Psychology Teaches a Valuable Lesson

Portrait of a mature businesswoman taken outsideI had concerns about improving my work relationships, influence and about working with a leadership coach. I decided to make an initial appointment, meet face to face and ask questions. I met with a potential coach and interviewed him. I just didn’t see any way around this.

One of the advantages – I have found – of working with a Psychologist who also coaches on leadership: Other individuals will want to have 1/2 a dozen individual sessions with their potential coach, to scrutinize their experience, before signing on for a year. This approach works with a Psychologist. The “feel” you get should be superior. They should be very easy to talk with, about the most challenging issues you can imagine. Your coach should be able to follow your logic, understand your perspectives, your train of thought, or your worldview. However, don’t expect them to just agree with everything you say, your decisions and actions. If they are not comfortable challenging you, in a respectful manner, you have to ask yourself about their contribution, other than providing support. How will you get any benefit?

I understand that we are not all in a position of a Sr. leader or even preparing for this type of a role. You likely have more in common with me than you might realize, however. As you probably know, a Sr. leader must lead a team of pacesetters or VPs. Each one of these leaders is very strong-minded, focused, and believes that their way is not only best but right and often the only way to proceed. In brief, they offer a personal challenge to anyone who has an eye to influence them, but influence I must. Influencing others by example and through our communications are the purvue of leadership. In this regard, because each of us is always communicating and potentially affecting another, we are all leaders. Not only is communication and influence about leading, Psychological research indicates that expressing ourselves is a critical component to cultivating and remaining happy, being well-adjusted, and enjoying close personal relationships.

So we do have significant overlap of interests. I also desired a more proper understanding of different personalities. In this way, I reasoned, I would be better situated to be able to influence my team, their decisions, and actions. One thing I have had to deal with is that at times, a VP would say one thing and do another. It is not dishonest. The VP merely appeased me. I did not like it and didn’t think that it was a reliable or efficient practice. However, I am beginning to understand that it is something that occurs between people. In fact, with a leadership mindset, you will be continuously learning new ways of communicating, thinking, planning and relationship building with others.

It is our beliefs that sustain us. It is not a fact that the other VPs had the market cornered when it came to knowledge and experience. Since we are all growing, changing, evolving naturally, almost imperceptibly, one leverage point of influence is to make an effort to learn, understand and then engage with others on their particular level of maturity. The challenge is to know what categorically this means.

Without some disciplined practice, our leadership is destined to run aground with severe limitations. As has been said, before we can influence others, we must be able to influence ourselves.

Consider a continuum. It always has two ends. Often we talk about or utilize a continuum to symbolically represent a natural transition from one point to another. Movement along the continuum can start and stop between any two points, and movement can be in either direction. Psychology has taught me a valuable lesson that I like to share. I often encourage myself and others to use the continuum to accept themselves at point “A” and to practice moving toward point “B.” For example, I acknowledge my introverted nature and simultaneously put effort into learning and practicing more extroverted skills. One more example is to allow that people appease me at times, and simultaneously learn to understand and communicate in a delicately caring manner in response.

Communication and influencing others through our example is the purvue of leadership and therefore makes each one of us leaders at any given point in time. Interview others, and they will interview you. Seek to learn and, well, see what answers come up for you.

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Career Tips

So you’re working your way up the corporate ladder, when you realize…….your boss – a fairly new member of the “old boys club” – isn’t pulling his weight? What do you do? What can you do about it? How can you get him to pull up his socks?

So you are working your way up the corporate ladder when you realize that your boss – a relatively new member of the “old boys club” – isn’t pulling his weight? What do you do? What can you do about it? How can you get him to pull up his socks?

You consult!

However, truthfully, there may be nothing that you can do unless you already have influence with your boss. Given the predicament, to move forward, accept this potentially real limitation as a fact, then consider a leadership perspective. Ask yourself, not how can I get my boss to change? Rather, ask yourself, how can I handle myself in this situation, to show off my best attributes?

Tip # 1 – Do not complain or attempt to manipulate the situation. Take this as an opportunity to demonstrate how you best handle yourself in a challenging situation. Other people are watching. To show off your best attributes, you need to know what they are, and the answer is not technical ability. The strengths that compare, in this situation, are interpersonal in nature. Leadership skills. If these were simple characteristics or behaviors to implement, you’d already be doing so, but they are often shrouded in narrowly focused overconfidence. Either consult with your Psychologist or find a seasoned business coach that will work with you during this exacting moment of truth. Hint: your process may begin with “leading by example.”

Tip # 2 – At the core of all great leadership skills, lies safe, healthy functioning relationships. Have them and thrive. Die without them. Alliances – usually the type that has depth and meaning to them – provide a platform to all long-lasting success stories. Infuse strong leadership skills into your relationships. Hint: empathy can go along way in developing these types of alliances. Share your healthy vision of the future, one that benefits all those concerned, not just the fortunate few at the top. Your efforts often impel a desire to be supportive and helpful from those around you, once you have shared vision for the greater good. Your boss may just pick up on the vibe that they, too, better make some changes of their own.

Tip # 3 – Once you have cultivated strong affiliations, your communication needs to be focused and purposeful. Utilize impeccable timing, strategic direction, and an intention to improve authentic business relationships. Taking things just a step further, you can and should create your personal agenda, with a focus to target certain people to get to know better or influence. Don’t be superficial in your attempts to capitalize on any and all opportunities, rather demonstrate your allegiance to your underlying values for yourself and others.

Chiefly, my point regarding this dilemma is that you will likely be more efficient, more influential because you have taken the time to nurture and cultivate mutually respectful relationships with others, including your boss. Leadership is not about controlling others, using force or manipulation to make them bend to your will. It is an opportunity to breathe life into the type of person you want to become. Cultivate and nurture your character, your relationships, then simply observe and appreciate the power that others start to bequeath to you.

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Our Personal Best

What is our personal best? Who knows for certain? But one thing is for sure. You know when you feel good, and that means something! One theory that I’ve been considering for a while now suggests that in order to perform at our best tomorrow it is going to take more of us than ever before! Whether we’re preparing for a presentation, sitting for an examination, or aiming at exceeding targeted goals, our best simply isn’t what it used to be. Don’t take it personally.

Change and competition have become such an important aspect of life, that we have now reached a point in history, which demands greater effort, just to meet yesterday’s standards. Consider your parents or grandparents. Unless they were a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, their professional success didn’t require the same education that is mandatory today. The same effort that has helped us to achieve in the past, is the same effort that will produce only mediocre results today.

Carol S. Pearson, author of the Hero Within, said “Virtually all of us understand that we are entering a time so challenging that qualities we once expected to find only in exceptional people now are required in everyone.”

It is a time for all to recognize and to champion our “inner resources.” Could we, ourselves be our best competitive advantage? We are more sophisticated now than ever. Just a decade, or so ago, the President of the United States made reference to “the nation’s journey.” Business texts reference leaders’ “heroic journeys.” Today’s Psychology provides therapy that encourages clients to accept the challenges that we have inherited, take up the struggle whatever it is, and create a life worth living. Engage fully in our lives, for this is our path, this is what life is all about. Allow ourselves to evolve, to grow, develop beyond our wildest dreams. These are really the only dreams worth striving for.

Imagine yourself just slightly missing your target and achieving mediocre results. How do you feel just imagining this? Now contrast this negative emotional image with a positively charged image of you throwing everything you’ve got into your next effort, in an attempt to, not merely meet expectations but to, join the ranks of those who have exceeded them. I’m not referring to gritting your teeth and putting pressure on yourself. I’m referring to consulting your Psychologist, increasing your self-knowledge, learning more about some of your subtlest strengths and weaknesses, then consciously and deliberately displaying your strengths and avoiding your weaknesses. This is the nature of sports psychology. This is the 212-degree message.

At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive.

This must become the image that you see in your mind. Increasing temperature by a single degree is sufficient to move a 130-ton locomotive. The smallest changes can make all the difference in the world. Let yourself step up and really engage with the image of struggling to join those who have already made it.

Whatever your personal best means to you, I think this will help. This will push you over the top!

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Please Remember

What’s really important to you at this time of year?

Remember a memory of a time you felt loved. I know that you’ll have so many to choose from, but just select the one for now. Please take your time.

Although you’re incredibly busy at this time of year, remember that you have people waiting for you who love, admire, and adore you. Remember these people. Think about them until you smile.

This experience and these very people are what this season is about.

Happy Holidays,

from all of us at Anton Counseling & Health Psychology

New Perspective on Gratitude

Practice & Develop a Strong Healthy Habit of Gratitude

I’m not a billionaire.  I’m certainly not the financial equivalent of a Tiger Woods or a Bill Gates. Despite this fact, establishing a regular practice of being, thinking, and then feeling grateful for those things that life does give up, is well, critical.

I know that we all, or most of us anyway, believe that we go out and get things, bring them home, and then we own them, however, it may be more precise that life actually gives things to us (even though we still have to put out effort in order to receive them).  You know, “all in.”  It may still be an important distinction to remember.

Ultimately we’re talking about “energy” and how to cultivate it. Consider the type or quality of energy we are aligning with and perpetuating by “hunting” and compare it to the gentler, more appreciative energy of feeling grateful for those things that life does give up.  Again, it’s rather critical to the quality of our own experience.

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Strategy

We all need a strategy for life.  A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world. What we get in life or how we feel day in and day out, reflects our activities – our daily habits. We presume our activities will get us what we want and where we want to go because we figure our desires point us in the right direction. Right?

We both know that what we want, our urges, are not the same as our goals, things that we put careful thought to. Most of us learned about delayed gratification in our families or in grade school, college or university. Oh ya, remember? Delayed gratification is still actively robust in my life, almost daily. I’m one of those guys that just can’t have too many shirts. But what if I’m hoping to buy a new Lexus in the spring? Or I’m looking forward to a romantic vacation with my spouse on the Mexican Riviera this March. Well maybe I can have them all and maybe I can’t.

One thing is for sure, that whatever you want from life, if you don’t stop to plan and reflect upon your more long-term goals, you’re more likely to end up pushing them further away, substituting them with short-term immediate gratification. Living life spontaneously, responding to the day to day pressures of life, we don’t stop to plan, days come and go, and we wonder why life is the way it is. I may have a closet full of shirts but I’m driving a 10-year-old Civic.

The fact is, we all strategize, even if at a subconscious level. Perhaps we should be more careful of how unconscious decisions are affecting our lives. Maybe even give “time for reflection” a modicum of respect. I’d like to remind us all to consider creating regular opportunities to discuss and reflect. If we’re not slowing down, actively gaining control over or deliberately instituting positive goals, beliefs, and expectations into our psyche, maybe we’re really living a life of unconsidered habits, evolving in a way directed by our short-term urges, and not our well thought out plans. Be cautious, for one day your future may come calling and you may not like what it has to say.

So is there any good reason why we don’t devote some regularly scheduled time and effort to increasing our level of conscious awareness of our individual strategies?

Let’s get things going in our favor. Let’s make things happen. Let’s change the direction of life so that it’s unfolding in our direction. Let’s experience more joy, better connections, let’s explore, feel proud of our lives, what we’re creating and what we’re contributing. Because we cannot, not contribute.

What if we both had all the time we needed to talk and reflect upon our own personal strategies?

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I’m Head Gardener Here

Transformation of Lime Butterfly ( papilio demoleus )

It’s springtime. At this time of year, I find myself dreaming about spending time in my garden, feeling the warm glow of the sun, and tending to new growth. A little fertilizer here, a tiny little prune there. I developed my love of gardening with my mother. It is where we spent time together bonding. Years later she is gone, but her love of gardening lives with me, bigger than ever. One gardening lesson I learned from my mom is that whether we have to or not, we all grow and evolve. We all need to be nurtured, loved, attended to, and supported and if we get these needs met, we flourish.

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” ― Nelson Mandela

Are you the same person today as you were five years ago? Unlikely. We are all more capable today as a result of learning and growing through experience and education. We learn valuable lessons from our mistakes. Life lessons. Honestly, this is a struggle – and I do mean a challenging struggle – for many of us. If we just do not know how to do this consider consulting with your Psychologist. Once understood, we plan our days as well as our futures, founded on the invaluable lessons we’ve learned. Change is often the best course of action, but when we have an emotional hurt that just will not go away, our tendency may be to clench up and try to maintain everything as it is. Is this desirable? Is not having to change more important than being happy, healthy, successful, well-adjusted individuals with significant relationships?

Is that not the point of change, growth, development, and evolution, anyway? Consider. Are we consistently fruitful and happy? Of course, we all have our moments that are somewhat challenging, but the answer is universal. In fact, it is impossible to be consistently successful, well-adjusted and happy all of the time. Life fluctuates, and we move right along with it if we are wise. The strongest tree bends and is whipped around by the wind, otherwise, it would break. As we accept the bumps and downturns of life we strive and reach high. Like living on a continuum. Accept where we find ourselves when we wake. Then, not being completely satisfied with this continuum point, we expend effort to move along the continuum in the desired direction. This movement creates and releases energy.

If we charted our experiences and emotions, they would reflect the ups and downs of any stock market chart. Hey now that is a matter for a different blog, but the stock market does, in fact, take into account public sentiment – how confident we feel toward the market at any given point in time, and it is always fluctuating up and down. However, back on point. If we were to always experience the same emotion to the same degree, we would eventually lose that feeling. We would be unable to maintain it, and we would begin to feel something else, like a loss of that emotion, such as disappointment, sadness, or confusion. At best we would experience an emotional “flat line.” No shame or disappointment, but no joy, optimism, or happiness either.

We can experience one emotion because we have experienced the other emotion. The one that counters the first; one that is somewhat different that balances us. Consider emotions to live on a dichotomous scale, a continuum. Emotions then are always a relative experience. The fact that yesterday I was worried and confused is – in part – the reason that today I feel confident, focused, and creative. In fact, if you experienced an exhilarating day yesterday, you might experience a bit of a lull today. It is a natural evolutionary process of nature. We continuously flux emotionally, and emotions inform us of present change or movement.

Today’s emotions give rise to tomorrow’s experiences. I only know the degree to my happiness today because I remember how bewildered I felt yesterday. We can actually “find ourselves” by making a conscious decision to change. If you are not happy with something about yourself – say you are still a smoker and hate that fact about yourself – when you are ready and decide that it is time to become a better person, you start feeling happier. If you realize that success and happiness might just be experienced more frequently by those who are disciplined – you can begin to struggle and practice with becoming more disciplined yourself. It is likely going to be a struggle, but hang in there and maintain your focus on your ultimate goal until you get over the fight. Clearly, change is not all rainbows and lollipops, but perseverance with change sets us free.

You have heard the story about two wolves who meet in the woods, one black one white. They engage in a fight. Which one wins? The answer, if you know the story, is the one that you feed! The wolves are merely a metaphor for our inner struggles. Which wolf will you feed and nurture inside yourself – the smoker or the non-smoker; disciplined or carefree? Will you feed love or hold love back. You decide, but it will have an evolutionary impact and it will move you along the continuum. Which direction? You decide.

The point that I want to clarify here is that we have been the ones who have chosen all along. We were the ones who fed and nurtured one wolf over another the whole time. There have always been outside pressures on our decisions, but we made the final decisions. We might have been lacking a degree of conscious awareness about it, but then that too is a major component of my message. The more aware we can become the clearer our decisions can be. If we are unhappy, dissatisfied or irritated in any way, we can decide to change, grow, develop, and evolve. However, only to the degree that we are clear and aware can we consciously create our own happiness and success.

The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out. Michael Singer

This gardener thinks, plans, and creates strategies for a garden long before it comes into existence. Plenty of emotions spread throughout. The gardener sows seeds and provides homes for baby plants according to a blueprint and then just cares for them as they mature into individually beautiful plants, finally displaying a very charming garden. The garden is the symbolic representation of our mood. You will recall that I have said that emotion or mood reflects the quality of change we make. We normally strive to achieve a final product, but as I suggest here, the quality of change may be ultimately more important and valuable.

As much as we rely on the love and kindness of others to meet our needs, we will benefit if we care for ourselves with love and kindness too. Growing seasons come and go, showing up with a smile, only to wither into a peaceful slumber. The season has not died or ceased to exist. It merely naps, changing form slightly and allowing what was there last season to show up all over again, this time bigger and better than ever before. Just as my mom is no longer with us, her love of gardening lives with me, bigger than ever. Just one gardening lesson I learned from my mom.

“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” ― Aberjhani

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Perfecting Our Process

Perfecting-Your-ProcessWhen I was younger I spent time with friends in the evening and on weekends in a gym. We worked out hard with weights. I attempted to “beef up.” I was rather skinny as a kid. It was a great past time as well as a social event. Eventually, I took up jogging and participating in 10K races in and around my home. During the warmer months, I went fishing and hiking with the guys on weekends, which eventually gave way to golf. From my teenage years, I had always practiced meditation on and off. Mostly off to be honest, but as I got older that too has become more important to me.

I have often said we would be better off if we would “stop trying to be perfect,” and instead, work on “perfecting our process!” For professional athletes (though perhaps referred to slightly differently), perfecting your process is a practice or routine that when implemented, prepares the athlete for high-level competition. It refers to how they train, exercise, eats, sleeps, gets support, prepares mentally, etc. If you are not an athlete, “perfecting your process” is still a discipline, a collection of activities or rituals that you practice, that, similarly, prepares you for high-level performance. This is true for our personal and our professional lives.

Perfecting our process involves discovering a few enjoyable or interesting activities that we can practice regularly, making into a discipline. Okay, I’ve said that. Many of us run, work out, meditate, visualize, give ourselves pep talks, work with coaches. All these activities are aimed at putting us into the most amenable state of mind possible, our personal “flow zone.” This might also be called “mind management.” In a few other words, it’s seeding our subconscious.

Whether your personal competition refers to corporate communications, relations with extended family members, kids, spouse, dates or work-related colleagues, a regular training session with your Psychologist or coach might just help you to focus your attention on your most applicable strengths and remind you where your weakness need to be avoided. You can call this a strategy session, a counseling session, training or simply preparation, but the upshot is your personal process gets improved. Personally, I enjoy the process of meditation as it provides me with the opportunity to pay attention to the quality of my mind, and normally calms and assists me to focus, but running still contributes, as does the reading, writing a little, golf, etc.

Stop trying to be perfect! You may succeed from time to time, even often, but it may also give you anxiety, ulcers and you will not really be performing at your best anyway. Take a lesson from sports psychology. A professional athlete trains hard but also gives herself recovery time. It’s mandatory unless you want to burn out or don’t care about really getting the best out of yourself. Pat Perez, a longtime PGA golf professional, personified this concept by winning the 2016 OHL Classic at Mayakoba on the Mexican Riviera. Pat said that a shoulder surgery had “forced” him to take a break that he would not have taken otherwise. Because of the break, you might say that Pat’s subconscious had been tuned up. He was fresh, eager, hungry and that added to his already strong golf acumen. The rest is history.

If you have a deep desire to excel, love what you do, maintain a degree of ambition, or a strong work ethic, you may also have a tendency to push yourself too much. Pushing is great, but mandatory recovery time only makes sense, to adequately prepare your mind and emotions to achieve at your very best. My advice to athletes is to find a rhythm of push and rest, push and rest, push and rest. My advice to anyone else who wants to perform at their best is to also find a rhythm for yourself. A process that prepares you to meet the challenges of your life. That’s the general look and feel of “perfecting your process.”

The specific mechanics of “perfecting your process” is unique, for each individual will have a different competitive focus. Strengths and weaknesses are unique for each one of us. To be clear, I am still referring to a “process” that you engage in, a ritual practice or discipline. One that focuses on continuously trying to be aware of yourself (your mind or emotional energy) and your own habits. When you’re feeling charged up emotionally it is time to push yourself and your efforts, just like Pat Perez did. When you have been pushing yourself for the day or for any extended period, there comes a point when it’s time to give yourself a moment to recover and rejuvenate yourself.

To illustrate, say I know that I have a tendency to anger easily, curse, insult or generally push others away. It eventually comes to my attention that these automatic responses have been in my way of developing into a better leader, and I have a great desire to improve my leadership abilities and to more effectively influence others. “Perfecting my process” means, in this situation, that I need to change or do something different, right?

So, my process begins when I become aware of my weakness, and should continue by cultivating a greater awareness of my related strengths, which I can use to replace my weakness. My process should continue to include a way to continuously cultivate a greater detailed awareness of my weakness’ “trigger points,” which are normally stress-related. This greater detail will help me to refine my efforts.

I’m not always angry. But I should be aware of those specific situations that do tend to anger me. Then moving forward, strategizing about how to best perfect my approach allows me to focus more on letting my strengths show and avoiding those times and situations that otherwise demonstrate my weakness. This is often accomplished through rest and recovery. Refine my strategy. Consider or analyze, and refine again. Since we do not ever reach perfection, we find ourselves in a continuous “process of refinement” that I like to call “perfecting our process.”

Anytime we can become more aware of the details of how we tend to behave (as in the examples above), we have an opportunity to be able to stop, and redirect our energy onto something more positive or more productive. Say I catch myself starting to feel angry. I begin a quiet little meditation, and voila!

As a result, I may look and feel more credible to others, those whom I may want to influence. The best part is, I start to feel great, confident, happy, well-adjusted, and to have even more very functional relationships. That is an example of “perfecting your process,” and remember, it all started when I was younger, spending time with friends in the gym, jogging, fishing, and hiking, which eventually gave way to golf. Perhaps more important than anything was that I had always practiced meditation.

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Life is Really Turning Around for Us

What’s directing your life? Your short-term urges? Or your well thought out plans?

What’s directing your life? Your short-term urges? Or your well thought out plans?

We all need a plan or strategy for getting ahead in the world, for ensuring our own happiness. In fact, we all have a strategy, whether we go to the trouble of making it conscious or whether we merely allow it to unfold all on its own. Either way, we all have a strategy. What we get in life or how we feel day in and day out, reflects our activities, our daily habits, how we spend our time. We presume our activities will get us what we want. Getting what we want is the same as getting where we want to go, isn’t it? Our desires point us in the right direction, so we’ll end up happy and have achieved. Right?

Well, we all know, or should know, that what we want, our urges, are not the same thing as our goals, things that we put careful thought to. Many of us learned about delayed gratification in our families, or in grade school, college or university. Study and achieve your degree and that results in a happier life than does, say, taking winters off to party and working as a home painter during the summer months.

If we don’t stop to reflect and to plan out what we have to do to achieve our more long-term goals, we’re more likely to end up pushing them further away, substituting them with short-term immediate gratification. By living life spontaneously, just responding to the day-to-day pressures of life, we don’t stop to plan, days come and go, and we wonder why life is the way it is. We develop resentments aimed at those we see who seem to have what we want. But there was a strategy that was carefully considered for them, somewhere along the line. Make no mistake, when I say carefully considered, I am not referring to a moment in time that you were so mad, that you swore to yourself that you would never, ever…….

That’s just not a strategy. It’s not even a poor strategy. What it is, is just a highly emotionally bound declaration, that lacks the very “stuff” which defines a strategy. It lacks a calm, cool mind that can reflect, deliberate and tap into critical innovative thoughts and ideas that foster a future that the most ardent critics would applaud. In a nutshell, it defines only what not to do. We need to have a clear picture of what we should focus on, what we should do, and whom we could commit to. We need a vision or picture in mind that encompasses our relationships, and that suggests an underlying motive.

Conviction, Determination, & Commitment

It is a fact that we all strategize, even if at a subconscious level. A strategy is potent and eventually evolves into fruition. So, making your strategy conscious is what I’m selling here. Without an effort to bring consciousness to it, our strategy gives birth to nothing more than our basest desires – greed, power, lust and – especially today – narcissism. In fact, I’m not certain there is much of a difference between these. Ask yourself, “can any of us really make a determined commitment to maintaining such characteristics and desires?”

I bring these concepts to your attention, because, we should really and seriously consider this, at least for as long as it took me to write it, shouldn’t we? It’s affecting the quality of our lives. I recommend that we create regular opportunities to discuss and reflect. Maybe even give our personal strategies a modicum of respect. If we’re not slowing down, actively gaining control over or deliberately instituting positive goals, beliefs and expectations into our psyche on a regular basis, then maybe, we’re just really living a life of unconsidered habits, evolving in a way that’s being directed by our short-term urges, and not our well thought out plans.

I don’t know about you? But from time to time, I get urges for sugary treats, chocolate, banana splits, and pop. If I allowed my life to be guided by these urges, I’d be obese and suffer from numerous chronic physical illnesses. Long-term well thought out strategy often leads to difficult daily decisions. They represent a discipline. They impact, not just our physical health, but the quality of our business retirement plans, having adequate funds for the momentous event, the number of children to have, concerns about family and friends (whether or not to find a deeper level of commitment to our spouse), leadership succession plans, if you own a business, etc. The difference is obvious, urges can lead us toward obesity, high cholesterol and quite possibly, a life of unhappy struggles. A clear strategy can assist us to experience our dreams.

So is there any good reason why we don’t devote some regularly scheduled time and effort to increasing our level of conscious awareness of our individual strategies?

Let’s get things going in our favor. Let’s make things happen. Let’s change the direction of life so that it’s unfolding in our direction. Let’s experience more joy and better connections. Let’s explore, feel proud of our lives, and of what we’re creating and what we’re contributing. Because after all, we cannot, not contribute.

Just a thought, I hoped you’d appreciate being reminded about.

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The Power of Introversion

Reflecting on a critical decision? Doing it alone? Don’t even think about it. Consider a leadership position for yourself and consult with your Psychologist or coach.

Reflecting on a critical decision? Doing it alone? Don’t even think about it. Life is complex. Consider taking a leadership perspective for yourself and consult with your Psychologist or coach.

Engaging your Psychologist in a relevant dialogue can put an incredibly fine point on your outcome. It’s quite possible, for example, that you bring something powerfully pleasing with you whenever you express yourself well. Did you realize this? So set your example, build your reputation by making only great decisions and get noticed as someone who has a successful touch.

Athletes and coaches, entertainers and professionals, know the value of positive “self-talk” – those silent pep talks in the head that keep spirits up and encourage peak performance. Top performers get good at screening out messages that could interfere with their internal pep talk. They concentrate on the task at hand and shut their ears, literally and mentally, to anything else. Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The best way to “shut your ears” to extraneous stimuli and to successfully focus has a great deal to do with self-care. What does self-care imply to you? Personally, an important component for self-care is my ability to calm my body and my mind. I find that practicing daily meditations is critical for sharpening “calm” and for ensuring I remain “innovative.”

To my point about not doing it alone. Meditation is just not something that many of us can see ourselves doing, without thinking that we are wasting valuable time. Self-care may be more meaningful and a way to relieve some of the mental chatter that you have, by setting up that dialogue that I’m talking about. Visit in person, or better yet, make an appointment, sit back and wait to be called. Chatting over the phone is easy and anonymous. Consider. Calm your mind by calming your conversation. And yet another perspective.

“…I also believe that introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward.”
Susan Cain

“Turning inward” can be an incredible advantage to be sure. But ensure that when you do so, you have done your due diligence, consulted a professional, and put yourself in touch with a creative source that deals with emotional concerns every day. Remember that turning inward may assist you to come up with fresh new ingenious ideas, but innovation requires that you find a way to put them into action in your life.

Just think about it

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