Large projects. Small projects. It all needs to be finished by yesterday! Whether you are working for yourself or someone else, a whole load of tasks screams for your attention every day. Competing priorities is a struggle that most people face. Unless you want your life to simply happen to you, you’re going to need to take some initiative and make some plans.
Consider these thoughts about balancing out competing priorities:
The Tyranny of the Urgent
The difference between important and urgent may sometimes be difficult to distinguish. Along the lines of Charles Hummel’s book from the 1960s, the demands in your life can get out of order. Even though making cookies might not be first on your list for the day, if your book club president calls at the last minute to say they’re coming to your place tonight, all of the sudden you start baking! Even though you really don’t have time.
In reality, you’re trying to build your business and...
Have you ever met one of those people whose life seems to be absolutely ideal? Someone who never seems to encounter difficulty or struggle in any way? (You know, the folks whose lives are so great that you secretly want to hate them!)
However much it may seem like nothing goes wrong for these people-with-perfect-lives, that’s simply not true. No one has a perfect life. These seemingly perfect-people-you-want-to-hate encounter struggle and difficulty the same as everyone else. They get flat tires. They get cavities. Their pet ferrets run away.
So what’s the difference between these seemingly perfect people and “normal” people?
The difference is the way they handle life’s challenges.
The difference is resilience.
Resilience is all about being flexible or malleable. Being able to recover when things don’t go as expected. Resilience is a quality that allows a person to experience difficulties and then get up, dust off, and move forward.
When you’re looking for success, for adventure, for a new way of living, you don’t need to start by going somewhere. In fact, if you’re unsatisfied with your current situation, the best thing to do is hunker down and ask yourself a few questions.
What is it that you want out of life?
What is right in front of you that you can’t see?
What are you doing that may be sabotaging your happiness or success?
What could you do today that might bring you joy?
The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Start by looking at yourself with new eyes. Most of the time, the thing that is getting in the way of success can be found simply by looking the mirror. As children, we create habits in thinking and action based on what we are either taught or learn on our own. Often times, these habits and mindsets are not based on flawed perceptions—and they are not helpful. Good or bad, these habits...
You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.
Each and every day, in the small things as well as the big ones, you have opportunities to make choices that could change your life. And while some of what you achieve has to do with ability, much of the measure of success is related to your openness toward growth. It has everything to do with how willing you are to develop within a framework of flexibility while overcoming obstacles.
Having a fixed mindset really doesn’t help to fix anything. It just causes you to become stagnant and rigid. A fixed mindset keeps you tethered to old habits. A fixed mindset clouds and dulls your shine.
People with a Fixed Mindset:
But the amazing news is that the power...
Every morning you get out of bed and make a decision about what you’re going to wear. Maybe, like Mark Zuckerberg, you don your “life uniform” of a grey t-shirt and blue jeans. Or maybe you’re more like Lady Gaga, choosing between dressing like a geisha, channeling your inner lightning bolt, or simply wrapping yourself in bacon for the day.
In the same way that you decide what to wear on the outside of your body each day, you also decide (with intention or by default) which mindset will drive your day. This choice that you make every day could make or break your ability to achieve your goals.
With decades of research under her belt, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck ascertains that your mindset will predict your outcome.
If your mindset it fixed and immoveable, you’ll fail and get stuck. If your mind is geared toward flexibility and growth, you’ll move forward in life.
If you expect to fail, you will.
But if you expect to succeed...
Have you ever noticed how resilience is held on a pedestal? It’s that intangible something that allows people to rebound after setbacks, tragedy or suffering. And it turns out that most people really are resilient. It may take some longer than others to move through adversity to a happier time, but most eventually recover their joie de vivre.
What are some of the factors that foster resilience? Strong, trusting relationships; holding a positive view of yourself; the ability to make realistic plans and stick to them; managing emotions effectively; viewing yourself as a fighter, not a victim.
The American Psychological Association offers 10 suggestions for building more resilience. Here are five of them:
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. Interpret and respond to stressful events in a way that gives you hope for change rather than a sense of despair. Don’t blow a situation out of proportion.
Accept that change is a part of living.You might not be...
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” — Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and consultant
Have you ever considered the mixed messages about failure in our culture? Riding a bike is the metaphor we often use in talking about failure. We encourage children to believe that they can learn the tricky balance required to ride only by falling repeatedly, brushing away the scrapes and the tears and trying again. Yet as they move through elementary, middle and high school, children are often given the message that failure is sign of weak character or for losers. The message is this: Failure is not an option!
We suggest that the first message is the right one: Failure does, indeed, ultimately open the door to success. Here are a few other things to keep in mind about failure:
Failure helps you learn...
There’s plenty of advice out there about what it takes to be a leader, but one aspect is often given short-shrift: Leadership is as much about the heart as it is about the mind. ”I shouldn’t be making emotional decisions,” you might say. To that, we say “Go right ahead!” You shouldbe making emotional decisions.
You are a human being. You are an emotional creature. To shut off your emotions would be like shutting off the valve to a crucial aspect of your being. The key is not to make decisions in an emotional vacuum, but to be able to moderate your emotional response. A Harvard study found that it is absolutely possible to use your emotions in effective decision-making.
Try it with your next big decision; combine the power of your mind and heart. Use logic and reason to shape your emotional response to a vexing problem, particularly one that deals with other people. After all, it’s hard to be an effective leader when you...
Think back to a time you felt truly excited, happy, exhilarated and proud of yourself. What actions left you feeling fulfilled like this?
Chances are, it was the result of accomplishing something new, trying something different, or pushing yourself outside of the boundaries you normally set for yourself. Big moments we remember fondly often started as something we were nervous about or even downright scared to do. But we did them — and afterwards we felt great about it.
If you’ve been in the same position or industry for some time, you likely have developed and honed a certain set of skills. That’s why at any stage of your career it’s a great idea to learn to branch out. Take a class on a subject that’s not your area of expertise. Learn a new skill. Volunteer to lead an effort at your company that will require you to think in new ways. Lead in new way.
Comfort zones are an important part of life. They keep us from engaging in reckless and...
Your leadership sets a high bar for those on your team. Your drive to excel and your strong work ethic are an inspiration. That’s why you need to make sure you unplug and take a real vacation.
That’s right. You must encourage those you lead to take their vacation time by first taking a real vacation yourself. This will demonstrate that vacations are good for managers, good for employees and good for organizations.
Research shows that 57 percent of Americans don’t take all their vacation time each year. Another troubling statistic: An estimated 60 percent of people do some amount of work while on vacation. And at some organizations, it’s a badge of honor to take as little time off as possible.
Yet the benefits of taking a break and stepping away from work are indisputable and two-fold: You return feeling renewed, with the energy and hunger to dive into new projects. Your team members drive your success, so you must encourage them to take...
In order to protect your privacy, we use a two step opt-in process. Please check your email and click on the link to verify your intent to join our list. Remember, we take your privacy seriously and won't blow up your email with spam!