A classic sign of addictive behavior is when

“A classic sign of addictive behavior is when something not human starts to supplant human relationships.”

—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School

Image from Unsplash by Unsplash

Over the 4th of July holiday we attended a family pool party. The weather and water temperature were perfect. It was extra special because everyone focused on each other the entire day without a cell phone in sight — except for one individual.

When not swimming or eating, this person was head down in his device, even when his bathing-suit-clad children were seeking his attention to talk or play.

EXERCISE:

Where do you or others in your life prioritize things over people? What addictive behaviors need some adjustment to demonstrate that the best things in life are not things?

Check in with yourself. Schedule a ME-Ting

Check in with yourself. Schedule a ME-Ting.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jordan McQueen

How many meetings did you attend last week? How many are scheduled for this week? What percentage of them are you looking forward to, and serve an important purpose?

How much time do you carve out of your days for “Me Time”?  How often can you guarantee that you will have the time to work on your top priorities or simply relax and recharge after a day of attending other’s meetings?

EXERCISE:

Block out time on your schedule today for a ME-Ting with yourself to do whatever you want. Experiment with different amounts of time and different times of the day to see what works best. Try this exercise on both weekdays and weekends to both check in and check out when needed.

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered.

—Barry Demp

Image from Unsplash by XPS

How we carry our load of responsibilities when we are overwhelmed is very important to keeping our balance and not being crushed by the weight of things.

Breaking things down into smaller bites can help us to tackle even big challenges.

Steps I’ve found helpful include:

  1. Write down everything on your personal and professional To Do lists. This may take many sheets of paper. Keep asking “what else?” until you get it all.
  2. Estimate how many minutes each activity will take to complete.
  3. Prioritize the items that are both highly important and highly urgent. Be rigorous here, and consider discussing this list with others.
  4. Using your calendar, insert enough priority items to offer you a doable level of challenge, based on the time available.
  5. Share your intentions and plans with key individuals to establish agreed upon expectations, and to avoid upsets.

EXERCISE:

Schedule 15-60 minutes today to dump your brain and go through the steps above.
Be prepared to have this process take a number of days until you make this exercise a habit.
Share this exercise with a colleague, friend, family member, or a coach, to help you regain you momentum and the traction you desire.

“The feeling of being rushed saturates our entire way of life.”

“The feeling of being rushed saturates our entire way of life.”

—Richard Carlson & Joseph Bailey, Slowing Down the Speed of Life

Image from Unsplash by Bad Betty X

What does it mean to be saturated?

What comes to mind for me is a skin care commercial touting some wonder cream, embracing every pore of one’s skin with moisture.

What if being rushed was more like a coat of paint that clogs every pore and does not allow us to breath, eventually suffocating us? Consider the scene in the James Bond film Goldfinger, in which one character was killed by being covered in gold.

EXERCISE:

To what degree and in what ways is rushing around saturating your life?

How and in what ways can you wash away these barriers today, to experience greater freedom, and breathe easier?

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

—Sir Tom Stoppard, British playwright and screenwriter

How has your life changed over the last few months? Where have you exited from the familiar aspects of your pre-COVID-19 life, into uncharted waters? What have you done to right your ship and chart your course forward as you enter each new day?

A tool coaches often use with their clients in the development of goals is called the Wheel of Life, in which each spoke represents a priority in one’s life. The list can be modified based on your areas of greatest importance:

• Family • Relationships • Health • Finance • Adventure
• Spirituality/Faith • Work/Profession • Community • Personal Growth • Learning

EXERCISE:

Consider discussing your own life priorities with family, friends, colleagues, mentors, a coach, or other trusted adviser to more fully explore your own transitioning efforts of exits and new entrances.

How can the support of these individuals help you live a more full and meaningful life?

“Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

“Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

–Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 20th Century Polish Aphorist and Poet

Image from Unsplash by Sven Mieke

Among my top priorities is my daily video chat with my 93-year-old father. Marvin lives in an assisted living facility in Florida.

Over the past few months, the residents have been quarantined to their rooms, with very limited interactions except for meal and medication deliveries.

EXERCISE:

Who are the seniors and super-seniors in your life? How and in what way can you honor and experience the work of art they are?

Please consider replying to this post regarding how you and your families celebrate this beauty.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

—Nido Qubein, President of High Point University

Image from Unsplash by Branden Collum

In one or two sentences, please describe your present circumstances in the following areas:

  • Your health
  • Your relationships at home
  • Your relationships at work
  • Your personal finances
  • Your level of happiness
  • Your emotional well-being

Feel free to add a few more priority categories that come to mind. Based on your description, which of these areas would you rate as Poor, OK, Good, Great, or Outstanding?

EXERCISE:

Select the one area in which you most wish to progress. Note that your current circumstances are simply the place where you will begin. Consider developing an action plan for the next week or month that will take you toward your desired objectives.

Feel free to send me a copy of your plan and I will be happy to look it over.

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Alan Turing, 20th Century English computer scientist

Image from Unsplash by The New York Public Library

The world recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.

It is interesting to note that many of the first pioneers into space pointed to the fragility of the earth and how vital it is for all of us to be better stewards of our precious planet.

We are so often enthralled by the big picture that we can fail to pay attention to what is right before us, as today’s quote implies.

Did you know that the human eye is so sensitive that if you were standing on a mountain top on a dark night, you could see a candle flame flickering up to 30 miles away? The height of the mountain would remove the impact of the earth’s curvature.

We can also sense the light from the Andromeda Galaxy, composed of about a trillion stars and located an amazing 2.6 million light-years from Earth.

Yet how often do we not see what is right in front of us?

EXERCISE:

Regardless of how far you can see, what are some of your top personal, professional, and even global priorities that need your best efforts?

“Leave no stone unturned.”

“Leave no stone unturned.”

—Euripides, Ancient Greek Tragedian

Image from Unsplash by Priscilla Du Preez

In many areas of life, “Good Enough” is good enough.

Perhaps you, like many people these days, have pivoted more mindfully, professionally and personally, to dramatically reduce or eliminate certain life commitments, duties, or obligations.

In some cases, leaving these stones unturned makes sense.

On the other hand, there are those high-value priorities and commitments that warrant our fullest attention. What personal or professional areas of life deserve all you’ve got, and anything short of excellence won’t do?

EXERCISE:

Select one top priority project or area of your life in which you will leave no stone unturned until you realize your goal.

“How can you have a much lighter approach to life?”

“How can you have a much lighter approach to life?”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Christian Erfurt

Who are the people in your professional or personal worlds that seem to carry a very heavy load throughout their days?

How burdened do you feel given your own backpack of commitments, priorities, and responsibilities?

What are the costs to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being?

When eustress—the positive and productive form of stress—exceeds its limits, it cascades over the threshold into distress, which can significantly impact our immune systems and can even lead to disease.

EXERCISE:

Take 5 to 10 minutes to lift your foot off the gas pedal of life and do a Google search on “Stress Management” or “Self-Care Strategies” to help you lighten your approach to life.

Feel free to reply to this post with the strategies or approaches you commit to taking.