Looking at the world today, safety is not a given anymore. As humans, we want safety even when we are seeking challenge and adventure (such as automatic activation devices on parachutes). The world is experiencing chaos and it is hard to know how to respond. Those upsetting the world right now are doing their best to instill fear and uncertainty, so that feelings of safety are gone.
What about safety at work? I am addressing psychological rather than physical safety here. Do you feel safe in your work? What does safety mean to you – security in your job, getting along with co-workers, confidence in your abilities?
Uncertainty and fear do show up at work. Accepting this, you can still create some safety by being aware of your organization or market’s culture and how you align with it, always having options, cultivating your emotional intelligence so that you can read people and situations and building up your courage to face whatever comes.
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What can you shift in your work that will give you a huge boost in your fulfillment and happiness? I hope that you are already working on making that shift. If you are not, go ahead and get started now. Here are some ways to get moving:
• Identify the shift you want to make.
• List the benefits you will gain by making the shift.
• Identify the practicalities of making the shift. What do you need in order to do it? What obstacles are in your way? What people and what support do you need to make it a reality?
• Set a plan to make the shift happen, including how you will do it, steps you will take, and deadlines.
• Create a “support plan” – how you will maintain your energy and commitment while you are making the shift happen.
It is within your capacity to change your life. Are you ready to shift?
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In nature, chaos and order coexist. Flow and structure can also coexist, if you manage them wisely. In our hierarchical systems, specific goals and corresponding measures tend to rule. At the same time, it is recognized that innovation flows from creativity and freedom.
How do you reconcile and balance these approaches? I have found that flow can exist within a flexible structure. Overall aims and goals are necessary, with deadlines. Once they are established, I move into flow, measuring productivity each day and progress towards goals. There is open space within each day for insights, new ideas and constructive collaboration. This requires a level of comfort with uncertainty, the ability to change course and letting go of limiting structures.
Do you lean more towards flow or structure? Do you see them as incompatible? How can you balance flow and structure for maximum productivity and the best results?
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When you fool yourself about something you are operating on a false premise, as well as wasting your time. There are many incentives to fool yourself: fearing the truth, not wanting to face something and move forward, avoiding finding answers or preferring fantasy to reality. You can fool yourself in many areas: how well you are performing, the true nature and values of your organization and co-workers, whether you are happy and fulfilled in your work or to what degree your work is respected and valued.
Is there anything you are fooling yourself about? Once you identify that you are, you have taken a big step. From there you can face the situation and find your way to something better.
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
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A recent New York Times article, Graduating And Looking For Your Passion? Just Be Patient. addresses the ever-present call to find your passion. The focus of the article is on new graduates, but there are bits of wisdom in it for all of us. The article suggests that finding your passion is not achieved with a flash of insight and a trumpet blast, but rather by fostering your interests and sense of purpose.
Throughout my time coaching, I have seen people paralyzed by the call to find their passion. They think they have missed it and have no idea how to find it. Take a few steps towards what you’d like to do and trust your intuition. As with many things in life, persistence and focus will get you there. Don’t let the expectations or admonitions of others trip you up. Make your own rules. Your passion is waiting for you.
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Rushing is everywhere – you rush, I rush, others rush, time speeds up. Which is better, to rush or to flow? Rushing implies urgency, haste and rapid movement. Flow implies fluidity, steadiness and continuity. Personally, I vote for flow. Picture yourself in a fast-flowing river. If you are rushing, you are pushing against it. If you flow, you are aligning with it.
Flow involves steady and fluid movement, allowing you to acclimate to what is happening around you. You maintain your center and can respond to whatever happens. Rushing involves frenzy and a lack of control. You may lose your center and merely react to what happens.
Develop your ability to flow. It serves you better than rushing and will get you where you want to go.
photo: AndrewBertram, unsplash.com
We all run so hard. There is much to do and think about. How about, in the next week, you give yourself a break? Take some time to relax, have fun or maybe just sleep.
You deserve it and breaks are a major element of balance. Enjoy!
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Sometimes it is not easy to say “yes”. Doing so may involve challenge, stretching, being uncomfortable or overcoming fear. In your career, a yes that involves these things can advance you by moving you out of your comfort zone into your “growth zone”.
How about saying yes more often to experiences that improve your skills and boost your career? Is there anything worth a “yes” in front of you right now?
Many have advised that all will go well if you stay on the straight and narrow path. You will be safe, know exactly where you are heading and you won’t get lost. The problem with this is that work can be messy and anything but straight and narrow.
Some look at the straight and narrow path as the way of moral integrity. That’s a good thing and fundamental to ethical behavior. What I am looking at is seeing the world one way and not acknowledging that life is full of unknowns, curving roads and surprises. If you start out realizing that your path may not be straight and narrow, you have an immediate advantage.
So what do you do? As you traverse your career path, be ready for whatever comes by being flexible, staying fully in the present moment and seeing change as inevitable. That way, you can keep your feet on solid ground and get where you want to be.
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There’s a dichotomy with expectations – they can propel or they can stall your movement. Expectations address the future, however they can turn into beliefs that something will happen in a certain way. How can you have a belief about a future that hasn’t happened yet?
Expectations propel you when they take the form of intention, hope or desire. In that form, you are using them to set a vision of what you want to occur. They stall you when you make them omnipotent and your mind sees only one outcome for the future. In that form, you are closing your mind to other paths and options, that may be superior.
Stay aware of your expectations. Use them wisely, making them an ally rather than a hindrance.
Which way will you go with your expectations?
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