Restarting Your Engine When You’ve Completely Stalled Out

Restarting Your Engine When You’ve Completely Stalled Out

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” -Dalai Lama It’s pretty darn uncomfortable…stalling out in the middle of rush hour traffic.  Running behind schedule to begin with, already sweating it over how you will ever reach your destination on time.  Then suddenly it happens…stuck.  At a complete standstill.  Unable to get that engine to turn over and cringing at the feeling of holding everyone else back.  Knowing that on-time goal is now definitely out of reach.  Not fun. Extremely frustrating. If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably experienced that sensation off the road, and more than once in your life.  Stuck.  With no obvious means to restart your engine and get moving again.  It may be specific to one aspect of your life – health, work, relationships, finances – or perhaps a general malaise.  Either way, it does not feel good. What to do?  First, take a deep breath and relax.  Don’t panic.  Remember – nothing lasts forever, including our stuck places.  Even though it can feel like forever sometimes!  The following actions tend to help me get unstuck when I’ve hit the proverbial wall, or something I’m working on has stalled out.  Though I’d like to say I always immediately go to these solutions, there’s usually some flopping onto the couch mindlessly flipping through mindless cable channels before I finally come back and focus.  (Note to self – quit flopping and flipping and come right to this list!) Be kind to and patient with yourself.  Your “stuckness” didn’t happen in a second and getting unstuck can take some time.  It’s easy to start kicking yourself for not...
What Will You Create in 2017?

What Will You Create in 2017?

“Life is a great big canvas. Throw all the paint you can on it.” -Danny Kaye What’s your vision for 2017?  How do you see your life in the coming year, when you picture it in your mind’s eye?  What are the scenes you imagine as you visualize the next 365 days? Now take it up a notch.  Maybe several notches.  Make it grander. Keep going. Peel back any layers of restriction you may be placing over your vision till you start to see what you really want your life to look like. Okay, got it?  Good. Now, how are you going to get there?  Go ahead, get your creative juices flowing, and do some brainstorming on your next steps. What’s that?  You’re “not creative?”  Never have been?  Cringe at the thought of a creative brainstorming session?  Think the status quo is your permanent home? Think again. Everyone is creative.  Every one of us has put our creative stamp on the world already, and will continue to do so throughout our lives. The question is, are we doing this consciously or unconsciously?  Are we in default creative mode or active creative mode?  In other words, are we doing what we think we should do – behaving as we think we should?  Or, are we thinking outside that box and living our own unique life?  Either way, we’re creating our lives with our thoughts, choices, and actions.  Every day. So, what can you do if your day-to-day experience doesn’t match up to your vision, but you feel you lack the creative power to get them in sync? The answer may lie in rekindling what David Kelley, founder of legendary design firm...
Peeling Back the Layers

Peeling Back the Layers

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn Layers.  We all have them.  Some of them reflect the nuances of our personality, our life, maybe even our soul.  Others are just extra baggage; they may have been useful at one point, but now they’re just weighing us down. I’ve been thinking a lot about layers, as I dive into the next level of redesigning my life.  More layers need to be removed in order to fully get to what I really want to do and how I really want my life to look, not what I think I can or should do. It takes a while to get to the real thing – to what is truly “us” – when we’ve spent years, maybe decades doing what we think we can or should do.  And it can be challenging to split out those “can and should” things from what we really want to do, because this way of thinking is just so ingrained in our brains. We are conditioned from a young age to think “Okay, this is what I want, but I’m sure I can’t really have that because (fill in the blank), so my best compromise is to do this other thing instead. It will at least channel some of that passion, or make me some money, and I’ll be able to pay my bills, etc., etc.” Then, before we know it, years of heading in that direction have gone by when we realize it’s not giving us the fulfilling feeling we had hoped for. Now, to...
“We can change the world…rearrange the world.”

“We can change the world…rearrange the world.”

“It’s easy to make a buck, tougher to make a difference.” -Tom Brokaw Blake Mycoskie knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that poor kids often went without shoes.  But it was while on vacation in Argentina that he first saw and understood “the real effects of being shoeless: the blisters, the sores, the infections.” An entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, Mycoskie was inspired to address this problem, and when he returned to the States, he started a new business – TOMS – based on a simple premise:  for every pair of shoes they sold, a pair would be provided to a child in need.  He called it the One for One® business model, and he and his team have replicated it several times over, adding eye care, safe water, and birth kits and training to the TOMS mission. According to their website, TOMS has: Provided over 60 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006 Restored sight to over 400,000 since 2011 Helped provide over 335,000 weeks of safe water since 2014 Supported safe birth services for over 25,000 mothers as of 2016 Having that kind of impact has got to make going to work each day a pleasure, despite whatever business problems or challenges await.  Making a difference in the world with our work can make all the difference in the level of life satisfaction we enjoy. Increasingly – as a coach, recruiter, and colleague – I hear from people that they want the work they do to make a difference, to have meaning for them and others. Some of that can be accomplished by how we do our work, by...
What Do You Really Want to Say?

What Do You Really Want to Say?

“Let us begin.” -John F. Kennedy Picture this.  You’ve just taken the stage at the 2017 TED Conference in Vancouver, BC.  The audience is filled with thought leaders who are sitting on the edge of their seats, eager to hear what you have to say. In addition, you know what you’re about to share may be heard by the millions of people around the world who view TED talk replays. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts on a topic that is extremely near and dear to your heart, to influence the future, to perhaps start a movement. [If you’re starting to hyperventilate at the thought of public speaking to this magnitude, for the sake of this exercise stop and pretend you have no fear of public speaking whatsoever and you are totally and completely comfortable up on that stage!] Okay, back to TED, where past talk topics have included the power of vulnerability, the wonders of our universe and oceans, improving the justice system, doing good while making a profit, grammar, sportsmanship, climate change, and so many more. [Check out the complete selection here.  Warning: TED Talks can be addictive!] So, there you are, ready to rock ‘n roll with the TED audience.  What do you want to say?  What message do you most want to share with the world?  How do you want to influence the future? Or, imagine you’ve just been elected President of the United States, and you’re working on your inaugural speech.  What do you want to say to your audience?  What makes you want to grab the collective lapels of the world and say hey, we can...