Monday, February 13, 2012

Six Quick Secrets to Better Balance

Feeling a bit off-balance these days? Try some of these assignments from a talk I am giving to sales professionals. 

Secret number one: Know your mission.
Companies need mission statements, and so do individuals. Recognizing your life’s mission will help you put first things first.
Your assignment: Write a personal mission statement. Keep a time log for the next 3 weeks and observe. Are you giving adequate time to your life's mission?

Secret number two: Build a balance wheel.
Staying in balance means keeping all parts of our lives in sync: family * career * personal * spiritual * home * community.
Your assignment: Draw two pie charts. Mark one according to your ideal balance using the criteria above.  Mark the other according to how you're spending time now.  Note the difference.

Secret number three: Stay in the moment. 
Give up multi-tasking. Do one thing at a time and notice what you are doing as you do it.
Your assignment: Choose one  daily activity and do it slowly and consciously. 
For example, take a shower very deliberately. Be aware of the soapy feel on your skin, the touch of the towel as you dry, the softness of lotion.

Secret number four: Let go the non-essential. 
Release any activities or relationships that are no longer fruitful in your life. 
Assignment 1 Say no to requests that don’t fit with your mission.
Assignment 2: Acknowledge your own essential needs. (Not wants, but needs.) When our needs aren't met, we get resentful.
Assignment 3: List ten gifts of time or energy you'd like to give yourself. Commit to making five of them happen in the next two months. 

Secret number five: Delegate more. 
Give your children the opportunity to become self-sufficient and build self-esteem by doing more tasks at home: clean their rooms, wash their own clothes,  take a turn preparing family meals. At work, ask yourself if you're holding onto tasks that you could delegate.
Your assignment: Delegate a task to someone--spouse, kids, or work colleague--that you have held onto. Notice what happens.

Secret number six : Worry less.
There are two times not to worry: If you can fix the problem, stop worrying and go fix it. If you can't fix the problem, stop worrying because worry won't change anything.
Your assignment:  When you catch yourself worrying, say aloud the word "Stop!" Turn the worry into a problem to solve or into a situation that you are willing to accept.   

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are you cheerful Happy? Or both?

Opera singer Beverly Sills, had the nickname, "Bubbles." She was known for her cheerful attitude even in the face of private grief (Two of her children suffered disabilities).  

 “How do you stay so happy?” one interviewer asked. “Oh, I’m not always happy,” she replied. “I am always cheerful. There’s a difference.”

Yes, there is a difference. Happiness happens to us; cheerfulness is an attitude we can choose. And researchers have found that feelings follow actions: so if we act as if we’re cheerful, we will gradually become so.

Try it for a day: Respond in an upbeat manner no matter what the circumstances. I'd love to hear from you if you discover it makes a difference.  I believe it will.