How Did You Get Here?

We've all experienced a journey -- an adventure that brought us to our here and now. But how did we get here? What has brought us to this point in our lives, our careers, our journeys?

I think of the people. For every successful person, there is a list of people that helped them along the way. There is the boss that supported their pursuit of passion. The friend that pressured them to continue on through difficult times. There is the mentor that shared their knowledge with no expectation of return. 

There are also the people that spurned them on for negative reasons. They told them they couldn't possibly make it work - so they proved them wrong. They told them they'll never amount to anything, or that they were unworthy. They became successful anyway. 

We do not travel within a vacuum. Each step we take in our journey is influenced by the people in our lives. Think of your successes - who were your supporters? Have you thanked them? 

Go, thank your supporters. Thank them for their role in your success.

Go thank that Teacher that inspired you.
Go thank that boss that gave you flexibility. 
Go thank that friend that never abandoned you.
Go thank that person that gave you a hand when you were down. 

Express gratitude for the support you've received. You'll brighten their day with your thoughtfulness and you'll have a chance to relive that success.  

Tell Me About What You Do

How do you talk about your work?

Do you talk about your specific actions, or rather the work of your organization as a whole?

It's an important narrative, and simultaneously is telling about yourself and the organization.

When I interview people the first thing I'm looking for is that person's connection to the company. Do they use the term 'we'? Do they talk only about what they do--or what the company does? 

When you talk about the latter, you express an understanding of how your actions move the overall company. 

When you talk about your specific actions--you're telling me you don't see yourself as necessary. You tell everyone that you're focused on you and not your impact. 

Think about that the next time someone asks you 'what do you do?'. How will you answer?

 

You're Starting Your Day All Wrong

How do you start the day?

Start it with an action, a positive motion.

Not your email.
Not a reaction.

Instead, a choice. 
a joy. 
a purpose. 

If you start with a reaction, you'll spend the rest of your day traveling from one reaction to another. 

Your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. It dictates the way everything else will flow. Tomorrow, when you wake up, don't grab your phone. Instead grab a glass of water and take a few moments to breathe in your day. Then go do that one thing that sets your mind into a positive frame. 

Invest in Relationships Now, You'll Need Them Later

What's the one relationship you want to invest in this year?

I'm not talking romantically--you should invest in that every day. This is about investing in the people that step in when you need a hand. It could be a coworker, a close friend or a relative.

I have a client who is investing in his relationship with his dad. He wants to spend more time to get to know his dad. Another client is investing in her customer relationships -- she wants to take the extra step to delight her customers.

How you choose to invest in the relationship can be in any form. In may simply be a commitment to respond to their emails in a more timely fashion--or send them a card on special occasions.

Relationships take effort, even the acquaintance kind. Everyone needs them though, even self-identified 'introverts'. Relationships are what help you when you lose a job or have any major life event. With good relationships the next time your career hits a bump or even screeches to a halt, your relationships are there to help. 

Choose a relationship and do something today.

What if you only had 6 months to live?

Once you get past the denial and anger, how would you live your last days? 

Why are you not living those today? 

Don't tell me you'd quit your job or you'd run off into the mountains. Tell me about the things you've always wanted to do, the places you'd go, the people you would reach out to. Tell me what fear is telling you.

For most people, the last 6 months wouldn't be able exotic trips or crazy adventures - it would be about spending time with the people they love, and living in the moment. 

Tomorrow may, or may not, come -- so live today fully.

What's in a mantra?

Picking a phrase to define your year may seem a bit of a ‘cart before the horse’ effort. How can you define something that has yet to occur?

It's about approach.

A mantra, a slogan repeated frequently, is about what you want for yourself in the coming year. By setting your frame of mind before you'll be more likely to make it happen.

It's a bit like telling yourself that you want a salad. At first you'll be ‘no, I don't want a salad. I want a freaking cookie.’ And then, you'll acquiesce to the constant barrage of ‘you want a salad’ in your head. ‘Fine, I'll have a salad’ you'll say grudgingly. And in time, the conversation will disappear because you'll start choosing the salad on your own.

You'll feel better for it.

There’s a trend to pick a word for you year, but as a storyteller I find that lacking. One word will not paint the picture. For example, if I chose the word ‘joy’ what is that suppose to mean? Does that mean I only do things that make me feel joy? Or is it rather about creating joy for others? It could instead be about finding joy in daily activities or adding more time for joy.

One word will not set the tone for the coming year - it will not put your mind in the right frame for decision making.

Instead pick a phrase. A phrase like ‘choose joy’ or ‘make time for joy’ are much more specific than the word alone.

What's your mantra for the year?