Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Letting Go of Familiarity

"It is, after all, the responsibility of the expert to operate the familiar and that of the leader to transcend it."
~ Henry A. Kissinger
American diplomat and political scientist. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as United States Secretary of State in the administrations of presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. 
(b. 1923)

With the start of a new year, there are a few choices to make about planning for, and anticipating, the next twelve months. Okay, there are often many choices to make as we anticipate hanging a new calendar with hope!

Often a choice we ignore or simply do not consider, is one of deciding what familiar habits, people, processes, and feelings do we want to continue to embrace, and what familiar habits, people, processes, and feelings do we want to exit from our lives, or minimally eliminate the expectations around them.

Some people, some experiences, some things in which we participate, are so familiar to us that we do not even realize the impact they have on us - positively or negatively. By making time now, right now, to do the following, there are ways to assess, address, and let go:
1) Review your last year's calendar and make a list of the people, the events, the organizations, the habits that take the most time and/or energy.
2) Consider a five-point scale for satisfaction (5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, with no partial points) with person, event, organization, habit without regard for others or what you believe you "should" do or what is expected of you.
3) Put all the 1s and 2s on a list. Put all the 4s and 5s on a different list. Put all the 3s on a list.
4) For the 4s and 5s, make time to call, email, or text whomever is affiliated, and thank someone what's transpired, and reiterate your commitment/relationship.
5) For the 1s and 2s, make time to call, email, or text whomever is affiliated, and thank someone what's transpired, and share your time and interests have changed, and that you will not be as engaged moving forward (yes, even with, and especially with, people). This is not about ignoring people or situations, rather addressing them kindly and professionally. An example is: "Hi Tod, this is Debbie. Hope all is going well. Is this a good time to talk for a couple minutes about some things we've been involved in recently?"..."Thanks so much for being a friend for happy hours and the movies last year. We had some enjoyable times, didn't we?"...With my focus on school and fitness this year, please know I will likely attend few happy hours or movies."..."When we see each other out, or on social media, I'll be sending positive energy, and wish you the best!"..."Thanks again! Here's to a great quarter!"
6) For the 3s, make time to determine what would push it to a 4 or 5, and commit to doing that.
7) Schedule time in/on your calendar for 3s, 4s, and 5s, in order to move the 3s to 4s or 5s, and maintain the 4s and 5s.

While this may seem like a task, think of the results you will get! By investing time and energy now, you'll look forward to the familiar things you want to keep in your life, and not dread or avoid those familiar things you don't seek more of this year.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Replace Cocky with COOL

With the year of the Rooster upon us, it's a time to be like the rooster, a sign of of fidelity and punctuality. Sadly, when we miss these things, we can be perceived as cocky. Instead of being the cocky rooster, let's go for being the cool bird through:

C - Confidence - Be confident in yourself, and confident in others. Without confidence in others, people can seem cocky. Believing others have abilities can be cool.
O - Offer - Offer a positive comment or compliment to someone you meet. Be sincere. Without sincerity, offers can seem overstated and cocky. With admiration of others, you can be cool.
O - Open - Open your mind, your eyes, and your body language to others. Without staying willing to consider other things, people and ideas, your presence can seem cocky. Cool people are open people.
L - Listen - Listen to others and surroundings. People who talk a lot...too much, can seem cocky, where those who listen to learn are welcoming and cool.

When you are aware of not being cocky, you can be COOL...cool in your demeanor, cool in your approach, cool in your approachability, and cool in your loyalty and timeliness!