The Day for 365 Days of Coaching was about setting a Theme for the year. This idea came to me years ago when I was watching a television show and they suggested having a theme song. I thought about the concept and it came to me that having a Theme for the year would be a great idea. It would give me something to center my Year around and act like an umbrella for my intentions and goals for the year.
In the last 13 years I have had themes ranging from health, wealth, connection, completion and last year’s Theme, Focus. Sometimes my Theme is just a word, sometimes the Theme is a phrase. It really doesn’t matter as long as you are inspired by it.
I haven’t selected my Theme for 2009 although I am playing with a couple. Some I have thought of:
Time to Shine in 2009 (like the rhyme)
Success by Design in 2009
The year of Abundance (Or Prosperity)
Examples of Past Themes (mine and others)
The Year of Respect
The Year of Gratitude
The Year of Vibrant Health
The Year of Completion
Health and Happiness
Love and Marriage
Your Theme is personal so take some time to select one that fits what you want the year to be about. Keep working on it until something hits. When you find your Theme you will know it.
Okay that is step three of the Warp it Up process. So lets review:
Step one: Write your top 100 accomplishments for the year
Step two: Clarify your values
Step three: Create your Theme for the year
Step four will be coming up in just a couple of days.
Here’s to taking action,
This time of year I receive many holiday letters recounting the year’s events of family and friends. I enjoy these letters and look forward to receiving them. One letter stood out this year. It was the letter from my godmother and began, “This year has been an uneventful year.” Each year brings challenges and successes, but no year should ever be uneventful.
When I read the letter to my husband his remark was, “It would be great to have an uneventful year with no problems, no difficulties.” Certainly it would be nice to limit the problems and difficulties of life, but I am not sure we would want to eliminate all challenges. As humans we often grow and learn the most when we have problems and difficulties to overcome; but events are not just problems. Events are also great trips, making new friends and learning something new. Every year should be so filled with events that there would never be any way to put them all in a letter.
As we look ahead to the year’s events, plan right now to have an eventful year. The joy of life comes from the events experienced. If nothing eventful is happening in your life, my guess is you are not growing, stretching or taking risks. Life isn’t meant to be uneventful. It should be jammed packed full of events, experiences, challenges and even a problem or two. Live life to the fullest, and never have an uneventful year.
Here’s to a very eventful year,
Enter To Win
On one of my favorite Web sites, www.HGTV.com, I noticed that they were running a contest. In big bold letters it said, “Enter here to win!” not “Enter here for a chance to win”, or “Enter here because you think you might win. It was stated in the positive, “Enter here to win.”
How often do we set ourselves up to win? Half of winning is believing that we can win. If we go into a situation believing that we will come out a winner, we have a better chance at winning just because we believe we can. If we tell ourselves that we are a winner, we go into any situation with a winning attitude.
Every morning that we wake up alive, we are a winner. We have won another opportunity to do our best. Winning doesn’t always mean we are in a competition with someone else. Often our most fierce competitor is the person who stares back at us each morning from the mirror. We get in our own way and stop ourselves from winning in the game of life because of fear, lack of confidence, and self-defeating messages that we give ourselves. Our self-talk alone is enough to keep some of us from being winners.
Each one of us is a winner; we simply have to believe that. Once we believe it, we will begin to live our lives as a winner. Everything we do, say, and think will support us in being a winner. We will become what we believe we are.
How often do you tell yourself, “I am not lucky, I never win anything?” Well, you are wrong. Each day you win another opportunity to live life to the fullest. Each day you are lucky enough to have the gift of giving your best to the world. If we believe we are a winner, we live our lives according to that belief. Whatever we believe to be true is true. Moreover, when we believe we will find the evidence that validates our beliefs.
Believing you are a winner starts with a shift in perception. Start telling yourself everyday, “I am a winner.” Notice how your perception changes as you begin to believe in yourself. Start acting like a winner and, low and behold, you will be a winner.
Are you ready to start winning in the game of life?
Daily Success Formula
Winning = Belief
“A winner never whines.” Paul Brown
“It’s not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts.” Addison Walder
“Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.” Arthur Ashe
The Secret Of Being One In A Million
We can either be one of a million or one in a million. The secret of being one in a million is to stand out and be noticed. The good news is it isn’t hard to stand out. All we need to do is be ourselves. Each of us is unique and has qualities and talents that no one else has. When we are willing to risk being our authentic self, we stand out.
Why is it a risk to be authentic? Being “authentically you” is risky because it is easier to be different just like everyone else. People want to stand out while fitting in. It just doesn’t work that way. To stand out, we have to be willing to be different like no one else. We need to be willing to do things our way not “the way” and we have to risk looking different or perhaps even strange.
All my life I have wanted to fit in. And all my life I haven’t. I have always been willing to be myself, which made me different like no one else. Being different isn’t always easy because people will make fun or even ridicule a person who isn’t like everyone else. It is often difficult to stand out because when a person stands out they become a target. It takes inner personal strength to be willing to be who we are no matter what.
The good news is that being “authentically you” delivers deep personal satisfaction. It takes personal strength to be willing to travel the road less traveled. However, once we accept ourselves for who we are others will too. We will begin to attract into our lives those who appreciate us for being unique.
All my life I wanted to be different just like everyone else only to realize that I am different like no one else. Being one in a million requires that we risk not fitting in, not being liked by many, and not being mainstream. It can be lonely at times. It can be sad at times and it can be the most rewarding experience. When we embrace who we are and we begin to live from an authentic space, our lives will take on a magical quality. We will begin to attract people who do appreciate the fact that we are different. The fact that we are different like no one else will become an asset. Being different can be our greatest strength if we allow ourselves to appreciate our uniqueness.
Becoming one in a million starts with our own acceptance of who we are. This is a process and not always an easy one. It requires that we embrace all of who we are, the best and the worst, the good and the bad. Once we truly love and appreciate who we are others will too. We will become one in a million.
Are you willing to be one in a million?
Daily Success Formula
Being authentic + Risk + Not fitting in = Being one in a million
“In a million people there are a thousand thinkers, and in a thousand thinkers there is one self-thinker.” Ludwig Borne
“A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable.” Eileen Caddy
“It is not easy to be sure that being yourself is worth the trouble, but [we do know] it is our sacred duty.” Florida Scott-Maxwell
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” e. e. cummings
Step two of Wrapping it up for The New Year is to clarify your values. This may sound odd but until you are sure what your values are it won’t help to set goals. You need to set goals that are based on YOUR values. Not what you think you should value or what someone else or society thinks you should value. This is an important step that cannot be skipped. If you have clarified your values but it has been six months or longer than you need to do it again. I recommend clarifying your values at least every year. They don’t necessarily change, however what becomes the top five will differ depending on what is going on in your life.
If you want support in clarify your values go to CoachLee.com and play the Values Game. This will walk you through the process.
You have made a list of your top 100 accomplishments for 2008
You have clarified your Values (go to CoachLee.com to play the Values game)
Step three will be posted in the next couple of days.
Here’s to taking action,
It Is Ok To Be Ambitious
For some reason, ambition has gotten a bad rap. Ambition is thought about in negative terms such as pushy, aggressive, or egotistical. According to my Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, ambition means:
Eager desire to succeed, to achieve power, wealth, fame, etc.
The object of aspiration or desire To desire and seek eagerly
Like anything, ambition can go too far. However, there is nothing wrong with wanting to do better in life. There isn’t a quota that says only a certain number of people can have what they want. If we are ambitious and work for what we want, then we deserve to reap the rewards of our determination and ambition.
Marie C. Wilson was embarrassed by her ambition, but then realized that being ambitious can create change. “The first time someone ever referred to me as ambitious, I cringed with shame. Then I thought, ‘I’m ambitious for a just society, for a democratic country, for women to be powerful and safe, for men to be able to be caring and not be penalized. I’m ambitious for these things for myself and my children, for our children. And I want the power I need to work with others to make this happen. What’s to be ashamed of?’ Of course, ambition can be ruthless and wrong, but it can be the energy that fuels justice, leadership, and change.” (The O Magazine, September 2001, pg. 300)
Ambition is a funny thing because we get a confusing message from society. We are told to win, but not to win too much, to go for what we want, but not to want too much. I have been told that I am too ambitious and that it makes others uncomfortable. If someone is uncomfortable with our ambition, it has to do with that person, not us. As long as we don’t hurt others to get what we want, there is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting to make a difference.
It is OK to have goals, create a plan, and then be ambitious about making those goals a reality. The better each person does the better society does as a whole. If we all contribute our best and accomplish ambitious things, all of society, including generations to come, will be better for it. It isn’t selfish to want to do your best and fully contribute to the world. Being selfish, in my opinion, is not being willing to share your gifts and be the magnificent person you were meant to be.
Where could you be more ambitious?
Daily Success Formula
Striving to do your best + Setting Goals + Wanting more than average = Being Ambitious
“Ambition never comes to an end.” Yoshida Kenko
“I’ve always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up.” Beverly Sills
“The men who succeed are the efficient few. They are the few who have the ambition and will power to develop themselves.” Herbert N. Casson
Laughter Can Help You Survive The Toughest Aspects Of Life
Laughter can be the elixir that is needed to cope with the stress, frustration, and anger that can be found in daily life. Laughter relaxes the muscles and allows for deep breathing. Breakthrough medical research is shedding new light on the physiologically beneficial effects of laughter on health.
Laughter can come in handy when we are dealing with illness, the pressures of daily stress and work. Laughter helps us get in touch with our feelings and ease the pain of difficult situations. Having a sense of humor is important. Laughing is essential. Laughter is not the same as humor. Laughter is a physical and physiological response to humor.
A few of the benefits of laughter:
Can boost the immune system
Lower blood pressure
Clear the respiratory tract
Provides a workout for your diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles
Craig Zablocki, a humorist and speaker who gives presentations to victims’ groups and health-care professionals says laughter is the best medicine. “It’s exactly what the world needs most, especially now.” According to Zablocki there is a time to cry and people should cry when tragic things happen. “But they have to remember to laugh.”
When we are distressed or under any extreme pressure, we are intensely focused on the problem. We are so close to the situation, it can be impossible to see beyond what is happening. It can feel like we are all alone. The situation can seem so big that it is difficult for us to step back. The problem will color our view of the entire world. Laughter can be a way to step back from the problem and give us a different perspective. Laughter is cathartic; it can clear our heads and help us refocus. According to Lisa Rosenberg, PhD., R.N., laughter can help us cope with stressful situations. Laughing “gives us a mental break and increases our objectivity in the face of overwhelming stress”. (Psychology Today. 1993, Vol 26 No.4., p.18)
Is your LPD (Laughs per Day) average running low? Laughter is so essential to a healthy happy life. It will make even the bleakest of situations seem lighter. The problem is we can get so caught up in what is happening that we can forget to laugh. Remind yourself everyday to laugh. One of my daily habits is to laugh. I sometimes even write in my Daytimer, “Don’t forget to laugh today.”
Is your LPD being met everyday?
Daily Success Formula
Laughter = Good for your health
“Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.” Vaclav Havel
“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.” William Makepeace Thackeray
“He who laughs, lasts.” Mary Pettibone Poole
“If you don’t learn to laugh at troubles, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you grow old.” Ed Howe
It is time to wrap it up. No not the gifts for Christmas, the year. I have a simple process I use with my clients to support them in completing the year and getting ready for the New Year.
The first step is to make a list of 100 accomplishments for the year. Yes I know that is a lot but it will get you thinking and move you past the really obvious ones.
It is important to give yourself credit for what you achieved. It also is a great way to create momentum and excitement for the New Year. Celebrating your accomplishments will give you the confidence to set even more challenging goals for the upcoming year.
So get started, write down your 100 Accomplishments for the Year. Just do it.
Here’s to taking action
P.S. Stay tuned for steps 2-6.
Look Great Feel Confident
How we look affects how we feel about ourselves. It doesn’t mean that we have to look like super models. Most super models don’t look like super models without a lot of assistance. Looking great is a personal thing; it can mean different things to different people. When you look your personal best, you feel better and are more confident in yourself.
Looking great has to do with finding your own personal style. This takes time and certainly can change over the years. What I liked in my twenties isn’t anything near what I like now. Nevertheless, one thing hasn’t changed. I have always been willing to wear what I like and not be totally dictated by fashion trends or the fashion police.
Expressing one’s personal style takes courage. It is nice to get compliments about the way we look, but compliments are about the person who is giving the compliment not about us. It is more important for us to look good for ourselves and not worry about what other people think. What other people think about what we wear isn’t important. The only thing that matters is if we like how we look. When we look great to ourselves, our confidence is boosted.
One question I never ask is, “What are you wearing?” The reason, I don’t care. How other people dress doesn’t matter to me because I am not going to dress like they are anyway. It is nice to know the dress code so that I don’t show up in shorts if the dress code is formal. However, I have been known to show up at a Bar-B-Q in an evening gown when the mood strikes me. I belong to a business dinner club that doesn’t allow jeans. They will turn people way if they are so dressed. Knowing the rules is important. But, it is even more important that we express our own personal style and look good according to our own rules.
It can be a fine line between looking our personal best and meeting the standards of society. As Socrates points out, if we agree to live in a society we agree to live by the rules of that society. Decorum does have some say. It seems disrespectful to me to show up at a wedding in shorts or at a business meeting wearing weekend garb. Though within the rules, we can find our own personal style and express who we really are. I have one executive client that shared with me that sometimes just for fun he wears his Mickey Mouse boxers to work. No one else knows, but it puts him in a lighthearted mood and he smiles all day knowing he has a secret.
Looking great and discovering our own personal style has more to do with who we are inside than what we wear on the outside. The outside is simply an expression of who we are. When we look great according to our own style, our confidence is boosted. Looking great is a way of expressing the best part of who we are. On the days that we don’t feel so great on the inside, looking great on the outside can boost our confidence.
How do you express your own personal style?
Daily Success Formula
Looking great = Boosted Confidence
“Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.” Marcus Aurelius
“I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That’s deep enough. What do you want–an adorable pancreas?” Jean Kerr
“Though it be disfigured by many defects, to whom is his own body not dear?” Panchatantra
Give Yourself A Fresh Start
We all can use a fresh start from time to time. If something isn’t working out the way we want, starting fresh may be just what we need.
I have found that if something isn’t working taking a step back and starting fresh can help. If I am having trouble, it helps for me to get away from it for a while. Several days of focusing on other tasks will allow me to approach the situation feeling renewed. I have also found that, when I stop thinking about the problem and let my mind rest, ideas will pop into my head that I had not thought of before. It seems that taking my mind off the problem allows me to relax into the answer.
Fresh starts can help us look at things from a different perspective. Often we get so bogged down with what we are doing that we can’t see all the possibilities. By taking time to stand back and let our minds relax we can get a fresh perspective.
Is it time for you to take a fresh start?
Daily Success Formula
Fresh start + time = New perspective
“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Edward de Bono
“Genius . . .means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an un-habitual way.” William James