The Greatness of Optimal: Ending the Work-Life Balance Myth

Can 2015 mark the year we end our Sisyphean work-life balance pursuit? It seems that we’ve been looking for this magical firewall between work and life for most of my working career, and we can’t seem to find it. 

So what’s up?

It’s a myth. During the halcyon days of the mid-80s, when work-life balance was first referenced, we didn’t have to contend with today’s ubiquitous connectivity.  With the innovation of email, smart phones, and social media, the line between work and life is blurred at best.  So let’s stop searching for the comprise of work life and personal life balance. Rather, let’s take action to maximize our fulfillment, happiness, and mindfulness in our one life.

Based on my experience as an executive, business leadership coach, and motivational speaker, the genesis of our work-life drama usually starts at work even as we carve out personal time for exercise, downtime, etc. As a result, if work is less than ideal, then it’s hard to live a full life. Here are 3 steps to gain more fulfillment at work.

Alignment

Get clear on your values and take action that aligns with them.  Determine what gets you jazzed and ensure that your daily choices align to your values.

Beliefs

What gives you that “I got this and here’s how” confidence? It’s your inner greatness.  You know it.  It’s led to your success.  However, we also have moments when that inner critic steps in, plants doubt, and stirs up fear.  An optimal life isn’t possible when we listen to that inner critic. It sucks the potential out of us.  Learn how to lead with your inner greatness.

Calendar Choices

Own your time! Stop sacrificing your joy and success by settling for ineffective meetings.  You get to choose how you meet and connect with your co-workers.

Here are some easy steps to get more out of your meetings:

  1.  Start and end on time
  2. Shorten your meetings by at least 15 minutes. Get focused and use your extra time for planning, reflecting, or biology
  3. Stop multitasking
  4. Set up more “Walk and Talk” meetings
  5. Accept/send meeting requests with a set agenda and objectives
  6. Decline meetings without a clear purpose
  7. Increase the laughter factor
  8. Agree on clear action steps and ownership

Living these A, B, Cs can help you gain more happiness at work.  Make 2015 the year you trade the compromise of balance for the greatness of optimal. To learn more contact me at Michael@pelotoncc.net.


In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.

Source: www.pelotoncc.net

6 Sure-Fire Career Boosters

I chose the niche of career coaching because I am passionate about helping people find a path that is rewarding, fun and lucrative. My commitment stems from personal experience. My career path was forged by taking risks, following my heart, and not being afraid to color outside the lines.  I have a degree in information systems, and have worked as an interior decorator, a nonprofit fundraiser, and now a career and life coach.  I know a bit about demanding bosses, getting promoted, and knowing when to leave – including reinventing myself more than once.  This is why I am focusing more of my energy on helping others navigate the sometimes challenging waters of the workplace and exploring “what’s next” – including entrepreneurship.  Critical to all of this is knowing how to listen to your inner voice, and trusting yourself.

First, let’s work on gaining some forward momentum – no matter what your path: 

1.    Get out of neutral.  Sometimes we’ve stayed too long at our current workplace, and it shows. The excitement is gone, and we are doing that dreaded countdown from Monday through Friday.  If (and ONLY if) you value your workplace, and are invested in staying there, make a conscious decision to “bloom where you’re planted”.  Actively engage your manager about ways to improve your job performance, learn a new skill or take on more responsibility. Speak up in meetings.

2.    Learn how to self-promote (without being obnoxious).  There is some truth to the adage “nice guys/girls finish last”.  The workplace is nothing if not competitive. And unfortunately just “doing a good job” will not necessarily get you noticed or promoted.  It may make you a valuable member of the team. You’ll be known for being dependable and reliable – but perhaps taken for granted.  Learn how to toot your own horn. Make suggestions and share good ideas. Become your own PR agent.

3.    Dress for success.  Appearances DO matter. If you come to work wrinkled and disheveled, people may not take you as seriously. It is sometimes said that you should dress the part of your next job. In my opinion, it’s not a bad policy. Take yourself seriously, and others will too.  You don't have to spend thousands on a designer wardrobe. But a nice quality suit with a variety of tops or shirt and tie combos can go a long way.  If your workplace is not so formal, you can buy some strategic pieces to mix and match without breaking the budget.

4.    Get a mentor. We are all connected, and it’s important to seek guidance from people who’ve been there.  A mentor can help you navigate the tough spots and develop strategies for advancement. S/he can be an invaluable resource for networking and job search.  Think about an expert in your field with whom you can cultivate a closer relationship.  It can be someone you know already, or you can pick someone who you’d like to learn from and reach out to him or her.

5.    Know when it’s time to go. Sometimes it’s just TIME TO GO. Period. There may have been a leadership or political sea change at your workplace, or you are dealing with a difficult boss who is either intimidated by you, a micro-manager, or who just doesn’t like you for some reason or other.  Or, as I mentioned before, you are just not into it anymore. Maybe you’ve hit a ceiling and there is no room for advancement.  And of course, there is the option of entrepreneurship. Do you have a window of opportunity to follow your dream and hang out your own shingle? Be sure you have a good strategy for a strong start, but if you’re ready, go for it!

6.    Take risks. Nobody got anywhere playing it safe.  Well that’s not entirely true.  People who play it safe are able to hold on to jobs for a very long time – and that’s great. If you want to be promoted, advance, lead, or make more money – it may not be the best strategy.  Be willing to speak your mind, to disagree with your boss, to suggest a new idea that might help your organization succeed.  If a position opens up at your workplace (or elsewhere) that you’re interested in, go for it.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained! 

 As always, here’s to you – and to your truth. My prayer  for you is a fun, balanced and fulfilling life. 

Until next time… Trina  


Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit trinaramsey.com. @PerspectivePlus  or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina

Owning The Cape

"Even when I'm a mess, I put on a vest with an S on my chest..." Alicia Keys

This line is from Alicia Keys's song "Superwoman". It's one of the many anthems to womanhood that have been penned over the years. Today I'm writing about my own battle with this label. I am a self-confessed "A type". I do a lot and have a lot of roles. As a working mother of two, and now also working on my coaching business, my life is very full. Some days it’s a bit TOO FULL lol. But I enjoy it. I know that I'm in the right space in time for me right now, so even though my pace is a bit manic at times, it's extremely fulfilling.

I have not always been at peace with this. I've had the title "superwoman" for most of my adult life. But I didn't OWN it. As a matter of fact, you could even say I resented it. I once journaled, "Superwoman is dead. She was crushed by the weight of the world on her shoulders." Wow, right? That's a very strong statement, but that was the space I was in at the time. Totally a victim - "poor me, I've got too much to do". But it is very real when you are in that space - in overwhelm and not able to find a good way to balance it out.

Now, before I go any further, I am NOT claiming to have figured this all out and have the magic formula. But over the years, and with God's grace and the help of some wonderful teachers, I have begun to challenge my perception of things. The truth of the matter is, I LIKE to be busy. And part of my busyness is because of the various relationships I have - family and friends, and taking time to focus on things that matter to me. So now I embrace the fullness of my life - it gives me focus and adds richness to my life. Recently I've been struggling to balance things out, so I thought writing this would help refocus an reenergize. Hope you enjoy it, too.

OWNING THE CAPE
... so how do you shift into wearing the cape proudly? Here are a few suggestions:
 

  1. Feed your spiritual life. Having a relationship with God helps us tap into a higher power and not feel so helpless when things are out of our control. We all experience bumps along the way, (sometimes valleys and derailments!) but knowing that God is with you throughout makes a huge difference. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."(KJV). This verse has gotten me through many rough spots, and in retrospect, I find it to be true! Some of my greatest blessings have come after a period of loss or trial. God knows what he is doing, and part of the trick in owning the cape is knowing when to let go and let Him have control.
  2. Acceptance. If you are a superwoman (or superman) wear the cape proudly! Clearly there is something about you that resonates strength, leadership and/or perseverance. All wonderful traits to embrace!
  3. Cultivate a positive attitude. Do you routinely see the glass as "half full" or "half empty"? We've all heard "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", and similar adages. How you view things makes a huge difference. So rather than seeing your talents as a burden (like I used to), wear that cape proudly. Cultivate a swagger and own the power that God has endowed you with!
  4. Take care of yourself. I'm sure this seems very basic, but when we are juggling a lot, sometimes we slip to the bottom (or off) of the priority list. This can lead to burnout, resentment and worse. Yes, it's easier said than done, but it is absolutely essential. When I wrote that "superwoman is dead" bit I was not even on the radar screen. Always allow some time for yourself - to enjoy things you like to do, spending time with people you love, or just DOING NOTHING. 

Have a wonderful week, and *raising cup of coffee*... here's to the journey!

Peace & Blessings,
TRamsey © 9/2010


Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit trinaramsey.com. @PerspectivePlus  or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina

The Magic Of The Mind

Can our mind heal our body?

Recent research has verified that mental and emotional conditions can affect the state of the physical body, and that the body mind connection, is very much true. Every emotion we feel can cause psychological and physical changes in the body which can keep us sick & stuck. Most times we just don’t know how to let go.  Emotions have been shown to be linked to obesity and cancer, which begs the question:  Who’s in charge of your mind?

 “There is an ever growing body of evidence pointing to the role of the mind and its healing power in the treatment of stress, pain, mental, emotional and physical illness. (1)  Mind/body approaches, such as guided imagery and mindfulness meditation are becoming more widespread as the scientific studies mount, indicating that mind-body techniques, may not only improve the quality of life for those facing a health concern or serious illness, but can actually promote physical healing and whole person wellness of body, mind, heart and spirit.  Keeping a healthy spirit and mind will aid in maintaining a healthy body and vice versa. A healthy, grounded spirit and soul also helps to improve our confidence levels and helps to boost self esteem and positive thoughts.”

Just like exercise builds muscle, becoming conscience builds mind muscle. Remember what happens to the body also happens to the mind and even to the spirit and vice versa. If you are eating for health but harbor on unhealthy thoughts, you are not healthy. 

Solutions: 

What can you do? Implement changes until the mind/body are on the same page-do it until it becomes a lifestyle. When you change how you look at things the things you look at change.

When you change how you be with things the things you be with change.

A number of studies at UCLA and at Harvard, (2) show that there are structural changes in the very parts of the brain, for people who do practice mindfulness meditation.  There are structural changes in the same mind / body circuit, that we need to implement, in order  to support our empathic communication with other people.  That's probably why there are so many studies that show that empathy is significantly increased in those who practice mindfulness.

Which part of our mind runs our life?   “Most people hardly use the conscious mind.  They run their day-to-day existence from programs stored in their subconscious mind.” (3)  “What programs will that subconscious mind run? The answer is the exact programs that were downloaded into the subconscious mind.” These subconscious programs are at the core of our perception of the world around us. They anchor our belief systems, our perception of right and wrong, our spirit and our soul.  These deeply stored programs, are what guide us and play out our journey, throughout out entire life, unless we go into the subconscious mind and rewrite the program. Yes, we can rewrite the program!

“By making a conscious decision, our conscious mind can rewrite any of our subconscious programs.”  We can even go back and change our genetic activity. “The conscious mind is unique because it can change an entire history of perceptions in order to engage in different behaviors and life styles. The new sciences of epi-genetics and quantum mechanics recognize the important role of the invisible fields in controlling life, which includes the thoughts and energies that contribute to our reality. “This new awareness gives each of us the ability, and the power, to change our old worldview.

We now know that we can actually control our genes, and as a result, we control our lives. Our thoughts are real and tangible. They influence our physiology. If we choose to be around sickness or depression we will become what is our environment. 

Solution:

Change our environment and belief system, and we can change our life.  Beliefs can change our thoughts and change our DNA. This is extremely powerful, and isn’t it fascinating that our mind has the ability to look at itself, from the outside in?

How is energy impaired when the mind is broken?

1-The mind is an energetic field.

The mind influences the immune system, digestive and endocrine system. When we have an abundance of stress in our lives we also have a diminished functioning immune system. 

An abundance of stress reduces blood flow to the gut leaving it unable to repair itself. As a result, our metabolism is impaired. This leads to a lack of energy in our cells.  With less energy, we stop exercising.  That in turn stresses the lymphatic system leaving it congested and lethargic. Stress can make our mind & body sick. 

Solution:

Don’t sweat the small stuff. One of the most efficient ways to defuse stress while it's happening, is to use positive emotion.  A thought is a physical energy. Sending information to the body saying “I am better” is sending information to the body to correct itself.

2- Alzheimer’s: 

“We need to take action to eliminate toxins through understanding the underlying causes of cellular breakdown in the brain.  Free radicals from toxins, lead to oxidative stress.  With cell death we see more people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  Mitochondria are extremely sensitive to the insults of  inflammation and toxic damage.”(4) 

Alzheimer’s is all about toxins and loss of energy. In fact it may soon be called Diabetes Type 3. Pesticides, alcohol, gluten and sugar are toxins we ingest from foods along with mercury from fish, dental fillings and contact lens solution.  Yes, that stuff people use to clean their lenses and more get in the way of our brain and gut function.  Added to that mix, we work in a toxic environment and are consuming inflammatory foods, causing thyroid and hormonal imbalances.  In their book, Dangerous Grains, (5) James Braly, MD, and Ron Hoggan, MA point out that undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten in wheat, and other proteins in grains:

“Is the root cause of many cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurological  diseases, osteoporosis,  attention deficit disorders, learning disorders psychiatric and other brain disorders.”

I’ve seen first hand elderly people with gallons of ice cream, rBGH milk, bread and soda in their refrigerator, with no visible signs of fruits, vegetables and other whole foods.  Today 50% of 85 year olds have Alzheimer’s, resulting in a 60 billion a year business!  However Alzheimer’s doesn’t begin at age 85, it can go undetected for more than 50 years.

Solution: Most brain inflammation can be prevented. It’s easy in this fast paced world, to be toxic, stressed and depressed. Life is not what happens to us, but rather how we handle what is happening. Become mindful, as stress, toxins and a poor diet, are counter productive to brain, gut, and our overall wellness.

Can fast food logos affect our mind?

It turns out that just looking at fast-food-company logos may be enough to affect our attitude and judgment.

A recent study reported in the March 2010 issue of Psychological Science (6) found that, compared with a control group that spent time viewing unrelated shapes of similar size and the logos of inexpensive chain restaurants, people who spent time examining fast-food logos were more likely to exhibit impatience and haste in executing subsequent tasks, and less likely to defer gratification.

The results suggest that our exposure to, and associations with, fast food may carry over into other areas of our lives and consumer behaviors in surprising, unconscious ways.

In a study of 57 people, University of Toronto researchers (7) found that the fast-food participants were, in later exercises, significantly more likely to prefer items characterized as timesaving. They were also more apt to race through reading assignments, even when presented with no time limit, and to accept smaller sums of money right away rather than wait and receive larger sums of money later.  This can affect our judgement in all business decisions.

Conclusion:

Take a look at your life today. How do you feed your mind & body?  Do you have Negative Nellie self talk or listen to negative news before bed?  Do you live on alcohol, caffeine, sugar, trans fats, flour products and gluten? Do you have emotional wellness or do you suffer from anxiety, lack of intimacy, stress, Gerd, inflammation and brain fog?  All these are a lack of mind/ body health. 

If you intend to be mindful, eat healthy, improve digestion and hormonal imbalances and feel fantastic, I am here.  Our conscious mind is capable of making the decision to stop old habits, and focus on creating new positive habits.  With time, these new habits become new established programs in our subconscious.  We are capable of changing our path, our results and reinventing our very being.

Make a plan to succeed by getting the support you need today! As a Certified Integrated Health Coach for 12 years, Connie Rogers specializes in helping people make healthy changes and achieve results that last a lifetime. Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health.www.bitesizepieces.net

Footnotes:

1-Dr. Paul Epstein- http://www.drpaulepstein.com

2-studies http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/ see also http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/

3- Bruce Lipton book-The wisdom of your cells

4-  Mark Hyman book -The Ultra Mind Solution 

5- James Braly, MD, and Ron Hoggan  book-“Dangerous Grains” 

6- fast food on the brain- http://www2.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios/file/Zhong%20and%20DeVoe,%202010.pdf see also http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/03/19/0956797610366090.full

7- higher later dollar amounts- http://www.pendletonpsych.com/whats-new/fast-food