Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Lesson from Kindness Encounters!

While I am happy to be a part of many groups and organizations, it is interesting to see what people will promote or devote time to online.

One of the communities I am in focuses on KINDNESS. Oh, that is right up my alley, so it was exciting to get invited to be connected there!

With everything happening in the world, where it seems like some people are more concerned with hoarding than being considerate, it seemed this group would be a super reprieve for these "odd days".

I shared in that private group that my new hashtag is #KindnessNeedNotBeQuarantined and posted the hashtag there with a story about a trip to Costco and being nice to one another.

Someone took a shot at that by posting that I was taking jobs from workers by moving the carts out of the way in the parking lot. I thought, like I typically do, that she had the right to her view, and opted not to reply. It made me sad, though, as this person who was approved and/or invited in, was so quick to attack, and so fast to abandon kindness.

What I learned there was that some people believe kindness or being nice or considerate is ONLY the way they define it. Sadly, they are being judgmental, and in effect, not at kind in their ways.

So, please, let's be kind, even if that means not agreeing or not responding. After all, kindness and judgment are not adjacent, they are opposing mindsets...and kindness guides growth where judgment simply limits!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Removing the un in unLUCKY!

During these times of feeling uncertain, uneasy, and even unlucky in situations, scheduling and even in life, in general,
make the most of your opportunities through the use of LUCKY-ness, meaning:

L - Limiting negativity and supposition,
U - Understanding your need for rest and rejuvenation (and honoring it),
C - Creating a community that supports one another,
K - Keeping a perspective on what IS going well and how to maintain it,
Y - Yielding not to the temptation of panic and paranoia.

When you own the unLUCKY, you can own the LUCKY, and therefore, remove the "un" in the way you handle your path and position!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Lesson from LinkedIn

This year, I vowed to expand my network in savvy, professional ways including attending South Tampa Chamber luncheons and accepting everyone (with a profile picture) on LinkedIn. Making connections on LinkedIn seems like a solid approach to enhance my contacts for learning and idea-sharing. With that, nearly 200 invitations have been accepted so far as of this update.

Of those 200 "connections", I have received 29 solicitations. And, when I say solicitations, I mean true solicitations...and nearly all of them were sent immediately...

What a lesson learned!

That lack of true interest in learning about me or one another and the attack on my senses was a huge turnoff. These messages ranged from insulting the number of connections I have to insisting I probably "needed" to take a workshop on Public Speaking since that person said "you seem like you want to be a speaker", and others offered to get me my "1st Gig". Really? That's the approach people are taking? Wow! Does that work? I wondered, and yet the thoughtless messages just kept coming.

In fairness, a couple of them had some business approaches that could work, meaning they addressed that we hadn't met yet, and shared a little about themselves. Still, not one of them did any research. I am not sure if more than one or two even read my full LinkedIn profile! I feel 100% confident that nobody Googled my name!

Imagine if we saw an ad for spending 5 minutes to be doubly productive - most of us would listen or even buy-in, right? Googling someone after seeing a potential business match is a way to productively attempt to really connect business-wise.

So the lesson learned about LinkedIn is that while I will still accept connections, I do, and will also continue to send the following response to the impersonal messages:

Hello Name!

Thank you for your outreach.

Since we have not met, and you may or may not have fully read my LinkedIn profile, please consider a message such as yours, in particular, so quickly after my acceptance of your connection, comes across as a cold solicitation.

Respectfully, I am not interested.

Here's wishing you the best in your business pursuits,

And then, I remove the connection. While technology and being linked are both important, being truly connected is even more "In"!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

For the LOVE of Love!

Since it is the month of LOVE, how do we embrace love instead of being lonely if love doesn't serve us well, find us on the 14th of February, or if love simply doesn't seem as romantic as in books, on other people's social media, or the movies?

It's not easy, rather here are four simple (easy and simple are very different) approaches to fill your heart and mind with loving approaches to life.

For the LOVE of love, and for the best way to embrace LOVE please consider the following:

L - Look at people and situations for what they are, and not what you want them to be, or wish they would be. Seeing individuals and circumstances in the eye of reality means approaches can be taken, plans can be made, and expectations can be set in a way that will likely not disappoint in the future (even if you are a bit disappointed at the first true view of things and folks). Looking from a place of "right now" means you can set the stage right for love!

O- Open your eyes, mind and heart to possibilities. Be aware, yes, and be willing, too. Openness can create challenges and discomfort, and yet through openness comes opportunity and through opportunity comes growth. Opening your horizons to new activities, new people, and newness overall can create new hope! Hope springs eternal when we are open to love!

V - Vulnerability-ize yourself, meaning instead of protecting yourself from the unknown, take chances in words, actions, plans, and outreaches. Push yourself to do something different, something that dares you to explore. It doesn't have to be big first, and yet that can grow into many more explorations. Through being vulnerable, there is a risk that you can get hurt, and yet with vulnerability can come a love...a love for a new hobby, place, person or more!

E - Embrace all you already have. Sometimes the feeling of a lull in love or lack of love means a slight shift away from appreciation. Embracing life, friends, family, your home, your health and more, allows for a warm heart and an opportunity for more gratitude. And, embracing the idea of loving what you've received and created is embracing the idea of more love!

So, Valentine's week or not, consider the look, the openness, the vulnerability, and the embracing of you and your life...for your LOVE of love!

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Lesson from the Parking Lot

Carts in parking lots have consistently perplexed me. Call me crazy, it seems simple: use a cart, empty a cart, return the cart to the store or cart corral.

Still, month by month (admittedly, Michael does the grocery shopping for us), I see people leave carts in the aisles of the parking lot, against cars, up on grassy areas, and many places other than in the store's designated areas.

I was frustrated. I moaned and groaned about it. It was exasperation at its finest (or at its worst, really)...

Even though it was my goal to take in many carts, I did it out of flabbergastedness (not that it is a word).

This month, the start of a new year and new decade, it dawned on me that this is my issue. This is my challenge (of many for growth), and it was decided that a new approach would be best.

I did just that.

Oh, I still take in the carts for others. Instead of being snitty or covert, I see that person, acknowledge them as a person who perhaps has a lot on his/her plate, smile and say something similar to "Hello. May I please take that in for you?". The responses have been interesting. Some people seem "caught" and they apologize, and now I sincerely let them know I am happy to do it. Others seem happy to be acknowledged at all. Still, many (I've been at the store more intentionally) give a genuine "Thank you", and, in turn, share a genuine "You're welcome!".

While I am still not "cured" of my near-obsession with people and carts, shifting approaches from one of irritability to service has made the difference in how my Emotional Intelligence, care, and empathy seem to be serving myself and others.

So, if you see me pushing one, two, or yes, even up to four carts in at Publix or Costco, know that this is a form of restitution and joy from a self-inflicted tortured soul to a self-aware serving soul!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Getting Back on Track Post-Holidays

With the trees and menorahs put away, and the Happy New Year greetings capturing our energy and interest, the holiday hangover can be real!
So, how do you get back on track after the holidays, or any break? Please consider these four steps to regaining focus, purpose and enthusiasm for what you are going to accomplish:
  1. Make a list of all your previous accomplishments and a list of things for which you are grateful
  2. Clean/clear out your space – whether that be physical or electronic – make that a priority, as a clean space is a productive space
  3. Make a list of goals and stretch goals that are specific and measurable with time frames tied to the accomplishments without the words more, better, less, etc, as this is about being accountable to success not just subjective hopes
  4. Calendar activities that will get you to results and plan time for reflection and unexpected happenings, and follow your calendar as a guide to empower and not a list to restrict. Build in rewards for your accomplishments in order to feel and see the success.
When you are distracted or down, go back to the lists and calendar and keep moving forward based on previous wins as you plan for continued growth!