Memorial Day is a time for rest and time for celebration. Schools for the most part are out which means summer break is underway. Memorial Day weekend is a time for travel and time when families gather for picnics, bbq’s, and camping.
While there is no way to adequately say thank you to the families who have lost so much, there is something we all can do…
When asked, “what’s the single most important factor you attribute to your success in life, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett both answered, “my focus.”
I totally agree, and as an executive coach, some of the greatest personal and professional breakthroughs I’ve seen are when a client invests time and energy aligning their focus around the question, “what’s important now?”
Know this, the journey to your best year yet will be tough. Navigating new terrain is challenging and sometimes it is difficult to sustain momentum. Don’t lose heart, embrace the adventure! Focus on your vision, modify your action plan if necessary or the time-table, but keep moving forward toward your goal of making 2016 Your Best Year Yet!
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King
If your momentum has stalled or if your stuck, don’t give up! Give me a call and let’s set up a time for a conversation to make sure you keep moving forward in 2016! You can reach me directly at email@example.com.
For the last several years I have declared a theme to start the New Year. This one word focus serves as a powerful guide to influence my mindset over the next 365 days. This year my theme for 2016 is Posture.
- the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose, the pose of a model or artistic figure
- state or condition at a given time especially with respect to capability in particular circumstances <maintain a competitive posture in the market>
- a conscious mental or outward behavioral attitude
The first component of the definition, and most recognized, deals with the positioning of ones body. My selection of posture for a theme describes a positioning for me as well, only it is my mind. In order to achieve the goals I have for 2016, I know my mind has to be in the right place.
The fourth quarter is often a time of excitement, angst and transition in our work lives. Year-end sales goals and projects, performance reviews, promotions and career transitions dominate our thinking.
- The theme I hear across all of these scenarios is, “How do I tell my story?”
- How do I tell my story so that my business development efforts succeed?
- How do I tell my story so that my performance is recognized and valued in the organization?
- How do I tell my story so that I can transition to a new role in my company or with a new organization?
Effective storytelling is a theme that unites the people who advance in their chosen careers.
“It’s stage-four cancer.” Those were the words my oncologist shared with me on February 16, 2011.
Learning you have cancer is a life-altering experience. Hearing your cancer has returned is unimaginably disheartening. But when you find out your cancer has returned for a third time with a stage-four diagnosis, it is devastating….especially if you’re going to propose the next week.
Ironically cancer brought us together in the first place. Shari and I knew each other casually, but when my Merkel cell cancer returned for a second time she was one of the first people to reach out to me.
Photo credit iStockphotos © 36clicks
While change can be immediate, growth is gradual. Experience has taught me this principle must be understood to build momentum and it must be embraced for personal growth to take place.
Far too often in my life, and maybe yours, this principle was overlooked. You start with a plan, put your head down and focus on taking steps in the direction of your goal. Early success creates momentum, but as the path becomes familiar and progress slows, there is a tendency to question the pace.
The world we live in makes it tough for us to have long periods of sustained growth. Culture conditions us to expect quick fixes and overnight success. “Why expend the energy and effort when pills are available and cosmetic options exist to deliver results now!”
I have had March 3, 2015 circled on my calendar for almost four years. The date represents a cancer milestone for me and an anniversary of a conversation which provided wisdom in navigating life challenges, trials, and adversity.
Photo credit: Victor Correia©
4 Months, 4 Years, or 40 Years
1. A stone functioning as a milespost.
2. A significant event or stage in the life, progress, development, or the like of a person, nation, etc.
Actually the significance of March 3, 2015 points back to a pivotal conversation which occurred four years earlier on March 3, 2011. On that day my fiancé and I were meeting with the Pastor who would marry us. Mike Teston asked us to share our stories and why we wanted to be married now as opposed to in the fall which was our original plan. We shared how my merkel cancer had returned for a third time and had spread to the point where a stage-four diagnosis now required radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. In the two hours we were together, questions were asked and answers given, tears were shed, and prayers were prayed. As we were saying goodbye Mike said,
If we take time to examine our hearts we will find moments in our lives which define us. Typically these defining moments are found at the end of a long road of pivotal circumstances, either positive or negative, which result in our lives being forever changed.
Several years ago author Jeff Goins was promoting the release his book, Wrecked – when a broken world slams into your comfortable life, and he asked people to share stories of when their lives had been “wrecked.” Jeff published the story I submitted on the Wrecked website in 2012 and today I share an excerpt of Damage Goods with you today.
Early on we both knew where we were tracking as a couple. Our relationship was so rich, the conversations were so natural, and our values and beliefs were totally in sync. We were confident the path we were on would lead to marriage some time in the fall of 2011. Our plan was for an extended courtship, not because we were not ready to wed, rather because we wanted to do everything we could to protect and ensure Shari’s teenage sons had time to adjust to a new man being in their lives.
The year began with the pastor of my church asking a simple question, what breaks your heart?
iStockphoto credit © Jeffrey Smith
An easy question to dismiss by some who already had more pressing questions awaiting answers. A difficult question for those who had an answer, but who knew if they acted upon their answer they would find themselves outside of their comfort zone.
What Breaks Your Heart?
What breaks your heart was certainly not a of question I wanted to be asked right now. I thought to myself,
of all times for Andy to ask this question, why did it have to be now?
In my eyes the timing of this question could not have come at a worse time for me. I was in the midst of starting a new company while working through the course work and mentor training to obtain my PCC accreditation. Yet in all my busyness, Andy’s question traveled from my mind to my heart and there was an answer which had to be addressed.