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.

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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