• Retro Thursday: 5 Best Ways to Stay Motivated

    This is a guest post I wrote for Wave Accounting a while back and thought I would resurrect it for old time's sake. Back then the intended audience was small business owners, but these tips work for anyone seeking a boost. 

    Image via Pinterest

    5 Best Ways to Stay Motivated 

    You started your small business with tons of passion, but lately, you’re wondering where the love went. If this seems familiar, here are five strategies that will help you get your motor running again. 

    1. Refocus on the BIG Picture

     Often, we get so busy in the day-to-day operations that we lose sight of the big picture and this can leave us feeling unclear and directionless. To get you back on course:

    • Think back to when you were starting up your business. What inspired you?
    • What do you feel most proud about your business?
    • What, if anything has changed since you began?
    • Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years?
    • What is getting in the way?

     2. Minimize Energy-Sucking Tasks

     If you want to target your energy more effectively, start:

    • Tracking the day-to-day tasks and activities that you are doing.
    • Paying attention to what you love, hate or feel indifferently about.
    • Observing how much time you are spending on things that are boring or unchallenging.
    • Switching it up. When are you the most productive?
    • Adding more of what you love to do and see how that ignites your desire to get things accomplished.

    3. Delegate/Reassign/Outsource

     Take an inventory of your core functions and responsibilities.

    • What can you delegate or reassign? Who else can help you? Who likes to do the work you loathe?
    • Maybe it’s time to invest in some virtual support. You might be surprised to learn how much time and money you can save by focusing more on what you do well and let others take care of the things that get in YOUR way of running an efficient and prosperous business.

     4. Reassess Your Goals

     Goals are a proven effective tool to help you stay focused and on top of your game.

    • What processes do you have in place to monitor your short-term, mid-range and long-term goals?
    • If you haven’t set any goals, start.
    • Establish a regular practice of taking time out to do an inventory of your accomplishments and challenges.
    • Make adjustments based upon what you have learned.
    • Celebrate your successes!

     5. Network and Play

     It’s important to find balance in whatever you do.

    • Chances are you’re not alone, so connect with others in your business community and tap into their wisdom. Most people look for opportunities to share their experiences and want to help you be successful. 
    • If you’re tired and run down your ability to bounce back will become compromised, so build in time to play,  (yes, play) and feel reinvigorated.

    Thought Challenge: What do you do to get back on track? How can a coach can help you? What is holding you back?

  • Sunday Space

    It's a lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon and what am I doing? Catching-up on my reading, watching TED Talk videos and doing the dreaded (but necessary) task of paperwork and bill payments.

    A classmate from Royal Roads created a blog called Glow and Grow, and I want to share it with you. Ailie posted this TED Talk on mindfulness that I think is perfect for today's Sunday Space.

     


    While we're at it, can I tempt your interpersonal tastebuds to consider how you engage others socially and professionally? Check out How 4 Words Control Your Career Decisions

    Image via Pinterest


    Thought Challenge: What do you like to do?
  • Saturday and the Stereophonics

    I came across these two music videos by the Stereophonics. Each film blends thought-provoking lyrics, music and imagery that takes me in and out of the shadows of darkness and into the light of human possibility. 

    Violins & Tambourines

     

    In a Moment


    Thought Challenge: Where do you turn for help when you feel yourself in the shadows? What does it take to allow yourself a moment to pause and consider the implications of something you have said or done, or are about to do or say? How can you help yourself break through old beliefs that no longer serve you? What is possible when you are open to looking at things differently? 
  • Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

    As we await the outcome of the Mayan calendar take a moment to celebrate the connections you have with your family, friends, and fellow human beings. Accept what is, express gratitude for lessons learned...and DANCE like it's the end of the world.

     



  • Flow

    The Deep Dive
    Written by Teresa Belluz for The Art of Purposeful Living

    Gently and effortlessly she dives deep within
    Waves of silence surround her
    Detached, she waits and listens 
     Peace at last
    Flow


    Photograph: Inspire First

    Thought Challenge: What helps you focus on the here and now? What do you notice about yourself when you are "in the moment"?

  • Sunday Space

    A beautiful film illustrating what is possible when we let go of fear and dare to engage all living beings from a place of love and mutuality. 

     

  • The Cost of Playing It Safe

    I have a friend who works for a bully. It's an awful situation. Sure, there are policies about respectful workplace and harassment, yet in reality very little is done to address the bad behaviours of employees in the work environment. The higher up the employee, it seems the less likely there will be an intervention. Why is that? I think it's a systemic attitude of denial and benign neglect, or cordial hypocrisy (Solomon and Flores, 2003). 


    Photograph: Li Wei

    Our culture is so invested in work and what people think about us, that it has paralyzed our ability to speak freely and live authentically. Externally driven values and rewards that honour performance objectives, profits, and cost efficiencies rule the day.

    In a low-trust organization, fear and anxiety are contagious emotions that have a powerful influence over people's thinking and behaviours. It increases absenteeism rates and creates a work atmosphere that is based on survival rather than generating thriving, innovative communities of creativity and collaboration.


    Image: Piccsy

    Contrary to how this post began, this isn't about righting the wrongs of the bully or providing solutions for how to change organizational culture. It's more personal. This is a reminder about living from a place of believing in yourself.

    Everyday you and I face situations in which we can make a decision to play it safe, or we can take a risk and trust our inner feelings and the little voice that knows.

    Yes, it's uncomfortable to trust in a feeling. There is no magic involved. It takes conscious effort and practice. The more we step out of our comfort zone the more we learn about ourselves and the stronger and more resilient we become. Have I reached this as a natural way of being? No, but I'm working on it, and I invite you to join me on this journey.


    Photograph: Wayne Levin

    Thought Challenge: When and where do you feel the most connected to your true self? In what ways do you play it safe? What are the costs of not believing in yourself? What is one thing that you can do to tap into your intuitive mind?




  • Creativity and the Comparison Game


    day and night by fotolympus

    I first posted about Dr. Brené Brown and her book The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), here . I just finished reading a chapter on creativity and comparison. She tells of a friend "who always says that 'Comparison is the thief of happiness'" (p. 95). Can you hear the loud gonging noise rattling my brain? Right, thanks for the reminder...again. Sigh.  

    When you find yourself being pulled down by the weight of keeping up with whom ever or what ever, how does that influence how you feel and think about yourself? This "not good enough" state can be insidious in its ways of shifting our consciousness. 

    Brené writes that "Creativity...is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared. And, without comparison, concepts like ahead or behind or best or worst lose their meaning."(p. 97).

    By building self-awareness and recognizing when we're being stalked by the comparison thief, we can thwart its attempts to drag us back into a "scarcity" mindset. 

    Thought Challenge: Many of us at one time or another get caught up in the comparison game. Take a moment to reflect on the circumstances when this is likely to creep up on you. What are some strategies you can use to help you shift into gratitude? What are your creativity weapons? What is one step you can take to connect to your creative power?



  • Sunday Space: No Regrets


    "Road to No Regret": Phillipe Sainte-Laudy

    I am quickly approaching my fiftieth year and I seem to be even more introspective than usual. Never mind that every chronological milestone is now overshadowed by the events of "9/11" also known as September 11th or MY birthday. However, birthdays, especially double-digit changeovers, provide us with an opportunity to take stock on where we're at in life, to examine the triumphs, obstacles and experiences that got us to right now.


    Image via Pinterest

    More to the point, I have been thinking about what it means to live a life without regret. Every now and then I find myself criticizing or judging myself for the choices and actions I have taken in my life, engaging in the language of "shoulda", "coulda", and "woulda". Ugh...just writing those words has a deflating effect.


    Photo via Flickr

    Today, in honour of my up and coming birthday, I am taking note of the defining moments from the past 10 years. My successes, challenges, and stuff yet to be discovered. I will be asking myself "what have I learned and how I have changed as a result?", and then I'm going to start defining what the next 10 years of a life without regret will look like.

    Thought Challenge: So, tell me...what does it mean to you to live a life fulfilled? How will you accept all that you have been and done? What does it take to live a life without regret? How will you know?


    Image via 2photo.ru