Sometimes You Need to Press PAUSE

As I looked at my clock it was 3 am and I still had not written my blog post which was schedule to post in an hour. I had a choice to make. Push PAUSE or push through with no sleep for another night. My Drive and Determination to be consistent and do whatever it takes said, “YOU CAN DO IT”. My Mind, Logic & Reasoning said, “You haven’t missed one in six and a half months, so it isn’t the end of the world.” My body said, “I NEED SLEEP, I can’t keep this pace any more.

Two votes won and I chose to press PAUSE.

I needed to be sharp for delivering a stellar key-note presentation that day and weeks of sleep deprivation were already escalating the risk factor.

As my head hit the pillow I knew it was the hardest right decision I needed to make, at least for that day.

The key note was a hit and the next two days were jammed packed. It was 10 PM Saturday night as my head hit the pillow. AHHH !!! I made it through these last three intense weeks. It was filled with great rewards, the price I paid was worth it with only one missed blog. Now time to PAUSE, REFLECT and RE-EVALUATE.

A BIGGER PAUSE than planned.

As my head hit the pillow my body became ruler. I slept and slept and slept and slept. Fifteen hours had passed before I even opened an eye, it was 12:30 pm. Oops that was a really big PAUSE. AND I didn’t feel rested, I was fried and this day two was going to be a wash out. As I realized what I had done I realized I had paid a greater price than I had realized

REFLECT: WHAT PRICE AM I REALLY PAYING?

My husband’s birthday was Saturday. I had driven my tank so empty that I showed up empty instead of showing up filled up. The person who matters most to me got the least of me. The person I chose to do life with got the crumbs. As I laid there Sunday afternoon, missing most the day we were to celebrate him as a family. It was in that moment I MADE A DECISION to LEAVE the PAUSE BUTTON pressed for awhile at least on several items that were on my plate.

REEVALUATE: TIME TO SIFT AND SORT

Without realizing it I had returned to my OLD WAYS of MAKING it HAPPEN. DRIVE HARD. DEPLETE the tank until I can’t go anymore. It had been a long time since I allowed that to happen.
The past few days I did a lot of reflecting, not just on the writing of my blog, or on my business, rather on my entire life. I usually do this type of reflection the week between Christmas and New Years, however this year I got a head start. Not by my brilliant design. Rather by my crazy endless drive and missing out on a cherished part of my life.

I now have a new plan based on WHAT GETS THE BEST of ME and What I say NO to.

I just don’t do things half way. It is either all or nothing, so to some things it is now NOthing.

WHAT is GETTING the BEST of YOU?

WHAT do you need to say, “NO” to?

Would those who love and respect your most agree with your decision?

“Price is what you pay.

Value is what you get.”

Warren Buffett

See a ‘10’, Be a ‘10’

Communications is by far the greatest barrier to achieving results for both people and organizations.   Missed communications, minimal communications, and even over communication are at the center of most all performance gaps I have helped close.

‘The single biggest problem with communication

is the illusion it has taken place.’

George Bernard Shaw

Married couples, parents and kids, co-workers, clients, service providers, business owners, employees, students and communities are begging for better communications.

With all of our technology, have we complicated communications, simplified it, or merely created an illusion of it?

I find it intriguing to see text and emails go back and forth when all one needs to do is pick up the phone and clarity comes in just a few minutes. They are talking, yet no connecting is happening.

The next time your in a restaurant observe the number of people who are sitting together yet not even talking.   Perhaps breathing in the same space is now communications.

I sense frustration when people feel disconnected. They feel as if their time is wasted and their flow of productivity is interrupted for not good reason. Unresolved, disconnection can lead to people feeling under valued or unappreciated. Eventually they will go elsewhere to connect.

In John Maxwell’s book Everyone Communicates Few Connect he wrote that he knows he has connected, thus effectively communicated one on one, with a group, or an audience when he senses:

  • Extra Effort – people go the extra mile
  • Unsolicited Appreciation – they say positive things
  • Unguarded Openness – they demonstrate trust
  • Increased Communication – they express themselves more readily
  • Enjoyable Experiences – they feel good about what they are doing.
  • Emotional Bondedness – they display a connection on an emotional level
  • Positive Energy – their emotional “batteries” are charged by being together
  • Growing Synergy – their effectiveness is greater than the sum of the contributions.
  • Unconditional Love – they are accepting without reservation.

I wonder what is the root all of the missed communications?

Time? Value? Energy? Desire? Ability? What do you think?

In my journey of studying master communicators and having a deep desire to better connect to all people from all ages, cultures, and backgrounds I found effective communication starts FIRST with SEEing VALUE in the OTHER PERSON.

  1. SEE them as a ‘10’ and  become curious about what they are a ‘10’ at.
  2. Strive to BE a ‘10’ so others will want to connect with me.

High achievers, true leaders are highly connected people.

They care about people as well as profits.

They view others optimistically no matter what their position is.

They seek advice from others, including those who report to them.

They are masters at listening to everyone.

SEE a ‘10” BE a ‘10’ and watch your results soar.

“Effective communication is 20% what you know and

80% how you feel about what you know.”

Jim Rohn

HAMMER DOWN – The Final Hours

The journey to this week has been one of the steepest learning curves I have traveled on and a journey I am very familiar with.

Many new challenges to learn with a new team, a new event, a new venue, a new partnership, a new program, and a new me.  I am not who I was before

The familiar journey – the road to success.

The final hours means ONE THING to the way I succeed.

  1. Hammer down – Intense Focus until I cross the finish line.
    1. I say NO to 80% of my typical life in the final hours.
    2. I run hard and only one person is given permission to interrupt me – my assistant.
  1. Intentional interruption – Brief Moments of time to recharge
    1. Work Out – Manage intensity of laser focus
    2. Meals with loved ones
    3. Bits of sleep
  1. EnVISION Success. Breathe it in continually throughout the waking hours
    1. What does it look like
    2. What story will be told by others
    3. How does it feel
    4. How will I celebrate others
    5. Where it will take me next

What do your final hours look like when you are taking a new journey?

 “The road to success is always under construction.”

Arnold Palmer

 

 

3 Feet Short of the Finish Line and 3 Seconds Left

It was the last day of the fiscal year, my first year in software sales. I was $300 shy of a $800,000 goal. Oh, So close, yet it felt a million miles away. I was out of ideas. I had contacted every customer I had been working with and no victory. I felt defeated, yet I didn’t want to give up.

I was about to make the toughest call I ever imagined making to my manager. I had given it all I had and it wasn’t enough.

As I dialed the phone I could hear this voice in my head saying over and over again,

Close only counts in horseshoes. UGH!!! I know I know.

Does anyone remember who came in second place at the Olympics? Yes one person, the person who came in second.

I put the phone back down. I needed to regroup and DECIDE what I was going to say. In that moment another option came to mind. My choice: I’m Done or I need all your Help?

When you find yourself 3 feet shy of the finish line  and the clock is running out what do you do?

I am grateful I had a true leader for a sales manager for what happened in the next 2 hours changed the way I drive myself.

“ Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis

Back to my choice:  Let up or give it all I got and finish strong with help ?

I am thrilled to say at 6:57 pm in Dallas, WE crossed the finish line at 100.001% of quota.

Together, the four of us found a client in my territory willing to add a module to their annual renewal fee.

What an amazing effort, by the inside salesperson I worked with, the client we had developed a relationship with, their procurement officer willing to add a small item to the order that was already in process, and to my manager who helped me see the power of a vision when your just shy of the finish line. AGAINST ALL LOGIC AND REASONING ideas started turning into reality. As we took action hope was renewed and ultimately the team crossed the finish line with a couple of minutes to spare.

Two weeks ago I was reminded again of the physical power a vision. As I started to loose footing on a ropes coarse I realized I had no vision. Quickly I created and image to hang onto. I needed the vision to focus on, to keep my eyes up instead of looking down at where I was.

“Without vision people perish.”  King Solomon

Eight months ago, a vision for an incredible leadership experience formed in my mind of. After casting the vision to a select few we started living from the day as if it already was.

Today as we approach our final days of preparation we paused, took time to enjoy the future memory in our minds once again. After three deep breaths, new ideas began to come to mind and challenges transformed into great new options.

 “Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not

caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision.”

One of the greatest lessons I hold tight to is the power of a vision of success. When I hold that success image in my mind I don’t get stuck. When I start thinking about what all is not going as planned a new image starts to shape in my mind I get stuck in a divided mind. What was I thinking? And I can’t wait to see the learning excitement.

Never underestimate the power of your imagination, the mind already holds the answer, we just don’t always know how to articulate the solution yet. Like a child who doesn’t know the words to express his thoughts, the future memory we create in our mind, our vision, can not be fully expressed until we start creating from it.

 

 “Cherish your visions and your dreams,

as they are the children of your soul,

the blueprint of your ultimate achievements.”  

Napoleon Hill

There is Freedom In It, Yet No One Wants It

Chris McChesney declared ‘There is Freedom in the Discipline’ as he gave a stellar presentation on the 4 Disciplines of Execution.

I cheered for FREEDOM, yeah bring it on. That other word, that ‘D’ word, just tied up my thinking. DISCIPLINE! NO thank you. Where is the fun in that?

DISCIPLINE seemed as far away from FREEDOM as day to night, hot to cold, big to small.

DISCIPLINE meant doing what I DID NOT want to do, not just once, over and over and over again. I saw bondage, not FREEDOM.

Given I was in the room to learn from Chris I decided against throwing his opinion out the window. Instead I pondered the statement he made: ‘There is Freedom in the Discipline’.  

As I flashed back through my life, I discovered there was plenty of evidence to support his statement.

I recalled taking piano lessons at age 5. After a few weeks I was mentally done. I begged to quit. Everyday it was pure torture to get me to practice. To make matters worse I had to play meaningless scales over and over and over again. I didn’t want to play scales or practice, I wanted to play the music I liked to listen to but I couldn’t.

Then there was the recital. Ugh! I bet I had to play that one song 8 thousand times. A song I didn’t even like. I was given three to pick from and I picked NONE, I didn’t like any of them. Eventually I was given the song I had to memorize. Mom, please, please let me quit. Finally, at 13 I was FREED. FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST. No more lessons, no more practicing, no more piano, no more daily battles, I had WON MY FREEDOM, or did I?

Fast forward 25 years.

It was an extra special night. The time had come for a private family recital. The kids begged their Dad to go outside and play. He knew what they needed to do and they complied.

Keld’s daughter played the piano beautifully and to think she was only 10 years old. Next his son picked up the violin, at age 12 he was already playing with the local symphony. He played with great technical skill and emotion. WOW as if that wasn’t enough, Keld pulled back the piano seat and before I realized it, I was drawn in. He was a concert pianist , modeling the FREEDOM in DISCIPLINE. He performed from memory a very complex piece and his children knew what his true FREEDOM was.

‘Discipline yourself, and others won’t need to.’ John Wooden

 

Now for the toughest question:

Were they willing to pay the price he paid to have the FREEDOM to play whatever they wanted?

 

THE FREEDOM truly was in decades of DISCIPLINE.

He received the gift of FREEDOM for the price of daily DISCIPLINE.

 

Discipline isn’t just an action. It is an action that becomes one with your heart.

 

What do you really want?

What price are you willing to pay for what you say you really want?

What FREEDOM is lost if you don’t develop the DISCIPLINE?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When is Too Late, Really Too Late?

In the midst of launching a brand new event to an entirely new market we found ourselves experiencing one setback after another. It was like we couldn’t even get out of the gate.

‘Were we even supposed to do this?’ one person asked. Doubt had already set in for him.

For me, it was an absolute yes. I was made for this, lets play big, doubt free or stay home. Playing BIG super charges me, that is until a week or two before the BIG DAY and everything starts to either come together or come unglued.

What I have learned is the state of mind of the Leader is what paints the final picture for the team. It is too late to do anything else when the Leader Decides It’s Too Late.

The Leader blows the final whistle, not the team.

Now ten days before the “BIG” day, I reflected on last nights team call. Had I continued to hold the image of what I had been envisioning for months and encourage others to do the same or was I starting to think it’s too late at 10 days and counting?

I’m sure each of you, like me have created the picture perfect Image of a significant event and even created the perfect plan to fulfill the vision you have painted in your mind, just like I did.

When do you tend you reach for the whistle and declare it’s too late?

Years ago I discovered a very powerful 3 letter word when I was forming a new team and I kept hearing we can’t…. I would smile and say, “I’m sorry I wasn’t asking if we could… I was asking HOW CAN WE?  

Whenever I lead with HOW I get to see brilliant ideas released from the team. Not only does engagement increase, so does team ownership of the VISION.

When is it really too late?

When do YOU pull the plug and make adjustments?

This is the toughest call when it is the first time doing something especially with a brand new team. When I have no personal experience how long something should take or what should work I think about seedtime and harvest. We sow seed and believe in time it will sprout. How long before I should expect to see the sprout break through?

When I clearly don’t know my favorite question to ask is WHO KNOWs and how can they help us?

When I find my WHO KNOWs person questions just flow:

What do I need to do?

How do I best do it?

How long should I expect to wait before changing things?

What obstacles or resistance should I expect?

Who else can help us?What can I do to minimize them?

What is the quickest way to reach you when I’m stuck?

What information do I need to make sure I am prepared to share with you before I call you?

What will stop you from helping me?

Who else can help us?

WHO DO YOU KNOW that can help us?

When do you need to face reality that it is just too late?

We’ve run out of ideas.

We’ve been mentored by the masters. Now what?

Do we face reality?

Facts need to be discussed and yet they are not the truth about what still can be done..

It’s never too late when there is still someone to be served.

 

‘’The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What Price Are You Willing to Pay?

I  spent an amazing 3 hours with a young woman passionate about making a difference in her family and for her passionate cause. As I looked into her eyes I could see how tired she was, how she was hanging on tight to do her absolute best. I could see a person wondering, is it all worth it? Am I paying too high of a price for my vision?

Only she knows the price she is willing to pay. Only she knows how much she burning desire she really has to passionately make a difference.

I thought about the limits we often place on ourselves and yet once again we are able to reach deep inside for another ounce of energy, just enough to hang on tight for at least another day.

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Yesterday I spent an hour and a half with a relentless business owner, tirelessly pursuing the vision placed on his heart 25 years ago. He declares he is growing weary, ready to turn his operations of his companies over the right person. He thinks he is ready to retire from the grind of the day to day. I wonder what will he do.

I wondered what price had he paid to reach this point in his life? I had no doubt he would always remain passionate about making a difference in the lives of others and I wondered what would he do after 25 years of such an intense pursuit.

Only he knows the price he is willing to continue paying. Only he knows how much longer he will remain in relentless pursuit of his dream, his burning desire to make a difference.

What cost are you willing to pay for your goals and Vision or Dream?

Can you already identify some of the costs you have paid toward achieving your goals and dreams?

Have you already considered the price you are willing to pay as well as the cost you are not willing to pay?

How will the price you are willing to pay impact your family, your health and your core values?

“All dreams are outside our comfort zone.

Leaving that zone is the price we must pay to achieve them.”

John C. Maxwell

I discovered I paid way more than I ever intended for my dream and I am not done yet. I also realized I needed to raise my commitment to my vision because I am not going to make the price paid to date irrelevant.

I have learned the following prices are ones you MUST be willing to pay in order to achieve your vision and goals.

  1. Price of overcoming your fears.
  2. Price of dealing with criticism from people who matter to you.
  3. Price of hard work.

What are the non-negotiables of your life?

What price are YOU NOT WILLING to PAY?

Leading Through FEAR

We were divided into three groups: Chicken Littles, the Middle of the pack, and the Extremes.

Where do you think most people self-selected?

Exactly – The Middle.

What group would you have selected just by title alone, without knowing what we were doing?

As we hit the course our mentor reminded us, ‘there is no winning or loosing on the course. There is not even a team competition. This is about stretching yourself and becoming aware how YOU handle challenges, face YOUR fears, and process failures.’

We were first up on the Power Pole, or Pucker Pole as some called this 35 ft Leap of Faith.

‘To fight fear, act. To increase fear – wait, put off postpone.’

David Joseph Schwartz

Already harnessed up I could sense I was getting anxious. I had done it before so I was confident I could do it again. Wait that was nine years ago and this body isn’t what it used to be. Then mind kicked into overdrive. ‘You can do this, it’s like riding a bike.’

It felt like seconds as I sped up the pole. I recalled my past two successes . Breath, FOCUS, look up and out. HOLD THE IMAGE in the distance.

Wait, where does my foot go?  This pole is really skinny. As I looked down I realized that was a bad move. The pole really started to sway back and forth. Crap, NO bueno, May day May day, I don’t like this one bit.

I recalled that feeling from my past success as well. I immediately looked up, started to take slow deep breaths and tell myself to RELAX, FOCUS, CENTER, BREATH. Yeah, the swaying stopped! That’s the missing piece, find my center to stay balanced.

Center … Center   I’m up !!! The pole is wiggling again and I’m standing. VICTORY !!!

On the ground I had decided that just standing was victory, I recalled from past experience very few taller people reach the trapeze and I was technically too short to expect to catch the trapeze.

As I swayed back and forth I am thinking I did it. I reached my goal, to stand on the pole. It never phased me that I wasn’t done yet. I was to take a Leap of Faith – go for the trapeze.

Out of reflex, I REACHED to GRAB anything to stabilize myself instead of recalling what worked a few seconds ago: FOCUS, CENTER, BREATH

There was only one thing to grab – my harness line. Oops bad idea, I pulled myself off the pole. With one hand hanging on and one reaching out I heard. Oh so close.

Next stop – the zip lines. I love ZIP lines. My husband and I had done several through trees, across creek beds and gorges in Jamaica. What a thrill, no fear as I zipped through the air, major rush to jump off the tiny platform. There is something about the tiny space to stand on high up in the air. Zipping high up is awesome, standing still – No thank you.

Last stop – TEC Course suspended 55 ft in the air, branded as ‘the stupid thing’ by the entire middle group. Strange thing I learned from these high wires and floating boards with obstacles to navigate around, this was my favorite. I had space to work with. I was free to pick my path, I had intermediate platforms to stabilize on before charting my next strategy and there were several of us on it at once to observe and learn from.

We had saved the best for last and I ran through it almost easier than walking down the street.  Wait, that was too fast, oh well, I’m spent, time to celebrate and share our lessons.

10 Lessons I Learned  Leading Through F.E.A.R.

  1. I often move too fast and then miss the unrecoverable best of the moment.
  2. I don’t like to be confined to tiny spaces. It doesn’t matter if I am 55’ in the air or flat on the ground.
  3. I thrive with challenges, obstacles, open space, freedom of choice, and continual movement.
  4. What I recall from past successes may not be the complete picture.
  5. How I spend the time on the ground determines how successful I am in the air.
  6. What got me here, won’t get me there but it can keep me moving.
  7. The meaning I attached to a failure can either serve me or hinder me. It’s my choice.
  8. Failure is a matter of perspective.  Those that never tried see our success in trying to do what they weren’t willing to do.
  9. If I’m not careful I stop inches from the goal, get distracted or set a shorter goal without taking a leap of faith.
  10. Not everyone has the same goals. We choose them based on what we think we can do versus REALLY WANT to celebrate.

I was my best when I:

  • Found my platform before moving
  • Expanded my space to work in and towards
  • Acknowledged my strengths and let go
  • Released 100% of my energy and passion

How do you handle challenges, failures, and lead through your fears?

What thinking has best served you?

‘One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises,

is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.’ Henry Ford

 

ANTICIPATION – For the NEW in TODAY

As I board the plane, I can hardly contain the excitement. I have been looking forward to this trip since the day I said, “Count me in”.

Whether I’m heading to a special event or a long needed vacation, anticipation keeps me in a mode of consistent persistence, a super charged season of completion. Do what has to be done before … so I can …

What it is about anticipation that drives us, or at least drives me? Is it the change in routine, the special connect time with a loved one, or perhaps it’s learning something new that will move me closer to my dreams. Whatever it is, there is a special energy in my spirit as the day approaches. I become more productive and even take on those things I have been procrastinating with.

“He who matures early lives in anticipation.”  Theodor Adorno 

Wouldn’t you like to tap into the spirit of anticipation and unleash it everyday, not just for significant changes in your routine or special events?

I decided there had to be extra golden nuggets waiting for me if I cracked the code. Waking each morning in anticipation for today, not next month, not for tomorrow, rather for today.

What I am learning is rather simple, yet not so easy to do even though we know and have heard this before.

  • Declare today as a new day filled with great relationships and new opportunities, a day filled with gifts and surprises, a day filled with excitement and answers to the challenges I am facing.
  • Now that you declared it, be on a quest, a treasure hunt, to find that which you treasure. Be on the look out for it. Expect that IT WILL appear. If you don’t expect it, there is nothing to anticipate. If your not looking for it you will miss it.
  • Celebrate the little treasures of the day. A warm hello that lifts your spirit, a new idea that comes to mind as your driving down the road, a question repeats itself over and over in your mind. Just like the idea to write about ANTICIPATION. I became curious, then I wondered what make this day different, ah yes, the trip, then I wondered how can I get this same level of productivity in each day versus just before a trip where I convinced myself things had to be completed before I boarded the plane.
  • End your day with gratitude for the wonders of the day. Focus on the joys of moments. Today as I looked up I saw a couple I hadn’t seen in a month. The moment was priceless, a treasure of the day, totally unexpected and I’m so grateful I wasn’t too busy doing or I would have missed the brief connection that lifted all of our spirits. As I end the day with gratitude I find myself wondering who will I get to see tomorrow. What surprises will the day bring me? I smile as I close my eyes building anticipation for tomorrow, another day that could look like the same old same old, however now I know it will only look the same if my eyes are closed to what is different about this new day.

As you read this become curious about what is truly NEW in this DAY. There is NO WAY it will be identical to yesterday.

People will not be in the same places at the same time, thinking and doing what they were doing yesterday. IT IS A NEW DAY. ENJOY the difference. LOOK for the DIFFERENCE. RENEW your mind as this day unfolds differently. Look closer. What is different about the people in your home? The person next to you at work? The drive to school or the walk across the street?

WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

CAN YOU FIND the NEW in TODAY?

I am taking the challenge to consistently find the treasures in each new day.

Will you join me?

The Gift of Patience

I have to admit the day God was handing out patience, I was already off and running. I spent my entire career developing patience. Patience with people, patience with myself, patience with the process and then one day my manager told me I had too much patience and I needed to have a shorter fuse.

Really? I thought he was kidding only to find out he didn’t think my laughter was too funny. He was serious and I was confused.

How much patience is enough, how much is too little? Have Patience, Don’t have patience. Faster isn’t always better, ask the parents of a preemie.

We live in a world of instant. Instant gratification, instant messaging, instant rebates, instant feedback via social media, instagrams, and instant answers via Google. Faster, Faster, Faster.

I soon came to realize the world of instant had drained my ability to be patient.

I was loosing

Patience with myself, my own progress on my goals.

Patience with others, and their performance.

Patience with getting answers

Patience with getting results

Patience with my family.

 

It was time to say ENOUGH.

GREAT THINGs worth having take extreme PATIENCE  and I needed PATIENCE NOW.

 

“Patience is that faculty inherent in the human soul which enables

the individual to accomplish his mission without allowing himself to be diverted from

his purpose by the obstacles that could obstruct his path of progression.

Patience strengthens the will and fortifies

the intellect against the discouragements of life.”

Dr. Thurman Fleet

When was the last time you just said ENOUGH and traded INSTANT in for PATIENCE?

How would yesterday have turned out differently if you had been more patient?

I have along way to go however this I have learned about the GIFT of PATIENCE .

  • Patience comes in all different shapes and sizes. Spurts and Large doses.
  • Always keep moving forward knowing there is more than one obstacle ahead that will slow you down
  • There is more than one way around that obstacle when it appears.
  • PATIENCE rests on faith in ourselves, others, and in GOD, the Grand Overall Designer.

‘Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.’

John Quincy Adams