“Attack issues, not people.”

“Attack issues, not people.”

—Liz Wiseman, Author of Multipliers

Image from Unsplash by Photos Hobby

With the U.S. elections only six weeks away, the frequency and intensity of personal attacks are at a fever pitch. We are clearly not united.

Through the media and in our own local communities we can observe many types of attacks, including those leading to serious injury and the loss of life.

Even when an attack is not specifically physical, harsh words and verbal assaults cause great harm. Take a minute to look specifically at your own world — examples you have observed over the past week or two.

Mother Teresa once stated that she would never attend an anti-war protest, but would gladly participate in a rally promoting peace.

Instead of attacking what we are against, perhaps a shift to what we stand for could be a critical pivot. We could all come together to solve our most significant collective issues.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life would attacking issues — not people — be the best approach to bettering our world?

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Milan Degraeve

Where are you finding yourself these days?

How would you rate yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?

If you feel down, stuck, and in a rut, almost everyone in your personal and professional worlds can relate!

The wonderful news is that friends, family, and our numerous communities are coming together to lift one another up.

I am sure you are helping those around you as well.

Sometimes, however, we do not take the time to lift ourselves out of these holes. On many occasions, we tend to dig them deeper and make things worse.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life are you finding yourself in a hole in which you are—knowingly or unknowingly—still digging?

How can and will you stop adding insult to injury, and start filling in and repairing these areas?

Feel free to reply to this post to share the hole-filling efforts you take.

“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”

“They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.”

—Sir Francis Bacon, 15th century British philosopher and statesman

Image from Unsplash by Marten Bjork

If time is the coin of life, how are you currently investing yours? A frequent coaching exercise for individuals who wish to master this elusive resource is a Time Log.

It begins by tracking professional and personal chunks of time in a log. The next step is evaluating not only where that time is spent, but also the level of satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness experienced.

Sadly, statistics point to well over 50% and up to almost 70% of people experiencing reluctance and significant dissatisfaction in their vocational efforts. Perhaps we need to shift from the idea of “that’s why it’s called work,” to a far more enjoyable and engaging perspective.

EXERCISE:

To what extent do you wake up with an “I don’t want to ____” view of your current job or career? How would pursuing a vocation that far better suites your nature provide a stronger foundation for a richer and happier life?

“The story of each stone leads back to a mountain.”

“The story of each stone leads back to a mountain.”

—W.S. Merwin, Late American Poet

Image from Unsplash by Daniel von Aarburg

Can you recall anyone telling you that you are “a chip off the old block”?

Perhaps you’ve used this phrase to refer to some bright, precocious youth showing great promise and demonstrating the positive qualities of their parents, teachers, or other well-regarded people.

Who have been the rugged, mountainous individuals in your life?

How have they shaped and carved your character, personality, attitudes, and talents?

What experiences and life lessons did they provide to help you become the person you are today?

EXERCISE:

Who are the people in your personal or professional worlds that see you as their mountain? How can and will you intentionally guide, teach, and coach them to be their very best?

“Lovely days don’t come to you. You should walk to them.”

“Lovely days don’t come to you. You should walk to them.”

—Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet

Image from Unsplash by Bob Canning

The term snowbird was first applied to humans in the early 1900s, to describe northern laborers who flocked down south to work as the cold, harsh winter set in up north.

Today, northerners of all kinds – including vacationers and retirees – are migrating south as the first frost arrives, to experience more lovely warm days.

Rumi surely wasn’t referring only to the weather. Perhaps he wanted all of us to look around – and deeper within – to determine exactly what a lovely day means, and just how much influence we have to create our own weather, wherever we happen to be.

EXERCISE:

What are some additional ways you can use your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energies to walk or even run toward far more lovely days in the future?

“When you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”

“When you appreciate the good, the good appreciates.”

—Tal Ben-Shahar, American/Israeli author & teacher

Image from Unsplash by Nathan Lemon

On most days, and for most of my life, I’ve had a half full, positivity bias toward life.

How about you?

Although it is easy to see areas in our world that need work, I see it as all of our jobs to do this work with both body and soul. Seeing and appreciating the good in others and our world seems to have a pulling attractiveness to make things even better.

If you research what drives us, you will find considerable evidence that our ability to positively influence our communities, better ourselves personally, and have a values-centered purpose are key.

EXERCISE:

How would having a greater positivity bias help you more fully appreciate all the good in your world?

Consider the idea of keeping an appreciation or gratitude journal for a least a week to see what appreciates in your life.

“Being a nice person can be an effective strategy.”

“Being a nice person can be an effective strategy.”

—Eric Barker, Author of BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE

Image from Unsplash by Tim Mossholder

During my senior year of high school I worked as a Deli-man at the local Jewish delicatessen. My responsibilities included serving a high volume of customers  delicacies such as pastrami, corned beef, and smoked fish for Sunday brunch, from 3pm Saturday to 3am Sunday.

I was 18 years old. The majority of the other deli-men were in their fifties or sixties. It turned out that being able to slice lox razor-thin was paramount to being a brain surgeon in this community, and these veterans were simply the best.

One downside of this work was the significant number of challenging customers who saw themselves as superior to everyone else, and demanded “only the best.”

When those customers entered the store, most of the veteran deli staff quickly took their 30-minute breaks, leaving ME to the wolves, and most of these customers strongly objected to an 18-year-old rookie taking care of them.

Clearly, fighting fire with fire was never going to work, so I took the kill them with kindness approach, and in time, won them over.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom in your personal or professional communities would being the nice person you are be the best strategy to follow?

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry, and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry, and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

—Walter Hagen, 20th Century American professional golfer

Image from thememorialtournament.com

Walter Hagen was considered by many to be golf’s greatest showman. People referred to him as a flamboyant, princely, romantic fellow who captivated fellow players and the public with sheer panache.

He was the most colorful golfer of his time, but Sir Walter also had the game to back it up. He won 11 major titles and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame for many other achievements.

His coaching in today’s quote is good council for golf as well as life. Patience, a positive attitude, and enjoying every moment as we travel the fairways of life can lead us all to greater success and happiness.

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal or professional life would a don’t hurry, don’t worry approach serve you best?

Taking note of the flowers you see and smell along the way will be a wonderful bonus.

“To some this may look like a sunset. But it’s a new dawn.”

“To some this may look like a sunset. But it’s a new dawn.”

—Chris Hadfield, first Canadian to walk in space

Image from Unsplash by Nelson Santos Jr.

When things come to an end—particularly what we consider “good” things—many people feel let down.

Consider the “wind down” after the holidays, a vacation, or even an enjoyable weekend.

These examples demonstrate the power of creative tension, and the impact that looking forward to things can have on our attitude and overall mental state.

EXERCISE:

In addition to feeling delight, joy, and happiness because you experience such positive events, how can you better see the new dawn each day brings?

Please reply to this post, and I will be happy to send you a one-page description of Creative Tension.

“Sorry looks back, worry looks around, despair looks down, but faith looks up.”

“Sorry looks back, worry looks around, despair looks down, but faith looks up.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Chris Gegelman

Many of us become a bit more reflective this time of year.

Where do you have regrets and feel sorry about the opportunities you saw but did not pursue?

What current matters or present challenges are the greatest cause of worry and concern that need your best efforts?

On what aspects of life have you given up, feel down in the dumps, or maybe even a bit of despair?

EXERCISE:

How would looking up with a more heart-centered and faithful perspective lead you and those you love to a happier, more richly rewarding new year?

What strategies and methods can and will you use to keep looking up in faith all year long?