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Born to be Wild

May 7, 2014

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“According to this law [the law of Dharma], you have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it. There is something that you can do better than anyone else in the whole world — and for every unique talent and unique expression of that talent, there are also unique needs. When these needs are matched with the creative expression of your talent, that is the spark that creates affluence. Expressing your talents to fulfill needs creates unlimited wealth and abundance.” Deepak Chopra

Are you born to be wild, or are you born to be quiet and focused?

Do you ever wonder why you make certain choices?

Why you do what you do?

Why you like certain things?

Why you are better at some things than others?

I remember being terrified about some of my MBA courses. I was excited about being challenged to think, explore and debate, but the thought of analyzing financial statements or evaluating a corporate merger made me shake in my bones! Well, there is a reason why, of course! I was not born to be a CFO or an Accountant, but I certainly was born to communicate, to learn and share what I’ve learned, and help others maximize their talents. Those specific MBA classes were certainly challenging, and I was certainly able to learn and apply some very important financial skills, but having me master those skills would forever be a waste of my time and gifts.

We know these things instinctually, I feel, but in our world of fixing “What’s wrong” we are often pressured to focus on what we are not and what we “should be.” This way of thinking, learning and living has become so engrained in our work and educational cultures, it’s no wonder individuals feel disengaged and “lost.” More and more I meet amazing, very accomplished people who want to deeply connect with who they are and be impactful in leading a life of deeper purpose.

As leaders, are we helping our team members contribute their best and grow in their strengths?

As parents, are we honoring our children’s unique talents and helping them to shine in what comes naturally to them?

These stats below tell us how crucial it is that we move in this direction:

Here’s what Gallup knows about using our talents:

  • People who know and use their talents and have the opportunity to use them at work are six times as likely to be engaged in their job.
  • People who know their talents and have the opportunity to use them at work are more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life.
  • People who use their strengths every day have 7.8% greater productivity.

Weakness fixing prevents failure.

Strengths-building leads to success.

Identifying our strengths and the strengths of others doesn’t have to be rocket science. You can do it through self-awareness, through input from others (on what you’re awesome at and examples of when you are at your best!), and you certainly can use one of the best tools out there—Gallup’s StrengthsFinder.

As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach I not only love OWNING my strengths and making sure that I’m utilizing them to their fullest, but I also love helping others do the same. One of the most empowering things to do is share your strengths with others and honor YOU! So, I’m happy to share my top 5 with you:

LEARNER. MAXIMIZER. POSITIVITY.

INDIVIDUALIZATION. IDEATION.

Every time I read my talent themes my inner cheerleader does a back flip because I know that I am investing in them and making them stronger day-by-day.

Care to be inspired? Here’s someone who’s definitely using her strengths and non-apologetic about it. In fact, she’s rockin’ the medals!

Engagement numbers truly scare me. I picture the more than 70% of individuals in our workforce who are disengaged, bored, depressed and just working to collect a pay check and I am saddened. I imagine a world where we are all fully engaged and turned on, making things happen individually and together.

How are you maximizing your talents and gifts?

I’d love for you to share what you feel you were born to do.

Are you doing it?

Have you taken Strengths Finder? If so, please share your Top 5 with me!

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you a life well led,

Monique

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by cruel shoes

“I didn’t set out to get you to quit your job or to persuade you to become an entrepreneur or merely to change the entire world. All I wanted to do in this book was to sell you on being the artist you already are. To make a difference. To stand for something. To get the respect and security you deserve.”

It is clear to me that Godin’s goal in writing this book (Linchpin) is simple: Know your power. Live your art. Have no regrets. If you do these three things, you may very well achieve the fulfillment in life you’ve always desired; enjoy your career and hobbies, and be surrounded by individuals who truly see you, appreciate you, and want you to thrive. In fact, they won’t be able to live without you.

You can’t live this kind of life if you let your lizard brain dominate. No. Surrender the cog tendencies of conformity, obedience, and compliance. Instead, you should embody passion, compassion, dignity, humanity, and generosity. Know your gifts and be generous with them. Connect with others in meaningful ways with your gifts. This cycle of gift giving should never end. Be indispensable.

Because so many of us at times feel stuck in our careers, however, I feel it is important to share Godin’s perspective of thinking– “My boss won’t let me.” Gosh, I’ve been there (just like you!), but how’s this for an “aha” moment:

“You think your boss won’t let you (be an “artist”), at the very same moment that your boss can’t understand why you won’t contribute more insight or enthusiasm. In most non-cog jobs, the boss’s biggest lament is that her people won’t step up and bring their authentic selves to work.”

Does this change your mind at all? See…it all truly lies within. Don’t give your power away, embrace it and decide to be a Linchpin. As we’ve discussed in earlier blogs this month, being a Linchpin is a CHOICE.

How can you be more authentic and bring more insight and enthusiasm to your job? Imagine that you are doing so in this moment and see how energized you feel.

If you are still a bit stuck with finding your “art,” ponder upon this question I came across on one of my favorite blogger’s (D. LaPorte) posting’s– “What’s dying to be born?” I just adore this question, and have written it on my work board so that I can ask it of myself over and over, so that I don’t stop creating my art.

And, now, I ask you… What’s dying to be born?”

Wouldn’t it be great if your co-workers and your boss begin to ask you, “Who are you, and where have you been hiding?” Nice.

Know your power. Live your art. Have no regrets. Go do it.

I will leave you with some food for thought Godin shares at the end of the book (And, Seth, thanks for the gift of your book!):

Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

Sing in your own voice.

Do the work. Please.

Don’t worry about finding inspiration, it comes eventually.

You are responsible for your own experience.

Ignore everybody.

Avoid the water cooler gang.

The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

Dying young is overrated.
………………………………………

Live young at HeART, and prosper!

Namaste,

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

“The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.” – Michel de Montaigne

Happiness is such a great topic to discuss don’t you think? The Happiness Project has truly been a fun book to read. Not only have I learned a lot about the science behind happiness, but it was inspiring to follow someone along their 12-month journey to become happier; someone who has a lot of the same challenges many of us do—being authentic, having meaningful relationships, getting the most out of and growing in your career, and being a fantastic, loving mother, among many other goals. You don’t feel so alone on your journey when others are right there with you. It’s comforting.

There are so many reflection points for me in this book that I can blog about it forever, but in the spirit of reading and sharing with you many wonderful books, I will choose to end my happiness observations by chatting about passion. Gretchen Rubin’s theme for the month of September is “Pursue a Passion.” According to Rubin, “Happiness research predicts that making time for passion and treating it as a real priority instead of an ‘extra’ to be fitted in at a free moment (which many people practically never have) will bring a tremendous happiness boost.”

Would you say the same is true for you? It is for me. I can share many examples, but a fresh one is reading. Reading is a passion of mine, and through my blog and my Relaxed Book Club (for personal development), reading has become one of my top priorities for 2010.

Rubin challenged herself to write a fifty-thousand-word novel in thirty days, which amounts to 1,667 words a day. Yikes! Well, for her it was so thrilling. Rubin shared: “Writing a novel provided the ‘atmosphere of growth’ that, I was becoming more and more convinced, was essential to happiness; I’d included this element in my First Splendid Truth, but it was even more significant than I’d initially understood. The satisfaction gained from the achievement of a large undertaking is one of the most substantial that life affords.”

What passion is just an “extra” in your life right now that you can make a priority to give you a happiness boost?

So was Rubin’s Happiness Project successful? She believes it was. I will let you enjoy the read as I did and check out her happy ending, but I will share that because she was able to work on the kinds of things she truly enjoys versus those things which are more forced, she really loved working on her goals for September. She also gives much of the credit for her success to her Resolution Chart, which was her daily “Bible” and kept her on track.  If you’d like to see a copy of Rubin’s Resolution Chart you can send her an email to: grubin@gretchenrubin.com. Just type “Resolution Chart” in the subject line.

So, care to continue with me on my journey? March’s selection for my Relaxed Book Club is Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? by Seth Godin. In his new book, Godin examines how a person becomes indispensable. It is a person within an organization who acts as an artist, puts his/her soul and passion into the work; it is  “emotional work.”  Sounds amazing….I can’t wait to begin (today!) and I hope you will join me.

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

Happy Trails, my friends!
Monique