Spread the Thanks

As I have been preparing for a big activity at work this week (that happens tomorrow), I am in awe of all of the people who have contributed to this event – from my colleagues in the department and other department to the caterer and dozens and dozens of volunteers. Each person is important – dare I say essential – to the  success of tomorrow’s event.

At times when I am in the throes of many, many things to do, it’s easy to forget to express my appreciation for each person involved in whatever I am doing.

My message for this weekend (and beyond): Spread the thanks for both the big and little things you gain from others. Doing so expands the positive value for everyone.

Warm regards,
Anita

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Drop “If Only”

I was going to talk to a friend this week and I will admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to it. She can be a bit of a downer – looking at almost every situation and wishing it was different.

I would say that “if only” was her favorite phrase. The operative word here is “was”. When we got together, I was delighted to see how her mindset had shifted to one of looking for the great stuff in her life with a firm footing in reality. The best part of all is to see how her life has grown, advanced, and become really happy.

My lesson: when you drop “if only” the world opens up in fantastic ways.

Enjoy your day,
Anita

The New Job Bonus

A few friends came over last evening and I was especially excited to see one friend as yesterday was her first day at a new job. “How was it?” I asked. “Well, there was a change of plans,” she told me. OH NO!

Since she was smiling, I realized that the delay couldn’t have been too bad. As it turned out, my friend began her new job yesterday. That said, because of a delayed start date with a client’s project, my friend has nearly two weeks as a paid vacation. Who would have guessed that was the change?!?

My lesson from this: when something changes, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and listen. You may find that circumstances just took a turn for the better.

Have a great day,
Anita

The Power of the Brainstorm

I often don’t have tons of time to brainstorm outside of my work setting (where we do a lot of that). So over the long weekend, I was able to brainstorm with a few friends and boy was it fun. Okay, some people use their vacation time for lying on the beach and there of those of us who gain all kinds of things from intelligent, creative brainstorming.

The three of us all come from a similar background and understand a gap in the market for a specific technology product.

What we realized that the original definition of how technology could help individuals was just a small piece of pie. After a couple of hours of wonderful fun (remember, I am a full-fledged geek), we came up with a multivariate map of possibilities. The power of the brainstorm yielded more that the three of us even imagined – and I had the best time.

Remember: you can brainstorm for fun and profit.

Have a great day,
Anita

Power Listening

I was working on a project today that has me a doing a deep dive into the world of entrepreneurship. One of things that came up again and again is that founders who fail don’t listen. Instead of paying attention to the people around them, these entrepreneurs either think they know everything or are afraid of appearing naive or uninformed.

Regardless of the reason, not listening creates a gap of knowledge, wisdom, and powerful insights. So listen deeply and reap the rewards.

Have a great weekend,
Anita

The Power of Thinking in the Middle

There is a conflicting trend in the world. On one side, is the group of experts who believe that having massive goals and action plans to support them is the way to succeed. On the other side, is the babystep brigade who see taking tiny, doable actions as the road to accelerated achievement.

I personally agree with both camps, as one without the other is incomplete. Big goals tend to motivate us, help us stretch, and create a vision and plan that can propel us into the future. Tiny actions are also necessary as they give us a bit of instant gratification, provide wins in the moment, and create a history of success that helps us (at least me) keep going.

So I believe thinking in the middle provides the best of both world – for winning today and in the long run.

Have a great day,
Anita

The Myth of a Perfect Decision

I was chatting with a couple of friends and one was in the process of making a decision that would shape the next phase of her career and life. Needless to say, she was a bit nervous – especially after her mother told her that that wrong choice could lead to disaster. No pressure there.

Fortunately, a wise mutual friend was present who offer some very sage advice: “Do your homework. Learn about the options, risks, and rewards. Understand that you will never have perfect information and that you will make the best decision based on who you are, what you know, and how you approach the world TODAY. Tomorrow, next week, or years from now, you will likely make a different decision.”

That helped a lot. My friend, with the big decision, has made it and is off to create a great adventure, overcome challenges she faces, and build confidence, capacity, and resilience along the way.

Thanks for reading this,
Anita

Isn’t More Better?

I was chatting with someone recently who wanted to regroup, jumpstart her career, and make consistent progress. She was very open to the idea of taking tiny actions that are positive, progressive, and doable. After a bit of conversation, she agree to work on a particular aspect of her goal for five minutes each day for the next seven days. Then, she had an almost immediate change of heart and felt that she should be able to do more.

“Think of it this way,” I said. “Five minutes a day is about two and a half hours in course of a month (which if you make the step too big, you could end up with zero time spent and little or no progress made).”

If you are tempted to commit to more than you are really ready and able to do with certainty, choose something where you can absolutely win – and when you do, give yourself a gold star.

Have a great day,
Anita

Your Success Boundaries

Boundaries can be a very good thing. It’s crucial to know how much you have and want to give to others. Yet boundaries in the form of limitations set within our own mind and heart can limit our options, happiness, and success. This is true for professional aspirations, relationships of all kinds, and even our physical capacity.

So the next time you are about to say “no, it’s too much,” pause and ask yourself if you are setting an appropriate boundary or putting the brakes on something you really want to do and in which you can be successful.

Thanks for reading this,
Anita

The Paradox of the Turnaround

Last night, a friend was sharing a few ideas from a conference she attended. The keynote is a researcher from Ohio who is also an entrepreneur and mother of a teenage daugher. This woman’s perspective was unique and powerful.

She believes that it’s easy to feel that things happen TO us- especially those events that we might label negative, unpleasant, and as a barrier to our success and happiness. While this is totally understandable (After all, we are human.), this woman believes that looking at the world this way is disempowering and backward.

Her approach is to view these events as coming FROM us. Wow, was that a shocker. It made me think: “how would this work?”

Here is my conclusion:

  • When I look at things happening TO me, I lose energy, lack creativity, and allow myself to feel that people and circumstances control me..
  • When I recognize that these events are coming FROM me, I can step back, see what I need to change within myself, and feel able to transform my situation for the better

Experiment with this approach and see how it can enhance your life and those around you.

Have a great weekend,
Anita