Tuesday, December 28, 2021

It's a WRAP!

 If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up in person. 

~ Ralph Bunche


You may have recently wrapped presents, wrapped up your work for the year, and/or be wrapping up the calendar year 2021...or all three!

This is a time of year for closing out as you look forward, too.

How to do that, and do that well? Knowing that's a WRAP can work well with these four steps:

W - Weigh the progress you have made as self versus self and as your result versus the goal over thinking of self versus others or results versus everyone else's results.

R - Recollect what has gone well during the year, and collect thoughts on what you want to go smoothly and successfully in the new year as you review what could have gone more smoothly and what to improve going forward.

A - Appreciate what you did, your choices and those around you as you think about what and who influenced your decisions and your outcomes.

P - Present your progress and share with those who were a part of it all in order to include them without boasting and realize your accomplishments without downplaying how collaboration can assist you.

When you WRAP up an experience, a project, or even a year, you can also set up for the next opportunity when you look at weighing, recollecting, appreciating, and presenting about you and beyond you!

#ProfessionalDevemopment #PersonalDevelopment  #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Lessons Learned from Mowing the Lawn!

 The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way. 

~ Keanu Reeves


Even though nearly all of our street-mates and other neighbors have a lawn service, Michael and I mow our yard each week (or twice a week in the Summer).

That may surprise you or simply not interest you. Either way is understandable, as that is only part of the story...

The rest of the story is that one of us mows it each time. The person who mows is the person who lost to the other at golf that week. Or, another way to look at it is that the person who won, does not mow the lawn that week!

Because golf is a fair game with handicaps and tee that relate to those handicaps, it is a sport for the ages and for nearly all who want to play it. The fairness allows for Michael and me to truly compete through injuries, obstacles, and across the state, the country, and into other countries!

With all the blades cut over the years, much has presented itself, and here are a few lessons from mowing the lawn:

1) Being competitive means winning and losing and that a win or a loss does not make any one person a winner or a loser overall!

2) Being outside, for golf, and for mowing, is a joy in itself, and even if mowing means golf perhaps wasn't stellar, it does mean we got to golf, and for that, we certainly can be grateful.

3) Extra steps are extra steps, and those bonus steps mean health-mindedness can be a way of accepting the time spent paying off a debt!

4) Mowing is growing if we let it be, as that simple time can be a chance to reflect on the round, what went well and what was missed, so the beauty made from mowing can be a byproduct of the reflection, and the insights on the game can be the byproduct of the mowing.

Similar to my lessons learned from lawn mowing, we can learn lessons in life, such as having perspective on wins, enjoying our environment, keeping health a priority, and maintaining personal growth!

#ProfessionalDevemopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness  #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp

Monday, November 29, 2021

Keeping the HAPPY in Happy Holidays

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

~ Earl Nightingale

Many have opinions on saying "Merry Christmas", "Happy Hanukkah" and "Happy Holidays", and that is up to each individual to share and say what is in their heart and on their mind depending on the timing and situation.

It reminds me of being wished "Happy Mother's Day" as a person with only four-legged "children", I say "Thank you", as it still is good to be happy on any day, and what the heck, I'll gladly take the well-wishes on such a special day. It's tough to get me to fight off an upbeat message meant with good cheer!

Anyway, that is not what this tip is about, and it is not a religious take on any of these wonderful comments and wishes, rather this is about how to keep (or bring, if it seems like it hasn't been there) the HAPPY in the holidays and the holiday season.

Please consider the following for your own version of HAPPY holidays:

H - Have awareness of the fact that traditions are simply obligations in disguise if you don't want to do them and that it is okay to change what happens this year

A - Appreciate what is being done around you and who is making time to be with you rather than being annoyed with what hasn't happened or who is not around (and share that appreciation freely and often)

P - Plan time for rest so that your time celebrating is really the best it can be, and so that the experiences are engaging over draining you

P - Prepare yourself for someone or something not acting or responding how you thought they would

Y - Yield to nobody if you really want to do something, as doing something alone can be enjoyable in a new, unexpected way

Instead of holding your breath for something to not go wrong, or getting through a gathering, this keeping the HAPPY in the holidays means you come from gratitude with a positive attitude to be there, and be glad for the opportunities this month!

#ProfessionalDevemopment #PersonalDevelopment #PerformanceCoaching #Kind #OneBeanerPerformanceCoach #LivingKindly #KindnessIsMyOwnSuperpower #Kindness #CoachsCorner #WorkdayWakeUp

Debbie@DebbieLundberg.com 813.494.4438 DebbieLundberg.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Lessons Learned: Tales from Travels To and Fro!

While travel may never be the same as it was before March of 2020, travel is available, and it has been good to be able to travel personally, and it has been wonderful to get to travel for business!

With masks and mandates, here are some lessons learned:

1) Arrive early, as many more people are traveling domestically than seemed to have been doing so in 2019 and previously, and with many getting TSA Pre-Check, even those lines can be the fullest they've ever been!

2) Consider that most people are uncomfortable in their masks and feel encumbered, so high patience and a high tolerance for others is not mandatory, yet it will likely serve your nerves and experience well. On a similar note, please make sure your mask fits, smells good, and is something you will not be fussing with for hours, as your comfort impacts your mood and your mood affects your communication effectiveness!

3) Earbuds and sound-canceling anything(s) are highly recommended, as some people think having their videos on without their sound being only sent to them is okay, and others feel compelled to be vocal about how unhappy they are in their mask, and still, others simply have to speak more loudly to convey their message through their mask

4) Take food and buy non-alcoholic drinks for the flight, and please skip the heavy garlic and onions, as that take-on food can be very lasting on odor for the rest of us!

Remember, you are getting to travel, and that is progress in perspective/comparison to the recent past, and with that consideration, whatever is happening is temporary, and fortunately, you'll be where you are going (home or elsewhere) soon enough with being little worse for wear, if you embrace these lessons learned while en route!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Lessons Learned: Being an Introverted Extrovert

Introverts can act as Extroverts for a short time. Extroverts are typically more challenged when faced with the Invtrovert's environment. While I am an Extrovert, sometimes there are moments, hours, and days of introversion that are enjoyable and productive.

Even though Extroverts are often thought of as vocal and Introverts are perceived as quiet, that is not exactly true. Typically, Extroverts gain energy from being around others, where Introverts regain energy from rest or being alone.

What have I learned from these sometimes chosen blocks, and other times unexpected experiences? Here are a few points noted that may assist Extroverts and Introverts alike in engaging:

Not all extroverts are huggers. Watch that as an extrovert, we don't assume someone welcomes our approach. This was seen during the pandemic, in particular when seeing someone and that person said: "I am a hugger" and came at me when I was not interested in crossing the 6-foot-barrier, let alone embracing this stranger!

The Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO, can be redirected to what I call JOCO, or the Joy of Celebrating Others. Feeling out of touch can be disappointing, and when taking on the mindset of celebrating others before scrolling social media, or listening to someone's story, will make that extroversion become an extra excited supporter of you, rather than an extra bummed bystander!

Taking breaks for Extroverts creates a sense of not being stuck or trapped, and even feeling less alone. While working solo, plan for a phone call or video conference, or meeting at strategic times of the day to gain energy.

Be aware, note, and keep in mind where you draw energy and who/what drains your energy. Similarly, know your strongest energy times of day/night, and work to have your biggest challenges and opportunities scheduled during those times, if possible. As an extreme morning person (someone who likes being up before 5:00 AM), I respect and appreciate that others do not want to meet then, so I work out then with positive people for starting strong and capitalizing on that block of time.

Since we are all either gaining or draining from experiences with others, consider whether you are Extroverted or Introverted to maximize your choices!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Staying Positive in the Face of Negativity (and during the extended holiday season)

Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness.
~ William E. Gladstone

If you will consider, and even embrace the idea that the American HOLIDAY SEASON is from October 15th - February 15th, then you may start to be excited, anticipatory, stressed, concerned, or all of these all at once!

The reason for that is our expectations and anticipation of the holidays often falls short of reality, and yet each year, hope springs that desire to have the perfect holiday season, and stressors and worry start working in the background, and even come to the forefront during what is supposed to be a celebratory block of months, clouding the bright lights with complaints and disappointment!

While I get asked about facing negativity at all times of the year, during the next four months, typically, those inquiries increase. So, here are some ways to avoid negativity as you stay positive moving through the rest of the year:

Start the day with a smile at the sound of your alarm (I do it - felt corny when this came to my mind as a new habit, and now, it works to lift my face and energy)

Associate feet hitting the ground with gratitude, in other words, state internally, if others are sleeping, and externally, if you won't wake up someone else, something for which you are grateful

Have a routine that serves you well to start the day strong (I do 100 push-ups)

Keep rest, nourishment, movement, and mindset in focus (this is a talk I give often, and just spoke of it for the Dress for Success Ronda Shear Pajama Party)

Assess your habits for being well-serving, neutral, and not-well-serving in order to push toward well-serving habits

Engage with people and organizations that are optimistically realistic or realistically optimistic, and not those with toxic negativity, martyrs, or toxic positivity

Check in to ensure you are doing YOUR best, and not competing with others, rather solely with yourself that day with what you have then, and go from there

Limit your news and exposure, not to be uninformed, rather to be aware and tempered for the way it impacts you

Take action based on what you learn and can contribute rather than see what you can't do

Be present, and when you get distracted, weigh the cost of distraction versus the value of "being there"

If you set yourself up for success, it does not mean every day will be flawless, and certainly not perfect, rather, you will care to be aware, and you will then dare to spare yourself from excessive and unnecessary negativity!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Lessons Learned: Insights from 48 Rounds of Golf this Year!

Golfer or not, you may appreciate this:

Playing 60-75 rounds of golf per year is a joy...wrapped in and/or riddled with excitement, beauty, and even occasional frustration!

This year, golf has been such a sound and safe outlet, to the point that each round has had a special place in my heart, my memory, and some, in my learnings!!

Here are some of the Golf-to-Life observations:

1) Some courses play differently than others on the links. No matter how long, short, or goofy of a time doing something you enjoy may be, it is a privilege to get to be there, so be present and appreciate it!

2) Much like there is sometimes slow play in golf, there are slow days in life, so instead of getting impatient, get focused on something to do at that moment (or minutes of delay).

3) Golf is a game of formality and tradition. No matter how you are dressed (golf attire can be quite colorful and/or casual), good manners and etiquette are to be followed!

4) There is honor in owning a good shot and respect in recovering from a bad shot in golf, and in life, there is honor in being proud without being vain or conceited, as there is a respect in overcoming a mistake with an apology with correction.

There are surely many more! Those four stood out for the time we are in, and likely because this entire year has seen a lot of people acting very different from how they were before, or how others anticipated they'd be.

Whether you are a golfer or not, these four considerations: be present, mind the time mindfully, practice good manners, and own your actions and outcomes, are quite likely an empowering combination for your upcoming experiences!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The Why Ways!

While wondering the why, sharing the why, and respecting the why of people, projects and organizations, is tremendously important, knowing the most appropriate way of getting to that why, is absolutely imperative!

The why is the purpose, the why is the drive, and sometimes, with some people, the why is the way.

What is this "Why Ways", then?

Why Ways work like this:

  • Think of "why" as purpose, reason, or driver.
  • Articulate the why with yourself
  • Communicate the why with others
  • Do not ask people "Why?", rather get them to the purpose, reason, or driver without the question "Why...(anything)?"
    • Ask to understand what the person values, what the person anticipates happening, what the expectations are
    • Inquire to learn how the person sees the outcome, how the person arrived at the decision, how to move forward

The Why Ways are a lot about the ways of the whys, meaning the way why questions impact us.

Even though gaining insight into the "why" empowers us, the act of being asked "Why?" does not. Instead, that quick quip of judging tone and impression makes us feel as though explaining, or even defending, is in order when the seemingly simple inquisitive word "Why?" is posed as a question.

Embracing the importance of WHY without creating an environment that can lose sight of the reason and purpose is possible, and with consistency, even probable!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Building Self-Esteem through Feedback

 Fairly often people say to me "I am afraid to give any feedback anymore" or "Our employees cannot take feedback - they don't want it!".

While it may feel like one or both of those statements is what you are thinking or living, those statements are polarizing, and they will not advance relationships and/or businesses.

Instead of thinking about the negative side of feedback, please think about the positive side of it, and how feedback delivered properly, and therefore, received well, can build self-esteem.

We often talk about, focus on, and encourage/demand self-confidence, yet self-confidence is circumstantial, where self-esteem is at someone's core. For example, I have high self-esteem, belief in my ability to understand, present well, learn, and grow. That does not go away. I have high self-confidence in speaking, coaching, golfing, and hosting events because, in those environments, I have the exposure, the experience, and the expertise that provide me with many ways to contribute.

The realities related to self-esteem and self-confidence are many, and two of them are that self-esteem is something we can coach to about a person, and self-confidence is gained by layering it on circumstantially, specifically, on top of self-esteem. So, giving feedback is key to raising self-esteem, and eventually, self-confidence for most people.

An approach to providing feedback to build self-esteem is to follow these steps/approaches:

1) Be clear that your idea-sharing is feedback to move forward.

2) Share that your ideas are coaching, not criticism.

3) Ensure that feedback is a loop and not only 1-way.

4) Ask and respect how each person with whom you are engaging prefers feedback: in writing, in-person, immediately, at scheduled times.

5) Learn the type of coaching each person seeks: written to understand on their own, shown & left to their own ways to practice, shown, then they do it, or working on it collaboratively start-to-finish.

6) State a goal for a coaching and/or feedback session with the person receiving the coaching and/or feedback.

7) Importantly, close out the session by asking and hearing how the person feels, thinks, and wants to move forward.

This type of feedback is the way to build self-esteem for the person, which then can be a foundation for building self-confidence in situations and in areas of experience. And, when we focus on self-esteem, the whole person is included, and that is what/who we bring to each relationship and work assignment, after all!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Lessons Learned: Observations from Keynoting in 2021

 As grateful as I am to have been able to give away a lot of remote work content in 2020, it was good to (finally) get back to keynoting to kick off a full conference this month!

Was I excited? Yes! Was I nervous? Yes! Was this different? No, there's consistently excitement and nerves because I am grateful and care, and yet these feelings of excitement were intensified and the sense of nerves was about remembering the ways to give the audience the best so they did not miss out.

Please don't get me wrong, each engagement over the 15 years of business is special, has my gratitude, and gets some nerves for ensuring all is outstanding. This July, though, was a return to a full hotel, full conference, and fully lighted stage production, and that was WONDERFULLY familiar and a HAPPY RETURN to a scene that was once far more typical in a day, week, or month.

The lessons learned included the following:

  • It's still the responsibility of the speaker (me, in this case) to engage, entertain, keep attention, stay on time, and give meaningful, sincere tips!
  • Sincerely engaging and story-telling are now, more than ever, the way people relate to messaging.
  • People are genuinely excited to be in a room seeing and feeling someone speak and connect, and allowing time for people to share has expanded, as the interest and desire to be seen and heard has grown, so don't rush people, and plan to stick around after.
  • Gratitude, kindness, and grace have not, and will not, go out of fashion or style on or off the stage!

So, if you have the opportunity to speak, do, and give from your heart, energy, and expertise freely, with practice, preparation, and anticipation of the enjoyment you and the audience will have!

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Importance of Rest

 "A holiday is an opportunity to journey within. It is also a chance to chill, to relax. It is when I switch on my rest mode."

~ Prabhas

Many people say things like "I'll sleep when I'm dead", or "There's no rest for the wicked". I've even joked with those thoughts and comments in the past...

Still, rest is absolutely essential, and rest is what this article is all about. Rest is valuable and impactful in three ways - physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Rest is not simply sleeping, although sleep is a form of rest. Sleep, good, sound sleep, is the form of rest that impacts us physically. Make sleep a part of your schedule. You would not miss an appointment at work, or at a service provider, so what makes it okay to skip sleep? Nothing. Sure, we rationalize it as something we can do without, and yet it is the one thing that is a foundation for so much more. When sleep is not prioritized, there is no rest for the body, and that leads to a lack of rest for the mind.

Rest for the mind, or the mental break can come when sleeping (although the subconscious mind is still working), and it can also come when meditating, or quietly sitting and letting thoughts be still. That stillness has great value in resting and recharging creativity and purpose, direction, and clarity. Being able to rest one's mental state is a way of allowing calm and even openness. That type of rest is also what can lead to emotional strength. When mental rest is not embraced, there is an emotional unevenness that may take over in a way that is not positive nor productive.

Rest for your emotions is a layering on top of the mental side of quietness, as resting emotions means you are not ignoring or medicating your emotions. When you have sleep, and you have mental breaks, you can rest your emotions by checking in on your emotions to understand, appreciate, celebrate and/or reconcile them. Should emotional rest and reflection not be allowed in a regular pattern, there may be things said or done that are regretted and/or regrettable.

So now you see, and hopefully feel, that rest is a necessary gift to give yourself each day in the ways that you can, and will, strengthen yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally through the approaches your take to tune into you as you tune out others and other's demands along with the distractions of life in order to get rest to be your best!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Lessons Learned: Flying without Earbuds

 "Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

With air travel back in full swing, and many missed 2020 trips rescheduled, I found myself on a plane again, yet out of practice for my typical in-flight packing, meaning there I was with no magazines and without earbuds.

Clearly, that was not devastating, and yet there were unexpected lessons learned by hearing and seeing so much en route to Wisconsin golf, including:

  1. "Please" and "thank you" are neither dated nor overrated, and they are best, used over and over sincerely
  2. Smiles go a long way in tight quarters
  3. Saying "excuse me" is far better than pointing
  4. Speak to yourself out loud like your best friend would speak with when you're challenged by something or someone (such as not being able to get your bag in the overhead)
  5. Having empathy means giving others grace for their possible nerves and discomfort with flying while remembering you are all wanting to get to the same place safely
  6. When you don't have earbuds, you are allowed to sit, sleep, chat calmly and in a low tone, and you are not allowed to watch anything with sound, regardless of how low you turn the sound
  7. Whenever you travel, packing your earbuds & magazines are your best bet for enjoyable travel ;)

Cheers to many good miles ahead!

Friday, May 28, 2021

LESSONS LEARNED: Getting to Teach "Kindness as a Leadership Trait" Course

Kindness is in low supply and high demand.

As an avid reader of a double-digit number of books on kindness, a Kindness Attendant in "The Kindness Community" (an online worldwide group), and someone who wrote a book titled Reversing the Slobification of America, I look for ways to share kindness and kind actions as well as encourage others to do similar things.

A couple of weeks ago, the 14-week Florida State University Jim Moran Institute for Entrepreneurship graduated a cohort. That was the first-ever group who got to experience the class. Since Shane Smith, Ph.D. took a chance by allowing me to do what became known as the "Kick-off to Kindness" as the start of each Tuesday's experience.

Here are a few lessons learned from the fortuitous opportunity to share facts, acts, and the impact of kindness personally and professionally:

Kindness has four formats: toward self, toward others, toward the community, and toward the world

Most people are the least kind to themselves

Encouraging people to be kind to themselves is a form of permission

A kind act done for recognition is SPORTSMANSHIP, a kind act done for getting someone to collaborate or sign a contract is BUSINESS, and a kind act done for another person to feel good and/or have an opportunity, whether that person knows you did it or not, is true KINDNESS

Kindness makes some people uncomfortable and they are not wrong, rather have likely not been exposed to kindness which creates the discomfort

Kindness can be learned

Kindness begets kindness

Kindness is super

Kindness is powerful

(It follows that) Kindness is a superpower, and it is a superpower each and every one of us can use for good

Whether you get to facilitate a course on kindness is not the point of this "lessons learned" segment, rather the overall awareness of how a kind word, kind act, and a kind heart are available to us all, and all of us, whether we know it or not, can use (and use the impact of) a lot more kindness in our lives!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Casting Distractions AFAR

"Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions."

~ Saul Bellow

When you are moving forward, making plans, and setting goals, you surely want to advance, see progress, and eventually achieve success through your efforts and actions, right?

While we each have the opportunity to set a course, make/take actions, and more as we advance toward the end result(s), we also may face challenges that could create setbacks.

What to do?

Telling yourself, or others telling you not to care about any distractions or anything other than the goal can seem smart at first, and yet that is simply lying to yourself, and therefore delaying the impact of the distraction, and potentially adding guilt and/or pressure on you and others you involve in your endeavors.

Instead of hoping things will work out, or that you can avoid the distraction(s), cast the distractions AFAR with these four steps:

1) Allow yourself to consider the distraction and the impact 

2) Feel what the distraction is doing to you (not just thoughts)

3) Acknowledge that feeling with a label/name

4) Release the feeling, and therefore, the distraction

For example, if you are working on finishing a project (plan), and you start thinking about what might happen if you don't get it done (distraction), stop your project and give yourself a few moments to think it through by checking in on your feelings and naming them before determining that they are not serving you well at that time.

This is not a flippant/simple "Let it go", nor is it about telling yourself "It's no big deal" if it is a big deal at the time of distraction, rather this is about having a process for moving through the experience of distraction to cast them AFAR!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Lessons Learned from Loss


On Friday, February 26, 2021, after our 2021 American Heart Association Go Red for Women Lunch-In virtual event, I said hello to my husband as I picked up Michael from Tampa General Hospital after he recovered for a couple of days after his transplant donation surgery.

Later that day, a call came through to me that my father's heart rate had dropped into the 20s.

While Michael progressed each day, my father received a pacemaker through a cardiologist near where he lived, and unfortunately, did not progress each day, and on Monday, April 12th, at TGH, under excellent, attentive care, we said goodbye to him as he took his last breaths.

Over the past year, Michael and I have had two dear friends lose their young sons, we have both lost our fathers, and we both donated kidneys.

In attempting to process through these experiences, we hope our friends have found comfort, our dads are in heaven together laughing about how the last time the four of us golfed together at Copperhead, they did, in fact, beat us (and I am talking smoked us on the links) for the first time, and, we hope the two people who now have a new lease on life with their third kidneys make the most of every moment.

Life isn't always what we anticipate, and yet life is filled with memories and opportunities to participate in it, and yes, even in challenging times, embrace it. 

May all of us feel that way as we recall what was likely a memorable year in its own way for each of us. Some lessons learned from loss include:
  1. Be grateful for what we have or had versus hateful for what we don't have or lost.
  2. When someone dies, share condolences and yet do NOT ask "What happened?" or if someone shares a loss with you that impacts you, too, be mindful not to dump your grief on that person.
  3. If someone is grieving, however that grief happens is theirs, and it is right and best for them.
  4. If someone shares a "Sorry for your loss" with you when you have a loved one who passed, and they knew that person, too, say "Thank you, and sorry for your loss, too", as they lost someone as well.
  5. It's never too late to share your condolences...not ever...just don't apologize for the timing and make it about you - let it stay about the loss and your support.
  6. Whatever you have lost is not the same as what another has lost. You can sympathize and empathize, yet nobody ever understands your loss exactly, and that is okay - just let it be.
  7. Every bit of support and love, prayer, flowers, cards, and well-wish or fond memory offered is/are impactful, felt, and appreciated.

Love and loss go hand and glove with memories and smiles. Loss is loss, and yet sometimes loss leads to many moments of sharing and recalling good times...on some days, so choose to say hello to this, your next phase after loss...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Positivity with Purpose, Please

There are "Be positive" and "Stay positive" messages abound, right? And, often, they come from me in my daily tips and workday videos. So what gives?

What is with all of this positivity?

Well, being positive for others is not being positive. That is being nice or compliant or phony.

Being positive with purpose is all about you first, and absolutely, the impact on others may follow!

What is the difference - the REAL difference?

Being positive for others keeps you quiet when you want to speak, and keeps you laughing when you want to exit the conversation. REAL positivity is about:

R - Reflecting on what you have and where you are and being appreciative of it all

E - Engaging in supportive self-talk and being your own best cheerleader

A - Approaching situations, people, problems, and opportunities with the belief that there is a solution, fix, or answer to move forward successfully

L - Leaning into growth even as there are misses and mistakes along the way

When you are a REAL positive person, you are not simply shining to get by, you are shining through and above situations with purpose. The purpose is YOU, and your well-being, centering, and success.

There is no purpose more powerful and positive than your own happiness.

This type of positive effort is from within that stretches beyond your realm and often has a good impact and lasting effect on others, too! How real is that?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Lesson Learned from Kindness Encounter(s)

 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!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Removing the un from 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!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lessons Learned: The Outcomes of Kindness

"I have days of self-doubt, but I think the kindest thing I can do to myself is accept where my body is at."
~Geri Halliwell

Kindness is not necessarily rooted in niceness.

Being nice means we don't want to rock the boat and do not want to make anyone uneasy or at odds. Niceness has its place at times.

Kindness means we take in, stand up, and present ideas with grace, consideration, and perspective. There is rarely a time when kindness does not have its place.

A smile can be both nice and kind.

Biting one's tongue when frustrated or uncomfortable can seem nice, and it is not kind to oneself or to the relationship.

Please know, this is not a war on niceness, this is a campaign for kindness...

Having become a Kindness Attendant for Kindleigh's worldwide Kindness Community, sharing about kindness in posts and tips, speaking on the kindness impact/effect, and now, facilitating "Kindness as a Leadership Trait" in formal leadership programs at schools and in businesses, there have been a lot of lessons learned, including:

  • Kindness is not a soft-skill, it is a foundational skill
  • Kindness can be challenging, and people who are kind are not void of frustration or disappointment
  • How people kindly process through difficulty and rejection and present it through kindness, is centering to them (and others)
  • Kindness can be a born trait of a personality, AND it can be learned
  • People are rarely kind to themselves and when we are not kind inward, we are not likely to be genuinely kind outward
  • If we are frustrated or drained by our kind acts, it is not genuine kindness, it is often done out of obligation, guilt or a desire to be perceived as "a good person"
  • Kindness, when mistaken as a weakness, makes people feel like they have to defend this strength
  • Kindness is to be shared with others not for what they do with it, rather for how one believes it can impact a person or situation
  • Kindness "muscles" may not be found on a medical evaluation of a body, and yet they exist in smiles and head nods and genuine embraces, and when exercised, the kindness "muscles" flex and grow
  • The lasting effect of kindness on oneself and on others is measurable and there is much science to support it

Kindness is to be honored, considered, and shared freely without strings or quid pro quo. Kindness is all about you and your impact versus others and how they accept or deny it or you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Power of Positivity

"Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself."
~ Khalid

Over the years, at various times, positivity has been seen as a strength, and at other times, positivity has been viewed as a weakness.

Trends are intriguing and often fleeting.

This is not about an approach to "try", rather, it is about the purposeful effort to be optimistic and realistic while working through situations and with people in a positive manner a human being and as a leader (of self and/or others).

Positivity in this case, and hopefully in all cases, is only worthwhile and effective if it is sincere, from a place of betterment and a forward-thinking approach to whatever is at hand.

With that in mind, the following 10 positive approaches to life and leadership, ways to STOP and replace with a GO instead, are ways to enhance you and your approach to your relationships and engagements:

10 - Stop the “fake it ‘til you make it”, Go for “Make it about right now ‘til you make it to the next day or situation or person”

 9 - Stop attempting to please everyone, Go for enjoying life and being YOUR best

 8 - Stop the “Let me know what I can do…”, Go for the specific offer of what you are offering to do

 7 - Stop the posting of data, Go for sharing of interesting information with how it can impact others positively

 6 - Stop the disappointment based on assumptions, Go for setting expectations with others to know where you stand and where you can anticipate going

 5 - Stop making people feel defensive, Go for creating conversation by using What and How questions in place of Why questions

 4 - Stop starting emails and updates with “I”, Go for being about the audience, using BASICs (Because, Appreciating, Since, In order to, Considering/Respecting, all with a smile)

 3 - Stop being jealous, Go for being happy for the other person

 2 - Stop gossiping after the fact or behind someone's back, Go for gathering and addressing what is at hand directly with who is involved

 1 - Stop wondering how will this look to others, Go for thinking about what feels best in the moment and what is best for the situation

When you are true to these positions and commitments, your positivity becomes who you are and what your personal being and brand represent as a part of your demeanor and part of your approach to life and business over a strategy or positioning.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Lessons Learned from "Hacking" Life!

Being resourceful, scrappy, and even creative was not new in 2020, and yet being restrictive in where I went to stay safe and keep myself challenged, or overcoming challenges was different!

From those altered situations came some ingenuity, or at least some "punting" when faced with a lack of resources or an interest in a new approach to doing or solving something. Some even reminded me of previous hacks that have become habits, and they are each worth presenting for your consumption. After all, aren't all learnings best when shared for other people's benefit?

  • LIFE HACK: Shoes smelling stinky or the linings getting misshapen? Doing 10,000 steps before sunrise for 100 days, and now a marathon of miles every week, my feet sweat, which causes both odor and wetness, and as a result, messed up shoe linings or arch supports unless you do this: Before putting on your socks, tights or shoes without socks or tights for work or for play, swipe or spray your favorite clear deodorant on your feet in order to save your shoes and keep your confidence high for removing them without odor or wetness hesitation!
  • LIFE HACK: Looking to practice a physically-distanced presentation at a podium without a podium at your remote work office for your run-throughs? While I am not a fan of using a podium, other than for a commencement address, they are making a comeback as part of safety protocols. To practice remotely, and/or in your home, use a large Amazon box, a paper ream box, or even a box from a case of bottled beer positioned length-wise, and there you go, you have a podium! Delivering that talk standing on a virtual meeting, and still no podium for notes? You can either put large print notes around the outside of your screen above the camera to keep eye contact up, or wrap the box in brown paper (available online in a roll), and put your company logo on the front, so the podium-effect carries across the on-line meeting!
  • LIFE HACK: Rough feet or hands? Having only had one professional pedicure, and no professional manicures in 2020, and still getting dressed head-to-toe for remote work each day, my hands and feet were not looking their best! The solution? Put Vicks Vapor Rub, or the generic equivalent, on in generous amounts before bed, and for your hands, use old gloves or mittens, and for your feet, use socks you no longer want, and cover them. In the morning, you will find all the little cracks diminished or gone, and once you dispose of the gloves or socks, you'll likely have the added benefit of noticing that you have clear sinuses as well! (Bonus hack is that if you are painting your own nails and/or toenails, shower with a washcloth or scrubby about an hour after the fast-dry topcoat is applied, and the excess around your fingers and toes will soften and you can quickly remove anything around the nailbed while the skin is soft.)
  • LIFE HACK: Too much gift bag to fill? I discovered this quite by accident and through my resolve when wrapping gifts in the early hours with a dwindling supply of tissue paper and leftover tablecloths from the prior week's in-home room-by-room-themed pub crawl. What to do? When you have a large gift and a large gift bag, instead of using 2 or more packages of decorative tissue paper to fill the space & cover the gift, use one Dollar Tree disposable, lined tablecloth to create a cute look while filling the bag for only a dollar!
  • LIFE HACK: At the end of your lipstick or ChapStick with some left below the surface? The lipstick I love was discontinued, and having many tubes in various places, it seemed there was a lot getting wasted when disposing of the tube with about 1/6 of it below the line of sight once the tube was fully extended yet part was below where it could not reach my lips. How to fix that pout without pouting over wasted lipstick or ChapStick? Using a cotton swab, you can scoop out the remaining lipstick or chapstick, and if you have any small container with a lid, that becomes your new container for it all, and you can use a cotton swab or your finger for applying what is now your new-found supply of lipstick or ChapStick! (Bonus hack is that you can put the lipstick, lip balm, or even sunscreen or foundation in a small contact lens holder for compact, flat storage, and carrying.)
  • LIFE HACK: Want to send flowers last minute within 2 hours? The idea of Christmas flowers following some news from a family member felt like they'd brighten that person's day, and yet it was too late to get a local florist to deliver. I love supporting local florists and do often. This day, though, I got creative by logging onto Publix (a grocery chain I knew was in the area) and selected a floral arrangement and a vase to be delivered (she had vases, so I could have skipped the vase). While there was no card with it, the process was outstanding and was less than half with tax and tip. In order to ensure the delivery was smooth, I messaged the recipient to ensure she'd be at home, and they sent a text message to check out front. When she got them, it was a beautiful exchange of surprise and appreciation for how fast that happened! I'll surely still honor the expertise of local florists in the future AND in quick turn-around times will use delivery services through grocery outlets!

The lessons learned over the past years were meant to assist you with some quick or convenient changes or considerations, and hopefully this LIFE HACK edition carried that forward with a twist. While these life hacks were new to me the first time I thought to "hack" the way shared above, I present them not for credit, for, admittedly, they could be something common that I never heard of, or they could be unique based on my experience, and either way, here's to happily hacking life and enjoying the results with some fun!

Monday, January 4, 2021

Hit Your Stride in 2021!

 "Stride forward with a firm, steady step knowing with a deep, certain inner knowing that you will reach every goal you set yourselves, that you will achieve every aim."

~ Eileen Caddy

As midnight on December 31, 2020 grew near, a lot of messaging around resolutions and "New Year, New You" began to surface, as they do each year around that time.

For some, that is encouraging. For others, that is a reminder to reflect. For others, that is daunting to think about change. For many, it is simply a forced concept of resolve due to the time of year. Regardless of how the moving from December to January typically strikes you, and regardless of the date on the calendar, or time of year, it is consistently a good time, when it is the right time for you, to focus on hitting your stride. We happen to be at the beginning of 2021, so how about it...what stride do you want to hit in 2021?

That stride, your stride, will not be hit without intention, so please consider these four phases of stride-hitting for a successful venture this year:

1) Reflect on what went well and what you want to improve in order to create awareness of where you are right now.

2) Imagine the desired state where you are going so that you can embrace the look and feel of what you want to achieve.

3) Assess the gaps between where you are and where you are going for the base for your plan for the year, which includes skills, experiences, people to engage, and more.

4) Map out milestone accomplishments with realistic wins along the way that can be recognized and celebrated as you achieve them.

5) Decide on immediate actions to take to launch the plan - from something as simple as sharing the plan for accountability to scheduling actions on your calendar to keep the momentum flowing.

6) Create habits that are well-serving to the plan such as daily activities that form a pattern and lead to consistent effort that repeats (hence making a habit), weekly check-ins on progress, monthly milestone monitoring, and other time increments for ensuring forward progress.

7) Reward yourself along the way in the ways that enhance your efforts and encourage your continued momentum. For example, if health and well-being are part of your desired state, plan and mapping out, and your actions of mindful eating and movement have become habits, reward yourself with a spa treatment over a trip to the ice cream store, so as to keep the alignment, and therefore, keep the habits reinforced.

When these seven steps are consciously and intentionally embraced, it is not about focusing on a new attitude or a new approach, it is about seeing and achieving the new stride that is hit because of you...and not the changing of a date on the calendar!