parents and teachers, along with their students, have all been forced into a beginner mindset. So, while it is hard to see the long days of summer come to a close, I’m deeply excited about returning to a routine and focusing on the last few months of 2020.
It is my favorite season. For me, that crisp fall air signals that winter is around the corner and that I’d better hustle, as I have a lot I want to accomplish before the year-end. As always, I believe the best way to focus on what is important is to return to your values.
Live Your Values
When we know our values, we understand what motivates and drives us. When we build our lives around our values, we create a meaningful life. Finally, when we align our actions with our values, we are truly authentic. It’s a very satisfying and fulfilling way to live. And living your values could be the single most important thing any of us can do right now.
Here’s an exercise you can do to see if you are living your values:
List your values on a piece of paper or in your journal.
Give each value a score from 0 to 10 as to how well you are living that value in your life now (where 0 is not at all and 10 is full-out).
For the scores that are 8 or more—great!
For the scores that are 7 or less, ask yourself, “How could I express this value more in my life right now? What could I do differently or approach differently, so that I feel good about how I live this value in my life?”
Value Check If you value creativity, but you’re only managing to “go through the motions” right now, and your score is 4/10, ask yourself how you could be more creative during this time. What could you do to increase that score? Consider increasing your creative output by cooking, gardening, creating art, writing, helping your kids do something creative, or even watching a documentary about someone creative you admire.
Refocus on Your Goals
Keeping these answers in mind; begin to think about your goals. Are they still the same as they were a few months ago? Our dreams, desires, and priorities shift regularly—don’t miss an opportunity to stay in touch with yourself about these things! If your goals have shifted, this is the perfect time to dive deep and reset.
Take the time to evaluate the specific, daily changes you’ll need to make. Break your big goals down into smaller, actionable ones. Reconnect with your why. All of these things are crucial when it comes to refocusing on your goals.
Before you ring in a new year along with new goals and taking a step closer toward achieving your desired state, the ultimate manifestation of what is most important to you. For me, part of my desired state in the next three years is defining what my business will look like, what I will have accomplished personally and professionally during the next three years, and the integration of both. How has my business evolved in this new normal, and what will be different post-COVID? What lifestyle changes do I need to consider, if at all? What keeps me motivated and engaged to keep making all of this happen during unprecedented times? What is missing, and how will my strengths help me fill the gap?
How can you re-energize?
Sit and reflect on the areas of your life and business that need your attention the most. Identify if it’s your business or personal life that needs the most attention—and the improvement. Then focus your energy in that direction. Ask yourself a few questions to ensure you’re staying in alignment with your values and overall goals:
What areas of your business are you excelling in?
Did any areas of your business suffer during the summer months?
How can you direct your energy toward the areas that are suffering?
Which habits can you implement today to put you on the right track? Or which patterns would you like to change?
What are you most excited to improve right now?
Note that in these uncertain times, your employees are probably more afraid than ever to make a mistake. How are you treating them? What do they need from you?
Explore your Life Vision, Your Desired State
Rather than endlessly watching news streams, you can choose to focus on a bigger picture—your future. What do you want for the rest of your life? What would you be disappointed to not have done? Where do you envision yourself in three years, perhaps ten years from now?
Having a clear vision of how you want your life to be is a powerful motivator. A vision helps us work toward our goals, take action, and make the change. Soon, we’ll all be superbusy again—and a vision might be just what you need to stay focused!
Here are five questions to ponder or journal about to go deeper:
What do you desire or yearn for in life?
How do you want to feel?
What do you really, really want to be different in your life?
What would you want to have happened in the next three years for you to feel that your life is spectacular and for you feel great about yourself?
What’s your dream for this lifetime? Imagine you’re ninety years old and looking back on your life—what did you do that made you proud and happy?
This year, like no other, is looking different for all of us. Finding focus seems as unpredictable as a leaf flying in the wind without a destination. Before we know it, the holiday season will begin, and another year will have passed. Who knows what the holiday season will bring…….it’s a mystery. With that in mind, what is crucial for you to start bringing 2020 to a close and to begin 2021 with a jump start? Renew your focus and level up your motivation.
Now Is The Time
When it comes to staying in alignment with your goals, now is always the time to start. When you wait for the perfect time, you’ll quickly realize there simply isn’t one. Join me, and commit to finishing the year strong. Ditch the things that no longer serve you, because “being busy” isn’t something to celebrate.
Let’s focus our energy and make things happen!
Dan Sullivan (founder of Strategic Coach) published an article called the “Scary Times” Success Manual at the height of the financial crisis. He proposed ten mind shifts that I think are just as relevant today as they were then:
Forget about yourself, focus on others.
Forget about your commodity, focus on your relationships.
Forget about the sale, focus on creating value.
Forget about your losses, focus on your opportunities.
Forget about your difficulties, focus on your progress.
Forget about the “future,” focus on your today.
Forget about who you were, focus on who you can be.
Forget about events, focus on your responses.
Forget about what’s missing, focus on what’s available.
Forget about your complaints, focus on your gratitude.
I suggest reading that list a few times today…and maybe even copying it out, by hand, and tacking it up somewhere where it can be an ever-present reminder.
Honor the positivity of covidity by remembering to think possibility, not probability! Don’t limit yourself and your ideas because you don’t believe something is likely. Instead, think it’s possible—and even if you don’t get all the way there, you may get close, or even find something better along the way!
Are you committed to focusing on the things that matter most to YOU?
If you don’t know your values, now is a great time to learn what they are.
I’m offering a Values Kickstart Session to pick up the basics, and a Values Review Session to get you on your way to the next level. I would love to get on the phone with you for 20 minutes to get clear on one of your values and help to center your focus on the life you want to lead.
If you’re feeling a different direction, I’ve got a Business Bounce Back Plan for you, to build resilience for a new normal. Whatever your course, email me to get started.
The time is now.
Reconnect, Realign, and Focus this Fall Season!
photo courtesy of Mike McGuire
Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
— Henry David Thoreau
It has been quite a while since I have written my Insights. Over the past several months, I discovered pressures that have pulled me away from things I would like to do, and I have chosen to direct my attention to more important priorities. This past winter and spring, I was deeply focused on some exciting client projects, and I found, by early summer, needing time to catch my breath.
I also realized that it had been a challenging winter: there was snow where I live until June, and winter lasted into summer without the respite of spring.
While nursing a cold in June, I decided that I wanted to take more time to play in the sun and to reconnect with myself. By the beginning of July, I created space to make that happen: I reduced my workload, spent time with friends and family, went to music festivals, camped and hiked, and finally got back on my bike! To return to riding after two years, post-accident was scary, but I did it! I had to get my confidence back. I had to accept that my performance would not be the same as my pre-injury, but what was most important was that I was back in the seat!
I also returned to paddle boarding, which I love to do early in the morning or as the sun sets over one of the many alpine lakes visible from Mammoth. It was a fantastic summer, and it sped by too quickly. But as the long, warm days of summer turn into the chillier days of autumn, I am eager to harness the energy of the changing seasons.
It is time to reconnect, realign, and get back to my roots by focusing on helping people and organizations implement change to gain better results. I love what I do. It’s my passion; it gives meaning and purpose to my life. The autumn season can be an occasion for new beginnings—new routines, new school terms, new jobs, new colors. But it can also bring about some unwelcome adjustments—shorter days, less sunlight, the dread of the upcoming winter, and some busier schedules for many of us. It’s a time to regroup and to anticipate the colder days to come.
Find something in this seasonal change that inspires you to be your best version of yourself. Remember, the motivation to change or do is always there. It is our focus that likes to get distracted or lost along the way!
Changing weather always propels me to look inside, reevaluate where I am and how far I’ve come since last fall. What about you? Are you where you want to be? Is there something you can adjust that will get you closer to that place? Get grounded as we enter a new season.
May you enjoy the fall equinox today, Monday, September 23, 2019.
Do You Need to Lead, Manage, or Do Both?
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
—Peter F. Drucker
A couple of months ago, I spoke to a group of executive directors, managers, and small business owners on the topic “Do You Need to Lead, Manage, or Do Both?” This question is one of my favorites, as discussing the differences between managing and leading never seems to tire and is always one of the most engaging topics I speak on. Both leaders and managers have value; they are necessary, different, and not necessarily mutually exclusive. In small businesses, one person often has to wear both hats. The two positions require different skill sets, and not everyone is adept at playing both roles. Small businesses often have limited resources and hiring what they need to complement their strengths may not be feasible. As a result, the blending of leader and manager is not always possible to achieve.
A Gallup poll, State of the American Workplace, 201 revealed that more than 50% of people would leave their jobs tomorrow if they could. The main reason? They don’t like their managers. Because most organizations are set up as a hierarchy, workers and managers often feel at odds or in competition with each other. For employees, this can create a sense of separation from management and from the organization as a whole.
Are you a manager or a leader? Is there a distinction, or are the roles one and the same? Why does it matter?
Employees’ impressions of their administrators can spark or sink the careers of both parties. It’s, therefore, important to recognize the conspicuous and the nuanced differences and similarities between managers and leaders.
The definitions are far from straightforward, and they’re the subjects of much debate. If you’ve categorized yourself as one or the other, you’re acting on the impression you have of yourself, which ultimately determines how you lead people.
Any complex comparison between managers and leaders reveals definite overlaps. And though some common ground exists, there are numerous dissimilarities.
Mind-set is the primary distinction, business executive and philanthropist Vineet Nayarstates in a 2013 Harvard Business Review article “Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders.” The way you tackle administration helps decide whether you manage or lead. Do you focus on yourself (the manager’s focus) or on others (the hallmark of a leader)
Differences in Purpose
The purpose behind your actions defines your legacy:
A manager makes use of people to benefit the organization.
A leader makes use of the organization to benefit people.
Other views are more specific:
A manager is driven by an immediate purpose, revolving around self.
A leader is driven by a purpose higher than self.
A manager executes a vision by assigning work.
A leader sets the vision by encouraging ideas.
Nayar prefers the following distinctions:
A manager counts value by tracking tasks, checking boxes, and expecting others to add value.
A leader creates value by empowering people, making them better, and helping to add to the value.
Focus—influenced by your qualifications, experience, fears, opinions, and priorities—describes areas of concern and attention:
Managers tend to be more short-term oriented, looking for quicker paybacks.
Leaders tend to have a longer-range outlook, looking for future paybacks.
Managers make use of others’ skills.
Leaders want to develop others’ skills.
Managers focus on systems and procedures.
Leaders focus on people and possibilities.
Managers are keyed into efficiency.
Leaders are keyed into unity.
Differences in Authority
Authority—how you oversee, direct, and assess completion of staff activities—radically affects how your employees report to you.
Managers reserve authority for themselves. Subordinates submit by requirement.
Leaders push authority down to the farthest possible level. Followers join in by choice.
Managers assure compliance by following an authority map.
Leaders develop trust by charting the authority map.
Managers enforce the pace.
Leaders set the pace.
Murray, offers an interesting observation:
Managers create circles of power, where people are required to comply politically.
Leaders create circles of influence, where people desire to follow.
Differences in Behavior
Employees notice the behavior of leaders and manager, and it takes only a few actions to reveal your character traits and the kind of support they’ll receive:
Managers tend to operate under a separate set of rules, with little concern for people’s impressions.
Leaders exemplify a noble set of rules that others aspire to emulate.
Managers prioritize their personal needs.
Leaders prioritize other’ needs.
Managers seek notoriety for themselves.
Leaders seek recognition for their people.
A manager’s reputation is based on technical attributes.
A leader’s notoriety is based on interpersonal attributes.
The Proper Blend
Is one administrative model superior to the other? Should you adopt a purely managerial or leadership model?
Murray asserts that the two models go hand in hand, and trying to separate them is detrimental. You must blend the two approaches to create an optimal administrative strategy. One approach, on its own, is insufficient for success.
Today’s world of commerce presents greater pressures and shorter deadlines than ever before. There’s little, if any, leeway for workers to step back and catch their breath. Such conditions require the manager model, with an administrator who takes the reins and keeps everyone on track.
Conversely, Murray points out, we also face a new economy, in which workers have developed perspectives that differ greatly from those of previous generations. For example, Employees are prioritizing personal growth over project effectiveness, meaningful contribution over meeting standards, and a sense of purpose over organizational goals.
Managers must, therefore, have the right leadership skills and know how to develop people’s skills.
A widely accepted management framework, based on French engineer Henri Fayol’s early twentieth-century model, calls for four administrative functions:
Planning has short- and long-term elements. Short-term planning accounts for the process, manpower, and timing needed to meet organizational objectives (what effective managers do). Long-term planning accounts for the vision and strategy needed to grow the company and enhance its purpose (what successful leaders do).
Organizing utilizes management skills to plan projects, provide resources, and initiate processes.
Leading comprises four additional building blocks:
Each component is driven by a leader’s interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
Applying the Blend
Administrators who cling solely to a managerial or a leadership approach handicap their organizations. Ask yourself: Do I lean too heavily on one approach or the other?
If you’re too management oriented, you’ll have difficulty building trust. People will see that your priority is to get the work done, not to help them or their careers. Your personal goals will seem to override anyone else’s. You’ll be regarded as uncaring or disinterested—unworthy of being followed. People ultimately want to be led, not managed. Manage the things you need to manage, but lead the people you are supposed to lead.
If you’re too leadership oriented, you won’t be able to maintain order. Tasks will be performed incorrectly or be submitted late, and productivity will plummet. Crises will overtake your people because they lack guidance on immediate issues. Your boss will assume you’re unable to handle the job, and you’ll lose your staff’s respect.
For me, leadership is having the inspiration and motivation to follow a vision. Managing is about what everyone needs to do and how they need to do it. You can be a leader and never actually formally supervise employees, and you can be a manager and never actually have formal authority over a staff or team. It is important to note, however, that one’s position title is not a reflection of whether one is capable of doing either (leading or managing) very well.
Administrators who work toward achieving both managerial and leadership capabilities excel at the workplace. Their employees are engaged and motivated. Their relationships with other staff and colleagues are strong, and in this ideal workplace, nothing can stop the team from achieving success.
For reflection, and development:
Where do you need a higher-level leadership strategy and specific management practices that all should be engaged in within your organization?
What’s the real challenge between leading and managing for you?
How do you manage the big picture and the details?
How do you encourage individuals but also emphasize the team?
Where are you flexible, and where are you firm?
How much is your business involves being innovative, and what does it do to maintain stability?
BE WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES,
EVEN ON A POWDER DAY!
You cannot lead from someone else’s experience. You can only lead from your own.
To lead others, you have to learn about and know yourself first. When starting a new business, when changing the concept of how you do business, or when newly becoming a leader, you immediately face new and trying challenges as you pursue your passion as well as profitability. When you become a new leader, you quickly onboard to a whole new set of circumstances; your former definition of work no longer applies. All the many reasons why you might have moved to a mountain community to work, live, and play seem to be only a meme. The excitement for something new, the opportunity to make a difference, and future challenges to be met can give most driven people an adrenaline rush toward greatness.
Then, around the second or third month, some insecurities start creeping up and deep soul searching that you had not expected arrives. How could this be? You were living the life and the dream. Somewhere along the way, you started to question your greatest strengths, which got you to where you are, and you began doubting your capabilities to make it happen or the perseverance to push through the dip. In The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) (2007), the author Seth Godin states, “At the beginning, when you first start something, it’s fun. Over the next few days and weeks, the rapid learning you experience keeps you going. Whatever your new thing is, it’s easy to stay engaged in it. And then the Dip happens. The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. A long slog that’s actually a shortcut, because it gets you where you want to go faster than any other path.” He also writes, “Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.” Sometimes, it is hard to know what “right” is.
In the beginning, things are a lot easier because of the excitement—everything is shiny and new. You may wonder at times what you are doing, especially when you make a small mistake, but you are still having fun. This accomplishment marks a new milestone in your life’s journey. One day you recognize that the hard work that got you to this new point wasn’t even that difficult compared to what you are encountering now; the challenges have grown exponentially. You need to determine what it will take for you to sustain the pace and keep things going.
One thing new entrepreneurs and leaders often don’t see coming is the tremendous amount of pressure and time that it takes to pursue their passion. Successful entrepreneurs and leaders are natural problems solvers; they are tenacious and have the GRIT to keep overcoming obstacles.
It is normal to encounter impediments while adjusting to new circumstances, and they will, at the time, be tiring and discouraging. Most people know that there will be a learning curve and that mistakes will happen as they settle into their new roles and ventures. However, there is a difference between knowing and experiencing, and when you are in the thick of it, sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “What the heck did I get myself into?” Self-doubt can creep in, as can feelings of being denied rewards, guilt for almost everything, as well as sense of isolation and loneliness.
Pushing through and forward toward your goals requires focusing on what matters most. Keeping your eye on the prize, and setting the intention of manifesting what you know in your heart and head to be true.
When you become a new leader or start a new enterprise, your work-life balance will shift. One of those things you will learn is if you are willing to give up a powder day. A powder day—for the nonskiers and boarders reading this—is a play-hooky day, when one skips life’s responsibilities to go skiing and take advantage of exceptionally light, fluffy, deep snow (or powder). The cold fact of the matter is that starting up a new business is not for the weary, and powder days will be missed!
The biggest challenge for most of my clients who are starting a new endeavor or beginning a new leadership position is the transition. There is a pivoting of priorities and a shift in mind-set and behaviors. There is a reexamination of what needs to be done from a new point of view. You go from “working in” whatever profession to “working on” growing, developing, and focusing on initiatives that implement results in the areas that matter most.
One of the most fun things I do is work with new and emerging leaders and start-up businesses. There is something exhilarating about being at the inception, or close to it, and helping new owners and managers of small businesses realize their vision, live their passion, and succeed.
I have a client who recently achieved their ideal job: she took on a new leadership position as a manager and was tasked to launch a new program. Those were two significant responsibilities for someone who had never been a manager and who had never before been given the trust of making a substantial contribution to how the company runs and how it grows business. She couldn’t wait to get the position. She sat on pins and needles waiting to hear back after working incredibly hard applying for a job she desired so much. (If she hadn’t gotten it, I wondered how that would have impact her and her sense of self-worth.) She jumped into her position right out of the gate with great success, but little did I see it coming that her desire to perform and succeed would quickly diminish as self-doubt and pressures weighed on her.
Her lifeline came in a form of a realization that life as she knew it had changed. In that awareness, she was able to rekindle the initial spark about this new position by asking for help and guidance, in coaching other employees so that they felt supported and rewarded for jobs well done, and by taking advantage of the brief times in-between to hit the slopes.
The steps before implementation make the implementing seamless. It’s the need for change, the recognition that perhaps something needs to change, and then simply being ready to allow that process to begin. I think once the mind and body have that fundamental shift in thinking and perception, allowing for new questions that need answering, the quest for those answers comes naturally in the implementation process. –Client AS
What she also realized was that her focus had shifted. After spending so many years with skiing as her primary focus, she was ready for more responsibility that would allow her to use and share her strengths and knowledge in different ways. Taking on more responsibility is always going to be more demanding. However, I think that having spent so many years with skiing as my focus, accessing that part of my brain is just second nature. It’s easy for me to shift to thinking about speed and the feeling of exhilaration when I want to go there and just as easy to break away from that focus and put my energy into things that people can benefit from. –Client AS
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Understand your purpose, keep focus on what matters most, and have the patience to create meaningful change. The road to leadership is a marathon, not a sprint. Leadership requires implementing processes and procedures that provide structure for consistency in the midst of chaos, and it involves immersion into something new and different that comes with a host of unfamiliar and elevated responsibilities. It demands strong communication skills, along with integrity, attention to detail, the ability to compromise and let go of the need to control everything, and the skill to find, hire, and maintain highly qualified, trustworthy employees to help you on your mission—which is much, much harder than you could ever imagined.
Somedays days will be smooth sailing. Other days will present problems that feel like a climb up Mount Everest: the ascent is long and steep, so it is essential to love what you do! You must keep your vision firmly in mind, as your working hours will no longer be fixed from nine to five. Your hours will be constant unless you decide not to work, so it’s vital that you love what you do. Having a growth mind-set will allow you to reframe your perception of what work is. The human need for change, which can be difficult and uncomfortable, is a driver of change. It gives you permission to shift from years of stagnation and repetition and nurtures your willingness to use your strengths and skills in ways to keep life interesting.
Starting a new business or taking on a new leadership position is exciting! You have worked hard on creating a vision for yourself. Keep your eye on the big picture, take a moment (or two) to breathe and recenter, and be willing to do what it takes—even on a powder day!
photo courtesy of Joshua Mann
Grateful people leave fear behind.
Fear isn’t an emotion we can eradicate; it’s impossible to eliminate it once and for all. The key is not to repress fear but to cultivate and express positive emotions that outweigh it. To the extent we allow faith, hope, and love into our hearts, we overwhelm fear and overcome its discouraging influence.– John Maxwell Team
We are living in a time of political divisiveness, hate crimes and natural disasters where for many anxiety and uncertainty are heightened. The unpredictability of these daily events has widespread effects, as many of us feel their impact from afar. Couple our current culture with the pressures of the holiday season, it is no wonder why many people feel little control over what transpires in their lives and are increasingly vulnerable, slipping into a victim’s mentality, characterized by guilt, self-doubt, hopelessness, anxiety, and fear. When we live in a state of fear we minimize our risks, we have trouble separating fact from an assumption, which can lead us to alienate our employees, peers, and customers, and push those we care about most away when what we most want is trust and connection.
Practicing gratitude can help balance these different realities. It allows us to change the context by reframing and refocus our disappointments and frustrations with new meaning and purpose.
Almost daily I write a gratitude list, a list of at least three things that I am grateful for in my life. This simple practice is perhaps the most meaningful part of my daily routine as it guides me to create meaning, and provides me with emotional and spiritual well-being. On days where I am feeling fearful counting my blessings shifts my perspective so I can move forward and beyond what is holding me back. Gratitude enters in when I step back and realize what occurred is not the sum total of my experience. It places me back in the flow and dissolves whatever scarcity or lack I may have been experiencing. What I see as a source of disappointment, grief or loss also contains an opportunity to explore a different way of being in the world. With gratitude, I choose to believe that possibilities and solutions always exist, and my soul is recharged, and life’s synchronous serendipity is restored.
However you spend Thanksgiving today, may it be filled with an abundance of unexpected precious gifts, bring a season of giving thanks, generate gratitude to the people in your life, create new connections and transform your fears into courage.
I am blessed with the opportunity to serve so many of you.
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~ Dalai Lama
The gift that keeps giving is my bike accident. In 22 days, it will be its one-year anniversary.
We all have lessons to learn, and sometimes those life lessons present themselves in various ways. In order to understand the challenges we experience, we might ask ourselves: Why does this keep happening to me? What is the uncovered trying to tell me? What do I need? What can I do? What will it take for me to live and let live? These are the questions that will help you realize what is limiting you from overcoming the obstacles.
As a consultant and coach, is it not only my role but also my natural tendency to be compassionate, kind and to be a catalyst for creating one-on-one relationships and then taking them to the next level. I work with my clients to help them make the changes they need to achieve success and to positively reinforce their achievements—this I could not do without a heart. Witnessing the fruitful outcomes from the efforts of others, and their resulting happiness, brings me great joy. Compassion builds trust and encourages my clients to be open to new possibility and ways of learning, and supports them in conquering hurdles and overcoming resistance. Coaching with compassion can enhance their adaptability, and that of their organization, by creating norms and relationships of caring and development.
Perhaps one of my most significant challenges is to help my clients be gentle and kind with themselves as they move onto a new mind-set, creating new patterns for success and mitigating a host of issues that could take them off course. When you are doing something new, it takes time to establish new habits and ways of being, and sometimes it just takes sticking power to push through to the other side. Easy to say, not always so easy to do. We are naturally hard on ourselves, we are our worst critics, and this can take a toll on our bodies and minds. This negative self-talk can spiral into awful self-criticism and can even lead people to become preoccupied with failure. Basically, beating yourself up for finishing only three of the five items on your to-do list is going to make you less likely to complete those last two items—and yet we’re programmed to fall into that pattern.
One word that keeps resurfacing as I go through yet another phase of my healing journey is compassion. Compassion refers to feeling empathy in the face of suffering. I wonder why one of the kindest, sweetest, most nurturing words is so difficult for us to practice on ourselves and for others to show. Compassion involves noticing other needs, empathizing, and acting to enhance their well-being. Sometimes, we are disappointed by others when they are unable to give us the encouragement and love we want and are unable to guide us with their words or actions. Often we are left disappointed by others inability to respond to our pain. We must learn to comfort ourselves and nurture ourselves from within.
It isn’t so easy to give ourselves a break—I don’t mean making an excuse, but fully understanding that circumstances and situations may be out of our control. We can choose our attitude but often not our circumstances. We can get lost in negative thoughts, which decreases our motivation and productivity. But having self-compassion can guide us through the distress rather than into a ride on a downward spiral. I find that self-compassion pushes me beyond disappointments, driving me toward desired change, higher achievement, and enhanced health and well-being. This is no surprise. Recently, neuroscientists found that a powerful hormone, oxytocin, acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and that when activated produces feelings of comfort and stability, and is associated with enduring improvements in mood and well-being. It is important to cultivate compassion for others, but most importantly, for yourself. When we soothe our pain, we release oxytocin, actively increasing our feelings of trust compassion, safety, generosity, and kind-heartedness toward ourselves. Self-compassion is associated with lower rates of depression, self-criticism, physical ailments, and addiction, and also improves immune-system functioning.
What my accident gifted me is a reminder of how easy it could be to fall into destructive patterns of fear, negativity, and isolation. Practicing self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness, concern, and support you would give to a friend, partner, or family member. By exercising self-compassion when negative emotions occur, we are more resilient against internalizing life struggles and more open to confronting personal mistakes, failures, and inadequacies. With self-compassion, you are accessing the oxytocin system, the part of the brain where all the positive emotions—like feeling calm, safe, warm, and connected—come to life.
So next time when you are feeling a little blue, lonely, sad, or disconnected:
1. Practice self-kindness and talk positively to yourself. This is a great time to pull out a piece of paper to list all the things you are grateful for and care about, writing these down puts things into perspective.
2. Be in the moment. Stop what you are doing and take a few breaths to slow your thoughts, emotions, and actions down. Mindfully breathing allows you to take a step back, regather, and respond rather than react.
3. Accept that everything is temporary, and do something you care about. Whatever mistake you made or has been made, you don’t have to obsess about it and relive it to know and feel its impact. Take a step forward toward a more productive place.
4. Embrace a beginner’s mind. In the beginner’s mind, there is no right, and there is no wrong, it just is. We are learning and, therefore, a lot less concerned about achieving. It is at this moment that we are boundless, as the beginner’s mind is the mind of compassion.
Beautiful are those whose brokenness gives birth to transformation and wisdom. ~ John Mark Green
Three weeks ago, I marched with 14,000 people from 52 different countries down the same 3-kilometer path leading from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom Hashoah – as a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust.
I had the honor of staffing a group of teens from San Diego, Los Altos, Las Vegas and Tucson on the 30th Anniversary of the March of the Living and the 7Oth Year of Independence on Israel. We were fortunate enough to be marching alongside and traveling with Manya Wallenfels, one of the few survivors left to share their story first hand.
The International March of the Living is an annual educational program, bringing individuals from around the world to Poland and Israel to study the history of the Holocaust and to examine the roots of prejudice, intolerance, and hatred. The March of the Living is joined every year by thousands of Jewish teens, adults, and survivors from around the world, along with many other people from diverse faiths and backgrounds. The universal goal of the International March of the Living is to help inspire participants to fight indifference, racism, and injustice by witnessing the atrocities of the Holocaust. It is the hope of MOTL that the program will help strengthen Jewish identity, connections to Israel and build a community of future Jewish leaders.It has been twenty-two years since I was in Poland, as one of the leaders of MOTL from San Diego and Tucson.
I am still processing the March. Our leader tells the teens parents “Be patient about what and how much they tell you about their experiences. They will be mentally and physically exhausted. It will take time- and over time- with pieces here and there – they will tell you about their experiences. Upon their return- they will still be processing the whole journey
It will take time for them- and each in his and her own way and time frame to process the experience…it could take years…or little things will hit them at unknown times. That is all normal and natural.” I can say for having been on the March and just returning again, this could not be truer and that my experiences also will unfold at their natural pace and my sharing too will take time. Having said that, I look forward to sharing with you, engaging in discussions if you would like to know more and your patience as I fumble to get the words out of an experience that has often left me with no words.
One of the words, however, that keeps coming to mind since I have returned to the States is transformation. In the technical definition of transformation, a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance occurs, in other words from one state to another. I am compelled by the deeper meaning of transformation as what happens both by experience and understanding.
This word evokes powerful questions such as How has the world changed since I last was on the March? How has Poland changed? What is new and different in Israel since I was there eight years ago? How has anti-Semitism, bigotry, racism, and intolerance shifted? Are we as a society being more kind or is there more hate in the world? And more personally, who am I today? How, if at all, has my identity changed over time? What mistakes have I made? Where have my ideas, opinions, and beliefs grown? What sort of social and environmental action do I participate in helping to heal, repair and transform the world (tikkun olam)? How has this March impacted me differently than it did when I was younger and in a different station in life? How will this experience continue to affect me, and influence what I do and how I see my world?
Our teens have not only become the living testimony for future generations, they are part of the builders of today. To remember never to forget does not mean we are victims, we are survivors who build and carry on. I hope that they have more of a sense of who they are, understand what being Jewish means to them and the responsibility they now carry as Elie Wiesel’s famous words state, when you listen to a witness, you become a witness. How will they be part of the woven tapestry of Jewish wisdom and values of the past three thousand years? How will they apply this experience and move forward in their gap year, college and beyond in their young lives as part of contemporary American Jewish life? How will they choose to cultivate their identity and walk in this world as human beings? I was amazed each day by their energy, their reflections, their questions and wonder, they are the light and I wish for them to continue to shine brightly and keep the flame alive.
Think back to a time in your life when someone gave you an invitation or an opportunity and you said ‘yes.’ It might have been in high school or college. It might have been in your career, in your church or synagogue, or with some relational opportunity. Describe the opportunity or the invitation. Why did you say ‘yes’ and how did that decision shape you?”
I leave with you a few questions for you to ponder about your own transformation and where you would like to see change in your life and world.
Where do I want to be in five years?
How do I want to feel on the inside in 5 years’ time?
Where will I be emotionally, physically and spiritually?
What bad habits do I need to stop? What do I need to take responsibility for?
What mistake have I made? What would I do differently?
What story have I told myself? What conditioning did I receive?
Who would you be if you weren’t concerned with pleasing and caring for others?
If no one judged me, who will I be?
What do I really care about? How can I make a difference?