I should be writing.
I should be running.
I should be sleeping.
I should be reading.
I should be writing.
I should be gathering school supplies.
I should be cleaning.
I should be doing yard work.
I should be writing.
I should be analyzing data.
I should be folding clothes.
I should be reading journal articles.
I should be writing.
I’ve found I should be has woven its way into my brain as well as my language. I’ve also found its the thief of present moments. No more.
Oh look at that; I finished writing.
My reading and education mashup lists have been scarce lately, I know. Trust me, I’ve been reading, reading, reading; I just haven’t posted much with our bipolar summer – hectic at many moments and then waaaay laid back at other times. Here’s a little sample of what I’ve been perusing lately.
What about you? What are some readings that have caught your attention lately?
There are lots of things you cannot control in life and in work. Lots. It’s frustrating, I know. Those uncontrollable moments often impact the one thing we can control – ourselves. And when we don’t control ourselves, we look unprofessional or just downright silly. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there are instances when it’s important to let loose, and we’re all vulnerable, so showing so is precious – especially so for leaders.
This week, focus on what you can control. It just might move the needle on the things you once thought you can’t control.
Everyday we are faced with decisions we know we should choose, but for some reason or another, we do not choose it. An easy example is exercise.
I know I should get up before the sun comes up and workout simply because I will not have time in the evening, and it will get overlooked fairly quickly. Physical activity early in the morning is good for my body as well as my brain. Still, oh, it is so much easier to hit my snooze button and sleep and extra 15 minutes. By that time, I can rationalize not even working out because I need every single minute to get ready for work. Since I’m not going to workout, I can sleep another 20 minutes. Yay!
And then I get out of bed – 35 or 40 minutes later – upset at myself for not working out because I know I will literally not have time for the rest of the day to make my physical health a priority in that way.
Exercise is the simple example. We have these internal discussions all the time in both our personal and our professional lives because we know how to choose well and still don’t want to do so. Interestingly, when I’m faced with these kind of decisions, I almost always regret not choosing well, but I never regret actually choosing well. That makes choosing well the subsequent times all the easier.
Choose well today, Friends.
There’s something about being near a person who is passionate – someone who loses himself in his work. She makes it look effortless, but really it’s all skill. She’s lost herself in her work over and over and over again until it is now habitual. None less passionate, but simply part of who he is.
It’s counterintuitive to find yourself by losing yourself amid your passion – by giving yourself away; yet, it’s true. Have you lost yourself recently? Do you feel like you’re simply going through the motions? Maybe you need to lose yourself within your passion again; get back to the root of why you love what you love and then have fun with it.
You just might find yourself saying, “Oh, hello there!” to yourself.
My day today didn’t necessarily deserve this card, but trust me, I have had pah-lenty days where this card would have been more than appropriate. I hope you never have to give it to someone, but chances are, there’s someone you work alongside that really needs a good laugh – or at least needs to know someone is thinking of her or him.
You can download and this card for free.
If you’re passionate about something, chances are you’ll find yourself somewhere on the Passion-Apathy Cycle. For all intents and purposes, this cycle is purely fabricated. It’s simply how I feel at times about my work. I work passionately 95% of the time. I am exhausted 4% of the time, especially if I have to keep working around and against barriers. And then, I’m apathetic for a bit. Until that apathy subsequently fuels my fire even more after I think, “I can’t stop caring about this…If I don’t care about it, who will?”
If you don’t work for a change, who will? If you don’t care about it, who will? It’s okay to sit down during exhaustion. It’s even okay to walk away for a moment in apathy. Renew your passion. And then keep on keeping on.
I hit the vacation snooze button today. My family was in late last week and over the holiday weekend. Everyone went home Sunday morning, and I previously elected to take today off, as well. As you may recall, I’m an introvert. Don’t get me wrong – I adore my family; they ground me and uplift me at the same time. Still, I need time to myself to recuperate. Today was just what I needed. I read with my kiddos, cooked, cleaned, ran (even in the 90-degree Texas heat at 9PM!), went to the library, did a little grocery shopping, played with toys alongside my toddler, and pinned my heart out on Pinterest.
Amid all of that, I had time to think about the days ahead. I needed time to do so because I could feel the anticipation of the week building up each night as I laid down. Have you ever had one of those weeks? One that you can feel before it even occurs? Yeah…one of those.
Typically the snooze button is detrimental to sleep. This proverbial vacation snooze button was just what I needed to prepare for this short week of mine. I’m so glad I hit it.
I know you feel like quitting. Maybe not now. Maybe exactly right now. If you don’t really want to quit, then don’t.
Download it, and pass it on.
My eight year-old son had a planned, outpatient surgery Monday. The surgeon assured me that my son wouldn’t want to move around very much for at least the first two days, and I should administer the liquid opioid pain medication around the clock, every four hours, for the first 48 hours.
No problem. Keeping my son out of pain was and is my number one priority. Still, I was shocked when, within half a day, he was jumping around. I tried to persuade him that “he’d be sorry” he was moving so much. I coaxed him with movies and the ever-ready soothing remedy – mommy’s bed, but he wanted to be up. I thought for sure the next day he’d be feeling the effects and be interested in the recumbent position. But nooooo. I labeled him as noncompliant and went about my work. I’m joking…with a little bit of truth.
My son’s type-A-ism already “shines” forth as he actually reminds me that his pain medicine is due. At least he hasn’t made me a checklist yet, which he definitely has done before.
His resilience fascinates me, though. And I find myself thinking about my own physical and emotional resilience – what mine looks like, when it has waned, and how I can increase it, especially during stressful times.
His resilience is easy to mirror. He’s okay, I’m okay. So, if we’re mirroring one another in the home, am I reflecting resilience to my team and colleagues at work? If not, what should I do differently?
If the people around you don’t seem very resilient, perhaps you should check your reflection.