Many people spend their lives escaping instead of truly being available to the moment. Our heads are filled, from a young age, with the notion that we must have goals and a purpose. We get asked: what do you want to be when you grow up? Not: “what type of life do you want?” Continue reading
One day I woke up and realized that there is nothing left in the organization that I wanted. I was a c-level executive in a $2+ billion business. There was no promotion. There was no title. There was no project. There was no purpose.I felt like work became a giant vacuum cleaner that kept sucking up my energy. My reward for doing good work was more work. Continue reading
Do you wake up in the morning dreading opening your Inbox and starting the first of way too many meetings? Do you get announcements from your CEO that make you ask someone what the heck it means since it seems to be written in some secret code? Have you stopped reading the deluge of emails that come your way because they have nothing to do with what you need to get off your to-do list, apart from the ones that you know impact your own job?
You may have thought that by going to school, getting a degree and a fabulous job that your life would be a happy one. And yet, you wake up in the morning in dread. Wednesday gets you excited because it’s almost Friday and the weekend (is that why they call it hump day?). Then, the weekend finally comes around and “holy shit, it’s Monday” and it all starts all over again. Continue reading
Last year at this time I was on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It was a magical vacation. I just celebrated a dear friend’s 50th birthday with 20 of her
closest friends and family in Phuket. I treated myself to a week at Naka Island, which was pure bliss. I went on my own #1) because I am on my own and #2) I wanted to figure out how to change my life. It was a great experience and only the beginning of my journey of taking control of my life. One of the biggest changes I made was that this was the first time in over 12 years that I did not bring my work computer. Sure, I had my iPAD but I did not log on to my work email at all. This time was about me. This isn’t to say I wasn’t online and connected. I was because it’s part of who I am. I don’t need a break since I am not overwhelmed by social technologies. But I did need true time off work, which was defining my entire existence. When I returned from my vacation, I was a bit lighter but I fell right back into my old habits of working to live. Continue reading
We are programmed “to do.” We are warned not to “waste our time.” Taking time “to simply be” is a foreign concept that does not register for so many people. I was taught that you are either productive or lazy and being productive is much more important. What I’ve learned is that being mindful and taking time to be is so important and necessary to feel, think and decide what we want. When we are in perpetual motion, we just do.
I had dinner with a former colleague last week who made me realize how addicted I used to be to my work and how loyal I was to my company. Had they needed to let me go, they would have done it in a heart beat. And yet, I agonized over leaving my company and divorcing my job because people relied on me. The reality is that the company is still standing tall and I probably gained years in my life. It never would have happened had I not had to stop and reflect. I had to see how much of my life I was missing as I ran by the moments that mattered. I am thankful that I had to stop and pay attention. It was a gift.
Most of us don’t like change. We are socialized (a word I am not fond of) into liking routine and predictability so when change started creeping itself into our work life, most people didn’t like it. So companies created programs to deal with change. I am personally trained to deliver expert change management programs. And I have for years. But I can’t do it anymore since my faith has been shattered.
Everyone keeps trying to implement change when in reality what’s happening is the “band-aid strategy.” Trying to stop the bleeding rarely works unless you deal with the gaping wound. And no one wants to deal with what’s truly challenged in the workplace today — leadership. We are facing one of the biggest leadership crisises in history in all aspects of of the world — government, healthcare, non-profits, corporate and it goes on and on. Slogans, posters and balloons have replaced authenticity and commitment to people. Continue reading
We often [expect/want/demand/need] other people to change and do what we define as “the right thing.” But we can only [expect/want/demand/need] ourselves to change. We can change:
- Our expectations of how people should act or the world should be
- Our want of how a person/boss/co-worker should respond to a situation
- Our demand that people always do “the right thing”
- Our need to be understood by others
The hard work that needs to be done is on ourselves. The only expectation we can have of others is that their behavior will be predictable when we learn their patterns. Make changes in how you approach your expectations and you will find it easier to navigate.