“The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” Ellen Glasgo
Which of todays planned actions or this week’s will lift your spirit, boost your energy, inspire positive change, get you moving, supercharge your enthusiasm, expand your self awareness, advance your goals, stimulate your senses, drive you forward, turn your dreams into reality and provide a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment?
I was waiting in the reception area for my annual review. Usually conducted by my boss but somehow I was about to face the irascible, irritable and impatient CEO. I was certainly nervous but quietly confident. I was 25, an innovative and a productive powerhouse, an accomplished trainer and the head of a department that received consistently high marks.
I was at the top of my game, admittedly somewhat arrogant, with a smart mouth and a sarcastic edge that did not always make friends.
“My job,” the CEO began, “Is to make sure every employee in this company has the ability, the encouragement and the resources to realize their full potential.”
So far so good – but something didn’t feel right.
“Congratulations,” he continued, “Over the past year you have met or exceeded every measure we have set for you. The management team is delighted, as I am also.
However, when I compare your accomplishment to your potential, you are failing badly!”
“Son, this is too easy for you. You’re coasting. You’re in a rut. It’s a “Velvet Lined Rut” and very comfortable, but it’s still a rut!
While we are grateful for your work, we are taking advantage of your naivety and exploiting your complacency and we are certainly not doing what’s best for you!
My recommendation is to seek an organization with a position that will stretch you to the limit, and reveal to you what you are capable of becoming.”
I sat in stunned silence listening to my heart pounding.
“Go home. Talk this through with your wife. Discuss your professional rut dilemma to see if it extends into your personal life?
All I could think of was that famous quote about driving country roads. “Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for the next 60 miles!”
I will be forever grateful to that insightful CEO. It was exactly the kick-in-the-ass my family and I needed.
Ten Years later I was President and owner of a High Tech Company, we had relocated from England, to Germany and then on to Massachusetts, and my professional, personal and family life were immeasurably better.
Wherever you are, in a Velvet Lined Rut or not, if it is your fully conscious and fully aware choice then sit back and enjoy your life.
But if like me you are endlessly curious, eager to climb and look over the next hill, and committed to wrestling with becoming the best person you can be, there is little choice.
“But there was a difference between being stuck and choosing to stay.
Between being found and finding yourself.” Martina Boone
The world outside my rut is restless, relentless, constantly changing, challenging, profound, inspiring, disturbing, fascinating and endlessly rewarding.
In turn I became a CEO and I can only hope I had the foresight and the courage of the man who changed my life forever.
“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden” –Johann von Goethe
Are you in a rut?
Do you dream of a better life?
Working with a Coach can help you gain a perspective on where you are, where you can go, and how you can get there from here!
Everything starts as somebody's daydream. Larry Niven
As a child I was frequently brought to task because I absented myself from the prison like environment of an overcrowded and generally unpleasant school system by escaping into a deeply satisfying daydream. As a result, I am eternally grateful to those few overworked and harassed teachers, who turned a blind eye to my ‘quiet’ presence but absent participation!
Daydreaming is a short term detachment from one’s immediate surroundings, during which a persons contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake. Wikepedia
In spite of my school experience, my career success demonstrated that daydreaming is not only a healthy outlet it is a powerful and productive way to clarify, envision and focus on an alternative future.
In practice the ability to visualize yourself achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams, while experiencing the benefits and the pleasure of accomplishment and success, as though it were happening now, provides leverage and the energy to turn thoughts into actions and dreams into reality.
“We grow great by daydreams. All successful men and women are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day, or in the red fire of a long winters evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them into the sunshine or light, which comes always to those who sincerely hope their dreams will come true.” Woodrow Wilson
Daydreams remind you of your vision and passions, they ease stress and enhance creativity, and help you find solutions. They boost energy, enthusiasm and optimism, and they are a therapeutic release from stress, anxiety and the demands of reality.
Although daydreaming can be misunderstood as a waste of valuable time, or perceived as non-productive and even an escapist activity; great thinkers, leaders, writers and innovators throughout history have recognized daydreaming as an essential tool in their success.
Daydream: Let Your Mind Wander!
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Edgar Allan Poe
Daydreaming is now a mainstream and widely accepted practice, with meditation and guided meditation, as great support tools to expand our mind and explore potential and possibility.
The integration with a personal Vision Statement, your affirmations and declaration of intent, is extraordinarily productive, particularly when you ‘choose’ the idea you will daydream about.
So instead of waiting for divine inspiration, select your dream and combine daydreaming with guided mediation and seek to visualize and ‘experience’ your future life and success.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
Bonnie Ware, an Australian hospice nurse published a book to illustrate the most common regrets in life made by terminal patients. What is surprising, or perhaps not, are the absence of reflections on achievement, the collection of possessions or accomplishments, and the accumulation of wealth. Consistently the regrets were focused on dissatisfaction with personal fulfillment.
The Five Regrets of Dying...
What can you learn from these insights?
That living in balance and harmony and in seeking fulfillment in your life and work is the ultimate measure of success?
The implication is not that the pursuit of accomplishment and achievement is wrong or unnecessary, but it must be balanced with mindful awareness, by living in the present moment, by being grateful, and by taking time to celebrate the people, family and relationships, which add such value to our lives.
When looking at the powerful communication devices we have at our fingertips, they seem to provide extraordinary potential. Yet more and more people are concerned with an introspective preoccupation with the technology and less and less of a meaningful connection between people.
“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
It is obvious as we get older possessions begin to lose their importance and are gradually replaced by a focus on friendship and relationships, on mindful living and a deep sense of awareness, and on a connection to the beautiful world we are all fortunate to live in.
Although many are consumed with the daily and often essential treadmill of achievement, looking back over their life story causes the same people to regret the lack of meaning, the lack of fulfillment and the missed opportunity in their lives.
“The peace each of these people found is available to you now, without waiting for your final hours. You have the choice to change your life, to be courageous, to live a life true to your heart, one that will see you pass without regret.” Bonnie Ware
For those who are focused on improving their lives and seeking personal growth and fulfillment Ruby Red Road is presenting an extraordinary and unique two-day workshop in Saratoga Springs in May. This limited seating event is called The Irresistible Advantage: Your Blueprint for Success. It will change your life forever!
Most would love the opportunity to have a conversation with a lost parent. Memory provides a fragmented history but perspective changes with time and accumulated experience. Asking a question now would be quite intriguing.
Imagine, discovering a Journal or a Diary your Father or Mother kept? Would this be fascinating, disturbing, informative and/or deeply revealing? Would it be valuable, meaningful and important? Imagine the insights you could gain into their day-to-day lives, their hopes and dreams, their struggles and frustrations, and the simple minutia of daily living?
I think we would all value and treasure such a record and gain understanding and appreciation from this personal history. So why don’t you keep a journal? Apart from the wonderful legacy someone may gain in 25, 50 or 100 years, the immediate benefits of keeping a journal are well documented.
Keeping a journal helps you to be more reflective and contemplative, to learn and understand more about yourself, and to use these insights to authentically guide your actions. This record gives you an outlet for your creativity in ruminating about your hopes and dreams, in connecting with your values and beliefs, and in dealing with challenges and frustrations.
A journal is about self-discovery, developing self-awareness and a reminder to be present and live life in the moment. It is about self-care and a healthy release as the act of writing reduces stress and anxiety and puts problems in perspective.
It helps you stay focused and organized and stay on track with important goals and projects. You can use it to capture important data, dates and events, or simply make it a simple reflection around the quality of your life.
Once you commit to writing without judgment it becomes a powerful tool to improve clarity, to forge a clear personal vision and to use the past to shape the future.
Change always comes bearing gifts. Price Pritchett
Are you brave and why is this relevant?
Everyday we face possibility and opportunity and intuitively make decisions. These choices balance risk and reward. Some stimulate fear and anxiety. While others require courage and determination. Although not consciously aware, many of these decisions revolve around our attitude toward change and the uncertainty it generates. Do we bravely embrace opportunity or do we fearfully anticipate upheaval.
This is not to say fear is an entirely negative emotion, especially if there is some real danger. Although, fearlessness may be essential in a movie hero’s performance, in real life caution is generally the safest behavior. That’s why skydivers have a backup parachute.
But bravery is more about everyday living than feats of heroism and courage. These could include being assertive; letting go of the past; forgiving someone; becoming an Entrepreneur; making a presentation, starting a new job; meeting new people; saying no; attending a networking meeting; talking to a teenager; standing up for what you believe in; apologizing; being a parent; facing an illness and ignoring the negative to focus on the positive.
“When the winds of change blow... some people build walls and others build windmills.“ Chinese Proverb
When you choose bravery you are pushing back against fear. You are expanding your comfort zone rather than keeping it small. You are facing life with courage, choosing self-esteem and self-confidence over self-doubt. You are improving awareness, knowledge and experience to increase self-assurance. You choose growth and learning to live a more accomplished and a more fulfilled life.
Life is about change. It is about awareness and response. It is about courage and adaptation. It is about bravely seeking the best path and managing our fear positively.
Bravery is how we adapt to change and improve the quality of our lives.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Tony Robbins
Do you often find yourselves involved in activities you should never have committed to? Are you frustrated by your inability to anticipate what is now painfully obvious?
What was I thinking? If only I had thought more deeply before saying yes.
Our lives are full of activities we are supposed to engage in, pursuits deemed as beneficial, recommendations that are often defined as “perfect” and yet somehow, even with our best intentions, these disciplines are rarely completed and can depress our spirit.
This is particularly evident when choosing and planning a goal. Many actions require doing something we are not currently doing, and while each step is logical and often not particularly difficult, it rarely gets finished. This is frustrating when you were originally so committed.
I have, on the advice of the medical community, committed many times to swim for a lower back problem. Unfortunately, even though I can swim, I have never enjoyed it. I would agree and never actually swim!
I eventually realized that swimming did not source me but depleted me, and Tai Chi sourced me without depleting me. Before you agree to an activity you should ask and answer these questions.
• Do you look forward to the activity or do you avoid it?
• Does it light you up or diminish your enthusiasm?
• Does it integrate easily into your schedule or does it represent a major disruption?
If the activity depletes you, even thought it is the right thing to do, consider finding an alternative that accomplishes similar results, and is an activity that “sources” you. There are usually several alternatives and even though some are not as effective as others, it is better to choose an activity with the highest likelihood of completion.
To avoid stress, tension and misery it is essential to avoid negative situations, people and environments. Certainly by attacking a task with a positive attitude and determination you can minimize adversity, but with significant personal energy expenditure.
There will be occasions when you have to do a task no matter how you feel, as it may be the only viable option. When you can choose activities and actions that feed and sustain your energy and enthusiasm, and add value to your life rather than diminish your chance of success.
Before you agree to a yes or no reply you could say – let me look at my schedule and get back to you – or – can you give me some time to think about this?
Bothe replies are delay tactics but giving yourself time to fully consider the implications and options puts you in control of your decisions. It is better to take decisive action now that to suffer in silence later.
By asking… Does this source me or deplete me, you give yourself the opportunity to consider your options and look before you leap.
“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” John C. Maxwell
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As a coach I am passionate about each client’s ability to escape the status quo, to break through barriers, to push aside obstacles, to make and sustain positive change and tor create the life they will love to live.
Call Kevin at 518-932-7856 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why wait, you are primed to succeed!