Resiliency: 5 Gifts of Change

Resiliency: 5 Gifts of Change

Laughman_Oct 2015_Article 2_ChangeWhatever it is we experience in life, the value of it is whatever we choose it to be.

Does it matter? Is it helpful? Does it cause concern? Are we happy about it? Sad? Angry? Afraid? These are all natural responses. The key is recognizing they are also choices.

Our attitude toward change shows up long before the choice is made and in almost all cases, to at least some degree is dictating the outcome.

In his book, Jumpstart Your Thinking, Dr. John C. Maxwell teaches that our attitude acts like the “advance person” of our true selves. In other words, it shows up before we do, long before the main event. Over time it becomes almost instinctive.

It would seem then that this is an important concept to focus on when we consider where we want to grow. Do we have an attitude about change that is pre-empting success?

How do we change our attitude? In the same writings, Dr. Maxwell offers this commentary about the role it plays: “It is the librarian of our past, the speaker of our present, and the prophet of our future.”  I found that statement to hold the key. If our attitude is the speaker of our present, to change our attitude it would seem to mean we must first change how we speak about it.

As I surveyed some of the changes in my life where I initially struggled, I found five specific gifts I received once I allowed myself to grow through vs. just go through whatever I was experiencing. Seeing the gifts allowed my internal conversation and attitude to change.

#1- New People

My life has been richly blessed from expanding my personal circles. In many cases, those people were introduced to my life in the course of change.

#2- New Places

As a writer, place has been somewhat of a conundrum for me. We like the comfort of our “creative space” and can even begin to rely on its trappings. That was certainly the case for me. But when the creative flow stalls, quite often it is a change of place that allows it to begin streaming again. Once I realized that going to new places was a core fuel for inspiration, my attitude toward them shifted.

#3- New Skills

Any time we encounter change there is almost always something to learn. That can be a daunting road block if we are afraid we may not be able to acquire that skill. The key is recognizing that everything we know at some point was unknown to us. Everything we can do today, at some point we did not know how to do. And with new skills comes new opportunities.

#4- New Ideas

Change is a wonderful stimulus. What we consider (or reject) changes based on new information. We find that we have greater agility for transferring knowledge and skill. We are able to cross-pollinate our understanding of how we work best.

#5- Possibilities

This is of course my favorite because it’s the culmination of everything else. It’s the pinnacle of success when it comes to real change. When we integrate new people, places, skills and ideas into our strategies, the possibilities exponentially grow.

We can change our relationship with change by changing our attitude toward it. We change our attitude by changing our perspective and how we view it, how we speak about it. What new people can I meet and serve? What new places can I experience? What new skills can I acquire and master? What new ideas can this generate? How does this expand the possibilities for my life and work?

In summary: What does this make possible? Once we embrace that question, we begin to master the power of true resiliency.

Live (change) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (change) well.

Do you struggle with resilience? 3 warning signs to consider

Do you struggle with resilience? 3 warning signs to consider

It’s easy to say that we are resilient. It’s much more challenging to live resiliently. It is one of the most important skills we need to develop. But all too often we wait until we need it to determine if we’ve got it. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way.

Like any skill, it has to be developed over time and begins with our mindset. How we perceive our world will determine how we interact with it.

That is the core essence of true resilience. We stop responding to our world and start interacting with it. We put the energy of what is happening around us to work. We harness that energy and create new opportunities. It is what I have come to think of as moving from powerless effort (responding) to effortless power (resilience).

Recently I have been part of some discussions around resilience and how we develop it. The initial questions focused on how we could determine if it is a skill we have honed or not. After all, it’s not something you can always measure or see until after it has been employed. From those conversations, we determined that there are some warning signs that may be indicators that we need to strengthen that muscle.

Here are the top three:

#1- A higher commitment to the plan than to the result.

It can be dangerous to become overly attached to the road map. After all, roads close and things change. But the end goal is still the end goal. Adjusting the sails is far better than ignoring that the course needs correction.

#2- A driving need to understand the cause of something in order to assign blame, even (or especially) if it’s to yourself.

Things happen. The cause is most likely irrelevant once it happens. The true forward course is not assigning responsibility for why it happened but rather taking responsibility for what to do from there. What does this make possible? Take responsibility for that and it shifts to opportunity thinking.

#3- Your goal list is continuously littered with casualties that don’t seem to ever cross the finish line.

When we find a trend line in something, it means there is a systemic issue causing a particular result. When the trend we see is unfinished work or unrealized goals, it usually means that we are not able to see our way through disruptions, delays or even simple distractions. By analyzing the points where we falter, we can see where we need to shore up our resiliency muscle and put intelligent creativity to work.

A commitment to seeing the possibilities around us naturally develops our personal resiliency. Our life lens is trained to see opportunities for growing and giving in every situation. In a world where we are faced every day with uncertainty, we can thrive knowing that what is uncertain leaves room for infinite creativity.

What if the glass half empty is also half full? What if it’s both and ready for more?

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.

Your Changing Nest: Are you ready for what’s next? Part 2

Your Changing Nest: Are you ready for what’s next? Part 2

Empty NestWelcome back to our conversation about the changing nest. Are you ready for what’s next? Here are some life practices to help you as you re-feather your nest for your next season. What makes them powerful is the fact that they are a part of our everyday life.

As I’ve moved through the empty nest in my own life, these have proved invaluable for moving me through those critical times as I have lived my “now” and designed my “next”!

Life practice #1– Bookending your day

Although this has long been a personal practice for me, it has changed greatly over the past few years as I’ve gone through some of these transitions. Let’s talk about what this really is about. Your morning practice is about centering and focus. It’s about getting grounded for whatever the day will bring. This can be a combination of activities – whatever helps you achieve that for yourself. It could be your journal, inspirational reading or audios, physical stretching exercises, meditation or prayer (or any combination of those!). It does not have to take a long time to be effective but it’s what is often referred to as a power hour. I never thought I would get up early for this but now I look forward to it every day.

Your evening practice (the other bookend!) is about letting go of the day and getting ready for what is next. Did you know that a core practice for fighting the dull-drums in life is having something to look forward to? When we end one day by knowing what we have to look forward to the next day, we rest more fully and awake with purpose. It’s easier to start when we have a plan. The most important part is letting go of today and looking forward to tomorrow. Whatever practices help you do that – those should be a part of your evening bookend. This is also a great time for your gratitude practices.

Life practice #2 – Re-Claiming Your Calendar

One of the most detrimental things I found myself doing when my daughter first got married and left the nest was waiting to see when she would need me. I hesitated committing to things until I knew what her plans would be. I was so afraid of not being available if she called or wanted to do something.

Giving me permission to create my life was essential and the first step was reclaiming my calendar. Making commitments and having things to look forward to. Even seeing her! I still remember the first time I had to tell her I had another commitment. It was a really tough moment but one that helped both of us recognize that in giving ourselves permission to experience more, we were in fact giving each other permission to do the same. There is great freedom in trust. If the calendar stays blank, so will our lives. Get some stars on your calendar!

The idea of something to look forward to has even made it into many definitions of happiness. Best-selling author and poet Rita Mae Brown is quoted as saying that “Happiness is pretty simple. You need someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.”

Life practice #3 – Growing your life by growing you

“In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Have you ever felt like you are the glue holding everything together? That you’re the stability for everyone else? This is something I hear often. And when the nest changes, here’s a key place where we now start to think about this. When those responsibilities change, we aren’t always sure where to turn in our lives to find a focus, a purpose.

One of the things I love most about my life now is the fact that the decisions don’t feel so big anymore. I used to feel such weight with every choice. Now I recognize that everything is for a season and I’m able to enjoy it more fully. Learning and growing is a big part of that. My learning strategy was always about my profession. Now it’s about me. My life. Who I want to be and how I want to be. As I have grown, so has my life.

The only motivation in life that works every time is this: Progress. So go create some progress. Create your own change. That is going to create your own internal fire and motivation for more.

It’s a core practice that serves us all. Always be learning something. Always be growing. And be deliberate about it. Many people say that they are a “lifelong” learner and that they learn from everyone. That’s great. But also learn something specific. Take a class, a course, sign-up as a volunteer where you’ll learn a new skill. Be deliberate and embrace your inner explorer again!

Life practice #4- Always be expanding your circle!

I’m sure you’ve heard the concept that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I first learned it from success philosopher Jim Rohn. When we think about how our life changes as our nest changes this is an important factor because in many cases, up to that point our relationships have been by default and defined by our roles versus intentional based on where we are personally growing. What are your current goals? Who are the best people to have around you for that? That is where I started. Those relationships have continued to grow and what is remarkable is that they were the catalyst for other new relationships. As we find kindred spirits, they introduce us to others. By always being open to expanding our circles, we are also expanding our life-scape.

Life practice #5- Make a difference – every day

One of the things that comes up often on the subject of empty nest and changes in the seasons of life is the idea of legacy. What do we want to be remembered for? We think about this as we again start looking at purpose and shifting roles and responsibilities. We begin to think that perhaps our purpose is bigger than we might have once believed or even conceived.

We often see people at this time of their time taking on causes and engaging more in their communities. And that’s a wonderful strategy.

But I would like for us to think about this even more universally and make it a life practice to make a difference for someone every day. The truth is that we already do whether we recognize it or not. Sometimes good, sometimes perhaps not, but we have a choice. If we set a goal everyday of making a positive difference the dividends in life satisfaction we achieve are priceless.

This is also where our example makes a tremendous difference. When our children see us moving beyond the nucleus and seeing beyond ourselves to a greater purpose, we are also encouraging them to do the same. Always remember that your legacy is never about what you leave. It is always about what you live.

Permission – Perspective – Possibilities

Use these life practices to create a life system that will guide you through from now to next. Not once – but every time throughout your life.

As my mentor Jim Rohn said: “We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life.”

These practices can make the difference as you design a life.

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.

Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out

Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out

Meditating Woman IdeasOften we are looking for solutions outside ourselves – technology or new marketing solutions – to upgrade and innovate our businesses. The truth is many of the best ideas are within you, and all you need to do is pay attention to your thoughts and feelings a bit more. Follow these super tips to innovate your business from the inside-out.

Use Your Intuition
You have a lot of brilliant ideas, your clients talk to you and tell you what else they would like from you. Pay attention to how you feel in your gut and in your heart when you focus on these new or different ways of doing your business. You have a sixth sense: it is your intuition. Give it more consideration as you plan what is next.

Be Willing to Take A Test
Innovators are people that do not think about how things might go, over and over, and never act. Instead they plan what they think will work and then they test it. After the test, they make upgrades and then test it again. They are not attached to perfection. Perfection gets in the way of innovation. What is it time for you to test? Continue reading “Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out”

I changed my mind! It’s more than your prerogative!

Laughman_Oct 2015_Article 2_ChangePersonal development expert and author Brian Tracy teaches the value of zero based thinking. This practice invites you to re-examine choices based on the principal of evolving possibilities.

While it may seem obvious, we often need to be reminded that for choices to be unlimited, one of our choices has to be to change direction, to adjust and shift, even stop and re-start.

Emily Dickinson once said that we must “Dwell in possibility”. That is the secret. It is not something you occasionally do. It is where you live. The land of the winners is a citadel built on the art of possibility. Continue reading “I changed my mind! It’s more than your prerogative!”

Perfect Just the Way You Are? Perhaps Not!

You are perfect just the way you are!Progress Bar Loading with the text: Potential

Now that I am a Nana to some pretty spectacular grand-daughters, this is a sentiment that I express on a regular basis. And I absolutely mean it. Those girls are perfection and I will never believe otherwise. Just ask them! You may get a bit of an eye roll from the teenager but no argument that their Nana is their number one fan! Continue reading “Perfect Just the Way You Are? Perhaps Not!”

Your Journal: A Textbook for Life’s Journey

Mature woman holding journal and thinking.A core personal practice that has been one of the key contributors to my personal growth is journaling. This subject came up recently at a master mind group and it was a reminder that not everyone may know about how powerful this practice can be.

Although I started this in theory as a young girl (does anyone else remember your first diaries?) the idea of writing everyday about my life and how my world was coming into (or out of!) focus has had its own evolution over the years, rather like me! If this is not a practice you employ, I would urge you to consider adding this to your personal development toolbox. Continue reading “Your Journal: A Textbook for Life’s Journey”

Are you a possibilitarian? Would you like to be?

Find A Way Or Make One ConceptMy first introduction to the term possibilitarian came from Norman Vincent Peale in his book The Power of Positive Thinking. The concept however was introduced much earlier in my life. In fact, I don’t remember a time when it hasn’t been a part of how my world view was influenced and developed. My heritage is filled with stories of people that were each a possibilitarian in their own lives, inspiring each generation to follow to the same. I believe that outside of my spiritual heritage, that has been the greatest gift I have received. Continue reading “Are you a possibilitarian? Would you like to be?”

1, 2, 3 (Mindset) Go!

Over the course of my life I have invested thousands of hours researching how people are able to effectively grow and change.  After all, we know that success leaves clues and being able to grow is the most elemental change we can experience in our lives.

My study of progressive success included scores of interviews, listening to hundreds of recorded hours with thought leaders and reading countless books written by experts on change and personal development. It also includes what has proven true in my own life and in the lives of my clients.

My conclusion? Everything begins and ends with our mindset. Continue reading “1, 2, 3 (Mindset) Go!”

Feeling Stuck? 9 Questions That Can Help

There are times we want to move forward on an important goal or idea but for some reason we just can’t seem to get started.  We want to take the first step but something is holding us back.  When we find ourselves in that situation, it can be useful to have a checklist of questions designed to help find the one log that is jamming our stream of action.

The first step is to identify the place in your life where you are feeling stuck.  Remember, as with any coaching tool, the more specific you are the more powerful the exercise will be. Then get started! Continue reading “Feeling Stuck? 9 Questions That Can Help”