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Archive for February, 2013

I was inspired this morning after listening to an interview with a favorite author of mine, Simon Sinek, who wrote the book ‘Start with WHY’. In the interview he began by saying that when you do something that you love, it’s called passion. When you work at something you don’t love however, it’s called stress.

This for me defines the difference between your WORK versus your J.O.B. Your work is connected to your ‘WHY’, your sense of purpose or mission, or what you want to stand for in this lifetime. It is rooted in your early years, something that you are deeply connected with and something that you felt would make a difference in the world.

As I think back, my earliest memories are linked to playing in my back yard, lining up my dolls and teaching them what I then knew to be the important lessons of life. Even at the early age of ten I knew that I wanted to influence the world in a way that allowed others to believe in themselves and to see the beauty and power of who they are.

Isn’t it interesting that you can know that so young and somewhere along the way lose track of it. Why does that happen? You learn more, life becomes more complicated and you lose sight of that simple truth, your all important work. Then you find a J.O.B. – a Justifiable Occupation or Business, which pays you a good salary but, (and here is the rub) does not light you up. It is simply a job. It is not connected with your passion and you lose sight of who you really are.

Can Your J.O.B. be your WORK?
Yes. Skeptically you may look at what you are currently doing and think that there can never be a connection between what you are currently doing and your passion. Frankly you don’t really know, at least not until you take the time to search back to your roots and consider what is really important to you. In our roadSIGNS work we call this your Personal Guidance System which is formed by your core values, the guiding principle by which you choose to live, and your ‘WHY’, what you really stand for and who, as a result, you choose to be.

Only in remembering your ‘WHY’ can you understand whether or not this is connected to your J.O.B. Those workplaces which truly value their employees will understand that any time an employee can connect their ‘WHY’ to the ‘WHY’ of the organization, passion and performance are unleashed.

WHY, How and what
In his book Sinek describes the Golden Circle. Like a bull’s eye with WHY in the center, the next circle is your how and the third circle your what. You will notice that most of you focus on what you do and how you do it, both in your work and other aspects of your life. Ask yourself if this is where you currently play? What would change or be different if you took the time to re-connect with your ‘WHY’, your sense of true purpose.

Living Authentically
Living authentically requires consciousness and courage. First it requires that you actually slow yourself down and step off the treadmill which has become your life. Secondly you must ask yourself what is really important to you, what contribution are you here to make to the world around you. Everyone wants to make a difference and reflecting on this allows you to claim your unique desire to change or shift the world in some way.

Next is courage. It is one thing to become aware of what lights you up, your ‘WHY’, and it is another to live it. There are plenty of naysayers out there who will put you down once you stand up and start living your ‘WHY’. I refer to them as crabs. Crab fishermen know that you never have to put a lid on a crab bucket because as soon as one crab tries to escape, the others pull him back in. It takes courage to live from your ‘WHY’ and ignore the crabs.

Crabs and Other Creatures

Take the time to step back and discover your work by remembering your ‘WHY’. This has the capacity to release your passion and we sure could use more of that in the world!

Until next time…

Betty Healey

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After weeks of concentrated effort we have launched our new website for roadSIGNS (www.roadsigns.ca) . I have no illusions now that creating a quality website happens easily. This is the first significant overhaul we have completed for several years and one that was badly needed. With the changes in our focus that have occurred through the years, our previous website was not supporting us.

Being Attractive
In the work Jim and I teach regarding Strategic Attraction, we have become clear regarding what we want. Although I am tempted from time to time to interfere, I am learning to leave the ‘HOW” the wants unfold up to the Universe. I am constantly schooling myself in the art of Patience and Trust as a result! An important part of Strategic Attraction however, is being the Lighthouse, helping people find you.; hence the website, with all the proper SEO behind the scenes, and clear attention to the details within the content.

A Labor of Love
While I occasionally forgot, writing the new content was a labor of love. As we launch our new conversation about Conscious Communication, writing helped me to understand what it is and how we want to share this with clients.

What is Conscious Communication
Conscious Communication is the process of learning to be fully present, aware and mindful both with yourself and others. The process is an essential one for understanding yourself, leveraging the best of who you are and ultimately, connecting effectively with others.

It is rare that individuals consider how they are connecting with themselves. They are unaware of the elevator music playing in their ears and the subliminal messages they are feeding themselves. Building on the new research in Positive Psychology, we are learning that these internal conversations must be brought into consciousness if we want to change them. We call this from Critic to Coach, re-programming the messages of your inner critic, the voice that puts you down, into that of your Inner Coach, that which lifts you up.

Once you begin to change your inner conversation, you show up differently in the eyes of others. You are visible and you have the opportunity to engage others differently, whether this is in conversation or simply in who you are being. This is the other side of Conscious Communication – how you are with others and who you are choosing to be from one moment to the next.

What’s in it for YOU?
If you want to feel better about yourself and think more positive thoughts, I invite you into this conversation.   Stay tuned for upcoming posts and I invite you to check us out at www.roadsigns.ca.

roadSIGNSUntil next time…

Betty

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There is an easy exercise I use when facilitating. I take a black marker and draw a dot in the middle of a large piece of flip chart paper. Do this for yourself. Take out a sheet of white paper and with a pen or marker simply place a dot in the middle of the page. Now, staring at the paper, ask yourself, “What do I see?”

Black Dot

When I ask participants what they see, most people respond, ‘a black dot’. Is that what you see?

Now look again. Notice that the dot takes up less than 1% of the entire page. What is left is a whole lot of white space.

Apply this same principle to life. During any given day, there are black dots that occur. These dots come in many forms – a mistake you made at work, a conversation with a friend that disturbed you, an item of news on the radio, or any other potential distraction.

Unfortunately black dots are coated with Velcro – they seem to stick to you. They occupy your thoughts and dampen your emotions. They are usually charged with something that triggers you and because of that they grow in size and take up a lot of space. You forget about all the white space around the dot.

The white space, by the way, represents reality. For every black dot or similar distraction, there are many more events going on in your life that are positive. Unfortunately when your focus goes to the black dot, the white space is forgotten.

There is an old adage that states, ‘where your attention goes, energy flows’. This is exactly what happens with the Black Dot Syndrome. That one less than perfect event of your day is the event that consumes you. You dive into it again and again, examining it from all sides. As you do so it grows and grows. All the great things that happened in your day are pushed aside and all but forgotten.

This, by the way, is a recipe for undermining yourself!

What is the alternative? Perspective. Black dots are small and deserve an equivalent amount of energy and attention. Your ability to contain them makes a difference. Begin by asking yourself the following:

  • Is this a black dot, or simply a distraction?
  • Before you give your energy and attention to any black dot, ask yourself what is in the white space. In other words, enumerate all the amazing things that happened in your day      and give your energy and appreciation to these.
  • When you return to the black dot, ask yourself how important the distraction is? Most times you will  discover it is simply just an annoyance.
  • Put the dot in perspective,  don’t allow it to grow. Balance the dot with the white space.

You might consider this conversation regarding black dots to be abstract or not important. If that’s where you are, ask yourself how you feel at the end of every day. Are you exhausted? What consumed your energy?

Or

Are you uplifted? What fed this feeling?

You have choice to make every day, and believe me it is YOUR CHOICE. You can choose to let the black dots dominate your landscape or you can pull you focus to the larger part of the canvas, the white space. Remember, the white space is filled with all the good and great things that happen to you in a day. Unfortunately they will slide by you unless you pull them into consciousness and examine them.

Begin making a choice today to choose thoughts and feelings which uplift you rather than deplete you. As Mike Dooley says in his daily ‘message from the Universe’, thoughts become things, choose the good ones.

Choose to be conscious and aware of what is playing in the background. Bring your attention to what really matters – the white space. This is reality more than any black dot you can identify, for in truth, it represents 99%  or more of what is in your life. Making this choice will allow you to live a more authentic and optimistic life for truth lies in the white space.

Until Next time…

Betty

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