Your point of view greatly influences the way you see the world around you. You have freedom to choose your point of view. Or, it can happen by default – the consequence of your experiences and reactions to those around you.
How do you tell the story of what the world, and you individually, are experiencing right now? Do your story and point of view come from a positive place, a fearful one, a hopeful one or a pessimistic one? Is there anything you would like to change?
You are the storyteller. Your point of view has high impact on your experience of life. Make sure it serves your interests and values.
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In the past when speaking of creativity and innovation, common advice was to think outside the box. Well now, you are way outside the box. As disorienting as these times may be, they do present opportunities. All you may have to do to find those opportunities is look around .
A way of coping with these times is to recognize that the “normal” that was is pretty much gone. You have a choice to reach back for something that is no longer there, freak out at the change or gradually reorient yourself to a new reality. Within this new reality, you may find ways to pursue your dreams, release things that no longer serve you and take advantage of the open space you have. Things could start looking pretty good to you as you stand outside the box!
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When was the last time that you were fancy free? Yes, it is just a phrase, but its meaning has relevance to a balanced and happy life: free to imagine or fancy; having no commitments or restrictions; carefree.
Your mind, body and spirit need open space. In the modern world, open space is not often handed to you. You have to consciously create it. Once you do, you’ll see the benefits of being fancy free. Your creativity, sense of well-being and happiness will grow.
How soon can you create some space to be fancy free?
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1. Be the CEO of your career
2. Pursue your dreams
3. Develop your emotional intelligence
4. Value your freedom
5. Honor your individuality
6. Develop your creativity
7. Keep the status quo in its place
8. Roll with both the good and the bad
9. Actively pursue joy
10. Congregate with like-minded people
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It is best to let go of things that no longer serve you. In doing so, you make room for the new to come in and eliminate something that is doing you no good. In many instances, you have time to let go. Other times, you have let something stay around too long and it must be let go of now.
Is there anything in your life that you need to let go of now? Perhaps it is a bad habit that is harming you, a relationship that drains you or something that is holding you back in a big way. Heed the urgency. There is no sense in putting it off any longer. Be rid of it and create the life you want to live.
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1. Define what freedom in your work is for you.
2. Identify where or how you feel constrained or restricted in your work.
3. Identify the obstacles to finding more freedom in your work.
4. Identify any ways that you yourself are limiting your ability to find more freedom in your work (attitudes, perceptions, fears, blocks).
5. Identify the things you cannot change in your work.
6. Commit that you will do what it takes to find more freedom in your work .
7. Take one break a day, where you leave your environment and create some distance from your work. See what comes up for you during this time.
8. Write down 5 benefits of finding more freedom in your work.
9. Believe that freedom is possible.
10. Create more (even a small amount) freedom in your work by the end of this month.
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Free Flow Management honors freedom and calls for a balance of freedom and structure. What happens if you have a team member who cannot “handle” freedom and whose performance suffers without a balance that overly favors structure?
Flow is the centerpiece of Free Flow Management. In this situation, honor your team member’s need for structure, initially. If their performance is suffering, ask them what they need to bring their performance up again. Co-create a structure with them to do this. At the same time, coach them to find ways they can become more comfortable with freedom. One of the premises of Free Flow Management is that freedom leads to creativity, innovation and fulfillment. Help your team member align with your balance of freedom and structure.
You do not want to regress and do not have to increase structure permanently just because one team member needs it. You want to keep things flowing. Obstructions need to be addressed and flow regained.
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Sometimes, it can be very hard to let something go. Is there something you have been holding on to? You can hold on to many things after their time is up – things such as failures, relationships, grudges, anger and other emotions, destructive memories or regrets. As you hold on, you pay a price. The price can lie in distraction, emotional distress, over-thinking, inability to be fully present in the moment or stagnation. It can be a jail of your own making.
When you release something that is over or no longer serves you, you are free. There is room for something new. You can focus your attention on other things. It may take time to let something go, but it can also happen quickly, once you set your mind to it. The first step is recognition that it is time to release something. Then, you bring yourself to the present moment and a place of clarity about the situation and act – by declaring your intention to let go, doing something concrete to cut a tie or changing behaviors that support the current situation.
What, in your life, or work, is ready for release?
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Untethering is about freeing yourself from limitations. What ties you down in your role as a manager? There are various ways to untether from these things. You can:
• create efficiencies in the way you work
• stop putting energy into worrying or fretting about things that are out of your control
• eliminate unproductive distractions and energy drains
• minimize the time you spend with people who limit you in some way, spending only the time that is absolutely necessary
• detach a bit , even if just mentally, to sharpen your perspective regarding your work
Your balance, fulfillment and sanity at work depend on your having the freedom you need to perform. Untethering is one way to create that freedom.
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Free Flow Management (see previous blog post) creates freedom for your team, encouraging innovation and the flow of ideas. Key to Free Flow Management is letting go of structure, at least for a while. We have plenty of structure within organizations, but not a lot of freedom. To make room for freedom, some structure has to go.
Freedom and structure can coexist. Are you comfortable with that? Our hierarchical systems have made structure and order primary, often to the exclusion of flexibility and freedom. Structure can be rebalanced with freedom, with great results. As a manager, you may have to get comfortable with a bit of what you perceive as disorder. That very disorder can create freedom.
In your mind now, create an art canvas representing how you manage. Use one color for structure and one for freedom. Fill your canvas with the amount of each color that represents the current balance between structure and freedom for your team. What predominates? Then, create a canvas of what you think is a good balance between the two for you and your team.
What new directions can you take with the balance of structure and freedom that will increase free flow management of your team?
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