Finding opportunity in our reality

Life rarely goes according to plan, does it? This is especially true in our careers. As we move up the ladder, we gain more influence but our widening scope includes more variables that can steer our ship in unforeseen and unwanted directions — away from our intended targets. The position we dreamed of doesn’t materialize. The project we heralded gets bogged down in politics and bureaucracy.

There’s an old adage — don’t waste a good crisis — that encourages us to take those moments of chaos to usher in change faster than we could during more stable periods. I’d argue that we don’t have to wait for crisis to find our opportunities. We just have to effectively see the opportunity in our reality, even when that reality isn’t what we envisioned.

Continue reading Finding opportunity in our reality

Starting the day with intention

When I was apartment hunting in 2014, east and west facing windows were high on the list of requirements. I need to clearly see the crack of dawn and end of light of each day. It’s an important time for me, rejuvenating and restorative. The morning light stirs my mind and spirit as I grind the beans for my morning coffee. These moments are an alignment of sorts where I decide what kind of day it’s going to be. Yes, the events of the day may collude to collide with that decision, but my intention prevails more often than not.

Being intentional about personal effectiveness

I manage my time and balance the activities in my life perfectly so that I can achieve my goals.

Does the above statement ring close to true for you? It certainly doesn’t for me.

Despite that, I found myself in front of 30 or so professionals last week talking about time management. It’s funny how we become expert at things, isn’t it? Not in a thousand years did I ever think I’d be the expert in the room when it comes to using time effectively. If those in attendance could see the amount of wasted time in my daily life, they’d have demanded the impostor leave the room.  Continue reading Being intentional about personal effectiveness

Happy on purpose

Just the other day, someone very close to me asked me if I was happy. To me, happiness is nothing more than an incidental side effect, perhaps an aggregation of emotion that stems from feeling like we are doing what we’re supposed to do. I don’t really strive for it, but rather just know it will occur as the result of fulfilling my individual mission statement.

For me, it stems from seeing evidence that I’m having a positive impact in the lives around me, from leaving a better world in my wake. It also builds when I take the time to appreciate the utter phenomenon the world is already.

When the world is as tumultuous and chaotic as ours, I have to look a little deeper into the nooks and crannies for that evidence and focus more on the little things that I can do to make a difference.

Getting out of a negative rut

If we worry, creating more unease and anxiety, we become stellar worriers since our brain is responding, making it easier for us to worry each time we do it, thus creating our default mode living.

While I’m generally someone who finds silver linings in almost any bad predicament, I know I can get stuck in a negative rut (especially when it comes to our current politics!)

We all need a good rant when people and situations challenge us. The danger lives when these rants become our daily outlook.

Software doesn’t solve problems

Part of my job is to help identify those systems and tools that will increase efficiency and effectiveness in our organization. So many times, we’ll hear the refrain, “it’s not working” and throw the system or tool out in favor of the next best thing. What we often miss, though, is the question, “Why is it not working?”

A lot of the time, it’s because the tool doesn’t fit in the culture or work ethic of those using it.

As I said to a colleague recently, “Software doesn’t solve problems. Software helps YOU solve problems.”