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Dare To Dream

Do you dare to dream or are you working for a living?  This is the time of year when we are all feverishly making our New Year’s resolutions or what I call the biggest to-do list of the year.  Yet, what are the odds of success?  Usually it is natural to decide that this is the year that you will make the big changes and create the life you’re destined to live.

Before you embark on this path, let’s review your past history.  Have you made New Year’s resolutions before?  If so, then how many have you kept?  If you’re like most people, it’s just another way to validate why your life and career aren’t working or living up to your expectations.

Let’s review these expectations.  Where do they come from?  Do you decide how you will rate your progress or is it defined by how you compare yourself to others?  Are you satisfied with the standards by which you measure yourself, or are you ready to take a look if this is really working for you?  If you are willing to peek under the hood, let’s explore how you can easily shift your focus to tune into your true vision.

When I was growing up, my father called me a “dreamer.”  Yet, without our dreams, how can we even get clear about what we truly want?  Take a stroll down memory lane and begin to remember when you were about 8 or 9 years old.

  • What were you involved with?
  • What captured your interest?  Your imagination?
  • List the activities you enjoyed.
  • Any similarities or differences from your later years?  Sometimes our early years may reveal your true interests without censorship or comparison to others.
  • Pay attention to your observations or insights.

If you’ve strayed away from your earlier interests and just fell into the work you’re doing, this could be the reason you’re no longer satisfied with your progress.  If that’s the case, even if you reach the pinnacle of your career and appear extremely successful to others, you still may not be happy.  In my book, 3 Brains for Success, I explain the model I developed for success and happiness.  It all starts with clarity.  Once you have clarity about where you’re headed, you can develop a personal strategic plan and move forward.  The key is to start with your true heart’s desires because otherwise you will be working hard and going through the motions but will never become satisfied with your progress.

According to the latest Gallup Well-Being Survey, the highest income earners and senior citizens reported the highest job satisfaction.  With age, satisfaction increases.  How do you define satisfaction?  Does it mean abandoning your childhood dreams and settling to meet your budget?  Is there a way you can discover your true heart’s desire and make a plan to slowly transition or integrate it into reality?  I’m not advocating quitting your day job or changing careers.  I’m just encouraging you to examine your true motives and where you would like to be at the end of your working life.  It’s never too late to start.

Take a look at my favorite example of someone who dared to dream, was very clear about her heart’s desires to become a professional singer and astounded the world.  Listen below as Susan Boyle sings, “I Dreamed a Dream” as she begins her dream at 47:

Are you ready to discover your dream?  Remember, it’s not what they say you are, it’s about what you know you are.

Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.
Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

 

 

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The thought of a job interview evokes fear for many individuals, including many of my clients.  The majority of the time it’s about lack of confidence or the pressure to perform.  This feeling is enhanced when you really want a specific job or believe this is your dream role.

Research has shown that our minds and the way we think can affect our bodies.  Yet, do you realize that your body posture can actually impact the way you think and feel about yourself?  This is especially important during a job interview or when you’re giving a presentation.

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist has conducted research on power and dominance in human behavior.  Her findings validate that people in power roles or those who feel powerful actually exude confidence and are resilient to stress.  Being confident and unaffected by stress are 2 traits that are desired in a job interview or during a presentation.  So, what can you do to easily shift into success when it feels like you’re under a microscope or being judged during the interview process?

Listen to Amy Cuddy’s TED talk where she provides a quick 2-minute technique that can actually change the outcome of your next job interview.  Just like athletes achieve peak performance with practice, you too can become more confident and less stress reactive by practicing power posing as demonstrated below.

Remember, if you need more support to guide you through preparing for your next significant interview or presentation;  be sure to seek out the services of an expert interview coach who has a whole toolbox of techniques to make it easy and effortless.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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Are you listening to everyone but yourself about what path you should take in your career?  Are you just staying in your current role or taking the next position because that’s what’s expected from you?

This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the movie, The Wizard of Oz.

In the movie, Dorothy is repeatedly told to follow the yellow brick road by everyone she meets and she blindly listens.  Are you just following the yellow brick road in your career? Have you been just listening to everybody else and now finding that you are either dissatisfied, not completely fulfilled, unemployed, or just stuck about what to do next?  Every day, just like advertising, we are bombarded with new stories of individuals who have defied the odds and achieved unexpected success.  Everywhere you turn people are looking for the secret formula, the yellow brick road that will just lead them there, if they just follow and not ask questions.

However, in my experience working with clients from all walks of life, unless you choose your path, you will never truly be happy.  Whether you choose to stay exactly where you are, or transition to another career, the key is that you choose.  One clue to help you uncover if you’re in the right spot is to review the last time you had a peak experience at work.  Take a moment to reflect when you were last on top of your game, when everything was flowing smoothly and you were motivated and enjoying your work. How long has it been?  Have you ever had a peak experience at work?  If you are feeling unmotivated and struggling to either go to work, look for a job, or drum up new business it might be because you’re not really clear that you want to continue what you’ve been doing over and over.  You see unless you have chosen this path for yourself, you will naturally resist, even if it’s unconscious.  This resistance will make it harder to move forward on your goals and will hold you back.

Yet, with more choices and advanced speed in communication, there are more resources available than ever before.  The Internet has changed our world and this is the first time we have ever connected to each other in this way.  From Linked In, to Facebook, to Twitter, our people connections are growing exponentially.  Yet, with all of this external stimulation, there is little time to focus internally and reflect.  Therefore, if you find yourself just reacting and riding the assembly line of life without pausing to figure out where you’re going, you will end up on the nowhere road and wonder how you got there.  Just like Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, everyone told her to follow the yellow brick road.

So, what does this all mean?  Let’s look at the bigger picture to understand some of the influences exerting pressure on us.  In our generation, in America, we have witnessed more life defining moments and fundamental shifts in how the world and business operates.  Since 9/11, there has been a lot of pressure to find our true passion or our life purpose.  Seven years later, in November 2008, the housing crisis fundamentally changed the playing field.  Everything we believed and were told to follow has fundamentally shifted.

How can you find your road map for success in career, relationships, and life when the world has turned upside down? One way to start is to frame our shared experience.


It feels like we have all stepped onto a “Rotor-ride” or more currently known as the Gravitron ride where the world has been spinning and our floor has dropped out. However, the ride hasn’t stopped, most of us are still spinning. Yet, we can’t operate in the same way. As you are becoming aware, it’s not business as usual anymore. The floor or foundation disappeared when the economy and marketplace shifted and historic business structures tumbled down the rabbit hole.

Yes, just like global warming, the job and business climate has changed.  However, crisis breeds opportunity if you know how to use it.

The very next action step to take is to decide if you want to choose what happens next in your career.  If you’re ready to step off the yellow brick road, define where you’re going and develop your strategic road map, then it might be helpful to work with a career coach to jump-start this process and make it easier.

Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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Things Are Different Now

The world has shifted. All the old paradigms of success are being tested and put on trial as we watch in disbelief. As individuals and a society, we are now faced with redefining how we will thrive in these new and ever-changing times.  In the last fifty years, we have seen a social and economic revolution.  As our culture changed, so did the music.  The Beatles started the musical revolution and ushered in a new era that expanded our connections to the world.  Step into yesterday as the Beatles whisk you back to 1966 and take a moment to reflect on what the world was like in that era.

In the 60’s, the world was clearly defined. During the Industrial age, people usually went to work for one employer and remained there until retirement. As we experienced the Information Age and everything moved faster and faster, the world of work started to change.

Fifteen years ago, Daniel Goleman talked about the new rules for work as he wrote about emotional intelligence. According to his findings, it was no longer enough to have intellectual ability and technical know-how to do our jobs; it was now about personal qualities, such as initiative, empathy, adaptability, and persuasiveness. Ten years later, Daniel Pink cited further evidence of change, in A Whole New Mind, when he acknowledged that we moved from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. With globalization and shareholders demanding more ROI, large corporations, small business owners and employees alike are experiencing uncertain economic times. Only one thing is certain, increasing your marketability increases your chances of thriving in this current economy.

So, how is the new economy working in your favor? Because now you get to be in the driver’s seat by creating your personal brand and leveraging it in the marketplace to get the results you want.

The new rule: When everybody zigs, zag. – Marty Neumeier

You can easily do this by radically differentiating from your competition by translating your natural talents, skills, and experience into your unique value proposition:  your personal brand.  Being in the driver’s seat with your career means that you treat your career as if you were running a business.  The first place to start is to have clarity about where you’re going.  If you’re not clear about your vision or where you’re headed, you end up on the nowhere road.  In the story, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy was advised to follow the yellow brick road.  This was not a path she chose on her own.  She didn’t have all the facts.  As a result, her long journey ended with a wizard in Emerald City who had no answers and couldn’t help her reach her goals.  She just wanted to get home.

When we create our personal brand, we come home to ourselves.  We step into who we are and finally get comfortable in our own skin.  Think about individuals you may know that stand out from the crowd.  Do they have exceptional talent or have they discovered how to leverage what they have and translate it to the world?  Career coaching can easily help you identify and package yourself to fundamentally improve your career advantage so you increase your marketability and your market worth.

Neumeier acknowledges that your brand is not what YOU say it is.  It’s what THEY say it is. It’s about building your personal reputation, as well as your digital presence.

It’s about how others perceive your value.  The public’s gut feelings about the company, their products and services impact the best business brands.  It is not enough to have emotional intelligence and just understand yourself.  In today’s market, you need to understand how you impact the world at large or how marketable you really are.  Many of my career coaching and business coaching clients start working with me to get promoted, transition to a better career, be successful in their job search, start or develop their businesses.  Whether you’re an entrepreneur, climbing the corporate ladder, or just trying to land a higher paying job, the first place to begin is to examine your state of mind.  Are you clear about your vision?  Do you have clarity about where you’re going?  Once you have clarity, the decisions are easy with the right tools and resources.  If you aren’t clear or need support discovering the right tools and resources that fit you, try a free career coaching or business coaching consultation to explore if coaching is right for you.

Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan to become more marketable that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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Before starting career coaching and life coaching, my clients frequently ask:  where is Yoda?  How do I find Yoda?  What they are really looking for is answers.  Yet, as a result of our technological advances, people generally aren’t taking time to reflect and search for their own answers. Instead, addicted to instantaneous button clicking, our society breeds impatience, so we expect instant gratification and results, immediately, if not sooner, as my Dad used to say.  What have we become?  Let’s hear from a cyborg anthropologist what has happened in our current culture.

Join me for a closer pictorial look to see how our world has evolved and the impact it’s made on our lives.

From the first ride of the Pony Express:

To the assembly lines of the Industrial Age:

To the Information Age of computers, as we head into the Conceptual Age:

Dan Pink acknowledges that we have left the Industrial Age and entered a Conceptual Age. What if instead we are entering a dark age? The economy, the workplace, the political stage, your current state of mind all take its toll on your sense of self.

At the TED conference, Barry Schwartz discusses why too much choice is bad for us.
Too many choices cause:
1. Paralysis rather than liberation – people prefer to make no decision rather than make a complicated choice.
2. Less satisfaction with decisions as people have greater reason to regret the decisions they have made.
3. Unrealistic expectations.
4. Self-blame – when experiences are not perfect, people blame themselves.

So, what does this all mean?  With more choices and advanced speed in communication, there are more resources available than ever before.  The Internet has changed our world as we know it and this is the first time we have ever connected to each other in this way.  From Linked In, to Facebook, to Twitter, our people connections are growing exponentially.  Yet, with all of this external stimulation, there is little time to focus internally and reflect.  More than we suspect, outside influences control our actions. Therefore, if you find yourself just reacting and riding the assembly line of life without pausing to figure out where you’re going, you will end up on the nowhere road and wonder how you got there.  Even if you take a first step and start working with a career coach and life coach, it is too easy in our current age, to expect immediate answers and changes.  It takes 28 to 30 days to change a habit, introduce a new routine, practice, or start to reframe your situation and it takes another couple months to make it stick.  So, how can one expect to shift into the driver’s seat and get instant results?  However, with career coaching and life coaching, you will be supported to help make these changes stick.  So, what do you have to gain?  Yes, it’s about finding the Yoda inside of you that may be foggy or unclear at the moment.  Take the first step and get your life coaching and career coaching consultation from your success coach now.

Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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The burning question in everyone’s minds these days is “how do I stand out amidst the competition?”

Whether you’re involved in a job search, trying to increase your corporate visibility, vying for a promotion, or trying to get new business, what is the secret to being noticed and being rewarded professionally? Do you constantly feel like you’re on display like an art exhibit constantly being scrutinized how you size up (or compare) to your peers and colleagues?

Take a quick pause break and enjoy the wonderful “Cows on Parade” exhibit in Marseille below where each and every sculpture is beautiful and stands out on its own.  We will take a look how you can apply this concept to your business, job, and career mobility.

Cows On Parade in Marseille

The Secret To Being Successful In The Marketplace Today

At a very early age, I learned the secret to being successful.  It’s very simple:  being marketable.

For centuries, merchants and currently businesses alike have known that the law of supply and demand drives their products and/or services.  In our current job market, there is a surplus of potential job candidates, internally, and externally applying for positions.  That means that it is much harder to be noticed.

Before starting career coaching, many of my clients struggled to discover what separates them from their competition, without success.  They used traditional ways to market themselves and found they didn’t work.  These days, it’s not enough to be brilliant, talented, and experienced.  It’s about creating your brand and demonstrating how you are remarkable in order to stand out from everybody else who is also brilliant, talented and experienced.

The following article by Seth Godin, In Praise of The Purple Cow uses the metaphor of the purple cow to differentiate company brands.  Godin explains that in order to rise to the top, you need to become remarkable.  However, he states, the opposite of remarkable is ‘very good.  The reason that most companies don’t become purple cows is driven by fear because we’ve been conditioned to ‘play it safe‘ and follow traditional methods.  Godin concludes: The current marketing “rules” will ultimately lead to failure.

What about branding individuals?  The principles are the same.  Your unique brand is a combination of raw talent, your strengths, skills, and experience that made you who you are today.  By demonstrating how you are ‘remarkable‘ to your target audience, you will become more visible and more in demand.  Career coaching and business coaching will help you discover and leverage your brand to become more marketable in today’s economic climate.

Are you ready to become a purple cow?  Are you ready to stand out and get noticed by your clients or customers, your organization, recruiters, or hiring managers?

Then, try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started on discovering how to brand yourself and become marketable once again in today’s job market and business climate.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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Do you struggle with no time to get anything done?

Take a pause break and listen to an oldie but goodie song from the 60’s that captures one band’s perspective on this age-old problem.

Before they start life coaching, many of my clients identify their lack of time as the biggest reason for not meeting their goals.  They explain that they just need to have extra time to become successful and happy.  Just recently, during a coaching session with one of my executive coaching clients, he admitted that he works 60-65 hours a week and wants to achieve work-life balance and do the things he wants to do.  I asked, “What would happen if you fewer less hours?  Would your job still get done?”  He answered that it would.  So, I continued to ask:  “So, what is preventing you from working fewer hours?”  He replied, “me.” Before he could move forward on his goals, he needed to discover the root cause of what was really going on.

Up to now, my client had been thriving.  He had been extremely successful and never questioned the hours he worked.  So, what changed?  Understanding this process and what shifted as he began to question his current work style and consider other options was important to evaluate because this was influencing his current behavior.  Only when you drill down and begin to understand what motivates your actions, what triggers your responses, and what drives you will you be able to get back in the driver’s seat and choose how to respond.

It is too easy to let life just happen.  Remember, you can’t change the people around you, or affect the weather, or control the world.  All you can do is choose how to respond.  Yet, in order to do so effectively, you will need to understand what is going on underneath the surface.  Root cause analysis doesn’t have to feel like a root canal.  Working with a coach can easily help you identify what’s going on.  Once you bubble up what’s really going on up to the surface, you can look at it, review it, and then choose what comes next.  Otherwise, all the actions in the world will be forced and will be met with internal resistance because you will naturally sabotage your efforts.  When this happens, you have 2 choices:  blame it on external events, or reflect on what’s really going on inside.

After working for many years with coaching clients, I have discovered that if it’s a priority, it will get done.  So, the key is to truly identify your real priorities.  The ones that are really driving you and not the ones that you believe you are expected to do.  How do you drill down to your top priorities and claim them as your true heart’s desire?  The first step is to be honest with yourself.  It is important to understand how you got to this place.  You may have traveled a short time on this road, or have been derailed from your original route.  With coaching, you can get the support you need, as well as the objectivity to help you clarify your long-term vision that best fits you and helps you leverage your natural talents and experience to date.

The most successful people hire coaches.  Success and happiness can’t be achieved with a hit-or-miss approach.  You need to be laser focused on your highest priorities.

Using the 80/20 Principle, 20% of your critical priorities will yield 80% of your results. The question is how to identify your highest priorities? If you haven’t developed a personal strategic plan, it will be challenging to start this process without support.

Is it worth investing in you?  Try a free life or career coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.

At Feroce coaching, we know it’s about fit.  That’s why, you get two free coaching consultations (risk-free) to explore if coaching is for you.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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Boost Your Success With Feroce Coaching

At Feroce, we believe that the 5 most common reasons people are unhappy in their jobs or careers are:

1. Lack of FIT: they end up in the job by default, without an understanding of whether their strengths actually match the position.

(by the way, most employers don’t understand this either!)

2. Lack of FIT: they end up in an environment that doesn’t suit them. (right job, wrong company culture)

3. Lack of CONFIDENCE…they lack the confidence that comes from having the opportunity to do what they do best.
(Only 1 in 5 people have the opportunity to do what they do best every day in their work, according to the Gallup Research study from 1.2 million respondents in 101 countries.)

4. Lack of VISION – for their life, for their career, for their business.

5. Lack of VALIDATION – they aren’t rewarded for their strengths. VALIDATION builds momentum, contributes to the sense of FLOW.

Top Ten Reasons To Hire A Feroce Coach to Boost Your Career or Your Business:

1.  It’s all focused on You!  Since it’s all about Fit, learn what best fits you.  (match your skills to your role or your business)

2. Work with your very own strategic partner to help you every step of the way to achieve your business or career goals.

3.  Use tried and tested tools to develop your brand and launch your new role or new business.  (Or give your current one a face-lift)

4.  Leverage your existing skills and resources to become more visible in the marketplace.  (Big confidence booster)

5.  Achieve results with creative and innovative techniques customized for you.

6.  Boost your productivity, performance, and above all, your bottom line by uncovering what’s been holding you back.

7.  Get the clarity you’ve always wanted about what to be when you grow up.  With clarity, the decisions are easy.  Without clarity, you end up on the nowhere road.

8.  Develop your personal strategic plan and map out your road map to be successful and happy.

9.  Get the competitive edge to navigate in today’s economy and market, including office politics.

10. Learn the secrets your competition isn’t sharing.

The most successful people hire coaches.

Is it worth investing in you?  At Feroce, you get two free coaching consultations (risk-free) to explore if coaching is for you.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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It’s never too late to learn new tricks as this video reveals.

Yes, anyone can learn a new technique or trick for success.  Surf the Internet and it’s full of proven methods to become successful in business, your career, and your life.  Every day, a new guaranteed program is popping up in the field of self-help.  Many of my clients turn to coaching because they have repeatedly tried everything from A to Z and it works for a little while, then it’s back to their old ways.

What’s missing?  Why do old patterns keep showing up over and over?  Research demonstrates that it takes 28-30 days to change a habit, introduce a new way of conducting business, living life, etc.  Actually, what I’ve discovered is that it only takes 14 days because if you have repeated a new habit or technique consistently for 14 days, by the 15th day, it will seem strange without it.  So, you usually continue.  By the time you reach the end of the 30 days, you have successfully shifted.  Then all it takes is another couple months to reinforce it, and voila, you’ve sustained a change.

In theory, this sounds too easy.  You’re right.  There is one more piece to making this work.  It has to be in synch with who you are naturally.  Most of my clients have no idea who they really are and what makes them tick.  They have been too busy listening to everyone else and not truly taking time to find out.

Is this complicated?  No.  The first place to start is to ask 2 questions.  What energizes you and what drains you?  You always know what drains you and if you start to pay attention, you can easily identify what energizes you, as well.

The key is to start creating a custom navigation tool that will help you get back on course and stay on the road to success.  Only by doing the things that come naturally will you be able to stop resisting yourself and actually improve the quality of your life.

I am not recommending that you make any drastic changes.  I am only asking you to discover 2 things:
1. What energizes you?

2. What drains you?

Once you are clear with both questions, you can start coming up with a list of things that must happen in your life.  These will start to be included in your top priorities.  For example, one of my clients, a business owner, was trying to grow his business and heard from many sources that all he had to do was to attend business functions, network and follow-up on leads.  This appeared to be sound advice.  However, group socializing and general networking meetings actually totally drained him.  He did better with growing individual relationships that were meaningful.  So, he created a description of his ideal client and researched places they would attend.  Turns out, he was targeting individuals in the creative professions and he had a passion for the performing arts.  Instead of attending unfruitful business meetings, he attended plays and started becoming involved in Community Theater in his back yard.  His new approach energized him and satisfied his passion for the arts.  In just a couple of months, he was happier and had acquired a dozen new clients.  He was no longer resisting the traditional marketing program.  This client changed the physical location where he was conducting business.  Physical locations provide some of the most powerful cues to behavior.

The most important thing to remember about success is to give yourself permission to explore alternatives without being fixed on the outcome.  To change a pattern or habit that’s not working, identify where this usually happens.  Then …change the context, change the cues.   …This requires understanding the triggers to your own behavior.

In the business world, it’s all about ROI and value propositions from employees.  Performance reviews are all about metrics.  It’s not about abolishing the metrics; it’s about giving yourself permission to creatively look at new approaches that map to the way you operate best.  If you increase the activities that energize you and minimize the ones that drain you, you will already notice a difference.

Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.
Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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Do you feel trapped by your life?  Do you sense you are a product of the times finding it difficult to recognize your true self amidst the noise and stimulation of traffic, emails, work deadlines, and family?

Dan Pink acknowledges that we have left the Industrial Age and Entered a Conceptual Age.  What if instead we are entering a dark age?  The economy, the workplace, the political stage, your current state of mind all take its toll on your sense of self.

Do you have a minute to breathe or a few minutes each day to focus on yourself? Maggie Jackson discusses that the Erosion of Attention is heralding this new period in our civilization.

At the TED conference, Barry Schwartz discusses why too much choice is bad for us.
Too many choices cause:
1. Paralysis rather than liberation – people prefer to make no decision rather than make a complicated choice.
2. Less satisfaction with decisions as people have greater reason to regret the decisions they have made.
3. Unrealistic expectations.
4. Self-blame – when experiences are not perfect, people blame themselves.

Is it time to conduct an audit of your life?
A very wise manager once told me that every individual has a check for 24 hours and it is up to him or her how to choose to use it. Now, as you know, that is not necessarily true. We are all bound to our previous commitments. Yes, our commitment to our families and ourselves to maintain certain lifestyles. Have your true priorities been washed away by the current tides?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has been researching the subject of being in flow for many years.

He defines flow as the process of achieving happiness through control over one’s inner life.
When you are in flow, you are focused on your highest priorities and life becomes easy and effortless. You are leveraging your natural self.

Using the 80/20 Principle, 20% of your critical priorities will yield 80% of your results. The question is how to identify your highest priorities? If you haven’t developed a personal strategic plan, it will be challenging to start this process. To make this easy, let’s first remember it’s not about managing your time, but your energy levels. Begin by answering the next few questions:
When is my peak time of day?  Morning, afternoon, or evening?  Or somewhere in-between?

Am I using my peak times to focus on activities that are most important to me?

Do I know how much true discretionary time I have in a week?

To get you started, let’s look at a typical week: 24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours.
To calculate how much actual discretionary time you actually have in 1 week:
1. Total the number of hours you are actually at work, include your commute time, and work you bring home.
2. Tally the average number of hours you sleep, notice if there are any differences on the weekends, to get your subtotal for the week.
3. Estimate the time you take to eat each day, include meal preparation, grocery shopping, restaurant dining, notice if there are any changes on weekends, to estimate time spent in 1 week.
4. Identify your scheduled and weekly time commitments to other activities, including, but not limited to working out, trips to the gym, church attendance, regular weekly family obligations (does not include relaxation or ad hoc activities – only routine scheduled activities are recorded here)
5. Now, subtotal your hours for the week and subtract from 168 hours. This is your total discretionary time available each week. Any surprises? Yes, you didn’t factor in rest and relaxation. But how many hours of each day do you actually squander or do they just escape in mindless activities that do not move you forward on your goals?

One Quick Tip:
– 1% of your time is 1.68 hours. Let’s round up to 2 hours a week or about 15 minutes per day.
– This coming week, try scheduling 15-minute appointments each day to focus on yourself and your highest priorities.

Are you ready to take this first step? Try it and see.

If you would like a more detailed audit of your life, try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach to get you started. Coaching can help you get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

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